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View Full Version : Making Lightwave more Artist Friendly (for NON 3D users), Tell us your ideas



robertoortiz
11-14-2012, 11:16 AM
I was wondering guys,
If you wanted to make Lw into a more intuitive tool for artists
who are NOT familiar with 3d AT ALL, what would you do?
What would you change, and what would you simplify?

I am looking forward to your comments and ideas.
-R

RebelHill
11-14-2012, 11:34 AM
Well its very simple...

Things like rigging, sufacing, etc, etc are detailed TECHNICAL tasks requiring at least some stretch by a user into those territories to achieve the best in these areas, and that is NOT gonna change.

So the only answer for the "traditional" artist... is more automation. Autoriggers, surface preset libraries, simulation presets, etc, etc. Combined (most likely) with touch/gesture (read; "reel feel") interaction methods where appropriate, such as modeling, character posing, etc.

jrjohannes
11-14-2012, 01:33 PM
touch/gesture (read; "reel feel") interaction methods where appropriate, such as modeling, character posing, etc.

I agree with this. And would only add that the more tactile touch methods can be, the better. Having something in your hand to shape and mold is just more fun than "air-gestures."

Jason

bobakabob
11-14-2012, 03:04 PM
First impressions count for a lot with some punters. When opening LW for the first time the Non 3d User is confronted by black empty space which might be perceived as 'boring' or 'confusing'. Why not show off the program's potential by presenting the user with an optional interactive Wizard, guiding the user through some of the best rigs and scenes in the Content folder? They might not get seen otherwise - even exploring the Content files might be beyond the first time user. I seem to recall Zbrush opening with Superaverageman and a variety of models which make the program look much more interesting.

Silkrooster
11-15-2012, 01:03 AM
First impressions count for a lot with some punters. When opening LW for the first time the Non 3d User is confronted by black empty space which might be perceived as 'boring' or 'confusing'. Why not show off the program's potential by presenting the user with an optional interactive Wizard, guiding the user through some of the best rigs and scenes in the Content folder? They might not get seen otherwise - even exploring the Content files might be beyond the first time user. I seem to recall Zbrush opening with Superaverageman and a variety of models which make the program look much more interesting.
Hmm, Reminds me of Carrara 3D, Back in the hay day when Meta creations owned it. when it was called Ray Dream Studio. Now that was one of those love/hate relationships. LOL.

prometheus
11-15-2012, 01:12 AM
[QUOTE=Silkrooster;1282035]Hmm, Reminds me of Carrara 3D, Back in the hay day when Meta creations owned it. when it was called Ray Dream Studio. Now that was one of those love/hate relationships. LOL.[/QUOTE

carrara had a nice scene content preset folder, and so did true space...Might be useful to implement a scene content preset loader ..at least an object preset loader.
Uhhm...wasnīt there a content index some time ago for lightwave which at least showcased how the scene looked like in some image index?
until we get preset scenes and object preset, it could be useful to have a pdf index with some sort of image of the scene and a little description.

Darth Mole
11-15-2012, 01:24 AM
I think you need a separate app - or at least a totally different interface, with obvious buttons or labels, tool-tips with links to video guides (every apps should have them these days). And then you ned to decide how far to go with the app - is it a full, reskinned version of LW, or an edition that people can learn on and then upgrade to the full-fat version?

If it was me, I'd remove a lot of the old clutter from LW, remove anything that beginners won't use (and that most people still don't understand), simply a lot of the tools (do beginners really needs that many cameras and AA options?) remodel the UI accordingly and make it heavily preset-based, including things like pull-down menus which fewer, more obvious options.

Oh and then you need to write the best manual anyone has ever written, with full-colour images, videos and scene files. Best of luck with that.

probiner
11-15-2012, 01:36 AM
What RH said. For the app be more ready-to-go you need a better front end which can be easily organized, but also that an experience user can easily open it, change it and share.

The way you access things is also important. Given the task you are on each day, and that the available tools each do their own thing efficiently, you then just need a specialized environment/workspace were the very few things you will be using over and over are at hand and don't require you dividing your attention between windows/panels/apps to do something and get the feedback.

Another thing is global mindset; if for example you can use a Weight Map to affect how the Move Tool deforms a mesh, you should be able to use a Weight Map everywhere a mesh is deformed be it a modeling tool or an animation feature.
This results in having a few rules and schemes to keep in mind, that apply everywhere in the app, but with which you can achieve very detailed and complicated results, because even if the premises are few or simple, their combination is powerful and easily conceived in the artists mind.

Cheers

MarcusM
11-15-2012, 05:25 AM
Answering straight on question:

- Reloading textures in image editor is not intuitive (refresh on the fly, Photoshop bridge)
- Drag and drop system in Surfae editor and presets (two click on preset can be very strange for new users)
- Drag and drop surfaces on objects in perspective view in Modeler and Layout
- Pop up window with UV view in Modeler.
- In Modeler, layers management like in Photoshop.
- Copying uv map in Vertex Maps window requires write full name ?! Why not list with existing UV maps?
- New users don't know Ctrl + Shift and left/right MB. Maybe here should be option to shoose different way to show, like in Maya.
- New users don't use all the time on top, in Modeler, very important windows (Numeric, Statictics, Vertex Map and Layers). Tutorial for new users with show good workflow?
- UV map export in image (Extension with alpha, png, button "Export to Photoshop" :) ). I know there is plugins but new users don't searching plugins ;p
- Zoom in mouse scroll
- For example F1 button opening window (in LW) with nice show all shortcuts. Access to this should be very fast and simply. Shortcuts make work much faster and help with learn tools. This can be good even for old users. Everybody can forget shortcut and with this remind them fast.
- In Surface Editor, simply tilling option. (It's better than resizing UV map).
- In Layout, object assets/viewer and drag and drop them on scene.
- Undo in Surface Editor, after click on this window.

:dance:

toby
11-16-2012, 12:53 AM
Yes above all make sure that people who have never done any 3D at all don't have to learn anything new. Make sure they can create Pixar quality movies without having to know what UV or IK means. Newtek, don't spend any time on bug fixes or new features that other apps already have, just help people who don't feel like studying or learning anything new, who don't think that 3d should take very much knowledge, practice or skill. And it should still be really cheap.

Lightwave is absurdly easy. It's also the best combination of price, ease of use, and capability that you can find. Anything with greater capability is a lot more expensive and usually much harder to learn. Anything cheaper is far less capable. I use other 3D apps at work, sometimes 70hrs a week, get burned out and stressed, come home and use Lightwave for *relaxation*. If you think it's too hard, you're expecting too much of yourself. You can't learn a (good) 3d app in a week.

jeric_synergy
11-16-2012, 01:30 AM
I'll put down my popcorn bowl and contribute:

Is it possible to think about it the other way 'round? What TRADITIONAL media do 'artists' consider 'easy', and what are the unifying characteristics of these easy media?


...okay, maybe that wasn't a contribution. ::picks up popcorn bowl::

bobakabob
11-16-2012, 04:20 AM
Yes above all make sure that people who have never done any 3D at all don't have to learn anything new. Make sure they can create Pixar quality movies without having to know what UV or IK means. Newtek, don't spend any time on bug fixes or new features that other apps already have, just help people who don't feel like studying or learning anything new, who don't think that 3d should take very much knowledge, practice or skill. And it should still be really cheap.

Lightwave is absurdly easy. It's also the best combination of price, ease of use, and capability that you can find. Anything with greater capability is a lot more expensive and usually much harder to learn. Anything cheaper is far less capable. I use other 3D apps at work, sometimes 70hrs a week, get burned out and stressed, come home and use Lightwave for *relaxation*. If you think it's too hard, you're expecting too much of yourself. You can't learn a (good) 3d app in a week.

Fair points, though if you've ever worked in education you see all kinds of initial reactions to 3D software interfaces including negative ones from very talented 2d artists. Of course learning Lightwave is ultimately about hard work, persistence and curiousity. However I don't see anything wrong in finding new ways to encourage people who are not as intuitive as yourself to 'get' 3D. It also makes good commercial sense. Look at the innovative techniques Pixologic use to make the fiendishly difficult ZBrush interface accessible - interactive tutorials, preset base models visible on opening etc.

lardbros
11-16-2012, 05:37 AM
I think you need a separate app - or at least a totally different interface, with obvious buttons or labels, tool-tips with links to video guides (every apps should have them these days). And then you ned to decide how far to go with the app - is it a full, reskinned version of LW, or an edition that people can learn on and then upgrade to the full-fat version?

If it was me, I'd remove a lot of the old clutter from LW, remove anything that beginners won't use (and that most people still don't understand), simply a lot of the tools (do beginners really needs that many cameras and AA options?) remodel the UI accordingly and make it heavily preset-based, including things like pull-down menus which fewer, more obvious options.

Oh and then you need to write the best manual anyone has ever written, with full-colour images, videos and scene files. Best of luck with that.

I agree with all of these... I think they are working on this stuff, but it's bound to be like the way 3dsmax has been for the last few years. They add tonnes more tools but then begin with the removal process... guess it may get worse before it gets better?!

Tools tips are sadly missing (yes, we get a little bit of text at the bottom sometimes with some tools) but we need a little video showing us what the tool does... and all without slowing the UI down.

Ah well, we can but hope for these things.

djwaterman
11-16-2012, 06:12 AM
Nothing beats just setting yourself a project and working through it to completion, and 3D is always a learning process that never ends. This forum is probably one of the greatest learning tools for LW. For me, the magic key that you have described would be more confusing than just getting into it, making mistakes and learning the old fashioned way.
Having said that, one thing that still bugs me about LW that slows down workflow, its clicking in the grey UI area to de-select. It would be better if you could click in the grey of the view port as well. I can't believe that would be hard to fix.

rcallicotte
11-16-2012, 06:34 AM
Fair point about Pixologic. People should take a clue from Pixologic.



Fair points, though if you've ever worked in education you see all kinds of initial reactions to 3D software interfaces including negative ones from very talented 2d artists. Of course learning Lightwave is ultimately about hard work, persistence and curiousity. However I don't see anything wrong in finding new ways to encourage people who are not as intuitive as yourself to 'get' 3D. It also makes good commercial sense. Look at the innovative techniques Pixologic use to make the fiendishly difficult ZBrush interface accessible - interactive tutorials, preset base models visible on opening etc.

jeric_synergy
11-16-2012, 08:47 AM
Nothing beats just setting yourself a project and working through it to completion, and 3D is always a learning process that never ends. This forum is probably one of the greatest learning tools for LW.
The problem, as recently stated, with the wonderfulness of this forum is all the energy we put into it is not really cumulative. All the millions of words we've typed over the years are not leveraged into something greater-- for the most part they're just pissed away down the memory hole.

Even problems I KNOW were discussed and solved are difficult to locate. For the noobie, or even the veteran who can't find it, that information is useless.

A better SEARCH facility here would help, but as I've said ad infinitum, the real way to take advantage of the energy put into the forum is to integrate the solutions presented here with a centralized documentation effort. Hire somebody to monitor the forum (this one and others), and link to solutions, discussions, videos inside the centralized dox.


+++

Having said that, one thing that still bugs me about LW that slows down workflow, its clicking in the grey UI area to de-select. It would be better if you could click in the grey of the view port as well. I can't believe that would be hard to fix.
That strikes me as 'wayyy too easy to drop the Selection.

fazi69
11-16-2012, 09:25 AM
My idea is simple. Leave LW3d as it is but add interactive video help. Imagine that when You press "help" button and move pointer to any other button You will have video instructions/tutorials to how to use it and what are the main areas where You will be using this. Make it open and based on some kind of wiki type architecture where if someone make new tutorial it can be automatically be linked to the specific functions and listed in help. First on list will be official or approved tutorials and then simple "more" menu with the rest. It is a lot of work but we as community can help with that and as a end result expand LW user base. I do not need explain benefits of it.
Next big thing that will help beginners are bigger library of presets !! We need to add scene presets as well and model presets with library of elements that can be expanded in easy way.
Last thing I would add to make LW more attractive to new users will be better and wider game dev integration. All small direct-x importers/exporters and Unity/ Unreal stuff that I have no knowledge about but I know that this is often what is deciding arguments when people start in 3d. They just want at first to change car in their favorite game or make something on the demoscene.

Oedo 808
11-16-2012, 10:17 AM
That strikes me as 'wayyy too easy to drop the Selection.

It simply strikes me as an easy way to drop the selection.

dickbill
11-16-2012, 10:18 AM
I started with TurboSilver looooong ago: you had to type instructions in a list
Then Imagine (Amiga/PC) : way better, the first graphic interface, very good soft, but you still needed to practice a lot to learn HOW to do THINGS.
Then Organica : also very good, relatively fast to learn.
Then TrueSpace : a step behind in user friendliness IMO, ALL ICONS, NO instructions like Rotate scale. I gave it 6 months and then I reverted back to Imagine, because i could not 'climb the learning curve'.
Terragen: fast to learn but limited to lansdscape. It gives better render than Bryce or Vue though.
Bryce 4 then 5 : fast to learn, in weeks, but just lanscapes.
Vue : better than Bryce with ecosystems but sligltly harder to learn.
Finally LW6.5: Let's be honest, there was a learning curve. It took 6 months before i felt comfortable with modeler, I mean when you start to fell familiar and have developped enough automatisms that you don't have to think anymore about things. One thing that struck me immediately was the quality of the renderer, which has again improved in LW 11. LW is a top notch renderer, everybody agrees with that.

The reality is that each new software is like a new language to learn, with new automatisms and vocabulary to acquire. IT CAN'T BE EASY. There is no miracles, that means practice, practice and practice more. So the biggest devil is: INTERNET. Time spent browsing is not spent practicing. I have set a new computer that i intend NOT to plug to the NET just for this reason. No more udpades, no more constant antivirus popup, no more internet surfing, just practice.

jeric_synergy
11-16-2012, 11:56 AM
It simply strikes me as an easy way to drop the selection.
Personally, I don't understand why this is such a 'thing' for users: I got two hands, I just use the keyboard shortcut. (In fact, I virtually never use the 'click the grey area' method.) But people get very exercised about it.

Considering that LWM doesn't consider de-selection an UNDO-able action, IMO this would be awful. If that were changed, then it'd be viable. I think Stuart originally coded it that way specifically to make it DIFFICULT to lose selections.

--Feature Request: SELECTION HISTORY-- An automatic scrolling list of selections. Nothing fancy-- if an element is gone, tough luck. Users could just click on a line and that snapshot of selections would be re-selected. Like an AUTOMATIC 'Selection Set' feature, but for Points, Edges, and Polys.


EDIT: idea more fleshed out: http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?131781-FReq-Automatic-Selection-History

fazi69
11-16-2012, 12:02 PM
I agree. Just set Your additional mouse buttons to some work. I have there "make polygon" "select loop" and "drop selection / unselect all" there on those small buttons under my thumb.

Oedo 808
11-16-2012, 12:50 PM
Personally, I don't understand why this is such a 'thing' for users: I got two hands, I just use the keyboard shortcut. (In fact, I virtually never use the 'click the grey area' method.) But people get very exercised about it.

Considering that LWM doesn't consider de-selection an UNDO-able action, IMO this would be awful. If that were changed, then it'd be viable. I think Stuart originally coded it that way specifically to make it DIFFICULT to lose selections.


I agree. Just set Your additional mouse buttons to some work. I have there "make polygon" "select loop" and "drop selection / unselect all" there on those small buttons under my thumb.

I too only make occasional use of the grey area, I also have Deselect All mapped to \ on my keyboard but especially having used ZBrush I can see how well placed the viewport area is for mouse or pen gestures, tapping the empty view port would be ideal and quite natural and it would free up the given button/key for another core function and would be better than having a deselect area surrounding the buttons which for me is worse than having it in the viewport.

If you think selections are something that should be difficult to lose then I really don't know what to say. The absence of selections from the undo system is a pain, but that isn't a deal breaker just another item to add to the LW wishlist.

toby
11-17-2012, 10:18 PM
Fair points, though if you've ever worked in education you see all kinds of initial reactions to 3D software interfaces including negative ones from very talented 2d artists. Of course learning Lightwave is ultimately about hard work, persistence and curiousity. However I don't see anything wrong in finding new ways to encourage people who are not as intuitive as yourself to 'get' 3D. It also makes good commercial sense. Look at the innovative techniques Pixologic use to make the fiendishly difficult ZBrush interface accessible - interactive tutorials, preset base models visible on opening etc.

I don't think I stated that quite right - I didn't mean to say "Lightwave is soooo easy ( therefore, if you have a hard time, you're dumb )". I can't stand it when people do that. I was comparing Lightwave to other 3D apps. The only ones that come close to LW's ease of use are apps like Poser and Bryce, which are almost useless for serious work, and C4D. I studied lw full-time for 2 years before getting my first job, and I'm not seeing anywhere near 2yrs worth of patience from the people asking for it to be easier. Very talented 2d artists are notorious, I need say no more.

Sure, there's 'nothing wrong' with trying to make it easier, but when it's already among the easiest you can find, maybe that's not the fault of the software. Maybe the entire subject is just harder than you thought it would be, so maybe you should re-assess, instead of asking for resources to be diverted from staying current and bug fixes, to make the easiest app even easier.

LW has plenty of workflow enhancements that others don't, it also covers a lot more than Zbrush, like lighting, rendering, dynamics, Hypervoxels, materials, animation, deformation, particles. It's not fair to ignore lw's excellent image viewer, layers which are comatible throughout the program, and a workflow that is famous for it's speed, while pointing at something that does so much less.

toby
11-17-2012, 10:31 PM
an edition that people can learn on and then upgrade to the full-fat version?

If it was me, I'd remove a lot of the old clutter from LW, remove anything that beginners won't use (and that most people still don't understand), simply a lot of the tools (do beginners really needs that many cameras and AA options?) remodel the UI accordingly and make it heavily preset-based, including things like pull-down menus which fewer, more obvious options.

How soon we forget!! It was called Inspire3D... they dropped it because it didn't help much, and was consuming resources...

djwaterman
11-17-2012, 11:09 PM
After many years of using LW I discover today that I can just press the / key to drop selections. I'm an idiot, disregard my earlier compliant and thanks again to the forum for teaching me something new.

jeric_synergy
11-17-2012, 11:59 PM
After many years of using LW I discover today that I can just press the / key to drop selections.
Oh..... dooooood. :foreheads

:beerchug:

SO been there. One thing I've learned from watching many tutorial DVDs is, whatever it is the DVD is purportedly teaching, invariably the most valuable thing is some technique, hotkey or shortcut the presenter doesn't even MENTION during the presentation. But I'm all "...wutcher...wait...huh... {rewind}...DAMMIT!".

No matter how closely one reads the manual, ain't nuthin' comparable to seeing a master put the software thru its paces.

Oedo 808
11-18-2012, 01:28 AM
After many years of using LW I discover today that I can just press the / key to drop selections. I'm an idiot, disregard my earlier compliant and thanks again to the forum for teaching me something new.

Hi djwaterman, I believe that / is assigned the Drop Current Selection command, if you ever wanted to use a tool on your entire object but still had some element selected (something I used to do all the bloody time), you won't be able to get rid of it with that. Assigning it to be Deselect All will allow you do drop selections with a tool still active. I assigned it to \ to be an easy access key. I think there was one situation I preferred Drop Current Selection for, but I can't recall so it can't have been too drastic.

jeric_synergy
11-18-2012, 09:46 AM
H..... if you ever wanted to use a tool on your entire object but still had some element selected (something I used to do all the bloody time), you won't be able to get rid of it with that. Assigning it to be Deselect All will allow you do drop selections with a tool still active. I assigned it to \ to be an easy access key. I think there was one situation I preferred Drop Current Selection for, but I can't recall so it can't have been too drastic. (emph added)
:headesk
BLOODY HELL!!!! :devil: :devil: :devil:


DJwaterman, now it's MY turn to feel like an idiot : for YEARS I've wanted to drop the selection with 'dropping the tool'. ARGHGHGHGHGH!!!!!! :foreheads

I can't even tell the difference between DESELECT ALL and DROP CURRENT SELECTION, except the latter will not let you keep the tool 'in hand'.

THANKS, Odeo.

probiner
11-18-2012, 09:59 AM
Space bar will drop tools keeping the selection. What I would like to have as a button is a Drop Selection and Drop Tool in one. As for now I hit Space and my Drop Current selection button together all the time.

Also to be noticed. I didn't said it in my first post to not sound harsh. But there's little point, unless you want to debase LW or make it a Sketchup, to make the app more non-3D-user friendly; bad approach, first you want to make it high-end 3D-user friendly, and we know the pile of requests and brick-walls those guys find and how many left. Those are the ones in need of friendliness.
So my previous post was a bit more like: if LW is streamlined for the 3d-users themselves it's just a matter of skinning and organization to make it easier for others too, cause what's needed under the hood, is there you could just dress it up differently for beginners with a few simple rules and buttons.

Cheers

jeric_synergy
11-18-2012, 10:24 AM
I think 'making it easier' is a very difficult problem. Inspire was an effort to make it easier by using a subset of features.

::shrug:: That's about as good an idea as any other.

The Proton/William Vaughn video program was probably one of the most successful initiatives in terms of getting LW'rs up to speed. NewTek should continue to create and/or SUBSIDIZE effective training programs. Favored programs could get placement on NTek's website-- that doesn't cost anything. Coupon programs, etc.

A truly MODERN interface would help some ( non-modal dialogs? Really? It's bloody 2012! ), and the interface could use color better (see C4D), but overall, I got nuthin'.

Oh, and CONSISTANCY: if there's anything that makes the LW experience frustrating, it's all the damn inconsistancies that continually trip up users and script writers.

probiner
11-18-2012, 10:54 AM
Agreed on Williams videos. That's payed quality right there.

jasonwestmas
11-18-2012, 11:18 AM
What Rebelhill Said. . .for example, if animators want to animate, they don't want to have to learn how to setup a nice rig for a face or body deformations, they need it done for them. If a sculpter wants to sculpt, they don't want to use polygon tools and retopo tools in order to make the thing deformable and animatable. So in these cases the automated ways of getting things ready for you are coming in more abundance now. If a painter wants to be a 3D texture painter, he doesn't want to use 2-4 different apps. in order to get the desired results wrapped onto the geometry because one app. has better brushes, another app. has awesome UV tools and the third app. is the only one with a descent mirror painting capabilities. . .and the fourth app. is the only one with nice boolean hard surface operations etc. etc.

