Normal Tools

Started by wallworm, August 06, 2014, 09:12:29 PM

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There is now a general purpose toolset called Normal Tools. Get your copy now with the introductory sale!

The tools give you some new ways to edit the normal on your objects. This toolset is not just for Wall Worm, but for anyone who edits normal data a lot with the Edit Normals modifier.

Along with this tool comes another update to Wall Worm's SMD exporter to optimize Explicit Normals exporting as well as fixing a bug with the Explicit Normals + Rotated settings in WW. Yes, for those who did not know, Source supports normal editing that isn't derived simply from smoothing groups. I think it was an unknown for a long time because the legacy SMD exporters did not handle edited normal.

I will be releasing a video soon detailing the functions in the new tool. Until then, use the docs linked above.


Updated today to fix a bug with modified objects not aligned to world. And added a new normal function.


Joris Ceoen

This looks really interesting. If you hadn't told me before that Source did support the custom normals then I wouldn't have known it either until seeing the post before. The video demonstrates it really well, I think it could help me greatly for my cathedral!


Normal Tools 1.2 Released today. Added two new functions: Out From Pivot and Out From Center.


Normal Tools 1.3 is out. Adds a Random Deviation function. Here's a new video:


Version 1.4 is now out. Please see the updated docs on Normal Tools.

Updated features:

Version 1.4

   * Added five new functions for aligning normals based on elements: Element Pivot Out, Element Base Out and Element Bottom Out, Element Vert Nearest Pivot Out and Element Vert Nearest Center Out.

   * Added new button to select all normals in same elements as currently selected normals.

   * Added three new Macroscripts: Select Element Normals, Select Border Normals and Select Border Normals from Selection.

   * Changed Normal Tools floater to require the new Macroscripts to be installed.


Version 1.41

   * Fixed bug with picking normals from face.
   * Updated the Edit Normals modifier detection to do a class lookup instead of a modifier stack name lookup. This stops the tool from creating a new Edit Normals modifier on objects when the Edit Normals modifier was renamed.
   * Added last-scroll position to UI preferences.
Version 1.42

   * Fixed bug with randomizing the normals.

Version 1.43

   * Added new Stitch function to average normals from colocated vertices.
   * Added new custom attribute that gets added to any Edit Normals modifier when using the Normal Tools. The custom attribute includes many functions found in the Normal Tools floater.

   * Converted several of the functions to Macroscripts so that you can bind them to keyboard shortcuts.


Version 1.45

   * Added ability to select Normals based on the face Smoothing Groups and the Face Material IDs.
   * Added buttons to select normals based on being Explicit or Not.

Version 1.44

   * Added new Stitch stitch threshhold setting in the Stitch tools (both in the Normal Tools floater and in the Edit Normals custom attribute).


Version 1.47

   * Added new Pivot Node button into main Normal Tools UI and into the Normal Tools custom attribute. Allows setting arbitrary origin of normal vectors.
   * Added Undo to some functions that did not have it.
   * Added Pivot Offset settings in the Normal Tools rollout of an Edit Normals modifier.
   * Updated global Normal Tools UI to save last Normal Selection Apply-To state.

NOTE. I loaded 1.46 earlier but loaded 1.47 within an hour, so combining their changelog.


Version 1.48 Adds a couple functions for flipping face normals out from object center or pivot.


Hi, I've just purchased your Normal Tools for 3ds max and it's great but I was wondering if it's possible to do the following in the tool?

I have a strip of polygons, here they are with reset normals:

What I want to do is make the normals point in the direction of the flow of the polygon strip. I guess point to the next normal from a starting location would be fine as well. Ideally they would follow the edges of the polygon.

The closest I can get is by using Elements Out From Base which seems to go half way there, but I have to edit it by hand afterwards to get what I'm looking for:

Which is this basically. Is there a way that you know of that can reproduce the last image?

Thanks for any help.


Thanks for buying Normal Tools!

I don't have a function specifically for that, but I can add such a feature. I'll look into adding it within the week.



Version 1.49

   * Added new setting to automatically apply the Normal Tools custom attribute to any Edit Normals modifier added in the scene. This function can be turned on/off in the Normal Tools floater.
   * Updated the Normal Tools Custom Attribute to use an AttribID to reduce file size and make it easier to get updated functions in the custom attributes as the Normal Tools are updated.
   * Updated button functions in the Normal Tools custom attribute to check and see if the Normal Tools are installed before trying to run a function or macroscript. This removed MAXScript errors when sharing files with those who do not have the Normal Tools installed.
   * Added new Manual group of functions to manually set the normals in the Normal Tools custom attribute.
   * Added new setting in custom attribute that allows controlling whether the selection functions will replace the current selection, append to current selection or remove from the current selection.
   * Changed default Apply To setting to All Normals.


Version 1.5

   * Added new Out From Normal Selection Center function in the Normal Tools custom attribute. This function well set the out from point to the center of the currently selected normals. This function was added to the Edit Normals custom attribute but not the global Normal Tools floater.
   * Added new Out From Selection Center for the Face Normals functions in the Normal Tools floater. This will flip normals of selected faces that are pointing towards the selected faces' center. This function converts objects to Editable Poly and is not part of the standard Edit Normal tools in the Normal Tools.
   * Updated the Stitch Colocated Normals to work faster.
   * Added Unify checkbox for stitch functions. When on, replicated the Unify function in the main Edit Normals modifier except it will filter results based on the Apply To option as well as the Skip Explicit Option. The unify option is on by default.