I love the UnrealEngine and dearly wish I had the time to contribute instead of just lurk around. I’ve decided to try to split the difference by contributing ‘BIG IDEAS’ (cue echo) with the hope that someone, either Epic or outside can take them and run run with them. I think I have about three big ideas in me right now, here’s #1:
Like many, I’ve always wanted the level editor to become more complete, and at least include a mesh designer. I’ve pondered how to do it ‘right’. Having some experience with MCAD packages like SolidWorks, that seemed a little old-school. I think I’ve found the ideal alternative that would be a HUGE improvement and fit in perfectly with the UnrealEngine paradigm.
Rhino (https://www.rhino3d.com/) has a plugin called Grasshopper (http://www.grasshopper3d.com/). This plugin is amazing and is being used to design everything from architecture to a next-gen mars rover (I met a guy who designs rovers for caltech/nasa who put me onto Grasshopper).
Grasshopper is about building up algorithms via graphs very similar to the way that UnrealEngine builds Blueprints. Nodes define surfaces, which can then be meshed. It would seem to be harvesting some ideal low-hanging fruit to create a similar environment in the UnrealEngine. Such a project would have all sorts of amazing benefits - everything from making UE a first-class CAD system that could be used from everything from architectural design to amazing character modeling, but it would be so ‘easy’ (haha) to implement.
All that seems to be needed would be to create a set of geometry-generating primitive nodes, that could be wired together into a 3D model ‘blueprint’. These would be evaluated and run through a solver, the output of which would be resolved 3D surfaces for use downstream.
What’s not to like? Who knows, maybe we could get the Grasshopper guys to contribute?
Rather than embarrass myself any further, I’ll stop myself from babbling on and on until I get some feedback. My hope is that someone will take the idea seriously (and hopefully that is someone high up at Epic), take a close look at Grasshopper and see the potential here.
Ok, word out… (Dammit, there’s no Disable Laughter option in the forum options!)
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(PS - two more BIG IDEASSSS coming soon)