Updated version of Ab2d.ReaderSvg published

by abenedik 21. July 2015 23:26

I am happy to inform you that I have just published a new version of Ab2d.ReaderSvg.

This version brings the following new features and improvements:

  • Added support for using polygon as clip-path.
  • Improved transforming shapes and brushes.
  • Prevented applying opacity twice - to alpha value in color and to Opacity property on element.
  • Added support for "fill-opacity" and "stroke-opacity" attributes.
  • Fixed ResourceDictionaryWriter so that the ResolveResourceKeyCallback is called also for root keys.
  • Used black as default fill color (when fill is not specified).
  • Prevented stretching geometry under some circumstances when svg file was read as geometry.

Tags: ,

ReaderSvg

Amazing new samples and features of the next major version of Ab3d.PowerToys library

by abenedik 18. June 2015 21:14

I am really happy to announce that I have just published the biggest update in the history of the AB4D Company. 

This update brings many great new features, improvements and fixes to Ab3d.PowerToys library - best library for rapid 3D application development. What is more, there are some new samples that show the power of the library. The samples can also jump start your development with providing the startup code for the standard 3D use cases.

 

Let’s start with a few screenshots of the new samples:

The following screenshot shows a sample that allows user to show the scene from different angles and with different rendering settings (in top row user can also change the layout of the scene views):

Multi scene layout with Ab3d.PowerToys library

 

The following sample shows visualization of sample data in 3D graph. The graph also supports selection of single or multiple spheres. The lower left corner of the screenshot is showing a new MouseCameraContollerInfo control that shows which mouse buttons and keyboard keys are used to rotate and move the camera:

3D graph with Ab3d.PowerToys library

 

The following image shows new ModelMoverVisual3D that simplifies moving 3D models:

Model mover to move 3D models in the 3D scene

 

And now to the list of new features:

Major new features:

  • Added LightingRigVisual3D that adds 3 DirectionalLights and one AmbientLight to the scene. The lights define the so called standard lighting rig with key, fill and back light.
  • Added TubeLinesVisual3D and TubeLinesMesh3D that can be used to create 3D lines from 3D tube objects. Those lines does not require LinesUpdater to update their geometry when camera is changed and can therefore greatly improve performance when the application is running (but require a little bit more time to initialize)
  • Added ModelMoverVisual3D that can be used to help users move 3D objects. The ModelMoverVisual3D shows 3 arrows for all three axes and allow users to move object along the axis. It can also show 3 rectangles that allow users to move the object on the plane defined by the rectangle.
  • Added support for touch events and touch manipulation events to EventManager3D (TouchEnter, TouchDown, TouchMove, TouchUp, TouchLeave; ManipulationStarted, ManipulationDelta and ManipulationCompleted) (only in .Net 4 version of the library)
  • Added MultiPolyLineVisual3D to show multiple polylines with one Visual3D – this improves performance because LinesUpdated needs to check less objects.
  • Added Ab3d.Utilities.RenderToBitmap method to render any FrameworkElement to bitmap (with support for custom size, antialasing and custom dpi setting).
  • Added RenderToBitmap to BaseCamera to render current Viewport3D to bitmap.
  • Added support for creating 3D trapezoid objects with TrapezoidVisual3D, TrapezoidUIElement3D and Ab3d.Meshes.TrapezoidMesh3D classes and with new Ab3d.Models.Model3DFactory.CreateTrapezoid and Ab3d.Meshes.TrapezoidMesh3D method
  • Added MouseCameraControllerInfo control that shows which mouse button and keyboard is required to rotate and move the camera. Also added MouseWithButtons, KeyboardKey user controls.
  • Added Ab3d.Utilities.Dump methods that can dump 3D model information into Visual Studio Immediate Window – useful for getting information about 3D objects during debugging.

