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An open letter to AutoDesSys regarding the interface


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#41 RobertH

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 02:47 PM

Hi rich,

 

To export a workspace select from the menu  Workspace>Workspace Manager...>Export Workspaces... button and use the same dialog and the Import Workspaces... button to import.

 

If you use a palette a lot, assign it a hot key. For instance you could set F3 for the Material Parameters Palette. Press it once and the palette appears, press it again and it disappears:  Edit>Key Shortcuts...>Palettes>Material Parameters. I like modal palettes so much better than non-modal dialogs, the material parameters for example can be left open, work on a bunch of different materials and then close it. Not only that but it remembers what you were doing previously and opens to the same material group. It's also simple to rollup, ready for instant reuse. With the non-modal dialogs it's one shot at a time no matter how many times you need it in succession, that's what I call tedious.

 

Only if a palette is poorly designed does it need to be resized. For instance I hate it when there is a dialog box that pops up and you need to make a selection from a list of 30 items, in a 1" box that shows you 4 items at a time, requiring scrolling. That screams out for resizing but often can't. The Materials Parameters palette looks great to me, easy to use and well organized.

 

- Its funny, I sometimes find the single frame layouts to waste more space... I guess I just feel too constrained about where I can put things. With floating palettes I can drag the modeling window as big as I want and minimize the palettes to get them out of the way. And I'm always on a multiple monitor setup.

 

I think we are talking about the same thing here. Currently there is a title bar, controls and a frame around the design window. With a single application frame none of that would be there, leaving more room. There is also the Hide Palettes command, I assigned to the F11 key which just leaves the application title bar and the menu (and currently design work window which we want to have ADS remove).



#42 RobertH

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Posted 01 June 2015 - 11:38 PM

For completeness of this message thread, that I hope ADS will give serious attention to;

 

Here is an example (that I used in another post) of an existing application, that operates as formZ currently does, and how a maximized design window version would work:

 

Max Win Example 4.jpg

 

 

If ADS wants to keep the UI as close to the current version, for whatever reason, this design gives that option, plus giving the user a maximized, boarder-less, title-less, control-less design work area with additional space and stability:

 

Max Win Example 5.jpg



#43 redrngr

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 03:13 AM

I like you thinking here Robert and your 2nd image seems very doable for ADS to implement. Yes, I believe ADS is paying attention to all this valuable feedback and think the points that you are making are indeed worthwhile.

In short, I hope they consider the points you making regarding your 2nd image.

 

Dan S.



#44 RobertH

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 07:19 AM

Hi Dan,

Thanks for your reply! Yes I think this would be a great solution.

 

BTW if I wasn't clear the 2nd screen result occurs when you press the middle "maximize" button on the floating document window (upper right corner) of the first screen.



#45 rich f

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Posted 02 June 2015 - 11:39 AM

- To export a workspace select from the menu  Workspace>Workspace Manager...>Export Workspaces...

- If you use a palette a lot, assign it a hot key.

- For instance I hate it when there is a dialog box that pops up and you need to make a selection from a list of 30 items, in a 1" box that shows you 4 items at a time, requiring scrolling. That screams out for resizing but often can't.

 

- Maybe this was added in v8? There sure isn't an Export Workspace in v7. We have v8 in the office but I haven't loaded it yet. Assuming that is the case, that certainly resolves one of my big issues.

 

- Thanks for the tip. What would be great is if the frontmost palette could simply be dismissed with a close window shortcut. (either a standard command or ctrl-W, or something user assignable.) This would require a better visual indication of which palette is active. (Maybe the title bar turns blue.) I see you can assign a close window shortcut, but it doesn't work on palettes.

 

- Yes, this is a highly irksome issue that many apps are guilty of (often with no indication that the box is even scroll-able.) I agree in generally they should default to be fully expanded, but I should be able to resize it down (which would introduce the scroll bars) if I want to keep it open, but get it out of the way. With Material Params, Display Options, and Component Manager all different sizes it just makes for a bit of a ridiculous mess right now.



#46 Chris lund

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Posted 03 June 2015 - 04:52 PM

Robert H

 

At least one part of that will not work on a Mac.   the application Title bar at that location will not work.   Menubar is always at the top.

So, for Parity, this part will probably not happen.  Too, at least in the app you note, that wastes a LOT of vertical space.

 

Personal preference, I do not like the workspace locked to the rest of the application pallets.  it wastes space when using a multi monitor setup.

 

Modo has a good hybrid solution where you can pull off most of the docked pallets to float and can be combined into independent palettes with internal docking.   Except for the Right most Pallet which insists on being there!   DAMN!  I hate that!


Christopher Lund

Neurascenic - Industrial Design


#47 Walter

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 12:51 AM

I like the idea Robert was showing above - specially the 2nd window. :)  

 

Maybe ADS TECH can do a statement about all this interesting post and ideas made here in this thread about workspace......

 

 


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#48 ASONE

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Posted 05 June 2015 - 03:34 PM

I would love to see a "stability and UI" release that instead of focusing on new tools or features does the following:

 

Fixes bugs

Bring back lost tools and functionality from v6 that is now more difficult or not possible in v7 & v8

Fixes the workspace issues

Updates the UI (clearly some different opinions on how to accomplish this task)

Rewrites older scripts (see Lab posting) that users find useful, but don't work in v7 & v8 yet

 

Some of these bugs and functionality issues go back years and it would be nice to have to stop posting about them.  


Edited by ASONE, 05 June 2015 - 03:35 PM.

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#49 Bo Atkinson

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Posted 08 June 2015 - 05:57 AM

Let me explain why i am pleased with the gradual interface evolution, as-is.

