Autodesk VRED provides two paths for maintaining plugins. Please identify the directory where you want to keep the nVIZ Perceived Quality Plugin. The paths are displayed in the VRED terminal window after launching VRED:
Download and execute the nVIZ Perceived Quality Plugin installer. After the installer has completed, you need to copy the two following files to your VRED plugins directory:
- C:\Program Files\nVIZ\PerceivedQuality\nVIZ Perceived Quality.py
- C:\Program Files\nVIZ\PerceivedQuality\nVIZ Perceived Quality.ui
License File and Config File
The plugin supports the import of gap/flush nominal values or configurations, part transformations or rotations and arbitrary combinations. The definition of which data to read from the Excel file and the interpretation of the gap/flush nomenclature are defined in the config file. nVIZ will provide you with a custom Excel file parser and with a config file to meet the specific PQ process in your organization. Please contact nVIZ to receive your license file and config file.
The license and config files need to be copied to the directory:
- C:\Program Files\nVIZ\PerceivedQuality\
After installation, the nVIZ Perceived Quality Plugin can be launched from the context menu like any other VRED module – right mouse click on the Main Tool Bar or on the Quick Access Bar:
To restart with and empty data base of the PQ Plugin at any time, go to the VRED main menu > Edit > Reload Script Plugins
Step 1: Import Gap/Flush Measure Data from Excel File
The starting point for a Perceived Quality review is the import of the gap/flush data stored in an Excel file. Typically this Excel file is generated from CAD and 3DCS data.
- Import New Gap/Flush Measure Data: The function will launch the Windows Explorer, allow you to select the Excel file and then start an external process to extract the gap/flush data from the Excel file.
After successful data import, the gap and flush data is listed in the left tree widget. If the Excel sheet for combinations is filled in, the imported combinations will be listed in the center tree widget, grouped in ten groups based on the first digit of the combination ID.
Step 2: Check/Assign Part Names and Cache the Panels
Next, we need to make sure that all part names from Excel will be found in the VRED Scene Graph and we need to cache all the panels vertices in memory for the morphing operations.
- Right click a gap/flush ID > Cache Panels . This function will parse the VRED Scene Graph for all the part names. Every gap/flush with two valid part names found will be highlighted in green. If one or two part names are not found, the gap/flush line will be highlighted in red.
As long as you have red lines, the plugin cannot create the panel cache, i.e., you cannot continue. You then have three options to continue:
Option 1: Make the part names in the VRED scene graph correspond to the Excel file.
Option 2: Remove the red gap/flush lines from the list:
- Right click a gap/flush ID > Delete Gap/Flush (supports extended selection)
Option 3: Assign the correct parts:
- Select the correct part in the VRED view port
- Right click the corresponding part name > Set part 1 / 2
- Repeat these two steps until all lines are highlighted in green. Then try Cache Panels again.
If all parts are found in the VRED Scene Graph, i.e., all lines green, the plugin will create a cache with all panel vertices for morphing. This process will take some time. The progress is shown in the three progress bars at the bottom of the plugin.
If the process succeeds, you will see a success message in the VRED terminal window:
Besides creating the panel cache, the Plug-In will also create a number of preset gap/flush variants (according to the checked options in the preferences).
Step 3: Verify the Gap/Flush Data
- Check Direction Vectors: Hides part 1 or part 2 with the related symbols for easier inspection of the measure points location and direction vectors.
- Show Measure Points: Shows a red-green-blue triad for every selected measure point.
- Show Direction Vector: Shows an arrow to indicate the direction of the measure point, i.e., the morphing of the gap value will deform the panel in this direction.
- Show Morph Zone: Shows a red sphere to indicate the morphing zone, i.e., all vertices within the sphere will be subject to the morphing operation. Vertices outside of the spheres will not be morphed.
- Highlight Parts: Highlights the parts related to the selected gap/flush.
Step 4: Morph a Gap or Flush Variant
- Right click a gap/flush ID > Morph Gap/Flush Variant – This function will morph the selected gap/flush (top level item) to the selected variant (child item).
- Right click a gap/flush ID > Unmorph All: This function will undo all panel deformations and transformations.
The morphed gap/flush variants will be added to the History on the right-hand tree widget. Click through the history states for real-time A-B comparison.
