PDA

View Full Version : Rant: Nodes. Period.



UnCommonGrafx
04-02-2012, 12:17 PM
I want a unified node system.
I want no more layering system: that is available in the node as ... nodes.
Shaders are in the node sections, now. Because of this, make a shader node that takes the nodes from old into the materials of today, where possible. Otherwise...


A Unified Node System that allows us to open a Node Editor that lists individual nodes that then hook into the global system.

I want that.

Lewis
04-02-2012, 12:45 PM
Heheh, yeah we have Nodes that don't actually work fully nodal i.e. you can't reuse 1 texture on 10 different surfaces/materials without copy pasting to each one manually :).

Cageman
04-02-2012, 01:11 PM
mmm...

Lets see what is in store in the long run for LW, shall we? In the short run though, as an intermediate solution, NT could develop a nodekit that is inspired by Poms Store/Get material... (http://www.db-w.com/download/viewcategory/19-free-hosted-lightwave-plugins)

gerry_g
04-02-2012, 03:03 PM
normal maps won't let you add a bump map layer from the classic texture window won't work, has to be done as a node to work so yes old system has to have an equivalent but many of the supposed node equivalents to the classic system lack the settings or functionality of the classic system so for me both is better than being stuck with either one or the other right now

jasonwestmas
04-02-2012, 03:09 PM
I don't think NT has to necessarily ditch the layering system to make the nodes better. When LW gets less jumbled around, we will be able to simplify the workflow and still get a nice workflow. Too many options doesn't necessarily mean it's good if those options aren't connected properly either.

calilifestyle
04-02-2012, 03:12 PM
Nodes.. like sucks when you copy and past them only to later find out that some them didn't stay connected.

cresshead
04-02-2012, 04:01 PM
i thought we had instancing in lw11...does this not work with nodes?

Tobian
04-02-2012, 09:07 PM
We have geometry instancing, not light instancing, surface instancing or bone instancing etc. Not sure if any of those are useful or possible, but either way we don't have them, we just have geometry instancing, which doesn't even include hierarchies :(

I don't think we should ditch the layers classic interface persay, but I would like the ability to swap standard surfacing for nodal surfacing, so you could browse down the material list and see the node setups (Similar to how core did it indeed). Loads would have to be done to make that happen, for one not everything is actually opened up to nodes yet, such as smoothing threshold or oldfi shaders etc. The former would be highly useful, now I think of it, as we could get rid of having to have multiple surfaces with different smoothing thresholds (though vertex normals would still be better!) Compounds and global surfacing nodes would of course be highly useful, here's hoping! :)

Skonk
04-03-2012, 04:57 AM
which doesn't even include hierarchies :(

Yes it does, just tick the box in the instancer (the icon looks like a little L shape with a small box on each end).

Tobian
04-03-2012, 05:06 AM
*off to investigate* :)

Tobian
04-03-2012, 05:12 AM
Well that's saved me hours of work.. thanks! :)

Skonk
04-03-2012, 05:21 AM
heh ;)

Phil
04-03-2012, 06:05 AM
Well that's saved me hours of work.. thanks! :)

I'm not surprised that you didn't check the documentation, based on previous efforts, but honestly - this is all in the addendum that Ben, Matt and co. worked on so hard. ;)

I wouldn't really expect anyone to check the main documentation because it's too verbose, too convoluted and parts of it are simply wrong, but the new addendum (and whatever docs will follow) is worth spending time reviewing.

Tobian
04-03-2012, 06:12 AM
yeah I have checked theat documentation, I just haven't memorised it, or combed it for all new information :D Part of the trouble there is a lot of the time you discover things by noticing little things in the interface, and then going to find out what it is. that little check box is nearly invisible, and it's really not clear (curse you icons!) what it is. Most of the time you figure these things out for yourself, but a lot of the time they can remain hidden for a good while! :)

UnCommonGrafx
04-03-2012, 06:16 AM
It's the global nodal interface (gni) that I desire.
Great strides have been made in this area but it feels like it is at a crossroads, waiting for the next shoe to drop, so to speak.
I mean, look at the buffer export system: it's crying out for a gui that is nodal-based -- a heller compositor, right there. Right now, as I look at nodes, there appear to be many highways leading to dead ends; funds, interest and effort have been made to connect the highway but the WILL is lacking.


Instances won't/can't be complete without a gni. The buffer output system would benefit greatly from a nodal gui, which worked with the gni. Nodal workflow would be much more streamlined if one could access all nodes from one interface of a gni; and heck, it would be amazing to be able to hook those accessible nodes up to each other in the gni!

LW could actually, at that point, know about all its insides. And they could all work together and get along...

