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View Full Version : Streamlining Lightwave...How would you do it?



robertoortiz
04-27-2013, 10:50 AM
If you could streamline Lightwave an make it "More intuitive"
How would you do it?

How would you make things like

Character Animation
Rendering
Shading
Modeling
Composting
FX


(Of course you dont need to comment on each of these areas)

The goal would be that even a beginner could start using the program in one
after noon.

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

shrox
04-27-2013, 11:31 AM
I am generally pretty happy with Lightwave. Sure, a few magic "make pretty thing I am thinking about" buttons would be nice.

More presets, the best stuff that users might want to contribute.

More saveable things, like background gradients and other settings that don't have a saving option now.

Ryan Roye
04-27-2013, 11:35 AM
Lightwave is probably the least intimidating of the 3d programs available from a new user's standpoint. Its interface is clean, simple, and easy to understand.

My only criticisms concerning the new user's experience concerns the legacy plugins and functions that are no longer relevant to the average user that need to be removed, hidden, or bundled into a separate location.

Will's tutorials still do an excellent job to help a person kickstart their ability to utilize Lightwave and that's what I referred to when I started out.

hrgiger
04-27-2013, 04:35 PM
Making LightWave one application not two. Done.

shrox
04-27-2013, 04:50 PM
Making LightWave one application not two. Done.

Oh...what about my needs?

shrox
04-27-2013, 05:13 PM
I can't exactly put my finger on why I like two windows. I guess I can used to one, so long as I can turn on and off the functions as a group of my choosing.

jwiede
04-27-2013, 08:25 PM
I can't exactly put my finger on why I like two windows. I guess I can used to one, so long as I can turn on and off the functions as a group of my choosing.
You can do that (create separate windows) just fine with a unified application and decent programmable UI. For example, doing so in either C4D or Modo is trivial.

This idea that separate programs offer any sort of UI "compartmentalization" benefit over a "unified+programmableUI" app is demonstrably false. CORE couldn't because its UI engine's programmability wasn't complete, but it is easy to demonstrate with released "unified+programmableUI" 3D apps.

jwiede
04-27-2013, 08:55 PM
In fact, 3D apps with fully-programmable UIs are actually capable of much more efficient compartmentalization of UI than is possible with LW's "separate apps" approach. Among other benefits, this is because such apps are capable of generating UIs pared and tuned for individual workflow needs.

I, personally, don't feel the need to keep two complete viewport-set windows open at once, because I find hitting a key or clicking a tab/button to switch between "workspaces" is as effective, and leaves me more screen real-estate for keeping windows open that I want visible in all contexts (render previews, stats displays, etc.) -- it's not like I can effectively interact with both viewport-set windows at the same time anyway. If that need arose, the app can support it, it just doesn't.

If I need to see something from one "workspace" viewport-set while working in another, instead of cloning the entire workspace, I just create a new window (in the mode of the other workspace) that contains the subset of the other workspace's viewport-set I need, without all the unneeded UI duplication of toolbars, etc. I can even easily save that layout as a new workspace for later recall (by keystroke or tab/button click). Because of that, I don't really find much need for access to two workspaces' entire UI configs simultaneously.

To be clear, though, if the need to have two simultaneous workspaces accessible arose, I could do so. I just find my needs can typically be addressed without requiring a complete second workspace be accessible. In separate apps, I don't have that flexibility: If I want anything from Layout while using Modeler, I have to pull up the complete Layout app and UI. There's actually much less flexibility in how much of the second workspace's UI comes up, and in how much screen real estate is consumed by it.

vncnt
04-28-2013, 02:20 AM
I can't exactly put my finger on why I like two windows.

Since LW does not really use dual monitor setups I can live two separate applications.
Three of my PC configurations have dual monitor setups so I guess itīs getting more common.

However, to get feedback in Layout while editing weightmaps in Modeler you need to save.
Realtime feadback would make LW more intuitive.
Just like directly manipulating geometry in the camera viewport - keyframed.

I also think that the legacy plugins ruin the experience of a first time user.

jwiede
04-28-2013, 05:52 AM
I also think that the legacy plugins ruin the experience of a first time user.
LW generally has a huge clutter problem, well beyond just legacy plugins. The button menus really need sub-tabs (ala modo), or at least the ability to explicitly define what always stays visible versus potentially gets sloughed off to a sub-menu (ideally both).

The automated sub-menu sloughing makes it difficult to retain usability as the button menus get crowded because important buttons start getting sloughed off to sub-menus, and there really isn't any way to "prioritize" what gets sloughed first. I dislike the move of the "point/edge/poly/..." buttons onto the side button menu because it just forces such auto-sloughing even sooner.

