• Wenli's Build Tools
    289 replies, posted
  • [b][url=http://wenlistools.sourceforge.net]*** The Wenli's Tools wiki page is now up! ***[/url][/b] ok, so I've decided it's finally time to start releasing my tools! I made these purely out of necessity while trying to build my contraptions, so they're really for myself, but I think it's about time I cleaned them up and put them out there. For those of you who aren't aware, the [b][url=http://steamcommunity.com/groups/nodexservers]Nodex servers[/url][/b] are home of the best build tools in GMod, and here I'll be releasing three separate installments of some of my own contributions. These were prototyped and tested on Nodex, and have been used on the servers for a while. These tools have been really useful to me as well as the players there, so I hope you'll find them equally useful. I believe that if you learn how to use these tools well, they really will transform the way you build. As these are released I'll be cleaning them up and tweaking them for "general consumption", so bugs may still arise. Please let me know if you find any problems with them, or can suggest possible improvements. [release][b][u]RELEASE 1: Axis / Ball Socket Centre[/u][/b] Forget linedraw or smartsnap, you won't need them once you have this. Axis and Ballsocket Centre are very simple, but with luck they'll end up all but replacing your current axis/ballsocket stools. They work by making constraints at the exact centre of mass of whatever you choose to constrain, so you can be as lazy as you like with your clicking and you'll still get perfect wheels and turrets every time. I created these tools to build the turrets and propellers on the [b][url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcMWfUwNMUI&feature=channel]original AC-130[/url][/b], so I can guarantee they really do the job! What's more, there's a special "rotation constraint" option in ball socket centre, that will act like a 0/0/0 adv. ballsocket that'll make two props keep the same rotation. The trick with this is that not only is it just one checkbox, but it creates three separate adv. ballsockets at the same point, one for each axis - so you'll find it's much more stable, and much easier and quicker to do than using regular adv. ballsocket. Give it a try![/release] [release][b][u]RELEASE 2: Physgun Build Mode[/u][/b] Since the beginnings of GMod people have had to deal with constantly having to use-shift, right click, right click, use-shift to place things. No more! Physgun Build Mode adds a whole host of settings to your physgun, and it'll change the way you build. New settings include auto-freeze/sleep, auto-nocollide, GMod 9 style rotation, snap to grid, and snap to angles. If you're a person who uses the physgun but also demands precision, you'll want this tool. In fact, you'll find it useful even if you're like me and barely use the physgun for building. Fed up with constantly having to right click to freeze things? Keep needing to bring out the nocollide tool just to place props? Always having to use servers with smaller angle snap settings? With this everything's automatic, and each player can set their own settings individually so everyone's happy. To access Physgun Build Mode, just look in your Q menu Options tab. You can toggle it on/off there, or alternatively you can use the concommand "phys_buildmode" to toggle it on and off. I usually recommend binding it to a key for super quick access. [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLXDngZzfeY[/youtube][/media] In that video you might also spot me stacking and ignoring props - in case you're wondering, that's ECS, one of the other addons we have on Nodex.[/release] [release][b][u]RELEASE 3: Precision Alignment[/u][/b] A lot of people have been eagerly awaiting this release, and with good reason; as it stands, I have no qualms claiming it as the most powerful, versatile building stool in GMod (and if you find that isn't true, let me know and maybe we'll both learn something new). It gives you absolute control over the positioning of individual props, with as much accuracy as Source will allow. The idea behind PA was to create a stool that would allow any prop to be aligned in any practical arrangement that could be mathematically defined in linear terms. Simply put, I built it to tackle any situation, so no more needing to nudge props bit by bit until they're "about right"; this tool is designed to get it exactly right, first time. No more messy corners, no more being forced to settle for anything less than perfect. PA is designed around creating and modifying objects I've called "constructs" - basically, points, lines and planes that represent 3D vector data. Think of these like construction lines you might use when drawing in CAD. PA is all about manipulating these constructs, and moving props between them. It sounds complicated but it'll become obvious once you see how it works. Be warned that since this stool is very versatile, that means it also has a lot of depth and it can require a bit of thought when doing complicated tasks. Once you know how to use it though, it can be faster than easy precision, and much more accurate. [media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jghzk0ESLOU&fmt=35[/youtube][/media][/release] [u][b]Downloads[/b][/u] There are two ways to download these addons: as a .zip file from garrysmod.org, and via svn. Both versions will be kept equally up to date, although the gmod.org zip file contains Physgun Build Mode presets which are client-only. [release]To install, [b]unzip the contents to steamapps\Email\garrysmod\[/b]. [url=http://www.garrysmod.org/downloads/?a=view&id=119510][img]http://www.garrysmod.org/img/?t=dll&id=119510[/img][/url] [i](If downloads are extremely low on that link, it's probably because I just updated the file!)[/i][/release][release][i][highlight]Wenli's Tools has moved to Sourceforge, so be sure to update your downloaders[/highlight][/i] [b]SVN address: [url]https://wenlistools.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/wenlistools[/url][/b] The SVN version only includes the contents of the Wenlis Tools folder and goes in the addons directory. It does not include the Physgun Build Mode presets, and unlike the gmod.org zip file, does not go in the garrysmod folder.[/release][b][url=http://wenlistools.sourceforge.net]*** The Wenli's Tools wiki page is now up! ***[/url][/b] [i]Thanks to Hatred for random lua advice, and all the players who've been using and testing these tools for me![/i]
  • I think mapping section is the wrong place. Post it here: [url]http://www.facepunch.com/forumdisplay.php?f=66[/url]
  • What the... I could have sworn I posted in the lua releases section. Can someone move this for me or should I do it manually?
