Anim8or Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

An update to Anim8or, v1.00b, is available with a few bug fixes. Get your copy HERE. See the "ReadMe" file for details.

Pages: [1] 2 3 4

Author Topic: General UI and Workflow Suggestions  (Read 10525 times)

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
    • View Profile
General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« on: April 08, 2014, 05:48:04 am »

Post your general UI and workflow suggestions here:
Logged

thecolclough

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
  • 3D Ignoramus 1988-2002, Anim8or User 2002-present.
    • View Profile
    • www.mattghc.com
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2014, 10:07:57 am »

well, since you're asking... i (or others) might have raised a couple of these before, but that was a while back, and this seems like a good time/place to reiterate  :)

Steve: Implemented in 1101: 1) i always work at 25fps with the Limit Playback option turned on.  it'd be nice if there were options to pre-define these as the default settings for new projects, so people don't have to remember to go and change them each time.

Steve: Implemented in 1086: 2) in Object Mode, it'd be really great to have Orientation properties included in the Sphere Editor, Cylinder Editor and Cube Editor dialogues - like what you've done for the Element Editor dialogues in Scene Mode (see mockup in attached picture 'pt2').  these shapes obviously have Orientation properties, and there are ways of manipulating them (the Rotate tool, or menu Edit > Rotate > etc), but the existing tools all work with relative values, and there are times when i'd find it easier to be able to input an absolute value into the Editor.

Steve: Implemented in 1101: 3) i think it would be more intuitive if the menu item Edit > Delete Object was moved to Object > Delete, and if Settings > Object was moved to Object > Settings; same for the equivalent menu items in the other Modes.

Steve: Implemented in 1101: 3-and-a-half) the previous point kinda ties in with one of one of my longest-standing niggles with the current Anim8or workflow/UI, which is the fact that all your Objects pile up in one long chronological list on the Object menu, with no facility to rearrange them into a more meaningful sequence or to group them in any way.  for example, in a project where you have a dozen or so objects to make up the parts of one figure, and another dozen for the next figure, and so on, it'd be very helpful if you could set up some kind of grouping, e.g. what i've shown in the attached picture 'pt3'.  and/or, just being able to re-order the list would be very helpful!  and again, same for the other Modes.

there could a bit of difficulty over what to call these groupings - you can't call them Groups, as that term already has a definition within Object Mode, and i'd be wary of calling them Folders, as that already means something in computing generally.  my current hunch would be 'Collections', although i'm not particularly attached to the term.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 09:13:26 pm by Steve »
Logged

nemyax

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 214
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2014, 12:14:01 pm »

May I suggest a rework of modelling transformations?
Consider the following concept:
  • All three subobject types are transformable, not just associated vertices. This is important for normal-based transforms. Currently, you can't even rotate a face.
  • The following transforms are available for all subobject types: move (X/Y/Z, XY/XZ/YZ, normal, normal planar), rotate (X/Y/Z, normal, view), scale (uniform, X/Y/Z, XY/XZ/YZ, normal, normal radial). Some of these are currently not available.
  • For each contiguous selected "island", use the centroid as the transformation centre. Whenever this behaviour is not desirable, convert your selection to vertices, and the centroid of the entire selection is used. Currently, transforms use only the object centre.
  • Unlike centroids, the normals of all selected elements remain independent, and positions of shared vertices adjust during transforms.
  • Some hotkeys are mapped to axis constraints. For example, F1F5 for X, Y, Z, Normal, Radial/Planar Normal.
  • The transform centre and vector can be customised. (However, this is likely to require widgets, which can rub some users the wrong way.) Not an essential feature, but extremely useful.
I apologise if these notes are incoherent, but the ideas in them are not in the least abstract, and they all have real easy-to-demonstrate implementations. I'm prepared to explain each point in detail if you're interested.
Logged

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2014, 02:21:35 am »

thecolclough:

2:
Yes, I should have added orientation to all the dialogs in the Object editor when I added Layers and Mesh Statistics. However I didn't think about it until I had almost finished all the dialog editing and testing and I didn't want to redo it all. But you're right, I really should :) so I'll get it in sometime soon. But it will be a simple orientation without any "relative to" or "enable roll" options. Those are only supported in animation.

3: I want to rearrange these and some other menu commands as well. I haven't because it changed the existing workflow a little. I want to make all the changes as the same time however to avoid having a lot of different versions.

3 1/2: The UI needs similar capabilities for Materials, Scripts, and Parametric Plug-ins, too. This is pretty high on my to-do list.

nemyax : You have some good suggestions. It's a bit much to reply to them all here but when I'm at the point of working on the point editors I'll certainly want to discuss these and some other ideas that I have with you.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2014, 08:00:27 pm by Steve »
Logged

bamman62

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2014, 06:11:19 am »

I have a few things that I would like to see that I think would be useful. If I suggest something that's already implemented or would be too much trouble with too little benefit, I apologize ahead of time.

-Pan being integrated as a keyboard shortcut.