 

Improvements and fixes:

Cameras:

  • Added MoveOnlyHorizontally property to MouseCameraController to restrict the camera movements to horizontal plane.
  • Added IsRotationDirectionAdjusted property to MouseCameraController. It can be used to enable adjusting camera rotation direction based on current mouse position and current attitude value. 
  • Added CameraRotateStared, CameraRotateEnded, CameraMoveStared, CameraMoveEnded events to MouseCameraController
  • Fixed calculating camera bank angle when using Ab3d.Utilities.CameraUtils.CalculateCameraAngles method.
  • Added static GetCameraMatrixes method to BaseCamera that takes Viewport3D and returns camera matrixes. Also the GetCameraMatrixes now returns Boolean instead of void - it returns false if camera matrixes cannot be calculated.
  • Fixed showing camera light after the previous Light visual was manually removed from Viewport3D.Children
  • Improved CameraLight property in Ab3d.Cameras objects. The property is used to get or set a custom light for camera’s light. In previous version under some circumstances the property's value was not set to the actual Light object that is used to illuminate the scene.
  • Added GetMousePositionOnPlane method to all cameras from Ab3d.PowerToys library
  • Added GetNormalizedHeading, GetNormalizedAttitude, GetNormalizedBank methods that return Heading, Attitude and Bank angles that between 0 and 360.

 

3D Lines:

  • Fixed updating 3D lines for WireGridVisual3D when its IsClosed property was set to true.
  • Improved LinesUpdater with adding a RegisteredLinesCount property to get number of registered lines. Also added UnregisterLine method that takes any 3D line visual from Ab3d.PowerToys.
  • Improved performance of LinesUpdater.
  • Removed memory leak from LinesUpdater - some lines that were disconnected from parent Visual3D were not disposed and were checked on each frame.
  • Improved LinesUpdater so that it did not regenerate some geometry models when the camera (or some other property) is not changed.
  • Improved rendering lines when Othographics camera is used and the lines have the same direction as the camera.
  • Fixed hiding 3D lines when IsVisible is set to false and the line is child of another ModelVisual3D

 

3D objects:

  • Improved rendering Arrow3D - before the arrow tip was rendered with a single position and that made the arrow shading too dark.
  • Changed default value for Length property on AxisVisual3D and ColorAxisVisual from 1 to 100.
  • Fixed changing DefaultMaterial on ObjModelVisual3D after the obj file has been already read. In previous version all materials were replaced by new DefaultMaterial even if obj file defined their own material and DefaultMaterial was not used.
  • Added DefaultBackMaterial to ObjModelVisual3D to specify the back material of the read models.

 

Other:

  • Added RayPlaneIntersection method to Ab3d.Utilities.MathUtils to calculate intersection of 3D ray and a plane.
  • Added ReplaceMaterial to Ab3d.Utilities.ModelUtils to replace one material with another material in a Model3D
  • Prevented freezing objects with ModelOptimizer when FreezeAll is not set to true.
  • Prevented throwing exception when MeshGeometry3D have TriangleIndices set to null in CollectModelCounters, GetDumpString and GetMeshInitializationCode methods. 
  • Improved performance of ModelOptimizer and MeshUtils.CalculateNormals
  • Added new overloads to TransparencySorter constructor, SimpleSort and SortByCameraDistance methods that also take ContainerUIElement3D as parameter.
  • Improved ModelDecoratorVisual3D when showing normal vectors on an objects that has been scaled by transformation
  • Fixed CreateFromCurvePositions method in BezierCurve - the method has thrown an exception when there were less than 6 curve points (instead of less than 2).
  • Changed return type of the HeightMapMesh3D.GetGradientColorsArray method - now the method returns array of Color value instead of array of uint values. If you still want to get array of uint values, call the new GetGradientColorsUIntArray method.

 

As mentioned before – this is the longest new features list so far. And guess what. This is not the whole list. The samples project have two additional new controls that are available with full source code:

  • AxisWireBoxVisual3D – Visual3D that shows a wireframe box with Y axis lines and values that can be used to show 3D data.
  • SceneView3D – UserControl that can show 3D models in Viewport3D and has ComboBox to specify the view angle (top, left, right, front, etc.) and a ContextMenu that specify how the 3D models are rendered (with solid model or wireframe) and what type of camera is used (perspective or orthographic). 

