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View Full Version : Tweeking the UI: "Subdivide" TAB



jeric_synergy
10-11-2014, 10:13 PM
Hi y'all: I got tired of seeing so many "More ↓" in my LWM menu so I broke up "Multiply" into "Multiply-1" and "Multiply-2", and then since 2 was mostly just "Subdivide" I named the tab that.

124945

"Destroy" is still in there, but that's a type of Subdivide, n'est ce pas?

I don't like having too many "More ↓" 's in my UI because I think they hide too much information. Thoughts? :phone_cal

hrgiger
10-11-2014, 10:45 PM
I think there are a lot of redundant tools in Modeler and that I would never be using enough tools to add to the tabs up top. Most of the tools I do use, I use a shortcut key for. I would much rather remove tools from the interface that I never use then to add more information to an already intrusive toolbar.

jeric_synergy
10-11-2014, 11:15 PM
Not me: I like to be constantly reminded that something exists, and not have it hidden away, nor categorized under a non-intuitive tab. Even more so if it has a hotkey, since hotkeys are displayed on the buttons-- I still remember how FAST I learned the important hotkeys once NewTek made that innovation-- I wish every program did it that way.

I would have looked into "3-5 Fix" a hell of a lot earlier if it hadn't been hidden in a sub-sub-folder.

I may break "Details" into "Points & Edges" and "Polygons" too-- sub-sub-folders are stupid. For Genesha's sake, there's four "More V" 's in "Details" -- too many.

"FIRST ORDER RETRIEVABLILITY" -- http://www.instructables.com/id/First-Order-Retrievability-Toolbag/

http://www.missionmission.org/2014/07/24/adam-savages-secret-lair/

jwiede
10-13-2014, 12:47 PM
I think there's a conflict with how LW uses "subdivide" (w.r.t. sub-d surface properties), thus the expectation of a "subdivide" tab would be tools altering/affecting sub-d surface characteristics. You seem to be using it in more of a "modify by increasing detail" sense, not directly relating to sub-d surfaces. Overloading what "subdivide" means in the UI that way seems likely to confuse. If you're dead set on this idea maybe find another term?

Personally, I tend to agree with Steve/hr, the last thing the Modeler toolbar needs is more tabs exposing more tools. IMO, tool discovery is basically a lost cause unless/until something is done about the overlap and replication among Modeler tools. Adding another tab, making more tools visible, feels like a step in the wrong direction. There's already too many tools for users to easily remember all the idiosyncratic details that differentiate similar tools, increasing the pool of "visible tools" worsens the problem.

I'd rather see something vaguely similar to how the app "Alfred" (Mac) / "FARR" (Win) works, only where it searches across tools based on name, description, details, keycode, whatever -- call it part of the "help" infrastructure. Throw in usage videos for the tools that can be called up contextually when tools are returned as results, detailed online doc pages, etc. and users would at least have a fighting chance at trying to make sense of the massive overlap in Modeler tools (I've given up hope that the overlap itself will change anytime soon). Alas, just a dream.

jeric_synergy
10-13-2014, 01:29 PM
To MOI, and ymmv and does, SUBDIVIDE has no direct connection to sub-d modeling except of course thru the implicit nature of sub-d. One can use the SUBDIVSION Tab tools without ever going into subds. To me, "Subdivision" has always meant, well, dividing the mesh, not especially "Sub-d modeling tools".

Discoverability: its seems self-evident to me that it's easier to see a tool on a wall than one that is hidden in a drawer. For my purposes, any perceived clutter created by the addition of another tab is more than offset by the clearer grouping, TO ME, that is afforded with the addition of a more specialized Tab, and the concurrent dis-interring of various hidden tools.

Your last paragraph, Jwiede, is beyond the scope of this thread: I think you know that I've already lobbied for better Help, better dox, a better documentation enhancement system, for years and years and years.

We gotta make a meal from "what's in the fridge tonight", and to that end I think reminding people, especially noobies, that they can customize their UI to better suit their own workflow and to ASSIST in their learning LW is a worthwhile goal. If one forgets a tool over and over, especially because it's buried, then by all means bring it out into the light-- LW users all have the power to do so.

JCG
10-13-2014, 02:25 PM
I'm 100% with you. I think one of the strongest features of the LW UI is that every button clearly tells you at a glance what it does, and every tab clearly tells you where each button is. "More" does not clearly tell you at a glance what functionality is there, so getting rid of them by splitting the multiply menu makes sense. I did it a bit different by getting all the bevel/Shift tools out into their own "Bevel/Shift" tab. I also got rid of "Detail" and "Construct" because I could never figure out at a glance which buttons were supposed to go into each of those, and made a "Spline," "Boolean," and a "Fuse" tab for all the welds and merges.

It's great until... *queue ominous music* every time there is an upgrade, because then I have to go menu by menu, making notes of each new button, and checking they're not in the old version (not that easy, since the menus are all shuffled up), in order not to lose any new functionality when moving the menu structures to the new version. It usually takes longer than I'd expect.

spherical
10-13-2014, 05:21 PM
I'm dipping my toe into this more and more these days. I prefer the Studio Production menu but, contrary to what one would think—that it would have nearly the kitchen sink, a lot of the tools are not there and, evidently, you are expected to have KB shortcuts in your quiver by now. As a first project, I'm developing a TrueArt tab. There are a lot of tools; so many that some deserve their own tab. When I went to put EasySpline and its sub-commands into a group named EasySpline, the first entries of which are:

EasySpline
Make Spline
Build Spline
(rest of the tools on down)

Thinking that I could just simply make the More ↓ into EasySpline ↓ and have the whole of it in a flyout, I named the sub-group EasySpline. Nope, the More ↓ remained and I got:

[EasySpline] (Group Label)
.EasySpline (Button)
..More ↓
...EasySpline Make Spline
...EasySpline Build Spline
...EasySpline (rest of the tools on down)

Deleting the sub-group name removed the redundant Group Label; revealing that it and the button take their name from the first command in the sub-group, leaving:

.EasySpline (Button)
..More ↓
...EasySpline Make Spline
...EasySpline Build Spline
...EasySpline (rest of the tools on down)

Saves some vertical real estate but, no matter what you do, still can't get rid of More ↓. Why make this more complex than it needs to be? Have I missed an option somewhere?

