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Thread: how to achieve fast workflow in LW 2019+ : what features would you want ?

  1. #46
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Everything should be implemented on commands...
    e.g. we have interactive tool "Box",
    it should internally call "Box x0,y0,z0,x1,y1,z1 [other params]",
    not do it immediately and hidden..

    Then these commands should be put in the history.
    User would press "Record", do something, "Stop", and then e.g. save on disk, or "Play".
    Load previously saved history, and "Play" to repeat actions.

    Edit these commands on the list, replace them by something else, export to Lscript/Python if needed.
    I really agree: almost "Mel"-like (in Maya). When you record commands, or the result of the settings of a tool like that, you can also implement "Repeat Last Command" and assign to a hot key. With repetitive tasks, that can be a great time-saver.

  2. #47
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sensei View Post
    Let the user to decide about background settings.
    e.g. amount of transparency/opacity of background layer lines.
    color of background layer lines.
    (global settings of Modeler)

    Allow editing them per-layer basis.
    e.g. user wants background layer XXX to have red lines, background layer YYY to have green lines, background layer ZZZ to have blue lines.
    Save it in LWO
    (local settings of object file)

    Allow editing them per-surface and per-part and per-layer basis.

    I don't want to merge multiple background layer lines into one hard to distinguish "mass"...
    Well, I just keep agreeing with people Modeler BG layers should be able to be solid shaded for better reference/readability. I think the Layers panel implementation could be a whole thread on its own. So much room for improvement there...

  3. #48
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    like modo. in a way it’s lucky, modo did a lot of the heavy lifting in finding out what would be good for an improved lightwave.

  4. #49

    Quote Originally Posted by gar26lw View Post
    like modo. in a way it’s lucky, modo did a lot of the heavy lifting in finding out what would be good for an improved lightwave.
    Good note!

    i hope NewTek looks into its workflows.
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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ztreem View Post
    I was thinking the same, but I only have lw2015 so maybe this is something new. You could of course use a tool for making transparent windows and use it in all editors. I still prefer non overlapping UI’s instead of overlapping windows all over the place.
    Hmmm..Perhaps this is a Mac only thing. Its not new for sure. It goes as far back as 11 at least. iirc it was even more pronounced then, the user could manually adjust the window transparency. it was silly. I remember maybe 10-15 years ago all sorts of Mac apps were experimenting with wacky new windowing gimmicks including transparency. Then it all started to disappear when windows 7 came out and all of the big guys like adobe settled on good cross platform solutions (primarily docking based) instead since Microsoft had finally gotten its UI ducks in a row.

    edit... Sorry, my Bad. am misdescribing the behavior. The graph editor window turns transparent when you click anywhere in the MAIN window, not edit in the graph editor (other popups work like this too). Regardless, the end effect is similar. press play and you can see through the graph editor. does it work like this in windows? Only lw does this. It is not a normal mac thing.
    Last edited by hypersuperduper; 03-24-2019 at 03:15 AM.

  6. #51
    Dreamer Ztreem's Avatar
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    Must be a Mac thing. I like the idea of transparent windows, could be quite useful.
    Last edited by Ztreem; 03-24-2019 at 05:40 AM.

  7. #52
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    Here si the problem, as I see it

    Generalist tend to want :
    INTUTIVE USE / SPEED

    Studios tend to want:
    TOTAL CONTROL OF APP

    Guess who usually has the ear of the development staff. Look at what happened when it was rumored that Autodesk would deep six Maya over Softimage (A program that BTW that had a more advanced interface and amore modern codebase). From what I heard the BIG studios pressured Autodesk to Keep Maya as their top dog.

    In Newtek case they need to talk more to smaller studio and frankly consult with a good functionality expert.
    Last edited by robertoortiz; 03-24-2019 at 07:00 AM.
    This message does not reflect the opinions of the US Government, CG Networks or CGTALK.com. The opinions expressed on this posting are on my own volition.

