Widdershins Stacker Plugin - Ready for Beta Testing.

Widdershins StudioWiddershins Studio Posts: 521
edited January 2016 in Freebies

Whilst making some models for Daz Studio people were asking me about making rows and stacks of items. I found this was difficult to deliver – people like different things. So I came up with this plugin to fill the gap. It’s pretty easy to make simple stacks and rows of items and there are a variety of features that help accomplish this.

Well I'm ready for testing if anyone wants a play with it. The 64 bit version and initial documentation can be found on my blog here...

http://widdershinsstudio.uk/widdershins-ststacker-plugin-for-daz-studioacker-plugin-for-daz-studio/

This is a freebie as promised at Christmas ! Here's a few screen shots, there's more on my blog.

Cartons stacked and shuffled

 

Tea boxes with random rotations

 

Books nudged with offset

 

Combination of settings can have a few effects - falling books for example.

Post edited by Widdershins Studio on
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Comments

  • I used instancing for the first time last week out of sheer necessity - this looks like it would have been a whole lot easier for what I needed to do.

    A couple of things to consider, although it may be just me; it should possibly be 'make as children' instead of childs, and I'd also change length to depth for the dimensions. As I said, it may just be me - I'm just seeing it from a literacy point of view, so the terminology may well be correct.

    Anyway, I'll definitely be taking this plugin for a spin once I've dropped my kids off at school. It looks like a great way to waste half a day! :)

  • I've not tried instancing yet, but I skimmed a few posts here, I'll have to look into that.

    Make as Children does read better yes, I'll change that.

    And 'Depth' does differentiate it better from width.

    Thanks, I'll change that in a later version. I thought some of the dialogue might need changing, it was really the mechanics I was working on at the moment.

    Cheers :)

  • Tim NTim N Posts: 136
    edited January 2016

    Just a small thing: In the Information panel you mention Solid then Hollow. Lower down in the Options panel you have Hollow then Solid -- the order is reversed which I found a little confusing.

    Edit: Also, in the Stack Dimensions panel, you may wish to change Length to Depth.

    Post edited by Tim N on
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,998

    Is there a 32 bit in the works or is it going to just be 64 bit?

  • MilosGulanMilosGulan Posts: 1,365
    edited January 2016

    Thank You, I have just downloaded G3f basics textures. I am hoping to get this one too, soon :)

    Post edited by MilosGulan on
  • Tim N said:

    Just a small thing: In the Information panel you mention Solid then Hollow. Lower down in the Options panel you have Hollow then Solid -- the order is reversed which I found a little confusing.

    Edit: Also, in the Stack Dimensions panel, you may wish to change Length to Depth.

    Those have been changed now, thank you.

    mjc1016 said:

    Is there a 32 bit in the works or is it going to just be 64 bit?

    I've built a 32 bit version and it's available from the same page now. I am not able to test it myself.

    Thank You, I have just downloaded G3f basics textures. I am hoping to get this one too, soon :)

    Most welcome :)

  • Those changes have gone live now, so the updated version is now available on my blog.

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  • Charlie JudgeCharlie Judge Posts: 5,391
    edited January 2016

    This will be a very useful plugin.

    I made a couple of quick tests in DS 4.7 and it appears to work in that version as well. However, the quick loader will not work on an item if you have applied a shader to the item to be loaded; but it is possible to use the quick loader first and then apply the shader to all the items that are created.

    Post edited by Charlie Judge on
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,998

    Will test the 32 bit version this evening...

    Looks promising

     

  • Quick and easy to work. Obviously, it's not really something that can be demonstrated with a render, but here's something I did using it anyway:

    Votive Candles

    It usually would have taken ages to arrange the candles manually, switching between cameras to get the right placement (because my laptop screen's too small for mutiple viewports), but the plugin meant I could just click a button a few times until I found something I liked. Instance nodes always end up in straight-ish lines, so it's nice to have something with some control over the variables of where things will end up. And of course, it's possible to apply different shaders, textures and morphs to objects with this plugin, whereas using instances, you're limited to the one texture/shader/morph for everything.

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,998
    edited January 2016

    On the 32 bit, if you load the pane docked, it doesn't scroll or resize to fit in the area.   Undocked it's fine. 

    Post edited by mjc1016 on
  • Widdershins StudioWiddershins Studio Posts: 521
    edited January 2016

     

    This will be a very useful plugin.

    I made a couple of quick tests in DS 4.7 and it appears to work in that version as well. However, the quick loader will not work on an item if you have applied a shader to the item to be loaded; but it is possible to use the quick loader first and then apply the shader to all the items that are created.

    Thank you for testing it in DS 4.7. Thanks for the work around for the shader. I'll take a closer look at some point.

     

    Quick and easy to work. Obviously, it's not really something that can be demonstrated with a render, but here's something I did using it anyway.