I do think modo (and others) have it right: Every button/icon menu panel should support sub-tabs. It won't entirely solve the dearth of legacy tools crowding the button menus, but it would at least allow them to be taken off the "first" (aka default displayed) button menu sub-tab for that tab, and resigned to a secondary sub-tab. That would also somewhat alleviate the auto-sloughing issue, though if that code is modified to allow sub-tabs, it should also be modified to give a way to mark button menu groups as "do not slough".

Even better, instead of auto-sloughing groups into sub-menus at all, if the menu is too long for the area allotted, auto-create a new sub-tab instead with the groups that won't fit. Still worth providing a way to declare sub-menus, mind you, but then they'd only occur if the menu group was explicitly defined to have them as sub-menus.

geo_n
04-28-2013, 07:42 AM
Remove redundant tools or consolidate and improve them. If a lot of people whine, bring it back like the start button in windows 8..only if there's a lot of people whining.
Lwcad seems to be doing a good job of streamlining.

brent3d
04-28-2013, 08:36 AM
In fact, 3D apps with fully-programmable UIs are actually capable of much more efficient compartmentalization of UI than is possible with LW's "separate apps" approach. Among other benefits, this is because such apps are capable of generating UIs pared and tuned for individual workflow needs.

I, personally, don't feel the need to keep two complete viewport-set windows open at once, because I find hitting a key or clicking a tab/button to switch between "workspaces" is as effective, and leaves me more screen real-estate for keeping windows open that I want visible in all contexts (render previews, stats displays, etc.) -- it's not like I can effectively interact with both viewport-set windows at the same time anyway. If that need arose, the app can support it, it just doesn't.

If I need to see something from one "workspace" viewport-set while working in another, instead of cloning the entire workspace, I just create a new window (in the mode of the other workspace) that contains the subset of the other workspace's viewport-set I need, without all the unneeded UI duplication of toolbars, etc. I can even easily save that layout as a new workspace for later recall (by keystroke or tab/button click). Because of that, I don't really find much need for access to two workspaces' entire UI configs simultaneously.

To be clear, though, if the need to have two simultaneous workspaces accessible arose, I could do so. I just find my needs can typically be addressed without requiring a complete second workspace be accessible. In separate apps, I don't have that flexibility: If I want anything from Layout while using Modeler, I have to pull up the complete Layout app and UI. There's actually much less flexibility in how much of the second workspace's UI comes up, and in how much screen real estate is consumed by it.

I believe the ultimate example of this can be seen in the Modo UI, specifically that of v.701. For me theirs no conflict in picking up on what Luxology has pretty much perfected beyond any 3D app. They have set a new standard in how flexible, customizable, and functional a UI can be. Plus Modo and Lightwave are "cut from the same cloth" sharing the same basic procedures, particularly in modeling and thought processes, so to take on a Modo UI system just makes sense. In regard to multiple apps, Modeler and Layout, some of the great benefits are separate file types ".lws" ".lwo" which can avoid total data loss in the case of file corruption, and a wider range of hotkeys unless LW switches it's hotkey assignment to reflect an XSi type of dedicated system, and yes compartmentalization but on a small scale which is the market LW is designed and developed for. I personally have always worked on dual monitors all the way back to the CRT days, splitting LW across with Modeler and Layout, but I find that even next generation apps, such as Modo, sometimes struggle to maintain multiple active viewports in that state without an eventual crash or glitch. In the end though I believe the future for LW UI should be about flexibility, customization, functionality, and options. The option to run a seperate ".exe" for Modeler or to just select a tab to have it open within Layout, the option to have the classic LW button styles or tabbed menus, etc. LW is hands down one of the easiest tools to teach someone the art of 3D with and most of that comes from it's simple and straightforward interface and the separate Layout and Modeler viewports which has proven ideal for the 3D generalist, so lets not forget that as we push forward our requests for streamlining.

erikals
04-28-2013, 03:23 PM
basically wrote it here >
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?131733-Making-Lightwave-more-Artist-Friendly-%28for-NON-3D-users%29-Tell-us-your-ideas&p=1283253&viewfull=1#post1283253

jwiede
04-30-2013, 10:03 AM
Yeah, this thread does seem to be essentially the same as that earlier thread, *sigh*. BTW, good comprehensive list, wonder how difficult it'd be to add bug numbers to the items? Get people to say if they've already filed for an issue, and if so, what number they received -- then later, go through and file for any missing bug numbers.

vncnt
05-01-2013, 12:44 AM
Since LW does not really use dual monitor setups I can live two separate applications.
Three of my PC configurations have dual monitor setups so I guess itīs getting more common.

It would help if Layout would not only continuously check for updated object files but also continuously check for updates in the current scene file.

Then you could open multiple Layout applications with the same scene on multiple displays.
Wouldn't that be an interesting feature?

The only caveat is that modifications could be lost whenever a scene change has been detected but that can be prevented with a simple dialog box with a "Save As" option.