Gap/ Flush Data
- Open: Opens an existing PQ Plugin database – the file format is *.pqb
- Save As: Saves the current data to a *.pqb file.
- Export: Exports the current data to a XML file.
- Import New Gap/Flush Measure Data: Clears the database, then starts an external process to extract the measure sections data from the Excel file according to the ‘xlsximport.config’ file. By default, the config file created by the installer will be used: ‘C:\Program Files\nVIZ\PerceivedQuality\xlsximport .config’. The path to an alternative config file can be defined in the preferences.
- Import Add-Replace Gap/Flush Measure Data: Maintains the database and reads Excel data by the process described above. Based on the gap/flush/combinations ID, non-existing data will be added and existing data will be replaced.
Cache Panels Function
After every Excel import or database open function, the Plugin needs to check that all part names can be found in the VRED scene graph. If all parts are found, it needs to extract the positions of all vertices and cache them in memory for the morphing operations.
- Right click gap/flush ID
- Unmorph All (valid only after Cache Panels): Resets all panels to their original state.
- Cache Panels (valid only once): Caches all vertices for the morphing operations.
- Sort Ascending: Sorts the list in ascending order.
- Sort Descending: Sorts the list in descending order.
- Sort Excel Order: Sorts the list in the original Excel file order.
- Mirror Gap/Flush (valid only before Cache Panels) : Mirrors the gap/flush data at the XZ-Plane.
- Delete Gap/Flush (valid only before Cache Panels) : Deletes the gap/flush from the list (extended selection is supported).
- Add Gap/Flush Deformation Variants (valid only after Cache Panels) : Adds one or multiple gap/flush variant(s) as children to the gap/flush according to the selection in the “Deformation Variant Presets” combo box.
- Create VRED Variant Sets For All Checked (valid only after Cache Panels) : Creates VRED variant sets for all the gap/flush variants in the checked gaps/flushes. Viewpoints will be added to the variant sets if a view point name is defined in the preferences and the view point exists. Nomenclature: <gap/flush ID>_<view point name>)
- Cache Panels …
- Green Line: Both part names could be found in VRED scene graph.
- Red Line: One or both part names could not be found in VRED scene graph.
- Right Click Part 1 Name > Set Part 1: The node selected in the VRED viewport or VRED scene graph will be referenced as the part to this name.
- Right Click Part 2 Name > Set Part 2: The node selected in the VRED viewport or VRED scene graph will be referenced as the part to this name.
Gap and Flush Variants
For automatic creation of gap/flush variants with the Cache Panels function, before executing Cache Panels, go to the preferences and check the check boxes. To add gap or flush variants after caching the panels, select the preset variant you want to add from the Deformations Variant Presets combo box (select All Checked Variants to have multiple variants added) and use the Add Gap/Flush Deformation Variants explained above.
- Right click a gap/flush variant ID >
- Morph Gap/Flush Variant: Morphes the measure points of the selected variant to the specified values.
- Unmorph All: Resets all the panels to their original state.
- Copy Gap/Flush Variant: Creates a copy for the selected gap/flush variant.
- Delete Gap/Flush Variant: Deletes the selected gap/flush variant if it is not referenced in a combination.
- Force Delete: If the gap or flush to be deleted is referenced in one of the combinations, you will get warning messages about the combination references in the VRED terminal window and the variant will not be deleted. If you want to delete it anyway and have it removed from the combination, check the Force Delete option.
- Create VRED Variant Set: Creates a VRED variant set for the last morphed state. This function needs to be executed directly after the morphing operation without changing the selection. Viewpoints will be added to the variant sets if a view point name is defined in the preferences and the view point exists. Viewpoint nomenclature: <gap/flush ID>_<view point name>)
To see or to edit the measure point values, expand any gap/flush variant and the individual measure points and their values will be displayed in the columns “Nominal”, “Maximum”, “Minimum”, “Value”, “Ratio” and “Morph Radius”. The last three columns (=yellow values) can be directly edited with a right click on the value.
- Right click yellow value
- Value: Defines the target gap value at the selected measure point.
- Ratio: Defines the ratio of the morphing target value to be applied to part 1 versus part 2 of the gap/flush.  will apply the complete deformation to part 1 and part 2 will remain undeformed. [0.5] will equally deform part 1 and part 2.  will leave part 1 undeformed and apply the complete deformation to part 2.
