Advanced Outline Layer
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Revision as of 18:05, 20 June 2011
Under construction! TODO: add hiperlinks for known words. Add some visual examples.
- 1 About Advanced Outline Layers
- 2 Parameters of Advanced Outline Layers
- 3 Specific parameters for Advanced Outline Layer
- 4 Working with the Avdanced Outline
About Advanced Outline Layers
The new Advanced Outline Layer comes from the need to specify the width of the outline at a different place than the Blinepoint. Usually the user don't want to have a blinepoint where he wants to have the width and vice versa. This Advanced Outline makes the width become independent of the blinepoint position.
Advanced Outline goes further than just define the width with independence from the blinepoints. It adds some new features to the regular outline. They are listed with examples below:
Parameters of Advanced Outline Layers
The parameters of the Advanced Outline Layers are:
|Tyep of Feather||Fast Gaussian Blur||integer|
|Winding Sytle||Non Zero||integer|
|Tip Type at Start||Rounded Stop||integer|
|Tip Type at End||Rounded Stop||integer|
|Width Point List||List||list(WPList)|
Specific parameters for Advanced Outline Layer
Notice that many of the parameters are the same than the regular Outline, so you can find the explanation of its usage just reading the wiki page of it. The new parameters are:
- Tip Type at start
- Tip Type at end
- Cusps type
- Width Point List
Width Point List
Each advanced Outline has a list of parameters that represents the information for each control of width item. They are called Width Points and consists on four sub-parameters:
- Position (Real number): it represents the position of the width point along the bline. Although it is allowed to be any real number, its meaning is only from 0.0 to 1.0. 0.0 corresponds to the start of the bline (first blinepoint on the bline list) and 1.0 to the last blinepoint. In case of looped blines 0.0 and 1.0 are together. The position is represented by the light purple duck that always lies on the bline.
- Width (Real number): It is the width multiplicator of the Width parameter of the Advanced Outline Layer on the position given by the Position parameter. The final width is calculated multiplying the global Advanced Outline's Width (W) by the Width of the widhtpoint (w) and adding the Expand parameter (E). Calculated width = W*w+E
- Tip Side Before/After: Those two sub-parameters controls how the width is interpolated before and after the current widthpoint. The sub-parameter can have four values:
- Interpolate: Between the previous/posterior width point, the width is calculated by interpolation based on smoothness value.
- Rounded: There is a rounded tip that points to the width point before or after. If the previous/posterior width point is 'Interpolate' on its posterior/previous side it consider that the width of the width point in question is zero just before/after it. If the previous/posterior width point is other than 'Interpolate' then the segment between those two width points is empty. See examples to understand it fully.
- Squared: Same as Rounded but using square tip.
- Peak: Same as Rounded but using peak tip.
- Flat: Same as Rounded but using flat tip.
The Width Point list has one internal not animatable parameter called loop. You can reach it by right clicking the Width Point List parameter. If the Width Point list is unlooped, then any width point that has a Position outisde the range of [0,1] the value is clamped to that range. For example: a Position = 1.35 is clamped to 1.0 then the Width Point List is unlooped. Otherwise, if the Width Point List is looped and a width point has a Position of 1.3 it is calculated its modulus based on the range [0,1] so it is turned to a position of 0.3.
The SMoothness controls how the width is calculated betwen widthpoints. The width at a position p is a function of the surrounding width points. When smoothness is zero interpolation is lineal, when smoothness is 1.0 interpolation is given by a 5th degree smooth spline.
There are three types of cusps in the Advanced Outline:
The type of cusp is controlled for the entire layer so currently it is not possible to control the type of corner individually. Maybe in future versions it is possible.
Tip type at start / end
As the width points, the end and start of the unlooped advanced outlines has a type of tip defined. User can choose between the same types of tips than for a width point. When the first/last width point has its before/after interpolation type set to Interpolate the start/end of the outline is rendered using the Tip type at start/end parameter.
Those parameters hasn't any effect if the bline is looped or the first/last width point has its before/after interpolation type set to anything but Interpolate. In that case, the segment between the start/end width point and the start/end of the bline is not rendered.