 

I am really excited about this new release. I hope that after checking out the new samples you will share that excitement with me.

As always, the licensed users can download their commercial version from their User Account page. Others are welcome to try the new evaluation version that can be download from our downloads page.

Tags:

Ab3d.PowerToys

New major version of 3ds file reader brings a major price reduction for the library

by abenedik 22. April 2015 09:37

This time I have one great and one even greater news for you.

The first great news is that a new major release of the best 3ds file reader (Ab3d.Reader3ds) brings some great new features to the library.

And an even greater news is that all this come with greatly reduced price. For example, the price for Ab3d.Reader3ds single developer library has been lower from $489 to only $199! Prices for Viewer3ds and for team and site developer license have been also reduced accordingly. To see the new prices, please visit our Purchase page.

 

And now to new features of the 9th major version of the library.

The library is mostly used for reading 3D models into WPF applications where the models are shown. But because of the great accuracy of importing 3ds file (in some cases the library imports 3D models even when 3D Studio Max does not import the models) the library is sometimes used as a converter to some other data format – for example to read 3D models from 3ds file and create an objective C code that defines 3D objects for iOS application. 

Such custom converter applications read 3D models from 3ds file into WPF 3D models and then convert that models into some other data format. But the problem with such approach is that some of the data is lost when converting to WPF objects. For example if 3ds file defines materials with bump and reflection map, those two textures are not available in WPF. Also when 3ds file contains animations, the animation can be played in WPF application, but you were not able to access the raw animation data.

With the new version of Ab3d.Reader3ds you are now able to get all the materials and animation key frames data that are stored in 3ds file.

 

The materials data can be get with the new Materials3ds dictionary on Reader3ds object. The key in the dictionary represents the model name. The model name is the same as in the NamedObjects dictionary (note that you can get all the names of the objects with running the DumpNamedObjects method in Visual Studio immediate window after the 3ds file has been read). The value in the Materials3ds dictionary represents a new Material3ds type. This type contains all the material data that are defined in 3ds file specification. The Material3ds type also contains a Maps list that contain all the maps (textures) used by the material. 3ds file support the following map type: DiffuseColor (the only one supported in WPF), SpecularLevel, Opacity, Bump and Reflection.

The following Class diagram shows all the fields of Material3ds and MaterialMap3ds:

Material3ds Class diagram

It may appear that there are many fields defined for materials. But compared to animation data, materials are really elementary. The Class diagram for animation data is as follows:

Reader3ds key frames data Class diagram

And that are only the classes. Each class also defines their own fields.

The key frame data can be get with calling the new GetKeyFramesData method. The method takes the model name as parameter and returns a list of BaseKeyframesTrack objects (for example PositionTracks and RotationTracks).

Each Tracks object defines their own array of Keys that define data about the object at specific time. For example PositionTracks use PositionKeys to define different positions of object at various time stamps.

To demonstrate the ability to get raw 3ds file data I have added a new sample to Reader3dsSamples project. With the sample users can drag and drop 3ds files to the sample Window and see the materials and key frames data for the 3ds file.

 

The next very interesting new feature of the new version of Reader3ds is that now it is possible to get the OptimizedMeshGeometry3D object for any 3D model read from 3ds file. The OptimizedMeshGeometry3D is a simple struct that is defined with the following code:

public struct OptimizedMeshGeometry3D
{
    public List<Point3D> Positions;
    public List<Vector3D> Normals;
    public List<Point> TextureCoordinates;
    public List<Int32> TriangleIndices;
}

As you see this is very similar to WPF’s MeshGeometry3D. The field names are the same, but the types of collections are fundamentally different. The OptimizedMeshGeometry3D uses simple Lists but MeshGeometry3D uses Point3DCollection, Vector3DCollection, PointCollection and Int32Collection.