....and, why is the Presets Panel KB shortcut F8 in Layout and F9 in Modeler? F5 and F6 are the same in both. IMO, anything that has the same function in both should be the same key in both. Assign Vertex Maps to something else.

JCG
10-13-2014, 08:41 PM
I probably did not understand what you're after, but I put Easyspline in a group and they all fit without any "More"s at 1080p.

jeric_synergy
10-13-2014, 09:33 PM
You mean this effect???
124971

spherical
10-13-2014, 09:55 PM
I probably did not understand what you're after, but I put Easyspline in a group and they all fit without any "More"s at 1080p.

And it's on its own tab with the other spline-related tools. It fits, right up until you try to fit all of the other tools in the Modeler Plugin Pack; which is what I have. The 32-bit install, somehow, loaded a TrueArt section into the Middle Mouse Button stack. No idea how it got there (for whatever reason, the 64-bit didn't). Sensei doesn't know, either. Anyway, I copied the stack and made a tab out of it. EasySpline is part of that stack and, with them all on one level, ran off the bottom of the side menu. Had to consolidate somehow. It's a work in progress.

That said, it would seem that, instead of having instructions and a video on how to make your EasySpline tab, that an easyspline.cfg file would be part of the plugin distribution and a set of TrueArt tabs would be included with the Modeler Plugin Pack. The person best qualified to put all of these tools in a logical order in menus is not the person who just received the plugins. One person does the work; many appreciate.

- - - Updated - - -


You mean this effect???
124971

Yes. How?

jeric_synergy
10-13-2014, 11:11 PM
Yes. How?
Made a NEW GROUP, added things under it indented. The indentation level seems to determine whether you get a label or a extensible button.

jeric_synergy
10-13-2014, 11:17 PM
HOTKEYS:
Now that I've internalized RIGHT-ARROW to SELECT LOOPS, I can free up "L" for other uses. I think I'll use it for "(EDGE) EXPAND LOOP", since lately I've found it useful to select one Edge and start expanding the loop link by link.

??? Why isn't there a "(POLY) EXPAND LOOP"??

+++
BTW, I keep a log of animation activity and include changes to hotkeys and menus by entering HOTKEY and MENU in the text as a form of keyword. That way if I ever decide to compile a list of what I've changed, I can find them easily with CASE SENSITIVE SEARCH.

prometheus
10-13-2014, 11:28 PM
What I donīt like about the UI, in their respective tab menuīs, they are sorted with extend, duplicate, subdivide etc as categories, those group names are defined as a lower white or grey text color for the names, so they sort of do not
bring focus directly..more discreet showcasing what the group does..instead it is every tool beneath each group that is the direct attention buttons, I think it might be better the other way around..otherwise you could just as easy skip the group name dividers.
so the group divider names should be stronger in white..and the tool buttons actually the ones to be more grey and not so prominent, that would allow for a user to actually go for the tool and easier find the tool in respective group.

I think there are a lot of people who would disagree though..I would probably need to do a mockup UI and put it on display to compare.

i think it would be more easier on the eyes that way, because you will not have so many text tools in the strong white text display hitting you in the face as they are now..and it would also allow for the actuall selected tool to be more prominent
than the other non active tools.

jeric_synergy
10-13-2014, 11:39 PM
I suggest the proper way forward is to make every thing as user definable as possible, make a reasonable default, and walk away.

prometheus
10-14-2014, 12:00 AM
I suggest the proper way forward is to make every thing as user definable as possible, make a reasonable default, and walk away.

Indeed so...what would really make us be able to customize it better, though there are these great UI tools, I really want it directly acessable and realtime editable when I change button color or text color directly...without having to use a tool for it or close and restart modeler or layout.

jeric_synergy
10-14-2014, 12:49 AM
Indeed so...what would really make us be able to customize it better, though there are these great UI tools, I really want it directly acessable and realtime editable when I change button color or text color directly...without having to use a tool for it or close and restart modeler or layout.
That would be sane.

spherical
10-14-2014, 02:22 AM
Made a NEW GROUP, added things under it indented. The indentation level seems to determine whether you get a label or a extensible button.

That's what I did; at the same level.

JCG
10-14-2014, 05:48 AM
That's what I did; at the same level.First you create a tab for trueart, then a group for Easyspline, you click on that group and create a new group (inside it). It could be called ESTools or something. Then you drag all the commands into that innermost group one by one. The group automatically becomes a dropdown. It can be kind of tricky because the white parenting bar has two indentation levels and only one works, but tabs have the same issue.

hrgiger
10-14-2014, 08:36 AM
There are just enough tools in Modeler that I will never (ever) use so its easy enough to have all the tools that I use regularly or even infrequntly be visible.

jeric_synergy
10-14-2014, 09:03 AM
That's what I did; at the same level.

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