However. . .Inevitably getting it all in a single environment with more automation is going to be a very long process. So for now a lot of technical skills will still be required for most folks who want to run a small studio. OR the second option is to buy more applications that offer more plugins for automation which I tend to do. This creates more gaps in the workflows but also lends more power to controlling your artistic vision. So you always have to weigh in the pros and cons of your tool sets.

Is your main goal to have control over your art and design OR is it just to do get things done. It's always a balancing act between these two ideas and determining which is most important on a per client basis.

jasonwestmas
11-18-2012, 11:35 AM
There is a misconception about automation however which tends to mean that Automation forces you to actually have less control over your subject matter. But that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. For example Rhiggit, offers quicker setuptimes but it's still a lightwave rig that is editable AFTER you autorig your subject. This concept is priceless in all that is automated. Meaning you can stack on and dig even deeper into your creative tendencies if you or your client feels the need to and aren't just limited to an initial setup state.

Thomas Helzle
11-18-2012, 12:13 PM
"Making Lightwave more Artist Friendly (for NON 3D users), Tell us your ideas"

Hm, in my experience, Lightwave works very good for people who don't use 3D.
I'm not a Word user, so it works perfectly for me as well :-)

Cheers,

Tom

erikals
11-18-2012, 12:54 PM
Space bar will drop tools keeping the selection. What I would like to have as a button is a Drop Selection and Drop Tool in one. As for now I hit Space and my Drop Current selection button together all the time.

+5 (or at least have the option too do it...)

erikals
11-18-2012, 01:00 PM
this would be nice,

Ctrl clicking a button would launch an online NewTek demonstration video >
http://youtu.be/MjlajDgULqY

erikals
11-18-2012, 01:14 PM
as for deselecting, a middle-mouse button shortcut saves the day... :]
love it.

KurtF
11-18-2012, 01:39 PM
The Lightwave interface is cluttered and ugly. I for one, really loved the clean, simplicity of Core. But that went away, and here we are.

jasonwestmas
11-18-2012, 01:41 PM
On the topic of selections, we should have a history stack that was more complete so that we can redo selections quickly if we make an error. For example, in most 3d apps. (other than modeler), we are able to do a ctrl-z undo if we accidently unselect/ select something we can get the original selection back quickly. In modeler if you accidently select something else or deselect you're SOL. Likewise when I go into Layout, I tend to loose my undo history in modeler. . wtf is the response I'm sure of many new users. Little things like this make all the difference in the world for 3D apps. and beginner users.

erikals
11-18-2012, 02:04 PM
Ctrl + Shift + Z would be good for recalling selections... or a stack...
Ctrl + Z has the problem that it might return a lot of undos, if you made many small selections...

but yeah, hope to see it addressed...

Oedo 808
11-18-2012, 04:37 PM
@Jeric, I think the difference might have been something to do with when you somehow get things hidden but still selected, or some sort of thing to do with layers where one will drop them but the other won't, haven't encountered it recently that I remember though. I'm always on the look out for tips and tricks to aid me, always good when you find a eureka moment. :)

As for tools, I'd like to see a per tool access to base functions such as universal selection options as well as the tool's own individual options, I've done a rudimentary mock up, with some tools your style (perhaps even just for a particular object) will want to keep the selection after using a tool, other times not so, or perhaps you want to change the selection. It would be nice for me as it changes from tool to tool while I work.

109243

probiner
11-18-2012, 05:17 PM
Personally I have envisioned something more like tool presets which you can bind to keys and contain options that can be embed on such presets or control at runtime:
- Checks for attributes of the mesh of selection as an input to the operation.
- Either request Inputs and calls Numeric Panel or just runs silently.
- Keep/save selection or drop it
- Apply attributes to new geometry or not.
etc.

I guess these could be more easily made if you could for example make a Node Tree close it a box and run it like code by pressing a key.

Python/LScript components Nodes for modeler/modeling. Maybe not so crazy... :P Anyway Oedo's pitch is much more down to earth :)

jasonwestmas
11-18-2012, 05:41 PM
Personally I have envisioned something more like tool presets which you can bind to keys and contain options that can be embed on such presets or control at runtime:
- Checks for attributes of the mesh of selection as an input to the operation.
- Either request Inputs and calls Numeric Panel or just runs silently.
- Keep/save selection or drop it
- Apply attributes to new geometry or not.
etc.


I guess these could be more easily made if you could for example make a Node Tree close it a box and run it like code by pressing a key.

Python/LScript components Nodes for modeler/modeling. Maybe not so crazy... :P Anyway Oedo's pitch is much more down to earth :)

Yes, nodal presets for the user. . . that can be changed when the user is ready to dig deeper.

egearbox
11-18-2012, 08:12 PM
Here's my $0.02 in case anybody from Newtek is reading this:

Redesign the interface. Completely. Lightwave is very powerful, but NOT very intuitive. Getting anywhere at all with Layout, in particular, is a triumph of memorization over intuition.

Real world example, from about four hours ago: I wanted to point a light at the object I was lighting. So I selected the light, and clicked Properties. Nothing. Hmmm? I knew it existed, just couldn't find it. After a few minutes of searching, I found what I was looking for under Setup/Motions/Motion Options. Of course! Silly me, thinking I would find a Light's properties under the Properties tab! Lightwave is FULL of things like that and it has been since 4.0. Please, people - maybe invest in a switch where people can flip between two interfaces - "New Lightwave" and "Lightwave Classic." (I'll pause here so the old hands can insert their own joke about "New Coke.")

Love the program, it's just that I would prefer to use my increasingly dear brain cells for other things.... :D

egearbox
11-18-2012, 08:17 PM
The Proton/William Vaughn video program was probably one of the most successful initiatives in terms of getting LW'rs up to speed. NewTek should continue to create and/or SUBSIDIZE effective training programs. Favored programs could get placement on NTek's website-- that doesn't cost anything. Coupon programs, etc.


Hear, hear. Darn right. Please - more videos!

jeric_synergy
11-18-2012, 11:00 PM
Seriously, if I never hear CORE mentioned again, I'll be fine with that. >8^P

jeric_synergy
11-18-2012, 11:11 PM
? I don't think elements can BE 'hidden but selected', afaict Hidden ipso facto prevents being Selected. I'm still dizzy w/happiness that I can 'finally' Deselect w/o dropping the Tool -like you, I want to do that all the damn time- , albeit cranky that I didn't know about that capability for decades. ::grrrrrr:: ::sigh::


As for tools, I'd like to see a per tool access to base functions such as universal selection options as well as the tool's own individual options, I've done a rudimentary mock up, with some tools your style (perhaps even just for a particular object) will want to keep the selection after using a tool, other times not so, or perhaps you want to change the selection. It would be nice for me as it changes from tool to tool while I work.
109243
That's a VERY intriguing concept, and I like VERY much that it's user definable. I can foresee many forum discussions about the optimum presets for various tasks. I think a couple more global selection options should be in the top section though, including "{_} Deselect All". I think some options should be made 'radio buttons' to underscore their mutual incompatibility.

I assume your mockup is kinda "universal options" on top and "tool-specific" in the bottom section. Nice, very clean.

Great idea: I hope Matt sees this. :thumbsup:

RebelHill
11-19-2012, 04:28 AM
NOT very intuitive.... I wanted to point a light at the object I was lighting... I found what I was looking for under Setup/Motions/Motion Options. Of course! Silly me, thinking I would find a Light's properties under the Properties tab!

Its perfectly rational. You were wanting to affect MOTION, and NOT the lights intrinsic properties.

Digital Hermit
11-19-2012, 06:39 PM
2-D is same as 3-D for the artist. Don't tell him what the paintbrush does. Just show what can be done with it. Anyone who has seen Andrew Kramers tutorials on AfterEffects and how he approaches teaching it can see where I'm coming from.

In short invest in good tutorials that show the end result of something "really cool & relevant" and then show them how to reproduce it. Oh and a little humor helps as well.

Anything beyond that, the artist just needs to read the manual.

erikals
11-20-2012, 12:26 AM
auto-fixing pivots might be good...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IdQmqin1J4#t=2m40s

jasonwestmas
11-20-2012, 06:32 AM
Here's my $0.02 in case anybody from Newtek is reading this:

Redesign the interface. Completely. Lightwave is very powerful, but NOT very intuitive. Getting anywhere at all with Layout, in particular, is a triumph of memorization over intuition.



Name one 3D app. or artist tool for that matter that is intuitive. I have yet to see any tool do what I want it to without a TON of memorization and practice. Yes, painting and drawing and sculpting too.

erikals
11-20-2012, 06:36 AM
compared to other apps, i never had a big problem with the UI...
small things here and there, sure, but that's all...

rcallicotte
11-20-2012, 06:59 AM
Good points.


2-D is same as 3-D for the artist. Don't tell him what the paintbrush does. Just show what can be done with it. Anyone who has seen Andrew Kramers tutorials on AfterEffects and how he approaches teaching it can see where I'm coming from.

In short invest in good tutorials that show the end result of something "really cool & relevant" and then show them how to reproduce it. Oh and a little humor helps as well.

Anything beyond that, the artist just needs to read the manual.

- - - Updated - - -

Some are more so than others. Some packages I've used immediately fit easily into what my expectations were as an applications. Others were like reading Latin.



Name one 3D app. or artist tool for that matter that is intuitive. I have yet to see any tool do what I want it to without a TON of memorization and practice. Yes, painting and drawing and sculpting too.

prometheus
11-20-2012, 07:12 AM
If there was one master UI that works intuitive for all, it should have been implemented in all major 3d apps already, why not?...it isnīt established or created yet perhaps.

once in while an app might showcase brilliant parts for working with the UI, but falls short on other parts ...I remember Modo interface when that showed up, and everyone seemed to yell Yay...and so did I ..only to find out that some stuff is not so understandable great, such as vertical labels which you
need to tilt your head 90 degrees to read properly. modo enlarge viewport to single frame? what the heck has become of that, it was there...but didnīt work properly, and then gone in the latest versions, modo shader list..ehh.Modos presets are wonderful, that part they got right.. I prefer Lightwave UI mostly even if it is a bit more dull etc.

I do have my own concept UI ideas for lightwave, wouldnīt differ to much in workflow, but it would be more graphicly pleasing, and more dockable, different structure on where to find things, and ..additional graphic icons, just a button click away if you want it, or icon button off.
I could only mock such UI up in illustrator or photoshop though:)

I think it must be taken in consideration to change UI in small steps and not bring up a completly different UI at once, they tried that with core.

Michael

jasonwestmas
11-20-2012, 07:24 AM
Good points.



- - - Updated - - -

Some are more so than others. Some packages I've used immediately fit easily into what my expectations were as an applications. Others were like reading Latin.

WELLLL, my point is that INTUITIVE quality is different for everyone, you can see that plainly in people's conversation. Most of the time personal BIAS for an application package is due to the fact that they are simply more familiar with it. NOT because it is INTUITIVE from their birth, having zero knowledge about graphics and design. In the end, previous experience with graphical software justifies the reasons to use a program without a ton of time of learning and memorization. It's as simple as that.

But for someone to be familiar with something is hardly a reason to ignore other applications if it offers you a different set of tools and a different rendering medium that can help you better achieve the look you are going for. . .and if you devote enough time to learn another process. In the traditional sense, you can learn how to use guache, watercolor, acrylic, oil and sculpy, but to compare one medium as being better than the other is a senseless task because they all provide a different "look" and "feel" and all have advantages and disadvantages depending on the desired stylization.

3dworks
11-20-2012, 07:29 AM
I was wondering guys,
If you wanted to make Lw into a more intuitive tool for artists
who are NOT familiar with 3d AT ALL, what would you do?
What would you change, and what would you simplify?

I am looking forward to your comments and ideas.
-R

honestly, i wonder if it makes sense at all. LW is a full 3d application package which is already rather optimized for professional use. it will not typically be used by lots of 'non 3d' users... if you ask for optimizing the UI or simplifying workflows for the typical 'pro' or 'advanced' user, this would make much more sense for me. there are already some very easy to use (and much more on a budget) 3d apps out there which are targeting the 'casual' user or hobbyist, which do their job brilliantly. like the easy to use and quite powerful cheetah 3d on mac for example... so there's no need to bring LW 'down' to that level imo.

jasonwestmas
11-20-2012, 07:37 AM
honestly, i wonder if it makes sense at all. LW is a full 3d application package which is already rather optimized for professional use. it will not typically be used by lots of 'non 3d' users... if you ask for optimizing the UI or simplifying workflows for the typical 'pro' or 'advanced' user, this would make much more sense for me. there are already some very easy to use (and much more on a budget) 3d apps out there which are targeting the 'casual' user or hobbyist, which do their job brilliantly. like the easy to use and quite powerful cheetah 3d on mac for example... so there's no need to bring LW 'down' to that level imo.

I think the quality of LW has much room for optimization within the workflow and there is plenty of room for more interactive tools. Interactive Workflow improvements help newbies and pros alike.

Point being that you don't have to dumb down the software in order for it to be more accessible and interactive.

sukardi
11-20-2012, 08:17 AM
Regarding UI, I have one major complaint.

When you need to select an object say for instancing, we need to select it from a drop down menu. When you have a couple hundred objects in the scene, it become quite a pain.

Can we have have a stand alone selector where you can scroll, filter, sort by name, hirearchy and things like that. Or have we already got that? I wouldn't be surprise if there is 'hidden' features somewhere but I have not found it...

jasonwestmas
11-20-2012, 08:24 AM
Regarding UI, I have one major complaint.

When you need to select an object say for instancing, we need to select it from a drop down menu. When you have a couple hundred objects in the scene, it become quite a pain.

Can we have have a stand alone selector where you can scroll, filter, sort by name, hirearchy and things like that. Or have we already got that? I wouldn't be surprise if there is 'hidden' features somewhere but I have not found it...

The scene editors. Use those for now, they do all of that in one form or another. But what you really want is something like the Maya outliner or the softimage explorer because they are compact and you can get to things quickly for various reasons. Those are nice.

Surrealist.
11-20-2012, 08:46 AM
I like the concept of layered access. In other words, common tasks in their simplest forms being accessible at a low level. And you can get the most common things done, very quickly and the most obvious or common things are the defaults. Then for each tool or operation, you can go in deeper, accessing it in a panel or in a node tree or both. This is more or less how Softimage is organized and I have been liking that approach. There are many ways to access the same tools but at different levels of control. For example you can open up the Material Manager and simply drag and drop a material onto a selected object or component. At this point you don't need to go any deeper than that. Simply drag and drop. Or about 2 or 3 other simple ways to assign a material without ever opening a panel, or looking at the Render Tree. Then as you go deeper into the project and make changes and tweaks you can access the level of control you need as you go.

I think in general, to me, artist friendly is as close to visual and tactile as possible. And this for me carries through from working with real world materials. For example, writing an expression by hand, it intensely meticulous. Of course if you are a programmer, this is intuitive. But for an "artist" it is not. I'd rather open up two panels and simply drag the channel I want to drive something with across a space into the other panel. This is both visual and tactile - more so if I am using a pen. And it is very simply akin to dipping paint into a palette and then reaching over to the canvas. I believe that the genus of drag and drop is just that. But then, after I have created a simply expression this way, or the start of one, then it is easy to go into the expression editor and add some math or other modifications.

In general you can list the types of things that are more "artist friendly" by tracing their origins of GUI design back to their real-world counterparts.

Dragging and Dropping - the arc of motion of the hand taking materials from one place to another in a workshop.

Clicking on an icon or other visual representation of and action - selecting a real-world tool from a shelf.

And so on.

I think making something more "artist friendly" is along these lines.

That said, I am also an audio engineer. Trained in the analog days. So I have seen the digital age come and I have embraced all those things that are not at all tactile in the same way as in the real world. Such as knobs and sliders which I hate. It is far more efficient and far more effective to drag and edit rubber band curves on a audio timeline than any of the other real-world counterpart actions. I have done it both ways digitally and I was very quick to embrace Vegas when it first came out back in 2000. I remember how much more intuitive it was to edit sound this way rather than dragging digital sliders or turning digital knobs. And I never looked back. It has always made me wonder why some people design and why people use programs that look like audio sound boards. I just don't get it. I mean I get the visual/tackle thing. But the other way is much more accurate and faster.

So I think it also has to be balanced with practicality.

Familiarity is indeed a large part of it. But also there are things that are generally easier to grasp and seem more intuitive than others. And other things, simply much faster, such as key shorts which have no comparison to real world, but are faster to execute. So speed is a big thing. Not a worse buzz kill than stuff that takes forever to get accomplished when it could be designed to go much faster.

jeric_synergy
11-20-2012, 10:09 AM
If we're going to argue "intuitive", I'd say SketchUp seemed the most intuitive to me: not powerful, but I certainly grasped the workflow. (Maybe it's powerful, maybe it isn't.)

However, even at FREE I didn't switch. The draw of the familiar held me to LWM.

prometheus
11-20-2012, 10:16 AM
Yeah..sketchup has some very intuitive tools, push/pull, pen tool, erase tool, the snapping helpers etc, some stuff of that I would like to see in lwcad, but might be hard since it is a completly different
model type than polygons.

the rounding option in sketchup by using follow me is a bummer though, selecting edge and use a rounding tool would be better.

Michael

Taro Yoshimoto
11-20-2012, 04:34 PM
This is an excellent thread idea. I wish I had some time on my hands... maybe next week!! see ya!

Shnoze Shmon
11-21-2012, 01:49 AM
Personally, I don't understand why this is such a 'thing' for users: I got two hands, I just use the keyboard shortcut. (In fact, I virtually never use the 'click the grey area' method.) But people get very exercised about it.

Considering that LWM doesn't consider de-selection an UNDO-able action, IMO this would be awful. If that were changed, then it'd be viable. I think Stuart originally coded it that way specifically to make it DIFFICULT to lose selections.

--Feature Request: SELECTION HISTORY-- An automatic scrolling list of selections. Nothing fancy-- if an element is gone, tough luck. Users could just click on a line and that snapshot of selections would be re-selected. Like an AUTOMATIC 'Selection Set' feature, but for Points, Edges, and Polys.

I hate the gray area deselect. I've NEVER used it intentionally. Selection History undo/redo would be a fantastic improvement. That said, I have been able, on many occasions, to regain my selection, or close to it, by undoing redoing 2 or 3 steps. If I had a single button controller I'd set it up as the ONLY way to deselect and set it off to the side so a quick and intentional swat would be required to deselect.





The Proton/William Vaughn video program was probably one of the most successful initiatives in terms of getting LW'rs up to speed. NewTek should continue to create and/or SUBSIDIZE effective training programs.

When I decided to try LW I watched nearly 40 hours of Vaughn's videos in 2 1/2 weeks before loading up the trial. Still seems like a brilliant move (even though I had a severe case of information overload) and I still have occasion to pull out one of the videos from time to time for review. Just wish I'd realized at the time that there was a discovery mode so I could follow and learn the general location of the tools. Spent the first 2 days of the trial pulling out my hair over where is that tool!



I don't think I stated that quite right - I didn't mean to say "Lightwave is soooo easy ( therefore, if you have a hard time, you're dumb )". I can't stand it when people do that. I was comparing Lightwave to other 3D apps. The only ones that come close to LW's ease of use are apps like Poser and Bryce, which are almost useless for serious work, and C4D. I studied lw full-time for 2 years before getting my first job, and I'm not seeing anywhere near 2yrs worth of patience from the people asking for it to be easier. Very talented 2d artists are notorious, I need say no more.

Sure, there's 'nothing wrong' with trying to make it easier, but when it's already among the easiest you can find, maybe that's not the fault of the software. Maybe the entire subject is just harder than you thought it would be, so maybe you should re-assess, instead of asking for resources to be diverted from staying current and bug fixes, to make the easiest app even easier.

LW has plenty of workflow enhancements that others don't, it also covers a lot more than Zbrush, like lighting, rendering, dynamics, Hypervoxels, materials, animation, deformation, particles. It's not fair to ignore lw's excellent image viewer, layers which are comatible throughout the program, and a workflow that is famous for it's speed, while pointing at something that does so much less.

LightWave was my introduction to 3D CG. I came from a somewhat artistic and computer literate background. Many years of art up through high school as well as drafting, architecture and computer basic. (Thankfully I don't remember much of computer basic.) I was even exposed to the first 3D cad. First drawing an object on isometric graph paper and then figuring out the 6 part coordinates for each line, then typing all those lines in. Yeah technology has come a long way. My project was a boxy StarTrek shuttle and all those lines in coordinate form took 3 1/2 pages of computer paper. Add to that 3 semesters of AutoCadd 1 semester of Pro-E and several years working as a draftsman, both tabletop and cad. Dabbled a bit with AutoCadd 3D and photoshop.

All this to say I probably had as much going for me as those 2D artist for entering the 3D world. I had a massive desire to change jobs and an excessively ambitious goal of being ready to enter my 3D CG career in 6 months.

After 2 1/2 years of trying to learn LW, plus almost a year of using LW as a freelance contractor, plus a shelf-full of purchased training DVDs, plus I cant began to tell you how much free training on my computer, plus a ton of reading both in purchased books and online. It boggles my mind to realize just how little I know how to use LW, let alone other applications. I still feel woefully under-prepared to be doing this for a living even though I am.

So now the question is put forward, how to quickly get those 2D artist up to speed. First if the definition of quick involves either of the words weeks, or months, AND that happens. Keep rubbing the Genie lamp, there are still 2 more wishes.

Sending them to Dave school for 4 years would be a realistic quick. Heck, send me to Dave school for 4 years. I'm green with envy at not having that opportunity.

erikals
11-21-2012, 03:31 AM
yep, deselecting should be fixed...

Modeler, Deselecting
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxivcuN52QA

Layout, Parenting should also be easier...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnBCHA61Q1U

Layout, Properties could be made easier, hitting "P" is kinda not easily accessible...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzZy_7YlPl0

Layout, Pick Surface without having to go to VPR or Viper...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVj9sHJwMAI

Modeler, Extruding could be easier...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzsqJqxaEHE

Modeler, Drag (believe it or not, but this is high-priority fix for me...)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3niEE9XKMcA

Modeler, Silo Cut tool (yes please :]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFhqFbBZjT4

Layout, Modeler tools in Layout
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IYmspJP1Zk
(NT confirmed they are looking into fixes for problems like this, 5 weeks ago or so)

Layout, CA Weight mapping in Layout... ('nuff said...)

Layout, CA Skinning in Layout... ('nuff said...)

