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View Full Version : A complaint and suggestion



Wonderpup
01-04-2007, 07:32 PM
The procedure for applying bones in one layer of an object to geometry in another layer goes like this:

1) Select your geometry layer in layout- but do not open either the motion options or properties panel for the geometry.

2) Instead- hit the 'bones' mode button- the one normally used to select bones.Your geometry will now be unselected- so at this point nothing on the screen appears selected.

3) Now, if at this point you hit the P for properties key the bone properties panel will open- but, because you have no bone selected, this panel now applies to the geometry you last had selected before you entered bone selection mode.

4) Using the 'use bones from object' dropdown, you can now assign the layer
containing the bones to the geometry.


The manual entry for the 'use bones from object' dropdown goes as follows:


Use Bones From Object
This pop up menu allows you to choose a different object whose bone properties you would like edit. When you first open the Bone Properties panel you only have access to the bones of the object that you had originally selected. This allows you to change to a different object without have to leave the properties panel.

However, despite this admirable attempt at obfuscation I regret to say that I still found the entire procedure far too easy to figure out- it only took an hour or so of trying different combinations to crack it.

So my suggestion for the future is that the manual be written in an ancient dead language, one that would require extensive research possibly spanning decades to decipher- otherwise I fear an exodus of users toward apps whose documentation provides them with the intellectual challenge they so obviously crave.

Phil
01-08-2007, 06:51 AM
Hmmm. I'm inclined to think this is a combination of two separate, but related problems :

1) The workflow here sucks. It should be a single step operation to link the bones from one object to another.

2) The documentation is wordy and could take a leaf out of the more visually oriented tomes. Pictures showing, in sequence, what needs to be done would be really useful. Even if the workflow is completely arse-about-face.

Regarding 2), I find this to be a common failing in the manuals. Mind you, the last time I really read the manuals from cover to cover was with LW 4 over 10 years ago. I actually thought those were good :)

The 9.x documentation seems to be overly full of subclauses in situations where 1 (or even just a picture!) would do a good job of explaining things. Even for Nodal, dumping half the text and simply showing images that demonstrate cause and effect would be worthwhile.

Harmonising image size and quality would also be a real step forwards. I've bitched^Wreported this several times during OB, but so far.....

Wonderpup
01-08-2007, 01:38 PM
What I found frustrating about the whole thing is not so much the bizzare and counterintuitive workflow itself but the fact that it's not even documented correctly. Clearly, whoever wrote the definition of the 'use bones from object' feature was under the impression that it was a timesaver to stop people from having to close the panel and reopen it to edit the bones from another object-

This is simply wrong- the function of the 'use bones from object' feature is to allow you allocate bones to objects. What has happened here is that whoever wrote the manual entry has simply read the label on the gui and then guessed or assumed what it was, and then wrote that up as the official definition- the result of which was me sitting in front of my monitor at 3am trying out random combinations of buttons in the hope of hitting the right one.

At least I took the time to do that- which is more than NT seem prepared to do it seems.

toby
01-08-2007, 03:32 PM
You're right, that explaination is completely wrong! (Is there a documentation forum?)

There is - I'll post this there

Dodgy
01-09-2007, 04:26 AM
How about this instead:

Select your meshes, with the boned item last, and run this script.