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Author Topic: ForestPack frustration  (Read 5198 times)

Shawn Olson

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2014, 06:43:59 PM »
...most of them could definitely be simplified without any loss of flexibility ;)

I flatly disagree with this. I challenge you to go through each rollout and justify removing settings. Especially for those rollouts that I personally use most (those listed above), I cannot think of any logical reason to remove any option.

I'm happy with the program innovating and becoming less frustrating for you and anyone else. At the same time, the current logic behind the tool is very easy to use for others of us. So if there is some work in this direction, it needs to be such that it keeps the standard Forest user in mind. Forest has been one of my favorite tools for years, and the complexity of the tool is not frustrating for me at all. I feel it is very well organized.

Perhaps this is along the lines of how different brains work. I am against Apple products because I don't like their limiting approach to things and obsession with over simplification (and more care of UI than versatility). But many people, obviously, like that simplicity. I'm not saying you are wrong. I am, however, arguing that Forest is only as powerful as it is because of its options.

Rawalanche

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2014, 09:46:07 AM »
For example, most of the distribution options (altitude, slope, distribution maps, etc...) could be removed, and instead distribution could be simply driven by set of maps. Therefore users who dont need anything complex will not have to put up with a spaceship command panel ( http://i.imgur.com/m03zpsd.jpg ) and those who need flexibility can always do it.

You could simply support falloff map for example. Distance blend in world Z axis with some output curve clamp could easily work to define altitude range, but with even more flexibility, such defining how smooth the gradient is, and curve of it. Perpendicular/parallel mode in world Z axis could work to define slope range.  Various procedurals could be used to drive distribution. Fractal noise stretched in one axis could be even more flexible equivalent of for example random bands distribution maps, and so on. Some sort of distance texture could work as a include/exclude area for meshes. Fake shadows, hidden layers in the scene and billboards could just go away completely, and show up in a rollout only if one uses special forestpack object with presets. Most of the people do not use billboards, yet it, and things related to it, like fake shadows, clutter the UI. And Render frame in Display rollout is completely redundant, and just adds more space for error. It's also pointless to have materia (color) settings in the modifier. They belong in the map (where they concidentaly are as well, so it's just duplicate on two separate places)

With clever design, you can have both flexibility and clean UI.

iToo

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2014, 10:12:16 AM »
Thanks for your suggestions, but this only would be applicable for a completely new plugin.
We cannot remove or change drastically any option, without breaking the compatibilty with existing scenes.
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Rawalanche

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2014, 10:16:34 AM »
Thanks for your suggestions, but this only would be applicable for a completely new plugin.
We cannot remove or change drastically any option, without breaking the compatibilty with existing scenes.

I understand :) I do not expect you to change ForestPack, but my point is just that simplification without flexibility loss is not impossible. It is possible... Not without breaking backwards compatibility and part of the userbase though :)

Shawn Olson

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2014, 10:42:20 PM »
For example, most of the distribution options (altitude, slope, distribution maps, etc...) could be removed, and instead distribution could be simply driven by set of maps. Therefore users who dont need anything complex will not have to put up with a spaceship command panel ( http://i.imgur.com/m03zpsd.jpg ) and those who need flexibility can always do it.

Altitude and Slope are Extremely useful for me. I use them all the time with great satisfaction. I would never think of removing these.

You could simply support falloff map for example. Distance blend in world Z axis with some output curve clamp could easily work to define altitude range, but with even more flexibility, such defining how smooth the gradient is, and curve of it. Perpendicular/parallel mode in world Z axis could work to define slope range.  Various procedurals could be used to drive distribution. Fractal noise stretched in one axis could be even more flexible equivalent of for example random bands distribution maps, and so on. Some sort of distance texture could work as a include/exclude area for meshes.
Adding additional ways to drive distribution/faloff is a great idea. But you must realize there 1) there is already a map distribution option and 2) the current altitude/slope are tied directly to the geometry--which isn't always controlled by an easy-to-manage mapping. Complex geometry (that includes cave systems, etc, as an example) would probably require extra work because of needing to unwrap, etc, objects that don't currently require unwrapping because we already have geometry that is mapping actual geometric coordinates to real space rather than texture space.

As it stands, having the ability to distribute via Map + Geometry offers great flexibility. Unless your entire geometry is already driven by maps (which is only sometimes the case) then the map+geo option is best.


Most of the people do not use billboards..

This is only an assumption. Have you polled most people?

And Render frame in Display rollout is completely redundant, and just adds more space for error.
Do you mean the Render Group UI? That is a terrible idea to remove those options. It is standard for many Max components to give the user control over viewport/render settings. While a final render is likely to have all settings all the way up, different iterations of renders can have usefulness for different phases of projects. So when you are building the composition, you might do some fast renders with proxies and later change to full mesh.

I just feel like these recommendations are mainly overly critical of Forest in non-essential ways or in very specialized ways.

I am a firm believer that almost all things can be improved, including Forest. I just don't see these recommendations as truly sincere. The number of rollouts in Forest is really unimportant. If you don't use the Material rollout, don't open it.

nuages

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2014, 08:56:08 AM »
Hi all,
I'm a new user and an multiscatter user too, my 10 cents: Vray 3.0 UI is pretty full of option but the differents mode (expert/advanced/normal...) is clever to hide and simplify the UI.
I'm a Vray user since it was free so I use quasi all the options but its UI is great in all the case.
 

iToo

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2014, 09:40:09 AM »
Hi all,
I'm a new user and an multiscatter user too, my 10 cents: Vray 3.0 UI is pretty full of option but the differents mode (expert/advanced/normal...) is clever to hide and simplify the UI.
I'm a Vray user since it was free so I use quasi all the options but its UI is great in all the case.

This is an option we are evaluating, but VRay uses selectors only with a couple of rollouts. In Forest, it's not practical to add a selector for each one of the rollouts.
Also the UI for procedural objects is much less flexible, because it's tied to the parameters block and initialized automatically by Max. There is not a simple way to modify it dinamically.
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

nuages

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2014, 10:18:27 AM »
I'm ok with this of course.
I think the hardest thing is also to select the bases options which will satisfy everyone.

danieljhatton

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2014, 03:36:48 PM »
The problem is you usually need to open almost every roll out just to set up basic tree scatter for example. So you need to dig through them. And most of them could definitely be simplified without any loss of flexibility ;)

Is it not possible to move the plugin into a windowed style plugin, e.g. VRay has it's own window with tabs and simplicity toggles. I cant imagine what would happen If VRay moved to the create panel. I don't know how the software architecture works on this level so I don't know how complex that would be. Would it?

iToo

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Re: ForestPack frustration
« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2014, 09:05:47 AM »
Quote
Is it not possible to move the plugin into a windowed style plugin, e.g. VRay has it's own window with tabs and simplicity toggles. I cant imagine what would happen If VRay moved to the create panel. I don't know how the software architecture works on this level so I don't know how complex that would be. Would it?

It would be, but perhaps a floating window is worse than rollouts for a plugin that is used interactively with viewports. VRay is slightly different, because usually while you adjust render settings it's not necessary to manage the scene.
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software