Modeler, Copy / Duplicate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkGJeh-od5k

Modeler, Select by Normal (function added in LW11.5)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZDSU80sBeI

Modeler, Unigon (a must have for many of us)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BMGVWrAIjIw

Modeler, Falloff snapping (the ability for falloff use two points as a reference)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqn99CJc1Ko

Layout, Snapping to Points
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=43cUS6YicKw

Modeler, Cut Tool (could use several fixes, but most importantly, making it interactive, or preview-able)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRJSxp3EVr8

Layout, Auto Image Replace (the ability to do this in a snap by using a shortcut)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2J_LBkAM-w

Modeler, Measure tools (invaluable for ArchViz stuff)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YuduhI-oZj8

Modeler, Spline Lenght (again, invaluable for ArchViz stuff)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH-NV8W5Gok
(used this on a project, no other tool could do it)

Modeler, Bandsaw Pro (any way to speed it up?... it's veery slow)

Layout, Layout objects to Modeler
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppB3XmGn0oE
(not sure what to suggest, as for newbies this can actually get to be more confusing than liberating)

Layout / Modeler (i miss the old LW96 function that zeroed out the value when hitting "del")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LBJPbngeM8

Layout / Modeler Speed ('nuff said...) (!!!)

Modeler, Align to Rail (also aligns automatically to Two rails, very nice)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObMUbKXpBnk

Modeler, Layer tools (fixes misc stuff)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q39zGeDq6yY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3RpXok2YfE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKJJOJlaUfw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSFsJyRDbaM

Modeler, Toogle SubPatch (very very slow in Modeler, use this plugin instead)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw7J_q6Kuuc

Modeler, Axis highlight (can be tricky at times, some kind of highlighter / guide could be good)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2rKwuuuf3Y

Modeler, Knife tool in Perspective view (hope to see a fix)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYW4AdKj8ZE

Modeler, Stretch tool in Perspective view
(doesn't work, should it be deactivated for the perspective view window?)

Layout, Constant Speed (making an object run at constant speed can be tricky, a plugin is needed)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzoAmmlyXOg

Layout, Booleans animated ('nuff said... as of now plugin is needed)

Layout, Creating Normal maps (as of now a plugin is needed)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7fINI4DpeI

Modeler, Faster Booleans (is it possible to speed it up somehow? here's a trick, but works so-so)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4K-AWgwQnSA

Layout, Vector copy/paste (for motions, copying and pasting could be more user friendly)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oe4TNbpYY00

Layout, Visibility (making models visible in OpenGL and in Render could be made easier)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fcn3xZnJSA

Layout, Slider toggle (makes more sense to make it auto-select the slider)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FpNsaIcuZU

Layout, MarkerPen (so nice / useful, it's needed... :]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iH2ImaBe8yc

Modeler, Realtime Julienne (a natural update)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPvJw-Iq3No

Modeler, Distribute (a must for ArchViz stuff)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BU6YcmFlBk

Modeler, Bevel++ (so nice it's needed...? :]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMiXbMHPDoM

Modeler / Layout Maya zoom (just makes sense)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsKyRbdqKqY

Modeler, Select Surface (please fix / update)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XUzd9gehrXY

Layout, Mouse motion capture (would be nice)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPZlbYhotj4

Modeler, Booleans (is it possible to fix bad boolean operations, or is this a problem in all apps?)

Modeler, Realtime Smooth
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Al1YFvYfuvs

Modeler, Backface Select (just makes things a bit easier)
http://youtu.be/qtv9toEZoYU

important though, several other Modeler tools need to be updated to work in realtime,
for example >
-Lathe
-Boolean
-Cut tool
-Band Saw
-Julienne

Modeler, Send layer to layout (hope to see it, very needed (!)

Modeler, Polygon Islands (ability to edit multiple groups of polys at once) (must have!!)
http://vimeo.com/13562923

other Modeler functions that makes sense to add >

PointMoveOnEdge - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxSA0kYbu4Y
Wedge Bevel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNoqjMMuvzc
Wedge Bevel - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_noiXoqG88

WedgeSlide - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSjVQIdstik
Stretch Point - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0u7dhsyAy8

note, LW11.5 Edit Edges (it rocks btw) sorta replaces the two last ones...

Modeler, UV tools (new features and updates are very much needed, Rob said 3-4 weeks ago NT is looking into it)
(not in LW11.5 though, just to clear that out...)

Layout, Surface presets (new ones, good ones, cool ones...)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j02cNjk2B8

Modeler, Catmull/Clark (fix CC and hard edges and related "stuff" like UVs...)

Layout, Pose Saver (an integrated pose saver supported by NT)
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?131753-Pose-Saver

Layout / Modeler Update pivot point (make this one more user-friendly, like e.g. put in a Layout requester "reload pivot?")
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IdQmqin1J4

PHEW!...

fefedefe
11-21-2012, 04:45 AM
Well I have an idea... What I would do is to contract like 10 persons: illustrators, graphic designers, etc. And to confront them to different 3D aps, and analyze what do they do. I would then ask them to "design" an interface with the typical tools that needs to have a 3D ap. LW is very tricky. Even I would watch and analyze how children play when they play with rastis or tools. LW should have intuitive tools and mate colours do separate categories. Also and very important I would put pop up explanations on every single tool. LW should have 3 different interface levels: beginner, advanced, expert.

jeric_synergy
11-21-2012, 10:00 AM
One of the things that help make LW usable for me, and it's just a small thing, is the HOTKEY listed on the button.

Once they did that (v5?), functions I'd failed to memorize in several years I got in a week. The same thing in a help balloon is too slow.

erikals
11-21-2012, 10:06 AM
did you know btw that you can hit a shortcut combination under Alt+F9 to locate the shortcut? :]
pretty cool...

http://youtu.be/-OFsVXvTh8s

jeric_synergy
11-21-2012, 10:27 AM
did you know btw that you can hit a shortcut combination under Alt+F9 to locate the shortcut? :]
pretty cool...
??? Your phrasing confuses me: if you mean "the hotkey editor is under ALT+F9" (in LWM, for some reason on my machine it's CTRL+F9 in Layout) yes, but I feel using the Menu/Hotkey editors as Search funtions to be a miserable hack, the very opposite of 'cool'.

probiner
11-21-2012, 10:37 AM
Well and since we are at selections.... Soft selections.

Oh and having the ability to have layers visible and but only edit some arbitraty set of them.

Oh and...

And we could be here forever :)

robertoortiz
11-21-2012, 10:42 AM
Well I have an idea... What I would do is to contract like 10 persons: illustrators, graphic designers, etc. And to confront them to different 3D aps, and analyze what do they do. I would then ask them to "design" an interface with the typical tools that needs to have a 3D ap. LW is very tricky. Even I would watch and analyze how children play when they play with rastis or tools. LW should have intuitive tools and mate colours do separate categories. Also and very important I would put pop up explanations on every single tool. LW should have 3 different interface levels: beginner, advanced, expert.

Then lets look at the layout that a Professional graphic Designer woul look at.
Lets start with Illustrator
That wou;ld be Adobe Illustrator:

What lessons in simplicity can LW take from this VERY POPULAR program.

3D concepts can be sold to this audience by mixing them with vector creation tools they are used to using.
A spline is a spline, a polygon is a polygon. They will get that.

jeric_synergy
11-21-2012, 01:43 PM
Probiner's right, we could be here forever.

I think, in terms of something that could be addressed THIS decade, that "Consistancy" should be the big word on the white-board in the middle of the office.

And along those lines, I think EDGES really need some attention to make them consistent with the handling of the other two atomic elements of LW, points and polys. That one can't DELETE an Edge (natively) seems a travesty.

erikals
11-21-2012, 01:43 PM
...continuing!
(also stole some ideas from elsewhere...)


Layout, Illustrator Type tool (type tool options and previews like in Illustrator) (with thickness / boolean option)

Modeler, Lockable layers (for visible, but uneditable layers)

Layout, Undos (for deleting items, for surface editor changes, for dopetrack, move path, etc...)

Layout, Search functions (for loong drop down boxes...)
...or, Flyout dialogs

Modeler, Knife tool that works in symmetry mode.

Layout, Launch Photohop (to edit image)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9SGRr-YNmI

Layout, Studio Production Style (set to default)

Layout, Panels to Front (panels should always jump to the front, but never behind another panel)

Modeler, Drop Selection / Tool (make the space bar have the option to both Drop Selection and Drop Tool)

Modeler, something to visually understand that we are in Edit Morph mode.
(currently it's a bit too easy to model on the wrong base model or morph)
(or alternatively a way to lock the base...)

Layout, Fit Selected (Fit Selected function for Perspective View) (and Center Current Item shortcut)

Layout, Foreground plate (automatic foreground plate...)

Layout, Image Transparency (auto-use the transparency channel of a .png or psd)

Layout, Clip map (clip map should be saved with the .lwo not the .lws)

Layout, Image Editor >
- add alphabetically option
- add ascending option
- show folder location
- add image size

Layout, Snap window (add a snap window to window function) (+group windows) (if possible)

Layout, VPR shortcut (shortcut key for VPR)

Modeler, Janitor (merges, cleans up 1point polys, unifies polys, deletes unused surfaces, all at once...)

Layout, copy "T" "E" (right-click on a "T" or "E" button to copy the settings, for then to paste it elsewhere)
and a related option > Paste copied "E" onto multiple selected items.

Layout, Dynamics (clicking "calculate" currently closes the cloth / soft fx settings) (should be an easy fix?)

Layout, Endomorphs (if you make an additional endomorph in modeler, you have to remove MorphMixer in

Layout then re-add it to see morphs refreshed. (and i'm sure Newb will think all envelopes will be lost...)

Layout, Exclude Light
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O03bfUz0YWs

jeric_synergy
11-21-2012, 02:04 PM
Modeler, something to visually understand that we are in Edit Morph mode.
(currently it's a bit too easy to model on the wrong base model or morph)
(or alternatively a way to lock the base...)
0) Yes, I agree.

1) I believe you mean 'indicate', not 'understand'.

2) IMO 'locking the base' is inferior, because there's no visual cue to the user that s/he is working on a morph. --In AE, when you prevent the screen from updating/rendering (to speed UI interaction), a bright red border is drawn around the viewport (edit: they changed it to a bright red status line below the viewport-- I preferred the border) to indicate the fact. something similar could be done in LWM, but w/the color user definable (of course-- every color should be user definable, I'm tired of typing that).

robertoortiz
11-21-2012, 02:17 PM
This might help the conversation:
These tips are for web apps but work just fine for LW
7 Interface Design Techniques to Simplify and De-clutter Your Interfaces
1. Modal windows.
2. Hover controls.
3. Controls on demand.
4. Expanding forms.
5. Labels inside input forms.
6. Icons instead of text.
7. Context based controls.

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2009/02/7-interface-design-techniques-to-simplify-and-de-clutter-your-interfaces/

jeric_synergy
11-21-2012, 02:54 PM
"Modal windows"? To hell with THAT. MODALITY SUCKS.

Oh, wait, are you joking? 'Cuz those are mostly horrendous 'ideas'.

erikals
11-22-2012, 03:52 AM
robertoortiz, as far as interface design >

not so sure about options 1-2-3-4
but option 6 and 7 can be good...

6. Icons instead of text
- they already did it... :] www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZAbH234ejkI#t=9m50s

7. Context based controls
- i'm sure this can be used a couple of places



forgot >
Layout / Modeler Sticky Keys. (love it, hope to see it)

toby
11-22-2012, 02:51 PM
6. Icons instead of text.
No friggin' thank you! Do you want to force non-3D users to learn a new cryptic language as well as learning their way around LW, plus all the 3D basics? Those points are directed at web pages, not applications, with about 1% the amount of controls and buttons that LW has!


"Baker's Dilemma-"The better the feature, the more feature requests generated.
It's one of the easiest 3d apps you can find, proven fast in over a decade of tv production domination (which means it has to be relatively simple), plus all of Proton's videos - looks like the "Baker's Dilemna" applies to 'ease of use' too...

jeric_synergy
11-22-2012, 03:22 PM
Those ideas are so bad, I'm chalkin' it up as satire.

Dexter2999
11-22-2012, 04:37 PM
The ideas are merely sections of the article in the link. I don't that they should be immediately dismissed without any consideration at all.
If you read the article, in some cases it provides the reason on why you wouldn't implement some of these ideas. (Such as ambiguity in icon use.)

I think issue that I think is the biggest stumbling block is that these ideas are to perform simple tasks for casual users. Most of the people here are locked into needing/wanting more than that. Doesn't help that many new users want to leap straight into character animation and liquid effects. (Forget the bouncing ball.)

But there may be room for ideas that bridge user levels. By having settings like the warning level applied to other things like shortcut key reminders when hovering. An experienced user may not want them on at all but a new users may find that very valuable. Different workflows could prove to find some things useful.

Example, I know people who have used MS Word for more than ten years and they still don't use keyboard shortcuts(...except for maybe CTL-Z) This boggles my mind. People actually go up to the icons for actions such as CUT, COPY, and PASTE? But they do. And many users never went through the menus to learn about other tools, so MS got rid of the menus in favor of "the ribbon" which I find juvenile. But the research proves out that most users were intimidated by lists of words for things they didn't really understand. So, they adopted ideas from this article, like icons and hiding advanced functionality. While I personally find this infuriating, MS has made the decision that the "greater good" is to advance the basic level of average users at the cost of crippling the much smaller advanced user base.

This is a lesson that Newtek should heed. Not that I am advocating crippling the program to grow a larger userbase of casual users rather, it is a warning that you do not want to alienate your advanced userbase by hiding things or create a clutter of pop ups.

Add to this, how do you provide all of these "extras" without bogging down the code?
If Newtek were to put this much effort into revising code, would they see greater returns on helping the new user and making things easier and thereby "growing" the userbase yielding more revenue?
Or, would improving speed on poly handling, unification, camera matching (or at least perspective matching) modeler & layout yield greater returns?

probiner
11-22-2012, 05:46 PM
Sure the UI is the bane of LW and stopping people to join the Wave... :screwy:
Having a better app itself, it right there deals with many of UI/ease issues: it kills stacks of workarounds, creates consistent mindset rules, offers a performance that allows 3D-Artists (hey, what you know..) move on with what's on their mind and less on debugging and on geeky discussions.

Anyway easy said than done and wish NT good luck in finding LW a good path to trace, but I sometimes in a joke tone think that LW15 or so will come with a hip joint replacement voucher as a promotion marketing, since I don't see many new people coming in (not just end-user side) and a boatload off people going out. I myself am seeking for something else to widen my 3D perspective, deliver better, more rationally and integrated with others.

Cheers

robertoortiz
11-22-2012, 07:22 PM
Guys Iam just throwing ideas into the wall ...

BUt I do believe that LW interface can be streamlined.

jrjohannes
11-22-2012, 08:54 PM
Guys Iam just throwing ideas into the wall ...

BUt I do believe that LW interface can be streamlined.

It can! First, many of the issues can be resolved by configuring menu layouts. Second, if NewTek made The Perfect Interface, they'd be out of the 3D Software Business. Versions of software are about addressing these issues but for a company they also relate to Job Security. It's a delicate balance really!

How about instead of "all or nothing" ideas like REPLACE ALL THE TEXT BASED BUTTONS WITH ICONS, think about a "non-active" area in the Configure Menus Panel where a user can add ANY image they wish?
Find the Command, add it to a menu, then DRAG an image next to this and it becomes part of the button??? Even Animated GIFS like we do with the Emoticons on the Forum here.

geo_n
11-22-2012, 11:53 PM
Well its very simple...

Things like rigging, sufacing, etc, etc are detailed TECHNICAL tasks requiring at least some stretch by a user into those territories to achieve the best in these areas, and that is NOT gonna change.

So the only answer for the "traditional" artist... is more automation. Autoriggers, surface preset libraries, simulation presets, etc, etc. Combined (most likely) with touch/gesture (read; "reel feel") interaction methods where appropriate, such as modeling, character posing, etc.

Automate as much possible imho tasks.
Artist can focus on story and art instead.

Want to get into character animation faster. Autoriggers make it easier and faster.
Characterstudio, genoma, rhiggit, maestro,etc

Want to get that character moving. Get decent mocap workflow or atleast make it easy to intergrate mocap software.
Characterstudio, ipisoft, brekel kinect face, etc

Need easy to use, make it beautiful renders. Predictable, fast, wysiwg, no external exporter, less mdd stuff workflow.
Vray renderer, vray render presets, vray materials, vray preset models

Specific vfx, mograph tools.
rayfire - besides breaking stuff it has automated bullet hits, smoke, debris, even makes automated damaged mesh of your original mesh in one click. Non-destructive to the scene file and model, too.
c4d mograph - procedurally driven, powerful, non-destructive.
fumefx - preset fires, smoke, materials, etc
I know someone requested an arrow generetor that could fire thousands of arrows in a battle scene in one click
particle presets, lightning presets, fluid presets, cloth presets

citybuilders
many scripts out there for free. one click done.

vehicle riggers
same as above. a few clicks done.

autograss generator- hdinstance developer has one
auto cloud and sky generator
autolandscape builder

autouvmap, autoretopo zbrush, 3dcoat, etc

geo_n
11-23-2012, 12:01 AM
Stuff like this that would take hours to figure out and actually do takes less than half an hour and I could go home early than the usual 12hour workdays.


http://vimeo.com/21497926

or this domino rigger for mograph and logo animations
http://www.ardakutlu.com/dominorigger.html

toby
11-23-2012, 12:55 AM
Automate as much possible imho tasks. Artist can focus on story and art instead.
They can do that now. Just don't do anything photo-real, volumetric, or involving deformation or fx; no problem.


Stuff like this that would take hours to figure out and actually do takes less than half an hour and I could go home early than the usual 12hour workdays.


http://vimeo.com/21497926

Wow - if I had a nickel for every time I had to do a book page-turning animation over the last decade... I wouldn't have a single penny in my bank account. But yea, let's ask Newtek to automate anything we can possibly imagine, just in case we need it once in a decade. Because we don't want to do any work, everything should be done for us.

geo_n
11-23-2012, 01:31 AM
They can do that now. Just don't do anything photo-real, volumetric, or involving deformation or fx; no problem.


Wow - if I had a nickel for every time I had to do a book page-turning animation over the last decade... I wouldn't have a single penny in my bank account. But yea, let's ask Newtek to automate anything we can possibly imagine, just in case we need it once in a decade. Because we don't want to do any work, everything should be done for us.

You forget the thread is for non 3D users to make it easy for them. Take advantage of every tool an artist can get. That's just common sense. You want to go back not using vray? :p
Paying for 10bucks and earn 500 times its worth, not bad. I bought both plugins and saved me days r and d and then tweaking during the project. Boss was happy, I got out early. Happy days :D

jasonwestmas
11-23-2012, 07:19 AM
Yes, I agree automated stuff, no matter what sort it is, is the best way to get more people interested in 3D applications. Then when the newcomer finds they need even more control, they can already feel comfortable inside the app. because they most likely will have gotten the basics down in order to get to the next level and digging deeper.

jasonwestmas
11-23-2012, 07:36 AM
Having a better app itself, it right there deals with many of UI/ease issues: it kills stacks of workarounds, creates consistent mindset rules, offers a performance that allows 3D-Artists (hey, what you know..) move on with what's on their mind and less on debugging and on geeky discussions.


I know that when I first started using LW7.0 the last thing I wanted to do was anything extremely technical. The Inside LW7.0 book got me on my way for a lot of things but that's all it did was get me started, creatively speaking the tools were still slow as all heck and disconnected, learning the technical properties didn't help me develop my own personal vision. Meaning I couldn't take a concept that I developed with a pencil or paint brush and turn it into a fully developed animated idea, there were just way too many hoops to jump through as a creative tool. As I became more comfortable with punishing myself by reading and learning tons of jargon that had nothing to do with creativity, I was finally able to rig and deform something that kinda looked good when it moved but that was only the beginnings and I was hardly happy with any of the results from the processes I had to learn to get there half way.

Now today, automatic means of creating specialized forms of animation are springing up in many ways and I'm sure that these are the plugins that new people flock to. Even I like to use them some times as someone who would rather focus on the conceptual idea than the technical geeky stuff.

Ironically, I started as an illustrator/painter that wanted to make things move, but I've spend way more time trying to make the models look better than they were because that was simply easier for me to do than to get them animated. I just think the tools developed for still images are better than the ones used for animation, especially in lightwave. It wasn't till I started looking outside of lightwave for extremely complex animation solutions did I realize how complicated my goals actually were and that LW was not the tool for me in that department. And so to really get things done animation-wise I needed to use more automatic means to get there.

And before someone tells me that I'm all wrong about LW rigging and animation tools, I just want to say what I'm still looking for is an animation equivalent for something as interactive as sculpting on a model in Zbrush. yes there are many technical workflow things to learn but the interactive nature is there and connectivity is still there in programs like Zbrush. Yes, it's a tough package to learn, but that doesn't mean it's wrong in all aspects for attracting new users. On the contrary I think more new users flock to programs like Zbrush because in the end it gives the user EXACTLY what they want in a modeling context with far fewer technical restrictions such as topology and realtime polygon count restrictions. It's a wyswyg app. like mentioned before. The last thing an animator wants to do is know where to put a null in a bone chain in order to get the IK to work and all the hundreds of little manipulators and sliders you have to create and get into the correct orientation and child/parent setup. And then when the fun is over we have no way to save a pose or re-suse any complex setup later or the motion mixer doesn't work with certain IK setups etc. That's just one small workflow issue, there are many more.

Granted I accept the fact that animation in general is just an extremely expensive and self-sacrificing thing to do with your time than any still image on it's own, no matter the toolset.

robertoortiz
11-23-2012, 10:33 AM
I agree on all the statements posted above. Automatization of 3D tools will open up new markets of NON 3D USERS.

Another thing I would recommend is to look into the past for animation.
After all most of the 3d Animation toolsets we take for granted have been clovered toghether in the past 20 years(and a lot of it was done to compensate for technical limitation of the software and the hardware), but have ignored the 100+ years of traditional experience that came before.

For ideasof new directions , check out these videos on the workflow of traditional PAPER DRAWN animation. Check them out for fun a giggles..
:)

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Dan+Kuenster+Animation+Boot+C amp


Again I am just throwing ideas into the wall..

jeric_synergy
11-23-2012, 11:45 AM
"Clovered"? Did you mean "cobbled"? ;) :beerchug:

jasonwestmas
11-23-2012, 01:07 PM
I'm big on taking two mediums and sticking them together but the trick is to eliminate the disadvantages of both mediums in hopes to make the two concepts seamless. Technologically we have to first recognize the disadvantages of the 2D medium and the 3D medium in order to fully take advantage of both workflows. Then be aware of what the advantages are in the first place. Then find where the 3D medium can fill in the holes of the 2D medium for animation and ViceVersa. Common sense for some I'm sure.

