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Exception
02-03-2006, 02:47 PM
This message is not about harping about any goods or bads that you guys are doing. I am impressed with the way 9 is looking to shape up, and I am excited about the whole deal, and super happy with Lwcad as a late christmas present and so on. I do have an important suggestion though, that I feel has some deeper roots than may at first appear.

Recently, since 8.0 really, I have noticed that a small number of functions in Lightwave is being implemented in the interface according to their technical model, and their common name among programmers. I mention 'Monte carlo', 'Catmull-Rom', 'Mitchell / Lanczos reconstruction filter', and now we are promised goodies like 'Lambert', 'Oren Nayar', 'Blinn' and 'Cook-Torrence'.
While I do have some idea what these things mean and what effect they have and so on, and I am aware that most of the professionals in the field of CG production have a notion of what they are, I almost feel as if a precious thing of Lightwave is going to be swallowed by the wish to conform to standards set by the rest of the industry.
What I mean by this is that most people have no clue what these words mean, let alone be able to make proper decisions on when to use them.
What I want to warn about is more scroll menus where to choose between five outlandish words, like what happened to the AA menu.
Why am I making such a big deal out of this? Because I have to teach people how to use Lightwave, like I have been doing for years. Everything makes sense, transparency, reflection, X amount of passes is all communicatable to everyone, whether they know CG or not, they are qualitative assesments, not technical naming conventions. However when they have to choose between Mitchell of Lanczos, any relation to the word is removed. They have no idea, and explaining it necessitates a lengthy technical explanation that is completely unnecessary and people will forget. These are the people that use LW on a daily basis... artists, architects, designers...
And I feel that Lightwave, as the only package in the industry, has been so extremely good in relating everyhting in it to useable terms and interface items. 'Knife' is not called 'Interactive single projection subdivider', and there is no check box in the render option panel called Lambert/Phong/Blinn (where I would assume these are actually really there, they just get engaged when a material has a percentage of tranparancy, or reflection, and tracing is enabled or whatever).
I think it should really stay that way. I would be really disappointed if there was a drop down box in the surface editor on the advanced tab that would just make you choose between blinn cook-torrence blinn and so on, that drop down box below in modeler where to choose between 'standard SDS' and 'Catmull-Clark' or something. That would go straight against the ideology of the whole interface of Lightwave, its workflow and wonderful logic.

I understand that sometimes this is hard to do, but I think it is imperative that proper attention is placed in the actual integration in terms of naming, placement and activation of these technologies, and to make sure they are as relateable to the real world as possible.
For instance, do we still need the non-catmull-clark-rom-whatever SDS when the new one is so much better? And if we do, for backward compatibility or some sort of functional reason, isn't there a smarter way? Or at least a better description than just to name it by its theoretical/technical reference name?

And we can always say that "Lightwave has Cook-Torrence too" for those in the know, for bragging purposes, and point to the manual or so where it is explained that for instance the 'metal' selectionbox is actually that. Or something similar.

Exception
02-03-2006, 02:54 PM
No, "explain it in the manual" is not good interface design.

KillMe
02-03-2006, 02:54 PM
yup agreed makes way more sence just to call them something that explains what they are - call is metal or plastic or organic etc and can always shove the technical names in brakets or something

wacom
02-03-2006, 02:59 PM
Uh, sorry but some of those shading model terms have been around since the 60's and are 3D standards.

Your students would do well by knowing them- as they are used everywhere else in 3D. Kind of like we all know what nurbs, subdivision surfaces, points, vertexes, vertex maps, UVs are and do. We could call subdivisions "puttyfun" but why? Should we rename those so a noob can get what we are talking about, or just say it and show what it does? I say the later since 3D is so abstract anyway that it almost doesn't mater what things are named once you RTFM, take a class, or get some other training as long as the names are consistant with standards or the founding parties of the method (such as Oren-Nayar).

Sorry if it makes YOUR job harder, but in the end it makes others jobs easier.
Besides- the manual will most likely have a simple reference for when to use each shading material. And in the end it's what you SEE that maters most in 3D- not if you really know what it's intended purpose is. As a LW user you should know this!

KillMe
02-03-2006, 03:02 PM
noob option in the display setting or something that that changes them from technical names to simiplied ones??

seems like not a bad idea to have simple names since anyone whos only used lighwave probally has no idea when to use the others

wacom
02-03-2006, 03:03 PM
yup agreed makes way more sence just to call them something that explains what they are - call is metal or plastic or organic etc and can always shove the technical names in brakets or something

The problem with this is that A: people don't really understand what they're doing and B: you set them up NOT to experiement and try out new things. Saying phong is "plastic" is really misleading, and an oversimplification. These tools are complicated- so much so that often the developers don't even know what will be done with them in the end. I say leave it open and abstract for the visual imagination.

How many countless tools in LW have we used well beyond their orgional fuction or purpose? Come on people get over it here- you act like we're going to be writting renderman code soon!

manholoz
02-03-2006, 03:06 PM
I vote for the noob option. Could be linked to the error altert level thingy

Exception
02-03-2006, 03:08 PM
Changing the name makes good interface design?

Perhaps I am not explaining it well,but I really mean NOT just naming something, but trying to integrate things. But otherwise, yes, naming conventions are a part of proper interface design too. What if I call the button to stop things start? (that is what windows does by the way, to shutdown you have to press start first).

Ok, for example, I do not know for sure, but let's assume that Lambert, Phong and Blinn have already been in Lightwave since Version Long.Ago. They must be, or something similar. Have you ever needed to choose between them? Like in 3DS Max? No. They are automatically engaged when you set tranparancy or reflection and so on. You never even encounter these things. It should not be necessary to encounter them.

Wacom, you're missing my point. 'Vertex' and 'Subdivision surfaces' are actual factual descriptions of an item. 'Lanczos' is not. Its the name of the guy who did it. What qualitative assesment can you make of that? If I ask someone on the street waht a 'subdivision surface' is they don't know exactly what i mean but, they can guess... when I ask them what 'Oren Nayar' means, they call the police and say I'm a middle eastern terrorist.
Naming conventions like that are analogous to using icons for tools. We don;t want icons (hieroglyphs), because they are symbols. A name is also a symbol, and not a description. Same deal.

wacom
02-03-2006, 03:12 PM
noob option in the display setting or something that that changes them from technical names to simiplied ones??

seems like not a bad idea to have simple names since anyone whos only used lighwave probally has no idea when to use the others

Here I'll help you guys so you stop panicing! Keep in mind these are suggestions of how to use them...kind of like nulls right...should nulls be called "IK chain mover helpers"?

Can you not just look at these, read a bit, and then know what you might use them for?

Oren-Nayar isn't described here but it is a form of lambert. It is well used for surfaces that have tiny bumps...like plaster or eggs, where the falloff of light happens at greater rates ect due to these "bumps". Again this is just a suggeted use.

Exception
02-03-2006, 03:15 PM
Wacom:
I agree with what you are saying in terms of 'plastic' 'Metal' and so on. That is not a great idea either. But at least it is something... it at least attempts to relate it to something in the real world. And we've been experimenting with stuff anyway, we use motion blur even if we don't have things moving, and so on.
What I really want to stipulate is integrating these things. What do you want to set more than transparency, reflection, and translucency and so on?
If there is something really special that Oren Nayar does, then what is that? If it is anisotropy of reflection, then make a 'Reflection Anisotropy' value box.

On you examples part: that's not the point. Noone asked what those terms mean. Since obviously blinn, lambert and phong and probably a whole lot more are already in lightwave, where is that checkbox currently?
Why on earth do you want fancy terms so bad?
By the way your 'Null' example is the same as my 'knife' example, so you're not getting what I am saying.

BTW, for those terms, this is a good resource:
http://www.the123d.com/tutorial/general4/reflections2-1.shtml

Wonderpup
02-03-2006, 03:19 PM
I think that Exception is making a good point here. I originaly learned 3D on softimage, and the manuals where so full of psudo-intellectual bulls**t that it took me twice as long as it could have done to understand things.

I accept the argument that some terms have been around long enough for them to be common currency, but I belive what Exception is really expressing here is the wish that lightwave not go down the jargon road in pursuit of a spurious intellectual credibility, just so we can spout as much crap as the other guys.

As it stands lightwave is one of the most lucid and transparent of 3D apps, and I agree that this clarity is worth preserving- even if we do come across a little provincial in mixed company.

wacom
02-03-2006, 03:22 PM
But you're just getting into a tomato tomatoe, tamada, type thing here. Transparency Vs. Opacity? Some programs use one or the other, but once you see them or are told what they do then you know that one works like the other.

As a teacher could you not just show a shader ball, use the correct material and then tell the students...see lambert is good for flat surfaces...like certain plastics, matte paints, and more. If your students know what a matte object is they'll connect it and form new nurons. Can't you just look at these pictures and tell me which one would work best for...say shinny plastic? How about machined metal? How about a clay figure painted with cheap metalic paints?

And NO- LW has only had some sort of Phong/blinn material. If this wasn't a really new big feature you think they wouldn't have made such a big deal out of it. Well it is, and LW is one of the last apps to get it- so they are doing well by using industry standard names.

wacom
02-03-2006, 03:27 PM
I think that Exception is making a good point here. I originaly learned 3D on softimage, and the manuals where so full of psudo-intellectual bulls**t that it took me twice as long as it could have done to understand things.

I accept the argument that some terms have been around long enough for them to be common currency, but I belive what Exception is really expressing here is the wish that lightwave not go down the jargon road in pursuit of a spurious intellectual credibility, just so we can spout as much crap as the other guys.

As it stands lightwave is one of the most lucid and transparent of 3D apps, and I agree that this clarity is worth preserving- even if we do come across a little provincial in mixed company.

Well I hate to say it, but in XSI you can play dumb and skim the manual and do just fine. Maybe it's changed since you last used it but almost every part of the new manual reads on TWO levels. You get your simplistic and your more in depth. I can't believe you guys think that having more knowledge of what things really are, and how they work is a bad part of the new LW9.

Besides- there a lot of things in LW that you use eveyday that are very sophisticated and complex. Only your familiarity with them makes you feel like they aren't so.

This isn't TD level stuff here folks- it's common 3D knowledge out there!

OK- so you guys just keep using phong/blinn and the rest of us will move on.

Exception
02-03-2006, 03:34 PM
I dont think there is a need to become annoyed or hostile because of what I suggest, wacom.
'We guys" mean well.

Anyway, I used the students as an example to stipulate a greater whole. It is not about me not wanting to teach something, and I am not in want for teaching solutions. I am seeing a change in conventions being applied to Lightwave, and from my experience as an interface designer see that there are discrepancies on the horizon that will be hard to turn around once they have been applied. If you cannot see that, then I am sorry, but I cannot believe you would not support the conservation of transparancy, clarity and logic in the Lightwave user interface.

UnCommonGrafx
02-03-2006, 03:37 PM
This is not a good idea, I think. I think it would behoove students to learn the standard, technical jargon of the field. I believe this is paramount for them 'amounting to anything' in the field.

If a definition is provided, be it pictoral or verbal or both, then it is any students job to know the vocab. Not knowing it and blaming it on the software is like blaming a hammer for a bad blow. For the educator, this makes for easy chapter fillers for one's lesson plans. An easy opportunity to go a bit more in-depth about rendering posibilities.
Better documentation ought to come, yes; technical jargon thrown out for 'ease', no.

As an aside to this, these functions have been available in the IFW series of textures since their inception. And a few others out there.

wacom
02-03-2006, 03:42 PM
If it is anisotropy of reflection, then make a 'Reflection Anisotropy' value box.


BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT THE SAME. Once you see a nodal tree you'll get it. These things (reflection, transparency, textures) pass through this.
Think of the materials as the very, very base.
Think of it like rendering passes.

You know how when you paint a painting you can paint from front to back? Think of the material as the surface of the pigment and medium combined.
If I use oil paints, with galkyd medium, I'll get a translucent paint that is very reflective. If I use egg tempra paints I'll get similar results, but even more translucentcy and sense of depth. If I use water colors it is matte, but with a simple pigment application that becomes very additive.

All of these paints could use the same pigments, but the medium they are suspended in plays a huge roll in how they will look. These shader materials are in a way that medium- you can throw the same procedural textures, reflection maps, transparency at each and get different results.

I'm not saying I fully understand the ins and outs of this stuff, but as an artist I know enough about them to use them. Once you do some experimentation it'll be plain as day.

Lightwolf
02-03-2006, 04:13 PM
If I use oil paints, with galkyd medium, I'll get a translucent paint that is very reflective. If I use egg tempra paints I'll get similar results, but even more translucentcy and sense of depth. If I use water colors it is matte, but with a simple pigment application that becomes very additive.
I've always hated painting, so you should rename them into mushy paint, smoochy paints and finicky paints ... please don't use don't technical terms on me ;) <- Joking!

I absolutely congratulate NT on using the proper terms for the techniques they use. It makes it sooo much easier to suss out what LW is actually doing, and is great if you work with other apps that use the same (since it is technically correct) terminology.

Just as a example: the new AA modes. Since I work with Fusion, and it uses some of the same filters, I already have a fairly good idea of how they will affect the final image. Great, this means there is a single learning curve for those aspects.
Imagine all apps used different terms for the same techniques... ouch.

And I don't think there is much of difference in learning the proper name vs. a name made up by marketing to sound good, which no one else in the industry uses.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
02-03-2006, 04:30 PM
I am seeing a change in conventions being applied to Lightwave, and from my experience as an interface designer see that there are discrepancies on the horizon that will be hard to turn around once they have been applied.
Well, from _my_ experience as a user interface designer I'd say the naming of tools is the least problem LW has right now ;)
And if you look at the students, they might not know the technicalities, but they surely know a Phong from a Lambert.

I don't even think this is about conformance... but at least give the people that _know_ the names the chance to use their knowledge... and not make them looks as "dumb" as everybody else (that would need to learn the names anyhow) trying to figure out what those new creative names actually do that replaced their Blinn shading model.

I'm all for clear, concise naming conventions, but please call it what it is.

Cheers,
Mike -who always wonders how people manage to remember the names of cars... down to the model numbers.

Ztreem
02-03-2006, 04:37 PM
And I don't think there is much of difference in learning the proper name vs. a name made up by marketing to sound good, which no one else in the industry uses.

I couldn't agree more, I think it's good for Lw that they try to follow the industry standards, otherwise they may loose the highend market. (This is only speculations from my side) :thumbsup:

Exception
02-03-2006, 04:39 PM
I am surprised that, after saying it more than three times, I am NOT talking about naming conventions, nor about making it nice, easy, flowery, puttygon, simple or whatever simplification.

Wacom: I am not saying this because of a lack of knowledge about 3d or software in general. It's of no use lecturing me about what is a nodal interface or not. I can't actually say anything if I have to research every hypothetical example on the basis of its non-hypothetical accuracy. That way a conversation goes absolutely nowhere.
I only used anisotropy as an example.

I agree with your paint example, but as pretty much everybody is ignoring the fact that i said that it is not about naming conventions, I'm going to stop trying.

Bog
02-03-2006, 04:42 PM
I've skipped most of the content of this thread to address the initial question.

You're using LightWave. This means you have access to high-end 3D tools. This is a serious business, with a serious nomenclature that is shaped by the research and development that's done. All the definitions, if you google for 'em or check out the papers freely avaiable from www.siggraph.org tell you what the various different definitions are, sometimes with maths attached of such high calibre as to even make this ex-physicist's brain implode.

If you're doing low-poly models for games, or hobbyist 3D, you don't need to know. If you're playing in the Majors, then you'll know to go read up and learn. All highly technical fields have their own sets of definitions, be it plumbers or quantum physics. This is a tough game at the high end.

*edit*

If you don't want to be challenged, to have to learn and think and grow ... Poser may be for you.

*edit2*

If we dumb it down for the Masses, then we get the Windows/Unix Effect, where the interface is good for everyone, but doesn't do a lot. Me, I'm Unixy. I don't care how "hard" it is, as long as it lets me do what I want if I bother to learn it.

Exception
02-03-2006, 04:54 PM
Well, from _my_ experience as a user interface designer I'd say the naming of tools is the least problem LW has right now ;)
And if you look at the students, they might not know the technicalities, but they surely know a Phong from a Lambert.

INANC.

(I decided to make it an acronym, because aparently I have to say it so many times, its easier on the fingers than typing 'It's Not About Naming Conventions')

Lightwolf
02-03-2006, 04:55 PM
I am surprised that, after saying it more than three times, I am NOT talking about naming conventions, nor about making it nice, easy, flowery, puttygon, simple or whatever simplification.
Well, the naming conventions are what seem to upset you the most though.

As others have mentioned, you can't just activate shader models by dragging up a (seemingly) unrelated slider.

Some things haven't been mentioned explicitly by LW before because we never had the choice. Now we do, and that is a good thing indeed.

Actually, this is the most striking difference compared to old school LW (which I've accompanied since 3.51) - and I actually embrace that change:
a) We have much more choice now on how LW operates
b) It actually tells us how it is doing things.

Sure, just having a soft filter is nice... but just putting 5 image filters that have different characteristics (sharpness, tendency for ringing artifacts) plus three softness options (which I assume are filter widths using "standard terms" but I'll never know) into a single small option that behave like the "soft filter" used to is quite impossible.

If I got your wrong again, please try to explain again what your point is, because I don't seem to be getting it (honestly!).

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
02-03-2006, 04:56 PM
INANC.

WTFAYTAT? ;)

Cheers,
Mike
(As "in what the flurry are you talking about then" - since I've just gone through your posts thrice and all I see a references to names that apparently have no relation to anything).

UnCommonGrafx
02-03-2006, 05:01 PM
S'plain it, then, if it's not about naming conventions.

Lightwolf
02-03-2006, 05:04 PM
S'plain it, then, if it's not about naming conventions.
I _think_ he is missing the connection to real world items... and would also like to see other stuff implement in more of a "more of this, less of that" feashion instead of "Blinn highlights with Oren-Nayaar shading".

I assume, trying to interpret the posted word here ;)

Cheers,
Mike

mattclary
02-03-2006, 05:10 PM
Exception, thank you for bringing this up! You have made an excellent point even if no one else understands or agrees.

Everyone, look at Wacom's example pictures he posted. All of those surfaces are easily achievable within LightWave. They all demonstrate variations of specularity, glossiness and reflection. Why do we need pulldowns that list 10 different guys names that have no relation to real objects? I don't care what the freaking algorithm is called!

