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I started writing this a couple of times over the last weeks now and have always decided not to publish it, but since it keeps coming back to me, why not give it a go. The worst that can happen is: Nothing.
Since I do not know what "most" people use Fabric for - and the studios/clients I work for seem to not use Fabric that often any more (most of them being modo users) - I am not sure if ideas like this even make sense. Yet, I started using Houdini a lot, have written my first few VEX based tools and am now getting into rigging and animation (to replace modo for stability, performance, documentation, accessability, service and support reasons) - but although it works, I actually do prefer Fabric. It "feels" smoother, there aren't that many "hierarchies" or "contexts" to puzzle your mind around, connections (if you really have to use "visual" programming) just seem a bit more "logic" at times. And I don't have to worry about vertices versus points ;-)
So, as you know, I have done a little etude, writing a gas/smoke solver in Fabric (and, to visualize it better, a "scanline"-like mini-render-tool to show the gas). My question now is this:
Is there any interest in/from the community to colaborate on a "volume"-system for Fabric? What I mean by this is: Like with the "point"-entity, I would like to establish a fundamental "volume" entity that can deal with "content" like single float values (for densities, heat etc) or tripplets ("vectors" for velocity etc) and allows for easy interaction with e.g. points (to attach FLIP components). Volumes can also be used for physic simulations (by using SDF content), to some degree.
Thing is: If nobody is using Fabric for this kind of processing - e.g. because everyone's just using Houdini anyway - I don't want to do it "just for myself". I can hack my own FLIP-solver based on the simpleGas thing in a couple of hours, for fun. But I would like to see Fabric's "core features" to expand, and I am willing to invest time and energy into that, if there is some "need". Volumes (and particle systems, I am still willing to relaunch my approach there too) are "fundamental stuff", I think, just like "normal geometry".
Sure, for everything smoke-gas-fluid related one needs a RENDERER and this may or may not be a problem with current Fabric (which might change in the future). Although my scanline-like smoker-renderer works well enough to prove the concept, it can only output image sequences, and is not "plug-in" in any way.
So, for modo the volume "system" would not be of much help, since modo does not provide a flexible (enough) volume render system - but other render systems probably do.
Opinions? Feedback? Coop?
Marc Albrecht - marc-albrecht.de - does things.
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