Then we have the digital tools verses the traditional tools regardless of the 2 or 3 dimensions. I think anybody with half a brain knows that digital is faster to achieve most results if you put your mind to using the software.

The PRIME advantage of any graphics software is its ability to QUICKLY reuse elements made up of shapes, shade and color because we can EFFICIENTLY store complex numerical settings thereon the computer. You cannot do that in a non-digital medium quickly. Secondly, the software is able to make global changes to the entire image more quickly as well.

Common sense or experiences tells us this is true: The prime advantage to working in 3D is to be able to visualize a flat image in a 3rd dimension so we can more fully understand the relationships that make up the final 2D image in a 3D compositional space. Why would we ever want to do this? We do this for more control over the believeability of the image in our imaginations or it is simply done for more control over the final look and feel in comparison to video capture; Or because the 3rd dimension is richer in graphical possibilities than simply working with 2 dimensions. It's harder to adjust things with 2 dimensions and still maintain consistency and accuracy in the overall depth and form of objects that are intended to appear dimensional. We POTENTIALLY tend to have more global control over the atmospheric quality for the entire image in the 3rd dimension using the CG software.

What traditional tools provide in general as a major advantage is a lot of interactive experimentation through line, color and shape and even shading and light etc. with enough practice. Now we can do this kind of a thing in 3D software using various types of deformers to distort the shape of our objects much like we can through drawing shapes with lines and then animate that over time. . . but that take so much setup time to do even today. In the not so distant pass we had to do a lot more teaching of the computer to show it how to deform a model with a rig every single time! The modern age of thinking says why not take advantage of the computer's ability to reuse our setups in a flexible way. Well this is where cg software companies are going but it's taken so long for this way of thinking catch on, or it's just so complex and expensive to get the software ready and full feature animation just hasn't been top priority for most off the shelf software companies. Probably all three reasons.

Traditional, non-digital tools certainly aren't ideal for quickly reusing, replicating and mixing visual elements and entire compositions quickly after you have created them. You can make an awesome painting in 2D but try animating it without a lot of jittering and other artifacting going on, that's impossible for any human to do without a computer. . .Software tends to excel in this animation arena and allows us to interpolate motion along a trajectory/path/fcurve for each of these 3D objects in any desired style through conceptual space and time without too much flickering and jittery motion.

So in conclusion, I think the answer to taking advantage of 2D techniques is in the ability to be highly interactive with the deforming properties (Point Animation, poses, vmap containers) of the model and then be able to store it, reuse it, mix it with other elements and be able to change and tweak it to match and fit into another context later for an entirely different scene or project. I would most likely want to see a nodal system used to take full advantage of the computer's replicating and mixing abilities and have work together interactively with any form of sculpting brushes, sliding path constraints, cage deformers and Vertex masks. And as computers are able to push more and more data around in real time, I think that is where future graphics software will be going.

For a long time have I been told that I can't have interactive tools and the ultimate control in the same toolset/ environment. That has only been true because of our limited processing capabilities in the computer. Eventually we will have enough real time feedback to do highly detailed deformations in real time or at least be able to quickly do a preview of such things via a simple on/off switch. Only question is, who is planning for that day? It's going to come, but who really is going to be able to take advantage.

toby
11-23-2012, 01:25 PM
You forget the thread is for non 3D users to make it easy for them. Take advantage of every tool an artist can get. That's just common sense. You want to go back not using vray? :p
Paying for 10bucks and earn 500 times its worth, not bad. I bought both plugins and saved me days r and d and then tweaking during the project. Boss was happy, I got out early. Happy days :D
Of course that makes sense, if you're lucky enough to find a plugin that does what you want and it's affordable - but not if you're expecting a tool like that for everything in lw.

jasonwestmas
11-23-2012, 02:53 PM
Of course that makes sense, if you're lucky enough to find a plugin that does what you want and it's affordable - but not if you're expecting a tool like that for everything in lw.


I think this thread is more about promoting good conceptual ideas for sparking interest and better workflows for new CG artists. Doesn't really matter at this point to speculate what is possible and what isn't. That we should somehow expect for our ideas not to be recognized and used just because it's hard to do on a technical level. Besides that, I think that plugin could be used for a lot more than page turning in a book don't you? Afterall, a book is not the only object on earth that uses layered geometry that bends and requires careful anti clipping detection.

jeric_synergy
11-23-2012, 03:23 PM
I wonder what research has been done along these lines. I suspect that user confusion is different for starters, users, experts. That info would be good to have in hand.

jasonwestmas
11-23-2012, 04:01 PM
I wonder what research has been done along these lines. I suspect that user confusion is different for starters, users, experts. That info would be good to have in hand.

Absolutely different when in a creative context. . .I think the research already points to flexible and interactive tools. Not necessarily making tools that can be easily understood without picking up a manual.

toby
11-23-2012, 07:56 PM
Doesn't really matter at this point to speculate what is possible and what isn't.But that's exactly what we're all doing here.


That we should somehow expect for our ideas not to be recognized and used just because it's hard to do on a technical level.
Not sure I understand what you mean - but if you mean that every idea of ours - even ones that only benefit a few - should be invested in by NT, can't say I agree.



Besides that, I think that plugin could be used for a lot more than page turning in a book don't you? Afterall, a book is not the only object on earth that uses layered geometry that bends and requires careful anti clipping detection.
It might be good for a 'few' other things in the universe, but I can't think of anything. Beds? No, you need cloth sim for that. Feathers? No there's no way the rig will conform to a detailed organic rig & model. If we had a narrow-use tool like this for everything, people would be complaining that the 10,000 tools are too daunting. Half of them would break with every new version. Imagine trying to document all of them, which are only used sporadically. All these tools have their own learning curve too, 3DSMax is full of them (though not as developed or specific as page-turning), and they never work the first time, they all have gotcha's and restrictions, and times that they won't work. General or broad purpose tools need to get priority. 3D students will never get the basics if things are automated. Think Poser users have ever even heard the term Lambert?

It's easy to just learn the basics of 3d, or just learn modeling, or just animation, etc. but learning to do it all well is never going to be easy, that's why there are no generalists working in movies, including people who've studied cg full-time for years. Even if you were able to make it 10% easier, no one would be satisfied, it would still be harder than they think it should be; easy enough that they don't need to read the manual, much less take a class. If something's too hard, break it down into smaller parts, spend more time on it, or maybe it's not for you. Don't expect everyone else to make sacrifices for you. You guys are already making it vastly easier for them by answering questions here, even tech support sends people here.

I personally don't want them to spend anymore resources on making it easier, because they're already among the easiest, and they're still losing ground in technology and the market. I don't want it to become another poser.

geo_n
11-23-2012, 09:11 PM
Actually this is very relevant to my freelance consultant work recently. I'll post something by february when something relevant is released. We are working on something that targets non-3d users with a program to make it as less difficult to generate 3D ideas.
I know for a fact that a good developer can make a plugin in less than a few hours. It doesn't take that many resources to do a specific plugin. I asked one of the developers I work with to make action centers in the X app we're working on and he did it in a few hours and this affects the whole program. A plugin is much easier if someone is willing to pay.
Macros in other software are automation. Lwcad automates a lot of modelling tools that would be irrelevant to a non-3d user to learn to do. Modelling a stair, wall, doors manually. Modelling a tree when you can use dptrees, etc.
If you think about it, bandsaw/bandglue is some sort of automation. Instead of cutting one by one each poly and welding them or vice versa, we do it in one click.

I wish fprime was updated or bought by newtek. To this day it is THE renderer that is the easiest to use with the least amount of headache to deal with animation and gi. Not even vray comes close to how easy and carefree you can render with fprime. Its a renderer that doesn't get in the way. I would still recommend fprime to non-3d users to keep them from banging their head trying to figure out good settings in lw renderer.

tburbage
11-23-2012, 11:10 PM
...I think in general, to me, artist friendly is as close to visual and tactile as possible. And this for me carries through from working with real world materials. For example, writing an expression by hand, it intensely meticulous. Of course if you are a programmer, this is intuitive. But for an "artist" it is not. I'd rather open up two panels and simply drag the channel I want to drive something with across a space into the other panel. This is both visual and tactile - more so if I am using a pen. And it is very simply akin to dipping paint into a palette and then reaching over to the canvas. I believe that the genus of drag and drop is just that. But then, after I have created a simply expression this way, or the start of one, then it is easy to go into the expression editor and add some math or other modifications.

In general you can list the types of things that are more "artist friendly" by tracing their origins of GUI design back to their real-world counterparts.

Dragging and Dropping - the arc of motion of the hand taking materials from one place to another in a workshop.

Clicking on an icon or other visual representation of and action - selecting a real-world tool from a shelf.

And so on.

I think making something more "artist friendly" is along these lines.

That said, I am also an audio engineer. Trained in the analog days. So I have seen the digital age come and I have embraced all those things that are not at all tactile in the same way as in the real world. Such as knobs and sliders which I hate. It is far more efficient and far more effective to drag and edit rubber band curves on a audio timeline than any of the other real-world counterpart actions. I have done it both ways digitally and I was very quick to embrace Vegas when it first came out back in 2000. I remember how much more intuitive it was to edit sound this way rather than dragging digital sliders or turning digital knobs. And I never looked back. It has always made me wonder why some people design and why people use programs that look like audio sound boards. I just don't get it. I mean I get the visual/tackle thing. But the other way is much more accurate and faster.

So I think it also has to be balanced with practicality.

Familiarity is indeed a large part of it. But also there are things that are generally easier to grasp and seem more intuitive than others. And other things, simply much faster, such as key shorts which have no comparison to real world, but are faster to execute. So speed is a big thing. Not a worse buzz kill than stuff that takes forever to get accomplished when it could be designed to go much faster.

Good post, Richard. Covers some of my own thoughts pretty well. I want to throw in consistency. I did not find ZBrush to be "intuitive", but having put in the time to become really familiar with it, I'm very impressed with its strong design consistency.

toby
11-24-2012, 12:32 AM
It doesn't take that many resources to do a specific plugin.
Sure, as long as you don't include documentation, bug fixes and compatibility with the rest of the program, new versions, multiple OS's and systems. People would expect all theose plugins to work together too. Does that book rigger support morphing into an animal?

There's new tools for every project I work on, and they break *constantly*, when something in the pipeline is changed.



Macros in other software are automation. Lwcad automates a lot of modelling tools that would be irrelevant to a non-3d user to learn to do. If you think about it, bandsaw/bandglue is some sort of automation. Instead of cutting one by one each poly and welding them or vice versa, we do it in one click.
So while they're trying to understand pixels, layout, tweening, and modeler - now they have to learn LWcad too. That's not simplifying things. Automation like Bandsaw is nothing like Poser's, that's what I'm talking about.

geo_n
11-24-2012, 02:15 AM
Sure, as long as you don't include documentation, bug fixes and compatibility with the rest of the program, new versions, multiple OS's and systems. People would expect all theose plugins to work together too. Does that book rigger support morphing into an animal?

There's new tools for every project I work on, and they break *constantly*, when something in the pipeline is changed.


So while they're trying to understand pixels, layout, tweening, and modeler - now they have to learn LWcad too. That's not simplifying things. Automation like Bandsaw is nothing like Poser's, that's what I'm talking about.

Its called a bookrigger. Not a book to animal morpher.
As for breaking in versions and os, that's the choice of the user. They stick with macs, they deal with the limitations and lack of versions. For 3dmax, scripts are compatible in most modern versions 9-2012. Plugins are not always. That's the same as os, so if one wants to stick to winxp, that's their choice. In lw lscripts are compatible with both mac and pc and compatible thru many versions. Why punish the people who decide to move forward and not develop such tools?
Lwcad, creating doors, windows, fences, etc is like creating a primitive in modeller. Click a button place it on the screen. What's to learn with lwcads architectural presets when they act like any other tool like box, sphere,etc?
For an architectural designer that "might" not be great since they do their own designs. But maybe not since evermotion presets are invaluable to these types of people when I talk to them. For other people this could be hours of work done in seconds with a click of a button. Personally I use these quick preset from lwcad at work and save me tons of time.
I don't really look down on poser and its users as traditional die hard 3d artists tend to do. Poser has its use. I'm pretty sure it was used by one of the old geezers here at work to produce non-hero characters for a tv cm nearly a decade ago. Past my time but I know it would have been impossible to finish that in less than a week if done from scratch.
My point of view here is make 3d accessible to everyone. The people past my generation if they want to stick to old ways of doings things that's their choice.

toby
11-24-2012, 03:32 AM
Its called a bookrigger. Not a book to animal morpher.
Exactly. So when the book plugin can't do what they want, they're totally stuck, and complain that LW is too hard. Just like the Baker's dilemna.


As for breaking in versions and os, that's the choice of the user.
Oh come on. Do you expect NT to make or buy all these plugins, then tell customers "don't upgrade anything, even to a new version of LW"? Lscript HAS been updated before. Do you want it to be stuck the way it is, forever?


Lwcad, creating doors, windows, fences, etc is like creating a primitive in modeller. Click a button place it on the screen. What's to learn with lwcads architectural presets when they act like any other tool like box, sphere,etc?
To someone who doesn't even know what raytracing is, and now has to learn how to add a plugin, license it, and how to use it if they want anything besides a door, plenty. You're confusing what makes your job easier with making it simpler for beginners.


I don't really look down on poser and its users as traditional die hard 3d artists tend to do. Poser has its use. I'm pretty sure it was used by one of the old geezers here at work to produce non-hero characters for a tv cm nearly a decade ago. Past my time but I know it would have been impossible to finish that in less than a week if done from scratch.
My point of view here is make 3d accessible to everyone. The people past my generation if they want to stick to old ways of doings things that's their choice.
How many job listings have you seen for Poser artists?? It has it's "use", with hobbyists. Is that the level that you want LW to be?? I definitely do not want LW to be accessible to anyone who wants a look-better button. The people past your generation didn't even have a mouse or a gui to use on their computer. None of them want that to come back. And they certainly don't expect things to be push-button from the time they're invented, like radiosity and sss. It has nothing to do with "sticking to old ways". Do you also want Ptex and Deep Compositing to be accessible to people who don't even use computers?

robertoortiz
11-24-2012, 07:18 AM
First I would discurage newtek STRONGLY from getting into the specific tool businees.
What I would do is make next gen LW into an app that make the creation and sharing of advanced tool and macros EASY. Life ICE in Softimage.

Another thing I would lilke to point out is that
GOOD USABILITY =/ POSER

A big problem with poser is that it did ONLY one thing great. That is it.
POSER like app are not the future.
Au contraire,
GOOD USABILITY is the future.
a better example from the vector world would be
FLASH & TOONBOOM for vector animation
or from the gaming world
FLASH & UNITY 3D for gaming

In both cases 6 years ago Flash was the market leader.
And now tow upstarts are cleaning its clocks. (And BTW the Jobs hissy fit was only one facor)
With Actionscript 3 it made it more object oriented, (something that programmers loved and designers hated.)
and it discouraged developers from doing WYSIWYG development.
BIG MISTAKE.

TOONBOOM Animate
it streamlined the way vector animation in a way that anyone can learn it in one afternoon.
And the streamlining hides a toon of power under its hood. Right now, TOOMBOM HARMONY is the GO TO Tool for television 2d animation.
For a good reason.

UNITY 3D
It has one of the most open scripting enviroments i have seen in my life. If you have done any scripting in any computer language you can use it. C++? go ahead, C# why not, Java, we support that. And it has an incredible WYSIWYG interface.


Simple things for the for NON 3D users make all the difference in the world.
CINEMA 4D has fantastic text tools and it integrates into the ADOBE world with ease.
These things are a BIG deal for non 3d users.

To be BLUNT as it stands right now,
Lightwave is a bipolar app.
it has FANTASTIC usability in certain areas,
but in other areas, like rigging or character animation, it is frankly a nightmare.

jasonwestmas
11-24-2012, 08:43 AM
But that's exactly what we're all doing here.


I'll start by saying that I would agree that making an app. easier to learn through automation is irrelavant and that hard work and experience is necessary if one has to have even more control than what the automated toolset has to offer. That's what I'm talking about here, Automated tools in order to explore one's creative ideas. But only after the BASICS have been learned by the new user. HOWEVER, Automation is very good for keeping new users around because they can start making their creative ideas come to life right away while learning the deeper intricacies of the tools later on. I'll keep bringing up Zbrush. Any joker can start sculpting things right away in Zbrush, especially if they don't try to treat Zbrush like maya, or lightwave or max. . . .and then watch some videos later on and gain even more control over their tools. The reason anybody can start creating things right away with high detail is because Zbrush as a modeling toolset is designed to get to high resolution details right away. Other programs and their toolsets are not designed to do this nor are they designed to rig a set of detailed deformations in a face quickly for example.

Also, I'm not speculating what is best for newtek, I'm speculating about what is best for newer users to explore creative ideas using a digital medium. Just to be specific here.



Not sure I understand what you mean - but if you mean that every idea of ours - even ones that only benefit a few - should be invested in by NT, can't say I agree.

Again, I'm not talking about newtek or any company or ONLY about 3rd party plugins, that's far too limiting to think in terms of what a small company can and can't do anyway. . . I'm talking about automated software design in general for 3D apps. concerning new users. But yes I'm suggesting that you were saying that we should just give up because our ideas somehow don't benefit anyone but a few people. That's too presumptuous for what I'm talking about. You're talking historical facts based on economics and companies. I'm not here to talk about economics and financial limitations but good ways to help new people quickly develop their ideas in 3D software, especially with animation tools.



It might be good for a 'few' other things in the universe, but I can't think of anything. Beds? No, you need cloth sim for that. Feathers? No there's no way the rig will conform to a detailed organic rig & model. If we had a narrow-use tool like this for everything, people would be complaining that the 10,000 tools are too daunting. Half of them would break with every new version. Imagine trying to document all of them, which are only used sporadically. All these tools have their own learning curve too, 3DSMax is full of them (though not as developed or specific as page-turning), and they never work the first time, they all have gotcha's and restrictions, and times that they won't work. General or broad purpose tools need to get priority. 3D students will never get the basics if things are automated. Think Poser users have ever even heard the term Lambert?

It's easy to just learn the basics of 3d, or just learn modeling, or just animation, etc. but learning to do it all well is never going to be easy, that's why there are no generalists working in movies, including people who've studied cg full-time for years. Even if you were able to make it 10% easier, no one would be satisfied, it would still be harder than they think it should be; easy enough that they don't need to read the manual, much less take a class. If something's too hard, break it down into smaller parts, spend more time on it, or maybe it's not for you. Don't expect everyone else to make sacrifices for you. You guys are already making it vastly easier for them by answering questions here, even tech support sends people here.

I personally don't want them to spend anymore resources on making it easier, because they're already among the easiest, and they're still losing ground in technology and the market. I don't want it to become another poser.

Well, if you want to talk about the limitations of companies and 3rd party software today we can do that but I'm not concerned with talking about what is possible economically right now. . .you raise a lot of good points and some points are besides the points I'm trying to make. As a character artist I can totally see the use for layered geometry detection that is less expensive computationally. Complicated costume design is full of that situation where complex dynamics aren't really necessary, but collision detection between bendy surfaces is still a necessity. . . . and I have have no idea what that book plugin is capable of turning into, but nevertheless, it has a sound concept behind it that you and others aren't interested in. That's fine, I'm NOT trying to suggest that everyone should be interested in the same plugins as me, nor everyone should learn how to sculpt in Zbrush for hard surface modeling. . . nor that the plugins and toolsets themselves should TEACH the basics of 3D applications.

Historically if the SDK is sound, and if written well, Plugins are always able to be changed and adapted to another creative context into something else using previous code of another context, it's all just code right. So whether or not it could handle complex geometry is of no consequence to me, the CONCEPTUAL IDEA of it is sound and that's where all good tools start, with a good sound functional idea based on creative experience. You're obsessed with historical fact, I can see that but that's not really a productive thing to think about when talking about new ways to help new users explore their ideas (NOT teach the intricate details of the software, that's another subject matter).

In other ways, you're speaking from experiences that don't coincide with my experiences about 3rd party plugins today in general, and other 3D software, so I really can't comment about that, those are your experiences, not mine. I have had far more success getting things to my liking by buying a few specialized plugins and some are qwerky and others are rock solid. So to say all 3rd party plugins are more likely to suck, I wouldn't agree with that, I'd say it's a toss up that is in constant flux but the 3rd party market is improving for some apps. ime. But again I don't care very much for debating the cost of things nor what Newtek's supposed business practices should be.

toby
11-24-2012, 04:59 PM
So to say all 3rd party plugins are more likely to suck, I wouldn't agree with that
Oh not at all. I just don't think they're the answer to making things easier for beginners.

I don't care very much for debating the cost of things nor what Newtek's supposed business practices should be.
Fair enough, that is different than what I thought you were talking about.

Surrealist.
11-24-2012, 06:20 PM
Good post, Richard. Covers some of my own thoughts pretty well. I want to throw in consistency. I did not find ZBrush to be "intuitive", but having put in the time to become really familiar with it, I'm very impressed with its strong design consistency.

Yeah, consistency is indeed a big one.

One of the biggest consistency killers in LightWave is the various tools and plugins that have been developed - particularly in Modeler. So much of LightWave development has actually occurred in the face of not addressing more basic level functionality.

Specific examples: Translate Plus, Rove Tool, Extender Plus, Extrude, etc. Then the Move, Scale and Rotate group. You can add up about at least a dozen tools that could be eliminated by a simple consistent interface design with a manipulator, proportional edit mode, snapping and custom work planes.

This alone would increase the "artist friendly" aspect of LightWave right there.

And there is of course no consistency pretty much - at all - between Layout and Modeler.

robertoortiz
11-25-2012, 07:32 AM
Yeah, consistency is indeed a big one.

One of the biggest consistency killers in LightWave is the various tools and plugins that have been developed - particularly in Modeler. So much of LightWave development has actually occurred in the face of not addressing more basic level functionality.

Specific examples: Translate Plus, Rove Tool, Extender Plus, Extrude, etc. Then the Move, Scale and Rotate group. You can add up about at least a dozen tools that could be eliminated by a simple consistent interface design with a manipulator, proportional edit mode, snapping and custom work planes.

This alone would increase the "artist friendly" aspect of LightWave right there.

And there is of course no consistency pretty much - at all - between Layout and Modeler.

