Thursday, December 8, 2011

New Terrain tools in the latest release (v1.26) of Tgi3D SU Amorph and PhotoScan

Last month we have released the new versions (v1.26) of Tgi3D plugins for SketchUp. We added new tools to Tgi3D SU Amorph and PhotoScan's arsenal along with some minor updates and fixes.

The following new tools have been added:

Map to terrain: This utility applies a warping function that transforms the xy-plane to a given target, typically terrain data from Google Earth. It has different options regarding component instances for mapping to terrain; none, translate, rigid (translate and rotate), affine, and full.

Channel extrude tool extrudes selected edges along a preselected connected path of edges. The extrusion is constrained so that the alignment of the extruded edges with respect to the ground plane does not change. Thus a horizontal edge remains horizontal throughout the extrusion. This is useful to create roads, landfill skirts (where the skirting angle is specified), or hedges etc. 

Resample path: This utility takes regular samples along given path(s). This comes in handy when placing lamp posts, lane separators etc. along a curving, rising, etc. road at regular intervals. 

"Channel extrude" and "Resample path" tools are included unrestricted in the free Training version of Tgi3D SU Amorph.

Here is a quick video that shows Map to terrain and Channel extrude tools in action.


Monday, August 8, 2011

Tgi3D SU Amorph & PhotoScan's new Warper Tool is released!

I would like to announce the release of the new versions (v1.25) of Tgi3D SU Amorph and Tgi3D SU PhotoScan. The new version introduces the latest Warp tool.

Warper helps modelers deform/reshape the selected surfaces including the ones inside the selected groups and components. Using the warper tool consists of three basic steps:
  1. Create a warper, which is basically a bounding box of your selection placed in a new group
  2. Edit and modify the bounding box inside the group. All your edits including scale, rotate, translate etc. done inside the component will be reflected to the output. If you use Tgi3D tools in modification a preview of the deformation result is displayed instantly during your edit. You can turn preview off for very large meshes if it slows down editing.
  3. Finally issue the Warp command to apply the transformation of the Warper on the corresponding object.
As with all other Tgi3D tools, if the object that is being warped has a texture on it, the texture is modified automatically according to the deformation performed by the Warper without requiring “safeguard texture” and “restore texture” commands before and after the use of Warper Tool.

Warper has six different “Child component transformation type” options that determine the type of transformation to be applied on the selected components and groups.
  • Full: The given transformation is applied to the whole hierarchy as if the whole selection were flat. In the process it may have to uniquify instances with more than one instance. The instances are left intact, enabling smooth edits on large designs despite SketchUp performance issue. You can easily warp large designs where you can not even hope to explode and flatten the whole thing. For the other options the hierarchy is preserved.
  • Nothing: The component (group) instances in the selection are ignored, they are left untouched.
  • Translation: The instances are translated only with an average amount (as determined from the transformation on the warper)
  • Rigid: Rotation and translation only (the amounts are approximated to be optimally matching the transformation)
  • Similarity: Rotation, Translation, and uniform scaling.
  • Affine: Rotation, Translation, arbitrary scaling, and shear. (this is equivalent to the SketchUp instance transformation matrix)
The following videos demonstrate how the Warper tool is used to reshape the objects.

The new Warper Tool is included both in Tgi3D SU Amorph and Tgi3D SU PhotoScan.

We have also introduced a new “Flip if necessary” command within the “Image based Surface Modeler” Tool of Tgi3D SU PhotoScan. This command changes the topology of the mesh to capture sharp discontinuities in the surface. The edges are flipped as in the “Flip Edge” tool of the Sandbox Plugin based on the image matching quality.

The following video shows the new flip command in Image Based Surface Modeler


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tgi3D is on the cover of CatchUp!

The management team of SketchUcation, the most vibrant online community of Google SketchUp users, recently announced the second edition of CatchUp, SketchUcation Community Newsletter. We are delighted to see Tgi3D on the cover.

There is a detailed review of Tgi3D SU Amorph by the CatchUp editor Rich O'Brien on pages 14 to 18. Rich O'Brien suggests:
"[Tgi3D SU Amorph] really is bringing a level of modeling accuracy to SketchUp that hasn't been so readily possible before. It's not like other plugins that offer great fixes or quicker methods. It's introduced a whole new method of modeling, a cunning set of tools and features that haven't been explored before."

Friday, April 8, 2011

You can use Tgi3D plugins both at work and at home now!

