Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 33

Thread: Best practices for a good 3D Next Gen Interface...Tell us your ideas.

  1. #1
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Washington DC
    Posts
    3,627

    Best practices for a good 3D Next Gen Interface...Tell us your ideas.

    As we all know the LW interface needs a lot of love. A LOT OF IT.
    Frankly I feel strongly that things that as thing stand now, things that should not take a long time, like setting up BASIC shaders, looking for an object, doing BASIC poses to pose key frame animation or hell setting up a animation curve, take too much time and frankly are not intuitive for users fresh off the boat.

    So lets imagine we can start from scratch...

    And instead of playing catch up, or trying to be something lw cannot be(Houdini Lite or Maya lite), why not try to aim in a different, maybe better direction.

    So tell us:
    * What do you consider to be some of the best practices you expect to see in a MODERN NEXT GEN app?
    * What concepts would be more useful to follow? More power and Accessibility or a more cleaner interface?.

    Tell us what you thinks, and maybe show us some examples.

    thanks,
    -R
    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.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    57
    Ease of use is the most important thing to me. After the trying ordeal that I experienced with Martin Hash's 3D Animation, I swore up and down that I would never waste my time with software that tried my patience like that. Which is why I really like LightWave.

  3. #3
    Super Member OlaHaldor's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    998
    Sorry, I know how hard this is to many LightWave users, but having used several other 3D apps, I find it hard to go back to two separate applications. So my first point would be a unified application.

    Next up is pie menus. Whether it's like Modo, Maya, or something else. Pie menus are far easier and faster to use than list menus for quick swapping between tools and features.
    And that brings me to... Context sensitive menus. Right-click a vertex gives you access to the tools that can be used on a vertex, and so on for other primitives. Being able to chose something that does not work with given primitive, only to get an error obstructs the flow.

    I also think customization of menus/tabs/viewports should be among top prio. And make it easy for the user to make their own panels, menus and so on.

    Icons! I never thought I'd say it, but icons are actually not as bad, to a certain extent. Starting with LightWave as a teenager I thought LightWave looked cleaner and was less confusing than Maya, Max etc. which was bombarded with icons. But guess what; icons makes a lot of sense if you let them. For those who struggle with the concept; make it possible to disable icons to get that nostalgic LW text only look. Everybody wins.
    Not all tools and menus need icons. Some are just fine as text buttons.

    A modern viewport mode (think Blender or Marmoset Toolbag etc)

    In general, refined tools which gives a more pleasing user experience. Better feedback in the UI that you are in fact hovering over a primitive for instance.

    That's what I could think of at the top of my head (late to work already, gotta run! maybe I'll come back later to fill in some more)
    3D Generalist
    Threadripper 2920x, 128GB, RTX 2080 Ti, Windows 10

  4. #4
    Dreamer Ztreem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    4,136
    Ease of use, some said. A unified environment is just that, it's easy and fast to work with. Besides the need for unification, Lw need to update all things to be more interactive.
    We can't have things like this.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	2019-04-01_09-59-26.gif 
Views:	122 
Size:	689.6 KB 
ID:	144638

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    a place
    Posts
    1,844
    yeah. it’s old skool in a bad way

  6. #6
    Registered User gdkeast's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    147
    Since LW is the only 3D program I've ever used, except for a couple of tries at Blender, I am not really unhappy with it. Some of the tools are more complex than others, but overall, I can generally find what I need or figure things out. One of the strengths I see in LW is its ability to be customized to each users' specific needs. Anything that makes customization easier I think it would be a plus. For instance, I recently got OD Workspaces and love it. It seems to me that that type of functionality would be good to have native in LW. Giving users the ability to control their workspace would seem to be a good direction for LW and for me, anything that gives the users more control is an advancement overall. TBH, I'm so used to the programs being separated, it doesn't really bother me, but I understand why people like integration, but then again, I've seen people using multiple programs to accomplish things, then pulling them together in another program. I just watched a tutorial series on 3D scanning, and the guy used 5 different programs.