The types of tips are the same than the width point tip types except that it doesn't offer the Interpolate type because it has not sense:
Working with the Avdanced Outline
Creation of the Advanced Outline
You can create Advanced Outlines in the same way that you make normal ones with the BLine Tool (Alt+B), but make sure the Advanced Outline box is ticked in the bline toolbox. Alternatively you can create a default Advanced Outline by clicking in the menu Insert-> Layer->Geometry->Advanced Outline.
Currently it is not possible to create Advanced Outlined with the Draw Tool. It has been postponed to a future release.
Change the width of the Width Points
Initially the width ducks are hidden. You may need to show them by pressing Alt+5 or cliking on the width toggle button. It is possible to change the width using the Width Tool using the same procedure than for regular outlines. If you want more contro lover the width you can modify the width ducks with the Transform tool (Alt+A). More fine tunning is possible by expanding the widht point sub-parameter and entering a specific value to the Width sub-parameter. In that case negative values are allowed to produce nice effects.
Change the position of the Width Points
When you show or hide the width ducks of the width points, also the position ducks of the width points at the same time. (NOTE: this may change in the future). This way, user has one single way to hide/show the position and widht ducks.
The position ducks of the width points can be modified using the Transform Tool (ALT-A) and click and dragging the position duck. You will notice that ducks are tied to the bline so once clicked and dragged they can be placed at any way on the bline. Notice that if you have a width point position duck at position 0.2 and you click and drag at position 0.9 it may happen that you obtain a value of -0.1 because you dragged it in one step and the Width Point List maybe looped. If you want to avoid those problems do the movement is small steps to tell the correct path to follow when calculating the new position.
Adding or removing width points
To add a new width point you have to right click on the width point position duck purple duck to get the context menu. Then select "Add Item (smart)" here to create more width points entries. The width points are created this way:
In general case, the new widthpoint is created between the one where you right click and the "previous" width point. Depending on the loop status of the bline, the "previous" width point can be the start of the bline (unlooped) or the last widthpoint (looped). The worse case is when there is only one width point on the Width Point List. If you add one new item it will lie over the existing one.
The new added width point will have the interpolated width at the position where it is created.
Be warned that if you remove all the width points you will use the width of the layer as the only one width but you will enter in one unrecoverable status because it will be not possible to add a new width point. This is something that has to be fixed.
Specific actions for Width Points
Some needed actions has been added to width points as well functionality for existing actions for items of the List type parameters. You can reach the list of available actions by right clicking on the width point position or directly on the width point item of the Width Point List. Here are some descriptions of the available actions:
- Convert: Width Points are composite Value Nodes so its natural format are Composite (you can access to its componets). But you can convert it to other formats. See Convert for details. &&TODO: Update Convert wiki page&&
- Disconnect: This will disconnect the width point item form the Composite type Value Node. That means that there won't be any duck to show and that any of its values can be modified. Maybe it is useful for some types of workflows. To restore its Composite status, choose Convert->Composite.
- Insert/ Remove Item Smart: This will add or remove a width point. If in animation mode it will also set the current width point as OFF when remove instead of effectively remove it from the Width Point List. Opposite for the Insert Item Smart.
- Mark Active Point as ON/OFF: You can make width points off to make it not count for width control meanwhile the width point is off. When the width point is half on to off or viceversa, the used width point should be the interpolation between the on and off status. But it doesn't work properly at the moment. On / Off values are not interpolated but fully on or fully off. This has to be corrected.
- Export: See Export.
- Loop: When set as looped, as mentioned before, it allows the width point positions loop around the range[0.1].
- Rotate Order: Doesn't do anything.
- Set Side Before/After to: Interpolate, Rounded, Squared, Peak, Flat. Those are shorcuts to do the same than go directly to the sub parameter and choose the appropiate Tip Type. May be it should be renamed to "Set Tip Before/After".
- Set Width to default/zero: those actions have been adeded for two reasons. It is very usual to want to set the width of a width point to zero. Despite the possibility of use the User Preference of Restrict Radius to First Quadrant, this way it is accesed quickly from the same usual menu. Also when width point position duck and width point width duck are one onto other (width = 0) it is hard to modify the width or the position without trouble. To solve this the position duck has preference over the width duck in case of coincidence. So to access the width duck it is needed to have a quick action to set it to its default value (1.0).