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A Roadmap for K-3D Focused On Modeling

The modeling functionality of K-3D is already quite good, but the usability still suffers from some rather severe roadblocks. Luckily, most of these are fairly simple, and likely easy to fix. This roadmap suggests fixing these usability problems first, and then moving on to incorporate a Wings3D level modeling toolset, and ultimately, using K-3D's superior architecture to move far beyond what Wings3D can do.

For most professional artists involved or using in free software and open source, Wings3D the free software modeler of choice. Wings3D is an excellent piece of software, but is not really improving/developing much. Also, it is not nearly as robust as K-3D, and does not feature a node based history, so its architecture is more limiting. Lastly, Wings3D's user interface, although very good, is unfamiliar and strange seeming to artists experienced in other software. This is especially true because of its lack of transform manipulators.

Since Wings3D has these drawback and K-3D does not, its makes sense for K-3D to attempt to incorporate the functionality of Wings3D, and become the free software modeler of choice in the foreseeable future.

Items are ordered by priority of development (at least in the view of Joe Crawford).

Fixing Usability:

  • When a modifier is used in one mode, such as subdivide edges, and outputs selections of another type, make sure that when switching to that other type, the selection is not cleared or converted. Right now after you subdivide an edge, if you want to select another vertex, and switch to vertex mode, you loose your selection. Output selection cleared on component mode change bug This is related to the next entry... Fixed in SVN
  • Framing/aiming don't work on components, only in object mode. Fixed in SVN
  • Framing doesn't zoom in on things. Fixed in SVN
  • When switching to a particular component type mode, clear selection of all other types of components. In addition, have a way of switching component modes that does not clear or convert the selection. Menu entry such as "Points (keeping selection)" Fixed in SVN: Added check menu items "Convert Selection" and "Keep Selection" to control behavior. Default behavior now consistently converts to the new mode and clears the old components.
  • Ignore backfacing modes, selection and backfacing (a hotkey for ignore backfacing would be great, and a unique feature). As a default, clicking and painting modes should consider backfacing, but drawing windows should ignore it. Fixed in SVN, hotkey script added
  • Current problems with applying modifiers to lots of objects at once and not being able to edit the modifiers collectively. We almost need instancing of modifiers here, or multiple objects going through separate channels of the same modifier. At minimum, just having a property editor that can edit all the modifiers simultaneously would do the trick. Fixed in SVN
  • Make much easier tools for combining and seperating/extracting objects and components. The "merge mesh" is quite difficult to use currently.
  • Make spacebar go to select mode as well as deselect all.

Matching Wings 3D

  • Edge Slide basic modifier with slider
  • Easy virtual mirror system. Currently requires too many steps and too much technical understanding.
  • Cut Tool (drawing new edges, refer to wings3d and also to 3dsmax as it has the best cut tool.)
  • Move Along Mode, a tool that can be used to move on edges, move on normals, and along edges. Essentially have transform tools able to use coordinate systems based on other components/objects, like advanced mode in wings3d. The mode should affect the functioning of the move, rotate and scale tools, but even just move would be a good start.
  • Soft Selection
  • Basic snapping system that uses the same tools/manipulators we already have, but more "rubber band" based, like 3dsmax.
  • Vertex/Edge/Face mode. Smart selection of component mode based on first component clicked on. Pressing spacebar gets you back to Vertex/Edge/Face mode. (One of Wings3D's best and most unique feature. No proprietary app works this well!)
  • Movement in modifiers having input for coordinate systems, like move along mode, but for modifiers, like advanced mode in wings3d.
  • Outliner (node list, with ability to toggle object display properties)

Joaquin's original notes are on the talk page, as well as some future ideas from Joe about moving beyond Wings3D