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Zarathustra
02-26-2004, 12:51 PM
heh heh, so...uh, well, how do you turn off an "E" button?

and don't say "read the manual" because I can't find it in there!

I think it's strange that I've never come across the need to do this before. Oh well, I'll, uh, just stand over here while you point and snicker at me for not knowing this until someone let's me in on the answer.

Thanks

Kurtis
02-26-2004, 01:02 PM
Hold down the Shift key and click on the envelope button.

Zarathustra
02-26-2004, 01:09 PM
AH! so simple. I'm trying cmd, ctrl, shift-cmd, etc. I could kick myself! Thanks!

Beamtracer
02-26-2004, 01:30 PM
I think it's a U.I design flaw with Lightwave. It's not intuitive. It should be more obvious.

eblu
02-26-2004, 02:03 PM
I myself ran into this a few years back. the worst part about it is that zarathustra is correct, Its not documented.

as for it being a design flaw, well... there are much more pressing design issues with LW, than the envelope button functionality. I'd be happy if they just documented it.

mlinde
02-26-2004, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
I think it's a U.I design flaw with Lightwave. It's not intuitive. It should be more obvious. Right, because CMD-Shift-Option using a mouse and keyboard in any was is intuitive? Beam, I think you're full of crap on this one.

In chapter TWO of the manual, under the section "Working with the interface":

Envelope Button
An envelope button is a small button marked with an E. Selecting this button will display the Graph Editor where you can create an envelope for the setting. A highlighted envelope button indicates a value has an envelope applied. To turn off (i.e., remove) an envelope, hold the SHIFT key and click on the Envelope button.

(I took out the rude and unkind stuff just now, it's not relevant).

drclare
02-26-2004, 02:32 PM
At first it did seem un-intuitive to hold shift and click the E to deactivate, but i think it kinda makes sense, i mean if you think about it, once you deactivate an envelope, all of the work you did in it is gone. So, if deactivating it was a simple as just clicking it again, losing a lot of hard work would also be as simple. Just a thought.

Zarathustra
02-27-2004, 07:04 AM
gee, I think everyone's just a little testy waiting for [8] to come out.

mlinde
02-27-2004, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by Zarathustra
gee, I think everyone's just a little testy waiting for [8] to come out. You should have seen my original reply. When I realized who posted the question I felt guilty, went back and edited out the mean stuff. :rolleyes:

Zarathustra
02-27-2004, 09:25 AM
I didn't realize I would be worthy of kid gloves! I would have assumed the opposite.

You know, maybe I should consider ordering the printed manual. It's such a pain in the a s s trying to sort through a pdf manual. Still, I should have found that passage and deserve full nasty treatment for failing to do so.

If I had a $1 for every time I told someone else to read the manual, it would pay for the new printed manual.:D

etobiason
02-27-2004, 09:33 AM
I'm just glad somebody else asked the question...I've wondered about that myself but not yet to the point where I started to search the manual... shift+click, eh? Good to know.

-e

eblu
02-27-2004, 09:35 AM
mlinde,
why exactly can't the shift-click functionality be a design flaw?
Against other poor choices in design, it pales, I agree, but it could still be a bone-headed design choice. LW has seen some very rough growing pains in the last few years, and still hasn't outgrown its meager beginnings. The envelope button itself has (my opinion btw) just about outlived its usefulness. Its a patch on a limited animation system (from way back in LW's history) and its workflow reflects its nature as an afterthought. With the more open LW channel animation system, The envelope concept is now an extraneous aspect to the modern LW workflow. why would I want a completely new way of dealing with animation channels, when I should be able to leverage the power of things like the graph editor's ability to discriminate between channels, or the keyframe tools (the "return" and "delete" keys).

face it, the envelope button is a dinosaur, and it needlessly makes animation channels difficult to work with because it adds interface where it shouldn't. And it doesn't bring anything "better enough" to the table.

Not that I think it will change any time soon. Its just bad design, driven by legacy compatibility.

I applaud you for finding it in the docs tho. One less thing for me to fret over.

Zarathustra
02-27-2004, 09:41 AM
I don't have a problem with it and I think everyone's too eager to point out "flaws" in Lightwave.

My changes would be:
1) If you eliminate all the keyframes in the graph editor, the the "E" should turn off automatically
2) Everything should have an "E" button.

shift-click is fine. Maybe under beginner alert there should be a popup asking if you REALLY want to erase the envelope if you shift-click it, but otherwise I think it's safe from accidental erasure.

