Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby bentleykfrog » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:33 am

Edit (2011-10-15): Public beta released
Hi all, you can test the latest public beta of Floating Camera at Floating Camera Public Beta 1.x Thread.

Morning All,

This week I've been working on a plugin that enables a different set of movements on the sketchup camera. Its very untested in its current state so I'm not so confident to release it, but below I've added a video of it in action. The current controls are:

Leftmouse + drag: controls the direction of the camera
Up/Down/Left/Right: moves the camera forward and back (parallel to the camera direction) and left and right (perpendicular to the camera direction)
Home/End: Moves the camera up and down (perpendicular to the camera direction)
Shift/Control: Adjusts the FOV of the camera


Edit: I used Chris Fullmer's Camera Recorder to record the path of the camera to produce this animation.

You'll have to forgive the unusual keyboard layout as these are the only sketchup key constants I'm comfortable will work with the plugin. I'm writing it alongside some input remappers for the 5th/6th gen console controllers so the unusual keyboard layout can be rewired.

Currently I'm working on a Turbo feature that will speed up the camera's velocity whilst also adjusting the FOV for that almost cliche gears of war/mass effect type running effect, and I'm also adding some modifiers to control the camera inertia(friction really), camera speed, and toggle keys.

I'd like to know what camera movements you guys think are lacking from Sketchup? And if you're interested, what changes you'd make to the features I've currently got.

thanks for your time
-niall

Update 27-02-2011

Afternoon All,

I've been hard at work on the Floating Camera for the last week, focusing on Camera Collision, Gravity (maintaining eye height), Camera Roll & FOV changes and User Customisation in controls and the camera settings. Its been a very long week! :) Below is a rough draft showing off the camera features I've been working on. At the end there is also an example of Floating Camera -> Camera Recorder work flow.



There's still some bugs to work out before the release, and I need to reduce its load on the computer to an acceptable level. A beta release shouldn't be far off though. :)

The features not shown include:
  • Look customisation (finite|infinite rotation)
  • Look x & y sensitivity
  • Maximum speed
  • Camera Inertia
  • Collision Buffer Zone
  • Lock vertical movements
  • Maintain Camera Upright
  • User customisable controls


Update 19-03-2011

Morning again.

Here's a quick video demonstrating the current local build's settings dialog and navigation around a very tight model (Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye by Robert-34000 on the 3d Warehouse).



I've got to apologise for the lateness of the updates. Working on the load instructor mixin for the tool has delayed the release somewhat, and I've got some uni studies to focus on in the meantime. It looks like I'll have about 2-3 more weeks before I can return my focus to this plugin. I hope that I get some free time sooner rather than later and that Google don't release a similar plugin in the meantime ;)

-niall
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Last edited by bentleykfrog on Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:35 am, edited 5 times in total.

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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera

Postby Krisidious » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:32 am

looks pretty cool... nice model too.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera

Postby Chris Fullmer » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:40 am

I'd like for it to be able to keep a specified distance above the ground. I know there possible problems involved of it jumping up and down over objects, but I think the good would outweigh the bad.

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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera

Postby solo » Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:52 am

Looks like a very promising plugin.

Any chance of including a roll feature?
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera

Postby bentleykfrog » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:13 am

Chris Fullmer wrote:I'd like for it to be able to keep a specified distance above the ground. I know there possible problems involved of it jumping up and down over objects, but I think the good would outweigh the bad.

Chris


Nice idea, I like this, and I think it would be quite useful to get a better walkthrough experience especially since most models in sketchup are designed with the human body in mind, and humans can't exactly float in the air.

I think applying a set height should be easy, I just need to work out a vector distance from the camera point directly down to any intersecting faces and toggle this on and off when an intersection is found. I think, though, this might not work without camera collision, otherwise you might end up in some tricky situations underneath stairs. I'll look into this further.

PS. I should've mentioned that I used Camera Recorder to produce the youtube clip, sorry Chris, will edit to say so.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera

Postby bentleykfrog » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:15 am

solo wrote:Looks like a very promising plugin.

Any chance of including a roll feature?


Roll would be pretty cool, but i'll have to look into some new keyboard assignments for this. Is there a way of disabling the user set keyboard shortcuts when within a tool?
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera

Postby bentleykfrog » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:39 am

Krisidious wrote:looks pretty cool... nice model too.


Thanks Krisidious, the models about 2 months of hard work so I'm trying to get as much use out of it as possible ;)
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera

Postby bentleykfrog » Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:58 am

bentleykfrog wrote:
solo wrote:Looks like a very promising plugin.

Any chance of including a roll feature?