Amen, I agree 100%!
My idea version of LW would keep the hands on feeling LW has, but would consolidate a lot of tools.

jasonwestmas
11-25-2012, 07:55 AM
Amen, I agree 100%!
My idea version of LW would keep the hands on feeling LW has, but would consolidate a lot of tools.


Yes, that consolidation that needs to take place is huge! Again, this is something that won't necessarily attract new users initially but will keep them around much longer.

I still think more Automatic setups and tool sets are what attract newer users to any application.

jeric_synergy
11-25-2012, 08:20 AM
I still think more Automatic setups and tool sets are what attract newer users to any application.
"If you can type, you can animate!" http://www.xtranormal.com/

I think Xtranormal is the ultimate in Automatic setups, and neatly and extremely shows the conceptual limitations of such things.

"Footprints" is probably the premier type of automatic setup that would wow the marks, errr, customers.

jasonwestmas
11-25-2012, 08:22 AM
Good post, Richard. Covers some of my own thoughts pretty well. I want to throw in consistency. I did not find ZBrush to be "intuitive", but having put in the time to become really familiar with it, I'm very impressed with its strong design consistency.

UI aside, I think the words "intuitive workflow" is not the right thing to be worried about when learning a new app. This is because specialized software in general ( like Zbrush is ) is designed to start from either a high resolution sculpt first OR start from a low polymesh first and enables you to step in between multiple resolutions. Zbrush is designed around this entire concept and so it must behave differently than other animation/modeling packages that are designed to start simple and then gradually work your way up to a higher resolution. Believe it or not this concept totally transforms the workflow and to do certain tasks high resolution tasks faster than what you can do in other modelers and even faster than what you can do in mudbox sometimes. For example hard surface booleans are created in Zbrush now similar to how modeler does booleans but at much higher resolutions. You can then optimize your creations using decimation master quite easily then apply UVs to it in modeler then render it just as you would anything else in layout. I think what you see is what you get "interactive workflow" is a much more important subject for future software development because in the end we want the ability to quickly achieve our results and get interactive feeback asap! So I think keeping users around longer is less about familiarity and more about achieving feedback faster through interactive tools that are infinitely flexible. But the flexibility has to be clean and organized and it has to permit multiple resolution handling and optimization capabilities.

jasonwestmas
11-25-2012, 09:45 AM
"If you can type, you can animate!" http://www.xtranormal.com/

I think Xtranormal is the ultimate in Automatic setups, and neatly and extremely shows the conceptual limitations of such things.

"Footprints" is probably the premier type of automatic setup that would wow the marks, errr, customers.

Well, It's always a question of needed levels of control per visual element. Then when talking about stylized work within the animated shapes themselves, the automatic tools should do some educated guessing on a more generalized level but also allow flexibility in the finely tuned adjustment within each smaller localized part of the setup as well when needed. A great example of this kind of setup is the Anzovin Face machine for maya. It has a highly customizable auto rigger than allows you to go back and forth between different levels of detail in the deformations of the face. . .it works from general deformers to finely tuned deformers/manipulators. Ironically AFM uses the same principle for animating a face that zbrush uses for sculpting a detailed object. . .in that you have different levels of blocking out your object/shape in an effort to eventually fine tune your edits. But the beauty of it all is that you are not restricted to work in a linear fashion, you can go back and forth to your more primitive edits and then come back to your finely tuned areas wtihout loosing any previous edits. Then you can even store your edits as a morph map or pose depending on the application you are using.

Going back to "If you can type, you can animate!" I think a generic scripting language that is easy as typing messages in a forum would be a great thing for directors so one can quickly setup cameras and do other simple tasks that are also time consuming, without much effort would be a great thing to explore.

Surrealist.
11-25-2012, 06:39 PM
Yeah, that is a good point about Zbrush. To me that falls under functionality. The problem with LightWave Modeler is there is very few things - if any - that have advantage over other modeling solutions. OK Multishift. The best tool of its kind I have seen anywhere. Probably a few other small things too I forget. But in general, Modeler suffers from functionality. That is to say, at the end of the day, what is the advantage? You are doing the same things you can do in any other package. And today most other packages not only add more functionality but do the common things more fluently and consistently. With Zbrush, you gain a ton of functionality that in some cases do not exist in other apps. Much more functionality there than in Mudbox for example. So an artist of course has to look at what he/she is gaining by learning an app even if it is unintuitive. Because once this becomes familiar, it pays off in an increased functionality. And in some cases doing things faster, more efficient etc.

Oedo 808
11-26-2012, 12:18 AM
I've been critical, at least in conversation of the way The LightWave Group has approached communication, but after some recent threads I couldn't condemn them if they never frequented the forums ever again.

probiner
11-26-2012, 04:31 AM
Erhh don't got there... Sure we are arsholes at times with little self restrain and an unpleasent experience for those that provide this product we like so much. My personal appologies there. But actually you shouldn't condemn anyone (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?130453-New-Forum-look&p=1282783&viewfull=1#post1282783) for not showing up. Many and different reasons, we know, and some can't even be discussed with the risk of hammer.

So better focus on the subject, even if fruitless as it seems.


Richard I also enjoy Multishift a lot, what other places have you been that make you miss it?

Cheers

Oedo 808
11-26-2012, 05:39 AM
Just to be clear proby, I was talking about the newly formed LightWave Division, not sure what the official name is.

And I don't mind people being critical it's just there seems to be so much waffle of late, it's more a case of sorting the chaff from the chaff, you can forget about the wheat.

jeric_synergy
11-26-2012, 11:57 AM
I think that Rob wisely tightened up on the communication: you can't be accused of misleading people if you don't put much out there.

The GIZMO thread is a case in point: Matt clearly came out and said it's a WIP, and that it's configurable, but people are still b!tching about their perceived notions of how it's going to work.

People should ::fingerwag:: limit the complaints to things they KNOW -- I hope I haven't said anything about the Gizmo because currently I know jack-all about it. I'll be interested to see how it evolves.

Of course, I'll whinge 'til the cows come home about the shortcomings of the current Cone Tool (http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?131918-LWM-Cone-primitive-putting-the-pointy-bit-where-you-want-it), but that's different: it's out there in the world. ;)

probiner
11-26-2012, 04:07 PM
jeric, you of all people... Try to research more the goal such tool and the backtrack of feature implementation that concern modeling users about the gizmo subject, before you use your mirror adjectives like "bitching" and "whining". Maybe when you're in a workplace where the main pipeline are AD products you get it.

Follow your own advice on limits... I'll try to follow mine too ;)

Dexter2999
11-26-2012, 06:23 PM
Without reading ALL of the previous...

My suggestions would be:

Numeric and Layer panels are on by default and are "tear away" menus that are docked on the right side of the screen.
New users NEED to see all of the available options for a tool when they click on it. By default the Numeric panel is close and my money says most people just start clicking blindly no truely understanding what a tool is supposed to do. The numeric panel offers options that just clicking around isn't going to offer. Having the menus as "tear away" means people with dual screens could move them over to maximize screen real estate. Sorry to say this but laptop users will have to take a backseat, unless some sort of "heads up" option becomes available, maybe combined with a feature that would move these menus to the opposide of the screen with an ALT-Tab (or somesuch) keystroke.

Also, My personal workflow has never necessitated having the Layers panel and the Statistics windows open at the same time. What if these were the same menu but tabbed? Like the Paragraph options in Adobe Illustrator?

Better Help Documentation, and when a person clicks on it, I'd like for it to open in the Perspective window.
Yeah, I said it! The PERSPECTIVE window! An open window that can explain a tool while keeping the other windows open so a person can use a tool while reading about it.

I second the idea of ALT-Click on a function and have the Help Auto-Open to explain a tool. (Same window.)

I think there should be an option for the user to click if they are on the internet to add links to the displayed info for videos demonstrating the use of the tool, and perhaps perform a search of the forum with similar themed threads. (I think a thread rating system would also be in consideration when listing the pertinent threads.)

Some way of locking the perspective window in Modeler to match the perspective window Layout
...a "Gang" function is what we would call this in editing.

Consolidation of similar tools.
I'm not saying get rid of tools. But I think some tools are so similar that a primary tool could have the subset of tools listed in options of the numeric panel.

Tool search/History as a mouse option
I've explained this several times before and I'm not going to do it again here. To make the software easier to use, bring the tools to the user, don't make the user have to find where a tool was.

jeric_synergy
11-26-2012, 06:32 PM
jeric, you of all people... Try to research more the goal such tool and the backtrack of feature implementation that concern modeling users about the gizmo subject, before you use your mirror adjectives like "bitching" and "whining". Maybe when you're in a workplace where the main pipeline are AD products you get it.
All people know is what Matt said and what they saw on that video, which ain't been much.

jeric_synergy
11-26-2012, 06:43 PM
Lots of good stuff here, and some are dead easy to implement.


Numeric and Layer panels are on by default and are "tear away" menus that are docked on the right side of the screen.

Also, My personal workflow has never necessitated having the Layers panel and the Statistics windows open at the same time.
I don't agree with the second point (who's to say somebody doesn't work this way... wait, I work that way!), but the first one is highly desirable. I'd add that the Layer panel should default to EXPANDED (i.e. show all layers) when ONE and ONLY ONE Object is loaded.

It's tempting to think one's own workflow is the end-all be-all, but it's bad policy. For instance, when I configured my screens to conform to Jonny Gorden's books, I realized his methods were superior to mine. Flexibility is the proper goal. But good defaults (Numeric=open) certainly help.

One thing: I think Adobe holds patents on some of this UI stuff.....


Better Help Documentation, and when a person clicks on it, I'd like for it to open in the Perspective window.
Yeah, I said it! The PERSPECTIVE window! An open window that can explain a tool while keeping the other windows open so a person can use a tool while reading about it.
That's an interesting idea..... make it optional and I'm on board.


Consolidation of similar tools.
I'm not saying get rid of tools. But I think some tools are so similar that a primary tool could have the subset of tools listed in options of the numeric panel.
It's SOFTware: unless the underlying architecture changes, there's no reason to get rid of ANY tool. I suggest the ones that are scheduled to be replaced (by newer, better tools) simply get shuffled off to a LEGACY TAB.

I've explained this several times before and I'm not going to do it again here. To make the software easier to use, bring the tools to the user, don't make the user have to find where a tool was.
Good framing there: "Bring the tool to the user." nice.

Surrealist.
11-26-2012, 07:07 PM
Richard I also enjoy Multishift a lot, what other places have you been that make you miss it?
Cheers

I have been modeling in Blender for over 3 years now. Have not done much in Modeler for a while. Because of the limitations of Blender, I went on a serious search for a new main software of choice last year. I have studied Modo, Maya (enough to get an idea of the modeling tools) Softimage (quite extensively) and smaller trips through a few other tools. I eventually settled on Softimage as a good general main app. I now use Softimage as a modeling tool over Blender. This is just in the last few months. For work now, I model in Softimage and then port everything over to Blender to prep the final delivery version for my client. I could have continued with Blender for my client, but I wanted to force my self to get more familiar with the app I would be animating and rendering in. And there are also many benefits, tools that I don't have in Blender. So it's been good.

A side "benefit" of this exhaustive search has been a fairly well-rounded concept of what is available outside Modeler in other packages. And my main dislike about modeling in Modo is that it reminds me too much of the clunky limitations of Modeler. Blender has spoiled me with its workflow. And I am convinced they got the ideas (even much of the terminology) from Maya and Softimage. So Blender to me is like Maya and Softimage "lite". There are many new tools on the horizon for Blender and it is improving quite fast since the integration of Bmesh.

Meanwhile LightWave is limping along - hindered by bad a development decision from 20 years ago. Finally, way too late, they made a good decision 4 years ago. Then completely gave up on it. (from what I can tell based on the time spent on developing yet more "tools") It is frustrating to watch.

But one cane hope. And I think that is what still draws me back from time to time.

probiner
11-26-2012, 07:29 PM
Where I am at the moment, they use a mix of mainly XSI and Max. I get the feeling that Max is an all round better supported app for modeling, but I'm forcing myself into XSI for rigging and animation components of it, though I picking all I can. So I was suprised to see you post that you modeled in XSI then went to Blender to finish up :D By the way, what in general you feel you can do in XSI on a regular basis that just kills modeler for you?
Only a few minutes in XSI and i feel impressed already, feels clever and to the point: sticky keys, viewports, bezier curves, UI organization. Though I finde the elementar selection and transform shortkeys strange bad and NO OpenGL ant-aliasing or displacement is sad :( I'll take long time to leave Modeler behind though if ever :)
I get what you mean about Modo. Even though I never used it extensively, I think understand you for it being a LW mindset modeling, but updated and streamlined (even without some great modeling plugins), yet still the same manipulation limitations.

Cheers

geo_n
11-26-2012, 08:27 PM
Exactly. So when the book plugin can't do what they want, they're totally stuck, and complain that LW is too hard. Just like the Baker's dilemna.

Oh come on. Do you expect NT to make or buy all these plugins, then tell customers "don't upgrade anything, even to a new version of LW"? Lscript HAS been updated before. Do you want it to be stuck the way it is, forever?

To someone who doesn't even know what raytracing is, and now has to learn how to add a plugin, license it, and how to use it if they want anything besides a door, plenty. You're confusing what makes your job easier with making it simpler for beginners.

How many job listings have you seen for Poser artists?? It has it's "use", with hobbyists. Is that the level that you want LW to be?? I definitely do not want LW to be accessible to anyone who wants a look-better button. The people past your generation didn't even have a mouse or a gui to use on their computer. None of them want that to come back. And they certainly don't expect things to be push-button from the time they're invented, like radiosity and sss. It has nothing to do with "sticking to old ways". Do you also want Ptex and Deep Compositing to be accessible to people who don't even use computers?

I don't think you're getting the point which is plain automation of tasks. It applies to anything that can be automated. It could even be applied to nodes like in softimage that creates a button for a node flow and users only need to click a button.
Like in real life, a modern person wants modern convenience. The old school thinking "no you have to go through this to achieve this" doesn't apply to all, to non-3d people who don't really want to get too deep and only want to express an idea in 3D. Tools like Element 3D automate the task of creating spinning text logos and make it beautiful with presets for people who need it who don't necessarily need to go through complex 3d>2d setup. People will complain regardless so plugins that automate tasks is no problem. people complain about os, thats a given in anything in life. That's why I said users choice.
I don't understand your post why newtek needs to buy these plugins. Third party devs exist.
Adding plugins is like adding software to windows or mac. Its a task a computer literate person does. Are we talking about computer illiterate people here(?) who can't add software to their pc because that's just taking it down to illogical level. Non-pc people who doesn't even have the basic knowledge of computers. How on earth will they even install lightwave then. See your last statement "people who don't even use computers", I think you have to differentiate non-pc people to non-3d people.
These non-3d people don't necessary care about job listings. You're assuming they want to get a job in 3D.
A person wants to learn about photography and use a dslr and mainly use the auto functions don't necessarily want to be in the photo industry. But they learn good composition, lighting and make good pictures, too, fast with the aid of modern technology.
If you really think poser only has use with hobbyist that's fine. I don't use it but I'm sure others who use it in their paid commercial work would raise an eyebrow.
Doesn't really matter what level lightwave goes to because right now it needs users period. Its an age where anyone can make their own movies and animation and publish it on the web and people will need software to do it, something easy to get into and deep enough to get pros interest. Frankly focusing on vfx for lightwave, an industry that is highly unstable and so many defunct studios doesn't make sense imho. I'd rather lightwave group focus on general purpose use.

toby
11-26-2012, 10:33 PM
There's different kinds of automation - the kind that reduces repetitive tasks is not like the kind that makes complicated tasks simple. Bandglue makes modeling easier at all levels, while simplifying 3D, like having 1 button that turns all types of raytracing on or off (like in C4D several years ago) reduces the power of the app (LW is already simpler than other apps, which allow a different ray recursion setting for each type of ray. One reason I don't want it any simpler. I just did some work that required 2 passes because of this). The book-rigger falls into the Poser category; if it doesn't work for something, like turning into an animal
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U&feature=player_detailpage#t=435s
( ok wrong kind of 'book' but you get the idea )
Then our hapless non-3d user will be totally stuck because they never learned anything about rigging and IK.


I don't understand your post why newtek needs to buy these plugins. Third party devs exist. Adding plugins is like adding software to windows or mac. Its a task a computer literate person does.
It's quite different. You do it from within lw; it's not like double-clicking an installer, agreeing to terms and entering your password. You often have to get your dongle number, you need to put it in the right place, they're accessed from different places in the app, etc. That's the reason I assumed you'd ask NT to assimilate the plugins. It's not really fair to claim you're making 3D simpler if you exclude anyone who's not computer savvy, like real painters and modelers ( or exclude people who love sci-fi want to do it for a living ), is it? Each plugin also has it's own learning curve, and each one is an additional tool to memorize, unless it 'simplifies' a group of other tools - tools which they should probably be learning anyway. All this is hardly making it simpler. The entire concept of "plugins" is one more thing a new user has to memorize & understand. Maybe you don't remember what it was like to be an absolute beginner?



If you really think poser only has use with hobbyist that's fine. I don't use it but I'm sure others who use it in their paid commercial work would raise an eyebrow
I seriously doubt that, but if they do, it's done within Poser's limited capabilities, sort of like this brilliant work:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9EM0C4D0Hc
No color, no shading, no 3d, but it's awesome. To make something great in Poser, you'd have to do it with the default character rig, deformation, shaders, lighting, and render engine, all developed with little attention paid to production quality results. Your art would have to be that much better, but very simple, to compensate, and there would be things you just cannot do. Have you seen any shows like BSG or Iron Sky done in Poser? You compare LW's renderer unfavorably to Vray ( not saying you're wrong ), I don't understand why you'd want to dumb-down the whole program instead of improving it. Lots of people buy software because of what it's been used for, Maya has many more buyers despite it's ridiculous interface and learning curve. Meanwhile, apps like Electric Image are fading from their Star Wars Ep. 1 status to complete obscurity. Think there are any new users who have heard of it? I've used it - it was very simple, and rather limited - but not like Poser is.

If someone wants a simple program, and never wants to do anything complicated, and doesn't mind when their imagination hits a brick wall in the program, then LW :heart: is not the tool for them in the first place, there's plenty of easier, cheaper options.

geo_n
11-26-2012, 11:23 PM
So in other words, plugins that automate repetitive, redundant tasks like rhiggit, maestro, which is a way to simplify character setup and animation, is not useful even to non-3d users? Poser and rhiggit, etc are character tools to simplify character setup and motions. its up to the user where they want to take it. User choice.
People will get stuck regardless of any level. Even pros get stuck and ask in the forums. There's no difference whether its a non3d user or pro3d user. A plugin is just another tool that anyone can take advantage of if they want.
So whether a plugin is available or not is up to the user to choose to buy, install. What's the point of not coding a plugin just because a user doesn't know how to install it? How does that relate to automation?
It sounds like someone wanting to force someone else to learn the ropes and not point out that theres a plugin that does it for old times sake or a fraternity ritual.
I think cheating in cg is smart working and I won't tell someone not to cheat.
Isn't that the point to make real painters and modellers to have an easier time creating assets? If they want to have a grass plain, there's autograss generator. A tree in their render, there's dponts tree. They can focus on composition, lighting, etc like a someone learning photography.
Not everything produced from 3d software has to be great or hollywood standards. Different goals. Some users just want spinning logos and element3d is enough for them. Some just want to make characters move and poser, rhiggit is enough. Some just want to have fun working in a cg studio and go home with tons of time to do other stuff and live healthy not stuck to their chair. Automation saves tons of time. :D

Surrealist.
11-27-2012, 12:12 AM
Where I am at the moment, they use a mix of mainly XSI and Max. I get the feeling that Max is an all round better supported app for modeling, but I'm forcing myself into XSI for rigging and animation components of it, though I picking all I can. So I was suprised to see you post that you modeled in XSI then went to Blender to finish up :D By the way, what in general you feel you can do in XSI on a regular basis that just kills modeler for you?
Only a few minutes in XSI and i feel impressed already, feels clever and to the point: sticky keys, viewports, bezier curves, UI organization. Though I finde the elementar selection and transform shortkeys strange bad and NO OpenGL ant-aliasing or displacement is sad :( I'll take long time to leave Modeler behind though if ever :)
I get what you mean about Modo. Even though I never used it extensively, I think understand you for it being a LW mindset modeling, but updated and streamlined (even without some great modeling plugins), yet still the same manipulation limitations.

Cheers

The reason I finish up in Blender is because the development team I deliver to does all of the rigging and prep in Blender for export to a game engine. Because of the limitations of portability between the two, I have to finalize all of the material assignments and object names in Blender. It would be a waste of time to do that in Softimage. But I do everything else in Softimage - UV maps and so on.

What kills Modeler? As a separate application, aside from lack of integration, (which is a huge factor for me) here is just an off-the-top-of-my-head list:

1. Universal manipulator for all modeling translate operations with the exception of the "m" key "tweak component tool". But even this has a manipulator if you want it. And by simply pressing "j" you can slide any component Edge/Point/poly along the surface normal to maintain a shape.

2. Universal (interface level I like to call it) proportional edit mode. This makes any operation have a fall off. And you can even edit the curve manually if you want.

3. Reference Planes (Work planes in Modo) at the interface level. Any transform operation can use them. Enough said. Translate Plus anyone? (perfect example of a tool written to try and "solve" a more basic problem). OK now enough said.

4. Curve Extrusions. Just nice to have a curve to edit after you extrude and keep the history on the both the object and the curve. Can't imagine modeling without this option now.

5. Real UV tools and editing. Enough said, really.

6. Booleans that actually work quite well and with a history. I use this a lot now. You can even have a chain of booleans. Because each Boolean op creates a new object from the originals. So you slide the new object away, then add a Boolean op to that object. And so on. Then go back and make changes to the original geometry and any of the geometry/pos etc of the Boolean objects along the way and see the changes at each phase as well as the final result. Some of the stuff I do is kind of complex machined parts and this is simply not very efficient in Modeler - to say the least. All Boolean operations require further edge editing. But getting the base geometry there cleanly and robustly, is a key first step.

7. History on primitive creation. Not a killer, but so nice to know you can do some very basic translate operations on a primitive before deciding on the resolution and basic size. This is so usual to me now, adding a primitives the old way seems, ah... primitive.

8. Have not used this yet. But is certainly a powerful feature. And that is animation on virtually everything. So even the parameters of a primitive creation can be animated.

9. ICE modeling. This is another area I have not delved into. Not because ICE modeling is a "better way" to model. But this is a powerful special effects feature. To have access to geometry at that level and be able to manipulate and animate in a seemingly unlimited fashion is very powerful. Not only that but you can create custom modeling tools if you choose. The new add loop tool that follows the contour of the object is an ICE tool.

