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Stanimus

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21 January, 2017 19:50:03

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For those still trying to figure the best ways to build your models for furniture, here's some tips to help you with the learning curve

[Planning]

- You can start with a complete plan for your model, or just start building and flow with the design. Often, 'complete' plans fall apart once you start building. If you build on-the-fly, build it with a lot of open space around it. As you add parts, move away from the model and just look it over. Remember that you'll end up with just a single block. Adding a lot of detail may not be necessary  (and will probably put it over the complexity limit).


- You should decide before building whether the design has a center block or not. This may seem trivial but can be quite important. Only odd sized models will have a center. If you're making a sink, then the drain hole will be a single block. With an even sized model, the drain hole must be 4 blocks big. Which way depends on your needs and the overall size of the model.

[Fluids]

- If you will use water or magma in the design, you'll have to completely enclose it. Any flowing fluid will prevent the hammer from making the block. You'll get an "Unacceptable Block" warning. Use an ignored block such as dirt to enclose the fluid. This is how you can make fountains in furniture. If you are making a bowl with water in it, then it will naturally be contained already. If you're making a water spout, build the 'chimney' for it and only put the water in the topmost blocks. The blocks below it will be counted properly. If it's a more complex design, you may have to fill in certain spots with a source block but try to avoid this if you can.

[Multiple parts]
-When building multiple part models, it can be helpful to build them right next to each other, or one above the other, as applicable. Leave a single empty block space between them. This lets you back up and see how the two pieces match. It can also help in other ways. For instance, a multi-piece, multistate bathtub will need to be filled with water. If you build the pieces as described, then you can just build a solid (dirt) wall between them. This becomes the enclosure for the water in addition to keeping the parts close together.

[Complexity]

- Adding one single block in the 'wrong' place can immediately double the complexity of the model. Changing the color of one can do the same. How to stay within the complexity limit is nearly impossible to describe - experience is the only way to learn how to guess. Check your model often with the hammer to see how close it's getting. Sometimes it's best to build over the limit to get the general layout you want first. Then you can trim off details to get back below the limit. Remember to step back often and just look, to see which details can be removed.

Last Edited By: Stanimus 21 March, 2017 02:53:44. Edited 5 times

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Stanimus

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23 January, 2017 17:17:20

[ Content Management part I ]

Working with Furniture Packs - version control procedure

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It can be confusing when working on furniture packs. A set procedure will help keep it clear.

The first thing you should understand is that the packs in CONTENT are independent of any copy imported into a world. If you import a pack into a world, that pack becomes a COPY of the one in CONTENT. Any change made to it will NOT change the one in CONTENT. Each world can have a copy of the pack and each copy could become different from each other one. Then, if you export the modified pack to CONTENT, it becomes a NEW pack.

If you are not careful, you could have packs with the same name present in multiple worlds but they don't have the same pieces in them. You could also have multiple versions of the same pack in CONTENT. I've had packs with name like "Dividers (1) (3) (2)" before I started using the version control procedures detailed below.

This procedure will help minimize any confusion when adding new pieces to an existing furniture pack. The same procedures are used when modifying existing pieces but additional caution is required. See the next post. These procedures assume the packs are created and tested in creative mode. It also assumes that you use one world to build the models in and another one to use and test the pieces in.
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You should already be in the world where you modify the pack (the build world), and have it imported from CONTENT. Making a new pack does not need this level of caution.

1 Make all the changes to the pack, without deleting any pieces you wish to keep.
2 Quit the world you used to modify the pack.
3 Go to 'CONTENT' then 'MODIFY CONTENT'.
4 Delete the original furniture pack. (Make absolutely certain it's the right one!)
5 Exit to main screen.
6 Re-open the world you modified the pack in.
7 Open the inventory and select Furniture.
8 Find the modified pack.
9 Export it to CONTENT.

Now there is ONLY the newly modified pack is listed in CONTENT.
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If you test and check the pieces in yet another world, you may wish to follow this procedure, too. It will prevent having multiple versions of the same pack in that world. It assumes the original version of the pack is still present in the world.

1 Do NOT delete the original pack first.
2 Import the modified pack from CONTENT into the world. It wil tell you how many new pieces there are. It will also become selected and you can see the new pieces in the right window.
3 Scroll the list of packs until you can see the original pack name. Do NOT select it yet.
4 Make sure the right window still shows the pieces in the modified pack.
5 Drag ALL the new pieces onto the ORIGINAL pack name. The right window should now be empty.
6 Delete the empty pack.

Now, the original pack IN THAT WORLD will have all the modified pieces from the 'new' pack.
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If you delete the original pack BEFORE importing the modified pack, all the old pieces you already use in the world will be moved to UNCATEGORIZED. They will NOT be automatically assigned to the modified pack after you import it. This can cause you great confusion. Following the above procedures can minimize this confusion.

Last Edited By: cursedth 26 January, 2017 00:10:10. Edited 3 times.

