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Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#1 Old 11th May 2021 at 3:24 PM Last edited by SmugTomato : 11th May 2021 at 3:50 PM.
Default Testers Wanted: Blender GEOM Tools 2.0
I've been working on a major update of my GEOM Tools for Blender, the main reason being that the original had issues with normals which I didn't know how to deal with back when I made it. The new version I'm working on now supports custom normals in Blender, this does unfortunately mean that morphs can no longer be done with shape keys as they have no access to a custom normals layer. This means that morphs now have to be separate objects, like they are in Milkshape. It also means that you should no longer need Milkshape or other external programs to fix your normals. Alongside these changes I also plan on improving error handling and getting rid of bugs, for which I'll need some help to finding them

All this does make it a bit more complicated to properly set up your mesh for export, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives, as it gives you full control over what your normals will look like.

Morphs
Morph objects now have to be linked to their base mesh(the main geom object), they must also have the exact same vertex order as the base mesh, the linking can be done in the Geom Tools panel. The Morph Name will be added as a suffix to your base geom's filename on export, since morphs are exported alongside the base mesh automatically assuming they are linked to it. For example, if you export your geom as 'geom1.simgeom' and your morph has the name 'MORPH_FIT' it will be exported as 'geom1_MORPH_FIT.simgeom'

Changes
  • You now have the option to preserve the GEOM's original normals on import, being added as a custom normals layer in Blender
  • Custom normals are used for export
  • Morphs are now separate objects with their own custom normals
  • You can transfer GEOM data from one object to others with the click of a button
  • The seam fixer no longer does anything and will be removed from the interface, as it's no longer needed
  • The amount of bones assigned to your mesh is now checked on export, more than 59 cancel the export process
  • Only bones actually assigned to your mesh are exported, eliminating the need to clean empty vertex groups like in the old version
  • Export process cancels when more than 4 vertex groups are assigned to a vertex
  • Export process cancels when active object does not contain GEOM data
  • You will be notified if any morphs fail to export due to vertex count mismatch

If you encounter any problems please include the python traceback, your blend file(or geom file if it happens on import) and some information on how it happened in your post.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip BlenderGeom_2.00_PREVIEW_3.zip (240.7 KB, 7 downloads)
Description: v2.0.0-pre3
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Lab Assistant
#2 Old 11th May 2021 at 4:46 PM
This sounds very intriguing!
I am a bit of a noob when it comes to working with geom's, and I have not worked with them in a while, so I apologize if these are really dumb questions. I usually work with TSR Workshop's .wso format, but I would love to have a shorter workflow and to be able to skip Milkshape.
Is it feasible to work with geoms and still use TSR workshop? I usually create meshes in Blender and export them as .obj, then import them to Milkshape to fix normals and such and export it to the wso format. Then I use the mesh toolkit to add morphs and bones. I always alter my base mesh's geometry by adding or deleting vertices.
I am a bit confused about the GEOM workflow in general and the morph parts. Can I make meshes with additional geometry and use the plugin to export them? Do I simply work without morphs for the meshes with added geometry and add them later with mesh toolkit?

It would be really helpful to hear a few general workflows and usage scenarios with the geom plugin so I get an idea of how best to use it. I am interested in how it ties into other tools, such as Workshop, s3pe, and mesh toolkit as well.
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#3 Old 11th May 2021 at 5:02 PM
I'm not very familliar with TSR Workshop, but I know it's possible to export a workshop project to a .package file, I'm not sure if it's possible to go back from a package to a workshop project though.
For morphs you will have to make separate objects cloned from your mesh and modify them to be a fat/fit/etc. morph, it will then be exported as a morph geom alongside your mesh. With your mesh and the morph geom you can then make a morph file in Mesh Toolkit.
You can still do bones and morphs through mesh toolkit as before if you wish, or if you want more control over it you can do it both in Blender.
It is also possible to add or remove geometry from meshes as well, you will just have to make sure to recalculate vertex IDs before exporting and you will of course have to create new morphs with your preferred method.
Lab Assistant
#4 Old 11th May 2021 at 6:46 PM
Thanks for the explanation! I just realized I can actually import/export geoms and bgeo files directly from the project contents in TSRW. I will see how it goes
Lab Assistant
#5 Old 11th May 2021 at 11:22 PM
Thanks so much for still updating this! Custom normals will be really helpful I will forever mourn for the loss of shape keys tho. I could test increased slider ranges, inbetweens and blends with it :,)
A question: Is the normal data on morph meshes irrelevant?
Another question: I remember transferring normals and still using shape keys. Is this a different case or are there issues with doing that?
Lab Assistant
Original Poster
#6 Old 12th May 2021 at 10:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slamyy
Thanks so much for still updating this! Custom normals will be really helpful I will forever mourn for the loss of shape keys tho. I could test increased slider ranges, inbetweens and blends with it :,)
A question: Is the normal data on morph meshes irrelevant?
Another question: I remember transferring normals and still using shape keys. Is this a different case or are there issues with doing that?

The normals on morph meshes are important as well, it prevents seams from appearing when morphs are active.
There might be some complicated workarounds to still use shape keys, but I think that would only make things even more difficult.

As for testing increased slider ranges, you can select your morph and then your base mesh(make sure the latter is the active object) and join them as shapes through the shape key menu.
The normals won't look right but the geometry will, this can also help you make sure the two meshes have the same vertex order, if the morph explodes you can use this add-on to give both meshes the same vertex order.
You will have to make sure the shape keys are all at 0 influence before exporting though or the normals will get messed up on the exported mesh.
Screenshots
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