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paul k.
12-29-2003, 05:59 PM
I would like to say that I have found LW's development over the last couple of versions, and especially in 8 to very discouraging. I have often told people that there is a lot of talent at New Tek, and even more in the community.

However I don't think that the tools being added are very well thought out. I think LW's strength is that it has been in the past a tool that seemed to be built for artists. It had a large set of tools but a very small set that you used all the time to create whatever you wanted( In modeler at least ) It was intuitive and worked well it made you feel like you could almost just grab what you were creating and pose it. This was a good idea....

However in recent releases and especially in the new movies, they seem to be concerned with checking and unchecking, organizing this, catergorizing that, simulate this faste, edit a thousand points one by one because this simulation may suck,
when the reason to have an arist is because simulation sucks.

(EXAMPLE------- THIS IS THE MOST RECENT BUT I THINK YOU CAN SEE EXPAMPLES OF THINGS LIKE THIS ANYWHERE....

Someone requested or someone came up with the idea at some point that we may need two Scene Editors open at the same time. I have no problem with this. I don't really agree necessarely but it is not a debate and maybe this will help someone especially with the new toos. Who knows?

But instead of saying hey, this is a good idea lets do it everywhere because our users may come across something or think of something we didn't and then just allowing us to Shift+Click on any of the main editors in LW......THEY GAVE US YET ANOTHER SHELF TO HAVE TO DIG THROUGH AND MAKE THE PROGRAM THAT MUCH MORE UNLIKE WHAT IT'S STREANGTH IS.

This is very discouraging and if this is NT's idea of a "workflow engancment version then we are all in big trouble.

DigiLusionist
12-29-2003, 06:10 PM
I agree, Paul, that the simple workflow is slowly eroding, but I think that has to do with the fact that LW has been implementing more and more tools.

The more tools LW gets, the less real estate the UI will have, and consequently, the deeper we'll have to go in menus to access things.

It may be possible to have feature parity with Maya and Max without losing the LW feel, but that is a huge challenge; one I'm sure the dev team has been trying to tackle.

paul k.
12-29-2003, 06:25 PM
I understand what you are saying but I am talking about Shift+Click instead of digging through shelves it is a philosophical idea that I would like to see brought back. We can stick a thousand more features in LW if they don't implament them right then we are going to fall further and further behind.

hrgiger
12-29-2003, 08:03 PM
I love the fact that we'll be able to fix simulations if need be. I don't think the point was to fix simulations because they are going to be crappy by default but rather allowing you to edit your simulations (without recalculation I might add), just gives you another level of control. And you don't have to edit a thousand points one at a time like you imply. You can select and move multiple points at once either frame by frame or edit the entire motion path all at once. Sounds pretty nice to me.
It also sounds like you're saying that simulations in general suck and that we shouldn't rely on them as artists. I guess I just feel that the artist should use every tool at their disposal, especially when it saves time and gives great results.
As far as the rest goes, we don't really know what the workflow for Lightwave 8 is like yet. All we've seen is Proton's workflow demonstrating some of the new tools. If it's anything like previous versions of Lightwave, there is usually more then one way to accomplish a task, and perhaps unchecking this, organizing this and categorizing that won't be a part of your own workflow to achieve the same results.
Not arguing your concerns, just stating that there might be more to it then appears thus far...

Panikos
12-29-2003, 08:07 PM
Perferct Software is the one where there are few buttons organized in a reasonable fashion.

Having countless buttons, many of them doing similar things, cause dizzyness and confusion.

The community's plugin developers made so many tools and LScripts, Modeler's for instance, more than 800 plugins, the majority of them I have no idea what they are doing.

Why's that ? Cause Newtek developed unfinished tools, or tools without principle features, so developers tried to fill this gap in an anarchy fashion, resulting in a chaotic situation.

Its really sad that Layout is following a similar fashion. Many windows with buttons everywhere, cause the core-code or the LWSDK is a stack of patches without cleanup.

Gui Lo
12-29-2003, 08:11 PM
I agree to some extent.

There obviously are and have been improvements in 'some' areas but IMHO a more overall view now needs to be taken.

I heard many years ago that it was part of the workflow philosophy that all tools were <= 2 mouse clicks away. This needs to be brought back.

I dis-agree with your view that LW8 looks 'very discouraging'. In view of the videos shown of the Dynamics and the IK, I think the worfklow has been simplified. When released they were fiddly, cumbersome and time consuming but now they look streamlined and very intereactive.

Above all, most of this dev group are not responsible for the past versions and LW8 is essentially thier first release.