What if personal computers and operating systems simply did not have the capacity to do all the things that an advanced user reasonably wants?

In short, we are compelled to find the best the work-arounds, as life itself is not really supposed to be "matrix perfect".  Regarding design... A one-ap which does it all, is going to have to work around the limitations of PCs... PCs in  turn have to work around with verbal code languages to replicate visual and dimensional geometry. Compromise is inevitable, in my humble opinion.  Some of us seem to use multiple aps, to get some specialty better suited to a specific task. This causes the difficulty with interfaces which naturally must vary in order to suit specific specialties of work flow. One interface for all of life is not going to happen!

 
So the choice seems to be multiple aps which handle specific, repetitive tasks most readily; but, which demands a lot of human habit forming for each separate ap... This interferes with probing deeper into any single ap.   The other choice is one ap which does it all in one ap, but with some brevity in specializations, (such as interface issues).

 I wonder if my own worst crashing,  is due to pushing self  too hard. I used to foolishly expect that digital amelioration will be done quickly for me.  Save face and fortune for me, in a difficult and pressing world. I also see this expected of  different kinds of physical machinery. We humans like things done for us. To earn our keep for us and we have to compete with other humans in the same bind.

I feel that patient observation has revealed to me, that my mindset and emotion affects my computer functionality. Coincidently, the computer electronic emissions affect me also, in two way cascades. I've stopped trying to push so hard with 12+ hour deadline sessions, (except and unless a special design is energizing the process synergistically).   Trying to gain a better marketing space in the 'matrix' has not worked for me.  Instead, through the decades, an effort  to rebalance human naturalism has worked so much better.  Full time employees cannot see doing this, but self employed people might find some do-it-yourself, physical jobs which also rebalance the body. By doing some kind of productive, physical tasks instead of sweating in gyms or jogging through traffic fumes. Balancing mental with physical work is key, especially if nature can be integrated.

 


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#50 jonmoore

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:49 AM

When I was accessing FormZ for a number of studio clients here in the UK one of the key benefits I highlighted was the low system resource requirements (works well with integrated Intel GPU's common on most modern laptops) and the flexibility of the palette based design which allows the user to configure an optimal layout for restricted screen resolutions (examples below were captured on a Lenovo Thinkpad 1366x768).

 

It's very easy to rearrange the interface if you remove the 'Tool Dock' and the 'Palette Dock' to maximise screen space (leaving common use palettes on the interface in collapsed form for for quick / hot key access). And the customisable 'Tool Manager' (accessed via the space-bar) provides easy access to your favourite tools / navigation aids at point of need in a similar fashion to the pie menu system of other applications (essential when using a laptop without a mouse).

 

Whilst I agree the interface needs an overhaul (Windows is more offensive than OS X), and that the overall graphic design language is lacking; FormZ has a very flexible design from a functional perspective.

 

Most of my clients render and animate their designs via Autodesk, Maxon or The Foundry products but FormZ provides a very unique modelling toolset that fit's in well with their pipelines (when used with Integrityware's 'Power Translators' to overcome the glitchy nature of FormZ's native IO plugins).

 

Compared to the likes of SolidWorks, SolidThinking and Rhino, FormZ's functional interface design provides far greater flexibility.

 

But as a boy who love's me some polygons, I'm happiest of all when all those Nurbs surfaces and ACIS solids have been converted and I'm back home in Modo! ;)

 

 

1deM3.png

 

16ix5.png


Edited by jonmoore, 10 June 2015 - 05:50 AM.

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#51 ingoerik

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 08:10 AM

Thanks for sharing your setup, looks interesting, i will try some of your suggestions.

 

I actually like FormZs interface since its easy to use and customizable, my scene building and rendering software is Modo which has a cluttered interface that is annoying to work with, you have to click at least twice as many times to get your work done than in formz. So yes, i prefer a modal system  :)


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#52 andrew

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Posted 15 June 2015 - 12:28 PM

I think there are many good suggestions in this thread.  The issue that seems to be consistant is that users want FormZ to behave consistantly, no matter what screen setup they are using.

 

For my experience, I want to go to work spaces, choose 27" Screen, and voila, everything snaps into place where I set it up for that size. I wan to have a dialog that allows me all the preference and project setting that apply to fixing my workspace in one place. I want to setup one for just using my laptop alone and one for my workstation screen at the office.

 

If this dialog was in the opening screen that FormZ now uses that would be good too. Sketchup has a similar approach that works very well, and all the 'traditional mac windows and palettes' that some her love so much always end up where you left them or set them.

 

Some might argue that FormZ does this, and it does, but it doesn't do it consitently and the process to set it up just right is still byzantine.  I've been using this software since 1995, and this has always been somewhat of an issue. Preferences do somethings, project settings do others, workspaces do others, and if you don't set the myriad of options just right, you get what you don't want, every time.

 

Some things are bugs, too. I have a MBPro Retina, and there is no way to drag down the right master palette to the bottom of the screen. It stops about an inch above the bottom.

 

So I humbly submit to you a visual standard in our world- Photoshop.  I open it on the laptop - it is consistent. I open it on One large screen, and its consistent. Same with two screens.  

 

One dialog, palettes that behave according to the active display hardware and workspaces we can rely on.  

 

laptop-retina.jpg

1900-27"LED.jpg


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#53 Walter

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Posted 16 June 2015 - 12:44 PM

@ Andrew: can agree 100% :)

 

i think Adrews post shows again the main problem which should be fixed: no mather what screen size or screen setup - FormZ work spaces should stay at each Resolution as shown in Anrews post.






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