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How do you...?

Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:00 pm
by giannis
In order to improve usability in the application (the application and not the plugins), reduce user interaction with UI and maximize workflow, we will appreciate if you can write here (in very few words) the usual tasks you are doing (or want to do) when opening Thea.

What's the first thing you want to see when opening a scene?

What are your most usual actions?

Your posts will help us optimize workflow for the most common user actions. We thank you in advance.

best regards
giannis

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:50 pm
by Frederik
At the SCF, dtrarch wrote the following...
dtrarch wrote:OK a quick shortlist for the UI only.

#1 is user defined keystrokes.
Almost every well configured program has this option.
UI
2-Very dark and hard to read/see and while helped by selecting the Maya option this was just a desperation try and why "Maya" to select.?
Why not a "skin" option for interface color scheme or at least a (white/black) type screen option.
3-Icon bars need to be larger or re-sizable to be quickly usable and understandable.
4-Text for selected icon bar should be at the selector pointer not in an unrelated screen place (center/left ?)
5-Scene/camera should upload to screen with a simple double click.
6-[Select Window/More settings] to get a basic fcn like textures should be part of the default setup not in a buried menu selection.
Also show/hide for textures/materials/ etc menus please.
7-Easy navigation is KEY and having to access multiple selections from the Icon bar is a real pain.
Most applications use the mouse with Alt/Ctl/Shift options by simply clicking on the screen.
(a keystroke option for select would be an easy fix but user defined)
8-Rt click contextual menus for selected options/fcns are a gotta have for a more intuitive workflow.
9-On screen sun selection and move should prevent entity selection when invoked and be much more readable to boot.
10-Keystrokes again.

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:17 am
by Ern
A recently opened documents option in the File menu would be handy.

I tend to copy elements from a scene into another document to prototype textures etc. then merge them back into the final scene.

Being able to pull the last few scenes down from the "File " menu is just something I've gotten used to.

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:18 pm
by giannis
For the record, both color scheme and key binding (for GL viewport) already exist.

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:41 pm
by eph
Hey Giannis,

I don't think it is that important about who does what in what order. A great interface should allow everybody to develop their optimal workflows.

Although I am already a quite seasoned KT user, I have to admit I was expecting more from the new Thea interface.. It does remind me a bit of the Adobe Lightroom interface, which I consider great. So, you might be not too far off! :)
LR 3 beta is a free download by the way, check here: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom3/

Please don't take the following remarks as being too negative (they're always meant to build up):

- I can't "read" (understand) the icons: too small, 3D background out of place, and meaning too unclear.
- LR has a great (and consistent across the modules) shortcut system. What's more, they're displayed everywhere, and you have all the time quick access to them using CTRL + / (or the Help menu).
- Big buttons drawing attention to constantly used functions / modules are of (visual) help.
- Same thing holds true for mouseovers / 1-line tooltips
- LR uses the same shortcuts as Photoshop to get more screen estate (TAB and F). Sometimes it doesn't hurt to use "established" shortcut and navigation systems (for example, letting people switch to the mouse navigation they use in the master program: Sketchup, Max, ...)
- I do like LR's folding panes (with hierarchy in size and markup of titles). This is already partly used in Thea (Scene panel), but not in the same consistent way.

I'll stop for now, don't want to cause a heart attack :roll:
Great basis though, now it's only matter of purifying a bit!

Cheers
eph

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:48 pm
by eph
BTW, another great UI is that of Moi3D: http://moi3d.com/
Big icons are not necesseraly a negative thing (ok, I admit the context is different!)
- in the screenshots: the right upper zone is "flexible": content changes when selecting a tool / icon;
- I especially like the transparent controls that get activated when you hover over them!
- there is a trial available as well.

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:20 pm
by DBK
Hi Giannis

As Mies van der Rohe said: "Less is more"!

By this I mean that all the main tweaking features has to be right in the front, like the panels placed around the workspace. If more advanced tweaking is needed that's where the underlaying tabs comes in use or a overlay window like the color lab.
- An example is the window/panel "more settings" where the texture lab is hidden, it's very needed but some how it's hard to find a place for it on the screen!

An other thing I miss is foldable panels! - e.g. I don't need to constantly see all the options from "Display" "Relight" "Network" tabs in the darkroom.. Just fold the darkroom panel while rendering!
Maybe this could solve where to place the texture lab?

The last thing for now is the option to delete materials and folders from the Material/Texture browser!

How I work:
I prepare my model in Sketchup, and now that Thea has this fine studio I think I would prefere to assign materials in Thea because I would make a solid material library where I could drag and drop the materials at the surfaces.
This is of course only possible if accurate metric scale of textures is possible! :(

Keep up the good work!! ;)

David

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:42 am
by Fletch
DBK wrote: The last thing for now is the option to delete materials and folders from the Material/Texture browser!

This is of course only possible if accurate metric scale of textures is possible! :(
David... just found this yesterday! Double-Right Click a material in Thea's mat. browser and it deletes! :)

The correct scaling/viewing architectural materials is of course paramount above all other issues.

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:10 pm
by imodel
For the record, both color scheme and key binding (for GL viewport) already exist.
Hi Giannis,

You didn't answer my previous question about select and rotate view. I spend a lot of time toggling between these two. Sometimes I try to select and move something, and end up rotating the camera instead, then return to camera, try again. For me it is a distraction to have to try and remember or check what mode I am in.

Please do not be offended. These should me minor tweaks to a Great Package.

Re: How do you...?

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:32 pm
by giannis
imodel wrote: You didn't answer my previous question about select and rotate view. I spend a lot of time toggling between these two. Sometimes I try to select and move something, and end up rotating the camera instead, then return to camera, try again. For me it is a distraction to have to try and remember or check what mode I am in.

Please do not be offended. These should me minor tweaks to a Great Package.
Yes!!!!! That's something I got angry with the interface as well, when the camera is selected and you are looking through it, it doesn't let you select something else. Also, when selecting a distant light (the sun for example), you may be quite lost when moving.

I know that things like these may be quite frustrating, but indeed - as you are saying - putting them in scale with the core of the product they are "small" things (which need to be fixed!!!). :oops:

best wishes
giannis