Maxx
12-29-2003, 08:21 PM
paulk - sorry, I may be thick here, but I'm not understanding this tirade. You do understand that in the vids, proton is using a restored screen at minimum resolution to keep the file sizes down, right? So all the "More..." buttons you see will more than likely not appear on any resolution over, say, 1024*768. That combined with the customizability of the interface (I have to assume they wouldn't take the basic custom menu and keyboard layout config options out for this version) should allow anyone to click anything without digging through shelves. (Are shelves a Maya thing? Never heard them called that before in LW terms. I know there are tabs and panels, but never heard shelves specifically).

While on the subject, I have to agree that there are areas where LW workflow could be streamlined, but I think the new dev team at NT has done an amazing job doing just that. Think on it- since the old dev team left, we have a visual expression editor (I hate typing....), a right-click accessible setup mode for IK/FK and bone limits, integrated IK/FK blending - or at least, frame by frame switching between the two, point selection set button at the bottom of Modeler, multiple undo in layout, integrated and stronger dynamics (the "integrated" comes in from the fact that the dynamics tab is in the Object Properties window, not on a specific tab elsewhere in the main interface or a deformation plug-in and "stronger" comes from watching the vids... drool :D ) editable points in Layout, etc.

It seems to me that the only thing the current team is fighting is poorly implemented legacy code. For instance, if I'm rembering the Scene Editor vid correctly,there is a button labeled something to the effect of "Secondary Editor Window" or some such. This, I think, is the legacy limitations inherited from the base 7.5 code. Think about it - if you click "Scene Editor" in 7.5, the window opens. Click it again, and it goes away. I've got all my editors set up to a custom keyboard shortcut and would probably cuss even proton's dog (and I love dogs) if kept hitting the F6 key and got more and more Scene Editor windows. I just want the damn thing closed. So, assign the command to Shift+F6 and we're all set. Look at Motion Designer. Sure, if you've got 19 years to play with it, or you need a cloth to drape over a ball, it's the nuts. However, anything beyond that and it goes as bonkers as Norman Bates in his Mom's room. And it takes forever to do it. We have integrated soft bodies and bone dynamics now. I realize that apparantly the changes to modeler are slim, and were available as a free download before. Hopefully, the team has taken the time to ingrate the tools more thoroughly into the core, thereby making them better. The only thing I haven't seen that I desperately want is single point beveling. This is the one thing that DAZ's Edge Bevel plug could never do. Don't know if we'll see it 8.0 or not, but here's hoping.

In short, I'm not trying to be a fanboy, but I am proud of LW and NT in general. I started using LW with version 5.6, and have watched the basic direction go completely awry. 6.0 was a new version from the ground up to promote modularity within the program. Plug-ins were suppposed to be able to literally plug in to the core of the program, thereby becoming indistinguishable from the out-of-the-box package itself. I think we need look no further than MD to see that that just never happened. It seemed like the team ran out of time and said "Screw it. Just give it a face lift and let it go." What I've seen of 8 so far - granted, only the vids proton has been kind enough to record and upload - it seems that the new team is pulling in the reins and making the package more cohesive and integrated, without succumbing to pressure to integrate Layout and Modeler, which is good IMO.

And now, after the longest and most rambling post I've ever written, I take my leave...

*edit* Wow! I type slow. Lots of responses while I wrote.. Please excuse any reiteration...

jin choung
12-29-2003, 08:32 PM
aha,

and this is where newtek will run into the principle that you cannot please everybody.

i actually feel the direct opposite of you paul. i need more direct access to data, i need LESS abstraction when i need it, i WANT more tables and spreadsheets to be able to edit data en-masse when necessary.

i've felt for a while that lw suffered in not exposing vital details to users (while sometimes exposing TOO EXPLICITLY some things that would benefit from some abstraction [cough - clusters - cough]).

yes, a tool for artists with the lingo and methodologies of film/tv... but it is precisely this kind of abstracted philosophy that makes lw less than useful for purposes that need direct access to the data like for games - where the stuff of the data matters apart from just the quality of final render.

