View Full Version : Interface mayhem

06-13-2004, 08:44 AM
Well Ive seen quite a number of people that have a problem with the new interface, be it looks or otherwise.
I personally have the biggest problem with the new layout of the interface. The Volume select-option having disappeared from the space-bar-scroll-action which doesnt seem to be adjustable in the menu-layout, the disappearance of the Presets button, the placement of the Background/Volumetrics/Fog/etc. menu's in a drop down box in an unlogical spot... This all makes for a quite a lot of menu-adjustments. I really appreciate the option of being able to set the interface to 7.5 standards but the problem with that is that you miss out on all the new features, like the new scene editor and so forth.

Ive read that most of this is due to the space constraints of smaller displays like user who use lightwave on 800x600 resolution. I think that Newtek should not cater for these people alone and leave the overwhelming majority of the users who do use sensible resolutions out in the cold, Like I feel they did. I think it would be best if there was a choice in that drop down list of interface-standards for small displays or something, and then expand the current set to something sensible instead of cramming everything into drop down-menu's and buttons which are only accessible once you add them yourself.

06-16-2004, 09:23 PM
I think that old features should always be in the same location through all versions of a program. When EA stopped supporting DeluxePaint, I became an expert at it because the interface didn't change in the 6 years I used it. I NEVER had to stop and think about anything; it was an easy to use as a pencil. It's like the difference between being a touch typist and a hunt and peck typist. I was a Lightwave 5.5 touch typist. From 7.5 to 8.0 I've been a hunt and peck user. I even see teachers in online tutorials going to the version 7.5 location of tools that have inexplicably been moved in version 8. Tutorials use the new interface, so using the old version options is not a viable choice. Newtek: leave the interface alone! I have deadlines to meet; I don't want to have to relearn the locations of my favorite features with every version.

06-17-2004, 02:47 AM
Is there any reason why you can't put the volume button back in the interface? It was taken out because the majority of people never use it and got fed up having to do those extra taps on the space bar to jump to point selection again. The interface will change from time to time in order to improve workflow...


06-18-2004, 08:03 AM
Well, I use Volume selection...

06-18-2004, 08:48 AM
Is it not possible to load the old menus into the menu editor (assuming you saved them out as a seperate file) then add the new tools where you want them?

06-21-2004, 07:06 AM
I didn't bother with saving/loading settings. I just added the things I know I use. I'll live with it. It's just a little awkward until gotten used to (which I've not, yet done). I'd rather stick with the UI setup, mostly, that NewTek provides so that tutorials/books/etc don't lead me into confusion. Some of the changes are good, too.

06-21-2004, 02:22 PM
To my mind, the 7.x and 8.x interfaces still seem to suffer from organisational issues around the tools.

Add a plugin and then you *may* have to go in through the 'edit plugins' dialog to find out what it identified itself as before you *have* to go into the menu editor to place the control button somewhere sensible.

Chucking everything into an additional 'bin' menu is absolutely worthless and I despair at the lack of judgement that this policy demonstrates. I suspect it would be impossible to do much about this now, but it's a complete mess. Both Layout and Modeler suffer from this :(

In addition, you have layers for geometry, but there are no layers for displaying VMaps of any kind. I cannot apparently display two VMaps at the same time - something that is causing a fair bit of annoyance in surfacing and other areas. The best you can hope for is to run LW in discovery mode on another machine to give you a guide of what the hell is going on with the VMaps. Layers should be a fundamental part of the workflow throughout modeler - it's disjointed in the current implementation.

UPDATE: You can display up to 4 VMaps, I was told/discovered, but it's limited to Modeler and doesn't provide any real aid to understanding from my brief foray - more in the feature request area.

06-21-2004, 05:30 PM
Sure, it has architectural problems. I agree. It's caused by how it grew up, really (or evolved, what have you). I just can't think of a better total redesign that wouldn't leave it looking like 3D Studio Max or Maya... or [shudder] TrueSpace. One of the reasons I like Lightwave is, ironically, the UI. And I normally crusade against non-standard GUI designs.

When adding plugins, I suppose you can look through the available entries by category when customizing the menus, but I know that's also far from ideal. I've had the same problem, but I always find them in at least the second place I might think to look.

As someone who is not a power user of Lightwave yet, I find the bare interface a plus. When I learn of tools I've not used and I find I like them, I arrange things in a way more suited for my uses. It's a much better design than the systems that make you slide panels in and out and up and down (most of the others).

But, again, yeah... a better system must be possible :-)

06-23-2004, 07:26 PM
I think leaving the interface alone would make it "better" over time. As people become used to the interface, they work faster and faster because they don't have to think about where to go.

I taught 3D Studio Max and used Maya several years ago. (Does anybody know if they made radical changes to the GUI since then?). I didn't like the Max interface because I was constantly sliding dialog boxes up and down to get to the items I wanted. Even if you became a Max power user, there is still the time required to scroll down to the item. Maya, on the other hand, had this unique GUI wherein you could superimpose a big menu over your work and go quickly to the section of the program you wanted.

BTW, does anybody else prefer buttons over drop down menus? Moving the mouse over a button and clicking takes a second less than moving over an arrow, opening the menu, sliding down to the needed item, and then choosing it. They discovered at Xerox PARC that little things like that made a difference over time. Of course, now we have so many buttons that they can't fit on the screen... Hmm, I guess it's time to switch to a two monitor setup.