- Morph Radius: Defines the influence sphere for the morphing operation. All vertices within the influence sphere will be deformed, vertices outside will not be affected.
After editing the data, repeat the morph operation to see the difference.
Further editing options are available with a right click on the measure point ID.
- Right click measure point ID
- Move Pt 1(2) to Picked Position: Relocates the mesure point to the position last picked in the VRED view port.
- Invert Pt 1(2) Direction Vector: Inverts the direction vector for the measure point.
- Swap Pt 1 and Pt 2: Swaps point coordinates and direction vectors for measure point 1 and measure point 2.
- Edit Point Coordinates: Opens the dialog for editing point coordinates and direction vectors.
Besides the panel deformation variants discussed above, the PQ Plugin also allows to add panel transformations to simulate effects like the tolerances of the mounting points for the hinges of the doors, bonet etc.
- Right click a part name
- Add Part 1(2) Transformation Variant: The transformation variant will be added as a child of the gap/flush. Initially the transformation matrix, indicated with yellow “Trf Matrix”, will be a 4×4 unit matrix.
- Right click Trf Matrix
- Edit Part 1(2) Transformation Matrix: Opens the dialog for editing the transformation matrix values corresponding to the VRED WorldTransformMatrix. Morph the transformation variant to see the effect.
Combinations of Gap/Flush/Transformation Variants
Combinations a required to study areas where multiple gaps end at one point, e.g. headlight-bonnet-fender. Also to study worst case scenarios, e.g., minimal gap with maximum flush. By default, the combinations tree widget is organized in ten groups for e.g. front, left-hand, rear, …
When importing combinations from an Excel file, the combinations will be placed into the groups based on the first digit of the combination’s ID. If no combinations are imported, right click a group > Add Combination to create a new combination.
To add gap/flush variants to a combination, simply drag a variant from the gap/flush tree and drop it on a combination in the combination tree.
- Right click a combination ID
- Morph Combination: Morphes all the gap/flush/transformation variants included in the combination.
- Unmorph All: Resets all panels to their original state.
- Delete Combination: Deletes the selected combination.
- Create VRED Variant Set: Creates a VRED variant set from the last morphed combination. This function needs to be executed directly after the morphing operation without changing the selection. Viewpoints will be added to the variant sets if a view point name is defined in the preferences and the view point exists. Viewpoint nomenclature: <gap/flush ID>_<view point name>)
- Create VRED Variant Sets For All Checked: Creates VRED variant sets for all the gap/flush/transformation variants in all of the checked combinations. Viewpoints will be added to the variant sets if a view point name is defined in the preferences and the view point exists. Viewpoint nomenclature: <gap/flush ID>_<view point name>)
History For Real-time A-B Gap or Flush Comparison
All morphed states are stored in the history list for real-time A-B comparison of the different gap/flush/transformation/combination variants. By clicking through the list, you can toggle the states.
As VRED models usually consume a large amount of memory, make sure that you have sufficient memory available on your PC for the history. The size of the history cache (number of states cached) can be set in the preferences.
- Custom Config File Path: The keyword “default” will make the Plugin use the config file in C:\Program Files\nVIZ\PerceivedQuality\. To use an alternative config file, enter the full path here.
- Measure Point Symbols: Allows you to choose between line symbols or volume symbols. The selection needs to be done before executing the Cache Panels function.
- Direction Vector Symbols: Allows you to choose between line symbols or volume symbols. The selection needs to be done before executing the Cache Panels function.
- Morph History Cache Size: Sets the number of moph states to be stored in the history list. Make sure your PC has sufficient memory.
- Viewpoint 1 Name: If a viewpoint name is specified here, the Create VRED Variant Set function will look for a viewpoint with the name <gapID>_<viewpoint 1 name> or <combinationID>_<viewpoint 1 name> in the VRED camera module and add it to the variant set if found.
- Viewpoint 2 Name: If a viewpoint name is specified here, the Create VRED Variant Set function will look for a viewpoint with the name <gapID>_<viewpoint 2 name> or <combinationID>_<viewpoint 2 name> in the VRED camera module and add it to the variant set if found.
- Auto-Generate Gap/Flush Presets: Check this option to have the checked preset variants automatically added to every gap/flush with the Cache Panels function.
- Gap/Flush Presets: Select the preset variants to be generated with the Cache Panels function and to be added to the Deformation Variant Presets combo box.