The difference between those two types of collections is that the simple Lists are very fast when accessing individual items in the list. On the other hand the collection used in MeshGeometry3D are much more complex – on each get or set the code checks if the call is done on the correct thread, then after a few other ifs the data is get to the underlying FrugalStructList that is also not well optimized for performance.

When the Positions[i] is converted into assembly language the getter from List is converted in only a few lines of code, but in the MeshGeometry3D many lines of assembly code is executed.

This means that if you want to manipulate the 3D models with changing the individual positions, texture coordinates or other low lever data, it is much faster to change the data in a List and then regenerate the Point3DCollection from the changed list then to modify the data inside the Point3DCollection. Also if you are just reading the positions (for example to calculate the bounds), it is much faster when reading data from List then from Point3DCollection.

So, to allow using the faster lists, it is now possible to get the OptimizedMeshGeometry3D for any model read from 3ds file with the new GetOptimizedMeshGeometry3D method.

To demonstrate the performance gains, there is also a new sample in the Reader3dsSamples project.

The following are some of the results get from this sample:

Start performance tests on models with 34.403 positions and with executing each test 10 times
  Calculate bounds with MeshGeometry3D: 20,464ms
  Calculate bounds with OptimizedMeshGeometry3D: 13,779ms
  Change positions with MeshGeometry3D: 84,531ms
  Change positions with MeshGeometry without disconnecting MeshGeometry3D: 363,597ms
  Change positions with OptimizedMeshGeometry3D: 7,788ms


Start performance tests on models with 1.644.282 positions and with executing each test 10 times
  Calculate bounds with MeshGeometry3D: 1001,744ms
  Calculate bounds with OptimizedMeshGeometry3D: 669,594ms
  Change positions with MeshGeometry3D: 4191,129ms
  Change positions with MeshGeometry without disconnecting MeshGeometry3D: 11469,894ms
  Change positions with OptimizedMeshGeometry3D: 493,173ms

As you can see, calculating bounds is almost 40% faster. Changing positions (y += 10) is almost 10 times faster! And this with already optimizing the code with disconnecting MeshGeometry3D object from its parent GeometryModel3D. Without disconnecting the MeshGeometry3D object, using OptimizedMeshGeometry3D is more than 20 times faster.

To see the full test code please check the source of the sample.

 

And this is not the end of improvements.

The new version also prevents a "cross thread access" exception that could be thrown when the Reader3ds instance is created on another thread then the Read method is called.

And lastly, the new version improves animating objects when the animation does not start at first frame. In some cases the previous version wrongly positioned the objects on frames before first frame.

I hope that you like the new improvements to the Reader3ds library.

To check the new features, please download the latest trial version from the Downloads page or use your User Account page to download the latest commercial version.

Let me finish with a great news for everyone that already own a Reader3ds license, but have expired updates period: because the license renewal price is calculated based on the current price, you can now renew the Redader3ds license with greatly reduced renewal price.

Tags:

Reader3ds

New version of ReaderSvg improved support for Inkscape and adds many other new features

by abenedik 25. March 2015 20:39

I am happy to announce that the ViewerSvg (svg to xaml converter) and the ReaderSvg library have been greatly improved.

After some great customer feedback I spent some time in Inkscape. It is really a great vector drawing application with very good svg files support. The reason for checking Inkscape was that I wanted to check how custom rotate point in Inkscape is saved into svg file. The trick is that standard svg file does not support saving custom rotate point. To preserve data about custom rotate point Inkscape saves that into its custom attribute: inkscape:transform-center-x and inkscape:transform-center-y.

When drawings from svg files are shown, the custom rotate points is not important. But when the parts of the drawing are animated, the custom rotate point is very important.

Therefore I am happy to inform you that ReaderSvg has been improved so that the custom rotate center is read into the RenderTransformOrigin WPF property. This way quite tricky to implement because Inkscape saves the custom rotate center in absolute coordinates, but RenderTransformOrigin requires values to be in relative coordinates. Anyway, this works very well now.