Lightwolf
02-27-2004, 09:42 AM
eblu:
This reminds me a bit of the icons vs. text debate.
I actually quite like most of the eird interface stuff in LW, it makes this app more productive for me.
I agree though, for someone who works with more, varied apps, and more generic interface would be better.

Then again, honestly, would you want LW to work like Photoshop or one of Macromedia's products?

Cheers,
Mike :p

eblu
02-27-2004, 09:52 AM
lightwolf,
I would like LW to work like LW. Sometimes the app has two ways of doing something and applies them both with reckless abandon, and no consideration for what it does to the learning curve.
I like the Industrial nature of LW, the utilitarian nature of the tools, the way one can leverage tools in ways that can't be done in other packages. But I ain't no fan of the tools that are poorly designed, the ones that contradict other UI in LW, the ones that paint you into a corner, the tools that in the end we would be better off without.

btw: I honestly don't have any respect for what Adobe or macromedia have done to their clean simple interfaces either. so... no, I don't want LW to work like them. Everything is slowly turning into "Word 5.0"

Lightwolf
02-27-2004, 09:57 AM
eblu:
Looking at some of the early LW8 demos proton showed, I think there were popups on all [E]s anyhow, so I guess we'll see less "how to I remove envelopes" questions asked in the future. :)

Cheers,
Mike

mlinde
02-27-2004, 09:58 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
Then again, honestly, would you want LW to work like Photoshop or one of Macromedia's products? Sure! Just think of it, you could fire up the application, load a file and watch the whole thing go down in flames because somewhere, you've got a blank text field that uses a corrupted font. Or, you get so many palettes open at once that you can't see your workspace unless you buy an additional $1000 monitor. :D

I don't think the envelope is a design flaw because of it's design. Yeah, that's a bit circular. Sure you can get at anything in the Graph Editor. But imagine opening the GE for the first time to change the animation, and (because you've removed the envelope button) LW has to show ALL animatable channels at once. The image below is the GE with one surface on one object. Imagine scrolling through all that just to animate the luminosity of an image map on that one surface. The envelope is a timesaver because it activates the GE with just the channel you need. Shift-clicking on just the envelope you wish to remove is immeasurably preferable to scrolling through this:

Lightwolf
02-27-2004, 09:59 AM
Lol...
Add Icons and you have Photoshop ;)

mlinde
02-27-2004, 10:02 AM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
Lol...
Add Icons and you have Photoshop ;) I don't have that much free time, besides, creating icons is so painful... :p

eblu
02-27-2004, 10:05 AM
mlinde, why could'nt that list simply show "animated" channels only?

Lightwolf
02-27-2004, 10:14 AM
eblu: How would you then add a channel to animate? And how yould you remove it, kill all keyframes (...and expressions and plugins) ?

mlinde
02-27-2004, 10:31 AM
Originally posted by eblu
mlinde, why could'nt that list simply show "animated" channels only? How do you animate channels? At some point you have to select a channel to animate, and that is what the envelope does. It selects the channel to be animated. If you remove that option, how do you select that channel? You open the GE, and start working your way through the list of all animatable channels until you find the one you want, and animate it. Of course, once animated you can show "only animated channels" but you have to get there first.

The problem with removing the envelope is that you need one to get the other. Either a list of all animatable channels to select which ones to animate, or a button to select the specific channel you wish to animate (the envelope). In addition, the "E" is fairly new, introduced with LW 6.0, as I recall.

Zarathustra
02-27-2004, 10:33 AM
I would like to know how to have the graph editor show just what you want.
For instance, I have a bunch of book animations I'm doing - you know, page turns and all that. So each book has about 7 pages or sections, that each have about a dozen moveable bones. Add to that the bones for top cover and spine and you have a lot of bones. However, I'm only moving their pitches, so it would be cool if I could just fill the left side of the GE with ALL their pitches.
Assigning colors to them, too, to match their Layout colors would also help.

Lightwolf
02-27-2004, 10:38 AM
Well, a couple of my favourite GE options:
* Filter static envelopes - (only shows envelopes with more than one keyframe).
* Track item selections - Adds selected items to the channel bin.

Those are a great combo. Just select the bones you want to animate, press <ctrl>-F2, and you have the animateable channels of the bones in the GE.

Oh, and favourites are your friend :)

Cheers,
Mike - who thinks you should look at the filters as well, and... :p

eblu
02-27-2004, 11:12 AM
mlinde,
I didn't intend to suggest that the GE be limited to only showing animated channels. it could be configured to show them.