  8. #53
    Super Member OlaHaldor's Avatar
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    Radial menu system would be nice. And it should be possible to customize like you can with the list menus today.
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  9. #54
    Modeler tools being updated, optimized and enhanced....as well as high poly handling.
    for Layout, again speed up display on high poly scenes.
    Color picker should be realtime, so you select a color and see it immediately, rather than having to close it before the color shows

    Im actually getting happier with the node interface and more used to using it.

    there's prolly more on the actual workflow front, but for me the speed comes more at rendertime...

    FiberFX needs to have a sampling setting, and probably some optimizations so it doesnt take an age to render.

    Cloth also needs to be updated...yeah there's syflex, but its finicky to use..Bullet is also not easy to setup for cloth..and the classic clothfx is just too darn slow (but it at least allows using weight maps to control how much effect there is)
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  10. #55
    Registered User motiondigital's Avatar
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    First of all Lightwave is fantastic and a killer app, but some commonly used functions can be repurposed, fixed or redesigned, to improve the workflows




    Layout


    There are too many panels when setting up a new scene such as:

    Preferences (d)
    Image editor (F6)
    Render Properties (Shift F6)
    Effects (Shift F5)
    Camera/Light Properties (p)

    Suggestion:
    These panels need to be amalgamated, grouped etc into fewer panels


    Setting up HDRI is too buried in sub menus, and new users have to press a thousand clicks to set up a HDRI, for example:

    Press F5 Effects
    Select backdrop Tab
    Add environment
    Select Textured Environment
    click Textured Environment
    Select Y Axis (Does nothing)
    Press texture button
    Select Spherical Projection (This should be a default)
    Select your HDRI Image
    Select Y as texture axis (This should be a default)

    Suggestion:
    This doesn't sound like a fluid, simplified workflow for something as simple as a HDRI map



    Modeler

    Destructive workflows and tools need to be fixed:

    Mirror (Destroys or flips mirrored polygons)
    Chamfer (should be smart enough to remove junk geometry like 1 or 2 point polys, and use a merge function before applying the chamfer)
    Rounder (As Above)
    Radial Array (non responsive at times, need to close and re-open Modeler)
    Lathe (non responsive at times, need to close and re-open Modeler)

    Some tools do not preview

    Clone (c) comes to mind

    Surface presets

    Need more presets for: Ceramic, Fabric, Leather, Liquid and Wood


    Panels never remember the last settings

    Layer panel is ALWAYS collapsed when opening Modeler
    Select surfaces (If you resize this panel due to many surfaces, it never remembers its previous re-sized setting)
    Graph Editor (If you have zoomed into a set of key frames for a particular object, if you re select that object it reverts to a default zoom)

    Extender plus

    There is no visual clue when pressing "e" that edges are duplicated. When pressing "e" the edge needs to flash on and off to give the user a visual cue that the extend is done.

    Subdivide

    If I select a quad polygon and want to subdivide it 3 times on the y axis i cant, it defaults to dividing it equally on the x and y axis, there's not many options in this tool, and not very versatile

  11. #56
    Super Member Kryslin's Avatar
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    Layout - FiberFX
    -The lag on scrubbing the timeline, trying to rotate or manipulate joints and bones, because the VPARM system has to update everything, is very frustrating. Yes, there is a simple work-around, but we shouldn't need to toggle FiberFX on and off all the time. (Create an object and apply 3 to 5 layers of FiberFX to it, one of which is a fairly heavy (2-3 million fiber) layer. Interactivity slows to a c.....r.....a.....w....l....., 1/2 to 3 seconds per frame/ 1/10th of a degree/coordinate/scale factor)

    -I agree, Some sort of sampling control for Fibers would be welcome.

    -A simpler, native solution to setting up HDRI would be welcome as well.

    Modeler
    -Consolidation of certain tools would be a good start (Bevel, Multishift, extend, extend plus, chamfer, rounder, for instance, are all essentially the same tool, just used with different options).
    -Hair guide grooming tools, either here or in layout.
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  12. #57
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
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    I'm going to post separately for Layout and Modeler...