To be fair, there are a few small things that Modeler has that are nice.

But generally there are two good reasons to use Modeler from my opinion 1) You have been using it forever and are fine with the limitations as it gives you what you need. 2) You live with the limitations for any number of reasons. One of which might be it is easier to port from Modeler to layout than to use a 3P solution. Or simply you don't have the money to switch. Over time I have been in both situations. That's just my opinion.

But looking at development of Modeler from the viewpoint of artist friendly and useful, integration would be #1 in my book.

I am also not happy with SI view port. The High Quality setting is nice. But I think the new team will bring this up to snuff by next release - just my gut feeling on it.

toby
11-27-2012, 02:07 AM
So in other words, plugins that automate repetitive, redundant tasks like rhiggit, maestro,
If *all* they ever plan to do is rudimentary character anim, that's fine, but few people want to limit themselves to that. And I already explained to you that a book-rigger doesn't automate repetitive tasks.

"People will get stuck regardless of any level"
People get stuck at ILM too, but not at such a basic level. Basic skills should never be overlooked - except maybe in 30yrs when real simulated dynamics, collision, and 8-bounce lighting are all real-time. Even then, that would be limiting 3D to reality, when it's supposed to be able to do anything we can imagine.

"It sounds like someone wanting to force someone else to learn the ropes and not point out that theres a plugin that does it for old times sake or a fraternity ritual."
If you can come up with something that works ALL the time, maybe you can say that. Otherwise, it's a horrible reason to turn LW into Poser. Learning what IK or Lambert is, is hardly a "fraternity ritual", anymore than learning Maya, or anything else greater than Poser, is.

"I think cheating in cg is smart working and I won't tell someone not to cheat."
Cheating is great unless you get caught. In cg, getting 'caught' means that your work *looks* like a cheat. Someone using Poser is NOT going to get away with 'cheats' trying to look as good as someone trained at using LW. Smoothing is a cheat, but can it make a low-poly sphere look like a smooth ball? Hell no!

"Isn't that the point to make real painters and modellers to have an easier time creating assets? If they want to have a grass plain, there's autograss generator"
Is that more important than understanding 3D space? Basic modeling? Animation? Deformation? UV's and materials? Lighting? Rendering? What if they need alien grass that looks like french fries, or lollipops? Whoops, it doesn't do that, you're stuck. Doesn't really sound like you're targeting beginners, or getting people up to speed, only a narrow subset of users, like the beginner-arch-viz-artists-who're-computer-savvy group. Real painters and modelers aren't interested in presets anyway.

jasonwestmas
11-27-2012, 07:34 AM
Toby, why do you keep bringing up poser as the automated (or Specialized) poster child for 3D apps? Did someone say, hey lets make lightwave more like poser? :) But if NT said, yeah we are going to borrow some ideas from poser, I'd be getting upset too. I think you have a good point about software that minimizes repetative tasks, verses software that limits your capabilities. Now THAT is a phenomenon within software I can totally understand and why you have concern.

jasonwestmas
11-27-2012, 08:05 AM
What if they need alien grass that looks like french fries, or lollipops? Whoops, it doesn't do that, you're stuck. Doesn't really sound like you're targeting beginners, or getting people up to speed, only a narrow subset of users, like the beginner-arch-viz-artists-who're-computer-savvy group. Real painters and modelers aren't interested in presets anyway.


Wellllllll, like anything in cg Toby, a preset can be a lot of things! It can be a bunch of small model pieces to kit bash with and build something totally unique looking. A preset can be a network of nodal procedurals that create something quite unique as well. A preset can be a number of bones, IK and manipulators/ expressions. That same rig can be scaled to fit totally different characters along with a hundred different expressions. So the question isn't really preset or no preset for a creative person, it a question of edit-ability, the flexibility to change the preset after it has been applied.

Surrealist.
11-27-2012, 09:14 AM
Nice thing about ICE rigging. It lives on a separate null and reverences object names. So all you have to do is plug in the names and go. ICE rigging is something I'd love to get more into in the future. I may explore it here very soon for my current project. If I can get my rig ported over to ICE that would be a huge time saver for me with characters of multiple size and proportions. Because the rig I am building now is getting fairly complex and I am not satisfied with the auto rigging tools in SI.

A tad off topic perhaps, but if we are talking about automation... in this case your own customized automation.

Dexter2999
11-27-2012, 09:25 AM
Real artists aren't interested in presets anyway.

Fixed that for you.

It amazes me in how many ways digital video is following the same path that digital audio has tread.
"Let's go digital!"- this would be the film to video conversion for us
"It's too crisp. I miss analog."- this would be people who first complain about video quality and later about frame rates and lack of motion blur
"Let's make it easy for everyone!"- this would be people calling for automation for us now
"That seems canned and generic."- when people see the same stock textures, movements, whatever...

There is a difference between real artists and casual users. I think the pricepoint of 3D screens out most "casual users" from commercial applications. Even people who use LW as a hobby I consider more serious than this catagory. People who are serious about 3D are interested in learning.

It is the people who think the computer does all the work and they "just push a button" who denigrate the profession of 3D artist. And I personally don't feel motivated to move in that direction. I don't see the need to provide a program whereby a producer would say "We don't need to hire someone for that. I can just buy this program and do it myself."

jeric_synergy
11-27-2012, 09:47 AM
People who are serious about 3D are interested in learning.
I disagree.

Imagine "The Muppet Show". There's the puppeteers, and then there's the people building the puppets. I think there could be not a lot of crossover in those two interests. The builders may be interested in new fabrics, armatures and sewing techniques, but the puppeteers just want to get on and do their performance.

I know I'm deathly tired of learning things. Especially when they seem so inconsistent and arbitrary.

jasonwestmas
11-27-2012, 10:18 AM
Fixed that for you.

It amazes me in how many ways digital video is following the same path that digital audio has tread.
"Let's go digital!"- this would be the film to video conversion for us
"It's too crisp. I miss analog."- this would be people who first complain about video quality and later about frame rates and lack of motion blur
"Let's make it easy for everyone!"- this would be people calling for automation for us now
"That seems canned and generic."- when people see the same stock textures, movements, whatever...

There is a difference between real artists and casual users. I think the pricepoint of 3D screens out most "casual users" from commercial applications. Even people who use LW as a hobby I consider more serious than this catagory. People who are serious about 3D are interested in learning.

It is the people who think the computer does all the work and they "just push a button" who denigrate the profession of 3D artist. And I personally don't feel motivated to move in that direction. I don't see the need to provide a program whereby a producer would say "We don't need to hire someone for that. I can just buy this program and do it myself."

Unfortunately you are talking about extreme cases, for example, project managers who know nothing about the creative process or graphic arts for that matter. Fortunately ime these ignorant people are so high level I rarely have to deal with them at a localized artist location in a studio.

If designed appropriately, Automation can still allow artists to build on top of it just like any preset in lightwave.

jasonwestmas
11-27-2012, 10:31 AM
Nice thing about ICE rigging. It lives on a separate null and reverences object names. So all you have to do is plug in the names and go. ICE rigging is something I'd love to get more into in the future. I may explore it here very soon for my current project. If I can get my rig ported over to ICE that would be a huge time saver for me with characters of multiple size and proportions. Because the rig I am building now is getting fairly complex and I am not satisfied with the auto rigging tools in SI.

A tad off topic perhaps, but if we are talking about automation... in this case your own customized automation.


Right on the money Richard, I think that is exactly the point of using SI and nodal networks in general. . .because it's designed to do exactly what you have described. . . where you can in fact build your own nodal presets and then share them with your buddies. Plus make slight adjustments to some values and then achieve two separate concepts from a single preset. It's really no different for kit bashing in a modeling context. You just need the tools and knowledge to further model and massage the concept into something else just like any sculpter or painter would.

If a nodal network or preset does not enable these kinds of abilities for creativity, then there is a fundamental flaw in the design of the application workflow.

however, there are some things like Hair Systems and cloth dynamics, that are so involved that I have yet to see any practical examples of building a hair or cloth system out of nodes. I do believe I will see that some day and will even be able to use it practically. . . but it's just such a complicated subject to really understand on a nodal level. I've had way more success with the old-school hair systems.

jasonwestmas
11-27-2012, 10:40 AM
I disagree.

Imagine "The Muppet Show". There's the puppeteers, and then there's the people building the puppets. I think there could be not a lot of crossover in those two interests. The builders may be interested in new fabrics, armatures and sewing techniques, but the puppeteers just want to get on and do their performance.

I know I'm deathly tired of learning things. Especially when they seem so inconsistent and arbitrary.


That's not entirely true, in order to rig properly and build a puppet, you have to first understand how animation works and you have to understand how the animator thinks. Granted a full time animator doesn't necessarily need to know how to rig in order to animate the digital puppet well. . . .until something breaks or he needs more control or wants to adjust some things in the setup.

Surrealist.
11-27-2012, 12:10 PM
I am always learning. And I think most artists are. When you stop learning you can more or less call it quits I think. But I have had my moments where I go into data overload.

Jason interesting you mention about nodal cloth and hair. There is Syflex on ICE. And though you can not edit the code, there is a tremendous amount of access to the various parameters nodally. Probably could go into it quite deeply in each of the compounds, though I have never tried. But I do enjoy using the nodal version of a cloth set up. I would welcome it for hair.

And on the rigging end, you can actually open up the IK compound and in effect create your own IK solver - if you wanted. And assuming you understood how. But the cool thing is that it is there. And for a TD who had the desire, it would be accessible to him without having to write a plugin. That's pretty cool.

OK maybe drifting here.... maybe I should just say it like this to stay on topic. Like what event editing to me was like in Vegas for audio as opposed to the real world and how much faster that was and how much more control I had. I feel the same way about nodal set ups. To me they are a much more advanced way to approach things. Also more visual and tactile. Drag and drop a node, drag a cable and connect an output to an input. Pretty real-world intuitive.

jasonwestmas
11-27-2012, 01:19 PM
Jason interesting you mention about nodal cloth and hair. There is Syflex on ICE. And though you can not edit the code, there is a tremendous amount of access to the various parameters nodally. Probably could go into it quite deeply in each of the compounds, though I have never tried. But I do enjoy using the nodal version of a cloth set up. I would welcome it for hair.


Going back to the idea of being fully interactive and how that boosts creativity. . .I think the main reason I would ever go fully nodal for cloth and hair would be to optimize my simulations even more than other plugins out there. If there was a way I could simplify the calculation and thus speed up production and feedback I would be more inclined to learn more ICE. I mean in other simulators you get some really nice effects but it's just not all that interactive because the plugins are trying so hard to be "physically accurate" and in doing so calculates stuff you might not even need in your simulation to get something that looks nice. I'm sure there are ways to optimize certain things with the older methods but when all you need is some nice collisions and simple folding/accordion fx for some more thicker cloth like leather or thick sweaters that aren't flapping in the breeze, then I think being able to have more control over what gets calculated, would be ideal.

There are the Kristinka nodes for ICE and that works really really well for rendering hair, but getting those ICE strands to interact in a sim, that's a different ballgame for sure.

Surrealist.
11-27-2012, 07:11 PM
Yeah, I know what you mean about the calculations. Actually I think there is probably a very good chance you could do that in ICE. I would not know how. But you can expand those compounds and see.

That said, the cloth sim in ICE is very robust. And it is not like LightWave cloth or Blender cloth, that I have worked with before. Unfortunately that's the limit of my experience. But I have noticed that the settings actually do what they say and you can work with lesser amount of geometry. LightWave cloth is very geometry dependent. And this effects the calculation quite a bit. But when you have a friction setting that actually causes the cloth to stick and all of the other settings do what they say, then you are on the road to optimizing your simulation because you are not endlessly fussing with parameters that don't mean anything or may finally create the effect you are looking for with a huge hit on calc time.

The deform cage trick is a little more complex in ICE. I don't think there is a node for it. I found a thread with a set up that a guy had put together and I remember I downloaded it but have not tried it yet.

On the hair stuff.

I suppose you've seen this thread:

http://www.si-community.com/community/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1612&start=30

Seems like a complex set up alright, but it appears to be working based on the sample (http://www.matkovic.com/anto/kh3_28dec2011.wmv)he provided.

egearbox
11-27-2012, 10:41 PM
I'm going to jump back in here and cast a vote (or whatever) for more documentation. In particular more video tutorials. I know documentation is undramatic and I know those of you who are experts are going to be bored with it, but honestly William Vaughn and his video tutorials got me further along in LW than any book I ever bought (and I have bought several). Those of us who have "day jobs" and steal an hour here and there to work with this stuff are desperate for quick 10 minute tutorials showing us how to make a head/face, how to make an asteroid, how to speed up render times by fine-tuning radiosity - anything! Really! LW is very powerful but for a novice (and I have been there with LW at least twice), this is a really punishing, steep climb to get to anything like the beautiful finished renders I see on the web. The more help you can give us noobs, the more loyal "cu$tomers" you'll gain.

geo_n
11-28-2012, 03:33 AM
Real painters and modelers aren't interested in presets anyway.

Seriously? A bit elitist. This is just a job. A fun job for big kids.
You're looking at this like everyone wants to work in vfx studios for 15 hours a day with nothing but 3d to live for(which I'm doing almost 5 years now but not going for more than 10 years for sure its not healthy :D).
A lot of professional graphic artist who are not interested in 3D just want the 3D art to complement their work. These people can be classified as non-3d people, print designers, flash animators, web designers, videographers. They do use presets, autorigger, autoscripts, programs like Element 3D, etc. I think modo presents a very good platform with ease of use and presets. They even sell ready to use scenes. Do they have to know rigging, creating a tree from scratch, fluid dynamics to add water effect to their work, etc? Not everyone does that's the point. Key is automation.

Kuzey
11-28-2012, 07:16 AM
Have a copy of the surface list inside the 'Node Editor'

Just have the surface list there, so you don't have to do the digital version of hokey pokey..jump out of node editor..select a different surface..jump back into node editor :)

Kuzey

robertoortiz
11-29-2012, 11:36 AM
Seriously? A bit elitist. This is just a job. A fun job for big kids.
You're looking at this like everyone wants to work in vfx studios for 15 hours a day with nothing but 3d to live for(which I'm doing almost 5 years now but not going for more than 10 years for sure its not healthy :D).
A lot of professional graphic artist who are not interested in 3D just want the 3D art to complement their work. These people can be classified as non-3d people, print designers, flash animators, web designers, videographers. They do use presets, autorigger, autoscripts, programs like Element 3D, etc. I think modo presents a very good platform with ease of use and presets. They even sell ready to use scenes. Do they have to know rigging, creating a tree from scratch, fluid dynamics to add water effect to their work, etc? Not everyone does that's the point. Key is automation.

And the thing is that his market for this type of user is HUGE.

jeric_synergy
11-29-2012, 11:44 AM
And the thing is that his market for this type of user is HUGE.
I'm pretty sure that's C4D's business model.

Just experienced it myself. Of course, they'd never HEARD of LightWave.

AND, this strategy is why there's so many damn FLAT animations out there, 2.5 at best. >|^P''''''' Me h8z them.

gerry_g
12-03-2012, 01:09 PM
Well in order to model something as a beginner you would have to be able to load a reference image into the background, have it stay there long enough to manage to finish modelling it without disappearing every five minuets and know that back meant front and front meant back and oh wait a minute why are all my polygons back to front when I switch to perspective view, oh yeah that's because I'm trying to model in Lightwave. In short it's the little things that have never ever been looked at let alone fixed that will continue to loose Newtk business not the big things

jeric_synergy
12-03-2012, 01:28 PM
The vuport nomenclature thing is a training issue, it's how you 'frame' the concept of the label.

I've always thought of it as "I am looking at the BACK of the {vehicle}, I am looking at the TOP of the {vehicle}." (I'm using braces to reflect all that +Z axis orientation LW uses. --It doesn't help that technically most figures are modeled facing the 'wrong' way. Obviously you can swap in 'object' for 'vehicle'.)

So, the labels are NOUNS, "the back", "the top", not directions, "looking backwards", "looking right".

Better would have been if they'd stuck with just "XZ", "YZ", "ZY", --less baggage.

Dexter2999
12-03-2012, 02:38 PM
Better would have been if they'd stuck with just "XZ", "YZ", "ZY", --less baggage.

Yes, yes, because no artist would say "Why cant they just call it 'front', 'side', and 'top'?"

Those terms aren't "intuitive" to artists or laymen. They aren't even standard across packages as AutoDesk uses Z for the height, not depth.


No confusion there at all.

I say these things jeric, not to be a jerk but to point out that designing something (dare I say ANYTHING) you will never make everyone happy.
And when someone decides to go after this market the will find it is a huge amount of work and the target audience feels they shouldn't have to work for things (it should all be "push of a button") and it shouldn't cost more than a couple of hundred dollars tops.

This market will have questions like:

"I bought this dinosaur from TurboSquid. Where is the "walk" button? So I can make him move."
"Why isn't there "rain" button? How hard could it be to put that in there?"

You know "stuff".

jasonwestmas
12-03-2012, 03:39 PM
Well in order to model something as a beginner you would have to be able to load a reference image into the background, have it stay there long enough to manage to finish modelling it without disappearing every five minuets and know that back meant front and front meant back and oh wait a minute why are all my polygons back to front when I switch to perspective view, oh yeah that's because I'm trying to model in Lightwave. In short it's the little things that have never ever been looked at let alone fixed that will continue to loose Newtk business not the big things

Absolutely, those kinds of things should be looked at first. Will keep users around much longer.

jeric_synergy
12-03-2012, 03:44 PM
It was such a tempest in a teapot a couple years ago, the vuport labeling, to me XY, ZY, XZ would at least neutral and people wouldn't start freaking out again.

I actually left out of my post above (I considered it) my standard "let the user change it if they like" option.

:beerchug:


Edit: Oh, but I think my main point was missed: one certainly can't please everyone, but you CAN train them as to how to better think about the software.

probiner
12-03-2012, 04:04 PM
Yes, yes, because no artist would say "Why cant they just call it 'front', 'side', and 'top'?"

Those terms aren't "intuitive" to artists or laymen. They aren't even standard across packages as AutoDesk uses Z for the height, not depth.


Well XYZ is something you have to grasp if you have to do 3D, though I agree with you that XY, XZ, YZ to designate planes would even confuse some veterans. But Top, Bottom, Side, those are just viewport modes, not actual operation's nomenclatures in most tools and plugins that use XYZ. They could go with Y plane for Top and so one though, since it's the projection plane perpendicular to Y. Maybe more confusion, maybe not.

I personally like the XYZ more than XZY like in LW, just because it's strictly related to math. Funny enough I picked both conventions while studying Descriptive Geometry in both high-school and college and makes more sense to me to have XY aligned to the ground plane where you construct most of your 2D operations, than having it related to the 'front', viewer's plane.
I also prefer, from habit, first angle projection to third angle projection. Most apps use the latter, which is the common in US. I like the French one more because it's like you are grabbing the object and making it roll on the table, instead of having it roll on your "face".

More straws to the pile, ah! :D



Well in order to model something as a beginner you would have to be able to load a reference image into the background, have it stay there long enough to manage to finish modelling it without disappearing every five minuets and know that back meant front and front meant back and oh wait a minute why are all my polygons back to front when I switch to perspective view, oh yeah that's because I'm trying to model in Lightwave. In short it's the little things that have never ever been looked at let alone fixed that will continue to loose Newtk business not the big things

On the money! Broken features are less intuitive experiences than solid alien tech.

Cheers

jeric_synergy
12-03-2012, 04:38 PM
Also, I don't know what you guys are envisioning, but I'm mostly thinking "Modeler", which has an almost ludicrously old-fashioned interface.

BTW, popped over to C4D and their nomenclature is just as confusing as LWM, so, there ya go. The Maya nav cube makes things very explicit, FWIW.

jasonwestmas
12-03-2012, 04:58 PM
Edit: Oh, but I think my main point was missed: one certainly can't please everyone, but you CAN train them as to how to better think about the software.



Very true, I think consistency is most important in training. . .for example, front(xy) in modeler should also mean front(xy) inside of layout. It's still not like that with LW.

gerry_g
12-03-2012, 05:00 PM
was trying to be lighthearted, Lightwave is great in terms of easiness to use but the viewport thing is a serious issue, it needs to be wysiwyg and not based on some obtuse and arcane notion of the relativity of x,y,z co-ordinates, the point is that if you view your object from the top viewport left is left and right is right but the front is the back and this makes no kind of sense at all to anyone, and dare I say Modo gets it right, now all it needs to do is fix it's crazy snapping system and it'll be usable.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/30264782/Sequence%2001_1.mov

prometheus
12-04-2012, 12:26 AM
was trying to be lighthearted, Lightwave is great in terms of easiness to use but the viewport thing is a serious issue, it needs to be wysiwyg and not based on some obtuse and arcane notion of the relativity of x,y,z co-ordinates, the point is that if you view your object from the top viewport left is left and right is right but the front is the back and this makes no kind of sense at all to anyone, and dare I say Modo gets it right, now all it needs to do is fix it's crazy snapping system and it'll be usable.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/30264782/Sequence%2001_1.mov

+1

probiner
12-04-2012, 01:59 AM
was trying to be lighthearted, Lightwave is great in terms of easiness to use but the viewport thing is a serious issue, it needs to be wysiwyg and not based on some obtuse and arcane notion of the relativity of x,y,z co-ordinates, the point is that if you view your object from the top viewport left is left and right is right but the front is the back and this makes no kind of sense at all to anyone, and dare I say Modo gets it right, now all it needs to do is fix it's crazy snapping system and it'll be usable.

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/30264782/Sequence%2001_1.mov
Ah that explains a lot. Had it be correct I could set the views to European angles without mismatches. To be honest I have them set now to Bottom, Front, Right, so it does emulate it a little.
As for now Top is X- | X+ while Front is X+ | X-. I guess if one could flip viewports it would hack-fix-it. :p

Cheers

Surrealist.
12-04-2012, 12:20 PM
I always thought of the view port directions in terms of how you should be orienting your model. And as it works in Layout for constraints, in LightWave, this is consistent. The reason the front and back views in Modeler are "inconsistent", is because you have built your model in the wrong direction. This is the only arbitrary. So if you built your model so that it faces the camera in Layout, then you built it facing the wrong way. This is because by default the layout camera faces down the +Z. Any object you apply a constraint to in Layout will use the local + Z of the object when created as the direction to orient the model. And this comes up all the time. "Why is my model facing away from the target?" Because you modeled it the wrong direction is the answer. And you should no more expect the model you created to simply stay in its original orientation when you apply a constraint to it than you would expect the camera not to spin around and point at a target you set up that is behind it. And this trips people up all the time in LightWave. Because for a simple target constraint, there is no parameter to adjust which local axis is being constrained. Therefore it has been a long established rule of thumb to always build you model facing the +Z. And so the top view is looking at the top. Left is Left and Right is Right. And assuming you built your model in the correct direction +Z when you go into the front view, you are in fact looking at the front of the model. You will be looking at the back of the model if you modeled it facing the -Z which is the "wrong" way to orient it.