3d is technical. and i do feel that in some ways, we need access to the technicalities.

so we are at odds. to please you will displease me. to please me will displease you. and we are representatives of probably much more than just ourselves.

can't please everybody. and perhaps this will come to a head....

jin

Matt
12-29-2003, 08:45 PM
speaking of screen real estate: the one thing that worries me about the v8 interface is its over-zealous use of space and huge gadgets, take the recent screen shot of the expression editor.

this is what it looks like at the moment:

Matt
12-29-2003, 08:47 PM
and here's a quick neater (buttons etc actually line up with each other!) smaller version:

Matt
12-29-2003, 08:49 PM
I just feel the attention to detail is lacking, maybe they'll clean everything up once the features are fully beta-tested.

wgreenlee1
12-29-2003, 08:53 PM
right click on verything including the render panel
marking menus or something similar
custom shelving w/customiseable icons
unlimited hot-keys,not the limited ones like they have now for lightwave
a real work area navigation system,not this cluncker they have now,i still have to use the little icons to spin the work area then i wind up gimble fumbling it into oblivion...then haveing to shut down and restart...
tear-off panels
command line render
etc....

needs a whole new rewrite with todays knowledge applied not five years ago knowledge....

i love lightwave but....it needs to be taken into the shop and overhauled not patched like it has been since 6.5
7.0 was ok then 7.5 was a tiny bit better but still overall its not keeping with the times
maybe "8" will surprise everyone but it looks like a strong poser5 with a great render engine more than anything

end'o'rant

btw:no i didnt upgrade to "8"....yet...im waiting for you guys to run thru twice then i might give it kick....

sire
12-29-2003, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by wgreenlee1
a real work area navigation system,not this cluncker they have now,i still have to use the little icons to spin the work area then i wind up gimble fumbling it into oblivion...then haveing to shut down and restart...


What about mouse with alt/alt+ctrl/alt+shift? This is how I navigate, I'm not exactly too fond of the icons, too. I use them only when my left hand is not available for the keyboard while shoveling junk food into my mouth or similar.

Regarding custom shelving w/customiseable icons, tear-off panels - of course one could be infected by the idea of this being overly important when looking on Maya or C4D. But on the other hand XSI for example doesn't have all this fancy stuff. Heck, XSI won't even run properly on any but two certain screen resolutions!

Command line render: you could open a command shell and use Screamernet this way. Or do you want to tweak and toggle parameters through a command line? Almost all render parameters LW offers seem to already have a corresponding command inside Layout, just watch the command history while changing the parameters via mouse.

Karmacop
12-29-2003, 10:13 PM
I think it's heading in the right direction. Editing simulations is a very artist based tool, and it's not one frame at a time. I think where Lightwave is lacking is that the interface is older than the tools, and they're trying to stick new tools in an old interface, such as the expressions node editor which would be much friendlier with drag and drop. Another great feature (which lightwave should have had ages ago) is the great new bone tools for 8. I think they're easy to use and artist friendly. I can't wait till 8, and I'm sure it'll only get better from here with a new team and new approaches.

js33
12-30-2003, 01:07 AM
Originally posted by wgreenlee1
right click on verything including the render panel
marking menus or something similar
custom shelving w/customiseable icons
unlimited hot-keys,not the limited ones like they have now for lightwave
a real work area navigation system,not this cluncker they have now,i still have to use the little icons to spin the work area then i wind up gimble fumbling it into oblivion...then haveing to shut down and restart...
tear-off panels
command line render
etc....

needs a whole new rewrite with todays knowledge applied not five years ago knowledge....

i love lightwave but....it needs to be taken into the shop and overhauled not patched like it has been since 6.5
7.0 was ok then 7.5 was a tiny bit better but still overall its not keeping with the times
maybe "8" will surprise everyone but it looks like a strong poser5 with a great render engine more than anything

end'o'rant

btw:no i didnt upgrade to "8"....yet...im waiting for you guys to run thru twice then i might give it kick....

It sounds like you want to turn LW into Maya?
I am learning Maya but at first the interface feels very clutered.
I see the power of it but it's interface could use alot of work as well. Sometimes too much customization leads to confusion and cluter. Lightwave feels alot more accessable due to it's more streamlined interface.

Cheers,
JS

jin choung
12-30-2003, 01:53 AM
yah,

maya ain't perfect either. but i do agree with its philosophy of allowing the user to work the way he wants.

but it is faulty in that there doesn't appear to be a 'basic' way of doing things and then more 'advanced' ways later. there's just a BUNCH OF DIFFERENT WAYS.

i think if lw does a ground up rewrite, it could improve upon this.

another issue is that not all of maya's functionality is accessible from the GUI.

THIS IS INEXCUSABLE.

so if lw does do a ground up rewrite, it should always always remember to make everything accessible on the base level (and it's ok if at that level, it can involve going through some menus and such to reach an advanced function).

and yes yes, we should not seek to make lw like maya or any other app for the sake of making it more like that app.

this is a GIVEN and NOBODY is arguing for that....