After that improvement I have invested some additional time and added the following improvements and fixes to ReaderSvg:

  • Added possibility to set the WPF name of the objects from the Inkscape's Label (inkscape:label attribute).
  • Changed reading transformations from svg files so that the type of transformation is preserved (rotate transform is read as RotateTransform and not as MatrixTransform as before). Added new property to ReaderSvg to control this behavior: ConvertTransformationsToMatrixTransform. You can set it to true for backward compatibility.
  • Fixed reading text that is rendered with outlines.
  • Improved using viewBox attribute.
  • Improved using svg and use elements when they use clipPath, transform and viewBox.
  • Improved TrueTransform when transforming LinearGradient and RadialGradient brushes.
  • Improved support for clipping when converting shapes to geometry.
  • Added "preview Images" option to ViewerSvg. Fixing some bugs in ViewerSvg application.
  • Improved transforming object's position and size to simplify creating XAML from parts of svg file.
  • Removed setting some default values on TextBlock element: FontStyle="Normal" FontWeight="Normal" HorizontalAlignment="Center" VerticalAlignment="Bottom" (this creates cleaner XAML).
  • Improved clipping behavior with adding support for UserSpaceOnUse value in svg clipPathUnits attribute.
  • Changing the way names are set to objects when a new Canvas is created to host the object's transformation. Now the object gets the original svg name. The created transformation Canvas gets the name that has "_transform" suffix. This behavior can be controlled by SetSvgNameToParentTransformCanvas and TransformCanvasNameFormatString properties.

 

For example for the following svg file:

<rect id="rect1" x="20" y="10" transform="matrix(-1 0 0 1 0 0)" />

ReaderSvg creates the following XAML:

<Canvas Name="rect1_transform" RenderTransform="-1 0 0 1 0 0" >
    <Rectangle Name="rect1" Canvas.Left="20" Canvas.Top="10" />
</Canvas>

This way all the data from the svg file are preserved – x and y are converted into Canvas.Left and Canvas.Top, matrix transform is converted into RenderTransform.

To preserve the values we also need to create a new Canvas that contains the RenderTransform. If RenderTransform would be added to the Rectangle, than the Rectangle would be rendered at the wrong location because the Canvas.Left and Canvas.Top would not be transformed with RenderTransform matrix (Canvas position is applied after the transformation).

 

Already the most accurate svg reader has been improved. And I have also shown that the product is still actively developed. So if you find a svg file that is not imported correctly, just upload it with using the Feedback panel. 

Tags:

ReaderSvg

Improved ResourceDictionaryWriter for ReaderWmf library

by abenedik 3. February 2015 21:10

I the previous post I have described how easily is to create ResourceDictionaries from svg fils.

Today I would like to inform you that the ResourceDictionaries improvements from ReaderSvg have also come to ReaderWmf library. This means that creating ResourceDictionaries from metafiles (emf, emf) files have been greatly improved too.

What is more, the ResourceDictionaryWriter from the previous week has been further improved – now it is possible to control the number of decimals that are used in XAML. The following screenshot shows the new application:

This improvement has been also added to ResourceDictionaryWriter that comes with ReaderSvg.

After a series of improvements of 2D products I will now devote more time to 3D products again.

Tags: , , ,

ReaderWmf

Improved creating ResourceDictionaries from svg files in new version of Ab2d.ReaderSvg

by abenedik 28. January 2015 20:31

I am happy to announce that the best svg reader for .Net has been improved.

I am also happy that I have not received any svg file that would not be read correctly for very long time. This means that the reader very accurately converts the files to WPF object. So this part of the ReaderSvg did not get any upgrade.

The improvements in this update are focused on what you can do when you have the svg file in WPF objects tree. 

The main new improvement is better support for creating ResourceDictionaries from multiple svg files. ResourceDictionaries can be created with using ResourceDictionaryWriter application. The application is available with full source code and therefore it can be fully customized. The following is a screenshot of the new version of the application:

That screenshot was created after we have added two svg files for ResourceDictionary – one was home6.svg and the second was birthday_cake.svg. This can be seen from the left panel where images of both read files are seen. On the right side you can see the ResourceDictionary XAML.