With this in mind having the layout camera facing the -Z by default would be nice. But if this bothers you, nothing stopping you from creating your own default scene.

This is the way I have always thought of it and it has never been a confusion to me. Pretty easy to understand and very practical in fact when you get to using constraints in LightWave.

gerry_g
12-04-2012, 02:41 PM
sorry that argument is threadbare, Modo flips Plus & Minus Z for the Top viewport in the modeller quad making Left left and Right right giving Front & Back correct orientation for modelling through to correct orientation in camera view at render time and works and woks well, what you actually mean is NewTek never really thought through properly the implications of hanging everything on the final camera view in layout and totally screwed up the modelling orientation because of this causing everyone to model back to front, and worse needlessly because there is no impediment to doing it right, I'll remind you once again the purpose of this thread "how can lightwave be made more user friendly for designers and artists" as a newbie artist to 3D if I downloaded a demo of Lightwave and a demo of Modo I know which one would give me least trouble when I tried to set up a background image and started to model it.

Surrealist.
12-04-2012, 10:26 PM
Yeah, you are correct. I had not felt like taking the argument on this point to that place. Sure it is relevant to artist friendly. I was just tired of typing. Read the rest of the thread. I think I made it clear I understand the purpose. This is more of a problem of LightWave being once again antiquated - which is where I would have taken the argument had I felt like it at the time. But it is morning now for me so here goes.

I don't believe the argument is thread bare. It is what it is, and even if "corrected" it would still be an issue that you have to learn about in modeling. And this issue is also true in other packages. I run into this all the time in Softimage when I apply constraints to models and sit there and watch them spin in the wrong direction and then have to correct it my rotating the mesh. And my doing so, I then learn what direction Softimage is looking for as the default orientation of the model. Then of course Softimage has the option in some constraints to then choose which axis to use. I think the default is X on something like a direction (target) constraint. There are also similar controls in Blender constraints. And I have not used this aspect of Maya yet but I am sure it is the same.

So I still have to disagree that it hangs on the Camera. Other than the point of this thread. And that has only to do with the fact that you model something and you import into Layout (Why should you have to be doing that in the first place which is the basic basic problem that should be addressed), and then you "think" you modeled it the wrong way because it is facing away from the point of view, so you go back and spin it around and thereafter think LightWave has it all screwed up. But in this case this is not so. It is just that the camera is facing the wrong direction by default to capture the front face of the model. This alone is the part that is not artist friendly, and the only thing about the viewport that would need to be changed immediately. But again, you can create your own default Layout with it facing in a more artist friendly way. Problem solved. For now. So this for me is not the biggest artist friendly killer for LightWave. It could be fixed simply however. And why they have never simply oriented the camera in the other direction all of these years is a mystery to me. And this does not help new users in the least bit.

But in reality. It is not forcing you to do anything weird. Unless you don't understand what you are doing. A modeler needs to understand the pipeline he is working in. That is part of the job. And there are many many many technical issues to understand in 3D that will make it impossible for a person coming from tradition art to feel completely comfortable unless he understands the environment he is working in and the technical needs of the pipeline. Modeling in quads, proper UV mapping etc etc etc. This is one of them (in LightWave in its current form). But even if it were corrected, and even if you are modeling in Modo or XSI or Maya in the pipeline for consistency there would have to be an agreed upon orientation for models. Modelers could not just model any which way.

And to add to situation there is no option in the motion options panel - that I am aware of - to choose which orientation to constrain a target. I do believe some of the recent plugins in the drop down list have this option however.

So the short term solution is:

Simply make the default camera in Layout face the other way. Problem solved. Then new users won't be confused and remodel facing 180 the wrong way.

Immediate solution : Create your own default scene.

Long term solution:

Integrate Layout and Modeler. (but don't forget to reorient the camera)

Everything else is fine. Left Right Top Bottom Front Back are all constant with other packages. Modeling with BG images is consistent. There is no real good reason for these to be switchable. There is no real gain in my opinion.

Nemoid
12-05-2012, 06:45 AM
This is a nice thread ! i think really Lightwave 3D group should read and see what they can do to make Lw more accessible to non 3D users.
I personally come from being a traditional artist, drawing, especially comics, illustration and painting and for 3d i am merely an hobbyist, but that allows me to recall first times in using Lw. I wanted to see what 3d was and also maybe see them move. It was like 7.0, and for me , starting was harder than i expected (i was quite novice in computer too, though)

In my experience , UI is very important .
I even recall that having the UI colors be all greyish, in general, was underwhelming to me, cause i was used to use real colors etc so, as like in a somewhat grey room environment one tends to be more depressed, it was quite the same for me with UI. Guess what ! so after some period i changed the main color in perspective window in blue and at least i had some funny in UI since the star when modelling hahaa.

fact is, for a traditional artist the gap from canvas or paper, and 3D environment can be greater then expected. Maybe gap could be smaller for sculptors, since they normally have a 3D mindset, but still, not into a computer, with mouse and keyboard, but with sculpting instruments or tools to build up things with wood or other materials.

So, what i find very very important for a traditional artist is mainly related to UI look, and tool behaviour.

The more visual and tactile, and in some way similar to traditional art procedures the experience is, the best it is for the artist. This is also reason of success of pps like Zbrush.

Cannot stress this more.

Visual approach is very important. So, even when many concepts of 3D have been learned, as a small example, i could say for modelling, the more you deal with the shape and items (points, polygons and edges) directly within one viewport, without having to access many part of the UI, the better.

You could even go radical and have no real UI around, just one viewport with perspective, some panels like numeric, layer and more, on the side, have some contextual menus with tools based on selections and items you work with, appearing where your mouse is, and you could streamline modeling process a whole lot even with current toolset.

Same goes with keboard shortcuts, which are a godsend for a speedy workflow for sure. And i use them alot.

The more the modelling tools are based onto what you have selected or what you're pointing with your mouse, the better, a bit the same method as an app like Silo does, into an elegant way.

The tools being more interactive, would add to this a whole lot, because you see fiinal results and still you have more control over it. If you have history you can also step back a bit, and restart from some point without having to redo things from scratch, or even fire the whole tool again.

The current tools have to be enhaced, and be more consolidated.

No to reduntant tools doing similar jobs, but give options to current ones, and make them work differently based on item/selection. basic example: one bevel tool, working with polygons, points or edges, and thus producing different results. Still, ONE tool. simple to grasp and understand, and more important it doesn't clutter UI.
This can be valid for many modelling tools in Lw.

A manipulator , like the one quite all 3D apps out there have, can be of great help especially when modelling technical things. it is a great tool and its visual and allows non 3d people to understand better what they are doing in XYZ world. Sometimes manipulator becomes an obstacle. But with options to hide it when not necessary, and to deal with its size (maybe through shortcuts!) it would be fantastic.

As for other areas: automation is the key, as many users said: autorigging for example, can be very important. Now, with Genoma, Lw does many steps ahead and gives a good tool to rig in way less time than before.
Though, we still have some problems coming from Layout and modeler separation.

I do believe a rigging tool would be more useful into an animation environment and /or into a separate setup environment. You have to be able to test your rig for deformations, deal with weight maps etc and this is still now a mixed workflow where you have to go back and forth alot of times. No good especially for a newcomer.

New technologies could bring alot of more straightforward workflows in that realm as if you for example build simple your armature within the model, and obtain quite good results for deformation since the start. THEN , maybe fix smaller problems, going technical with editors/other tools.

In general the best way is when the process starts automated, then as you learn and your needs are more refined, you delve a bit more into technical side of things. So visual approach the better for common tasks, technical relied to very complex stuff. Teh important thing is, it must be natural to understand the technical side once you really need that, so it has to have a real logic.: automated will have to be great even for expert users that know what's going under the hood, not simply a tool for the newcomer.
More than "automated" term i would more use the term visual approach.

Rendering: here we are very lucky with VPR. the more you can visualize things with a good preview , the better. Same would be for Open Gl preview (like it happens in Maya viewport 2.0) giving users a way warmer and straighforward approach in visualizing the final output. As you can see the concept of preview is bit similar to things like interactive modelling tools, and is , obviously, visual approach.

As for animation. Lw has to solve many problems in animation especialy with deforming characters, and so real heavy character animation. This is a more inner problem than workflow one, since it regards more IK solving, and responsiveness of the app wehn dealing with deformations. Not to talk about when more characters are in same scene.
But, these things aside, maybe something that could halp now, is a more direct connection to traditional animation techniques, so tools like "onion skin" or be able to draw within the viewport for reference, and comment: very helpful things Maya has. Then great tools to make objects follow paths, even over other object surfaces, with streamlined/interactive workflows.
a good enhancement into NLA realm even connected to mocap and .mdd import would be awesome.

the possibility to store alot of things into presets, yes with drag and drop: and so, Materials, ready to be appied based on items /selections, object rigs (even camera, light ones), default scenes, walkcycles and so on.


Hope this can be of any help ! Difficult to explain visual things with words.

jasonwestmas
12-05-2012, 07:06 AM
I always thought of the view port directions in terms of how you should be orienting your model. And as it works in Layout for constraints, in LightWave, this is consistent. The reason the front and back views in Modeler are "inconsistent", is because you have built your model in the wrong direction. This is the only arbitrary. So if you built your model so that it faces the camera in Layout, then you built it facing the wrong way. This is because by default the layout camera faces down the +Z. Any object you apply a constraint to in Layout will use the local + Z of the object when created as the direction to orient the model. And this comes up all the time. "Why is my model facing away from the target?" Because you modeled it the wrong direction is the answer. And you should no more expect the model you created to simply stay in its original orientation when you apply a constraint to it than you would expect the camera not to spin around and point at a target you set up that is behind it. And this trips people up all the time in LightWave. Because for a simple target constraint, there is no parameter to adjust which local axis is being constrained. Therefore it has been a long established rule of thumb to always build you model facing the +Z. And so the top view is looking at the top. Left is Left and Right is Right. And assuming you built your model in the correct direction +Z when you go into the front view, you are in fact looking at the front of the model. You will be looking at the back of the model if you modeled it facing the -Z which is the "wrong" way to orient it.

With this in mind having the layout camera facing the -Z by default would be nice. But if this bothers you, nothing stopping you from creating your own default scene.

This is the way I have always thought of it and it has never been a confusion to me. Pretty easy to understand and very practical in fact when you get to using constraints in LightWave.

Actually it's the naming for Front and Back that is flipped between layout and modeler. Just sets up the mind for failure. I don't care about the camera position so much.

Is changing that little thing going to change the course of the future for lightwave all together? Am I basing the entire reputation of NT on it? No, but consistency is key.

Once a developer gets too relaxed with consistency and workflow, that only breeds more inconsistency.

Surrealist.
12-05-2012, 05:26 PM
There is no naming discrepancy between Layout and Modeler. Front is +Z in both apps. -Z depending on how you think of it. But if you face a model down the +Z then shift to front view, that's the front of the model facing you. And the back is the back facing you and so on. This is completely consistent in Layout.

The only arbitrary factor is the camera and the perspective view in both Layout and Modeler which are both consistently wrong from the point of view of artist friendly.

What that happens is people get fooled into modeling there models backwards by the default field of view in perspective and the camera.

Both the perspective view and the camera view are arbitrary parts of the equation. And for some odd ball reason they are wrong. Or rather misleading because they can not be wrong. You can rotate them. You can not change the other views. They are what they are. And the perspective views correctly display the XYZ as they are in the orthos.

If the naming conventions were switched, then you'd get different views between layout and modeler. But this is not what happens. What happens is you fire up Molder, start modeling from the default perspective view and think that is the front when it is not. But it will be consistently not the front in Layout too. In the exact same orientation with all of the names showing exactly the same view.

What is idiotic to me is why they have not changed the default camera and perspective - ever as far as I know. And that is just but a tip of the iceberg with LightWave.

jasonwestmas
12-05-2012, 08:49 PM
There is no naming discrepancy between Layout and Modeler. Front is +Z in both apps. -Z depending on how you think of it. But if you face a model down the +Z then shift to front view, that's the front of the model facing you. And the back is the back facing you and so on. This is completely consistent in Layout.

The only arbitrary factor is the camera and the perspective view in both Layout and Modeler which are both consistently wrong from the point of view of artist friendly.

What that happens is people get fooled into modeling there models backwards by the default field of view in perspective and the camera.

Both the perspective view and the camera view are arbitrary parts of the equation. And for some odd ball reason they are wrong. Or rather misleading because they can not be wrong. You can rotate them. You can not change the other views. They are what they are. And the perspective views correctly display the XYZ as they are in the orthos.

If the naming conventions were switched, then you'd get different views between layout and modeler. But this is not what happens. What happens is you fire up Molder, start modeling from the default perspective view and think that is the front when it is not. But it will be consistently not the front in Layout too. In the exact same orientation with all of the names showing exactly the same view.

What is idiotic to me is why they have not changed the default camera and perspective - ever as far as I know. And that is just but a tip of the iceberg with LightWave.

I just looked at another scene and that one doesn't show the backwards naming problem. . . .weird. I wonder why I thought that. My bad. I'll have to recheck that. Thanks Richard.

toby
12-06-2012, 01:14 AM
If you're learning to model, you MUST learn to model towards Z+. It's never been an issue to non-computer artists, but is essential to 3d art. Trying to remove this as an 'obstacle' or "unintuitive" will only lead to problems down the road, when it's harder to fix. It's not a complicated thing to learn. Turning things around in layout or modeler is not especially challenging either. Sorry I just don't understand the mentailty that thinks something's "wrong" or needs to be changed, just because it's not what was envisioned by the student; the one who's supposed to be learning.

But as far as making LW simpler, I had an idea - the gui could be greatly simplified with config files, LScript commander scripts/buttons, and plugins, if you can find someone to write them. A whole setup could be made for Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced. For the Beginner set you'd remove all the advanced tools; IK, dynamics, GI, etc. You could set defaults for the camera and rendering, but hiding the advanced settings might not be possible. It is unfortunate that LW's not more flexible with panels. You could even change the color of the gui, but neutral grey is the best to keep you from tinting your work incorrectly ... sorry if someone already suggested all this -

Surrealist.
12-06-2012, 02:59 AM
Jason- no probs. I do think it has to do with a "perception" that people get when - as I had mentioned - they start to model from the default perspective view which is "backwards". And from there it just becomes confusing. I know that this is what happened to me. Then I learned about the importance of modeling to +Z and it all made sense.


If you're learning to model, you MUST learn to model towards Z+. It's never been an issue to non-computer artists, but is essential to 3d art. Trying to remove this as an 'obstacle' or "unintuitive" will only lead to problems down the road, when it's harder to fix. It's not a complicated thing to learn. Turning things around in layout or modeler is not especially challenging either. Sorry I just don't understand the mentailty that thinks something's "wrong" or needs to be changed, just because it's not what was envisioned by the student; the one who's supposed to be learning.


On the nose. The problem is that if this is so important - and it is especially in LightWave - why is it then that they left this idiotic state of the default view to start people off modeling backwards? That would be such a no-brainer to change. And yet there it sits for some 20 years.

But again a symptom of LightWave being just flat out antiquated. And this is a great case in point for artist friendly. I mean when you leave it so that pretty much guaranteed, you'll mess someone up for sure who is trying to learn the system "intuitively", that's just not acceptable in my opinion and perhaps not the biggest issue. But it is a fairly common one.

Would be far better to get it intuitively correct and then learn about +Z and realize why the interface is set up the way it is, rather then learn about +Z and then wonder what in the heck they were thinking and realize why it is you've been so turned around all this time.

Nemoid
12-06-2012, 05:25 AM
i don't think LW is antiquated in this aspect.
it is that once people used more to model in Lw with quad view on, at the start, and so using top, front , side view, helped orienting the model correctly.
modelling directly within perspective view is a paradigm that came along later, from other apps workflow, like Maya. Incidentally, this is also why Lw has not a manipulator. it has screens indicator when you use rotate, stretch, size or other tools, and they work well into quad view.

Btw, i am not saying that starting modelling from perspective view is incorrect, neither that Lw doesn't need manipulators and tools making user able to work very well into perspective and mostly forget quad view. But, saying Lw is badly organized in this aspect of model orientation, is quite uncorrect.

Personally, i start with quad view, then i go in perspective single view and pass from a view to another with "0" shortcut.

Surrealist.
12-06-2012, 07:21 AM
There has always been a perspective view. And you could always model in any view you wanted to. It did not come from Maya. Just want to point that out.

Just for the record. I agree. I like right, front and so on. This is more intuitive to me than letters. But you have to learn to deal with the letters always when you go beyond anything simple and integrate into any other part of the pipeline.

But also to be clear, LightWave is not antiquated in this respect. It is antiquated in its forcing you to always use +Z as your target orientation. The current norm is to put this option in the hands of the user. So if you are using LightWave in its current form, you just have to learn this. Otherwise it really would not matter which way you faced the model, unless there is some preference standard set within the pipeline you are working in. Generally, this is something that should stay consistent.

By the way, enjoyed your long post, but forgot to mention it. Very thoughtful and some good ideas.

Nemoid
12-06-2012, 07:27 AM
Yeah its not perspect view coming from maya, but i think many Lw users were more used to model starting with quad view (which also includes perspective btw) while Maya makes you more delve in perspective view directly since the start.




There has always been a perspective view. And you could always model in any view you wanted to. It did not come from Maya. Just want to point that out.

Just for the record. I agree. I like right, front and so on. This is more intuitive to me than letters. But you have to learn to deal with the letters always when you go beyond anything simple and integrate into any other part of the pipeline.

But also to be clear, LightWave is not antiquated in this respect. It is antiquated in its forcing you to always use +Z as your target orientation. The current norm is to put this option in the hands of the user. So if you are using LightWave in its current form, you just have to learn this. Otherwise it really would not matter which way you faced the model, unless there is some preference standard set within the pipeline you are working in. Generally, this is something that should stay consistent.

By the way, enjoyed your long post, but forgot to mention it. Very thoughtful and some good ideas.

Kuzey
12-06-2012, 07:50 AM
One of the most annoying things for me..even more than this front/back issue, is having points/polygons/edges automatically selected after using tools like bandsaw...grrrr!

Sometimes it feels like I spend more time deselecting stuff than modelling.


Kuzey

oranjer
12-06-2012, 12:08 PM
First impressions count for a lot with some punters. When opening LW for the first time the Non 3d User is confronted by black empty space which might be perceived as 'boring' or 'confusing'. Why not show off the program's potential by presenting the user with an optional interactive Wizard, guiding the user through some of the best rigs and scenes in the Content folder? They might not get seen otherwise - even exploring the Content files might be beyond the first time user. I seem to recall Zbrush opening with Superaverageman and a variety of models which make the program look much more interesting.

Totally agree, Thumps up!

Surrealist.
12-06-2012, 01:04 PM
Yeah its not perspect view coming from maya, but i think many Lw users were more used to model starting with quad view (which also includes perspective btw) while Maya makes you more delve in perspective view directly since the start.

Ah yes, indeed. See what you mean. Trying to remember back that far. I think the main thing that comes to mind is that it used to be all wireframe, and you could not even see the shaded view unless you hit F9. But true the old LightWave did seem to favor more of a quad view until you got to Layout. And cone to think of it, I don't remember if you could even use perspective in full screen or not. Oh well, anyway... the tech has come so far... and someplace along the way LightWave got a flat hit a ditch where it has been for a (hint hint) decade.

I think it would be safe to say that with today's technology and methodology, it is a far more "artist friendly" time for 3D artists. Potentially anyway (Houdini as an example aside IMHO). And LightWave would benefit most in the areas it has lagged behind technically when speaking of artist friendly.

Dillon
12-06-2012, 01:08 PM
I haven't read this whole thread, but has any mention been made of the forthcoming technologies from Microsoft or Leap Motion?

1. Leap Motion - gesture based capture system; leapmotion.com Can capture movement at lightning speed, and looks like it has the capability to capture objects (hands, pens, pencils) and produce cloud object data on the fly.

2. Microsoft Kinetct v2.0 - With purported (rumor) resolution to be so good that it will be able to read lips. But with all the kinect hacks already using Kinect 1.0 to capture a space and create a digital replica (with textures!), how about using a kinect type device to model and texture, as well as supply motion capture to whatever 3D objects that have been created?

Both of these technologies should be (and ultimately will be) folded into 3D content creation. And since the thread is how to make LW more "artist friendly for non 3D users", these are PERFECT answers. I work in an art college (prestigious university) where students are working with hands on approaches to creating their art. I manage the digital labs here, and there is constant apprehension by the artists to work with digital media because it isn't "hands on". These two devices tied into a 3D program would enable these artists to expand their reach.

Music content creation has become largely democratized with 'garageband' type software, and distribution; film making is becoming largely democratized with prices for quality camera equipment falling through the floor; 3D content creation will eventually become largely democratized too, leveraging devices like leap motion and Kinect. The software manufacturer who positions themselves to take advantage of the democratization will benefit (as well as the traditional artist).

Dillon

jeric_synergy
12-06-2012, 01:41 PM
I think if most people were modeling cannons or guns, there'd be no confusion about the damn Z axis. ;)

This whole thing is reminiscent of "Why is the guy in the mirror raising his right hand when I'm raising my left?"

It's a training issue. Now, I do think some more user cues would be very helpful: gradient backdrops/surround balls, vu-cubes, "compass rose" type things-- it's still not hard to become disoriented, especially in the Perspective window.

jasonwestmas
12-06-2012, 03:50 PM
One of the most annoying things for me..even more than this front/back issue, is having points/polygons/edges automatically selected after using tools like bandsaw...grrrr!

Sometimes it feels like I spend more time deselecting stuff than modelling.


Kuzey

absolutely, that should be an option but not something forced on the user and it could be thought out way better.

Nemoid
12-07-2012, 08:00 AM
Yeah, now even Lw worflows are far more artist friendly for sure.