BUT

BUT

if another way is BETTER... then we should do that without skipping a beat.

conversely, we should not keep any method that lw employs simply because of history. if it's bad, it's bad. dump it.

jin

jin

VirtualFM
12-30-2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by Matt
and here's a quick neater (buttons etc actually line up with each other!) smaller version:

Hi Matt! I really hope Newtek will hire you for some next release, maybe as a consultant on interfaces or something. Your new layout is SO much better there is no comparison... In the current one there is so much jumping around, with buttos all over the place... Your interface has the buutons arranged in groups and near what is really important. ANd you could also move the 'Add Element' Button next to the other 'Elements' buttons, unless there are several kind of elements...

Alan Daniels
12-30-2003, 01:54 PM
Originally posted by Matt
and here's a quick neater (buttons etc actually line up with each other!) smaller version:

Matt, just gotta say, you're version is *so* much cleaner. Here's hoping these relatively minor tweaks get into [8]...

Alan Daniels
12-30-2003, 02:02 PM
Originally posted by sire
What about mouse with alt/alt+ctrl/alt+shift? This is how I navigate, I'm not exactly too fond of the icons, too.

I'd turn off the icons altogether, except for the fact that alt+LMB rolls around the Perspective View window in Modeler. Every time I use the mouse for rotations, I end up with a neckache from turning my head from side to side, trying to keep up with the stupid rolling window. :mad:

(This is in a feature request thread already, but PLEASE guys at NT, have alt+LMB rotate only, NOT roll. Or at least an option to turn this annoying feature OFF!)

riki
12-30-2003, 02:59 PM
I think there doing a great job. Just manage and get to know your toolset. What's confusing?

sanderdes
12-30-2003, 03:47 PM
We all want to reach our tools without putting any effort into it. It ofcourse sounds nice, but there is a limiting factor: you don't have enough hardware to make it that easy.
Sure you can use keyboard combinations, maybe in combination with the mouse, and certain mousekeys, but there are not enough combinations. Well, you can create many many combinations with keyboard and mouse, but the more of these combinations you think of, the harder it gets to remember them, and even harder, to USE them.
You have one left hand, and that left hand is most likely placed on the left side of the keyboard (assuming that you are right-handed). It's very annoying to go from left to right on the keyboard, just because you want to use keys instead of buttons. The more options you get in lightwave, the more key-/mouse-combinations you must creat, thus more time it will take to actually get the tool you want, so that making use of buttons on the screen is even faster.

The problem with Lightwave is, that it has many tools. Lightwave 8 will have even more tools than 7.5, causing in even more buttons, tabs, keycombinations. But you have to display all these buttons on the screen. You can categorize it in tabs, popup-menu's, etc., which will make your screen layout look more neat than it does now, but you shouldn't forget that it will also cost you much more time in finding the right tool you want.


I think we should just bear in mind, that Lightwave has many many many options, and that their is a limited capacity of tools that can be displayed at the same time. In that way, I think Newtek is doing a good job. When I first started Lightwave, all the buttons made me daze, but after a while, I started to appreciate it. Also the possibility to alter the default layout, and place the features you use most, at one tab, and in your order, is a good thing.

Well, there's just one more thing I'd like to say: Keep up the good work Newtek !

Tesselator
12-30-2003, 03:54 PM
Originally posted by paul k.
I would like to say that I have found LW's development over the last couple of versions, and especially in 8 to very discouraging. I have often told people that there is a lot of talent at New Tek, and even more in the community.

However I don't think that the tools being added are very well thought out. I think LW's strength is that it has been in the past a tool that seemed to be built for artists. It had a large set of tools but a very small set that you used all the time to create whatever you wanted( In modeler at least )

They're still there.

It was intuitive and worked well it made you feel like you could almost just grab what you were creating and pose it. This was a good idea....

It still is. You do know that you can arrange the menus and
tabs to include or exclude anything you like right? Including
adding and removing entire tabs and menus. You could even
have LW with no tabs at all and only menus. Hm, I haven't
tried that yet. :D

However in recent releases and especially in the new movies, they seem to be concerned with checking and unchecking, organizing this, catergorizing that, simulate this faste, edit a thousand points one by one because this simulation may suck,
when the reason to have an arist is because simulation sucks.