Roll would be pretty cool, but i'll have to look into some new keyboard assignments for this. Is there a way of disabling the user set keyboard shortcuts when within a tool?


A quick search reveals that its not possible :cry: I'll have to toggle some keyboard layouts on and off to do this or use some keycodes as in this: viewtopic.php?f=180&t=34002
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby bentleykfrog » Sun Feb 27, 2011 7:54 am

Afternoon All,

I've been hard at work on the Floating Camera for the last week, focusing on Camera Collision, Gravity (maintaining eye height), Camera Roll & FOV changes and User Customisation in controls and the camera settings. Its been a very long week! :) Below is a rough draft showing off the camera features I've been working on. At the end there is also an example of Floating Camera -> Camera Recorder work flow.



There's still some bugs to work out before the release, and I need to reduce its load on the computer to an acceptable level. A beta release shouldn't be far off though. :)

The features not shown include:
  • Look customisation (finite|infinite rotation)
  • Look x & y sensitivity
  • Maximum speed
  • Camera Inertia
  • Collision Buffer Zone
  • Lock vertical movements
  • Maintain Camera Upright
  • User customisable controls
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby Krisidious » Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:52 am

fantastic... I can't wait...
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby Pixero » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:18 am

Looking great! Much better than my own humble experiments. Can't wait to try it.
It's however a little hard to see how it performs in the video.
Is the small jerkyness in movements also present without screen recording software?
I especially liked when the camera walked down the stairs. I though I saw some damping in the movement.
And I guess we will see a lot of camera rolls in the near future... :lol:
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby bentleykfrog » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:21 am

Thanks guys,

Pixero wrote:It's however a little hard to see how it performs in the video.
Is the small jerkyness in movements also present without screen recording software?


There's two issues causing the jerkyness in the movements. The first was the screen recording software that I used. I'll have to play around with some encoders until I get something acceptable. The second issue is the script itself. I've been putting off optimising the code until now and there are a few measures that I can try to improve the performance of the script. There's also some boundingbox degrading that Sketchup does naturally when you modify the Sketchup.max_draw_time to something below what your system can handle, but I haven't been able to replicate this when the script is running.

Pixero wrote:I especially liked when the camera walked down the stairs. I though I saw some damping in the movement.


Heh, thanks. The unusual way that the camera walks down the stairs in the video is due to the speed set on the camera (20km/h). This speed is equivalent to a quick jog down the stairs so you see some unusual movements at this speed. I've noticed that in some video games the camera moves up stairs even faster than this, and I think they use some hidden smooth ramp to make sure the camera moves in a nice fashion. I'll have to modify some of the dampening to mirror this, but its a bit complex.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby mitcorb » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:40 pm

Congratulations on your work so far. This is a significant development.
I was going to ask the same questions regarding the relative smoothness in negotiating the stairs.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby Chris Fullmer » Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:36 pm

Yeah, this is looking really super! I better go fix my script's inability to handle FOV changes then I guess :)

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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby JClements » Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:01 am

Looks pretty neat.

I do like the idea of holding the camera at a fixed altitude.

If you could then have ability to focus on a point or selected object or just the center to the screen and orbit about it at a fixed radius, that would be very useful .... like what what can be done in Google Earth with the Shift-Alt-left-arrowkey or Shift-Alt-right-arrowkey combinations.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby wimve » Fri Mar 18, 2011 1:32 pm

Wow looks great. Although not tested yet I have a question already: is it possible to include a "flightpath" ? So a predefined camera path.

For instance when you want to walk through several rooms it is hard to move around nicely with only the keyboard keys. But if you draw a line at the desired eyeheight which the camera has to follow this would be easier.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby dtrarch » Fri Mar 18, 2011 6:02 pm

Just brilliant. :thumb:

And in a $495 program !
It looked like there was a path option but please if possible so that one could create that first and then run the camera gestures.
WOW :berserk:

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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby bentleykfrog » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:00 am

JClements wrote:Looks pretty neat.

I do like the idea of holding the camera at a fixed altitude.

If you could then have ability to focus on a point or selected object or just the center to the screen and orbit about it at a fixed radius, that would be very useful .... like what what can be done in Google Earth with the Shift-Alt-left-arrowkey or Shift-Alt-right-arrowkey combinations.


Good suggestion, that would be a cool feature to have. In this release I'm just focussing on navigation from the human proportion coupled with the ability to float if you need to ;) I'll look into more sophisticated methods of camera animation in the next release.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 27-02-11]

Postby bentleykfrog » Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:49 am

wimve wrote:Wow looks great. Although not tested yet I have a question already: is it possible to include a "flightpath" ? So a predefined camera path.

