Itoo Software Forum

Author Topic: Suggestions to improvements on RailClone  (Read 235 times)

Lars Egerrup / LKE Design

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • LKE design website
Suggestions to improvements on RailClone
« on: May 16, 2019, 02:20:43 PM »
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?
Lars Egerrup
LKE Design

E: Lars@LKEdesign.dk
W: www.LKEdesign.dk

iToo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3483
    • iToo Software
Re: Suggestions to improvements on RailClone
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2019, 09:33:36 AM »
Hi, many thanks for your suggestions:

Quote
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).

Well, i will discuss this issue with our team, but it's problematic to make drastical changes in the interface because it would make obsolete the tutorials, documentation, references, etc.
Max doesn't include any procedure to switch between different interfaces for a plugin either. We should think some way to 'hack' it.

I agree with the other suggestions: More type of parameters (specially list boxes), grouped parameters, and protected styles. All of them were already in our to-do list.

Quote
The ever reappearing RC material wish

This is already implemented for the upcoming RC4. A single "Use Segment Material" in the Style rollup enables it.
We have not included this feature before because i was hesitant to use the same 'auto-material' approach used in FP. It's not intuitive, and causes problems with some plugins, because is needed to remap the Material IDs of the geometry.

Instead, RC assigns the Segment materials at the render engine level (since Max doesn't support to assign multiple materials to an unique object), and the procedure is transparent for the user.
Actually this feature is available in V-Ray, Arnold and RailClone Tools. Other engines would be supported in the future, because it must be implemented for each renderer developer.

We hope to open the public beta of RC4 very soon. We continue testing and making changes on the new features, and rewriting some tools which were obsolete (as the License Manager).

Regards,

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Lars Egerrup / LKE Design

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 26
    • LKE design website
Re: Suggestions to improvements on RailClone
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2019, 11:53:41 AM »
“Segment materials”
Wow, that sounds great. I hope Corona will be included in that soon too, although I know you have some issues with developments for Corona.

“Switchable modes”
I know it’s a bough one, that will not be done in “one day” - and I know it has a price due to the need of changing all documentation ect.



ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS

Oops I forgot to mention one thing that has been irritating me for quite some time, and will probably be easier to implement fast.

When you insert a predefined RC setup, fx from the Library, the inserted RC setup is named to RailCloneXX. Why not adopt the name from the preset? I am sure the developer has been thinking of a good name for the setup already.

And at the same time, when picking a baseline or clip border for the setup, why not offer to rename the spline to : [RC Setup name]_Path or [RC Setup name]_ClipBorder. - or [RC Setup name]_[whatever the base object is named in the setup]. That will help making things so much cleaner and manageable. I’m aware that there are occasions where a spline is used for multiple RC setups at the same time. That’s why I suggest that it is an thing you will be asked for at each pick.
Lars Egerrup
LKE Design

E: Lars@LKEdesign.dk
W: www.LKEdesign.dk

Adam86

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Suggestions to improvements on RailClone
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2019, 04:52:15 PM »
Couple more suggestions would love to see: -

*) Able to use Vray displacement modifiers on meshes - for instance brick walls would be amazing!
*) Ability to use Railclone in an Xref that I can mirror in another scene, the 'free object' works kinda but not fully for things liek complicated roofs that have cutouts etc..
 :)

iToo

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3483
    • iToo Software
Re: Suggestions to improvements on RailClone
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2019, 10:07:48 AM »
When you insert a predefined RC setup, fx from the Library, the inserted RC setup is named to RailCloneXX. Why not adopt the name from the preset? I am sure the developer has been thinking of a good name for the setup already.

Well, really the library doesn't insert a new RC in the scene. It just assign the style to an existing RC (which has been created by the user).
So, while this is an improvement for you, other users would hate we rename their objects. Same for the splines.

Anyway, i willl discuss this issue with our team.

*) Able to use Vray displacement modifiers on meshes - for instance brick walls would be amazing!

This is a limitation of the V-Ray engine. Instead, you can use a 3DS Max Displacement modifier.

Quote
*) Ability to use Railclone in an Xref that I can mirror in another scene, the 'free object' works kinda but not fully for things liek complicated roofs that have cutouts etc..

Please, would you detail ? I created a Free RC object, and used it in a XRref scene without problems. Even binded to a rotated dummy object.
There was an issue with this, but it was fixed in RC 3.1.2.

Thanks,

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Adam86

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Suggestions to improvements on RailClone
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2019, 03:57:30 PM »
I'll give it a go, it's been a while since I've tried it again, would be great if it's fixed now as I used to have to collapse all my Rail-clone meshes before xref'in , thanks!