Microbrush 3

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Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Fri May 09, 2014 6:32 pm

Hello. 🐾

I may be working on a successor to my old and weird level editor Microbrush 2.
You can get a gist of what it will probably be like here (my Minecraft level editor Creeperchest) because the framework and the common plugins will be the same.
That Minecraft editor was a spin-off of my original attempt to make Microbrush 3, and I've learned a lot with it. But the Minecraft community never gave a f, so my focus shall shift back a little, and I shall attempt again to make a brush-based level editor.

Because the future is uncertain, I will focus on brushwork and brushwork only for starters. Only when that is established, works well, and (unlike in the Minecraft community) people actually find it useful, I will look into supporting other things.

The basic design of this program will expose all business logic, to be modified out of the box. This means that it will be possible to develop new plugins, new tools, new shapes, whatever, right out of the box (or even to go as far as trying to generate stuff procedurally).

There are already plugins for controlling many aspects of the camera, the projections, the grid, whatever, and they look a little ugly right now, but they are not set in stone. Recently, I've added support for icons to this framework, so I should be able to clean up that mess sometime in the future too.

My editor technology already features multiple views on a world (you can just copy a view with the C button in the top right corner), multiple worlds loaded, 2D views, circular grid, storing and manipulating a bunch of settings in detail.

Circular grid, in an editing world that likes rounded coordinates like Half-Life 2?
Yes. But after aligning things to the circular grid, they can optionally additionally be aligned to a secondary, invisible grid which is always axis-aligned. And the grid axes can be configured independently of each other, so you can also work with a skewed grid (for angled structures!), or with ellipses. And of course there is a memory for the grid settings. And you can easily output them as strings to share with your friends (or store in your documents in case you want to edit your angled structure later on).

That's it for now. I will post updates (and hopefully releases) in this thread as they come up.

The look and feel was already caught on video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdQbDfNzWWw

Steam community group: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/Microbrush3
Last edited by Shrinker on Tue May 13, 2014 7:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Zanarias on Mon May 12, 2014 7:35 pm

I always liked the idea of Microbrush 2, it seemed like it would be super awesome at first, but things always felt ~off~ when using it. Maybe I didn't stick with it long enough to get used to it or learn the nuances, but things like face-dragging not snapping to to the grid (instead increasing by the increment of the current grid), same-key press to transform/create (I couldn't stand this, really needed to be left/right click to confirm, or at least an option for it), some weird default controls, and an unintuitive camera system kind of killed me, and I couldn't really get past it. Learning the keybinds wasn't exactly friendly either. However, the 3d grid was definitely cool, and probably the aspect I was most interested in.

I think if you focused on user-friendliness a bit more in #3, I think you'd have something really powerful and awesome on your hands that I'd love to use. It was just a bunch of small things that ended up bothering me to such an extreme degree that I had to go back to Hammer.

I'm excited to see what you do with the third iteration of it!
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Mon May 12, 2014 7:53 pm

The face dragging did not snap to the grid because it's not what you would expect from a normal modeling application. Here, you are not dragging the polygon around that you see, but you shift the plane that intersects with other planes to get the desired shape. And in each step, the final shapes are recalculated.

Regarding the same-key press to transform and create: The tools are all made so that when you rest the cursor where you started your action, it turns into a tool where you press the button twice.
So: Press and hold B while moving the mouse => You draw a box and commit it into the world in one go when you release the button. Press B and release B while resting the mouse at the same position => You can now take your time and even move around before you press B a second time and finish the box and commit it into the world.

Another hurdle, of course, was requiring the user to convert maps forth and back with the included converters...
Mb3 will just load and save the maps natively.

I'll see what I can do about making it nicer in future. :)
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Zanarias on Tue May 13, 2014 9:30 am

The face moving thing makes sense I guess, maybe I was using it a bit too much like Hammer!

As far as the same-key press thing, I'm aware that you can either hold and release or press twice and I'm aware it's for speed, I'm just saying that it never felt particularly natural to me. I still think Tap Key -> Left click confirm as an option would feel nicer, at least for me, but I guess in the end that comes down to personal preference.

Also, was there a way to rebind free-fly mode in Microbrush 2? I think I remember looking for an option to but couldn't find one.
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Tue May 13, 2014 11:27 am

No, it was not possible to rebind the keys for flying around in Mb2. That was a big weakness of my system which I fixed in the new editor framework.
You now have a camera plugin that brings with it tools that can be bound freely in the config. The plugin also allows you to adjust camera position, orientation, speed or whatever by hand and offers 10 memory slots for storing and restoring your position in the world (if working with multiple views that you copy as needed is not enough). Also, you can do a simple text export of the camera settings, to share your current view on things with other people or put it away it for later. :)
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Fri May 16, 2014 7:01 pm

The first little step is made. I've forked the Minecraft editor and stripped it of Minecraft stuff. This is now the common base. :)
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Tue May 20, 2014 9:51 pm

The plugin API now has a bunch of functions for drawing basic geometry. With this subsystem, I will draw the visual aids for all the tools, e.g. clip planes and position markers.
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Thu May 29, 2014 10:08 pm

Spatial data structure stuff!
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More on that here.
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:21 pm

Posted a lot of stuff in the Facepunch thread lately.

And this is from tonight - my first brush.

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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby MaK on Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:52 pm

The plugin programming thing is really interesting.
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:24 am

Yeah, and it greatly decreased my development time, as much less stuff is hardcoded, so much less stuff needs a full recompile.
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby [Steve] on Sun Jun 29, 2014 2:39 pm

This is all super interesting, and looks like your making great progress.
But I have to wonder, have you ever considered trying to apply some of your ideas to Hammer itself?, seeing as the source is somewhat available online. some kind of hybrid?
But regardless keep up the good work, its super interesting to watch your progress.
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:32 pm

Nah I don't like Hammer very much and my hobby time is limited. ^^
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby [Steve] on Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:42 pm

fair enough! good luck with microbrush !
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Re: Microbrush 3

Postby Shrinker on Sat Aug 02, 2014 7:48 pm

There was a lot of criticism about the font rendering system, and I was in a creative mood, so I have started tackling that problem. I think I can now achieve better readability.

New fonts, light and strong:
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