I think the whole argument smacks of elitism! "I'm really cool, because I understand that Blinn-Phong shading represents a hazy reflective surface with tiny scratches!"

A racecar driver doesn't need to know the chemical makeup of his fuel or the mechanical intricacies of a fuel injector, he just needs to know how to drive the vehicle. NewTek are the mecahnical engineers, we are the drivers.

(Car analogy dedicated to HRGiger) ;)

Lightwolf
02-03-2006, 05:17 PM
Everyone, look at Wacom's example pictures he posted. All of those surfaces are easily achievable within LightWave.
Erm... only if you tweak the basic shading with gradients... on multiple channels, which can be quite tedious to do.
Some are downright impossible because they have a certain effect on highlights at various glancing angles that you can't fake (backlighting situations).

I don't want to know what Strauss is, I prefer to code it manually with gradients... - in a nutshell ;) <- please note!

Nobody is forcing anybody to actually use any of that. But it is nice to at least have the option.

And yes, I do think an interface that "hides" stuff the way I _think_ "Exception" meant it is in fact dumbing down the app... or at least hinders the app in growing, while making it less accessible for users that are familiar with the terms (sorry to mention those again).

Maybe if we got some examples of how those terms could be gotten rid of we could discuss that.

Edit:

A racecar driver doesn't need to know the chemical makeup of his fuel or the mechanical intricacies of a fuel injector, he just needs to know how to drive the vehicle.
Actually, nowadays a good one does.

Ever heard DOPs talk about film? Makes us nerds look like wussies ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Bog
02-03-2006, 05:22 PM
A racecar driver doesn't need to know the chemical makeup of his fuel or the mechanical intricacies of a fuel injector, he just needs to know how to drive the vehicle. NewTek are the mecahnical engineers, we are the drivers.

You can be if you like, mush. Personally, I stand by Yeager's Postulate that to be a good pilot, you have to understand the underlying principles that make your airplane fly.

(paraphrased)

Exception
02-03-2006, 05:26 PM
Ill reply soon to yall the posts, but im laser cutting and in the fumes and all and want to get out of here first...

(I like the flurries roosterman)

KSTAR
02-03-2006, 05:34 PM
I think this is were the importance of Inspire comes into play. Newtek announced the re-release of Inspire a few months back but nothing has been mentioned since. I assume its still being released in the near future. High end will always be just that, and will always have to progress, and conform when necessary. Its the nature of the beast. Even on the client side theyre are some clients who want to know that you are using the latest greatest technology, even though you could get it done with older tools. The industry seems to reinvent it self every year. To the hobbyist or niche users its very easy to get over saturated with new technolgy, terminology, plugins etc, but the high end wants more and will always need more. I remember joking with a colleague of mine who got in the game when I did back in the late 80's. We were wondering what it would be like to enter the 3d market today with all of the options, and functions, menus, and submenus, and thinking it would be a little over whelming. I remember when LW8 came out with all of the new features, thinking whoa there is so many feautures now. Its not so bad for some of the old schoolers because we have been along for the ride for every version of Lightwave. So going back to my original point if Newtek does release inspire it should be more than adequate for many types of projects, and not as intimidating

MentalFish
02-03-2006, 06:24 PM
Are we graphical artists or graphical engineers? One thing I could barely understand the reasoning behind was this statement from a 3D artist (after seeing ZBrush in use): "Its almost no fun anymore, 3D is becoming too easy". Ofcourse it would be great if we could all be mathematical geniuses creating all sorts of crazy shaders and render engines, but chances are that we are more draw to either of the two sides of 3d, the artistical or technical. Those who are 100% technically interested in 3D graphics become programmers and develop plugins, renderes or even complete 3d applications, while the artist stick to using the tools that are allready made to create great visuals. While some are more in the grey zone in the middle.

How much should we have to know to make good 3D graphics?


MetaNurbs, HyperNurbs, Subdivision Surface, TurboSmooth, Catmull Clark, Doo-Sabin...

They are all doing the same thing (with different underlaying algorithm and as such slight differences), its all basically "Geometry Smoothing". Whenever I explain 3D to a person for the first time, I try to avoid using application specific terms but rather talk about points, surface, material, smoothing, and by doing so they dont feel as dumb as when they have a person throw 3D specific terms at them, and they dont have a clue of what is being said.
...and I normally use the C4D demo to explain to them :)


What do you prefer as name: Euler Angles or Rotation?

The way you access the elements of a 3D world, and how to modify and transform these, are all parts of the application's interface. The way you interact is the interface of the application (not just how the application looks). And as such, the structure of how you access these properties along with the names used to name them are a very crucial part of wether or not the application is userfriendly.

Scott_Blinn
02-03-2006, 07:11 PM
If you're doing low-poly models for games, or hobbyist 3D, you don't need to know.

Hey, watch it Bog- our next-gen game models are between 2-10 million polys! :)

EmperorPete
02-03-2006, 07:26 PM
"I am one of those people who is quite happy to wear cotton, but have absolutely no idea how it works."
-Edmund Blackadder
You know one of the things I find the most fun about 3D art?
Learning new things. Finding out new stuff I didn't know 5 minutes earlier.
I can't wait to try out all these funky new thingumies; I don't CARE what they are called, or how long the text in a dropdown box is, as long as they allow me to create something.
I can always Google them if I want to know more about how they work. So put me in the "I really don't care what it's called as long as it works and looks good when I use it" camp.

Exception
02-03-2006, 08:10 PM
petterms, good point on the Euler Angles.
What about calling all tools in the user interface by the name of their makers?
Anyway, INANC. Whoeha...

I am mostly concerned with the integration of certain new 'gadgets'. Imagine going on like this for years, and the whole interface will be riddled with nondescriptive tools, badly implemented. Want a light? First choose between threeteenfive falloff types. Whatever they are called, that would be bad. Lightwave has always been great in doing exactly what the other programs are doing, but in its own, clever, unbeaten path way. Sometimes this means that we can't do what we can in other programs, but most of the time it means that we can do the same thing in much less time. It is because things have been thought out very well, and painstaking effort has been made to avoid any lack of clarity.
Inspecting Lightwave's user interface you will find features that are unclear in their function or are 'out of context' only rarely, and they are pretty much exactly the features that were added since 7.5.
An example of a feature that is misplaced, that does not have a fancy word: Sunspot. I use it every now and then, and EVERY time I try to find it in the 'plugins' section of the lights properties. Of course there is no plugins section in the light panel. So you scratch your head and remember it might be an object property of a null, to which a light is parented, but no... its a motion controller plugin. Dang, that is one misplaced item. Its no big deal, as there's not a more logical place due to lack of a light plugin panel, and it is not a daily used feature for most people. But it is a good example of a misplaced item.

So, we get these new algorithms that will help us improve the way we visualise things. Fine, I'm all for that (of course). But if there is not as much attention to the way they are implemented, the interface will fall to bits. Look what happened to 3D studio's interface: it became a nightmare after version 1. Stuff kept being just tacked on. And another checkbox, and another drop down list, and the umpteenth window. Lightwave is lean and mean and logical. If I make a table with a glass on it, there are no functions that I use that are not directly relevant to what I am doing. I am moving a light, I am giving a material transparency, and so on. Find out what exactly these functions are doing, and in what way they can be integrated.

Why do we need a Normal SDS/Catmull-Clark SDS flipbox on the bottom right of the modeler screen? If these Catmull-Clark SDS's are so much better than the old ones, then replace them. I understand that they might behave differently and that backward compatibility should be maintained, but it should never be that a programming problem should be solved by delegating it to the actual user of the program. It's clutter, waste, bad implementation.
We do not have Catmull-Clark SDS's because we want to be able to say that we have them. We want them because they are better than the old ones. We have more control over them too, so you should be able to make the exact same model with it as with the old one. So every file you open, the old SDS's should be converted to the new ones.

Tell me, where in lightwave do you 'just select' an algorithm to do something for you that you have no idea of what it does if you don't specificly learn what it is first? I can tell you:

Radiosity: Monte Carlo/Interpolated choice
AA Reconstruction filter: Mitchell/Lanczos
Surface editor: Hybrid Multi-Fractal etc.

Don;t get me wrong, I use these functions, they are useful, but I spent literally days trying to figure out what the difference is between classic, lanczos and mitchell in terms of results, and there really is only a tiny bit there. I don't care 99.9% of the time what reconstruction filter, I want the fastest that will give me the set amount of passes with dependable quality, which is, if you havn't noticed, the old classic one. So, should this feature be removed? No way! Should its appearance in the interface be changed? Yes! There should be a hierarchy in importance. The reconstruction filter should be subset in importance from the number of passes, as it is way less important. If it wasn't for the new reconstruction filters being in the same spot as the old 'enhanced classic' spot, which was ill defined in the first place, I wouldn't use them. Ever. let the people that use that function be aware of where it is in the interface, and leave the main interface (1st level) alone.

I am, I repeat, not against these functions.
As is evident from the amount of various responses, there is also controvery in naming convention, something I wasn't trying to say before. But I strongly feel, and I am repeating this, that if one of the major strong points of Lightwave's user interface is that it has absolutely no pictograms whatsoever, it should not use algorithm names for functions. It is illogical. It is the name of the inventor, or the city he was born in or his favorite brand of macaroni. It is analogous to the picture of a cow for rendering. So much for naming conventions :)

Jeff_G
02-03-2006, 09:52 PM
I agree with you somewhat. Having looked at some of the LW 8 stuff (in particular the AA filters you mentioned), it looks like they get a new tool and shove it in a list somewhere. The entire user interface needs to be rebuilt with this new functionality in mind. They need to make room and consolidate things and clear out the 1st level of the interface. Have the functionality there, but only present it when I need it, I hate hunting for tools.

But they do need to keep the standard names. I feel it's important for any user to be familiar with these names and concepts. If/when they use another package or come from another package, they will know what these items are for. Instead of asking WTF a luxigon, or skelegon or metanurb is.

Maybe they've already done this with 9, but I wasn't impressed with 8's interface. IMHO.

loki74
02-03-2006, 10:20 PM
I think its really as simple as this.

Those are just TERMS. So they happen to be peoples' names and thus rather nondescript. That is not UI design, and it is not NT's fault--it is naming convention, and it is in the hands of those who develop the methods. If you dont know what they are, leave them at the defaults, or look them up so you will know.

Puguglybonehead
02-03-2006, 10:41 PM
I'm really excited that these surface options are being added to Lightwave. It's about time. You may not think you need them, but i'll bet once you use them you'll go "Hey! That's really handy." Switching from Blinn to Oren-Nayar could just get rid of those little render errors that are messing up an otherwise perfect model. Getting that convincing overheated-metal look on an exhaust nozzle, getting skin to look right under different lighting conditions, all these surfaces that are hard to pull off, it just gets easier when your surfaces can have more than 1 render mode available. Most of the other mid-to-high-end packages have had these options for years. I think Newtek has just handed us another set of options that will become indispensible for some. And hey, I'm sure the default settings will still work fine for the rest of us.

DiedonD
02-04-2006, 02:25 AM
Exception, thank you for bringing this up! You have made an excellent point even if no one else understands or agrees.

Everyone, look at Wacom's example pictures he posted. All of those surfaces are easily achievable within LightWave. They all demonstrate variations of specularity, glossiness and reflection. Why do we need pulldowns that list 10 different guys names that have no relation to real objects? I don't care what the freaking algorithm is called!

I think the whole argument smacks of elitism! "I'm really cool, because I understand that Blinn-Phong shading represents a hazy reflective surface with tiny scratches!"

A racecar driver doesn't need to know the chemical makeup of his fuel or the mechanical intricacies of a fuel injector, he just needs to know how to drive the vehicle. NewTek are the mecahnical engineers, we are the drivers.

(Car analogy dedicated to HRGiger) ;)

I agree with Matclarry. I think LW is evolving. If you go way back in medical science, all tissue and organic matter was called as it is. A tooth is well a "tooth", and so on. But having people together that share the same ideals, equipment etc. inevitably have them create a new language sort of speak. So teeth wont be "teeth" anymore but would be "dental", and a tooth paste would be a "dental paste" just so it becomes something different, and to some might view, better than an ordinary language speaking people can undergo through. Thus elevating it (LW in our case) to higher levels, where not everyone could care getting to it, since its all filled with fancy words.

But I say leave it at simple levels, and dont worry about everyone doing LW in the future, cause appart from names its way too much work involved that not too many would care and want to undergo through. So yea knowing Blinn-Phong does indeed elevates LW users from ordinary non LW users that would know that it "represents a hazy reflective surface with tiny scratches!", but it might in process drop their chances in deciding to use LW.

So **** the names keep it simple and user friendly

Oh and a driver might know the underlying principles of his car, but wouldnt care less, and would just concentrate on better things (winning the race, speeding up etc, which simply means enjoying)

loki74
02-04-2006, 03:40 AM
I agree with Matclarry. I think LW is evolving. If you go way back in medical science, all tissue and organic matter was called as it is. A tooth is well a "tooth", and so on. But having people together that share the same ideals, equipment etc. inevitably have them create a new language sort of speak. So teeth wont be "teeth" anymore but would be "dental", and a tooth paste would be a "dental paste" just so it becomes something different, and to some might view, better than an ordinary language speaking people can undergo through. Thus elevating it (LW in our case) to higher levels, where not everyone could care getting to it, since its all filled with fancy words.

But thats just the thing--AFAIK, those are the names they had to begin with. So a tooth is still a tooth, Lambert is still Lambert, MonteCarlo is still MonteCarlo.

Furthermore, I've read a handful of tutorials on other platforms that use the common termonology for things like that. If LW uses is own, proprietary, "user friendly" layman terms, I would have to sit around and figure out what "user friendly" term means "Lambert" in order to use a certain tutorial. That would be quite annoying.


So yea knowing Blinn-Phong does indeed elevates LW users from ordinary non LW users that would know that it "represents a hazy reflective surface with tiny scratches!", but it might in process drop their chances in deciding to use LW.

well, who is NT trying to sell to, and who is their competition. Everyone whines about how LW ought to be more like Maya or XSI or whatnot. I for one would rather have the original, universally accepted standard naming convention, as in Maya or something else, rather than some proprietary term for a non-propretary feature.

The way I figure, if they can't handle learning such terms as "Blinn-Phong," they ought to be using a cheaper, simpler, less powerful app. And if LW's new features are too much for them to handle, we sure as he1l dont have to worry abou them getting Maya or something instead.

Nemoid
02-04-2006, 04:07 AM
I think originally Lw was conceived in a way to be very streamlined in the texturing process, and so , forgetting conventions, instead of adopting
different materials like phong, blinn, and more they gave users all the options into the same panel so that they could just tweak all the settings and obtain the different materials look.

they simply thought that a material has to have some characteristics , and that the user can tweak a whole set of comprehensiuve parameters to reproduce them all through the same UI.

Now, if they implement the separate materials as it happens to be in Maya , XSi and other apps, its for the reason to have a more understandable process for users coming from other packages, and users studying 3D graphics and knowing what those materials are, as wacom pretty well listed in his post.

another reason could be that, since in lw 9.0 you will be able to play with nodal texturing, nodes showing these kinda shaders could be of great help in that environment.

so you will both get the advantages of

a more understandability,
more standard approach
and a good behaviour in nodal texturing.


for example,with nodal, i could stratify different materials on the very same poligons, giving to texturing a layered appoach and so opening alot of cool possibilities for different purposes, instead of having a simple SSS shader.

Not that having stratify multiple materials would not be possible through the current UI, its just a way to show things after all, but in Lw 9.0 we'll have a nodal environment too.

however, a streamlined process for most tasks is very valid, ao i do hope we could be allowed to work into different ways : exactly like now,with choosed material and with nodal/multi layered material texturing.

in the current editor, it could be implemented easily
in a drop down menu in surface editor _

Materials :

Default (all material parameters tweakable)
Lambert (limited to lambert parameters )
Phong (limited to Phong parameters )
Blinn (limited to Blinn parameters )

etc.

notice that if you'd want, you just could go
with default setting, and use Lw as it is now. cool!!

i the nodal environment...
well, you'll be able to use them separately as nodes

does this make sense? i hope so. :)

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 04:57 AM
If you go way back in medical science, all tissue and organic matter was called as it is. A tooth is well a "tooth", and so on.
Actually, not true (but a good analogy). There actually medical terms, mostly latin, that the pros use all over the world. Which is great, beacuse it allows them to talk about the same thing.
Just look at rigging tutorials and the amount of medical terms of bones or muscles you find in there.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 05:09 AM
in the current editor, it could be implemented easily
in a drop down menu in surface editor _

Materials :

Default (all material parameters tweakable)
Lambert (limited to lambert parameters )
Phong (limited to Phong parameters )
Blinn (limited to Blinn parameters )

etc.

notice that if you'd want, you just could go
with default setting, and use Lw as it is now. cool!!

Hm, the problem is, different shading models affect different parts of the surface, so while you might want a Lambert diffuse shading you'd still prefer Cook-Torrance specular highlights.

Adding sliders to just increase the amount of shader "y" wouldn't work either, since that would be like blending on into the other - not likely to be what you'd expect visually.
That could of course be solved with the "mother of all shaders" that incorporates every existing shading model into one, providing tweaks for the components. The big unified shading solution. Then again, this is a bit of a holy grail and quite unrealistic. It would also prevent you from plopping in plugin shaders.

Another option would be to drop shaders completely and go all physical. Kick out specularity (since it is just a cheap replacement for HDR reflections), kick out glossiness (since it fakes the roughness of a material for specularity). You would then of course need to model everything to get light to react the way you'd want it to.
Not an option either I assume ;)

As for the general UI design... there is a _lot_ that can be done there to tone down the perceived complexity. I just don't think a UI overhaul will make it into 9.x ...
However, I wouldn't be too quick to judge some design decisions. Maybe there is a reason to choose the SDS algorithm type and make it readily available...

And if you don't let the buttons confuse you, you can still use LW at the level of LW 6.0 right now.

Cheers,
Mike

CB_3D
02-04-2006, 05:30 AM
Just letting the mousepointer hover on top of an item should open a simple explanation box with a pic. That would be the simplest way to cover all the stuff in a program.