Many of our individual customers have expressed a desire to be able to install Tgi3D plugins on multiple computers, specifically one at work and one at home, without the additional cost since they are the only ones who use the software. This can be achieved by a different licensing scheme than “per computer licencing” that we currently have . It is called “single user licencing” where the software can be installed on multiple computers (upto a certain number) but only one user can use it at a given time. This requires either the software to have internet connection to check with the license servers online or use a form of a dongle to activate the usage of the software. Our current licenses are issued per computer which allows for faster, local license checking without the need for internet connection or a dongle. So, each licensing scheme has its advantages and disadvantages and we are currently considering different alternatives.

In the mean time though, we have devised a very attractive promotional sale for those of you who don't want to wait:

Buy one get one free!
You will receive two licenses of the same Tgi3D plugin in a single purchase for the price of one. You can then install the software on two different computers, e.g. one at work and one at home, and obtain two independent permanent licenses using the same activation key and e-mail.

Our existing customers: Get your second copy now, free of charge!
We appreciate your business. Therefore, we made sure that you also benefit from this sale regardless of the timeline you purchased the product. Simply download the latest version of the software from here and install the software on a second computer and use your existing activation key and e-mail to activate the second licensed copy of the plugin.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tgi3D SU Amorph now has a 30-Day Trial Edition

We have listened to our customers and decided to release the 30-Day Trial Edition of Tgi3D SU Amorph so that our customers can test the product without the vertex count limitation imposed on the Free Training Edition. You can download the 30-Day Trial Edition from the Downloads page on Tgi3D website.

Tgi3D SU Amorph Free Training Edition lives on...
Rest assured that this announcement does not mean that the “ever popular” Free Training Edition of Tgi3D SU Amorph is abondoned. You can continue to use the Free Training Edition, but if you are thinking about the next step to purchase the plugin and want to experience the full capabilities of Tgi3D SU Amorph before the decision, you now have a chance to do so.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tgi3D SU Amorph and PhotoScan Update (v1.21)

We are happy to announce the release of the new versions of Tgi3D plugins (v1.21). As always, you can download the new versions from the Downloads page on Tgi3D website.

We have some of the most wanted and anticipated improvements in this release.

1. Tgi3D now loads much faster at start up!

2. The texture map is preserved during Tgi3D's own edit operations, i.e. the texture map dynamically adjusts as the surface is edited.

3. You can “safeguard” and then “restore” texture maps for other edit operations that break the texture.

4. You can optionally compress the Tgi3D context menu items to be accessed through “Tgi3D commands” submenu.

To do this:
-- Click on the Tgi3D Settings button on Tgi3D toolbar.
-- Turn off the "Direct context menu access to Tgi3D commands" option under "Global Settings" in “Tgi3D Settings” dialog.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tgi3D SU Amorph and PhotoScan Update (v1.20)

Upgrades of Tgi3D SU plugins have just been released! You can download the new versions from the Downloads  page on Tgi3D website.

The new releases include a new downsampling feature to reduce the polygon count of a model while preserving the model fidelity in a controllable fashion. There are also some exciting updates to the existing features, such as a “clean Bezier surface” option for mesh creation and preservation of texture.

Below are the details of the updates in the new releases:
  • Introduced "Downsample" command to decrease the resolution of a mesh

  • Create mesh can nowcreate Bezier (i.e. parametric) surfaces, if the boundary is
    1. A quad of bezier curves and the number of samples on opposite curves match
    2. A triangle of bezier curves and the number of samples on the longest two sides match

  •  Introduced "Collapse" command to collapse the selected region to a point
  • Mesh editing (upsample and downsample) results are placed in a Sketchup group optionally to allow faster processing.
  • Cross Section Tool now supports measured motions.
  • (Mac) Plugin now works on Mac OS X v10.5.x.
  • (Upsampling & Downsampling) Preserve the texture mapping during upsample and the new downsample
  • (Texturing) Preserve SketchUp assigned material transparency in texture creation
  • (Texturing) Preserve the horizontal and perpendicular structures (e.g in buildings) in unwrap mode of texture mapping
  • (Texturing) Preserve material transparency and color in the texture mapping.
  • (Texturing) Do not display uv map in the texture if the seperate uv map output is selected.
  • (Move tool) Improved Bezier curve editing.

In addition to the updates included in Tgi3D SU Amorph, Tgi3D SU PhotoScan includes the following fix.

  • (Calibration Tool) Added user warning if a camera can not be found in the built-in or local database