Author Topic: New render settings layout concept  (Read 18475 times)

2013-01-26, 14:16:28

Ludvik Koutny

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Hi,

I just spent two hours making this mockup of new, cleaner, more convenient and intuitive render settings layout. When i looked at most recent build this morning, i realized how horrific and chaotic render settings look and that if i was a new users, using Corona for a first time, i would probably get a heart attack.

Alpha v4 is coming and there is always some UI cleanup before any public alpha release, but it is usually followed by uncertain balance of development priorities.

The thing is both me and Keymaster have different list of priorities. Sometimes, things that might be working from programmer's point of view might not be completely working from artist's point of view.

In my opinion if UI has to perceived as clean and intuitive, it has to be iterated to the every last detail.

So, i am presenting you my concept of new render settings layout. It is based on to-the-pixel precise alignment and clean left to right - top to bottom flow (to which human brain is used due to the text reading).

(Left one is old, right one is new)





Aside from layout changes, i also added and removed some things that i found unnecessary:

Removed # of threads setting - was implemented only to diagnose improper performance scaling on multiprocessor machines
Removed photon kernel dropdown menu - did not contain any settings
Added View/World dropdown menu to displacement settings -  for more obvious and self-explanatory displacement mode change
Added Max. Subdivisions setting to displacement settings - This setting will be probably necessary for displacement to better control amount of geometric subdivision.



So, to wrap it up. If you like this concept, then i ask you to help us decide if we should invest more time in such things, and that you really want clean and comprehensive UI, not some half baked semi-okay UI. The reason i put it up here is that we discuss this internally a lot and do not always came to a simple conclusion.

Thank you in advance.
« Last Edit: 2013-01-26, 16:45:01 by Rawalanche »

2013-01-26, 14:40:53
Reply #1

lacilaci

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I do like it... and I'm happy to see this: "Added Max. Subdivisions setting to displacement settings"!!!

2013-01-26, 14:46:30
Reply #2

NicolasC

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Ah yes !! good to see you've attacked this :)
Indeed, software UI is something very important. When you think about the time we spend in front of UIs, it's definitely a software aspect that shouldn't be ignored like it often is. I'd even add it's a software aspect that should deserve much attention and care !
Not only it can help new users not being scared (and then they'll more likely try your software), but it can also help understanding and using software more efficiently ...

In a nutshell, I'm definitely in :)
Nicolas Caplat

3dsmax & Corona teacher / CG supervisor

2013-01-26, 14:50:45
Reply #3

lacilaci

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I think most important reason for Ondra to care about simple straightforward and selfexplainatory UI ,is that it is pretty important that new people trying corona out cannot say: "It might be nice, but I'm lost in the settings and have no time to learn new things".

Also having it cleanly designed, some additional possible features/modes etc. will be not just stacked up onto each other. The sooner there's a system in those things the less work in future there will be with it...

2013-01-26, 14:54:49
Reply #4

Ludvik Koutny

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Yes, that is my thought process too. Even when there is exactly same amount of settings, layout can radically change how users perceive settings' complexity.
« Last Edit: 2013-01-26, 14:56:44 by Rawalanche »

2013-01-26, 14:56:38
Reply #5

NicolasC

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Even when there is exactly same amount of settings, their layout can radically change how complicated they are perceived.

+1
Nicolas Caplat

3dsmax & Corona teacher / CG supervisor

2013-01-26, 15:50:53
Reply #6

DeadClown

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Good concept! A clean UI definitely is important. I just would give the group boxes a little more space.
Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature.

2013-01-26, 16:47:50
Reply #7

Ludvik Koutny

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I have changed formulation of original post a bit to not sound like blaming Ondra for something. We all know he is doing his best to make Corona the greatest renderer of all time, so i do not want to sound ungrateful. We both have a little different order of priorities, but it's usually more of my fault, as sometimes i struggle with presentation of my reasons and ideas. That is the reason i share it here, to get more feedback :)

2013-01-26, 17:13:49
Reply #8

Paul Jones

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it's a thing of beauty! (the new one that is)

2013-01-26, 17:14:34
Reply #9

Chakib

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Sounds nice layout good work, hope to see it soon for legacy buid.

can't wait to see the new features of alpha 4.

2013-01-26, 21:45:19
Reply #10

maru

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I like it. The only thing I am not sure about is the position of "lights" and "global illumination" sections. Maybe you could swap them? Is it intended for an average user to often change values in "lights" section or is it something better left at default except for some hardcore situations?

