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View Full Version : GUI improvements (v9)



Fausto
10-01-2005, 07:48 AM
My opinion is that LW could use some GUI or user friendliness improvements, it's good, but it could get better.

For instance, Layout and modeler require in many cases extra key strokes to do simple, repetitive things. Case in point, rapid changing of textures through the preset panel; when you double click on a texture to apply any preset to an object, LW requires you to confirm that decision. Having to confirm your decision is required, because there's no "undo" related to the surface editor. <SOLUTION> add undo capability to all of the dialogue boxes including the surface editor. So if I add the wrong texture. adjust a light to bright, or some other change, LW should store the previous states of each dialogue in memory so that I can dial back to a previous state if I want. It appears that other applications have seen this functionality as important, why not LW?

Second for instance, why is it required of me to hit the enter key each and every time I make a value change in any dialogue box? Why doesn't LW function like every other application on the planet, and let me enter the value, toggle to or highlight the next field and enter a value, etc. Why add the extra key strokes?

And for my final for instance; my hope is that NT will make the changed render engine capable of working in the background without absolutely draining all system resources, so I can continue to work while it's rendering. I just purchased a kick a** computer, with lots of ram and a dual core AMD 4400, LW still brings it to its knees when it's rendering any scene with radiosity. It's inconceivable that changing this experience isn't a primary consideration. Yes I know LW has render nodes, but not everyone has either the network set up appropriately to take advantage of it, nor the additional machines to power such a set up. Please make it more like Fprime, so that renders, even previews occur in the background.

I'll add some other thoughts to this thread as they occur to me, please add your own.

MooseDog
10-01-2005, 07:55 AM
And for my final for instance; my hope is that NT will make the changed render engine capable of working in the background without absolutely draining all system resources, so I can continue to work while it's rendering

already exists :D , it's called screamernet on one machine. chk out the tutorials in the screamernet section of this board. lots of great info there :thumbsup: the issue of the speed of rendering looks like its being aggressively addressed over at nt.

lots
10-01-2005, 08:03 AM
Well for your final request, why don't you render with only 1 thread? Lightwave will then only take up the resources of one of your cores leaving the other to do what you want :) (assuming of cource you set LW's affinity to only 1 CPU).

Lightwolf
10-01-2005, 08:45 AM
You can also use the taskmanager on the PC to lower the priority of the rendering task (which is what FPrime does).

Cheers,
Mike

Fausto
10-01-2005, 09:00 AM
Well for your final request, why don't you render with only 1 thread? Lightwave will then only take up the resources of one of your cores leaving the other to do what you want :) (assuming of cource you set LW's affinity to only 1 CPU).

I appreciate the advice, but I have done this. My POV is why should I have to? Why is it when I use C4D or many other applications the system doesn't become unstable? Yet with LW, when I render a file with radiosity, it cripples the computer to the point that even moving the mouse is difficult? This is an issue about the poor way that LW is currently written with hopes that the future release will be different, more efficient, more on par with the performance of others apps in this space.. it's not about me lowering my expectations. I bought a fast computer primarily for LW, DFX, Bodypaint and C4D in addition to the many 2D apps I use. Lightwave however, if It's rendering, there's no memory or cycles to do anything else. This is not good :compbeati.

Lightwolf
10-01-2005, 09:14 AM
Hi Fausto:
http://www.beyondlogic.org/solutions/processutil/processutil.htm Should help a bit, especially since you could wrap it up in a bunch of .cmd/.bat files to increase/decrease the priority of LW with the click of a mouse.
Hm, I might even be possible to wrap that up into a plugin, automatically decreasing the task priority prior to a render...

Cheers,
Mike - darn, you got me thinking again ;)

KillMe
10-01-2005, 12:10 PM
i drop teh priority on lightwave from teh task manager jsut wish it woudl remeber that layout should be below average priority save me doing ti everytime

the having to hit enter for a value to stick is a pain but also liek teh way when you hit enter it moves onto the next box by itself - when otehr apps dont to taht it drives me crazy having to grab the mouse and mnally select every input field - so dont remove that or i shall have to pull my hair out

but i am in complete agreement with the undos - should be able to undo everything

Lightwolf
10-01-2005, 12:47 PM
the having to hit enter for a value to stick is a pain but also liek teh way when you hit enter it moves onto the next box by itself - when otehr apps dont to taht it drives me crazy having to grab the mouse and mnally select every input field - so dont remove that or i shall have to pull my hair out

Actually, it should be <tab> to move to the next input accepting the user input. Return in most apps actually [OK]s the current requester/panel whatever, something that happens in LW as well in non-model panels (i.e. the ones that require an explicit OK before you can get to work in the main UI).

So, it would be more concise to allow for a <tab> in any input field (it works in most anyhow).

Cheers,
Mike

evenflcw
10-01-2005, 03:17 PM
why is it required of me to hit the enter key each and every time I make a value change in any dialogue box?

They only recently changed this behavior. Before it was like in any other software. You could edit the value and as soon as you left the text box (in any way possible) it was confirmed. Now they require you to more explicitly confirm the value by hitting Enter/Tab. As I remember it they justify this change in behavior saying that now you can either hit Enter to confirm or ESC to revert back to the old value. Only problem is hitting ESC doesn't give instant visual feedback (the value doesn't visually revert back, the panel needs a refresh!), and imho this behavior could have been implemented keeping the old behavior intact.