-Icon subsets would be useful. Instead of going into the build menu to change from a dodecahedron to an icosahedron, perhaps something like right-clicking the icon would bring up all primitive variants that are related to it (in this particular case the platonic solids). This could also be integrated into the edit mode tools to provide variants on some operations if necessary. In particular though, this might be useful for organizing the menu for those of us with an endless amount of primitive plugins.

-Free-form select.

-For many of the input box tools like smooth object, rotate custom, primitive parameters, etc., having a slider in addition to it that automatically updates the model to reflect the outcome before completing the operation would be useful for visualization and save a bit of guess work.

-Changing the color of GUI components could be useful, for personal preference or otherwise. In my case, a lot of the reference images I use tend to have white backgrounds, so being able to change my selected point/edge color to something that blends in less would save a bit of hassle in the long run. Along with that, things like scaling windows could be useful as well when dealing with multiple views.

-Steve: Implemented in 1086: Transparency as a part of the reference image parameters. That, or being able to have objects always draw in front of a reference image.

-Rotate faces obeying the x,y,z restrictions like the point rotate would be useful when working with extrusions.

I don't feel that any of these should be too high on the priority list, but they are some things that I feel would benefit the program without over-complicating it.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 11:19:38 pm by Steve »
Logged

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2014, 11:15:53 pm »

thecolclough: Build 1086 has the Orientation in all the Object Editor dialogs.

bamman62: Build 1086 supports Transparent Reference Images both as an overall transparency level (alpha < 1.0) and transparency in the image (i.e. .GIF files with transparency).
Logged

thecolclough

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
  • 3D Ignoramus 1988-2002, Anim8or User 2002-present.
    • View Profile
    • www.mattghc.com
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2014, 10:35:56 am »

thecolclough: Build 1086 has the Orientation in all the Object Editor dialogs.
most excellent!  thanks, steve :)
Logged

Raxx

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1448
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2014, 06:30:02 am »

I'm going to go ahead and mention it here since it's related to the UI. If you just press and release the alt key without doing anything, it moves the focus into the top menu bar. Most times this wouldn't be a problem, but it does cause a delay in making the arc rotate tool activate again if you press alt, and middle click can't be used in the workspace until you click in with one of the other mouse buttons.
Logged

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2014, 04:43:13 pm »

Windows uses the Alt key for menus - Anim8or is overloading the functionality.

The menu changes to underline the Alt-X short cuts when you press Alt. If you press it again the menu will change back to normal. This happens in Anim8or as in other apps. The delay that you see when you press Alt the second time is the delay for the Alt key to start repeating; pressing the key the second time, while Windows is focused on the menu, causes Windows to remove the underlines and revert to normal behavior. Since Windows has the focus set on the menu Anim8or does not see that you pressed Alt. As you keep the key pressed windows starts repeating Alt and the first repeated character is finally sent to Anim8or.
Logged

Raxx

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1448
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2014, 05:45:08 pm »

I figured it was more a Windows thing, but I was wondering if there's any way to force-ignore it so that it doesn't disrupt the workflow, or to remove the delay and allow middle-clicking to bring focus back? From my observations in other programs that use Alt for view rotation:
  • XSI and Unity3D ignores that focus effect, but allows Alt-X menu access functionality (like pressing Alt-F)
  • Blender, 3D-Coat, and Project Messiah don't have Alt-X menu functionality at all.
  • 3Ds Max and Mudbox allow the focus effect, but there is no delay and middle clicking works. Basically it's kinda like a pseudo focus.

I know I've been comparing with other programs a lot, but it's a good way to judge whether a shared feature would work a certain way or not.
Logged

thecolclough

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
  • 3D Ignoramus 1988-2002, Anim8or User 2002-present.
    • View Profile
    • www.mattghc.com
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2014, 06:50:46 pm »

just a little thing: some programs (e.g. GIMP) use ctrl+shift+A as a Select None command, which can be quite useful at times.  any chance of that being implemented in Anim8or too?
Logged

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2014, 08:37:01 pm »

How about Esc for Select None? It's currently used only for the "Stop" button in the Scene player but the space key stops and starts via the "Pause" button, and having the ESC deselect everything in Scene mode when the player isn't running seems like it would work.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2014, 08:40:16 pm by Steve »
Logged

thecolclough

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 828
  • 3D Ignoramus 1988-2002, Anim8or User 2002-present.
    • View Profile
    • www.mattghc.com
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2014, 08:50:56 pm »

ESC would work, i suppose.  i suggested ctrl+shift+A because Select None is closely related to Select All, so it makes sense from a semantic point of view to use a command related to ctrl+A - but i'd be happy enough with either option.  :)
Logged

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2014, 11:31:07 pm »

yes, I can see that, too. But 3-key shortcuts can be a little awkward, plus the ESC key is just sitting there, really bored, waiting forever to for someone to use it ... :)
Logged

Steve

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1532
    • View Profile
Re: General UI and Workflow Suggestions
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2014, 01:01:19 am »

Silly me! The SPACE bar is already a shortcut for Deselect All except when an animation is playing when it is a pause/run toggle.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3 4