  7. #7
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    428
    I think the single biggest upgrade they need to make is to make all of the windows dockable.

    Personally, I would like to be able to dock the image editor and the node editor to the surface editor so that when I open the surface editor, those items are also already open.

    I would also like to dock the scene and graph editors together.

    There are many other items I would like to have the ability to dock together for ease of use.

    Right now, that's about the only thing that slows me down... opening multiple windows and their habit (and my habit) of closing them to reduce clutter.

    If I was going to make one single other change, I would make the graph, scene, and item windows poll for changes more often. It's a pain to add an object to Layout and the item window doesn't update with the item. You have to close it and open it again.

    Anyway... most of this has been said before.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Right here
    Posts
    1,535
    LightWave development needs an architect/developer with strong and up-to-date UI/UX skills. It's obvious to me that there is currently no one with this knowledge and dedication in the development team, otherwise new tools would not look like they do in 2015/2012019.

    On the other hand I don't think the LW Modeler and Layout applications allow the implementation of state-of-the-art UI features. Adding tools on top is not the solution.

    In LW there is currently no customization possible (except some colors and menu entries) and I have to use it as it is. I purchased all the OD tools (including OD Uberpass, OD Workspaces and OD Pie menu) as well as the new db&w QuickPanel but that only makes it a bit more acceptable to work with.

    In my other main 3D application I can work the way it fits my workflow best, modify or place any UI element where I want it, even simulate the grey-in-grey Text-Only LW interface if it has to be, because it's fully customizable and supports individual workspaces. So there is no benefit in the LW UI towards others in my opinion.

    I learned to accept the way LW is and don't expect drastic UI or workflow improvements anymore, however appreciate the small additions like Undo (finally, even if still not complete), CTRL+Space and the drop down filtering in 2019.

    OK here you go (note that all this would just be catching up since that's part of other applications since long):

    - Node editor to expose / propagate parameters into the (layer based) Uber Material
    - Other node editor workflow improvements
    - Context-sensitive and dockable property panels
    - Get rid of the countless and ineffective drop down menus
    - Consolidate duplicate tools
    - Implement (optional) industry standard navigation
    - Non-destructive workflow
    - Collapsible / expandable sections in property panels
    - Duplicating, locking / unlocking property panels
    - Setting as new root, arranging / docking / undocking of property panels and menus, custom tabs
    - Free choice where to use icons, text or both
    - Adding tools, parameters and other HUD elements to the viewport
    - Workspaces
    - Easy filter for UI elements, for example for hiding bones, grid or other viewport items
    - Get rid of all the floating panels and sub dialog boxes
    - Correct the fixed-width dialog boxes with truncated text in the tabs
    - Find a way to get rid of all those More... sub menus
    - Find a way to consolidate the numerous panels: Scene Editor, Surface Editor, Image Editor, Motion Options, IK Booster, Backdrop, Legacy Volumetrics, Pixel Filter, Image Filter, Volumentrics in Render panel, Object properties, Light properties, Camera properties, Node Editor, FiberFX, Dynamics, several Option panels and so on...
    - Better integration of 3rd party and internal plugins
    - Context sensitive Attribute Manager / Properties dialog
    - A proper Preset system, the current one is incredible poor in its implementation and default content
    - New viewport option (to create a new quad / single / camera / perspective / ortho viewport and drag it anywhere, independent from others)
    - Change existing UI elements from input boxes to sliders or radio buttons etc.
    - Highlight new tools
    - Multi scene support
    - Take system
    - Layer system in Layout
    - Multi parameter select options (drag over parameters like XYZ to mark and change them at once)
    - All parameters animatable (including on/off states) with a simple keyframe click, not only a few via the E button

    When I watch LW tutorials, I see users spending a lot of time moving around dialog boxes because they're often all over the UI and in front of the viewport. On the other hand, I cannot even have the properties of two separate objects open at the same time. Because all of this, LW is a very "clicky" application and feels like a giant patchwork of tiny tools to me.