About Enter and Tab. LW makes a distinction between the regular (big) Enter and the numeric Enter. Pressing the numeric Enter is same as pressing Tab. It confirms the value and moves to the next text box. Pressing the regular (big) Enter confirms the value, but doesn't move on to the next text box. In the case of non-modal dialogs it will also confirm and close the dialogs. I'd b pulling my hair aswell (what's left of it), if they changed this. My opinion is that every other app (especially those with alot of numerical input) should adopt this behavior.

meanlebh
10-01-2005, 03:20 PM
Yet with LW, when I render a file with radiosity, it cripples the computer to the point that even moving the mouse is difficult? :compbeati.

even moving the mouse is difficult? I am not really sure why this is happening, but I have not had this experience with any computer that I have used lw on recently, with the exception of some really really outdated ones with minimal ram....i am rendering a scene as I am typing this with monte-carlo radiosity, and set to 8 threads, and I just finished using photoshop too....granted things do run slower, but they still function just fine in my opinion. Anyways, I guess if it were up to me I would rather have rendering tie up all of my processors power rather than have it waste it, for doesn't this mean that it will render the image faster in the end??

vashts
10-01-2005, 04:28 PM
my personal opinion is: lightwave has too many windows. this is because it's impossible to dock them in the main window.. it would be cool an area (on the right, for example) in which I can dock a window.. with the possibility to change the content of docked window..
ok, it's a little confused (I'm not very well with english..), so look at a photoshop example in attachements..

what do you think?

vash
love&peace

kcole
10-01-2005, 05:45 PM
I have my lightwave icon point to a batch file which has the following line:

@start /BELOWNORMAL lightwav.exe

Just place it in your lightwave's "Programs" directory. Also, if you change the shortcut to run minimized, you don't have to see the command prompt flash up.

cresshead
10-01-2005, 07:37 PM
a nice update for version 9 would be in the surface editor where you can tie together the size of procedule textures x, y and z instead of filling in or copy /pasting in the same sizes into x y and z...you could just dial up/down one and all the others move as well.....would save some time! :)

say x is 1m....with a link radio button activated for y and z they would move to new values as you drag on the x size.....

just a time saver!...... :lwicon:

pixym
10-01-2005, 08:14 PM
a nice update for version 9 would be in the surface editor where you can tie together the size of procedule textures x, y and z instead of filling in or copy /pasting in the same sizes into x y and z...you could just dial up/down one and all the others move as well.....would save some time! :)

say x is 1m....with a link radio button activated for y and z they would move to new values as you drag on the x size.....

just a time saver!...... :lwicon:

I think you can use a reference null object for that but you are right... perhaps with the LW 9 node based editor you will be able to do it.

RedBull
10-01-2005, 08:22 PM
I think in regards to Number 1:

The issue you mention would be better handled, by the auto-confirm
being widened to take into account that particular, preset load dialogue...

So i think once you choose "intermediate" or "Expert" those dialogs
should no longer be shown......
"Load Lights as well as objects" should be surpressed the same way...
I do agree LW makes you click too many times, to do repetitive tasks...

LW surface editor, used to have the 5 last used surfaces preview,
which was a very handy feature, and i really missed it from 5.6 onwards.

As for Rendering in the background.....

Screamernet does exactly this, and you can't really blame LW just because you have not spent the time to configure it correctly... Screamernet can
work just as well on one machine as a network..... It just does it in the background....

Fausto
10-02-2005, 12:59 AM
As for Rendering in the background.....

Screamernet does exactly this, and you can't really blame LW just because you have not spent the time to configure it correctly... Screamernet can
work just as well on one machine as a network..... It just does it in the background....

I'm trying this suggestion. Honestly, I didn't know this could work with just one machine. Essentially you're creating two instances of LW correct? One that's rendering the other that you're working in. Or am I missing something?

Also, while walking through the ScreamerNet tutorial I'm not able to edit the target path. When I do change the path from "L:\Program Files\LightWave [8]\Programs\lightwav.exe" to "L:\Program Files\LightWave [8]\Programs\lightwav.exe -c"L:\Program Files\LightWave [8]\Programs\lightwav.exe" I get this error;

The name '"L:\Program Files\LightWave [8]\Programs\lightwav.exe' specified in the Target box is not valid. Make sure the path and file name are correct.

Any ideas?

This also occurred when I tried to add the -0 switch to disable the hub as well. It appears to me that XP isn't cooperating, it's like there's some sort of file protection in place preventing me from making this change.

** did find a work around, took the idea that Kcole provided and adapted it to the hub issue. So I created .bat files for both Modeler and Layout and added the switch to the batch file. it works.. Now onto seeing if I can also do the same thing for ScreamerNet. **

PS, I also found what was causing the issue with not being able to edit the application target, Microsoft's anti spyware application.

Fausto
10-02-2005, 01:23 AM
I have my lightwave icon point to a batch file which has the following line:

@start /BELOWNORMAL lightwav.exe

Just place it in your lightwave's "Programs" directory. Also, if you change the shortcut to run minimized, you don't have to see the command prompt flash up.


Thanks this was a terrific solution. I know this is no different than changing the priority or affinity from with in task manager which is something I've done countless times and someone else also offered as a solution, but that's a hassle to do each time I run the application. (it's too obvious that I'm aging, I get irritated by repetitive tasks) I like this work around because it works without the hassle.. set it up and fawget aboud it

Thanks