However, what i found is: old users making 3D are tech savvy people, while common artist is not. He knows how to use his practical instruments: pencils, brushes, sculpting tools, whatever, and directly create his art pieces. He's not used to solve problems into a machine, like a PC is. And, a 3D program, and sometimes even 2D program, is quite distant from his personal experience.
There's a gap.
Pc users having adopted computer in old ages, maybe even before Pc came out, at the time of Commordore 64 or Amiga, are way more familiar with machines and programs, since they literally grew with them. This is what makes the first difference.

So, we are into an era in which i believe softwre has to evolve and pass from being a mere technical approach to an artist approach. Software should solve problems for you, not cause them, for example.

projecting a software around more visual approach, with artist in mind helps alot in this. Maybe programmers are sometimes way too tech savvy, so that they don't see things outside the box. Same goes for many professionals, because they are so used to their procedures that they forget things could actually be simplier for the user.

So, for example as someone suggested, hiring some artist more connected to traditional arts, to test how the program feels in their hands would help alot about thinking outside the box, find new simple workflows to accomplish all the tasks 3D needs.

On the other side, is always clear that an artist also has to learn his new toolset. Its not that a tool is a magic wand, making the job for you. So learning is required, But the least stepped learning curve is, the better. Nt for example has good learning vids for sure, but there aren't as many in general as compared to other apps like Maya or 3D Sudio Max. Documentation aslo could be vastly improved. This would make newcomers able to feel at home in Lw in less time.

Other methods like wizards, presets and comments on tools a bit like Zbrush has, can be very welcome too.


Ah yes, indeed. See what you mean. Trying to remember back that far. I think the main thing that comes to mind is that it used to be all wireframe, and you could not even see the shaded view unless you hit F9. But true the old LightWave did seem to favor more of a quad view until you got to Layout. And cone to think of it, I don't remember if you could even use perspective in full screen or not. Oh well, anyway... the tech has come so far... and someplace along the way LightWave got a flat hit a ditch where it has been for a (hint hint) decade.

I think it would be safe to say that with today's technology and methodology, it is a far more "artist friendly" time for 3D artists. Potentially anyway (Houdini as an example aside IMHO). And LightWave would benefit most in the areas it has lagged behind technically when speaking of artist friendly.

jeric_synergy
12-07-2012, 08:22 AM
Software should solve problems for you, not cause them, for example.
You wouldn't believe the pushback I got when I suggested that, when a user is twiddling the color swatch, s/he WANTS TO ADJUST THE COLOR, and the control should become 'active'.

And the pushback was from programmers.

To me this is obstructionist. I want the program to say, preferably in a yiddish accent, "So, now you want that on, you do? Fine. It's on. Happy?"

IOW, I want the program to assist me, not fight me.

jasonwestmas
12-07-2012, 09:24 AM
yeah, imagine, having to model in modeler and every time you wanted to see the shaded form of your polygons you would have to jump over into layout and press F9. Now that is a severly non-interactive workflow no matter if you are a oil painter, clay sculpter or long time 3D polygonal modeler.

jeric_synergy
12-07-2012, 11:43 AM
True. I really like those programs (c4d, blender) that have a limited region full render that allows the user to have like a 100x100 pixel window of the full render. Very reassuring.

Of course, people do manage to make bronze castings, so interactivity isn't everything. ;)

robertoortiz
12-08-2012, 11:17 AM
I saw this at the CGSociety and I think this is a REALLY cool concept.



Blue Pencil - Sketchpad for Maya (Cool 2D Sketching Solution)

Well as they say if you cant beat them, copy from them.


Blue Pencil Overview

Blue Pencil is a plug-in for Maya that brings 2D drawing to the 3D viewport.

It is a multi-purpose tool that is useful for, but not limited to:

Grease Pencil - planning, annotation and illustration
Animation - thumbnails, rough blocking and arc tracking
Model layout and topology planning
Shot review tool
Tutorials and screencasting


Blue Pencil provides pressure-sensitive Wacom support for line thickness (pencil tool) and opacity (brush tool) along with an eraser tool and eyedropper. All drawing operations have native undo/redo support and the drawing data is stored directly in the Maya scene file.

From an animation standpoint, keyframes are integrated directly into Maya's timeline (for easy re-timing), keys can be cut, copied and pasted, and the lightbox (onion skinning) can be used to see pre and post keys.

Feature List and Additional Details

http://zurbrigg.com/blue-pencil

Surrealist.
12-08-2012, 11:53 AM
Edit: That's pretty cool. Just wanted to interject, I did not see your post when writing this. Might sound like a response otherwise...

Seems you can only go so far with "artist friendly" when you are talking about making this field seem easy to adapt if you are a traditional artist. Even if you started out with a blob in Sculptris, you'd still have to know what a polygon was - at some point. And from there know the limitations for animation and have to learn about retopo...

There are pipelines that have been in place and still used, that start the characters out as real-world sculpts. But this is just using a traditional artist and then taking it from there. The moment this artists steps into 3D it all changes. Unless all he is going to do is move things around in Sculptris. I have not used it. But I imagine it still takes technical skill 3D in nature to understand the process as well as use the program.

Even though this is true, we still have what you could say is a scale from development to end user. At the development end it works. But say you have to open a console and type a command. And you'd have to know quite a bit about how the program was developed in order to use the tool. At the other extreme, you simply make a gesture and something happens. You don't have to know how, all you have to know is what it does and what it is used for.

So I think you could plot a scale here for all tools you use. And everything would fall someplace on that scale. And there would be two main factors that would determine which side of the scale the tool lands. 1) Would be resources available to develop something further than just "works" and over to is "intuitive to use". And 2) Would be the technology upon which the tool was developed. The newer, more recent the technology, generally, the more intuitive and interactive. This is aside from 1) where it is more or less the time and money to employ better ideas. In this case it would be more like, the introduction of OGL or DirectX etc. Or some new technology such as HumanIK system for animation.

There is another factor touched on here in this thread and that is new technology that requires learning in order to use well. And once learned, they pay off is in a faster more flexible way to work. A classic example would be nodal technology. Procedural approaches to working in 3D. And this is a big one. Because other than some very fundamental similarities, this is an entirely new field that does require a new way of thinking. And the entire point is to embrace this in order to do more things than you can do in the real world, with greater flexibility and in most cases with a capability simply not possible otherwise.

So an artist coming into 3D is challenged two fold. He/she is being asked to do things that are not familiar to him/her and use a technology that may have not even been developed far enough to make it easy to use. And second he/she will inevitably come across brand new technology that enhances his or her ability to output work at a high level of technical perfection not otherwise possible. And the learning curve here could be very steep with a grand payoff.

So I think there is more to it than gestures and interactivity. This is a big subject indeed.

Dexter2999
12-08-2012, 03:00 PM
Want to make LW easier for non-3D artists?
GET THIS http://www.3dcel.jp/sketchmesh/index.html DONE!

jasonwestmas
12-09-2012, 12:38 PM
Want to make LW easier for non-3D artists?
GET THIS http://www.3dcel.jp/sketchmesh/index.html DONE!

That's the same as the topology brush in Zbrush. No point, just saying it's a good idea and Pixo has adopted that idea.

probiner
12-09-2012, 02:05 PM
Want to make LW easier for non-3D artists?
GET THIS http://www.3dcel.jp/sketchmesh/index.html DONE!
I do tend to push things to work separately on Shape and Topology these days, you break organic problems into simpler tasks and if the shape is right, I need less tweaking iterations on my workflow than with the usual polygonal modeling. I must admit though, it can lead to issues with continuity, especially with LW where there little support for these, so, 3DCel's Sketch Mesh or Trueart's Easy Retopology do little on that regard especially with no Background Constrain system in place and the only display available for BG mesh being Black Wireframe. Everything, not just LW, even dedicated apps, need to move forward a considerable chunk so it's more friendly and also more rational and uses less of user's "brain RAM" with workarounds:

All time Snap/Constrain, that affects all operators(drag, relax, subdivide, etc), with turn off option.
Subdivision compensation, otherwise you have to rely on dense meshes as baseline for a good match with the reference shape upon subdividing the topo mesh
Relaxing vertices to get an homogeneous distribution (subdivision loves it)
Relaxing edge loops with Curvatures awareness. Useful to either have more vertices on curves and less on flat areas, or snap them to facted models' edges.
Topology elements display, for better debugging and accounting of the mesh (tris, ngons, 3, n-tex
Drag and drop topology snippets to speed up common solutions in which the Topology repeats locally, it's just the positioning of the vertices that changes.
etc...


Cheers

Surrealist.
12-09-2012, 10:25 PM
Nothing new but relevant:

http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Ref/Release_Notes/2.64/Bsurfaces_1.5

http://vimeo.com/26339130

http://cgcookie.com/blender/2011/08/08/retopology-with-the-bsurfaces-add-on/

http://www.blendtuts.com/bsurfaces_review

jwiede
12-10-2012, 01:02 AM
Honestly, until the big infrastructure redo is in place, adding specific features like the above offers questionable value. Attributes like ubiquitous undo/history, fully-reconfigurable UI/UX, and decent multi-monitor support might not seem as sexy as new 3D tools, but they'll add a LOT in terms of allowing the app to become more artist-friendly (esp. decent multi-mon reprogrammable UI/UX). IMO, one of the biggest obstacles to UI simplification currently is the UI itself, and all the subtle hard-coded aspects that force users to learn a bunch of shortcuts and workarounds to get an optimal workflow for LW, instead of adjusting LW's UI/UX to meet their optimal workflow needs.

Adding the kinds of "wizards" and extensive preset/content handling is also quite difficult in the current UI SDK environment, too often it simply doesn't allow adequate override of aspects of the UI in order to replace them with scripted interfaces the way you'd want for beginners. Having CORE-esque "first-class" access to internals would change that situation, and make it much easier to add the kinds of simple-in-concept but newbie-important features as seen in other packages, like the ability to run scripted and annotated tutorials within the app itself -- some can be done today, but lack the easy annotation and in-app "doodle" capabilities that make them effective in other packages.

jeric_synergy
12-10-2012, 12:27 PM
Honestly, until the big infrastructure redo is in place, ....{bunch of true stuff}
Yep. I certainly don't expect that before 12. The panel API (? Am I using that right?) I suspect of preventing a lot of whiz-bangy stuff.

I think 11.5 is going to be very welcome (and pretty damn cool from what I've seen), but the shackles will be off with 12.

tburbage
12-11-2012, 12:38 AM
Honestly, until the big infrastructure redo is in place, adding specific features like the above offers questionable value. Attributes like ubiquitous undo/history, fully-reconfigurable UI/UX, and decent multi-monitor support might not seem as sexy as new 3D tools, but they'll add a LOT in terms of allowing the app to become more artist-friendly (esp. decent multi-mon reprogrammable UI/UX). IMO, one of the biggest obstacles to UI simplification currently is the UI itself, and all the subtle hard-coded aspects that force users to learn a bunch of shortcuts and workarounds to get an optimal workflow for LW, instead of adjusting LW's UI/UX to meet their optimal workflow needs.
Do you really think that a fully modern, attractive, highly configurable user interface, with consistent, well thought out input paradigm (i.e. use of kb/mouse/tablet/motion controllers) would make it "artist friendly"? Oh, yeah. I guess it would help a lot :)

In terms of the original post's "FOR NON 3D USERS", I think what makes for a truly artist friendly app to experienced users is also going to trickle down to the beginner as well.

Some other things that would make working in a 3D context easier and better for everybody:

- A much improved, context sensitive help system. 3D software is inevitably complex: it really needs to be explained. Every tool and panel should have a Help button that links to that topic in on-line help. Maya does a very decent job of that. Tooltips be a help and virtually all modern apps provide them. Even better is ZBrush's summary paragraph or so of help when you hover over an item and press Ctrl. These often contain the very tips and hints that are so damned helpful when you just need a hint or usage tip (or gotcha). Since 3D is mostly a visual experience, perhaps all of the documentation that would previously have been in a "User Guide" could be encapsulated in a library of videos.

- Great interactivity. Manipulating 3D content is inherently visual and gestural. Gizmos and other forms of controls right next to your content where your focus is and should remain. Immediate visual feedback on the results. Being able to preview operations so you can see what you're going to get. As John said, also being able to back up a few steps if you've made a mistake.

- Take the very useful concept of Presets introduced in LW [6] and greatly expand it to cover as many aspects of the product as possible. Real world useful Presets give the new user a leg up in getting decent results quickly, and then they can start to tweak. Where Presets aren't possible, include a small library of template scenes with basic "rigs" already set up. Stereo camera rigs, a rig for baking surfaces, ambient occlusion, etc., popular lighting rigs for GI. etc. Genoma will be like a character rig library, so it sounds like it will be a good example of another form of "preset".

- deprecation and eventual removal of old crusty cruft that never did really work well, so people don't trip over and get frustrated by them.

- Being user friendly also means robust and well and formally tested. Crashing is never friendly. Features that don't work well or aren't sufficiently well documented to be used effectively aren't friendly.

vncnt
05-05-2013, 08:22 AM
Well its very simple...

Things like rigging, sufacing, etc, etc are detailed TECHNICAL tasks requiring at least some stretch by a user into those territories to achieve the best in these areas, and that is NOT gonna change.

So the only answer for the "traditional" artist... is more automation. Autoriggers, surface preset libraries, simulation presets, etc, etc. Combined (most likely) with touch/gesture (read; "reel feel") interaction methods where appropriate, such as modeling, character posing, etc.

Sometimes I feel like drowning (like a starter).

You need to know a lot of work-arounds to bypass limitations while keeping focus on results, quality and deadlines.
Also, the more software I buy, less time can be spent per package and deal with quirks.
Also, I tend to focus more and more on project results. Less on quality and quirks.

Examples of limitations:

Rigging is done in the scene file itself.
If you want to improve the rig but already animated 10 scenes you have a problem that is 10x bigger.
A referencing method that links the "rig" to the "animation" at loading time (and interactively handles missing links) would solve this.

Output quality is defined by many global rendering parameters.
Unfortunately there is no way you can define presets.
So for each test render you need to tweak all those parameters.
Again and again.
Linking all global rendering parameters to the current camera would solve this.
Defining presets that are also available in other scenes would be even better.

I feel the implementation of the X-sheet hasnīt been finished.
I want to be able to keep my ideas, timing remarks, story arcs, story beats, etc bundled with the scene file Iīm working with. Flexible markers and regions that can also morph timing of keyframes. Destructive and non-destructive. Also Iīd like to use the markers from the audio file.

Sketching visual hints ("marker type" size, transparency and color) per frame for animation guidance and feedback. This is a visual industry.

The dopesheet could be more result driven.
When blocking I create a lot of keyframes that change a position/rotation/size, keep that for a while and then go back to the previous state. I would like to see visual feedback of those keyframe ranges where nothing changes so I can recognize patterns a lot faster. For instance by having the same color for keyframes combinations (and an alternate color for the next combination).

Editing keyframes has a lot to do with recognizing patterns. The dopesheet could use a graphical representation of the current tool (move/rotate/resize), limited to the active channels. This would save A LOT OF TIME switching off/on the graph editor (updating itīs data), zooming in/out the right key range and select the right channels. A simple graphical extention of the dopesheet like this will save tons of overhead time.

Speaking about the dopesheet. The visual representation of the audio file is currently behind the frame slider. Hiding all relevant details at the current time. Not good.

Posing is one of the things you do a lot while blocking out a shot. We have keyframer to save poses and animations but you need a lot of clicking to get the pose you like. Without visual guidance of archived poses itīs difficult to remember the right pose or facial expression.
Technically it works. Is it friendly to the animator? Absolutely not.

Previously stored Selection Sets can not be quickly activated from the main Layout interface.
They can not be Saved or Loaded individually, and worst of all: they disappear sometimes (all at the same time) for unknown reasons (I noticed this happens sometimes after re-parenting - and no, Iīm not going to send a bug report again).

Morph mixer button on the Object Properties dialog has no keyboard shortcut. Reducing the advantage of the button.

I think the user interface could be slightly smarter. Optimized for dual screens too. A scene editor, graph editor etc that have predictable locations on the (2nd) screen. The current graph editor keeps resizing to a small size each time it is (re-)activated and I donīt even want to search for a solution anymore - I gave up.
A search option for extremely long item lists.

An OpenGL viewport mode that is fast but also hides (!) all facial (and Genoma) controls for beter checking the result without rendering. You canīt check motions with VPR.
And a zoomable Camera viewport please. HDTV resolutions is difficult already. Now 4K is coming. We need zoom!

Management of multiple LWS files: animation status, feedback & improvement tracking, render status, expected render time of multiple LWS files vs deadline for each render globals preset: help me to make decisions for the entire project.

jasonwestmas
05-05-2013, 02:52 PM
When I look at LW 11.5 today, I see a lot of neat new islands of technology to use but similar to what some people are saying, the little workflow things keep making LW "taste like stale bread" as a creative tool. The same old disconnects between the technological islands are still there in the software. I'm looking forward to seeing those small annoying hurdles (there are a lot of them) taken out of the race track.

So this isn't just about getting new people but keeping old customers around while other more modern approaches to workflow are happening elsewhere.

jwiede
05-05-2013, 05:06 PM
but the shackles will be off with 12.
Have you seen any statements supporting delivery of major, _visible_ infrastructure changes in LW12 from any LW3DG representatives?

To be clear, I'm not saying they're not coming, I'm just suggesting caution when setting expectations beyond what's explicitly been stated by LW3DG.

vncnt
05-05-2013, 10:24 PM
So this isn't just about getting new people but keeping old customers around while other more modern approaches to workflow are happening elsewhere.

Marketing lesson #1: itīs cheaper to keep existing customers than to get new customers.

vncnt
05-07-2013, 01:54 AM
In the name of character animation: keyframe groups per pose, per character.

For children objects and for objects outside the hierarchy.
Available in DopeTrack and in the DopeSheet.

- a clear (color coded?) representation of pose-types: "key pose", "breakdown", "inbetween", "lip-sync", "undefined".
- "breakdowns", "inbetweens", "lip-sync" and "undefined" non-destructively linked to the surrounding "key poses".
- a handle to move "key poses" and to stretch the range (containing "breakdowns" and "rough inbetweens") between "key poses".
. a handle to move the range between "key poses", stretching the surrounding ranges.
- a pose label.

and:
- a DopeSheet view mode "show poses" with optional "expand/collapse all keyframes that belong to that character".
- command: Load Pose From Scene -> show list of poses (by their labels) of compatible characters -> select one -> pose current character at current frame
- command: Set Pose Type: "key pose", "breakdown", "inbetween", "lip-sync", "undefined".
- command: reduce keyframes of all parameters in character pose that barely change that particular parameter.
- a simple method to upgrade every keyframe that belongs to that character from "stepped" to "linear" to "spline" without opening/selecting/modifying hundreds of parameters in the Graph Editor. Graph Editor becomes extremely slow when you do this.

vncnt
05-11-2013, 07:26 AM
When using Make Preview with a Frame Step>1, the result is faster than the original but the audio is still the original speed.

The audio should lead the animation.
Otherwise itīs impossible to judge the result.

vncnt
05-14-2013, 07:38 AM
Load From Scene should keep Selection Sets and keep it to the character/object just loaded.

Currently, if you Load From Scene to load the second character, the Selection Sets are lost.

vncnt
05-15-2013, 03:59 AM
"Limited Region No Border" with fixed frame size but animated position.
The easiest way to create a pan from a scene that has a (match-moved or still) backplate.

bazsa73
05-15-2013, 05:37 PM
Artist friendly 3D app? What's that?

akaracquel
05-21-2013, 02:28 AM
What TRADITIONAL media do 'artists' consider 'easy', and what are the unifying characteristics of these easy media?

hmm... that's almost inspiring me to drill a hole into a piece of wood this weekend, with my brain switched onto sub-D CC mode. There's a power drill, lathe and a drill press sitting in the workshed, but reaching out for an octagonally shaped apple corer seems more appropriate :D

toby
05-21-2013, 04:18 PM
When using Make Preview with a Frame Step>1, the result is faster than the original but the audio is still the original speed.

The audio should lead the animation.
Otherwise itīs impossible to judge the result.
That should really be a bug report, and the other posts in Feature Requests, or they'll go unaddressed

digitalimagery
05-30-2013, 11:34 AM
How about having the front view show the front (not the back view showing the front)?

I'd also like an option to switch heading, bank and pitch to x, y, z.

Thanks for asking!
DI

vncnt
06-12-2013, 06:39 AM
A negative headlight in the viewport to suppress object geometry visibility.

Great for editing rigs.

Burndog
06-13-2013, 08:34 AM
A collection of Sample Scenes would help a new user greatly. Preset cameras and lighting rigs/scenes where they could swap out an item with their item and see it rendered beautifully would go a long way to showing what is capable.

fazi69
06-13-2013, 09:01 AM
A collection of Sample Scenes would help a new user greatly. Preset cameras and lighting rigs/scenes where they could swap out an item with their item and see it rendered beautifully would go a long way to showing what is capable.
I agree. Presets and samples is what always hook me up at the beginning. Presets in Lightwave3d are outdated ( since 6.0 ?! ) and useless in everyday work. Make us some nice node based materials. It will be time saver for many of us. I don`t need to waste 3-4 hours experimenting with glass for example or chrome to put in my scene somewhere in the background one bottle or chromed ash tray.
Also nice scene setups will be welcomed, with 2-3 quality levels of AA and radiosity each. I`m sure that community will gladly help with that if Newtek don`t have hired artists for this task.

ianr
06-13-2013, 09:11 AM
fazi 69,
I agree 1000%
P.M. Rob Powers with your Kind Offer!
It can't not be help!

prometheus
06-13-2013, 10:03 AM
fazi69, and burndog..yes agreed..we need some improvements on the preset system, that has been discussed for quite a while though,
Im sure they are aware of it, depends on what they think is important to focus on I guess and how easy it would be to improve.

Modo,carrara, and even truespace had/has presets for objects and scenes with thumbnails...I so wish for at least object thumb presets..where I could go to my Asset preset library from within Lightwave layout, and just drag and drop my tree and rock objects, signs..and houses, it might not seem that important since you could browse the file dialog and look for the "named files", but it really is a huge workflow enhancement to be able to do this, sure you could use external apps using extra processing resources and switching between app windows, but that isnīt a good workflow.

I would also like to have displacement bomb preset, that means premade/saved information of the procedural texture within a displacement preset, you would have to create a preview render of the preset that could be saved/baked in the preset thumb for the displacement, this way you could have a good workflow of dragging and dropping displacement bombs for terrain creation.

Reference would be how vue does this by creating a thumb preview of objects or terrains if you want to, that is saved in the library content.

Michael