As you see the SolidColorBrushes and Pens have been also specified as resources. This means that you can simple change the brush or pen with changing the resource value.

With the new version of ResourceDictionaryWriter application it is possible to specify when the SolidColorBrushe or Pen are written to resources and when they are defined as attributed for the elements. The screenshot shows an option that specifies that SolidColorBrushes and Pens are written to resources when they are used 2 times or more. So for example in the pre-last line of the XAML you can see that the GeometryDrawing is using a White brush. Because this brush is still defined as attribute, this means that this brush is used only once. If it would be used 2 times, it would be specified as resource. The application allows you to specify to always use resource, to never use resources and also allows you to specify a few options in between (with changing the source code you can use any possible option).

An improvement of the new version is that when importing objects as Shapes it is also possible to write Brushes are resources (before this was possible only for Geometries).

It is also possible to specify whether the objects will be written as Shapes (Canvas, Path, Rectangle, Ellipse, etc.) or as Geometry objects (as shown in the screenshot). Advantage of Shapes is that they are simpler to use and manipulate. The Geometry objects on the other hand are much lower lever objects and are harder to manipulate but have better performance and use less memory.

ResourceDictionaries are a very useful concept in WPF and I hope that with the improvements in this version it will be easier to create them.

 

Another improvement of the new version is with using RenderToBitmap method. Now it is possible to also specify custom dpi settings for the created bitmap. I have also fixed an issue where all objects were scaled to the border of the image the svg file was read with AutoSize set to false and we specified a custom sized bitmap.

After adding dpi support to RenderToBitmap method I have also improved SvgToPngConverter (sample console application) and added dpi and some other settings to it.

Also the main ReaderSvg samples have been improved. They now use custom control (TextBlockEx) to show information about each section of samples. The TextBlockEx allows you to very quickly define the text with new lines, bold regions, bullets and some other special formatting (for example hyperlinks). It replaced the clumsy DocumentViewer that require a lot of XAML for simple text and also produces annoying handled exceptions. Also the Frame element was replaced by custom DynamicContentControl that can be bind to UserControl type name to show the correct UserControl. Both new classes are part of the sample and can be freely used for your projects also.

 

In the following days I will also update the ResourceDictionaryWriter that comes with ReaderWmf library. It will provide similar improvements as the one that comes with ReaderSvg.

 

I hope you are satisfied with improvements. As always, if you find a svg file that is not correctly read, please send it to me. Also if you are missing a special functionality and think that it could be also beneficial to others, please let know and maybe I will implement it for you – usually after a day or two you can already get a pre-released version with new functionality.

Tags: ,

ReaderSvg

Improved multi-touch support in new version of ZoomPanel

by abenedik 13. January 2015 15:44

I am happy to announce that a new version of ZoomPanel has been just released.

The new version brings improved support for touch and multi-touch.

The previous version of ZoomPanel already has touch support. But for that you need to use a custom MultiTouchZoomPanel control that was available in a separate project.

The reason for that separation was that the ZoomPanel library was built with .Net 3.5 framework that do not have support for touch. The MultiTouchZoomPanel was built on .Net 4 framework and was able to use touch events.

In the new version the code from MultiTouchZoomPanel is integrated into the core ZoomPanel control. The trick is that ZoomPanel comes with two builds: one .Net 3.5 and one .Net 4.0. This allows us to implement all the touch manipulation in the .Net build. The .Net 3.5 build preserves all the new properties that control the touch behaviour but an error is thrown if user wants to enable touch support.

So if you want to use touch controls all you need to do is to use the .Net 4 build of ZoomPanel. Touch controls are already enabled by default.

 

What is more, this version improves the pinch to zoom behavior with improving the position where the zoom occurs - now the center of zoom is between the fingers that do the pinch.

Tags:

ZoomPanel