But to take this a step further, one of the reasons the Envelope is so bad is that It can only be added to those places where there is already a place for it.

why not make a universal "animate this channel" tool and from that point on changes you make to values add key frames. it doesn't even Have to be in the GE, it could be one of those cool leveraging tools that we all like in LW. And it would also simplify the concept of keyframing. Its a pervasive feature, letting you animate anything, with one interface (whether its a keystroke or a button in the menu system), and it actually takes less effort over-all for Newtek to support. The downside is that Newtek will have to re-visualize some of the way LW handles data, and redseign many tools that feel comfortable, but hey they do That in every release!


many newbies have a lot of trouble when they move the camera change the time scrubber and see that the camera didn't stay where they put it. Well, until the channel is "animated" the default behavior could be for objects to stay where you put them.

Zarathustra
02-27-2004, 11:17 AM
I need a big a s s GE tutorial. :(

Lightwolf
02-27-2004, 11:18 AM
eblu:
So what you basically want is to take autokey one step further (which does what you suggest for motion channels). Basically like the "record" button in other programs...
Well, I wouldn't mind, as long as I could turn it off. Heck, many LW'ers don't even use autokey (I forced myself to switch, and _really_ got used to it).
I don't mind "activating" a channel explicitly by clicking on it. Other tools have little locks and stuff you have to press first.
I'd love to be able to key in new keyframe values in all animated channels, without opening GE. That's another story though...

Cheers,
Mike

BTW: Zarathustra, sorry for hijacking your thread ;) Just try the GE options, and re-read the sections covering it in the manual.

mlinde
02-27-2004, 12:03 PM
Originally posted by eblu
But to take this a step further, one of the reasons the Envelope is so bad is that It can only be added to those places where there is already a place for it.

why not make a universal "animate this channel" tool and from that point on changes you make to values add key frames. The envelope is, in a way, the universal "animate this channel" tool. If you are in a section of the interface where you want to animate something, you click on it's envelope button to begin. As for enabling "live" animation from that point forward, I think is a good idea. But the starting point (the universal animate this channel) is already around, in the envelope button. It just doesn't work exactly the way you want it to yet, so post a feature suggestion to [email protected]


Originally posted by Zarathustra
I need a big a s s GE tutorial. :( I'll add it to my todo list :)

nawDsign
02-27-2004, 12:13 PM
Has any have this same problem. I put the PathTool on the menu and when I select it, I can't for the life of me deselect it. What do I need to do besides quitting and running layout again.

thanks,
Nor

eblu
02-27-2004, 02:36 PM
Originally posted by Lightwolf
eblu:
So what you basically want is to take autokey one step further (which does what you suggest for motion channels). Basically like the "record" button in other programs...


nah, I'm suggesting one step more of abstraction.
a "switch" that allows you to select the channels you want to animate. The other channels: can be hidden in GE, and behave differently ( you don't set keyframes for them bc they arent animated, but they still stay where you put them).

autokey can still be autokey, and still do exactly what it does. but it only works with channels that have first been toggled to animation.
if the channel hasn't been toggled, then it takes translation values for the entire length of the animation. with autokey, for that to work, you Have to translate the object at frame zero. what I'm suggesting is two fundamentally different approaches to working with the channel values of all LW entities, on a universally accessible switch (say a button in the menu system with a key equivalent). And I'm not necessarily asking for either one to be the default.

heck,
why not make animation channels one step more abstracted, and add the ability to use different types of data in the channels for animation. we already do it with sound and textures in "special" cases, why not allow curves, textures, audio, movies, white noise, or even Raw files?


mlinde,
you got points, but I still think the Envelope button is limiting. it only applies where the LW engineers have placed it. If I wanted to animate something that god forbid, they didn't put an envelope button on... say the stereoscopic eye separation option in the camera DOF tab, I have to wait for Newtek to give me a button. And that button takes time to make, they have to make support for animating the feature, they have to add the UI, and then the LScript support.

I'm suggesting a bedrock level support for the possible animation of everything LW can hold in memory. the envelope button is a myopic toad compared to what I want.

mlinde
02-27-2004, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by eblu
I'm suggesting a bedrock level support for the possible animation of everything LW can hold in memory. the envelope button is a myopic toad compared to what I want. Well, the myopic toad (that's a great visual BTW) is better than we had with 5.0 or 5.6. I remember the original comment about the "E" was that it NEEDED to be everywhere. I think the system has been created in such a way to allow animating almost anything, it's just getting the specific hooks into the specific tool. Again, send an email to the feature requests. Although I doubt (and hope against) it makes it to LW [8], there's always 8.5 or 9...