Tesselator
02-04-2006, 05:35 AM
This message is not about harping about any goods or bads that you guys are doing. I am impressed with the way 9 is looking to shape up, and I am excited about the whole deal, and super happy with Lwcad as a late christmas present and so on. I do have an important suggestion though, that I feel has some deeper roots than may at first appear.

Recently, since 8.0 really, I have noticed that a small number of functions in Lightwave is being implemented in the interface according to their technical model, and their common name among programmers. I mention 'Monte carlo', 'Catmull-Rom', 'Mitchell / Lanczos reconstruction filter', and now we are promised goodies like 'Lambert', 'Oren Nayar', 'Blinn' and 'Cook-Torrence'.
While I do have some idea what these things mean and what effect they have and so on, and I am aware that most of the professionals in the field of CG production have a notion of what they are, I almost feel as if a precious thing of Lightwave is going to be swallowed by the wish to conform to standards set by the rest of the industry.
What I mean by this is that most people have no clue what these words mean, let alone be able to make proper decisions on when to use them.
What I want to warn about is more scroll menus where to choose between five outlandish words, like what happened to the AA menu.
Why am I making such a big deal out of this? Because I have to teach people how to use Lightwave, like I have been doing for years. Everything makes sense, transparency, reflection, X amount of passes is all communicatable to everyone, whether they know CG or not, they are qualitative assesments, not technical naming conventions. However when they have to choose between Mitchell of Lanczos, any relation to the word is removed. They have no idea, and explaining it necessitates a lengthy technical explanation that is completely unnecessary and people will forget. These are the people that use LW on a daily basis... artists, architects, designers...
And I feel that Lightwave, as the only package in the industry, has been so extremely good in relating everyhting in it to useable terms and interface items. 'Knife' is not called 'Interactive single projection subdivider', and there is no check box in the render option panel called Lambert/Phong/Blinn (where I would assume these are actually really there, they just get engaged when a material has a percentage of tranparancy, or reflection, and tracing is enabled or whatever).
I think it should really stay that way. I would be really disappointed if there was a drop down box in the surface editor on the advanced tab that would just make you choose between blinn cook-torrence blinn and so on, that drop down box below in modeler where to choose between 'standard SDS' and 'Catmull-Clark' or something. That would go straight against the ideology of the whole interface of Lightwave, its workflow and wonderful logic.

I understand that sometimes this is hard to do, but I think it is imperative that proper attention is placed in the actual integration in terms of naming, placement and activation of these technologies, and to make sure they are as relateable to the real world as possible.
For instance, do we still need the non-catmull-clark-rom-whatever SDS when the new one is so much better? And if we do, for backward compatibility or some sort of functional reason, isn't there a smarter way? Or at least a better description than just to name it by its theoretical/technical reference name?

And we can always say that "Lightwave has Cook-Torrence too" for those in the know, for bragging purposes, and point to the manual or so where it is explained that for instance the 'metal' selectionbox is actually that. Or something similar.

First let me say that I didn't read the entire thread before posting as I'm
really pressed for time. But here is my opinion about the original post.

These are industry standard terms, devices, and conventions and I believe
with great conviction that LW has lost a great many users for the lack of
having just such.

It's like if I work for a construction company where everyone says:

"Hand me that meta-scooper I need to u-shape from block to carorad-bed"

then when I get a job with any other company that uses the right terms like:

"Hand me that shovel I need to dig a drainage trench from the foundation to
the road."

I won't have a clue what's being asked of me and I probably won't last long
on the job. I think I remember a Bill Cosby album from the early 70s where
the skit was about playng a joke on your child by teaching them everything
wrong. All the wrong terms and verbs so that when they went out into the
world how funny it would be to watch them interact with everyone else.

Hehehe It was funny on the record but that would be a cruel trick to
actually play on someone - yet that is what I think has happened to the
LW community to some degree. And we DO look pretty funny interacting
with everyone else when we haven't bothered to relearn the correct terms
and proper tool usage that are in use with everyone else pretty much
industry wide.

Just like it is in the job discription by assumption even, that a construction
worker know the difference between a joist and a rafter, top-plate and a
stud, header-beam and a ridge-beam, a door jam and your grandma's jam,
particle-board and plywood, etc. etc. and the correct terms and uses for the
tools like beam-saw, hand-saw, skill-saw, band-saw, copping saw, jig-saw,
miter-saw, chop-saw, saber-saw, router, etc. etc. it is also a requirement
(or should be imo!) that workers in this industry learn the correct terms and
tools that are part of this kind of work.

The difficulty level is different for everyone. Some people learn faster than
others and excell. They get the good jobs and the slower guys open smaller
shops that do smaller jobs or they change professions or whatever. This is
pretty much how business works for any industry including commercial art
and CG. Survivel of the fittest and natural selection are deep in our roots
and I think that asking for that to change is a mistake. If the construction
company in my first example mixed up all the terms and didn't teach (or in
this case offer) the propper tools for the job then they should repair the
dammage so that the workers become viable within the entire workforce
and I think the workers should welcome the oppertunity to become fit or
"more fit" as is the case here.

Anyway, that is my opinion on the matter.

Nemoid
02-04-2006, 05:45 AM
Hm, the problem is, different shading models affect different parts of the surface, so while you might want a Lambert diffuse shading you'd still prefer Cook-Torrance specular highlights.

Adding sliders to just increase the amount of shader "y" wouldn't work either, since that would be like blending on into the other - not likely to be what you'd expect visually.
That could of course be solved with the "mother of all shaders" that incorporates every existing shading model into one, providing tweaks for the components. The big unified shading solution. Then again, this is a bit of a holy grail and quite unrealistic. It would also prevent you from plopping in plugin shaders.


Cheers,
Mike

well, currently we have one material, with different settings for every surface. we create. then we can add shaders , environment maps, tweak options through our tabs...

i dunno if its possible to have parameters of the different shading models on top to each other, however, maybe this would be possible into a nodal environment if each feature/parameter is a node ?

also, an interesting thing i saw in Modo is the layered texture system, which allows to use masks as well, so that you can probably use highlights from a shader and diffuse from another one. (and this is done without nodes , so far)

going phisical as you describe could also be a solution, but only if we could go beyond phisics parameters to obtain stylized effects as well. after all. CG is not always about photorealism.

Bog
02-04-2006, 05:51 AM
going phisical as you describe could also be a solution, but only if we could go beyond phisics parameters to obtain stylized effects as well. after all. CG is not always about photorealism.

I'm pretty sure the physical model bit was meant to be an ironic comment. The different shaders (Blinn, Phong, etc) are different approximations of how light works with surfaces in real life. They mimic the way light spreads and bounces from surfaces. A "real physical" model would kinda need the Universe to run on.


also, an interesting thing i saw in Modo is the layered texture system, which allows to use masks as well, so that you can probably use highlights from a shader and diffuse from another one. (and this is done without nodes , so far)

That works fine for me using the LightWave surfaces panel anyway.

Dodgy
02-04-2006, 05:55 AM
In one of the visual texture systems (TB's I think) it separated out the specular highlight and what not, so you had to layer it onto another shader using a mixer of some kind whether it be additive, mutiplicative etc, so you could have a lambert base witha blinn specular or anisotropic specular or whatever. Isn't blinn just a lambertian with a specular modification anyway?

dballesg
02-04-2006, 06:08 AM
Hi,

I think I understand exception because I teached LightWave for four years so not long ago. And with a bigger hindrance, I am spanish, my students were spanish, and we dont have a straight translation to words like rendering, plugin, or shading that would let you create the same group of terms when you are speaking about Lightwave and 3D in general.

I believe the question that arised most times on the classes was "There are LightWave manuals in Spanish?". There are a few books but they are not as good as the ones published in English. And the english ones are not translated, neither the original manuals.

As bryphi77 said: "As long as all those "thingumies" are well documented and serve a good purpose I will be a happy waver".

Let me put you and example: The names of a few procedural textures came from the book: "Texture and Modelling a Procedural Approach". Have you ever read the book? It is about texture programming. I know how to program, but my math skills are really bad. But that didn't stoped me to read it and found a way to explain to my students how to use the procedurals and controls on them aside their "strange" name. Your problems understanding the new AA modes are the same, read the book, Physically Based Rendering.

Oh! Let me guess, you do not have time to read all that difficult mathematical stuff? Well I didn't have the time either but I found it for the sake of my students and for my own interest on learning and teaching.

So not I do not agree on the change of names an Oren Nayar always would be Oren Nayar, I agree on a simple and clarifyng explanation on the manuals. Simple and plain english works for me, I NEEDED to learn it if I wanted to be in this industry.

And I COMPLETLY agree on the places where the tools are going to be on the program´s interface. That would make the difference. AndI think except on a few cases like the one you mentioned Sunspot, Newtek always did a great job. I would never understand why an apple means "Render" (3DMAX icon, it isn't).

Standard names across apps that work on the same field of use, help a lot to switch betweem them. And that happens very frequently as LightWolf pointed with Fusion AA modes on everyday works.

So I think exception needs CLEAR explanations to his students that help them to associate a strange name like Clatmull-Clark to its functionality, that it is sold Pixar for a fortune to Disney! ;) No, it is not that? ;)

Best regards,
David

P.D. I am sure, Fernando Alonso knows pretty well his Renault Technicalities or he wouldn't be the WORLD Number 1 ;)

DiedonD
02-04-2006, 06:14 AM
Actually, not true (but a good analogy). There actually medical terms, mostly latin, that the pros use all over the world. Which is great, beacuse it allows them to talk about the same thing.
Just look at rigging tutorials and the amount of medical terms of bones or muscles you find in there.

Cheers,
Mike

Well I accept Im not a doctor, let the truth be told. But what I know it to be a fact, is that whenever a community gathers for whatever waht issue, and they stay together for a long time (years) they will generate their own names at first, later on their own language. Just like sometimes doctors say that you might have a sparcling dental fusionemeter transitic acute disability (made that up) and the moment you panic with worst things in mind they say:
Oh its common toothaque.

And I dont know LW's history, so I dont know which tools were already from the beginning. But regardles of that, new names are due to come cause LW is evolving both technically and linguistically. And that is a two edged sword.

Its a special thing to speak like all knowing doctors about common issues, to "be cool" like some say.

But that speciality also brings differentiation from people who listen, and who have the potentiality to become LW users. They might think after listening to us that "Geesh, what in **** are they all talking about...Now I see that I could never become an animator (or the like)"

And weather we or NewTek really wants that, is a completely different issue.

I mean the language could also be made specifically to filter the truly talented, willing, and enourmously motivated, that are too ready to learn LW and its language whatever that may be, from the ones that just lack that.

But, as I said thats a completely different issue, as for me I would like to leave tools in thee most statistically user friendly name possible. Of course that might already be the case till now, but I wouldnt like for it to not be tha case for future names.

Emmanuel
02-04-2006, 07:24 AM
In one of the visual texture systems (TB's I think) it separated out the specular highlight and what not, so you had to layer it onto another shader using a mixer of some kind whether it be additive, mutiplicative etc, so you could have a lambert base witha blinn specular or anisotropic specular or whatever. Isn't blinn just a lambertian with a specular modification anyway?

I have been asking this myself, Dodgy, when I came from C4D to LW back in the late 90s, they already had added Plastic and Metal as shading algorithms, and when I came to LW, I found that I was quicker creating convincing metal in LW just by using diffuse, spec, gloss and ref than in C4D with its metal shader.
I really haven't experienced it in animation, maybe there You will find the difference on how the surface reacts to light, but so far I too thought that its just a matter of ramping up gloss and spec and our phong shading is sufficient.
But I am probably wrong since Max, Maya, XSI, C4D etc all offer different base shading models.

Exception
02-04-2006, 07:51 AM
Wow, readin is hard for most people.
In general: INANC.

loki74: INANC
Puguglybonehead: Who sais they wern't wanted?
Tess: your analogy doesn't hold up. I work in the architecture field, and people from different regions don't have the same terms for the same things, even for very simple items (formwork vs mould vs pourframe etc). Most names are localised, and when you cross a language border, everything is different, and cannot be simply translated anymore. Still, people are able to communicate. But in any case, INANC.

dballesg
02-04-2006, 08:04 AM
Wow, readin is hard for most people.
In general: INANC.


I do not think so, I read EVERYDAY from my home to work and back.



loki74: INANC
Puguglybonehead: Who sais they wern't wanted?
Tess: your analogy doesn't hold up. I work in the architecture field, and people from different regions don't have the same terms for the same things, even for very simple items (formwork vs mould vs pourframe etc). Most names are localised, and when you cross a language border, everything is different, and cannot be simply translated anymore. Still, people are able to communicate. But in any case, INANC.

Have you read what said about translate term to other languages as spanish?

Best regards,
David

Exception
02-04-2006, 08:58 AM
I do not think so, I read EVERYDAY from my home to work and back.



Have you read what said about translate term to other languages as spanish?

Best regards,
David

David, I have.
It's not about naming conventions. (INANC)
In addition I have no trouble understanding the new AA modes, or any of the functions involved. I am debating their integration into the program.
Also, as ive said before, it is not about difficulty in teaching. I used students only as an example. It is about the preservation of inherent logic.

dballesg
02-04-2006, 09:18 AM
David, I have.
It's not about naming conventions. (INANC)
In addition I have no trouble understanding the new AA modes, or any of the functions involved. I am debating their integration into the program.
Also, as ive said before, it is not about difficulty in teaching. I used students only as an example. It is about the preservation of inherent logic.

Then maybe I didn't understand your first post on first place. And why caused a such long thread! :) As I told I think that except on a few cases Newtek always dealt well where the place they put the tools! :)

Best regards,
David.

Tesselator
02-04-2006, 09:26 AM
Tess: your analogy doesn't hold up. I work in the architecture field, and people from different regions don't have the same terms for the same things, even for very simple items (formwork vs mould vs pourframe etc). Most names are localised, and when you cross a language border, everything is different, and cannot be simply translated anymore. Still, people are able to communicate. But in any case, INANC.


Well then in that case I would say the analogy holds perfectly.

The dictionary says an "Industry" is:
- A specific branch of manufacture and trade.
- The sector of an economy made up of manufacturing enterprises.
- A standardized tradition associated with a specified tool or culture.

All these suggest localization. Newtek, Alias, AutoDest, SideFX, Maxon, Avid,
etc. are all American companies as far as I know. If other cultures want to
foloow this predominantly American industry then follow it. If they want to
capture and recreate this industry then they can do that and localize
everything as that would imply. The reality is probably that they do both
but that aspect of it has little barring on on the standards used in the US
which is primarily the topic here and not what an Eskimo might want to call
a polygon for use in his own language. :D Polygoonananakoo? ;)

I apoligize if any Eskimos were offended by that. :)

NewTek even supports this idea. For example you can purchase the Japanese
version of lightwave and all the menues are localized to the Japanese terms
with a manual that reflects that. You can switch it on the fly to English
and all the terms are back to thier original industry standards. The trouble
is and thus the topic at hand, is that the original creators of LightWave 3D
did not use the proper terms from the industry (implying localized to the US)
they were in. That is being rectified as LW progresses. We should be thankful!

Stooch
02-04-2006, 09:34 AM
ok im all for making the interaface intuitive but im all against dumbing it down.

conform to the rest of the industry because who knows, someday your students may want to use other apps and they would have to relearn everything. This is a pro app, and its expected for people to do their research.

and localization is retarded for an application that is used by so many different languages and dialects. Just keep it standard and the international users will thank you.

really, the best solution here is a more responsive workflow. Better shader preview, better render preview, accurate OGL feedback, all combined will allow the "tweaker" to get the look they want without necessarily knowing what is what. thats how i started in LW, give the user access to help materials with all the explanations and let them learn at their own pace..

MrWyatt
02-04-2006, 09:49 AM
I apoligize if any Eskimos were offended by that. :)


I believe the propper term is "Inuit"
:D

Bog
02-04-2006, 09:51 AM
So you want an Inuitive interface?

I'll get my coat...

MrWyatt
02-04-2006, 09:55 AM
btw. Tesselator,
Is nodal from nodal ideas (http://www.nodalideas.com/) ?

Tesselator
02-04-2006, 10:04 AM
I believe the propper term is "Inuit"
:D

Ah, thanks! Not my industry... I always appreciate correct termonology.

:D

Tesselator
02-04-2006, 10:06 AM
btw. Tesselator,
Is nodal from nodal ideas (http://www.nodalideas.com/) ?


No sir.

It's was developed for NewTek specificaly by individuals enployed at NewTek.

MrWyatt
02-04-2006, 10:11 AM
thanks for the info. I thought so to, but there was some confusion on spinquad, and i needed verification.

:thumbsup:

Malorie
02-04-2006, 10:26 AM
The point that seems to be getting missed is this.

If I were to say that I was Pavlov'ing. People in general would have no clue to what I was talking about. Now if I said I was drooling, MOST people would know what I was talking about. It makes no sense to use Pavlov's name to describe an action which has a commun name to the rest of society. Even if people in the drooling industry like to use his name to describe drooling, it is still a better choice to use the commun term drooling to describe the action.

Everyone wants to use terms like sub-division surfaces and such as an example. But those are names that, to anyone who speaks english, can be figured out or at least guessed at even if you have no clue about the 3D industry.

While it is nice to have a program that conforms to the rest of the industry as far as terminology goes, you automaticly make the program more difficult for someone new to 3D to get into it. It becomes a tedious nightmare to google every term or dig through the manual just so you can render a picture of a box.

And this isn't the same in reverse. Someone who is in the drolling industry would certainly know what "drooling" was as well as "Pavlov'ing" (if that was the term they used). Just as someone in the 3D industry would know what a button marked "Smoothing" would do in the render area as well as one marked "Phong".

Someone moving from LW to another app is less likely to be intimidated out of the 3D world by industry terms as they will have run accross them along the way.

One of my biggest reasons for choosing LW was its commun sense interface. The fact that I could make guesses at the result of any action and pretty much hit the mark every time.

So I guess the question should be, what is NT's intention or target audience? My guess would be that they would want to CONTINUE to appeal to the largest audience they could. That would include the folks who don't have a clue about the 3D industry or know what Phong shading is.

It isn't dumbing it down. It is just a matter of staying away from terms that are strictly industry terms and selecting terms that EVERYONE can figure out or at least guess at. That doesn't make LW any less functional or restricting, it just makes LW more accessable to the non-3D world. NT has done a great job of it so far, and I for one would applaud them to stay their course.

Not doing so seems to be a lazy way around making a more accessable interface or as was said earlier elitist.

Malorie

Tesselator
02-04-2006, 10:27 AM
thanks for the info. I thought so to, but there was some confusion on spinquad, and i needed verification.

:thumbsup:


Yeah, and I should peobably add that some preliminary design work and research
was done from outside NewTek but always the intent was for full integration
and distribution for and by NewTek.

Bog
02-04-2006, 10:38 AM
Malorie,

I'm pretty sure that the majority of LightWave's tools will stay named as they are. I don't think they'll rename Twist as "Radial Fally-offy Bendy Thing" or anything like that. What's happenning is that LW is expanding, and gaining abilities. These abilities have names - such as a Blinn shader or Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces. NewTek aren't coming up with the names, and in all likelihood, if they added these abilities without using their proper names, Misters Blinn, Oren, Nayer, Catmull and Clark would be justifiably peeved.

I don't notice anyone complaining bitterly about the Beer and Rayleigh lighting models that live in the Hypervoxels panel.

I rather imagine that Lightwave will default to Phong shading, both because it's a Generally Useful shader, as well as it being the one all LightWavers are used to.

The bottom line is that these new abilities that are being added to LightWave already have proper names. If we don't call them by those names, then it's muddying waters which can still be pretty dark and mysterious anyway.

Malorie
02-04-2006, 10:44 AM
You noticed somebody bitterly complaining? ;)

The point was that some care should be taken in going too far down the industry standard path.

Tesselator
02-04-2006, 10:47 AM
The point that seems to be getting missed is this.

If I were to say that I was Pavlov'ing. People in general would have no clue to what I was talking about. Now if I said I was drooling, MOST people would know what I was talking about. It makes no sense to use Pavlov's name to describe an action which has a commun name to the rest of society. Even if people in the drooling industry like to use his name to describe drooling, it is still a better choice to use the commun term drooling to describe the action.

Everyone wants to use terms like sub-division surfaces and such as an example. But those are names that, to anyone who speaks english, can be figured out or at least guessed at even if you have no clue about the 3D industry.

While it is nice to have a program that conforms to the rest of the industry as far as terminology goes, you automaticly make the program more difficult for someone new to 3D to get into it. It becomes a tedious nightmare to google every term or dig through the manual just so you can render a picture of a box.

And this isn't the same in reverse. Someone who is in the drolling industry would certainly know what "drooling" was as well as "Pavlov'ing" (if that was the term they used). Just as someone in the 3D industry would know what a button marked "Smoothing" would do in the render area as well as one marked "Phong".

Someone moving from LW to another app is less likely to be intimidated out of the 3D world by industry terms as they will have run accross them along the way.

One of my biggest reasons for choosing LW was its commun sense interface. The fact that I could make guesses at the result of any action and pretty much hit the mark every time.

So I guess the question should be, what is NT's intention or target audience? My guess would be that they would want to CONTINUE to appeal to the largest audience they could. That would include the folks who don't have a clue about the 3D industry or know what Phong shading is.

It isn't dumbing it down. It is just a matter of staying away from terms that are strictly industry terms and selecting terms that EVERYONE can figure out or at least guess at. That doesn't make LW any less functional or restricting, it just makes LW more accessable to the non-3D world. NT has done a great job of it so far, and I for one would applaud them to stay their course.

Not doing so seems to be a lazy way around making a more accessable interface or as was said earlier elitist.

Malorie

Well, generic terms are also used. Phong is called shading in the new LW
as well as the old. But with now 10 or 15 different types we also need to
distinguish them. And using thier proper industry names is good. It's all
categorized intelligently so you know that phong is a shader and even beter
so that you know exactly what kind of shader it is. So the common sense
factor and general appeal is all still there.

That said there will be people just joining our industry that do not know the
term "polygon" or for sure not know the difference between "Shading" and
"Texturing". Some termonology will always be a learning requirement. And
really for any industry I can think of.

Also I don't think NewTek is about to sacrifice their "Easy" interface just to
be technically correct so I wouldn't worry too much about that. My guess is
that you will need to learn a few new terms but just a small fraction of what
LW already has you needing to learn. And there will be a few new methods
available but I doubt they will "replace" any of the already existing stuff so
likely it will be an "extra" option that you can take advantage of as you
have time to learn and use them - on top of what you already know how to
do - and at your own pace.

Malorie
02-04-2006, 10:51 AM
Except that the terms "polygon", "shading", and "texturing" are commun terms in the english dictionary. How they apply to 3D is the only learning neccesity, and pretty much anyone who speaks english could guess at their uses in LW.

Tesselator
02-04-2006, 10:58 AM
Except that the terms "polygon", "shading", and "texturing" are commun terms in the english dictionary. How they apply to 3D is the only learning neccesity, and pretty much anyone who speaks english could guess at their uses in LW.


Great, you'll be able to use all the new stuff then with no extra learning.

Really, not kidding.

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 11:05 AM
I'm pretty sure the physical model bit was meant to be an ironic comment.
Lol... you got me there...
Then again, it was only 50% ironic. I think that renderers will get more physical in the future, and what I mentioned would just be the start. Loose some of the terms we are familiar with, replace mathematical terms with physical terms and aquire a new set of skills.
I'm not sure about the implications though, especially for users that don't strive for photorealism...

But this is going seriously off topic.

Cheers,
Mike

Malorie
02-04-2006, 11:06 AM
I'm not worried about ME being able to use LW9 or any following relase, or anyone for that matter. Like Exception, I am concerned about LW heading down a path to building an app that will eventually be far too intimidating for anyone to ever pick up and use unless you've been around the industry or have been to school for 3D.

LW has been a great introduction to the industry for me. I'd like to see it be that for anyone who ever has an intrest in 3D while remaining one of the most powerfull full featured base apps on on the market.

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 11:09 AM
Hi David,

P.D. I am sure, Fernando Alonso knows pretty well his Renault Technicalities or he wouldn't be the WORLD Number 1 ;)
and Michael Schumacher spent more time with the mechanics than with anybody else...

To get back to the point though... language barriers are quite important as well. This again shows the advantage of using the "official" names, even if they don't exactly relate to the item in the native language. In another language even a native description doesn't relate, but you might find docs in your language that explain the "official" term.

Cheers,
Mike - and yes, I've read both books too, and they did broaden my understanding a lot. Actually, I keep going back all the time...

Bog
02-04-2006, 11:13 AM
Too right, Lightwolf. It's easy to google/wikicg search for the given names of shaders. Trying to find a breakdown of "Shader 3 - Slightly Streaky Shiny Bit" isn't going to get anyone anyplace.

And try getting someone who's spent years mucking around with lines of code, balanced lights in labs and so on not naming their shading model after themselves! :lol:

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 11:15 AM
All these suggest localization. Newtek, Alias, AutoDest, SideFX, Maxon, Avid,
etc. are all American companies as far as I know.
US, Canada, US, Canada(?), Germany, US (XSI Canada again).
mental ray: Germany (just to add one more).

And, surprisingly, they all share terms. Probably because the industry is so tiny and intertwined (we all meet at Siggraph, don't we? ;) ).

Cheers,
Mike

MrWyatt
02-04-2006, 11:20 AM
funny even a freeware tool like blender wich is extremely popular to newbie users and kids who want to start in 3d has use the propper industry standard geek talk that we have discussed in this thread. Newtek, as much as it appreciates hobbyists and newbies (as any software company does), has its strongest userbase in the same proffessional field as it´s competitors, and as theese are all familiar with this kind of geek talk, It´s more likely they do better in trying to please a professional user than trying to please the newbie. after all it is a craft you have to learn, and who ever had to learn a craft knows that it´s tough and takes long. But when you have learned it once, all other 3d apps are quickly picked up as long as there is a standard that all programs conform to.

not conforming to this standard is doing no good to Lightwave and thus no good to it´s users.

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 11:27 AM
And try getting someone who's spent years mucking around with lines of code, balanced lights in labs and so on not naming their shading model after themselves! :lol:
Lol.... usually it isn't them that do it. First Jim Blinn writes a paper, then he publishes it, then others refer to it as Blinns shading and there you are. The same goes for Perlin noise and a load of other names. Unless the authors give them catchy names to start with (i.e. Feline image filtering, Reyes rendering) they usually end up being associated with their names.

Just look at cars again, in German the official names for types of engines are: Ottomotor, Diesel and Wankelmotor. All named after the inventors.

But, since this _isn't_ about naming conventions I'd still like to see some examples on _how_ the ui should be changed to be more artists friendly.

Cheers,
Mike

kopperdrake
02-04-2006, 11:31 AM
Don;t get me wrong, I use these functions, they are useful, but I spent literally days trying to figure out what the difference is between classic, lanczos and mitchell in terms of results, and there really is only a tiny bit there. I don't care 99.9% of the time what reconstruction filter, I want the fastest that will give me the set amount of passes with dependable quality, which is, if you havn't noticed, the old classic one. So, should this feature be removed? No way! Should its appearance in the interface be changed? Yes! There should be a hierarchy in importance. The reconstruction filter should be subset in importance from the number of passes, as it is way less important. If it wasn't for the new reconstruction filters being in the same spot as the old 'enhanced classic' spot, which was ill defined in the first place, I wouldn't use them. Ever. let the people that use that function be aware of where it is in the interface, and leave the main interface (1st level) alone.

I agree with this one Exception - I have to admit at just being a bit non-plussed as to the amount of options in Antialiasing drop-down - why do we get all those pre-defined PLD passes when you could just have one called PLD, one called Classic, and then choose again how many passes you want of either. I know it's a bit off-topic but I'd also like a small example real-time render window showing me just exactly what it will look like. I gave up experimenting with them and just use plain old classic as it seemed often the better option anyway, for those rare instances I used the LW renderer.

Anyway - I'm just sitting back and waiting for the big box of goodness to drop from the sky with Lightwave 9 written on the side :D

Malorie
02-04-2006, 11:56 AM
OK, let's try it this way.

Imagine if you will, NT decides to start using acronyms instead of words in their interface to increase monitor landscape for editing your models and scenes. Sure most of us folks that have been using LW would follow along happily, possably barely even noticing the change. We might even thank NT for doing it.

Now imagine coming from outside the 3D industry and trying to decipher all the acronyms.

You can see that while it may have been an improvement for the current user base and still somewhat usable for those coming from other apps, it would be a shear nightmare for anyone outside the industry to pick up.

Once again, it's about not going there, not about being there now. So currently, there isn't anything WRONG with the interface, but there could be very quickly if the wrong path is followed.

MrWyatt
02-04-2006, 12:00 PM
for all those of you complaining about the oh so many render AA settings that you feel will scare any new user from learning Lightwave.
this image is only the rendersettings for mental ray for maya. You get a similar window for all of the other renderers you can use in maya. What are you complaining over, do you want simply a ui with a button saying "make cool image now" right next to the button "and fix me some pizza and beer while you're at it".

just wondering.
:chicken:

MrWyatt
02-04-2006, 12:02 PM
took quite some screengrabs to post this picture
:D

mattclary
02-04-2006, 12:07 PM
Thanks for reminding me why I use LightWave.

MrWyatt
02-04-2006, 12:10 PM
Thanks for reminding me why I use LightWave.

always happy to do so matt
:hey:

DigiLusionist
02-04-2006, 12:15 PM
Oh.the.irony. I thought the single greatest thing about LW was doing things the LW way.

Exception, I see your point, and agree that qualitative labels would be useful. Standards are great, if they're standards for all 3D applications. Such as having a single environment interfaces? Or, is that too revolutionary for LW?

Bog
02-04-2006, 12:21 PM
I don't understand, MrWyatt. Where's the "Jazz It Up" button and the "Make It Pretty" control....?

;)

MrWyatt
02-04-2006, 12:23 PM
I don't understand, MrWyatt. Where's the "Jazz It Up" button and the "Make It Pretty" control....?

;)
wait wouldn´t that be to many buttons to be "userfriendly"? :confused:

EmperorPete
02-04-2006, 12:23 PM
It's easy to google/wikicg search for the given names of shaders. Trying to find a breakdown of "Shader 3 - Slightly Streaky Shiny Bit" isn't going to get anyone anyplace.
Exactly.
Someone wants to know what all these different "standardised" names mean? That's what a manual is for. Or Google them. It's not hard. I see no problem with calling these settings what they are.
Now; if you want Lightwave to remain Lightwave, I say bring back Haiku. I miss that.

Malorie
02-04-2006, 12:26 PM
It lookks like it's the one at the top marked "Presets". LOL

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 12:31 PM
Actually, that screen grab isn't that bad ... at least you have all settings related to rendering in one place.

Not that I'd like LW to be anywhere as convoluted as that... but it would make sense to at least consolidate some of the options.

Cheers,
Mike

Bog
02-04-2006, 12:32 PM
Now; if you want Lightwave to remain Lightwave, I say bring back Haiku. I miss that.

And Eagle In A Barrel. Darn it, I even seem to be without my Lenscap these days!

EmperorPete
02-04-2006, 01:53 PM
LOL! I remember lenscap!

DiedonD
02-04-2006, 03:08 PM
The point that seems to be getting missed is this.

If I were to say that I was Pavlov'ing. People in general would have no clue to what I was talking about. Now if I said I was drooling, MOST people would know what I was talking about. It makes no sense to use Pavlov's name to describe an action which has a commun name to the rest of society. Even if people in the drooling industry like to use his name to describe drooling, it is still a better choice to use the commun term drooling to describe the action.

Everyone wants to use terms like sub-division surfaces and such as an example. But those are names that, to anyone who speaks english, can be figured out or at least guessed at even if you have no clue about the 3D industry.

While it is nice to have a program that conforms to the rest of the industry as far as terminology goes, you automaticly make the program more difficult for someone new to 3D to get into it. It becomes a tedious nightmare to google every term or dig through the manual just so you can render a picture of a box.

And this isn't the same in reverse. Someone who is in the drolling industry would certainly know what "drooling" was as well as "Pavlov'ing" (if that was the term they used). Just as someone in the 3D industry would know what a button marked "Smoothing" would do in the render area as well as one marked "Phong".

Someone moving from LW to another app is less likely to be intimidated out of the 3D world by industry terms as they will have run accross them along the way.

One of my biggest reasons for choosing LW was its commun sense interface. The fact that I could make guesses at the result of any action and pretty much hit the mark every time.

So I guess the question should be, what is NT's intention or target audience? My guess would be that they would want to CONTINUE to appeal to the largest audience they could. That would include the folks who don't have a clue about the 3D industry or know what Phong shading is.

It isn't dumbing it down. It is just a matter of staying away from terms that are strictly industry terms and selecting terms that EVERYONE can figure out or at least guess at. That doesn't make LW any less functional or restricting, it just makes LW more accessable to the non-3D world. NT has done a great job of it so far, and I for one would applaud them to stay their course.

Not doing so seems to be a lazy way around making a more accessable interface or as was said earlier elitist.

Malorie

When you mention Pavloving, I can picture that not only it may be less understood in potential LW users, but it can also draw confusion cause Behavioral Psychologysts (who might be potential LW users like everyone else)would think that LW is using psychological techniques called conditioning of somesort to slowly make characters behave the animators want it. They'll be drawn to this conclusion by Pavlov the russian Behavioral psychologist who brought that theory of conditioning.

Also chess players might think that you are using some Rusian chess master's technique in order to get things right in LW.

Then Pavlov could be the next neighbor in Russia that might be an alchoholic.

Other than that what you say was exactly my point Melorie.

wacom
02-04-2006, 04:19 PM
I can't believe some of you have such a hard time dealing with the construction filters! There are examples EVERYWHERE of what they are good for and when. If you guys keep on like this LW is going to be bryce in five years! Luckly the development teams seems NOT to listen to you and for that I'm greatful.

OH, but to add fuel to the fire- those maya MR screen shots ARE perfect examples of a UI from ****. Almost all the same MR features are right there (and some others) in XSI, but they are layed out in a much more elegant and logical fashion. Do they have dime store names NO, but yes UI plays an important role.

So yes...if we're talking about UI then LW should remain logical and get more so...but naming conventions...well they're just that folks. Use'm or loose'm.

Exception
02-04-2006, 04:24 PM
Well then in that case I would say the analogy holds perfectly.


Dude, it doesn't. Who said anything about other countries?
An architect moving from one state to another state has to do the licencing exam again to get aqainted with the whole region's terminology, amongst others. If you're a builder in LA then building in NY is going to give you a holw new set of terms, definitions and techniques. So it's of no use dragging some nationalism in here saying the world should follow the us, because it has nothing to do with it.

Exception
02-04-2006, 04:32 PM
But, since this _isn't_ about naming conventions I'd still like to see some examples on _how_ the ui should be changed to be more artists friendly.


I believe I gave quite a number in the meantime.

BTW... do you know thw monty python sketch about learning to deal with embarasselement?
'Wankel rotary Engine..."

Cracks me up when I even think about it. "wankel".....
whooo

Exception
02-04-2006, 04:36 PM
took quite some screengrabs to post this picture
:D

Man, you just proved my point.
It is about Lw NOT going down that road. Not about the names of things, which I'm happy to say a few more times since I have a handy acronym for it that people who read the initial post have no idea of what it means. But for clarity's sake, I will reanme it a 'Bosschaert' because that is my last name, and since obviously we love unbiquous last names, let's just use mine.

so from now on, INANC -> Bosschaert

Exception
02-04-2006, 04:39 PM
I can't believe some of you have such a hard time dealing with the construction filters!

Tell me wacom, who in this thread has a hard time with the reconstruction filters?

Exception
02-04-2006, 04:42 PM
Actually, that screen grab isn't that bad ... at least you have all settings related to rendering in one place.

Not that I'd like LW to be anywhere as convoluted as that... but it would make sense to at least consolidate some of the options.

Cheers,
Mike


that actually really makes sense, so now we're talking.
Ok, bad thing about max/maya: interface totally unhierachical, and uninsightful. The expansion and collapsing of panels is a terrible idea, its too easy to overlook, but there is something to be said about having ALL the render options in the same panel. I am very much in favor of redundancy in some cases to make an interface more efficient. For instance, I can imagine there being a tickbox in the render options panel that controls volumetric antialiasing as well as the one in the volumetrics panel.
Or there can be a panel added to lightwave that has ALL the render settings in one place, resolution, motion blur, number of frames, where to save them, recursion settings, and so on. I explicitly say 'added' not 'instead', as the current hierarchy is pretty much still coherent.

