As ForrestPack and RailClone has become a natural and valued part of my daily routine, you sometimes come to think if there was something that could be better, easier or just more efficient workflow wise. Through my time with these plugins, I have come to some ideas or improvements that I will describe here, for now I will concentrate on RailClone.
The RC Command Panel
When working with RC you use a lot of time scrolling up and down the command panels, especially to reach vital things like basespline, parametres and display settings. Sometimes the order seems a little inefficient - and I have actually been thinking if RailClone shouldn't have like two switchable modes, - one mode for setting up and another for executing (let's say dailyday use).
The setup mode could be more or less as it is now. The Executing mode however should be much more compact, with only the things you really need when executing the RC setup.
(This might even open the possibility for making compiled versions of the RC Setups, that could be shipped and sold, - giving some possibilty to earn on the many development hours spend on making a good RC setup)
Fx. only show the most used/important items, such as the base objects list, the parameters and the display settings, also compacted to the most used.
The parameters could be made more "sexy" so instead of a list with a text box or checkbox, to real textboxes, real checkboxes ect. - and it would be good to have a combobox with a preset list of possible values. I'm also missing the possibility to group parameters - so a separator element would be very good to have.
All this would take some (even a lot) of the scrolling - and you would have a faster workflow.
The ever reappearing RC material wish
As RC is not only used as a construction plugin - actually I will claim that 70% of the use of RC is for layout purposes, even iToo self indicate this as many of the shipped setups are for layout purposes. So RC must meet these demands. One of the most acquired add ons is the possibility to EASY manage multimaterials - like in ForestPro. The lack of this functionality is a real obstacle - in some cases a showstopper. I know you have tried out the possibility to implement it - with a negative result. I don't’ know exactly what is the problem. I mean, if it is possible to do manually by the user, why isn’t it possible to do by code?
If this just isn’t possible, - then iToo should at least make and provide a tool that could deal with this. It is essential in many cases to add and remove items to a RC setup on the go - but right now it is a real bottleneck and sometimes this is too time consuming to to do - so it is omitted, giving a less good result for our customer.
Maybe you should even consider making a hybrid between ForestPro and RailClone - a layout plugin - that could meet these demands?
Thanks for an amazing program, that I couldn’t live without - despite the lack of the improvements mentioned above - however, there are always room for improvements, no?