For instance when you want to walk through several rooms it is hard to move around nicely with only the keyboard keys. But if you draw a line at the desired eyeheight which the camera has to follow this would be easier.


I haven't looked into this but it could be possible, but its sort of going in the opposite direction to what the plugin does currently. I'll elaborate a little.

First off, I think Rick Wilson's plugin FlightPath2 handles flight paths, or there's also SU Animate. Have you tried these plugins? This is what comes to mind when I think of implementing a flight path in the plugin, are you thinking of something similar or do you have something different in mind.

In my current internal build of the script, you can use it in combination with either Chris Fullmer's Camera Recorder or Pixero's version of Chris Fullmer's Camera Recorder to record the Camera's flight path whilst using the Camera Float Tool. In Pixero's version, you can then modify this path (ie. remove all the bumps from the flight path) and then produce a final animation from the revised flight path. I used this technique in the first video to get a 'more-smooth' animation through the model and to produce a video that is rendered with shadows (obviously navigating with the Camera Float Tool with shadows on will slow down your movements significantly).

Also from your query, I decided to test the tool on a very tight model (Le Corbusier's Villa Savoye by Robert-34000 on the 3d Warehouse). This model has insanely tight stairs and a ramp and its internal arrangement is all over the place (IMO obviously). I've recorded the video for you to see how it faired:



If you notice at around the 42 second mark, I accidentally jump onto the ballustrade of the ramp. You should be able to edit this out using Pixero's version of Chris Fullmer's Camera Recorder. Also notice, that since I couldn't be bothered removing all the doors in the building, that I disable collision every time I want to pass through a door.

I'm also planning to add a different scale for looking up and down so you get better control whilst navigating through your model.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby Pixero » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:42 am

Looking good! Can't wait to try it.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby Bertier » Sat Jul 16, 2011 10:01 am

Hello,

is it possible to try your plugin ?
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby rombout » Sun Jul 17, 2011 5:31 am

how is the plugin coming?! has been a couple months already :mrgreen: really want to try it
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby Phil Rader, AIA » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:58 pm

Any news on a release date?
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby bentleykfrog » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:37 am

Phil Rader, AIA wrote:Any news on a release date?


Hi Phil, you can try out the public beta at Floating Camera Public Beta 1.x Thread. I've updated the main post with a link to this too.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby tspco » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:06 pm

I think I missed something, I tried a test "float" everything was great and working real well until I ended up underneath my model, I could see that was going to happen. I see there is a toggle to maintain camera height, but I can't find a place to enter camera height. So far I like this plugin.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby bentleykfrog » Mon Oct 24, 2011 5:33 am

tspco wrote:I think I missed something, I tried a test "float" everything was great and working real well until I ended up underneath my model, I could see that was going to happen. I see there is a toggle to maintain camera height, but I can't find a place to enter camera height. So far I like this plugin.


Hi Ryan, I'm working on user input for camera height and field of view for the next version. In your case this would be an issue since camera height works by checking if there is any geometry below the camera position. Since you're underneath your model, there's no geometry, so there's no camera height, so you'll need to move the camera up until you're above the model. The default keys to move the camera up and down are shift and control respectively.

Also, you can modify or find out the keys for specific movement in Floating Camera by loading the controls dialog (click the icon in the toolbar that looks like a c-key).

Hope this helps.

-niall
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby tspco » Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:36 am

After working with it again, I realized what happened I was over the model and as I was moving I was headed for the ground. Not sure how, I did a short video at a higher level, and other than I was not high enough to fly over my light poles and the camera bounced over them, it looked real good.
As I was flying I could not manage to make nice sweeping curves, but that may come with practice.
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby tspco » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:36 am

A short video using Floating Camera and Camera Recorder
http://youtu.be/9mDYQBtYC04
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby cmathisson » Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:01 am

Hi I wonder if this plugin still is work in progress or it is placed on a shelf somewhere? i have tried it and it feels promising, but I'm missing some features and bugg fixes. I'm playing around whit my playstation 3 controller and a program called GamePad Companion 3.2 and it works nicely for emulating mouse and keyboard for diffrent controllers and I'm thinking of using that together with this plugin. Thanx for anything that could help

-Chris
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Re: Preview - Sketchup Floating Camera [Update 2011-03-19]]

Postby Nostrathomas85 » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:55 pm

You know, this is a nice plugin to use with a xbox 360 controller.
The controller allows for a more natural feeling of moving the camera.

I use joy2key to map the keys to the controller, really works good using joysticks.
joy2key is free if anyone is interested just have to find it on google.

This is my first post and I hope it isn't seen as spam, I just wanted to suggest an
alternate way of controlling this plugin and to say thanks for the plugin.
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