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    a place
    Posts
    1,844
    100% agreement on ui/ux.
    these threads are good but i think i’d like to see lwg initiate them so that there is the smallest chance something will actually happen.

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Right here
    Posts
    1,535
    ... and if it belongs to the UI topic..

    - Workplanes
    - Snapping, Guidelines, Measure tools
    - Onion Skinning, Animation Layers
    - Better Wireframe Antialiasing
    - Better, unified and hideable Gizmos
    - Improved OpenGL
    - Improved Sliders
    - Better IDE / Python editor
    - Better Graph, Dope Sheet and Scene Editors
    - Modifier (Shift/Control/Alt) keys to Copy items / Quantize translation etc.
    - Spline preview (realtime preview how splines looks like while modifying <-- ok for that LW would need proper Spline support in the first place)
    - Better realtime Dynamics and non-destructive Fracture
    - User friendly openVDB workflow
    - Better UI representation of Primitives in Shaded and Wireframe mode
    - Realtime parametric (Boolean, Mesh Generators, Cloners etc)
    - Simple brushes to correct geometry in Layout (without needing to add Metamorphic or other modifiers), in order to quickly correct intersecting polys like cloth, smoothing problematic areas etc.
    - Modifier / Deformer OpenGL preview
    - Displacement viewport tesselation
    - Ability to display / connect / disconnect Graph Editor Curves automatically to Scene Editor and/or Objects in Viewport (clicking on one of these automatically displays the corresponding Curves or Objects in both ways)
    - Proper tangent controls in Graph Editor
    Last edited by Marander; 04-01-2019 at 10:31 AM.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Right here
    Posts
    1,535
    Quote Originally Posted by gdkeast View Post
    ...One of the strengths I see in LW is its ability to be customized to each users' specific needs. ...For instance, I recently got OD Workspaces and love it. It seems to me that that type of functionality would be good to have native in LW...
    That's one of the biggest weaknesses in LW, its lack of customizability. Workspaces offer much more in other applications than what OD WS does (the same for OD Uberpass), if that would be the native implementation it would be typical LightWave style but not state of the art.

  12. #12
    pretty much everything olahaldor said.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by OlaHaldor View Post
    Sorry, I know how hard this is to many LightWave users, but having used several other 3D apps, I find it hard to go back to two separate applications. So my first point would be a unified application.

    Next up is pie menus. Whether it's like Modo, Maya, or something else. Pie menus are far easier and faster to use than list menus for quick swapping between tools and features.
    And that brings me to... Context sensitive menus. Right-click a vertex gives you access to the tools that can be used on a vertex, and so on for other primitives. Being able to chose something that does not work with given primitive, only to get an error obstructs the flow.

    I also think customization of menus/tabs/viewports should be among top prio. And make it easy for the user to make their own panels, menus and so on.

    Icons! I never thought I'd say it, but icons are actually not as bad, to a certain extent. Starting with LightWave as a teenager I thought LightWave looked cleaner and was less confusing than Maya, Max etc. which was bombarded with icons. But guess what; icons makes a lot of sense if you let them. For those who struggle with the concept; make it possible to disable icons to get that nostalgic LW text only look. Everybody wins.
    Not all tools and menus need icons. Some are just fine as text buttons.

    A modern viewport mode (think Blender or Marmoset Toolbag etc)

    In general, refined tools which gives a more pleasing user experience. Better feedback in the UI that you are in fact hovering over a primitive for instance.

    That's what I could think of at the top of my head (late to work already, gotta run! maybe I'll come back later to fill in some more)
    Excellent!
    LW vidz   DPont donate   LightWiki   RHiggit   IKBooster   My vidz

  14. #14
    Super Member COBRASoft's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Oudenburg, BEL
    Posts
    3,179
    Start with the base... Dockable panels, non-modal windows, non-destructive workflow, interactive tools, fluent transitions between different stages (model, anim, ...).

    In short: UX, UX, UX!

  15. #15
    Registered User rdolishny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    313
    After today's news you can post your wish list in any Blender or Maya forum.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •