View Full Version : The little things that mater!

05-28-2006, 03:53 PM
I just thought that there are going to be a whole slew of threads about the latest and greatest major features like nodes etc. but that there should be a thread devoted to the little to mid level nagging things that NewTek has fixed, improved, or totally done away with and re-created.

Two quick ones for me are:

No more LW 8 having to push enter to set a numerical input.

A vastly improved render status screen with all sorts of good information on it Vs. the simplified version of before. Nice things like pass time, frame time, animation time, AA setting etc.

05-28-2006, 04:00 PM
"No more LW 8 having to push enter to set a numerical input"

not bad, sometimes it is easy to forget the enter have to redo the settings...

05-28-2006, 04:12 PM
Another would be the new "pro" well thought menu out layout that can be loaded. It makes a lot of sense and once you get used to it is easier to navigate through. I also think new users will find it easier.

05-28-2006, 05:15 PM
I've been really happy to see that they're cleaning things up under the hood. I've been very impressed with:

- Render Globals in Layout. You can now access all of your render settings in one place. It's not perfect but it shows they're focused on consolidating the interface.

- Unified preferences settings in layout. Same story. You can now set up everything about your interface (almost) in one place.

- Directory management. Setting up proper content directories is a breeze now.

- Configs are now created on the fly. You don't have to set up your interface and plugins then quit in order to have LW remember what you're doing.

- You can now set default shading methods for layout views (just like modeler).

This stuff isn't sexy...but it really pays off when you don't have to dig around as much to get things done. They're also well thought out changes that show the new dev team is really thinking about things. I'm hoping by v9.5 we've got tighter workflow with all the tools. (Like undos working the same for all tools:)

Dave Jerrard
05-28-2006, 06:07 PM
We finally have direct access to several things that were in the configs for years, without going into a text editor. Stuff like default scene length, zoom factor, resolution, presets location, etc. These have been available in the configs going as far back as the Amiga days. The Paths tab gives direct access to where objects, images, etc. are stored. This was another thing that we had way back in the earliest days of LW (3.0 at least), but only with a text editor. Not only that, but you can select a content directory and create all the subfolder for that directory with a single mouse click.

You can specify where your presets are stored. You're not limited to the default location (which is a pain in the patooty when you have more than one LW installation).

And one feature I think will be greatly loved by all... You can load a scene from another content directory and LW can automatically switch to that content directory so you don't get those annoying "Can't find ..." requesters. This is another user setting though, so if you don't like it, turn it off.

The preferences panel has gone through some much needed serious reworking at my frequent pushing, and has followed mockups I sent to NewTek very closely. I really like how they took those ideas and expanded on them. For what it's worth, here's the mockups I sent them a year or so ago.

He Who Will Continue This Soon.

Dave Jerrard
05-28-2006, 06:12 PM
It's soon.

Compare that images above with what we have in LW now, below.

He Who Thinks These Are Pretty Close.

Dave Jerrard
05-28-2006, 06:23 PM
Ever press F9 to do a test and then immediately wonder, "gee, did I turn on refraction?" and then abort the render to check only to find out that it was on and you aborted for no reason? Or you're not sure if you're using the right AA settings? Are you using Backdrop radiosity or Monte Carlo? Can't remember how long the last test took to render? Ever get tired of that status line piling up garbage in the next column because it didn't have anough room to display messages for objects with those really long names?

How about wondering about how long for the current frame to finish? Can you sneak in a coffee or lunch break before LW beeps? Well, this might solve all these problems.

Yes, the interface is starting to get some much needed tweaking. We've pleaded, whined, cried, and jumped out windows (I'm glad I live on the ground floor), and NewTek listened (and probably laughed at me jumping out a window). Feast your eyes below. (it looks better full size)

He Who Could Have Sworn He Used That Last Comment As A Pick Up Line.

05-28-2006, 08:14 PM
The best feature in all of lightwave 9 is not having to shutdown and restart LW for a lot of the changes to the interface.

- A kicka$$ load from scene.

Oh and lets not forget skinning.

05-29-2006, 02:14 AM
Umm, I know it's a simple thing, but I really like being able to clear a scene in which I used SkyTracer without being asked if I'm sure I want to clear SKT_Sun... :)


05-29-2006, 06:36 AM
Here's one I just tested... When Auto Key Create is set to All Motion Channels now sets a key for all channels again like it used to!! :thumbsup:

05-29-2006, 08:08 PM
Like the new spell check feature mater = matter:stumped:

Steve Reeves
05-31-2006, 01:02 PM
Well you know the thing that really bugs me in LW - and it's so small that it doesn't even warrant it's own thread (read: lame excuse for hijacking this one!)...

well do you know...

it's that bloomin' render completion box. Press enter to continue. Why can't the info in the box (render time and so on) be available at a touch of a button in layout. I don't do a lot of animation so maybe I am missing the point - but why oh why do we need to have the renderbox sit there until we press enter??? It could even be a new option to let the user decide to have it hang around or not.

But more importantly, why did I not bring this up in beta forums before 9 was feature locked??? :D

I'll go away now. Thank you for your time :)