froTools 3.2 : new enhanced UI and tools

I’m finally releasing to everyone this new update of my script. I focused this time on the usability of the UI. I found a lot of problems by using it everyday. I hope it will be now much more pleasant to use. Since I was not adding features I improved the previous tools and fixed a lot of problems. This is the biggest changelog that I have ever made ! 🙂

It is also a good time make a proper manual, I was lazy with the previous updates and I figured out that some people never used some button because they didn’t know what they were doing.

frotool_325

Download

A new version is available over here.

Install :
This script works correctly with Maya 2011, Maya 2012 and Maya 2013.
Put the content of the folder “froTools” inside your “My Documents/Maya” folder.
Ex : “My Documents\maya\2011-x64\”

How to launch ?
Call the command “source froTools3.mel; froTools3” in the mel command line for the first time. You can use the “Make Shelf Button” to make a shelf button in your current shelf.

You can also add the froTools to launch when Maya start, to do so, open the userSetup.mel file (create it if it doesn’t exist) inside your script folder (where froTools3.mel is) and put the following line inside it :
eval(“froTools3”);

Changelog

[froTools 3.2.5]
-Added a checkbox to disable the CTRL+d manipulator change
-Updated the UV window (minor changes such as better button names)
-Updated the “duplicate faces” for Maya 2013 : removed the offset change
-Updated BestPlan and BestOrtho fucntion : now show the UV manipulator
-Updated the “Export path” : now single field and path is saved inside Maya variables.
-Updated FBX default option : “connection” is now disabled by default (for UDK export compatibility)
-Updated the “UV Center” : selection converted when called from UI window.
-Updated the CTRL+d duplicate : keep the current manipulator
-Fixed “froWindow3” killing error (when preferences weren’t existing)
-Fixed the missing size field for the Snapshot UV function.
-Fixed the crash with the Photoshop path (removed the exe file filter)
-Fixed the annoying message “Warning: Some items cannot be moved in the 3D view.”.

[froTools 3.2]
-New icons for UV tools/Transform
-New UV editor window (new icons, new organization, auto center placement)
-Updated ngons selector
-Updated the main UI to enhance the workflow
-Updated grid subdivisions shortcut : now power of 2 + work in the UV editor window
-Added “Convert smooth”, “combine” classic and “combine” weld, Normals constrain tool + Conform
-Added new UV tool : best averaged plannar projection and best orthographic plan from camera angle (Best ortho plan)
-Added double click options for Polygon creation and some Tools (split, slide, edge loop)
-Added custom path to open with Photoshop (instead of using the Maya prefs setup)
-Added UV set transfert (copy one UV set content to an other mesh)
-Added Flip Edge from faces selection (also working on edges)
-Added “Edge selection to Curve” tool in the Curves tools (with option to Open/Close)
-Added “Edge loop and delete” tool (faster way to loop an edge and delete it)
-Fixed a bug in the Interactive tool (bevel/merge)
-Fixed the mirror function, now working when mesh is in object and component mode
-Fixed and Re-added the selection convertion (with option to toggle it)
-Fixed a compatibility issue with the froXnormal script (window name)
-Fixed the CTRL+D extrude : does not conflic anymore with Maya options
-Removed “Merge to center”, “Split edge” (bugged/duplicate of other tools)

[froTools 3.1.4]
-Updated to support last updates of the FBX exporter (FBX 2012/2013)
-Updated UI on the Settings tab (new colors and organization)
-Added choice to use the fbx file format version (2009 to 2013)
-Removed “default” button setting for FBX (broken and not usefull)

[froTools 3.1.3]
-Added “Keep Location” and “Center to grid” option for the OBJ exporter.
-New colors for the UI, easier location of the tools

Frame : Selection

frotools_325_frame_selection

The first line of icons allow you to create basic polygon shapes with predefined settings (theses settings are the default settings of Maya). The second line of icons is used to change your selection between vertex, edge, face and object mode.

Clear : used to clear/deselect your current selection.
T button : transform tool, used to move/rotate locally selected components.

Invert : invert your current selection mask.
Grow +/Shrink – : used for increasing/decreasing your current selection mask.

Edge ring : propagate your selection to select parallel edge of a selected edge.
Edge Loop : propagate your selection following the direction of a selected edge.
nGons : n-sided face checker, this tool will find and select every n-sided face on a selected object.
Cycle Axis : change the axis of the basic manipulators (translate/rotate/scale) between World/Local and Object space.
Border edge : toggle to display/hide border edges (edges not connected).
Display Tri : toggle to display/hide triangulation inside quads/n-sided faces.