Skonk
04-03-2012, 06:19 AM
It wouldn't be so bad if icons like this had mouse-over tooltips (even if they appear at the bottom of the lw interface like they do when you hover over elements of the main lw ui).

The problem at the mo is you are forced to check the pdf every time you see an icon that you don't already know about; and quite often you're in the middle of something so don't do it right away and then forget all about it.

The UI it's self could teach us most of what we need to know.. if it just had a complete set of a tooltips.

Tobian
04-04-2012, 08:58 AM
I agree Skonk, tooltips would remedy a lot of the mysterious icons cropping up on the new interface! :)

jasonwestmas
04-04-2012, 09:33 AM
what mysterious icons??

UnCommonGrafx
04-04-2012, 12:43 PM
Mysterious means:
- too small
- not seen in the docs
- actually none there to even indicate a column is there (see scene editor selection column)
- no tool tip

All of them qualify as mysterious for me. Oh, and the one I think meant here:
- icon has no pictorial equivalent to what it says its supposed to represent. Or so it seems/is interpreted.

jasonwestmas
04-04-2012, 01:06 PM
Are we talking about new people here. Everyone I see here are old as the hills ;) I'm still not following what is mysterious about the icons. Maybe I can help? It's only mysterious if you can't find out what it does. I agree about the docs being extremely vague however.

probiner
04-04-2012, 02:09 PM
Are we talking about new people here. Everyone I see here are old as the hills ;)
Bad premise, as everyone usually uses LW for specific tasks and when they move to new ones, you become a newbie and tooltips could help to unveil those tricks you only see in hidden videos and such, instead on a tooltip right there on the tool.
This is where NT could delegate a portion to the users to make them, review and compile them, instead of doing it all themselves, it would even allow multi-language.
Anyway, how far the tooltips would go and which items would have them is another indepth discussion. I also like 3D-Coat's way of assigning shortcuts where you hover the mouse on a button press a combination and voilá.

As for unified Node Graph, yes :D As for layers, keep them, unless they are a stopper. But they do serve purposes. Unless ppl want to skip the "Stack" all around directly to nodes ;)

Lightwolf
04-04-2012, 02:19 PM
It's only mysterious if you can't find out what it does.
Isn't the point of an icon to show you what will happen before you use it?

If you need to use it to discover the meaning then it is indeed a mystery by all means. Just saying... ;)

Cheers
Mike

jasonwestmas
04-04-2012, 02:40 PM
Isn't the point of an icon to show you what will happen before you use it?

If you need to use it to discover the meaning then it is indeed a mystery by all means. Just saying... ;)

Cheers
Mike
LOL, funny

Tool tips are fine but lets get real. If you're a lightwave user, I'm not sure what the big mystery is or what buttons people are talking about.

You press on the button and then it doesn't do anything, or does something you don't understand, then it starts to become mysterious. I thought that was a common experience in any app. It's not like a few words printed on a button does much better.

At which point the documentation would be better anyway. I've read nice documentation before, it works.

Lightwolf
04-04-2012, 02:47 PM
You press on the button and then it doesn't do anything, or does something you don't understand, then it starts to become mysterious. I thought that was a common experience in any app. It's not like a few words printed on a button does much better.
:tongue::bowdown::devil::hey::lwicon::bday: :neener: :tsktsk:

:heart:
:screwy:

Tobian
04-04-2012, 03:19 PM
Jasonwestmas, the icons in particular are specifically refering to the ones in the instancing editor, which isn't as old as the hills :) It also has to be said that an awful lot of the nodes in the node editor (the subject of the thread) are pretty damn baffling to most LW users too! :)

jasonwestmas
04-04-2012, 03:31 PM
oh right, the instancer icons. Yeah I needed to go into the addendum to figure that out. But there was only one icon there I didn't recognize. I don't think a few tool tips would of helped me get very far with that.

Maybe the nodes should have an option to have a little button that gives them a link to the documentation when it is actually rewritten. I'm sure I heared that idea 10 times or so.

Tobian
04-04-2012, 10:37 PM
Yeah at present there'd be little point in taking people to the relevant section of the node manual, as the difficulty of nodes is not so much that the nodes don't have a full manual (if disjointed, due to the 'what's new' material) but the very nature of what a node can do for you: the manual explains succinctly what each node does, but in a lot of cases it's not really very explanatory as to what that is actually useful for. There needs to be more 'examples' of node structures, explaining what the various things are being used for and why.

You are right, in that tooltips only help you if you are actually looking for it: the problem is in thinking to check if a thing actually exists or not! :)

Hieron
04-05-2012, 01:17 PM
Agree with OP, it would be very usefull.