STORK : game-like view navigation plugin

Hi All,

Writing here to officially introduce Stork - a plugin for walkthrough / flythrough experience inside Rhino viewport.

It is a project I have started four years ago with some simple keypress reading tests. Starting with just WASD + Mouse Look camera movement I soon realized that for a tool like this to be truly useful, it would require much more thought and refinement. Over time a lot more was added, drawing from my teenage years of 90’s PC gaming experience (playing, not coding!) and professional work in architecture and visualization with Rhino. Stork has been “almost ready” for past two years and I have been using it extensively in my work - by doing so I kept finding more things that need tweaking or adding; also decided to drop V5 support since V6 display speed is much better, and that part is critical for decent experience.

This type of navigation in Rhino has been discussed here from time to time over the years and recently many external applications offer it as a standard. However I see a lot of benefits of having it directly in Rhino, with no need to relink/export models and having Rhino-specific functionalities like Named Views, Clipping Planes and various Display Modes incorporated. Experiencing the scene from first person perspective for human scale models is quite valuable in evaluating the design and in the process of optimal camera angle selections for visualization. Stork aims to offer all of that as a special, quick to access “viewing mode”.

Basic gravity and ground collisions are implemented for walking to keep the camera at eye level on any terrain, stairs, ramps etc. Also optional collisions to prevent walking through walls etc. There is even a “fall prevention” - I found it very annoying falling from balconies and roofs by accident, so this is prevented, unless you intentionally jump off… (yep, jumping is there, too).

Working with Stork could be as simple as WASD keys + mouse, or quite complex with all other functions. Full keymap looks a bit like airplane cockpit, but don’t be overwhelmed - no need to use a lot of it most of the time:

If you are working in an industry where evaluating your design from eye level is beneficial, hope you can give Stork a try.

All instructions and download link are available HERE and also it has been added to Food4Rhino. Rhino for Windows only.

To celebrate this release, Stork will be available at a discounted price until April 10th.

This group has been extremely helpful with solving a lot of issues I ran into in the process, especially that I still have quite limited coding experience. So I want to thank everyone contributing here, plus special thanks to RMA crew (@Pascal, @Dale @Steve @Nathan) and superusers @Clement and @Holo for all your help and advice along the way.

Thanks for reading this - hope everyone is safe and well, and if you are social-distancing and isolating in front of a screen with Rhino open, maybe you can try “gaming inside Rhino” with Stork.
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Here is a video with some navigation basics:


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PS. Mentioning here those who participated in some of the WASD Rhino topics:
@jjn @wynott, @arch, @coberlan @ATH @michaelcbell @Czaja @mrhappy @lucio_zadra @bringley @chris10

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Any recording capability? Walkthroughs, walk arounds and the like are ideal for interior and exterior recording in a video format. Really like what you have here with Stork. Cheers, Rob

Hi @Robb,

There is no direct recording capability in Stork, but it plays well with screen recording software (for example for the demo above I was using Camtasia Studio) - no slowdown or frame rate drop. You can turn on Fullscreen mode and capture / record nice quality videos for further editing either while interactively walking through your models, restoring series of NamedViews with animation, or a mix of the two.

best,

–jarek

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Hi Jarek,

It seems that you implemented a lot of cool ideas in your plugin. Looks really amazing!

Can we remap functions to other keys?

image

This one… this one is very important to me, I need to have it the same as in UE4 (UE4 and Twinmotion have it different, can you imagine that?!). The same goes for an inverted mouse in Google Earth application and Google Maps web version. My brain screams “enough!” to this. So if you left some room for personal preferences in key mapping, that would be nice.

I encountered some problems with Mouse Look Mode. After I exit Stork I had serious issues with scroll zoom and selecting stuff.

Problems after exiting Stork.

Ouch! It messed up my scroll in WIP for good. Even after I reopened the program. (I already fixed it but still, not the friendliest stork I met)

Hi Jakub,

thanks for trying it out and reporting. A couple of things (I will get in touch via PM to get some more info)

  1. For EQ (up/down) - would you just want to be able to swap these two as an option?
    I may add keys customization in general at some point but not very soon, adding option two swap these two could be easy
  2. From the video looks like there is some problem with localization - I did my best to test and make sure it runs on non-English systems but I must have missed something since the error window show True/False variables in Polish which must cause the issues you are reporting
  3. In Stork runtime, scroll zoom gets disabled and should be re-enabled on exit - now it is simply by changing the View > Zoom Scale Factor in Options to 1 (default is typically ~0.89). Clearly the error on your system does not reset this value well. I will look into fixing that.
  4. From your videos I don’t see any selection problems - can you elaborate?
  5. PS. Even though it should work now in WIP or even perform better, it is not officially supported as WIP is changing constantly and some problems may come up with each build.

I am trying to make Stork as friendly as possible, hope with your help I can teach it how to behave in Poland.

cheers,

–jarek

Hi Jakub,

I believe the scrollwheel zoom not working on exit and few other issues with non-English system have been fixed now in the recent version.

I also added the E/Q up/down swap option and modified the Trial version a bit adding some more time for movement before “resting” pause, apart from a few other minor enhancements.

The latest version is available on Food4Rhino.

Best,

–jarek

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Thanks,
Everything is working for me now and I am enjoying that human/bird toggle very much!

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Moved to News category

Is this an appropriate place to troubleshoot the plugin? I’ve installed it, but when i run the command nothing happens. I can still type commands. I’m running Rhino v(6.23.20055.13111, 2/24/2020)

Yes, definitely - I will send you a PM to troubleshoot.
We need to check if RhinoScript plugin is loaded on your system. I have seen this problem before…

-j

Just an update: the problem as expected was with RhinoScript plugin not being loaded or corrupted. Running Rhino Repair Install typically fixes it.

How hard would it be to make all keys configurable? Maybe read from a .ini?

My ASDF line really is SLNT, my QWER really is PHRK… (:

DAS

Not too hard (but not trivial either). I would need to come up with some clever UI to allow users to only pick from specific pool of keys. Some keys like Shift, Spacebar, Control etc. would need to stay hard-coded, but I don’t see why not to allow remapping regular keys. I see with your keyboard layout it is not very useful (you can try arrow keys though - they act as WASD - but I see the auxiliary keys next to them don’t make sense, too). So far Stork supports basic remapping from QWERTY to QWERTZ or AZERTY…

Key customization is certainly on the pile - for now I am trying to see if there is any interest and if it works “out there” with users around the world, before adding any more features. We just found and fixed Rhino problem with Status Bar that caused Stork to slow down with 1000Hz mice (status bar-related) - it’s fixed now in WIP and SR27.

Also - this is on you guys - I have been asking for it for a while but no luck so far - Stork could benefit greatly from allowing me to enable Dynamic Display mode (the one you get when rotating the viewport) - there is currently no way to do it and I think it could make it work much faster if we could set it via RhinoCommon somehow. Maybe we trade that SDK addition for key configuration setting ? :wink:

I believe dynamic display stuff is @jeff and @stevebaer

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Sounds good Nathan. I will look into allowing full key customizations for sure.

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And all this time we wondered why programmers see things differently… Not only do you think complex, you guys really are on the next level!

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