SandroS: Thank you very much for the explanation. I guess I need to read through this again every time I use Thea.
While I know how it works in theory, it doesn't stick and feels counter-intuitive to me so I struggle again each time I open the software.
As a user of many different 3D applications for 20+ years, starting with stuff like DeLuxePaint, RayDreamStudio, Extreme3D and then going Pro with Cinema4D, Lightwave, XSI/Softimage, Blender, MoI, messiah:studio, Rhino, Silo, Sculptris, ZBrush modo etc. , I've seen a lot of different approaches to navigation. To this day, Lightwave has my favourite view navigation. But it is missing direct camera-navigation, so in that area I personally find XSI the most intuitive/workable.
It has separate work and render cameras and a dedicated undo for cameras/views so even if I accidentally change a render camera, I can undo it in most cases - I also can lock cameras to prevent any changes.
As I said, I completely understand what Thea is trying to do and even appreciate it.
When we are talking about in-View-Navigation the system works okay.
Where the system falls apart - IMO - is when I enter values numerically. While I may change a camera accidentally in view and be happy when Thea prevents that, when setting values and parameters numerically, I always want
to change my current camera, not some detached current view and not a camera I'm not currently looking through.
But there is more to it - the overall view problems continue when it comes to switching between perspective and straight views:
When I switch to a top view, I get some kind of preset view position and have to navigate to what I want to work on or use the frame scene/frame object buttons. So far so good.
But if I go back to a certain render-camera view to check how my change looks in context and then go back to the top view, I'm back to the default view.
After ten times, I start to gnaw at my table.
This combined with having to switch to a non-perspective view each time and the quad-view getting confused in which view you are working makes for a lot of pain or ATM makes me avoid using it altogether.
It is my personal opinion, that it would do Thea a lot of good to stick with "standards", since it is always a secondary tool, used together with a host. Most hosts use a system, where Top, Front and Side views are always parallel by default and either save the last used position for each of them or have the zoom and centre synchronized between the 3, but usually don't mix that with the perspective work view.
Why I mention all this is, because I actually enjoy working in Thea Studio a lot.
Since ATM I have no really working plugins for my hosts (there is no LightWave plugin, modo 601 doesn't work with the available version and XSI is mostly hit and miss) I use simple OBJ imports and it works very well for me, but it would be very nice to have the overall navigation and handling up to par with other 3D software - the renderer as such leaves not much to be desired for me and is my personal favourite.
Some relatively small adjustments to the workflow, maybe some presets for different navigation standards, finetuning or a special setting for tablet users, the tab key working as it should (hit tab ONCE and go to the next entry instead of several times) and getting working with single and quad views and cameras straight and Studio is really cool for much more people.
Since this is the first thing you do with Thea (navigating your scene), this being quirky may color the initial experience of users in the wrong way and is annoying even to long time users.
But again, I only mention all this because I love Thea