  • Avatar of Santz
  • Just PM a Gmod moderator asking for the moving of the thread, that should do it.
  • Avatar of bitshift
  • Great to see the release; sucks you put it in the wrong spot. Regardless, I recommend any serious builders to try the tools. They will take your building skills up a level. Even Billy Mayes wanted to sell them.
  • Avatar of LimEJET
  • I can not see a use for this. I have never wanted to axis/ballsocket something by its exact center.
  • Avatar of demoniclemon
  • [QUOTE=LimEJET;20007584]I can not see a use for this. I have never wanted to axis/ballsocket something by its exact center.[/QUOTE] I think it will aid with one of those props where if you use smartsnap, the grid's length is unnecessarily doubled. Downloaded.
  • Avatar of Whitesinner0
  • OMG, WENLI POSTED IT! LOl its me Brahe! [QUOTE=LimEJET;20007584]I can not see a use for this. I have never wanted to axis/ballsocket something by its exact center.[/QUOTE] Oh you will. Trust me.
  • Avatar of LimEJET
  • [QUOTE=demoniclemon;20031893]I think it will aid with one of those props where if you use smartsnap, the grid's length is unnecessarily doubled. [/QUOTE] ...Then I change the grid size. [editline]03:04AM[/editline] [QUOTE=Whitesinner0;20032246] Oh you will. Trust me.[/QUOTE] Example?
  • Avatar of demoniclemon
  • [QUOTE=LimEJET;20032536]...Then I change the grid size. [/QUOTE] [IMG]http://imgkk.com/i/qhEFfB.jpg[/IMG]
  • Avatar of LimEJET
  • [QUOTE=demoniclemon;20032793][IMG_thumb]http://imgkk.com/i/qhEFfB.jpg[/IMG_thumb][/QUOTE] ...Oh. Can't say I've ever had that problem. Then again, why would you want to constrain the middle of an APC to something?
  • Avatar of kp3
  • [QUOTE=LimEJET;20038952]...Oh. Can't say I've ever had that problem. Then again, why would you want to constrain the middle of an APC to something?[/QUOTE] You can use this when making turrets and shit that need to be ballsocketed, axised in their exact center for stability. But i don't see why i should use this over axis and ballsocket linedraw. Do the same thing, except those are free'er. And adding 3 adv.ballsockets instead of one is dumb. Why would that increase stability? If they all limit the same axises, then maybe. But 3 ballsockets- 1 for each axis? What the hell. Just make sure you build facing +Y and you'll have no problems at all with the regular adv ballsocket. I don't want unnecessary constraint while building. I try to keep it at the very minimum, for stability. Okay, First when i read the post i thought, okay, decent for people who don't like linedraw. But when i read that about the ballsockets? What the hell. This is the reason i don't play on nodex. You over-complicate everything. I really hope that the axis thing includes an offset. Otherwise it's pretty much useless compared to easy-precision and smartsnap. I don't care if it's not as precise, What if i want my axis to be 10% higher than yours does it? But now, to be honest. I wouldn't have ranted this much in my post if you didn't say "the Nodex servers are home of the best build tools around". Because this tool isn't all that great. [QUOTE=bitshift;19999753]Great to see the release; sucks you put it in the wrong spot. Regardless, I recommend any serious builders to try the tools. They will take your building skills up a level. Even Billy Mayes wanted to sell them.[/QUOTE] Yes, because obviously it's the tools that decides how well of a builder you are. While the tools you use might aid you, they won't make you any better at building. TLDR; Get rid of your "rotation-constraint". It's stupid. If you remove it, Then this tool might be useful. I can see it being used when placing ballsockets in tight places where you can't linedraw.
  • Avatar of Whitesinner0
  • [QUOTE=LimEJET;20032536]Example?[/QUOTE] Well, for me, when I when I want to make a mouse aimed turret.
  • Avatar of LimEJET
  • [QUOTE=Whitesinner0;20047992]Well, for me, when I when I want to make a mouse aimed turret.[/QUOTE] I do it with an adv. ballsocket to the bottom of the gun/base/whatever. Makes it look more realistic. Hmm, ballsocket comes up as a spelling error. The checker's suggestion? Ballcock.