Meaty
02-04-2006, 04:53 PM
For the record, Exception, you created a word that means nothing, but by the end of this thread, we all know what it means... INANC =]
(sorry, couldn't help myself)

But seriously, I agree with the original poster's intent. Given the choice of following some psudo-standard industry terms or being clear and organized, I'll take clear and organized.

I think industry standards are overrated because most 3D programs are so different. There is some basic commonality between different programs, i.e. points, polys, reflection, radiosity, UV, etc. But if decide to learn Maya, I am not going to expect to find the Bandglue tool, I would expect that it is something else because that is a lightwave thing. Max users who start using Lightwave don't expect to find a teapot icon to start their rendering, and they will probably be thrown off by the whole Diffuse/Color thing. It is just a part of life in the 3D universe.

Additionally, Newtek should not design Lightwave to be a suitable "stepping stone" for users to get to work in studios running Maya, Houdini, etc., especially not at the expense of clarity.

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 05:00 PM
that actually really makes sense, so now we're talking.

We've been all the time... if you wouldn't have dragged up the naming as examples all the time we'd have been here much sooner ;)


I am very much in favor of redundancy in some cases to make an interface more efficient. For instance, I can imagine there being a tickbox in the render options panel that controls volumetric antialiasing as well as the one in the volumetrics panel.
Yes and no... redundancy only works in an all or nothing re-design. As soon as you leave one option that is _not_ accessible from the do-it-all panel, but only somewhere else, people will start to distrust the system and double check the redundant items. However, if you take it one step further and make complete UI sections/groups redundant, there is less risk of that. (i.e. not only the AA passes pop-up, but the complete group of AA related controls).
Hm, now if each group/section had its set of presets (only on a context sensitive rmb button menu)... :)


Or there can be a panel added to lightwave that has ALL the render settings in one place, resolution, motion blur, number of frames, where to save them, recursion settings, and so on. I explicitly say 'added' not 'instead', as the current hierarchy is pretty much still coherent.
..which would end up like the panel MrWyatt has posted. Maybe not collapsing but with tabs (which isn't much of a difference if you have tons of them).
It wouldn't hurt as a central place to review a scene though.

Cheers,
Mike
P.S. I know an italiang whose english wasn't very good at the time... and he kept refering to another guy as a "wankley" all the time. I did teach him in the end... but the name stuck ;)
Then again, you don't want to know what the Rosette (-> intelMac,Rosetta) is in German. ;)

Bog
02-04-2006, 05:20 PM
GAHHH!!!

I CAN'T STOP MYSELF ANYMORE!

New High-End 3D Application MAY REQUIRE LEARNING TO USE PROPERLY! Film at 11! SHOCK! HORROR! Mother's Groups Opposed!

For the love of Eniac we're not playing here, this is serious work!

*puff*

*pant*

*gasp*

Get over it, this is not pencils and crayons, this is as hard a math as quantum smeggin' physics. Trust me, I used to be a physicist.

GAH!

I'm going to bed.

peteb
02-04-2006, 05:40 PM
Ok I've banged on about this for years.

When I first started 3D back in 1998 I did so because I saw stuff on film that blew me away. I come from a traditional artist background along with a lot of you guys. I'm not clever I got a D in Maths twice for my G.C.S.E's so I know my brain works firmly on my right hand side...I think?

When first learning 3D it amazed me how complicated it was and how un-intuitive it could be. I always thought I’d just get in there and it would be like modelling in clay, how wrong I was….Z-brush changed this.
I managed to grasp the basics through determination and reading the Lightwave 5.5 manuals over 4 times, which I have to say I think were the best so far. But even then I wasn’t great and it was only when I got a job in the games industry and started to learn some real technical stuff from some of the best programmers in the industry that I really got to understand it all.

I think it’s easy to forget how complex this stuff is and I think I speak for a lot of artist when I say that we’re not the brightest people on the planet. But the reason why we’re not so great at Math and the like is simply because we’re visionaries. And because I want to create what I see I really don’t want to spend most of my life learning why alithograms will have certain effects on the shader output. I just want to apply something that makes sense in English and see it do roughly what I want.
I agree that it’s good for the TA people to be able to read up on shaders and their effects and for that I think it is a good idea to have the real names in brackets. But I really believe that a lot of people that want all the technical mumble jumble in there is simply so they can look clever when they reel it back to their friends.

We have a lot of artist in our company that come from traditional art backgrounds and I know for a fact if it wasn’t for our coders talking to the artist on how we wanted our modelling and texturing package designed then these artist would have been scared off. I’d love to see some statistics on how many traditional artist we’re losing because of the complex of 3D.

I think the simple fact is that Artist and coders have totally different brains, and the best way to create a kick arse package is to have the coders talking to the artist all the time and trying to see how a package would be used from an artist point of view while still retaining the power needed for a coder to get in there and unleash power in certain areas for the project they’re working on.

Newtek are doing a great job and I think this Beta program is a really, really good idea.


Pete B


p.s To the games developer who said they’re making models with 10 million poly models. I assume you’re talking about a whole level? If you’re just talking about a character then I hope you’re using normal maps otherwise ha ha ha ha, good joke!

peteb
02-04-2006, 06:02 PM
Actually I'd just like to add that Newtek should really take a close look at Pixologic and what they're doing. I'm not talking about the package itself (z-brush) but more how they document stuff and the manuals.

Reading the Beta program on Lightwave 9 it sounds like Newtek might be really looking into how the manuals are written and I really hope they take a similar approach to what Pixologic have done. Z-brush has some naming conventions that I really don't understand too well but the manual is written so well that you can learn it. They also have help files pop up when you hold control over any button. These aren't just one or two words describing the effect of the button, these are long paragraphs telling you exactly what will happen when you press it. I almost think that their manuals are as simple to understand as learning a board game at Christmas.
And that's how it should be.
All these people ranting on about how we're in a high tech complex industry, SO WHAT? Again it comes down to the very good example of a racing driver. There are a lot of complex things going on under the hood there but if you tell the racing driver to worry about all that then he's not going to be able to concentrate on what he's meant to be doing which is winning the race.
We're artist....well most of us. And we want to make artwork. Artwork requires you use your eyes and your imagination and hopefully a little bit of skill. It’s about raw talent and the freedom to express it, all the 0’s and 1’s can stay behind the interface where they belong.
Please don't shove loads of crap in between so I can't let my artistic abilities flow.

Pete B

Bog
02-04-2006, 06:18 PM
Pete, when have any of us - even us Old Guard who still plotted our model out on graph paper when we were getting started - stood in anyone's way?

Never, sir. I vouchsafe never.

We have taken the non-mathsy - as you artist types have taken myself, who never had formal art - to the breast and guided, taught, shared and been Of The Body with neither favour, nor fear, nor forbearance. All have been welcome, from the hardcore sigma-slingers like myself to the pure artisans who fancied a bit of Zed Buffer, even if they didn't know what the **** it was.

The LightWave Community - capital C sir, and well meant - has always been about breaking down the boundaries. And if there are a few new terms to learn, then by Gh0d I'll help any comer learn 'em because this is LightWave - it's about discovery, and about joy, and about dancing in new fields, in fresh woods and pastures new!

So bring the Industry Terms we've sidestepped for five years. Bring me your art - I'll bring you my science. Let's meet in the middle, and get sloshed when we collect our emmies. There's room here for all.

<edit> Don't mix fatigue, beer and internet connections, kids - this sort of witter is the result...

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 06:18 PM
They also have help files pop up when you hold control over any button.
Those would be a rather neat addition to LW, and have been requested numerous times. I 100% agree.


All these people ranting on about how we're in a high tech complex industry, SO WHAT?

Well, architecture is a creative industry as well and still you need to worry about the technical aspects (even more so today, since the materials are much more complex).

Again it comes down to the very good example of a racing driver.
Which is flawed, and has probably never been a good example, since a good racing driver knows a lot about the technical capabilites of his tool. After all, he spends a good amount of his time co-designing it.

Please don't shove loads of crap in between so I can't let my artistic abilities flow.
As long as it doesn't shove in loads of crap to let my abilities flow (which are 0% art plus a healthy mixture of design and skill) I'm fine with that ;)
Other users concentrate on other parts of the creative process (and I am primarily a user).

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
02-04-2006, 06:21 PM
I just wonder how many "artists" that have created beatiful work on other packages complain about the fact that an upgrade may hinder their abilities and creativity.

Cheers,
Mike

Exception
02-05-2006, 12:24 AM
New High-End 3D Application MAY REQUIRE LEARNING TO USE PROPERLY! Film at 11! SHOCK! HORROR! Mother's Groups Opposed!

hihi... i know my mom is... j/k

Bog, noone is against new features. I was stipulating the fact that as of recently not all new features have been implemented in the user interface that well. In order to keep a streamlined UI it would be best to negotiate the best approach to do this, as for example, the new AA modes. Right now they are clonked without description in some scroll list, being treated equal to more important settings. If the new features are as badly implemented in the UI, it will get messy, which is what I am afraid of, and which was what my original post was about. Another example is that which Lightwolf brought to light, which is that the render settings are dispersed around the program. While we old wavers might be used to them, it doesn't make much sense really, and should be reconsidered.
So, I hope you had a good night's sleep, and I hope you agree with me here.
Noone is opposed to learning new things, or even terms. But bad implementation is something we can discuss properly without saying just 'yes' or 'no', as that has no meaning. I assume here that you too are against bad user interface design, and mudding up the UI?

wacom
02-05-2006, 12:31 AM
Some of you are so paranoid! I've been using a different package along side of LW now, and all I can say is that it lets you play "artist" most of the time, but when you need to (and trust me you will if you do anything worth while) it lets you get in as deep as you want.

What I'm trying to say is you don't have to dumb down the program to make it easy to use- there can be two ways of looking at it. Newtek isn't taking away any of the old stuff. You'll still be able to play "artist" and just use layers and phong/blinn. If want more it'll be there too. Not all programs as they "advance" look like Maya!

You can have your cake- and we'll eat it too. :D

So- if you can get over using conventions for names, and more how things are orginized then, and MAYBE then, we can begin to have a useful conversation about how these changes are going to take place. Otherwise many of you just look like the same paranoid LW users that are driving many other LW userers away due to your suppression of LWs advancement via "it just works fine" and "if it aint broken don't fix it" attitudes.

Like I said before though: it looks like Newtek isn't listing to you anyway and the rest of us are going to get the beefy LW we want! HA! :devil:

Nemoid
02-05-2006, 01:12 AM
hihi... i know my mom is... j/k

Bog, noone is against new features. I was stipulating the fact that as of recently not all new features have been implemented in the user interface that well. In order to keep a streamlined UI it would be best to negotiate the best approach to do this, as for example, the new AA modes. Right now they are clonked without description in some scroll list, being treated equal to more important settings. If the new features are as badly implemented in the UI, it will get messy, which is what I am afraid of, and which was what my original post was about. Another example is that which Lightwolf brought to light, which is that the render settings are dispersed around the program. While we old wavers might be used to them, it doesn't make much sense really, and should be reconsidered.
So, I hope you had a good night's sleep, and I hope you agree with me here.
Noone is opposed to learning new things, or even terms. But bad implementation is something we can discuss properly without saying just 'yes' or 'no', as that has no meaning. I assume here that you too are against bad user interface design, and mudding up the UI?

i can understand your fears, Exception. we have alot of rendering options dispersed in the whole UI : camera preferences, render options, object properties... but i think that new users could get used to them, as we did.

however,i think that having a render globals panel as well would be of help. BTW it shouldn't be like the mental ray one LOL notthing stops anyone from giving duplicates of options in one panel.

i have also to say i like the surface editor as it is, can't wait and see how the nodal surfacing will be, but for most tasks i think the current version is very streamlined and gets you to the point.

SplineGod
02-05-2006, 03:05 AM
I think the industry standard technical terms should be used and as Bri and others have suggested have documented somewhere what they mean. Half the battle in this or any business is knowing the lingo.
I do see people producing art in other programs despite what appears to be complicated workflow. I dont want tools to get in my face either because a tool that gets in your face isnt always a good tool. Newtek should listen carefully to user feedback to figure out innovative out of the box ways to allow users access to the power under the hood without getting too intimidating. A lot of people still are afraid to use expressions because they feel it requires alot of math which isnt THAT true.

prospector
02-05-2006, 03:38 AM
expressions?????
RUN FOR THE HILLS !!!!

all those buttons just to render a simple pic?
sheesh
let's keep LW the way it is, and not turn it into one of those other programs.
I still see nothing done on them that can't be done with LW and get the same results. Some things are slower and some are faster, but the end result is what counts and they all produce the same stuff.
And we do it without silly little icony things..

colkai
02-05-2006, 03:51 AM
One advantage of having "industry-standard" meanings, lack of confusion.
Can you imagine if any other industry that was worldwide had it's own unique ideas, heck doesn't have to be worldwide.
After all, let's think about this for a nano-second.

So Package XY has Grotnig-Wargles and uses Whippy-woosh rendering for better Zaplotnigs.

Err, so what is that, ''Well, Grotings are sorta like our implementation of the Catmull-Clarke subdivisions and really Whippy-woosh is our name for Global Illumination."

Plus, you justknow if they went the other route and made it "plain English", then people would be asking, "Yeah but what EXACTLY is the implementation of the Sub-Ds, it doesn't seem to conform to the Catmull-Clarke method but does something different. Why didn't they just use an industry standard?"

:p ;)

peteb
02-05-2006, 03:59 AM
The point I'm trying to get across is not to dumb Lightwave down but just to make it user friendly like a lot of other people have mentioned.

I really like the idea of node based materials as I use them a lot in Maya.
Newtek do need to keep with industry terms, I agree with this, but developers can't expect users to just get what things do from a few sentances describing it in mathmatical terms. You need good walk throughs in the manual that comes with the software. I don't want to be searching constantly on the net for a piece of information on what a tool actually does. If the developers put it in then they should describe it properly.


Pete B

trick
02-05-2006, 04:13 AM
I would love to see a way more advanced preset system (like in Max), so you'll only have to learn all the industry terms once, and for the rest of your life only choose presets for making materials, rendering, posteffects, etc. But for industry compliance do NOT drop the basic terminology: IAAC (It's All About Choice). You can always choose wizards like Truespace or Carrara ;)

Nemoid
02-05-2006, 04:39 AM
Standards are important, because its important to talk the same language into an industry like CG is. standards have been elaborated for many things in many fields. think for example to paper formats from A0, to A5... if i say this piece of paper is A4 sized you understand its measures however. the same can happen when i say that is Blinn shader. in the case of Lw, name conventions have been skipped, and the sub-d algorithm wasn't the original catmull clark one, but a similar one working faster. the goal was to achieve a better productivity with a faster workflow in most cases.

What i think tho, is that there are always good methods to organize an app and design UI to matain a fast workflow despite introducing new things, options and name conventions. especially if the UI is flexible.

so the focus should be in UI design together with features implementation.

a good feature, provided through a good UI allowing the user to work fast becomes a fantastic feature. a strong point for the app. :)

Lightwolf
02-05-2006, 04:47 AM
You need good walk throughs in the manual that comes with the software.
Absolutely. Documentation is the key.
Getting good docs isn't easy though, and to actually get users to _read_ them is even harder.

Somebody mentioned the 5.5 docs. Yup, 5.6 were imho the best, and a clear differentiation between a reference and a more tutorial like approach.

Cheers,
Mike - who's heard plenty of proud "I never read any manuals" - and stopped to wonder why some scenes are set up the way they are ;)

P.S. Yes, I have a stack of manuals within reach on my desk...

iaef
02-05-2006, 05:04 AM
I say: let's forget about this beta program and send LW9 back until they find a suitable UI. (NT don't listen to me, I am just joking!!!!!!)

Seriously, I agree with SplineGod. Industry standards are the way to go, but also is usability. One of my passions, besides 3D, is UI design. I believe there is plenty of room to accomodate both things.

Bog
02-05-2006, 06:05 AM
Oooh, my head... don't mix beer and maths, kids - you should never drink and derive.

Anyway, hangover aside, LightWave is one of the easiest to use pieces of 3D software - given the astounding things it can do - on the market. For it's power, it's the easiest. I can't see NT breaking that.

Wonder if a fried brekky will fix my thumping head.... that's a UI that could do with a tweak...

Lightwolf
02-05-2006, 06:28 AM
If I were to say that I was Pavlov'ing. People in general would have no clue to what I was talking about.
Oops, I almost missed that one.
Now Pavlov'ing is Lightwave talk!

LightWave's PAVLOV (Parameterized Animated Values Linking Objects and Variables)

Cheers and greetings from the NT marketing dept. ;)
Mike
Edit: Yes, they just mean expressions.

SplineGod
02-05-2006, 06:42 AM
I do hate the marketing slang that has been used for things like PAVLOV, Metanurbs, Hypervoxels etc. It just makes you sound dumb when talking to others who know them by more industry standard terms.

I also think that its possible to have an underlying node based approach for doing things but still have other simpler ways to access things. Theres no reason why a the layer based cant be just another way to get to nodes if that level of control is needed. Im still all for innovative ways to get to or to use tools as long as it reduces the number of mouse clicks and thinking so I can spend more time doing. :)

MentalFish
02-05-2006, 06:56 AM
Exception, INANC :) and I agree, its so much more than that, but I have some thoughts around it I want to spill out :)

Industry standards are good, especially when it comes to use of names, but who will follow who in this race of being the first with some sort of feature?

One of the most re-used standards is the use of the name polygon, but at the same time there are one certain app that just has to throw in the concept face if the polygon has only 3 vertecies. And there you have a different word from LW, vertex instead of point...

Is it a mesh or is it a model, or is a mesh a part of a model that actually is called an object?... hmmm

...and also is it called a skin or a weightmap, and isnt a skin the same as a surface or was that called material... no hold on... its a shader.. no that was only if it was realtime graphics... no thats wrong... its a plugin that enable you to make cool japanese cartoons in LW :argue: Imagine the confusion I had when ShockWave introduced me to the concept of shaders, and the only contact with shaders I had so far was the use of Baker inside LW, total confusion... "so a shader is the same as material in SW3D, but...???" :bangwall:

Then you have the various ways of accessing and tweaking the properties in a model. Is the smoothing of the surface a part of the geometry itself or is it a part of the material? Should the models all be on the root timeline or do they have their individual timelines as well?