I'm not sure I understand this part. That IS what 3D is all
about at this stage of it's evolution. Sure someday someone
will find a way to design and market a modeler that's all based
on virtual reality interaction but untill then it's all about checking
and unchecking buttons, selecting menu items, nameing surfaces,
and all the other complicated tasks that go into creating 3D art
and animation. One of the developers (NewTek for LW) goals is to
reduce the amount of time it takes me to set up and complete a given
project. To this end I'm very satisfied with the last few releases.
In almost every aspect of 7.5 workflow requires less time and
effort than in 6.5. and 8.0 looks like it will have even a greater
setup|speed advantage from 7.5 than 7.5 had from 6.5 Deuce
said on the 1st day of Sigraph "We're talking workflow here"
and then proceeded to setup 20 lights in a scene and edit
various aspects of them all in just a few clicks. 7.5 currently
requires 20 times the number of clicks for the same operation.
And then he said: "This is what 8 is all about... ...It's like that
all throught the different parts of the application". and he
continued on to demonstrate this in like 5 areas of 8 before
Proton took over the Mic. and focused us on specific examples.

(EXAMPLE------- THIS IS THE MOST RECENT BUT I THINK YOU CAN SEE EXPAMPLES OF THINGS LIKE THIS ANYWHERE....

Someone requested or someone came up with the idea at some point that we may need two Scene Editors open at the same time. I have no problem with this. I don't really agree necessarely but it is not a debate and maybe this will help someone especially with the new toos. Who knows?

But instead of saying hey, this is a good idea lets do it everywhere because our users may come across something or think of something we didn't and then just allowing us to Shift+Click on any of the main editors in LW......THEY GAVE US YET ANOTHER SHELF TO HAVE TO DIG THROUGH AND MAKE THE PROGRAM THAT MUCH MORE UNLIKE WHAT IT'S STREANGTH IS.

I'm sorry. I don't understand this either.

If your saying it's strength is less tools:
- You can do that yourself.

If you're saying it's about workflow:
- Yes. This is what I'm seeing in 8 -- and lots of it too :D Happy me!

If you're saying it's about driving the GUI just to drive the GUI:
- No. 3D art and animation isn't about operating GUIs. The GUI is
important for things like managing screen realestate and presenting
a logical and accessable interface to the tools you have in your
toolbox. And I suppose to some it's important for it to be
asthetically pleasing but to me that's very secondary. Not
unworthy of discussion but still; secondary.

This is very discouraging and if this is NT's idea of a "workflow engancment version then we are all in big trouble.
I remain VERY encuraged! I did a little hands off calculation
based on what was shown at sigraph. I teach LW BTW so I
actually did this in front of one of my classes where an 8 vrs. 7.5
discussion came up. I set up two example scenes in 7.5c
using every trick and shortcut I knew of. Each was something
typical you'ld likly have to do in the workplace. I timmed each
one and both together took me just over 37 minutes. I then
speculated along with the class as we paused and played
some recordings of the sigraph demo. The results we came
up with were 5.5 to 6 minutes for both scenes if done in L8.
And these results are exponential not linear in many cases.
Impressed? I'm floored. I can't wait for 8.

I'm not saying BTW, that there aren't some other things that
I would like to see implimented either in 8 or in comming versions.
But as far as workflow is conserned which is "what 8 is all about"
I'm stoked! Eight da bomb bra!

BTW, I teach Maya too and 7.5 has a more streamlined workflow
for most ordinary tasks than Maya 4.5. Not a whole lot but
enough to make a pretty big difference at the end of your
workday. Maya 5.0 (and even the current Beta of 6.0 Shhh! you
didn't hear that from me!) don't show all that much improvement
workflow wise. So L8 just totally snuffed M5 in this reguard.

animotion
12-30-2003, 04:32 PM
I really don't see the big problem with the way LW8 is shaping up! If they would have released LW 8 without the pre-anouncement there would not have been 1/4 of the bs comments that NT is being sucker punched with. I have kept pretty silent latley (i have anims to create) but it really looks like no matter what they do, they will get slammed for it, that really sucks the big one!!

I do beleive in fixing things in LW, I have posted requests myself that I thought were extremely important but you have to realize they can only do so much in the time we all are willing to wait for LW8.

All opinions are important, but I think it's about time we cut NT a little slack. Software programing is a ***** believe me I know, as I am designing a program for a product release. LW8 will be an order of magnitude better than what we are use to.

Animotion ;)

sire
12-30-2003, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by Alan Daniels
I'd turn off the icons altogether, except for the fact that alt+LMB rolls around the Perspective View window in Modeler. Every time I use the mouse for rotations, I end up with a neckache from turning my head from side to side, trying to keep up with the stupid rolling window.

Funny. I feel the exact opposite way. How LW Modeler mouse-rotates a perspective viewport is the best way I know. It seems you aren't aware of the fact that the mouse effect changes to roll only when the pointer is out of a circular area in the middle of the viewport. In previous versions of LW this circle was actually drawn. Inside, it's rotation around all axes. If the object becomes tilted, go outside the circle and correct it. Simple and convenient, isn't it?