Corona Renderer Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Ondra on 2013-01-18, 22:26:47

Title: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ondra on 2013-01-18, 22:26:47
Here are some mockups of the new Virtual frame buffer done in Photoshop. Which layout/configuration/style do you like the best? Or do you have any other idea how it should look?

Different background colors of some buttons in some images are to be displayed when the button is clicked/focused.

There could be a switch between the first and second variant (show/hide textual labels)
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ludvik Koutny on 2013-01-18, 22:46:18
Worth to mention that my recent version (two upper images with rounded corners buttons) are intended to be collapsible (toggle between icons only and icons+text mode) and that this version will also contain render elements dropdown box. It is missing as it's just a mockup.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Tweekazoid on 2013-01-18, 22:51:01
I vote for horizontal arrangement
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: DeadClown on 2013-01-18, 23:47:42
Horizontal, and please... small buttons ;) i don't need fancy colorful buttons which look completely different to maxs ui - i hate it when plugin developers do that
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Chakib on 2013-01-18, 23:53:22
I prefer the horizontal style and small ones, not so graphic but i prefer to see more options inside than it is actually.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ludvik Koutny on 2013-01-19, 00:06:49
Horizontal arrangement will be probably better, but i would strongly advise against icons only. Icons only are extremely confusing for new users, and ribbon in 3ds Max is a prime example of how things should not be done. Even after using ribbon for 3 years now, i still have to hover over icon buttons to see what they do and search for a while until i find the right one.

Also reason why framebuffer looks different to Max UI is that in future it may not be Max specific, so there is no need to try to match Windows 3.11 style of 3ds Max UI.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ludvik Koutny on 2013-01-19, 00:20:22
How about this one?
(http://corona-renderer.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=353.0;attach=1383;image)
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Chakib on 2013-01-19, 00:41:51
How about this one?
(http://corona-renderer.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=353.0;attach=1383;image)

hmmm i don't like the names in icons they are taking too much space, simple rounded icons will be nicer and light to the eye.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ludvik Koutny on 2013-01-19, 01:06:19
Yes, i understand, but i am afraid that without text, something like this could happen:
(http://i.imgur.com/nep67sF.png)

If you used 3ds Max since early versions, you sure know what a pain in the butt were icons compared to clean text UI.

I wanted to go for something inspired by modo because i think it is a great example how proper, intuitive and clean UI should be done: http://blog.andrewhainen.com/wp-content/uploads/interface.png
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Chakib on 2013-01-19, 01:27:18
Yes, i understand, but i am afraid that without text, something like this could happen:
(http://i.imgur.com/nep67sF.png)

If you used 3ds Max since early versions, you sure know what a pain in the butt were icons compared to clean text UI.

I wanted to go for something inspired by modo because i think it is a great example how proper, intuitive and clean UI should be done: http://blog.andrewhainen.com/wp-content/uploads/interface.png

the modo style icons is really nice i think you should inspire by it without taking a lot of space if you put the text, it's will be nice to see like this style in corona
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Oltskul on 2013-01-19, 01:31:31
ok... so.. how do i put this, i am bit tired right now..

I am for vertical alignment when counting the crop of image area.. lets say, icons are 40px squared.

For example: I am using display 1920x1200. (like vast majority of peoples IMO)

If you crop 40px horizontaly, you crop out like 3,33% of whole whole area.
if you crop 40px verticaly, you crop out like 2,08% of whole whole area.

both of them have their pros and cons:
H:
- takes bigger area
+ you can have description showed
+ you may add lots of addtional icons without description
- addtional icons with description would go "off the screen"
- collapable description is pretty unusefull with lots of icons.


V:
+ less area
- description takes much more space
+ you may add lots of additional rows
+ collapsable description

tomorow i will revise these ideas..
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: alieneye on 2013-01-19, 01:31:46
So, i like horizontal, but can i ask you?
Is it temporary icons or you want to use these?

and I don`t like embossed buttons with shadows- it`s looks odd and cheap
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ondra on 2013-01-19, 02:38:50
So, i like horizontal, but can i ask you?
Is it temporary icons or you want to use these?

It is until I can pay somebody to do better, or find somebody to do them for free ;)
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Oltskul on 2013-01-19, 10:19:54
So, i like horizontal, but can i ask you?
Is it temporary icons or you want to use these?

It is until I can pay somebody to do better, or find somebody to do them for free ;)

or make public contest..
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ocram on 2013-01-19, 11:00:19
How about this one?
(http://corona-renderer.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=353.0;attach=1383;image)

I like it! :)
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: loocas on 2013-01-19, 12:52:36
I'm sorry to say, but this is a prime example of a horrible UI design.

You don't take into account anything from 3ds Max, so, basically, you're making the very same mistake Autodesk does with additional new features in Max, such as the Ribbon etc...

There is no consistency, no history, no legacy.

The UI is ugly, out of place and looks like designed by a software programmer, not a UI or UX designer.

Besides, one of the most brilliant VFBs, or actually viewers, can be found in Nuke and Fusion. A distant second close would be VRay's VFB.