Nowadys we are getting new ways of auto unwrapping the UV of a model and it seems to be two main candidates:

Peltmapping and UV Unwrap

Anyone up for a vote?


There are so many aspects that make up the various industry standards, that it can take the breath away from me atleast.

My best advice is to use a combination of explanatory naming such as Geometry Smoothing (or Subdivision even though its not as self explanatory) -> followed by the name of the mathematical algorithm its based on. Using terms such as MetaNurbs and HyperNurbs doesnt help much, thats just pure marketing talk.

Oh, and on the issue of SDS <- standard :) LW should get multi resolution SDS solution, similar to what you can even find in Truespace (similar to the SDS in Z-Brush). I have sent it to lwfeatures some time ago atleast.

MentalFish
02-05-2006, 07:00 AM
I do hate the marketing slang that has been used for things like PAVLOV, Metanurbs, Hypervoxels etc. It just makes you sound dumb when talking to others who know them by more industry standard terms.

I also think that its possible to have an underlying node based approach for doing things but still have other simpler ways to access things. Theres no reason why a the layer based cant be just another way to get to nodes if that level of control is needed. Im still all for innovative ways to get to or to use tools as long as it reduces the number of mouse clicks and thinking so I can spend more time doing. :)

Quoted for agreement! I have been talking to other graphicians lately, discussing this issue on other applications too "Why does PhotoShop have to use a flat layer structure instead of a more nodal approach...", the same goes for LW. It can look as layers, but in terms of structure, 100% object oriented nodal system.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=2528537&postcount=40

hrgiger
02-05-2006, 07:04 AM
Well, I finally had time to read through this entire thread this morning. Here are my 2 thoughts on the matter.

1. I agree that the industry standard terms should be used. Why? Well, for one, if you can't fnd enough information about the particular feature in LW's documentation, doing a search on the internet may explain it to you better if several packages are using the same name for it. Kudos to exception for making a good and civil case though.

2. A healthy b|tch slap goes out to Matt Clary for using a car analogy.

Lightwolf
02-05-2006, 07:15 AM
2. A healthy b|tch slap goes out to Matt Clary for using a car analogy.
:lol: car analogies 0wnd by hrgiger ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Tesselator
02-05-2006, 07:28 AM
Actually, that screen grab isn't that bad ... at least you have all settings related to rendering in one place.

Not that I'd like LW to be anywhere as convoluted as that... but it would make sense to at least consolidate some of the options.

Cheers,
Mike


YES! This is exactly what I have been meaning with all my buzz about
Consolidation and Unification!

LW NEEDS IT...

And most (75%?) of it is doable just from creating an intelligent set of configs!

colkai
02-05-2006, 09:23 AM
developers can't expect users to just get what things do from a few sentances describing it in mathmatical terms. You need good walk throughs in the manual that comes with the software. I don't want to be searching constantly on the net for a piece of information on what a tool actually does. If the developers put it in then they should describe it properly.

Pete B
Oh, I totally agree, I think the manual has to be written in "plain English" so even non-pros can read instantly what a Catmull-Clarke means in 'real' terms and how it handles sub-ds with good examples to back it up.

I do think it's one area the LW9 docs will need to improve, but hopefully, the open beta team can play a part in this.
The new features need to be "shown off" to their best advantage by useful tutorials.

dballesg
02-05-2006, 09:37 AM
YES! This is exactly what I have been meaning with all my buzz about
Consolidation and Unification!

LW NEEDS IT...

And most (75%?) of it is doable just from creating an intelligent set of configs!

Well, as I said before, I think Newtek has not done badly with not cluttering the interface so much and giving us a lot of organized tools and panels. They are not perfect but IMHO they are not bad, but can be IMPROVED.

And I AGREE on the industry standards that allow us to talk to another software user for example and both know what we are talking about. As Splinegod pointed.

For example, have a look to Vue Infinite :( The panels are so badly organized and options sometimes so hidden that you need at least three readings of the manual and more of two months of using it to get used to the stranges places they put very button. Not to mention many times you cannot even see the values you wrote on them! :(

As tesellator said, a 75% of it can be done redoing the config files. And maybe the other 25% can be done paying attention to what others has done wrong, and avoid to make the same mistakes! :)

Best regards,
David

DavidL
02-05-2006, 09:46 AM
YES! This is exactly what I have been meaning with all my buzz about
Consolidation and Unification!

LW NEEDS IT...



Stuff like adding glow would be nice if you could enable it and manage its settings in ONE panel. Who cares if the list is a mile long? I'd rather have that than split lists sprinkled throughout the app.

EmperorPete
02-05-2006, 10:22 AM
I do hate the marketing slang that has been used for things like PAVLOV, Metanurbs, Hypervoxels etc. It just makes you sound dumb when talking to others who know them by more industry standard terms.
SO quoted for truth. I've had that problem recently.

Wonder if a fried brekky will fix my thumping head.... that's a UI that could do with a tweak...
Worked for me this morning.
Well, mostly...

Stooch
02-05-2006, 12:01 PM
Dude, it doesn't. Who said anything about other countries?
An architect moving from one state to another state has to do the licencing exam again to get aqainted with the whole region's terminology, amongst others. If you're a builder in LA then building in NY is going to give you a holw new set of terms, definitions and techniques. So it's of no use dragging some nationalism in here saying the world should follow the us, because it has nothing to do with it.


WTF are you arguing about??? we are talking about 3D artists and LW not architects or lawyers. get off the tangent please. :screwy:

Sucks to be an architect i guess but i dont see how that inefficiency should be present in LW. :stumped:

Exception
02-05-2006, 01:06 PM
WTF are you arguing about??? we are talking about 3D artists and LW not architects or lawyers.

I was referring to an analogy made by tess regarding the building industry.
Read all my other posts?

Exception
02-05-2006, 01:07 PM
I have ot agree I think he has gone loony on us .

At least i'm trying to be constructive. Your one liners usually show that you have not read most of what has been said.
So, now i'm loony...

I'll show you loony!
Tom grabs a yellow flurry pot of toothpaste and dives in it. The wonderful colors shine all over the place! Yes, I nod my head, yesterday things were much pinker. Do you hear the sound? they color up my nulls in a great nurbian way. Ohh, that Oren-Nayar, he was my friend, but he ate all the ducklings. I was saving them for the cactus.
*shakes head*

Lightwolf
02-05-2006, 02:02 PM
Tom grabs a yellow flurry pot of toothpaste and dives in it. The wonderful colors shine all over the place! Yes, I nod my head, yesterday things were much pinker. Do you hear the sound? they color up my nulls in a great nurbian way. Ohh, that Oren-Nayar, he was my friend, but he ate all the ducklings. I was saving them for the cactus.
*shakes head*
Yo, don't bogart those mushrooms, pass some over dude... :yoda:
Cheers,
Mike

WizCraker
02-05-2006, 02:15 PM
Recently, since 8.0 really, I have noticed that a small number of functions in Lightwave is being implemented in the interface according to their technical model, and their common name among programmers. I mention 'Monte carlo', 'Catmull-Rom', 'Mitchell / Lanczos reconstruction filter', and now we are promised goodies like 'Lambert', 'Oren Nayar', 'Blinn' and 'Cook-Torrence'.

While I do have some idea what these things mean and what effect they have and so on, and I am aware that most of the professionals in the field of CG production have a notion of what they are, I almost feel as if a precious thing of Lightwave is going to be swallowed by the wish to conform to standards set by the rest of the industry.

If users do not know that these names mean they should read the manual. I'm pretty sure Newtek will be includeing a brief explanation in the LW9 manual for those that need a little nudge in understanding what these technologies are and how they work in the new release.



What I mean by this is that most people have no clue what these words mean, let alone be able to make proper decisions on when to use them.
What I want to warn about is more scroll menus where to choose between five outlandish words, like what happened to the AA menu.

Why am I making such a big deal out of this? Because I have to teach people how to use Lightwave, like I have been doing for years. Everything makes sense, transparency, reflection, X amount of passes is all communicatable to everyone, whether they know CG or not, they are qualitative assesments, not technical naming conventions. However when they have to choose between Mitchell of Lanczos, any relation to the word is removed. They have no idea, and explaining it necessitates a lengthy technical explanation that is completely unnecessary and people will forget. These are the people that use LW on a daily basis... artists, architects, designers...
And I feel that Lightwave, as the only package in the industry, has been so extremely good in relating everyhting in it to useable terms and interface items. 'Knife' is not called 'Interactive single projection subdivider', and there is no check box in the render option panel called Lambert/Phong/Blinn (where I would assume these are actually really there, they just get engaged when a material has a percentage of tranparancy, or reflection, and tracing is enabled or whatever).
I think it should really stay that way. I would be really disappointed if there was a drop down box in the surface editor on the advanced tab that would just make you choose between blinn cook-torrence blinn and so on, that drop down box below in modeler where to choose between 'standard SDS' and 'Catmull-Clark' or something. That would go straight against the ideology of the whole interface of Lightwave, its workflow and wonderful logic.

I understand that sometimes this is hard to do, but I think it is imperative that proper attention is placed in the actual integration in terms of naming, placement and activation of these technologies, and to make sure they are as relateable to the real world as possible.
For instance, do we still need the non-catmull-clark-rom-whatever SDS when the new one is so much better? And if we do, for backward compatibility or some sort of functional reason, isn't there a smarter way? Or at least a better description than just to name it by its theoretical/technical reference name?

And we can always say that "Lightwave has Cook-Torrence too" for those in the know, for bragging purposes, and point to the manual or so where it is explained that for instance the 'metal' selectionbox is actually that. Or something similar.

If new users who want to be apart of this industry can't do the research or RTFM about new or existing technologies then I don't know what to tell them. Just like any other industry their are certain terms and names that need to be learned. If a company like NewTek changes a name of an algorithm just to make the lazy users understand then it makes it confusing for those that work in different applications that use the standard names to follow.

Other industries do not rename important technologies, just imagine those trying to work with standards like CDMA, TDMA, GSM, GPRS, GRX, OMC-R, OMC-D, OMC-S, OAM, SGSN.

If one of the vendors that provides a product renames which standard they support and then somewhere in their documentation they have something like:

"To make it easier for those of our customers who do not like learning standards used across the industry, we have came up with some common, easy to remember names that we associate in our Routers... An example for the common standard for CDMA we have chosen the word Cuddly, for TDMA - Teddy, for GSM - Grizzly... If this makes it confusing to work with multiple vendors, then we suggest you only use our products. When you need to have multi-carrier support for Roaming then you can purchase our $4999 yearly Support Contract to tell you how to convert between the all so Confusing standard names to our easy to follow names."

That may seem extreme, but when companies change names like the above example, it makes it far more confusing for those that have to work with multiple products that are supposely part of the same industry. If you trainees do not understand then you might suggest to pick another industry to work in, which would of course be very limited as they all have their own technologies that need to be understood.

mattclary
02-05-2006, 02:46 PM
2. A healthy b|tch slap goes out to Matt Clary for using a car analogy.

LOL!

....................

hrgiger
02-05-2006, 03:38 PM
LOL!

....................


Oh good, I was afraid that b|tch slap never reached you.

Exception
02-05-2006, 04:42 PM
da|||||it, can I have one too?

hrgiger
02-05-2006, 04:57 PM
Sure Exception, make a stupid car analogy and I'll wrap one up special for ya...

MentalFish
02-05-2006, 05:22 PM
I have a car analogy. Interface... compared to the interface of a computer, such as input devices like mouse and keyboard, the interface of the car is its steering wheel, pedals and gear shift. A car also has a GUI in the form of lamps and meters that provides feedback to the user.

Now gimme!

What was being handed out btw? :stumped:

:D

Exception
02-05-2006, 05:34 PM
Dude, you're getting the shaft.
I'm not making any car analogies, as they are copyrighted. I just think that before the interface spins off track, newtek needs to hold the weel firmly, and shift the interface into a higher gear, or it'll start running like a diesel engine.

Was that an analogy, simile, metaphore or syllogism? I always forget.

Tesselator
02-05-2006, 09:17 PM
Dude, it doesn't. Who said anything about other countries?
An architect moving from one state to another state has to do the licencing exam again to get aqainted with the whole region's terminology, amongst others. If you're a builder in LA then building in NY is going to give you a holw new set of terms, definitions and techniques. So it's of no use dragging some nationalism in here saying the world should follow the us, because it has nothing to do with it.

About other countries? Well you mentioned other regions. However your
example above is irrelevant to any real discussion here imho. CG terms do
not vary or at least do not vary very much from state to state or region to
region. They seem to be pretty standardized throughout the "western"
culture, meaning pretty much any English speaking country. A polygon in
New York is a polygon in California and guess what they call it in Canada?
Yep a polygon... :D I am of course over simplifying to make my point
but this holds true and even encompasses other cultures that predominantly
do not speak English at all... Gaussian Bluir is pretty much Gaussian Blur
world around. Phong shading, Cook Torrence, Blinn, and etc. have been
around for like, forever and are so ingrained in this industry it would be
really weird to use any other term. The terms we're talking about were
indeed the terms used to define the industry. There would not be much
of a CG application market for vendors if Catmul / Clark subdivision surfaces,
Phong shading, and so on, weren't developed and given standardized names
early on.

To avoid using the proper terms just because they are unfamiliar to you, or
to resist the terminology created by the creators during the creation process
is a big mistake. Almost as bad as partial implimentations renamed to appear
as though they are somehow original. This is especially true in our industry
where pretty much every term is unique unto itself within the general
computer industry. If you're old enough to remember consider the debate
over the term Disk as opposed to Disc back when the first floppy drives
were being introduced, etc.. I'm so glad companies didn't call them what
they felt their customers would understand and endear to or we would now
be dealing with a range of unrelated weird-o terms like: Wafers, Wedgies,
Slot-Mops, Byte-pads, Magno-Cyles, or who knows what.

Exception
02-05-2006, 10:44 PM
Tess: INANC

And I think it would be interesting to define 'regions' in CG not so much geographically but in terms of industry (architecture, animation, engineering, product design, etc) or perhaps better, in terms of software package. It's the internet age afterall, geography gets less important by the minute, communites of people more so every day. You came up with the construction analogy, all I said was that your analogy is wrong, and it is wrong, I said nothing about your argument because I've been saying INANC all thread long, in case you missed it. If you want to talk about naming conventions, go ahead, I'm not talking about them.

In addition, where do you get from that I am resisting terminology?
INANC, ok? INANC! :compbeati:

Big Jay
02-05-2006, 11:25 PM
I think rendering terminology needs to go the way sub-d modeling went. Right now rendering seems like the days before we had sub-ds. Like the days of having to model every little detail or use splines and nurbs to try to hack a workable solution out. There must be a way to simplify all these names and shader models into a few sliders or as part of some attribute system that turns on/blends the appropriate shader models.

Do any of the various shader models lie opposite each other so that a slider between them could be used?




Barring that as long as we have a preview window in nodal or layered mode to see exactly what the result looks like I think we can figure it out namig conventions.

Lightwolf
02-06-2006, 12:02 AM
Do any of the various shader models lie opposite each other so that a slider between them could be used?

Sorry to refer you back to the thread in case you missed it:
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=335935&postcount=48

Give them another 3 years of development and they might have integrated the shading models they've presumambly implemented now into one so it could be done...

I'd rather not wait that long though...

Cheers,
Mike

MrWyatt
02-06-2006, 01:18 AM
Tess: INANC

...

In addition, where do you get from that I am resisting terminology?
INANC, ok? INANC! :compbeati:

Since your initial post you contradict your self. as in it it was clear that you would like the standard naming dropped in fawour of a more userfriendly naming.


I almost feel as if a precious thing of Lightwave is going to be swallowed by the wish to conform to standards set by the rest of the industry.

oh I see there that it was never about naming conventions


And I feel that Lightwave, as the only package in the industry, has been so extremely good in relating everyhting in it to useable terms and interface items

again, how could peolpe possibly think this has anything to do with naming conventions


I understand that sometimes this is hard to do, but I think it is imperative that proper attention is placed in the actual integration in terms of naming, placement and activation of these technologies, and to make sure they are as relateable to the real world as possible.

and this is absolutelly NOT about naming conventions, yeah I see clearly now.


so let alone your little INANC, as you have shown us that

a. you contradict yourself constantly
b. you don´t seem to listen to any of the peoples posting in this thread
c. you cannot forget you are a teacher for a minute as you are lecturing us like we where little kids.
d. you show no respect at all even to those that have been in the industry for a long time.

don't get me wrong, but if you cannot lecture your students about the new features because they have fancy names, then your students might consider changing the field or you might be a lousy teacher. Pick one.

And by the way, after all it really seems like you don´t care too much about the naming. It seems that you would prefer dropping those features you and your students have a hard time to understand in favour for a clean interface with as few options as possible so that you can go on teaching Lightwave in a day instead of months.

now I am leaving this thread for good.
:twak:

wacom
02-06-2006, 02:07 AM
Can we all agree that two different things are being argued here? Name conventions and UI? :agree:

Seems most rational people vote for the conventions, and for UI improvments as well, but not at the risk of dumbing down the app. :thumbsup:

If some of you had it your way Apple would still be using OS 6.5 and PCs would only run DOS. Ah the simpler days... :D

I've never used so many emo-cons...this thread is bad for your health... :stop:

Exception
02-06-2006, 08:08 AM
Since your initial post you contradict your self. as in it it was clear that you would like the standard naming dropped in fawour of a more userfriendly naming.



I am very well aware that my original post created confusion about what I meant. I have been trying to clarify, not lecture, what I was trying to say all thread. I wanted to stipulate an issue, and have a discussion about it. The people that actually read my follow up posts, which were many and greatly elaborated, understood what I was saying, and there was some decent conversation.
Now, I am against editing the original post, because it messes up the conversation. I you have a problem with me explaining what i meant exactly in follow up posts instead of editing the original post, then that is your problem.