    Layout, having gotten virtually all of the development investment for the last 10 years or more, is moving forward nicely. Here's a few things about Layout though that I think would be solid workflow improvements:

    - The basic transform tools are way too basic, and there are many opportunities for improvement. One can envision a general purpose Transform tool where you can do most of the positioning, rotating, and scaling operations without having to switch tools.

    The Move tool doesn't support "spacial snapping", either snap to grid (world space), or relative snapping (incremental, e.g. snap to 1m increments from the current position). Features like those can make scene setup go much faster. Remember, Layout has no grid snapping support. Alternatively, if the basic transform tools had a Tool panel for providing UI for tool options, additional constraints could be implemented and the panel would give the developer a place to put the user inputs.

    - Layout has an apparently fundamental restriction where you can only select one kind of thing at a time, and this leads to some awkward workflows. Where in other apps, you are not restricted in this way, but you instead can set selection filters if you only WANT to select a particular kind of thing e.g. when marquee selecting in the view port.

    - When I think of use of Layout in larger scale production, it seems to me that scene referencing would be a better alternative to Load From Scene (reuse by reference rather than by copy). Because then scenes can be reusable components in the same sense as objects. As with mesh objects today, changes to the base scene would be immediately reflected in all scenes in which they are referenced. If any of you are using Unreal, a scene could be likened to a Class Blueprint: an assembly of objects, potentially all rigged and animated and ready to be instanced into your broader scene. But update the components, and all usages of the base Blueprint are automatically updated (a change-resilient workflow). I'm imagining a fully rigged character, perhaps with a set of motions already defined for it, this character being used in multiple scenes. But then the decision is made to modify that character, either the mesh or the rig...
    Last edited by tburbage; 07-21-2019 at 01:13 PM.

  13. #58
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Roye View Post
    In some ways I think LW 2018 took some steps backward in the surfacing workflow. Now that it's mandatory to go through the node editor, there is no longer a fast, convenient way to apply images, normal maps, etc; as it requires a few more steps to do. This is tedious in larger scenes without some form of automation in place, and it is less user friendly because new users now have to learn two interfaces in order to utilize lightwave's surfacing functions. In the future, i'd like to see the old interface make its way into other node types than standard; even if all it does it create and hook up the nodes for you.

    There's modeler too but... that's so obvious it hurts.
    Per connecting up image maps, that's a good point. Maybe if we could drag-and-drop an image, either from an OS view, or from the Image Editor, onto a channel of a material in the Surface Editor, it would just make the node hookup for you. And if multiple surfaces are selected, do it for all of them...

  14. #59
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RebelHill View Post
    XSI ICE did a fine job of that, letting you build node networks and expose certain inputs to a "panel" interface. For most reusable networks, you only ever want a half dozen items at most to present directly to the user, more than that and you're getting into the territory where you really want to be editing the node tree itself. Though that said, in the odd case where you do want a long list of options exposed... there're scrollbars to keep the panel size itself neat.
    Yes, Unreal e.g. Class Blueprints provide this sort of mechanism, where you can expose variables on the BP while hiding the implementation (the construction and event graphs). When you have an instance of the BP selected, the Details panel (like a Properties panel) shows the exposed properties which you can tweak directly. Substances (i.e. Substance Designer) archives have a similar mechanism.

  15. #60
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    Unity has the same thing (they call them prefabs) and it is an absolutely essential part of the workflow. The one reservation I have is that while it is fantastic for static setups, when it comes to animation it adds a little setup time initially in that animations are always separate files that you have to save and define what channels are included and it is a minor thing, but you lose the immediacy of a global timeline that you can just mess around in, which is quite nice in layout. I could see Lightwave expanding or replacing Motion Mixer to achieve something similar while retaining the immediacy of layouts basic timeline for simpler animations/experimentation. They already have motions and actors there. I could imagine an improved motion mixer where actors and motions are saved externally and loaded dynamically. An actor could contain not just a list of objects and channels that are affected like now, but their relationships and modifiers as well. The motion mixer timeline could be owned by the scene, but all the contents (actors/motions) defined in these external files.

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