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Stanimus

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23 January, 2017 18:16:38

[ Content Management part II ]

The above procedures apply mostly when you are ADDING pieces to a furniture pack. If you are modifying pieces within a pack, further precautions may be required. 
We will assume that the world you create the pieces in is NOT the world you test them in.
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1 When in the test world and you realise that a furniture piece needs to be modified, the first thing to do is remove ALL placed instances of that piece.
2 Then they should be destroyed. Collect them ALL into inventory and destroy them (in fire, for instance). If you don't want fire or magma around, just toss them somewhere where they won't get sucked into inventory later. Make certain there are none in your personal inventory - either in the hotbar, or character inventory.
3 Then go into your (creative) furniture inventory and drag the old piece from the furniture pack into UNCATEGORIZED.
4 Exit inventory.
If you destroyed the pieces, they will be immediately removed. You can re-enter UNCATEGORIZED furniture and see that they are gone. If you just threw them aside, they won't be deleted until the pieces all de-spawn. In either case they should not be in the furniture pack any longer.

This way, when the updated furniture pack is imported, the old pieces will not be present in the pack that's still in this world.

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"[The future] is a place about 70 miles east of here - where it's lighter." - Laurie Anderson


Stanimus

Last Edited By: cursedth 26 January, 2017 00:10:32. Edited 1 time.

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Stanimus

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25 January, 2017 18:46:31

Wiring furniture

All interactive furniture can have wires connect to it. The switches can supply voltage and multistate pieces can be triggered by a voltage (edge). Care must be taken when building the model, in order for a wire to connect to the piece.

If you are not building a full-sized block, you have to consider how the piece will be used. A wire will only connect when two conditions are met.
First, the piece must be built out to a block surface using a block that normally can have a wire placed on it. For now, this only excludes using glass at that surface. The surface it contacts will be the only surface a wire will connect to. If the piece is built as a small dot and only touches the rear surface, you cannot connect a wire to the bottom.
Second, the piece must be placed and wired as if it were a switch. It will not connect if it's floating and only touching another block by an edge. The surface described above must rest on another block or the wire will not connect to it.

On another note, unusual electric configurations can be made when controlling a group of connected furniture pieces. The entire group will be triggered when ANY of the pieces are triggered by electricity. You can have a toggle switch wired to one piece and the group will change whenever that signal goes active. If a pushbutton is wired to another piece, a pulse on that signal will still trigger the entire group - even if the toggle signal is still active. This function cannot be made with the electric chips easily! It's more than just an 'OR' function.

————————————————————
"[The future] is a place about 70 miles east of here - where it's lighter." - Laurie Anderson


Stanimus

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Stanimus

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7 March, 2017 14:22:33

Reducing Complexity

The complexity of the piece is described by the number of triangles to be drawn. This is a standard way of describing 3D models. Triangles are used because they represent the smallest 2D ploygon. Since we are working in a cubist world, we have no true triangles to draw. Every face of our builds is made up of quadrilaterals (4 sided polygons). So, each face represents 2 triangles.

Here, I will give some examples of what changes in the model will do to the complexity. These are simplified geometric shapes. Your actual model will probably be more detailed and these numbers may not be exact for your application but the concept is still valid.
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A single, solid cuboid (6 sided solid with all parallel faces) takes 12 triangles to draw, whether it's a cube, rectangle, square rod or flat sheet.

A solid large cube (say, 3x3x3 or more) uses 12 triangles and has a complexity of 4%. If there is a single missing block inside, unseeable from outside then it takes 24 triangles (8%). Even though you cannot see the missing block, it still must be described in the code.

If we start with a solid large cube and instead remove one block from a face - one that does not touch any edge or corner, we increase the complexity from 12 to 28 (9%) - NOT 24. This is because a drawn face is now split into 4 quadrilaterals (8 triangles), plus the hole takes 10 more triangles (5 sides). There were 5 untouched faces (10 triangles), for a total of 28. If that hole is instead filled with a different block, it uses 20 triangles (7%).

If we take this same cube and extend the above hole all the way through, the complexity goes from 12 to 32 triangles (11%). Two drawn faces were split into 4 quads (16 triangles total), there were 4 untouched faces (8 triangles total) and the hole has 4 sides (8 triangles total). Now, if that space is filled with a different color/material, the complexity goes to 28 triangles (9%). This is because the inner surfaces are no longer displayed. Each multicolor face takes 10 triangles plus the 8 triangles of the original 4 sides.

As we saw above, our sample cube with a single different block in one face used 20 triangles (7%). If we place the different block ON it instead, it then uses 30 triangles (9%). So placing other colors IN the surface is cheaper than placing them ON the surface.
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An 'L' shape takes 20 triangles to draw. This is the standard stairs block. A 'U' shape takes 28. We already saw an 'O' (squared) shape takes 32. 

. .

See the following image: 
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b75svvznmvpupxa/Chessboards.jpg?dl=01

The chessboard on the left has a complexity of 107% while the one on the right is at 51%. This difference is due to the fact that the sides and bottom are all the same color and material.

————————————————————
"[The future] is a place about 70 miles east of here - where it's lighter." - Laurie Anderson


Stanimus

Last Edited By: Stanimus 21 March, 2017 02:48:08. Edited 5 times.

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