  • [QUOTE=kp3;20043709]Typical FP rant[/QUOTE] whoa dude, calm down... this is a tool for people who want to use it. If you don't want to use it I honestly don't care, but I can assure you a lot of people do which is why I'm releasing it. You seem to be confused about a lot of things though, so I'll take the time and see where I can correct you. I wonder if I'm feeding the trolls, but at least I can clear up a few things about why I've done things this way. [QUOTE=kp3;20043709]But i don't see why i should use this over axis and ballsocket linedraw. Do the same thing, except those are free'er.[/QUOTE] You contradict yourself when you say you prefer linedraw, but don't like ball socket centre because it's somehow more complicated. Linedraw is the epitome of over-complication. I have yet to see anyone use it for doing anything other than a centre-ball socket or axis, and it requires far more steps. If you've ever tried making multiple wheels or turrets, you can do it in a fraction of the time than you could with linedraw, because it's literally two clicks with the centre tools. Not only this, linedraw is useless if your prop's centre of mass happens to differ from the centre of its bounding box, which is surprisingly often. The centre tools allow you to get the centre of mass every time, and this is definitely not true for linedraw. The centre tools make the job much, much more simple, and allow you to create perfect ballsockets/axes in cases where it would be very difficult or even impossible with other tools. [QUOTE=kp3;20043709]I don't want unnecessary constraint while building. I try to keep it at the very minimum, for stability.[/QUOTE] You don't seem to understand how adv. ballsocket works. Try making an adv. ballsocket to world with 0/0/0 axis limits, then try rotating it with the physgun. It's really unreliable, even if you use lots of them. By creating separate ballsockets for each axis, this solves the axis limits problem and actually ends up making it much more stable, not less. You also don't mention it here, but you mentioned on the servers that constraints somehow increase player lag. They don't at all; the only impact that additional constraints make is on server CPU load, and creating 3 axis limits rather than 1 is absolutely negligible. The end result is it creates a much more stable rotation constraint without affecting players at all. The only tangible thing you'll notice is slightly increased dupe times, but even that is negligible unless you're creating many, many constraints - which isn't great building practice regardless of what methods you're using. The other benefit is that the rotation constraint is extremely quick to do, and it's much easier for players because they don't need to fiddle with settings or set anything up. You just enable the checkbox and click-click and it's perfect every time. [QUOTE=kp3;20043709]I really hope that the axis thing includes an offset. Otherwise it's pretty much useless compared to easy-precision and smartsnap. I don't care if it's not as precise, What if i want my axis to be 10% higher than yours does it?[/QUOTE] If you don't want an axis in the centre of mass, then don't use axis centre! It's not like I'm stopping you from using regular axis. I made these tools to work in conjunction with other tools, not act as a complete replacement. [QUOTE=kp3;20043709]This is the reason i don't play on nodex. You over-complicate everything.[/QUOTE] You only say this because you don't understand the tools that we use. Once you learn them, you'll find that they make building much more efficient and much more accurate, and will allow you to do things that would be basically impossible on any other server. You can think of it like shaping metal with a hand file compared to using a CNC machine; you can still do amazing things with the file, but if you get an equally skilled person on the CNC machine it'll take a fraction of the time and will end up far more refined. [QUOTE=kp3;20043709]While the tools you use might aid you, they won't make you any better at building.[/QUOTE] This is only true to a certain extent. While using better tools won't make a terrible builder into a good one, it can definitely allow people to do things that they couldn't otherwise. I don't think anyone can argue that faster and more precise building isn't "better". And let's be honest, are you seriously complaining about having better tools? The truth of the matter is that the default tools, and the tools that are available to most servers, are just plain crap. If you look at it objectively, they're so basic and ancient that they really limit how well you can do things. People only put up with it because it's always been that way and they've learned to work with what little they have. I think the last significant improvement was when smartsnap was released years ago. On Nodex we've tried to address that and improve the way people build, and I think to a large extent we've been pretty successful.
  • Avatar of kp3
  • Tried some of the stuff at nodex. While this one wasn't that interesting the other ones were really impressive.
  • Yeah, next release will be this weekend. I'm doing them in rough order of complexity.
  • Avatar of demoniclemon
  • [QUOTE=LimEJET;20038952]...Oh. Can't say I've ever had that problem. Then again, why would you want to constrain the middle of an APC to something?[/QUOTE] The APC isn't the only model with that grid error, plus it can be useful for props that don't have a center like the PHX cylinders.
  • Avatar of kp3
  • [QUOTE=Wenli;20059586]Yeah, next release will be this weekend. I'm doing them in rough order of complexity.[/QUOTE] Can't wait for phys_buildmode. Really innovative and awesome.
  • Avatar of Whitesinner0
  • Wenli, can't wait for the tools. Your awesome! Good job on the phys_buildmode. And the most epic is the Precision Alignment!
  • The second release is up! As always, let me know if you run into problems with it. I've updated the download, but remember to pay attention to which folder you extract it to as it's no longer just addons.
  • Avatar of ICDWILL117
  • [QUOTE=Prefan;20000839]Quality.[/QUOTE] Nodex Quality. I fell in love with phy_buildmode when I first used it. Just waiting on capofamiglia to update ECS! *cough* Hat