2013-01-26, 22:47:40
Reply #11

lacilaci

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I personally think that lightsamples are very important to use accordingly to scene lighting situations. Defaults are great for open scenes with lots of even lighting or studio like lighting setup.

But closed spaces with only daylight+sunlight coming from windows or few corona lights that needs lot of samples might be better tweaked to get somewhat "even" noise convergence..(samples multiplier)...
So I like having pt samples and lighsamples close together...

2013-01-26, 23:52:50
Reply #12

Ludvik Koutny

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So, Ondra was very willing and what we speculated about this morning became reality this evening.

We worked out the way that i can take care of UI layout directly, and we also agreed on hiding most of the settings that were there for debugging purposes, and therefore creating more user friendly UI.

This is not a mockup but an actual current state of UI:


2013-01-27, 02:58:22
Reply #13

Chakib

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i think i'm fine with this new layout it looks light to my eyes i like it

2013-01-27, 10:37:42
Reply #14

lacilaci

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2013-01-27, 11:11:24
Reply #15

Ludvik Koutny

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so no max displacement subdivisions?

Displacement is being rewritten. In my concept, the setting was added only to hold the space, it was not implemented yet. But i believe the setting will be there soon.

2013-01-27, 12:49:43
Reply #16

andreupuig

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Better and less confusing.
Good work! Indeed! ;)
I can see an export scene button, will be corona stand alone for future integration in other software? (I'm sorry if it was already said)

2013-01-27, 23:01:06
Reply #17

maru

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Tried putting "secondary solver" rollout directly UNDER "primary solver" rollout? Just a thought.

2013-01-28, 16:49:44
Reply #18

NicolasC

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Great ! can't wait to test that :)
Nicolas Caplat

3dsmax & Corona teacher / CG supervisor

2013-01-28, 18:46:56
Reply #19

loocas

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I like the new layout better.

But, don't forget about the TAB Index. Many developers actually don't care about this, but when you deal with tons of settings and you just want to slightly adjust many of them on the keyboard, hitting the TAB key to jump from one to another is much faster and more convenient than selecting everything with a mouse.

The TAB Order should be layed out as follows:

within a group of controls: from LEFT to RIGHT from TOP to BOTTOM, making sure that you're going in this order only among controls for a single group, in other words, among controls that logically and functionally belong together.

2013-01-28, 19:16:01
Reply #20

Paul Jones

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Now where have I heard that before Loocas ;-)

2013-01-28, 19:35:09
Reply #21

NicolasC

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I like the new layout better.

But, don't forget about the TAB Index. Many developers actually don't care about this, but when you deal with tons of settings and you just want to slightly adjust many of them on the keyboard, hitting the TAB key to jump from one to another is much faster and more convenient than selecting everything with a mouse.

The TAB Order should be layed out as follows:

within a group of controls: from LEFT to RIGHT from TOP to BOTTOM, making sure that you're going in this order only among controls for a single group, in other words, among controls that logically and functionally belong together.

+1
Nicolas Caplat

3dsmax & Corona teacher / CG supervisor

2013-01-31, 01:58:47
Reply #22

Ondra

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ok, I've fixed the tab order
Rendering is magic.
Private scene uploader | How to get minidumps for crashed/frozen 3ds Max | Sorry for short replies, brief responses = more time to develop Corona ;)

2013-01-31, 23:30:04
Reply #23

Paul Jones

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Now if only everyone would do that! Out of interest is the tab order an easy fix - how many hours?

2013-01-31, 23:50:26
Reply #24

Ondra

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depends on tools/framework used, in MSVS+naked winapi (the worst GUI framework, and the one used by 3dsmax ;)), it is about 30 minutes searching of how to do it and then 1 minute of doing it ;)
Rendering is magic.
Private scene uploader | How to get minidumps for crashed/frozen 3ds Max | Sorry for short replies, brief responses = more time to develop Corona ;)

2013-02-02, 03:17:41
Reply #25

Javadevil

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Key can you add a switch for the override material ?  It's easier than having to put the override material back in the slot.

2013-02-02, 03:57:34
Reply #26

Ondra

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can do, tomorrow
Rendering is magic.
Private scene uploader | How to get minidumps for crashed/frozen 3ds Max | Sorry for short replies, brief responses = more time to develop Corona ;)

2013-02-03, 19:52:22
Reply #27

loocas

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Now where have I heard that before Loocas ;-)

Hehe, yeah :) but you have to admit it's rather important from a workflow point of view. Hitting the TAB is just millions of times faster than navigating with a mouse. If you can expect logical behavior of the UI components, of course. :)

Thanks, Key, by the way!