I am also amazed at how angry and uncivilized certain people can get when we're talking about something like this.
Did I hit your children, or kiss your wife?
Relax man.


b. you don´t seem to listen to any of the peoples posting in this thread

I take great care in responding to almost every well argued point. Some posts however repeat exactly what others have said, and ignore what I say in follow up posts. It's because people don't like to read, they just drop in and start shouting. In any case, I feel that I have been listening very carefully, and been responding very frequently.


c. you cannot forget you are a teacher for a minute as you are lecturing us like we where little kids.

I never said I was a teacher. I once referred to students for an example's sake. Teachin something doesn't make you a teacher. And what do you know? I've said that before too. Taking these things out of context is quite rude, are you aware? But you don't seem to have a problem with rude. Quoting out of context, and ignoring other messages is also rude, not to mention just plain wrong.
I have actually been running a visualisation studio for 8 years. So if you actually bother to read this, you can from now on quote that sentence. Don't forget to up it by a year come next february.


d. you show no respect at all even to those that have been in the industry for a long time.

May I point out to you that I've been a daily contributor of this community since before this forum was even started, for over 8 years, on the comp.graphics.apps.lightwave newsgroup? Those 'people that have been in the industry for a long time' know me very well, and I know them. If you had been paying any attention in this community, you would know that. I don't see a reason for you to abuse me just because you feel like it. I have been one of the more civilised in this thread, trying to keep on point and stamping out frustration and anger, emotions not suitable for a proper discussion. You seem to have some personal vendetta against me. Fine. Send me a personal message, and leave this thread alone.
I respect these individuals more than you do, clearly because of your total lack of respect for my own person. If any of these people felt offended, they have been around long enough to voice their own opinion, and they would have. They do not seem to have a problem with it, so who made you their nanny?


don't get me wrong, but if you cannot lecture your students about the new features because they have fancy names, then your students might consider changing the field or you might be a lousy teacher. Pick one.

Another example of you not reading enough. This point has been made a few times already, and I have responded accordingly. Did you feel you had to say it again? Because you're mad at me, because you cannot keep civilised conversation?


... so that you can go on teaching Lightwave in a day instead of months.

Don't you think that if something can be taught in one day instead of months, it is more efficient? Assuming they do the same thing of course.
Apparently you don't. Ok, then I suggest you throw lightwave away and start hardcoding your 3d work in assembler from now on.


now I am leaving this thread for good.

Good, take a cold shower.

Exception
02-06-2006, 08:13 AM
Can we all agree that two different things are being argued here? Name conventions and UI?

:i_agree:


Seems most rational people vote for the conventions, and for UI improvments as well, but not at the risk of dumbing down the app.

:agree:


If some of you had it your way Apple would still be using OS 6.5 and PCs would only run DOS. Ah the simpler days... :D

What, you referring to me here? Wha!
DOS was pretty neat...
I think windows should have a command line somewhere.. you know, like autocad or rhino. Just typ in 'ps', and there's photoshop....
'cm' command panel....
hey that'd be way faster.


I've never used so many emo-cons...this thread is bad for your health... :stop:

:Tricaster: :cat: and... some of the lamer ones: :l33t:

Tesselator
02-06-2006, 12:13 PM
I think rendering terminology needs to go the way sub-d modeling went. Right now rendering seems like the days before we had sub-ds. Like the days of having to model every little detail or use splines and nurbs to try to hack a workable solution out. There must be a way to simplify all these names and shader models into a few sliders or as part of some attribute system that turns on/blends the appropriate shader models.

Do any of the various shader models lie opposite each other so that a slider between them could be used?




Interesting observation! And yes it's completely realistic to assume that
shading models are blendable! Not only that but.... Opps... I dare not
say more lest I whipped with twenty thousand wet noodles... :D

You're smart tho! Keep thinking like this! I hear it pays the bills. :)

Exception
02-06-2006, 01:28 PM
Ah, interface talk!
I assume that, for the price of a hit in render time, various shaders could be stacked on top of one another. That would be sillyness in most cases, but as said by tess, if blending is an option, this would prove potentially really powerful. In that case, the new shaders could almost be a new entry in the 'image, gradient, procedural' list, where a gradient shader affects all layers underneath it, for instance.
Or perhaps not, but something like that would be neat.

Of course I can only talk about the non-nodal part, as I havn't seen it before, but judging from my experience from Digital Fusion, in the nodal part it would be just another block, ready to drop in at any given place.

wacom
02-06-2006, 01:58 PM
Interesting observation! And yes it's completely realistic to assume that
shading models are blendable! Not only that but.... Opps... I dare not
say more lest I whipped with twenty thousand wet noodles... :D

You're smart tho! Keep thinking like this! I hear it pays the bills. :)

Well I've got ten bottle caps that say it COULD look something like this...but thanks to nodal it could look a lot of different ways...here is just one...

There is no reason you couldn't do this with layers...but it would actully take MORE time to setup.

BTW- just one year ago I remember debating with Tess about nodal shaders...well my new experiece proved him right- they are much easier to use for just about anything! Two cheers for TLU! :thumbsup:

wacom
02-06-2006, 02:01 PM
Ah, interface talk!
I assume that, for the price of a hit in render time, various shaders could be stacked on top of one another. That would be sillyness in most cases, but as said by tess, if blending is an option, this would prove potentially really powerful. In that case, the new shaders could almost be a new entry in the 'image, gradient, procedural' list, where a gradient shader affects all layers underneath it, for instance.
Or perhaps not, but something like that would be neat.

Of course I can only talk about the non-nodal part, as I havn't seen it before, but judging from my experience from Digital Fusion, in the nodal part it would be just another block, ready to drop in at any given place.

There is nothing silly about it. If I have anistropic metal that is worn on the dents, and I want to have some moss growing in those places, but I want them to use a lambert shadding model and an oren-nayer look to the rust on the edges you'll find that mixing them can really go a long way!

Thats just one example...ah nodes...so many different ways to look at them...like snowflakes...(though they aren't all really different...)...

Lightwolf
02-06-2006, 02:23 PM
Two cheers for TLU! :thumbsup:
Antti that is, not TLU :)
Cheers, cheers cheers to nodes then :D

Cheers,
Mike

Exception
02-06-2006, 03:02 PM
Thats just one example...ah nodes...so many different ways to look at them...like snowflakes...(though they aren't all really different...)...

I could really see that working in the current layer based method too...
which = goodness.

jin choung
02-06-2006, 04:20 PM
just to throw in my 2cents, i disagree with the initial post.

MIP MAPPING should be called mip mapping - NOT texture smoothing... cuz what the **** does that mean?

and i'm NOT being elitist here. the above example is a case where NOT using the technical jargon makes the function UNKNOWABLE. made worse because the documentation (for a long time) did not mention that texture smoothing meant mip mapping.

students and people learning should do this: LEARN.

no one is going to bend over backwards for newbies when they hit the job market. they need to get a handle on professional terminology.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

on a related note, if newtek uses industry standard terminology, students and users everywhere can simply refer to the WEB for reference. all the burden of documentation is somewhat relieved.

now this is not to say that newtek should then SLACK. but (as in the case of texture smoothing), if they drop the ball and forget to mention something, we have recourse.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

lastly, jargon CAN be unnecessarily elitist. much legal latin can be translated to english equivalents that are just as meaningful, precise and brief.

but other jargon is VITAL. to replace a technical name for a heart valve with 'the triple-headed doo-hicky near the roundy thing' is not an option. in such cases, the burden of conforming goes to the student, not the jargon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

i really can't disagree more. lw's future depends on conformance to industry standards and interoperability. period.

jin

loki74
02-06-2006, 04:43 PM
just to throw in my 2cents, i disagree with the initial post.

MIP MAPPING should be called mip mapping - NOT texture smoothing... cuz what the **** does that mean?

and i'm NOT being elitist here. the above example is a case where NOT using the technical jargon makes the function UNKNOWABLE. made worse because the documentation (for a long time) did not mention that texture smoothing meant mip mapping.

students and people learning should do this: LEARN.

no one is going to bend over backwards for newbies when they hit the job market. they need to get a handle on professional terminology.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

on a related note, if newtek uses industry standard terminology, students and users everywhere can simply refer to the WEB for reference. all the burden of documentation is somewhat relieved.

now this is not to say that newtek should then SLACK. but (as in the case of texture smoothing), if they drop the ball and forget to mention something, we have recourse.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

lastly, jargon CAN be unnecessarily elitist. much legal latin can be translated to english equivalents that are just as meaningful, precise and brief.

but other jargon is VITAL. to replace a technical name for a heart valve with 'the triple-headed doo-hicky near the roundy thing' is not an option. in such cases, the burden of conforming goes to the student, not the jargon.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

i really can't disagree more. lw's future depends on conformance to industry standards and interoperability. period.

jin

Nail + Hammer + Impact.

Exception
02-06-2006, 05:35 PM
i really can't disagree more. lw's future depends on conformance to industry standards and interoperability. period.

jin


Jin thanks for your addition, but I am afraid I am repeating myself (for the last time tho, so everyone can rejoice), that the issue was not about jargon, naming convention or otherwise. It was about implementation of features, not so much the naming of them. this was unclear in my first post so I expanded upon it in later ones.

Exception
02-06-2006, 07:21 PM
How about this for terminology. Pretty off topic, but I just had to tell someone... This is in one of the readers I have to wallow through for today. This is from a piece called "The split between the eye and the gaze" by Jaques Lacan:

"The character of a set, in the mathematical sense of the term, posessed by the play of signifiers, and which opposes it for example to the indefiniteness of the whole number, enables us to conceive a schema in which the function of the obligatory card is immediately applicable."

Oh, and if you hadn't noticed, this is architectural theory. Oh and it's in the introduction too... 60 more pages to go of this banter. Righhhhht..........

Lightwolf
02-07-2006, 01:09 AM
Oh, and if you hadn't noticed, this is architectural theory. Oh and it's in the introduction too... 60 more pages to go of this banter. Righhhhht..........
Neat, might as well be art or aesthetical theory... and look, no jargon used either ;)

Cheers,
Mike

dballesg
02-07-2006, 02:34 AM
How about this for terminology. Pretty off topic, but I just had to tell someone... This is in one of the readers I have to wallow through for today. This is from a piece called "The split between the eye and the gaze" by Jaques Lacan:

"The character of a set, in the mathematical sense of the term, posessed by the play of signifiers, and which opposes it for example to the indefiniteness of the whole number, enables us to conceive a schema in which the function of the obligatory card is immediately applicable."

Oh, and if you hadn't noticed, this is architectural theory. Oh and it's in the introduction too... 60 more pages to go of this banter. Righhhhht..........

Ahhh! That it is not more different to the explanation you had on the manual about several Particle Fx, Cloth FX and other FX family of buttons!! :)

Nitisara
02-07-2006, 05:12 AM
Recently, since 8.0 really, I have noticed that a small number of functions in Lightwave is being implemented in the interface according to their technical model, and their common name among programmers. I mention 'Monte carlo', 'Catmull-Rom', 'Mitchell / Lanczos reconstruction filter', and now we are promised goodies like 'Lambert', 'Oren Nayar', 'Blinn' and 'Cook-Torrence'.
Instead of that names parade for shaders, I would suggest to use two more shader options:
- specularity contrast
- anisotropy level
and it will suit 99,9% of any demands.
SSS surface type could use already existing options or could be added as a shader with its own settings.

Lightwolf
02-07-2006, 05:33 AM
Instead of that names parade for shaders, I would suggest to use two more shader options:
- specularity contrast
- anisotropy level
and it will suit 99,9% of any demands.
SSS surface type could use already existing options or could be added as a shader with its own settings.
How would you add new shader types?
Oren-Nayaar can't be covered by this since it mainly covers the diffuse channel (as do some of the others).
What about shaders that alter the properties of highlights beyond just changing the distribution? Should there be a slider added for each of them?

Cheers,
Mike

Nitisara
02-07-2006, 05:48 AM
How would you add new shader types?
Oren-Nayaar can't be covered by this since it mainly covers the diffuse channel (as do some of the others).
What about shaders that alter the properties of highlights beyond just changing the distribution? Should there be a slider added for each of them?

Cheers,
Mike
No. I say that these two parameters would effectively replace that parade of shaders, IMHO.
I don't see strict necessity to add those types of shaders as they are specified.
I would stand for phong modification.

Lightwolf
02-07-2006, 06:00 AM
No. I say that these two parameters would effectively replace that parade of shaders, IMHO.
I don't see strict necessity to add those types of shaders as they are specified.
I would stand for phong modification.
Which parade of shaders? The two we've been discussing or the other 10 that might be added later on?
You might not need more than that, others do though. so you would need to cater for that in the UI.
Anisotropic highlights are something I hardly need, but a decent rim shader would be great.

Cheers,
Mike

Nitisara
02-07-2006, 06:12 AM
Which parade of shaders?
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=335774&postcount=12

Lightwolf
02-07-2006, 06:20 AM
http://www.newtek.com/forums/showpost.php?p=335774&postcount=12
So, you think those are all the ones every needed, or even included? What if others are added?
Even the anisotropic shader will need more information so you can tweak and rotate the direction of the highlight.
Heck, you could add a _complete_ tab of settings to cover all the potential controls for highlight shading models.
Cheers,
Mike

Nitisara
02-07-2006, 06:26 AM
Heck, you could add a _complete_ tab of settings to cover all the potential controls for highlight shading models.
That's what I am afraid of - to be "Maya" style :)
By the way, if it will be added as shader - it would cause less impact on interface. Then every shader could have all respective settings, tab for each of them :)

Lightwolf
02-07-2006, 06:37 AM
That's what I am afraid of - to be "Maya" style :)

Well, that is basically my point. I don't want the UI designer to decide which options are presumably used more in a case like this... because the needs are different.
One persons favourite option might not be used at all by others.


By the way, if it will be added as shader - it would cause less impact on interface. Then every shader could have all respective settings, tab for each of them :)
Well, if they show up in the nodal editor it shouldn't make a difference really.

Cheers,
Mike

wacom
02-07-2006, 08:36 AM
Look- are you nay-sayers really looking at the way things work with these new shader models? LightWolf's anisotropic example is a perfect one. These shading models are something you pass things THROUGH IE other nodes and effects. You can stack them yes, but they are best used as a base for a more complex texture effect.

In a nodal tree it wouldn't look like you pluging a phong into a procedural and then into the material base- it just dosen't work that way (and for good reason).

And to all of you people who want check boxes and extra sliders etc. what are you trying to do? You're only going to complicate the UI with that stuff and then you won't have MAYA...but MAX! Besides is that the only other 3D software you can reference? There is more than one way to skin a cat...

From what I've seen NT is doing it right- the layer system you know and love is intact...and for the rest of us we'll have nodes. I can't wait until a year from now when most of the worry warts are using nodes right along side the rest of us and have to eat crow. Get over your artist complex- you've gotta use some logic and crack open a manual some day!

Gui Lo
02-07-2006, 09:04 AM
I think that Exception makes a good and very valid point. A new user or even an old user should not need to be aware or even learn of the algorithms that are used. We hope that our work is recognised as art, a rendering from our mind into a media others can see.

A new user knows the imagined object and he knows the real world so anything between these two things hinders the process. For me Lightwave seems to allows the smoothest transition.

The point is I want a Rooster to look as if he is in a bad mood as he walks. I have no intention of remembering what shader algorithms I used. Actually I don't even want to learn anything new about the app. If I can do this peice with the stuff I already know then that is fine.

These algorithms were created to help me to achieve a real world effect. If it is underused then some of the time used to create it is wasted.

wacom
02-07-2006, 09:46 AM
How many of you nay-sayers have used Painter (owned by corel now)? You know how it is easy to pick up...harder to master? It's one thing to use a default brush, and another to make your own etc. in it?

Well some of us want to understand what is going on and get our hands dirty. Sometimes you have to really understand what the medium is doing or going to do to pull things off. Ever tried painting arcylics over oils? Ever thought about why we call them oils...and acrylic paints...

Look I'm as artsy phartsy as the next guy, but at some point...ah never mind...

Besides- when you make a shader model and publish it at siggraph you can use any name you like- we'll call it super-duper-plastic-thingydo if you want! Is it so hard to ask until then that we respect the creative talents of those computer scientists who made such things and call them by their name? Some of you artsy phartsys really can be so self centered when it comes to thinking of creative entitlement!

Ztreem
02-07-2006, 12:12 PM
I don't understand why the names of these shaders is a big deal. I mean has anybody ever asked anybody to use another name for a Newton? NO! so why use another name for phong? Before when we only had phong nobody was upset, suddenly when we have more choices people get upset, for what? the names? But for shaders like Gmil, fresnel or other shaders no one have ever complained about the name. I don't understand the big thing here.

wacom
02-07-2006, 12:16 PM
I don't understand why the names of these shaders is a big deal. I mean has anybody ever asked anybody to use another name for a Newton? NO! so why use another name for phong? Before when we only had phong nobody was upset, suddenly when we have more choices people get upset, for what? the names? But for shaders like Gmil, fresnel or other shaders no one have ever complained about the name. I don't understand the big thing here.

"Dude...like all you want to do is suppress the artists and make us like all conformists in suits. Why do I gotta use some name of some dead dude who was like just someone taken it from the man. H-e-l-l-O...we like artists don't like to use our frontal lobes...like can't cause it might interfere with like all the images that flood over our unristricted brains. Sorry if you're too cramped up there to understand the flow of my mental gravy...Why don't you just hang me with like a tie or protractor...sheesh..." ;)

Stooch
02-07-2006, 12:33 PM
I think that Exception makes a good and very valid point. A new user or even an old user should not need to be aware or even learn of the algorithms that are used.

well by that token yuo dont even have to learn LW then. Just stick to paint and brushes.

Ztreem
02-07-2006, 12:42 PM
I think that Exception makes a good and very valid point. A new user or even an old user should not need to be aware or even learn of the algorithms that are used. We hope that our work is recognised as art, a rendering from our mind into a media others can see.

You don't need to learn any algorithms, just the name of the shader and for which materials you want to use it for, like every other tool in LW.

dballesg
02-07-2006, 12:53 PM
I got an idea. Newtek for those that doesn't want to learn what is an OrenNayar shader and what it is does, why do not put a Rename Shader button so they can name it they way they want! :devil:

Reorganize the interface WHERE it is needed its something that many people ask. But change standarized names, no no no !

Best regards,
David

Wonderpup
02-07-2006, 02:25 PM
It seems to me that a lot of the argument on this thread is based on a false premise, which is that there is a common vocabulary across the differing 3D packages- no such standard exists. The term 'shader' itself is used to mean different things in different packages.