Just my $0.02
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: lacilaci on 2013-01-19, 12:59:58
How about this one?
(http://corona-renderer.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=353.0;attach=1383;image)

I like it! :)

I like this one too! (maybe without the rounded corners of buttons but it's good enough)
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: lacilaci on 2013-01-19, 13:14:38
and maybe a little note... what's refresh for?. Also, are clear and stats necessary?
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ondra on 2013-01-19, 13:39:47
Refresh updates VFB (in case you disable automatic periodic updating, or set it to long interval (i.e. for really large renders)). Clear was requested by somebody some time ago, stats is mostly for my debugging use
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: lacilaci on 2013-01-19, 13:46:10
Alright. Understood.... and here, as I like these things as simple and small as possible, a small suggestion maybe... :D However the only and most important thing for me, I think is to keep buttons horizontal and on top (and even that is just because I'm used to it that way :D...)
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: loocas on 2013-01-19, 13:49:24
Ok, to add a bit more constructive criticism to the debate, here are some examples of what I consider great viewers (vfbs, whatever you wanna call them):

Nuke (one of the very best) - attached

A pinnacle of usability. It's fast, simple, flexible and extremely customizable. Especially color management is at the cutting edge! Viewer processes are also pretty damn useful and great (create whatever nodes and combinations you want and the viewer will treat it as if it was a LUT! which is awesome). The comparison tools are top notch (wipe, fade etc...) and the toolbars are minimalistic, easy to recognize and easy to work with.

Corona should take this as a base for its VFB and copy the shit out of it.

RV - attached.

This is a tool I use for review and inspection. Mainly for animation, but the point is, it is a bloody good viewer. It's fast, robust and extremely flexible (you can customize and integrate the shit out of it). So, the main thing is, it has a great color management via LUTs, scripts and gamma settings. This is a MUST!

In a more extended usage scenario, you can load up several footages (incl. different source types, resolutions, color matrices etc..) then you can start comparing or combinig those in a layered fashion.

SpeedGrade:

(http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-5gIuK8Okc6M/T79-Fy1i12I/AAAAAAAACD0/r5P8VbmlsMY/s1600/SpeedGrade1.jpg)

I've added this one for the sole reason of the vectorscope, histogram and waveform displayed directly in front of the user.

Corona should consider these features essential.

So, the main purpose of a VFB is, basically, just review. You have to see and inspect what you're rendering. My top features would be:


In a production facility, my approach would be to take RV and integrate Corona into it. It'd be much much easier than writing my own viewer and the features would far exceed what I could ever do on my own. That's just a suggestion.

But generally, the last screenshot here... it's just ugly. Huge buttons with text, round corners, shadows etc... this is kindergarten "artwork", not a production ready tool.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Oltskul on 2013-01-19, 13:55:28
And what about "browser" style?

Sorry about excel - I am not at my PC..



Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: DeadClown on 2013-01-19, 13:58:37
Great post loocas! Totally agreeing with that. Fast, lightweight and please no colorful fancy you-can't-miss-it-with-that-size buttons, simple textbuttons or b/w symbol buttons are enough. No extra distracting colors!
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: lacilaci on 2013-01-19, 14:04:16
Yeah well... display elements individually for sure is an important feature!
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ludvik Koutny on 2013-01-19, 14:47:19
Honestly, i think that wanting VFB to be a complete post production tool and wanting it to be simple and fast goes against each other.

You should keep in mind that VFB will be most of the time displaying output while rendering, therefore CPU usage will be 100%. At such CPU usage, it's quite hard to get even raw output image without UI elements going at smooth and steady framerate as color mapping has to be recomputed on every interaction. Let alone VFB with dozens of gadgets.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ludvik Koutny on 2013-01-19, 14:52:21
On the other side, Luxology has managed to pull off something like that. But i believe their VFB itself took at least 3 months of one person's fulltime work.

(http://docs.luxology.com/modo/601/help/images/shade_render/RenderDisplayWindow.png)
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: lacilaci on 2013-01-19, 15:01:59
Well, I would say that as a default only some main functionalities should be visible and everything else maybe through a hidden menu.. Here as an example small bar at the bottom to reveal some possible extended functionality of VFB.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: lacilaci on 2013-01-19, 15:04:06
The important question is... Is it really necessary to do now?... I'd say, if not, take your time let this thread possibly evolve and slowly "in the meantime" design some advanced VFB.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Dom74 on 2013-01-19, 15:52:06
Icons with help text balloons is a good mix between functionnality and nice look.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Chakib on 2013-01-19, 16:18:31
On the other side, Luxology has managed to pull off something like that. But i believe their VFB itself took at least 3 months of one person's fulltime work.



yeah it's not easy to work on such a well done beautiful layout like that, so guys we should really found someone who do is able to do it  for the good of our beautiful coronian community :D

i'm definitely with the modo style !
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: alieneye on 2013-01-19, 16:23:08
i like nuke UI as well as lacilaci version :)

it`s still need some work but looks good
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: loocas on 2013-01-19, 16:24:37
Honestly, i think that wanting VFB to be a complete post production tool and wanting it to be simple and fast goes against each other.