Plus/Minus, Select Mem, Clear Mem : Memory selector, use this little tool to perform complex selection without worrying about losing your current selection. Add and remove selection to select then something. Note that you can only store one type of selection at once : vertex, edge of face.

Selection precision : use this slider to change the selection tolerance of maya. The value goes from 1 to 100.
Vertex size : this slider (below the precision slider) change the display size of the vertex on a selected mesh.
Tweak select : Shortcut for toggling the tweak select mode.
Convert selection : If enabled, changing your current selection type with the icons above will convert it.

CTRL+d Manipulator : If enabled, you will get back your manipulator after an extrude instead of the transform tool.

Preserve UV : Shortcut for toggling the preserve UV option of the Manipulators.
Retain spacing : Shortcut for the “Retain component spacing” of the Manipulators.
Disable backface : Shortcut for the “camera based selection” of the Manipulators.
DelHist ExtVtx : If enabled, the vertex quad extrude will delete the history of the object (improve performance).
Face together : Shortcut for the “Keep face together” setting from the “Edit Mesh” menu.
Interactive : If enabled, the merge tool will use the mouse drag to change the merge tolerance.

Pivot origin : This tool will move the pivot point of the selected objects to the World 0,0,0 point.
Pivot center : This tool will center the pivot point of every selected object.
Snap tgth : Shortcut for the snap together tool.
Move to ori : Will move the selected objects to the World 0,0,0 point based on their pivot point.
Unhide all : Shortcut for the “unhide all” function, which display everything.
Outliner : Open the outliner window.

Frame : UVs

[First line of icons]
Toggle UV borders icon : use this icon to toggle the display of the UV borders.
Cut selected UV edges icon : Shortcut to separate the texture coordinates along the selected edges.
Sew selected UV edges icon : Shortcut to sew the textures together along the selected edges.
Unitize icon : Shortcut for the Unitize UV function (selected face UVs will be moved to fit 0 to 1 texture space).
Center UV : Move selection (face, edge, vertices) and resize it to fit the 0 to 1 UV texture space.

[Second line of icons]
Rotate by -90 degrees : Rotate selection (face, edge, vertices) by 90 degrees counterclockwise direction.
Rotate by 90 degrees : Rotate selection (face, edge, vertices) by 90 degrees in clockwise direction.
Rotate by 180 degrees : Rotate selection (face, edge, vertices) by 180 degrees in clockwise direction.
Flip yellow : Flip/Mirror selection (face, edge, vertices) vertically.
Flip blue : Flip/Mirror selection (face, edge, vertices) horizontally.

UV window : Display the custom UV window of the froTools.
UV layout : Change the layout configuration of Maya to display two panels (left : UV editor, right Persp camera).

BestPlan : Best planar projection based on the averaged normal of the selected faces.
BestOrtho : Best planar projection based on the most parallel axis of the perspective camera.

Copy UV sets : Little tool to copy one UV set from one mesh to one another (use the Transfer attributes).

Scale to : Shortcut for scaling the UV of your selection. Use the float field at right to specify the scale.

Frame : Curves

[Line of icons]
EP Curve Tools : Use this shortcut to draw linear curves.

Loft : Loft a selected curves into polygon quads (use predefined settings).

Extrude : Extrude a curve into polygon quads (use predefined settings).

Revolve : Extrude a curve around an axis into polygon quads. The lists below to choose the axis and the pivot point.

Bitrail 3 curves : Extrude a curve in polygon quads along 2 other curves (use predefined settings).

Rebuild cubic : rebuild the selected curve as a cubic curve with the number of point given (from the field at right).
Rebuild linear : rebuild the selected curve as a linear curve with the number of point given (from the field at right).
Offset crv : Duplicate a curve and offset it. Use the distance setting in the channel box to change the offset.
Wire tool : Deform geometry along a curve.
Lattice : Create a lattice deformer.
Close Edge curve : If enabled, the “EdgeToCrv” curve will be closed.
EdgeToCrv : Convert a selection of edges to a new linear curve.