Of course there are a lot of terms that have become standardised and used by all, but I don't see the evidence to support the idea that there is this established set of conventions that cannot be departed from.

Ztreem
02-07-2006, 02:46 PM
You forgot... Phong, Blinn and Lambert just to name a few. :)

beverins
02-07-2006, 03:37 PM
I think Newtek does inded need to get their heads around some of the naming, I totally agree. Granted, there may not be any better naming for "antialiasing method #2" than Lanczos or Mitchell. On super-technical terms like that, I don't see any way to rename them to something else, unless you get into names like "scratchy metallic" which is then getting into the realm of surfacing and presets and the like, probably going to confuse everyone.

That said, there are some parts of the interface that really could use some further, reasoned thought. One example is the ETC. tab in the dynamics menu. That is about as descriptive as leaving it blank, to be honest. After awhile, you learn what's in there... but since most of the SAVE options are there, how about naming it that - Load/Save?

I think for 9, the final checkover of the program should have a careful scanning of all the menu items, to make sure they make sense. I know that there's a lot of buttons to go through... but its something to make sure to go through thouroughly.

jin choung
02-07-2006, 04:22 PM
wonderpup,

the premise is not false. a good deal of the terminology IS nailed down... if not in text books, then in actual practice.

and it's established enough so that if you're working in a professional environment and try to use 'nonstandard' jargon, it's very easy to be misinterpreted.

i.e. lw calls 'materials' 'surfaces' but if you try to use that terminology with non lw folk, you get blank/quizzical stares really quick.

lw had a lot of these: metanurbs caused a lot of confusion, 'texture smoothing' as i mentioned before. more.... the only lw unique jargon that i think is cute and relatively harmless and somewhat folksy is our level-headed refusal to call anything by its formal, geometric name:

box, ball, point, disc, etc. instead of cube, sphere, vertex, cylinder, etc.... frankly, i'm surprised we called polygons polygons instead of 'face'.

read a cinefx magazine and you'll find out to what degree the terminology is standardized.

and if your terminology is sufficiently non standard enough, it makes reading and learning from a resource such as cinefx MORE difficult.

jin

harlan
02-07-2006, 04:44 PM
The notion that the names should be changed to more 'user friendly' terms is completely retarded, no offense, but it is. It's called Oren-Nayar for a reason; because that's exactly what it is, a shader based on the Oren-Nayar model.

Do you call a sandwhich, a sandwhich, or do you say "that thing with stuff in-between those pieces of bread? You call it a sandwhich because that is what it is.

Do you call a car a car, or do you call it "that four-wheeled contraption capable of carrying occupants"? NO, YOU CALL IT A CAR!!!!! ;)

Lightwave has been stuck in the world of kindergarten naming schemes for far too long. Weee... look at me using Sockmonkey and Skelegons!!! I swear, if they dont use the real (standard) naming structures for these functions, they might as well slap a Fisher-Price sticker on it and call it Truespace. ;)

Now if you'll excuse me, I must plug that "snaky thing with the prongs" into the "holes" in the wall so I can power up this new computer.


PS: I'm just so sick of being embarassed by Lightwave. It's such a capable tool, but it's soooooo far out in left field on some things that it gets laughed at. It never used to be that way, Lightwave used to be a highly respected tool, and it appears on track to be one again - so long as they don't take the advice of people too lazy to learn what a function is and veer away from standardization.

PPS: Hey, just learning what some of these new functions are and why they're named the way they are will also allow you to comfortably use other applications in conjunction with Lightwave.

You know what a Lambert shader is called in Maya?? It's called a Lambert shader!! It adheres to the model/standard of the Lambert shading method; calling it a Lambert Shader identifies it as such. So rather than naming it "the dullish diffusish shader", maybe we could just learn what a Lambert Shader is and name it as such. ;)

harlan
02-07-2006, 04:48 PM
box, ball, point, disc, etc. instead of cube, sphere, vertex, cylinder, etc.... frankly, i'm surprised we called polygons polygons instead of 'face'.


LOL!!! Ask a Lightwave user how many "Surfaces" a model has, and then ask a Maya user the same question!! You're bound to get dramatically different answers!!!! ;)

Intuition
02-07-2006, 04:51 PM
Apologies to anyone who might have mentioned this before but I have to state that simplicity is the Intuitive way to design interfaces and tools.

Now, thats a broad statement by itself but let me offer proof of unecessary terms vs useful terms.

While I respect the blinn, phong, lambert, catmull clark, and all the other technical terms I really believe they are invalid and obsolete.

The proof for this is in every forum for any external render engines or modeling tools for any software you can find.

Take Maxwell Render for instance.

It is able to plug into Lightwave, 3dstudio, Maya, c4d, and about every other package out there.

Now, even though it plugs into all these different software packages we have seen so many posts that fall under the catagory of "What does the transmittancy number value do?"

To which the answer, in countless posts is " Transmittance is the transparency value of the surface".

This also applied to " What does the ND number do? " which is shortly followed by " That is the refractive value of the surface "

So you can see that no matter what technical terms people have chosen to apply to thier packages to be either "technically correct" or "industry standard" they always get re-referred to by the universal terms for such value.

Lightwave skipped this confusion by simplifying the terms to thier target.

Diffuse, reflection, refraction, luminosity, etc.

No matter what package you go to you will hear people saying the technical term followed shortly by the universal term because there is a constant level of confusion by the technical terms as such that it becomes habitual for 3d people to say " well if you want it to be more like glass you should raise the (technical term here) to bring up the reflectance.

I say, why not get rid of that all together? Just say "Raise the reflectance value". A package like lightwave already took that step 10+ years ago.

Its fine if they want to add all these "lambert, blinn, phong" terms if they are added in a way that allows us older users to be able to bypass them to avoid the added steps in an already simplified process. Its also fine if they are trying to get new users that are used to those terms but honestly even people who use those terms still say "It needs more reflection or refraction or diffusion," instead of saying things like "Uh, well I think the surface needs to be more Lambert and less phonginsh".

GO to any render engine forum and watch all the new people asking what all the technical terms stand for and then watch all the answers come in teh form of " ******* is the reflectance value, ****** is the diffusion value, and so on ad nauseum".

My 3 cents....keep it simple.

:D

Exception
02-07-2006, 04:56 PM
render
polygon
points
...




render = shade
polygon = face
point = vertex

I could go on but I won't.
Moot point. I don't care what it is called as long as the integration is done well. I only made this thread because I felt, and still feel, that the way to choose between catmull-clark SDS's and normal/old SDS's was as insightful as viewing the innards of a goat to predict the future.
I have NO problem with them being called Catmull-Clark, but I do have a problem with the way the selection process is implemented.

In the case of terminology, it's not up to us to decide what certain things get named. However, I think it is just common sense and pure logic to expect Newtek to have a Naming Convention, since everyone is so keen to talk about that. Currently, there seems to be none, when obviously there was one before. So, whatever the convention is, (do we follow 3ds Max, or Maya or use the algorithm names, or simplify them or relate them to real world phenomena or whatnot), pick one and create a premise for an exception, and stick to it.
I suppose everyone can agree with that?

Scott_Blinn
02-07-2006, 04:59 PM
Gonna stay out of this for the most part as UI is a religion of its own! :-)

That being said, I think it would be very helpful just to introduce Tool Tips into LW's UI (that can be turned off in options). That would go a long way in just about any app to help lower the learning curve.

To use the example above about Maxwell, imagine if it had this simple feature- then where you have a button/input called "Transmittancy" the user can just put the pointer over it for a pop-up of text such as "Transmittance is the transparency value of the surface." or whatever.

Would go a long way to help people learn an app, and allow people who know it already to just disable it if they like.

(sorry if this idea was already mentioned- no way I'm reading all these post!) ;-)

Carry on!

Intuition
02-07-2006, 05:05 PM
Gonna stay out of this for the most part as UI is a religion of its own! :-)

To use the example above about Maxwell, imagine if it had this simple feature- then where you have a button/input called "Transmittancy" the user can just put the pointer over it for a pop-up of text such as "Transmittance is the transparency value of the surface." or whatever.

Carry on!

Quoted for total Agreement. Would be the best of both worlds.

Yes, UI is a religion. Its hard not to get lynched for making suggestions. :eek: :D

Exception
02-07-2006, 05:10 PM
That's all fine and dandy, but that isn't what your original post said.

Hey, sorry I wasn;t done editing that post to which you replied. Real time foruming is great.
What's the point of quoting the original post really, when it is still there? Eating up server real estate.

In addition, I have explained myself well enough in the susequent posts, and have also explained why I didn't edit the original post to be more coherent about it. So please read the follow up posts. Also, even in that original post did I not say those names should not be used. I was talking about how they were implemented. If I was unclear, fine, I have clarified it over the next 20 posts.

Stooch
02-07-2006, 05:26 PM
"Uh, well I think the surface needs to be more Lambert and less phonginsh". :D

and thats how you can tell they dont know what they are talking about. I have never had trouble communicating with other artists in the field before. anyone else? i mean, honestly, you clarify yourself once and move on.

now i gotta go clean my multiple buttoned, digital text inputter.

zapper1998
02-07-2006, 06:35 PM
I agree and disagree, kinda sorta, all and all, it all works out in the end.

The end result, is what we imagine it to be.

You all Have a Great day, And be Happy. :)

Michael

prospector
02-07-2006, 08:12 PM
the only lw unique jargon that i think is cute and relatively harmless and somewhat folksy is our level-headed refusal to call anything by its formal, geometric name:box, ball, point, disc, etc. instead of cube, sphere, vertex, cylinder, etc


Well cube by definition is a box except it has to have all sides exactly the same, so LW is correct in it's naming because our boxes don't have to be perfectly six sided the same and if the others say cube but also do boxes then they are wrong.

A ball can be any rounded dimension but a sphere has to be a perfect...well sphere, so LY can make squished balls stretched balls, flat balls but those others can only make perfect spheres or if they make other dimensions then they are wrong.

a disk can be flat, a disk can be thick in the middle (flying saucer), but a cylinder can only be a cylinder (straigfht Tube shaped) and nothing else, if bent it's a pipe, if closed it's a can, so if thier cylinder does anything else then they are wrong. But our disk is always a disk untill you then manipulate it into something else.

Nit picky I know but you are talking about the correct naming conventions.

Stooch
02-07-2006, 08:17 PM
:D nice. its true!

Exception
02-07-2006, 09:17 PM
Prospector, so true : )

:jam:

MrWyatt
02-08-2006, 12:29 PM
Well cube by definition is a box except it has to have all sides exactly the same, so LW is correct in it's naming because our boxes don't have to be perfectly six sided the same and if the others say cube but also do boxes then they are wrong.

A ball can be any rounded dimension but a sphere has to be a perfect...well sphere, so LY can make squished balls stretched balls, flat balls but those others can only make perfect spheres or if they make other dimensions then they are wrong.

a disk can be flat, a disk can be thick in the middle (flying saucer), but a cylinder can only be a cylinder (straigfht Tube shaped) and nothing else, if bent it's a pipe, if closed it's a can, so if thier cylinder does anything else then they are wrong. But our disk is always a disk untill you then manipulate it into something else.

Nit picky I know but you are talking about the correct naming conventions.

true, but in maya you can also create them with the optionbox wherein you can modify width, highth and depth, i.e. you can also create a nonuniform box, nonuniform ball or nonuniform disc in it. on the other hand in LW when you use the box, ball or disc tool and hit "n" for numeric, guess what you get

a perfect cube
a perfect sphere and
a perfect cylinder

just think about it.

kopperdrake
02-08-2006, 03:56 PM
No need to think about it - it would make no sense in starting from any arbitrary size :) Ah - in LW, you hit 'n' for the disc tool and you geta perfect disc, not a perfect cylinder. It does what it says on the tin...box, ball, disc :)

siproductions
02-08-2006, 05:00 PM
Sure they are weird names but they are old standbys that make sense to most people in the industry. There is no perfect solution. Just use your software, be happy, and make some pretty pictures. :)

Gettarobox
02-12-2006, 11:46 AM
this thread is so silly.

I have a lot of students who tell me they are "visual learnings" and they can learn better by watching someone do something rather than reading. I say that is a poor excuse for laziness.

I recently started reading Andrew Glassners "An Introduction to Ray Tracing" and I tell you, I learned a lot more about how to decrease render time and properly set up different anti-aliasings in one trip to the crapper than I ever did watching someone click buttons on the screen and just try to remember what they clicked.

I personally think most 3D students are too lazy. In fact I may start making my students do papers and book reports.

prospector
02-12-2006, 12:31 PM
meany !!!

Visuals are better sometimes because ya can hear in the voice and thru some words about what is going thru thier heads when they show something. I like them because they go into the 'why' more whereas books just plug in numbers, don't go into alternate thinking or reasoning branches of not only how a tool works but why some ways are better than others tho both ways work in the end.
And books and papers are SOOOOOooooooo boring

Lightwolf
02-12-2006, 12:51 PM
I like them because they go into the 'why' more whereas books just plug in numbers, don't go into alternate thinking or reasoning branches of not only how a tool works but why some ways are better than others tho both ways work in the end.

That's why you should read more than one book, and make up your own mind ;)

Nothing worse than pre-chewed food for thought ;)

Cheers,
Mike

Wonderpup
02-12-2006, 01:27 PM
When medical anaesthics were first introduced they were opposed by the the surgical elite of the period because they were seen as a threat to the established practices where speed of execution was the primary skill for which a surgeon of that period was valued.

An extreme example of the tendancy for established groups to defend a regime that secures their own powerbase. To say that we should continue to use an obscure set of naming conventions simply on the basis that we all know what they mean is similarly an attempt to propogate our own mystiqe at the expense of clear communication.

Having said that, maybe we should maintain our mystiqe- look what happened to graphic designers- now they're all just 'mac operators.'

kopperdrake
02-12-2006, 01:57 PM
The beauty of 3D is that there's still enough depth to a piece of 3D software for people to need other dedicated people like us to push the buttons and produce a visual product at the end of the day. Graphics, by its very 2D nature, was more easily transferred to the masses in simplified DTP forms so that practically anyone who could push a mouse could produce some kind of layout, be it a masterpiece or a visual blight on the DTP landscape. Another saving grace for us 3D people is that the call for 3D in everyday life is a lot rarer than the 2D product - how many times have you heard someone say 'Oh - I used to use a graphic designer, but now I design my own business cards'. You can argue that their 'own business cards' lack the depth and thought of one produced by a decent graphic designer, but they can still do it and slap it out on a bit of card on their own printer.

Now 3D on the other hand, aside from simple 3D text and models that can be pumped out by certain pieces of software, is a process that needs a better working knowledge of the software before anything can be produced. I see us as safe for the time being from being delegated to mere '3D operators'...hurrah :D You can be a great graphic designer and leave the pre-print work to the 'mac-operators' to sort out, but to be a great 3D artist requires an indepth knowledge of our software from start to end. Of course, this then brings up the debate as to whether we're really 3D artists or 3D operators as individuals.

I've tussled with this one myself and come to the conclusion that I am a 3D Fraudster. It's rare for me to produce a piece of 3D Art, most of my work is a replica, or very near to realism, of something that exists, or is yet to exist. I'll be changing my business card to reflect this - of course, I'll be designing them myself - who needs those pesky mac-operators anyway ;)

Gettarobox
02-12-2006, 02:46 PM
Having said that, maybe we should maintain our mystiqe- look what happened to graphic designers- now they're all just 'mac operators.'

LOL!!! It's true!!!

wacom
02-12-2006, 02:59 PM
Having said that, maybe we should maintain our mystiqe- look what happened to graphic designers- now they're all just 'mac operators.'

Hey now, don't group all of us into that boat! It's true though- 90% of em stand by their mac. Then again there is no reason for them not to since the costs for a system to do graphic design on are not THAT much more than a PC if you're doing well. I can't really defend that point though since I have a dual core wintel system that I got for $550. Hard to find that price point on a Mac...and the money is better spent on software IMHO. Still what's 600 bucks more than that for an established designer?

Mac users and many Lw users do have a lot in common though- and it isn't always a good thing depending on how you look at it.

Gui Lo
02-13-2006, 02:57 AM
It looks like NewTek did a nice job with the integration of the new camera and node tools. Allowing simple but controllable interfaces.
I like especially th ecamera namings much simpler than I eapected.
Nice one NewTek.

I think this is the sort of thing Exception was meaning.

Wonderpup
02-13-2006, 03:18 AM
Hi wacom,

Sorry if my post came across as a dig at Mac people- I didn't mean it to. What I was pointing out is how the status of graphic designers seems to have declined since they started working with computers, so that the jobs that would once have been described as Graphic Design roles are advertised as 'Mac Operator' roles- so the organ grinder seems to have become the monkey.

Exception
02-13-2006, 09:52 AM
yes it looks like they did a pretty spiffy job there.
yaaay. :dance:

Sculley
03-07-2006, 04:28 PM
There are a lot of good reasons why LW hasnt had the surfaces have options to choose things like Blinn, Nayan etc.. simpyl because when it was first coded it was fixed to use one method of shading.

A single shading method limits the capabilities of LW and it is about time is was opened up so that more methods are available... simply put they are needed to be able to reproduce effects of surfaces in the real and fake worlds.

The names are used to describe the equations / maths behind each method.. though those can be applied to create things like plastic they arnt really strictly a plastic shader.

If you let people explore what terms are they learn for themselves and the whole complicated side of things sorts itself out.

Best way for people to learn is to simply play and let them come to their own conclusion where they'd like to use a shader and for what business.

I find in many cases simply telling people what something can and should not be used for turns people in to "you cant do that drones" and they lose the whole fun of experimenting.. to see what you can do and all the wonders that come out of doing so.

I worked on a project with a m8 with Max.. and all he did was use it as if the manual was a bible.. and if you stepped even slightly off what the book says somethings for he'd make a scene.. I know what things are for.. my point to him was there's no laws what things must be used for.. he did my head in :( He was one of those many people out there who read books, tutorials and never figured things out for himself... anything new and against their bible is bad and cant be done... grrr

Learning the names of actuall terminology for different shaders, lighting things like radiosity is a good practice to have.

People are inteligent enough to learn what something does what ever the name is you place on it.. it gets easier with familiality... i find treating people like children is just not the best way to teach something.