You should keep in mind that VFB will be most of the time displaying output while rendering, therefore CPU usage will be 100%. At such CPU usage, it's quite hard to get even raw output image without UI elements going at smooth and steady framerate as color mapping has to be recomputed on every interaction. Let alone VFB with dozens of gadgets.

GPU accelerate it then.

As for the features I described, these are essential. Period. Though, I wouldn't expect curves or levels to play along in real time while the output is being produced. But still, with GPUs today sitting idle while CPU rendering, anything's possible.

By the way, the Luxo VFB is pretty damn nice! I'm not too familiar with it, but from what I've seen, it's damn close to what I'd consider a great VFB.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: Ludvik Koutny on 2013-01-19, 16:40:37
Yes, Luxology VFB is indeed nice, but also very slow. That's the point. I too would be happy for feature rich VFB, but i do not think GPU acceleration is something easy, and CPU version will never be fast with large feature set.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: maru on 2013-01-19, 18:12:26
I believe what Loocas said here is most important.

The poll in this thread is completely pointless. Probably should be removed.

For me, an ideal VFB should consist of:
-small, clear buttons with minimalistic, legible icons (good example: the immortal "floppy disk" icon for "save" function)
-lots of space for the rendering output, little place for menu and icons
-short tooltips on mouseover
-probably black and white icons on square buttons

You should never use huge icons with fancy drawings + text.

For me Vray's and Brazil's VFBs are close to ideal.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: lacilaci on 2013-01-19, 18:30:19
how about no visible menu at all. Only with rightclick to main menu(with possibility of quick gesture movements) and for some features a popup window...?
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: maru on 2013-01-19, 19:04:10
I don't think it would work with stuffed up CPU. Doesn't seem practical anyway.

I think it would be cool to have interface that is constructed like menus you meet on modern mobile devices, for example:

By default, you only see icons that are generally useful (this would need some research) and somewhere there is a separate button for "advanced" options that users need to have only in certain situations. After pressing this "advanced" button, you get another row(s) of buttons for advanced actions.

I'm not a UI designer and all of this probably sounds obvious but this is how I feel a modern, clear interface should work. I sometimes encounter interfaces that are so horrible (for example symbian devices, CMSs, ribbon, older corel software, adobe flash) and I really wouldn't like Corona to end up like one of them.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: loocas on 2013-01-19, 19:05:05
Yes, Luxology VFB is indeed nice, but also very slow. That's the point. I too would be happy for feature rich VFB, but i do not think GPU acceleration is something easy, and CPU version will never be fast with large feature set.

Agreed. But then, if you can't do it properly, why do it at all?

There are more important features to figure out, than a half-assed VFB that nobody will be satisfied with.

As for speed, Cebas' VFB (still in alpha, so, keep this info to yourselves :) ) is pretty damn fast and it features histogram, waveform for review and levels and curves for manipulation as well as some simple compositing tools ala Photoshop (layered stack) for quick comp checkups and PSD export. All works in real-time WHILE rendering.

If they can get it out fast and good as they did with the EXR import/export plugin, Autodesk will buy it, again, and all your work here will be for nothing as you'll be "forced" to adapt Corona for their own VFB.

AFAIK, that's their plan anyways.


So a custom VFB for Corona would be pretty damn low on "my" ToDo list, to be honest.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: loocas on 2013-01-19, 19:12:31
I sometimes encounter interfaces that are so horrible (for example ... ribbon...)

I don't like Ribbon as much as anyone using AutoCAD or Max here, but, I have to say something. Microsoft put a TON of effort into Ribbon and actually made it work pretty damn well in Office, which was the sole point of Ribbon.

Ribbon is an Office designed UI that works in Office, but companies like Autodesk saw how flashy, sexy, hip and in this looks so they adapted it, mindlessly, in their applications, such as AutoCAD and Max, for no benefit to the users. I can do stuff that Ribbon provides much faster and with much less effort without the Ribbon than with it. The only real reason Ribbon is in Max is because it looks cool on the promo images and demo videos.

That being said, if Ribbon worked for the VFB well (which it wouldn't as it was primarily designed to get rid of super-deep nested/cascaded sub-menus that plagued Office), I'd be all for it.

The problem here I see is that this feature should not be democratically decided :)

Keymaster, or whoever responsible for the VFB, should gather as much data and input information from the actual users as they could and then and ONLY THEN should they hire a professional UX/UI designer that'd come up with a universal, fast and sleek GUI that'd be productive and useful.

I know myself what a UI/UX designer can bring to the table, when supplied with enough information and how important that is to the product and the end users in the end.

Again, Microsoft's thorough GUI research lead them to develop and design Ribbon for Office, which DOES WORK.
Autodesk's greed led them to implement Ribbon in Max, which DOES NOT WORK.
Title: Re: How should the frame buffer look?
Post by: maru on 2013-01-19, 19:41:27
You are probably right, I don't have much experience with MS Office. Launching ribbon elements in Max, like Graphite modelling tools, on a low-end pc causes a MASSIVE system freeze, it's really painful. But I doubt Keymaster will try implementing ribbon so let's hear about others' visions of Corona vfb.