Frame : Tools

[Line 1]
Delete history : merge and remove the history of the selected objects.
Freeze transform : freeze and reset to 0 the transform of the selected objects.
Delete Edge/Vertex : Shortcut for the clean delete edge/vertex tool.
Create polygon tool : Shortcut (double click for options), create polygon faces.
Append polygon tool : Shortcut (double click for options), select border edges to append a face.

[Line 2]
Combine : Merge together separated polygon objects.
Combine Red : Merge together separated polygon objects and perform a vertex merge with a low threshold.
Separate : Separate the selected polygon object shells into distinct objects.
Extract faces : Extract selected faces into a new polygon object.
Duplicate faces : Duplicate selected faces (but keep it inside the same polygon object).

[Line 3]
Fill hole : Close any hole on an object or close a hole from a selection of edges.
Triangulate : Convert selected faces to triangles.

Flip edge : Custom flip edge, change the direction of a triangle (can be used with edges and faces).

Quandrangulate : Shortcut for Maya quadrangulate.
Target snap to Grid : Tool for snapping selected vertices on the grid.

[Line 4]
Convert smooth preview : Convert selected meshes to subdivided polygons based on their smooth preview.
Cut face tool : Shortcut, tool for cutting an object along a line.
Bevel tool : Interactive bevel tool (or bevel options if Interactive checkbox is disabled).
Merge tool : Interactive merge tool (or merge options if Interactive checkbox is disabled).

Target weld : Select a vertex to move it on the closest one and weld the together.

[Line 5]
Split polygon tool : Shortcut (double click for options), allow you to cut a face on a polygon object.
Slide edge tool : Shortcut (double click for options), Slide edge loops or paths along their neighbouring edges.
Insert edge loop tool : Shortcut (double click for options), use the field below to chose the number of loops to insert.

Connect tool : Insert an edge loop on an edge ring selection.

Edge loop remover : This tool automatically perform an edge loop on your selection and delete them properly.

Align X/Y/Z : Align the selected component along the desired Axis.

Toggle Grid : Toggle the visibility of the grid.

Mirror X/Y/Z : Create a mirrored mesh (as instance if “Copy” is disabled) of your selection from its pivot point.

Frame : Normals

Set to face : Faceted mode, lock the normals.
Averaged face : Shortcut, Averaged mode, lock the normals.
Invert normals : Shortcut, Invert/Reverse the normal direction.
Harden edge : Shortcut, Harden the normals of your selection, don’t lock the normals.
Soften edge : Shortcut, Soften the normals of your selection, don’t lock the normals.
Unlock/Lock normals : Shortcut, Unlock/Lock the normals of your selection.
Conform normals : Shortcut, Make normals of all selected faces point in a consistent direction.

Look at me : Orient the the first vertex normal of your selection to the persp camera (and copy the value to others).

Orient constraint normals : Average selection face and orient other normals to them.

Tgl norm : Toggle the display of the vertex normals, use the field at right to change their size.

Set Norm : Display the option box to apply a custom normals direction.
Edit Nr : Edit normal tool, allow you to edit manually vertex normals.

Frame : OBJ/FBX settings

Center to grid : Will move the object to the World 0,0,0 point based on its pivot when exporting.
Keep Location : After the “center to grid” during the export, if enabled, the object will go back to its position.
toTri (Maya) : Perform a triangulation with the Maya tool before export.
toTri (FBX) : Enable the triangulation setting of the FBX format (different from Maya).
Individual : If disabled, all the selected object will be exported as one object (following the “combined” filename).
Export UVset : Export an individual UVset in OBJ format (use the field at right to choose the UVset name).

Frame : UV Shell colors

Apply random shell colors : Apply random vertex colors to the UV shells of the selected object.
Export : Export the UV shell colors as a jpeg texture (use the field below to change the texture size).
Del Colors : Apply a gray vertex color to the selected object.

Frame : HIDE UI

Select with the checkbox what you want to Hide/Unhide and then use the black button named “Hide the UI” to toggle their visibility.

Credits

Some tools/functions are based on other scripts, I would like to thanks the following authors which have made a great work :

-Christer Bjørklund – www.christerb.comConnect Tool & Extrude Vertex tool
-landis – www.LandisFields.comMake polygon tool
-Volker Heisterberg (volk@renderwahnsinn.de) – Target weld vertex tool
-Brian Keffer – Creative crash ProfileVertex align tool
-Andrew Osiow – http://andrewsw3dbrain.comHideUI based on xTools