    It usually would have taken ages to arrange the candles manually, switching between cameras to get the right placement (because my laptop screen's too small for mutiple viewports), but the plugin meant I could just click a button a few times until I found something I liked. Instance nodes always end up in straight-ish lines, so it's nice to have something with some control over the variables of where things will end up. And of course, it's possible to apply different shaders, textures and morphs to objects with this plugin, whereas using instances, you're limited to the one texture/shader/morph for everything.

    Nice to see it coming in useful. I did not know about that limitation for instances, but I have not played with those before. Good to know though :)

     

    mjc1016 said:

    On the 32 bit, if you load the pane docked, it doesn't scroll or resize to fit in the area.   Undocked it's fine. 

    I might not be able to do anything about that, it could be a DS thing. Not sure.

    Actually I did some work on simplifying the pane so that it's not so wide when it is docked.

    See what you all think. Is it clear from the legend that all the input boxes are arranged from left to right as X, Y and Z ?

    Some of the previous labels were making it a bit wide, and I simplified the wording.

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    Post edited by Widdershins Studio on
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,998
     
    mjc1016 said:

    On the 32 bit, if you load the pane docked, it doesn't scroll or resize to fit in the area.   Undocked it's fine. 

    I might not be able to do anything about that, it could be a DS thing. Not sure.

    Actually I did some work on simplifying the pane so that it's not so wide when it is docked.

    See what you all think. Is it clear from the legend that all the input boxes are arranged from left to right as X, Y and Z ?

    Some of the previous labels were making it a bit wide, and I simplified the wording.

    Should at least be able to add a scroll bar...but my skills in the plugin/script/UI department are rusty, at best...

    The shot of the new layout looks good.

     

  • I've updated the plugin to the new layout. See how that docks. Both 64 & 32 bit versions are new.

    http://widdershinsstudio.uk/widdershins-ststacker-plugin-for-daz-studioacker-plugin-for-daz-studio/

    I have also updated the docs for the new layout.

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,998
    edited January 2016

    The precise spacing is very useful for putting books on a shelf...if you know the dimensions of the shelf it is pretty easy to set them. I didn't get the self spacing quite right...close but not exact.   And fixing them that little will be a lot quicker than arranging them would have taken in the first palce.

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    Post edited by mjc1016 on
  • Widdershins StudioWiddershins Studio Posts: 521
    edited January 2016

    That's ingenious smiley

    It's nice when people find a use for something that I had not considered.

    For an untidy bookshelf you could use the random offset to nudge them in and out too.

    Nice !

    Post edited by Widdershins Studio on
  • djigneodjigneo Posts: 261

    That looks pretty slick! I'll have to give it a spin sometime. One thing regarding object duplication vs instancing: I could see that decision being a user option to great success (default to Instancing). In some cases, instancing falls short when you wish to make variations of the resulting objects, so being able to choose would make it a pretty powerful and flexible tool.(Because instances seemingly need to have the same surfacing / geometry setup.)

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,998

    Played around with it a little more.

    The new, narrower build is helpful, but still doesn't dock nicely.  Undocked it's perfect.

    I know tweaking the docked behavior is a real pain...

     

  • Widdershins StudioWiddershins Studio Posts: 521
    edited January 2016

    Is it horizontal, vertical or both causing the problem ?

    Post edited by Widdershins Studio on
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,998

    Is it horizontal, vertical or both causing the problem ?

    Vertical.  But I've actually been using it more floating...one of the few that I think is easier to use floating/undocked.

  • The plugin is awesome =) I wonder if it's possible to make the interface play better with a 1366x768 resolution, maybe add a vertical scrollbar?
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 14,998

    1366 x 768...that sounds like a laptop screen...

    Not really enough room to run it undocked?

    It isn't too bad floating...

  • Glad you like it :)

    I'll have a look into adding the vertical scroll bar, should be pretty straightforward I hope.

  • Glad you like it :)

    I'll have a look into adding the vertical scroll bar, should be pretty straightforward I hope.

    Thank you =) It's not really a "must" but would be nice. I don't know how many users are out there with this same screen res...
    mjc1016 said:

    1366 x 768...that sounds like a laptop screen...

    Not really enough room to run it undocked?

    It isn't too bad floating...

    Yup it is a laptop =) It´s very much usable in its default state (that's "floating", right?), just tricky to position just right to see the final button.

  • I'm having difficulty getting the scroll bar on there, but I am still working on it when I get spare moments - a link was posted in the scripting section which I have yet to try.

    How much of the plugin pane is hidden ? Can you post a screenshot please ?

  • I will when I'm back home, hope that's alright.

  • Yes fine - no rush :)

  • Here they are at last =) You can see that it's almost perfect in the "floating" mode when you pull the pane up by the title, but not that successful with the "undockable" mode.

     

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    floating.png
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  • I see the button cannot be seen. How does it look when it is docked with the other panes please ?

    Also what screen resolution are you on ?

  • 1366x768 resolution.

    Where would you like me to try docking it, side panels, the center one, or both?

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