nVIZ Perceived Quality Plugin Version 2021.3

Documentation for other Versions

Installation

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 values, part transformations 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:

Getting Started

To restart with an 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 combinations 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 panel 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.

User Manual

Gap/ Flush Data

  • File > Open: Opens an existing PQ Plugin database – the file format is *.pqb
  • File > Save / Save As: Saves the current data to a *.pqb file.
  • File > Export: Exports the current data to a XML file.
  • 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 FilesnVIZPerceivedQualityxlsximport .config’. The path to an alternative config file can be defined in the preferences.
  • File > 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.
  • View > Refresh Lists: Updates all tree widgets
  • View > Extended Gap/Flush List: If checked, also the gap/flush/transformation variants which are created for the imported combinations will be listed.

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.
    • Print VRED Variant Set Names Preview: Prints all variant set names to the terminal window as they will be created according to the definition the “Preferences” .
    • 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>)

The plug-in will automatically generate a sceneplate to display the latest morphed gap/flush/combination variant. Toogle the sceneplates in the VRED main menu and use the VRED sceneplate editor to adjust the sceneplate settings.

Measure Points

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. [1] will apply the complete deformation to part 1 and part 2 will remain undeformed. [0.5] will equally deform part 1 and part 2.   [0] 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.
    • Edit Value: Edits a single measure section.
    • Edit Column: Edits all measure sections along the selected gap.

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.

Part Transformations

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>)

Presentation Workflows

The presentation widget allows you to build a scene graph of group nodes and children for a well structured presentation workflow. Right click in the widget to add group nodes, then drag&drop the group nodes onto each other to create multiple parent-children levels.

Rename the groups for a readable structure and then drag&drop the gap/flush/transformation variants from the very-left widget and the combinations from the second-left widget onto the group nodes.

After building the presentation structure, you can morph and cache any parts of the graph for a swift presentation to management. The variants available in cache for instant access are highlighted in blue.

NB: The presentation cache will be saved with the project file!

  • Add Group: Adds a top level group node. Drag it to another node to make it a child.
  • Rename Group: Renames a group node.
  • Delete Group: Deletes a group node with it’s subtree.
  • Edit Viewpoint: Adds a comma separated list [vp1, vp2, vp3 ….] of view point names to a group. When selecting the group, the first view point in the list will be switch to. When creating variants sets of the group, one variant set per view point will be created.
  • Unmorph All: Resets all panels to their original state.
  • Morph and Cache Group: Morphs all variants in the group and stores the states in memory.
  • Morph and Cache Subtree: Morphs all variants in the subtree and stores the states in memory.
  • Morph and Cache All Checked: Morphs all variants in the checked groups and stores the states in memory.
  • Print VRED Variant Set Names Preview: Prints a preview of the to be created variant set names to the terminal window.
  • Create VRED Variant Sets For All Checked: Creates VRED variant sets for all gap variants in all checked groups.
  • Reset Presentation: Use this function after selecting a VRED variant set from the VRED variant set editor to reset all switches for the presentation widget to function correctly.
  • Clear Presentation Cache: The cached gap/flush states will be saved with the PQ project file, resulting in large project files. Use this function to discard the cache and minimize the project file size.

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.

Preferences

  • Custom Config File Path: The keyword “default” will make the Plugin use the config file in C:Program FilesnVIZPerceivedQuality. 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.
  • Custom Variantset Naming: Select the desired parameter from the “Parameter” combo box and click on “Add Parameter”. Repeat the step to add further parameters to the name string. Select a “Separator” character and a “Unique ID” type. Check “Alphanumeric” to have only alphanumeric characters in the name string. Use the “Print VRED Variant Set Names Preview” function in the “Gap/Flush/Transform” tree widget to preview the composed name string.
  • Tree Widget Double Click: Set the behavior of the tree widgets when double clicking a line.
  • Morph Zones Overlap: Check this option to limit the morphed value to the maximum of one measure section. This will avoid doubling of values in regions of overlapping morphing zones.
  • Gap Corners: Controls the morphing in corner regions. If “Vertex Normal Check” checked, this option will evaluate each vertex’s normal direction. If the difference between the normal direction angle and the morphing direction angle exceeds the given “Threshold” value, the vertex will not be morphed. “Positive Direction Vector” determines the vertex normal direction calculation. “Trace Normals” renders the normals for all affected vertices – NB: the operation is extremely slow in VRED.
  • 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.