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Rygaard

Ideas and Suggestions to improve the 3D-Coat Interface and Usability

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I would like to share with everyone some suggestions and ideas that can improve the experience of using 3D-Coat.

At first, observing the interface elements and the way that 3D-Coat behaves (programming codes), I directed my ideas and suggestions accordingly.
Although the suggestions are simple, I think it would greatly improve the use of the program.
Certainly, I could have had more complex ideas, reformulating menus and other elements, as well as interactivity, but I know that developers would have to spend a lot of time developing more complex and advanced code, for this reason I decided to try to control myself and try to make things simpler using and taking advantage of what we currently have and know within 3D-Coat.

Your ideas and suggestions are very welcome!
And who knows, in the next versions of 3D-Coat some of these ideas will appear in the program. Wouldn't that be great?

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@Carlosan had commented:

For me, 3DC lacks of Custom Keyboard Shortcuts, or total control over Layouts. To have so many keyboard shortcuts and panels and tool position hardcoded makes personal customization not flexible. I attached this video to share the idea (C4D).

 

...and let's not forget to be able to move the panels outside the main display as floating windows (Substance Painter copycat)

 

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Carlosan How coincidental you talk about the 3D-Coat interface, because in the last few weeks, I was thinking a lot about it and I have some ideas (suggestions) in relation to the 3D-Coat interface.

In my opinion, we could, if everyone agreed, comment first on simple ideas and suggestions that could already be implemented in the program today without the developers spending a lot of time to develop the very complex things related to the interface.

I would like to share a small and big contribution regarding this in relation to the huge amount of tools and brushes that exist in the interface. Sometimes, honestly, I get confused to find what I need and the same happens when I press the Space key. And that way my workflow becomes slower.
Thinking about it, I had two simple ideas that I think could be developed without having to develop complex programming code since most of the code would be used because it already exists within the program.
1) Pop ups menus for brushes and tools.
2) Creation of customized buttons for any tools, functions and commands that exist inside 3D-Coat directly on the interface.
In the attached image, I explain in more detail what these two ideas would be like.

popup_brushes_and_custom_space_for_Commands.thumb.jpg.036a6e46bad41b00c30179ce0f8c94ae.jpg

 
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I made a video simulating the pop up menus that I described in the image.
 


As you can see in the video, the suggestion is very simple and practically works with the programming codes that already exist in 3D-Coat.
Of course, I could have done something different and more complex.
But the idea would be for developers not to spend too much time creating something complex and that way they could quickly implement without much effort and give it to us in the next builds.

Even though these pop-up menus are simple, they would certainly be very useful and practical.
The only thing I didn't do in the video was the customized menu number 6 in the image.
It would be the same as what was presented in the video, but the user could choose any brush or tool to insert in the empty spaces of this menu, thus creating a completely personalized menu.

The other idea of the custom buttons in the empty space that I talked about in the image, I think I don't need to make a video demonstrating.
Since I explained it in an easy way and that everyone can understand in the image.

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Another simple suggestion, but it would help users a lot. The implementation of a new palette: 3D View camera.

image.thumb.png.7ffba5ebc41a8bfe8896634ee7029bf4.png

 
  • One of the options that the 3D View Palette would have ...
    The main function of the 3D View Palette would be to have other camera angles that could be manipulated like what happens in 3D programs...
    but there would be another option for 3D View Palette:
    - that could open another model (.obj, 3b file, and other formats) so that the user has a 3D reference to work with.
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Simple but important idea...
The user could choose the different Cameras Shortcuts visually through images that would appear on the palette as the user added the camera shortcut.

Just taking advantage of what already exists in 3D-Coat (panoramasList) and adapting to a function in which the user currently has no idea of the camera shortcut that will appear on the screen.
The user has to use the Switch to Next and Switch to Previous commands until reaching the desired shortcut camera.
With the new Icon and Palette Camera Shortcuts the user can easily choose exactly the desired shortcut camera. And if the user wants, he can still use the Switch to Next and Switch to Previous commands normally.

1810839052_camerashortcuts.thumb.jpg.da18bf5c381944c3087dcc676a5e3523.jpg

 
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Another interface element that I miss within the 3D-Coat interface would be the Viewport camera navigation ViewCube.
In the image, I'm putting Maya's ViewCube as an example.


Currently in 3D-Coat only shows a text saying a certain angle.

It would be great to have a navigation system similar to the Maya ViewCube in the 3D-Coat interface.

viewcube_navigation_for_3dcoat.thumb.jpg.f96810671e593ce103f8db4c58e89b6c.jpg

 
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@druh0o had commented:

On 6/12/2020 at 5:33 PM, Rygaard said:

It would be great to have a navigation system similar to the Maya ViewCube in the 3D-Coat interface.

It's funny because by default there is no viewcube in Maya, it's gone with the legacy viewport and you need to enable it with some special settings, and I think it's good. Never seen anyone using ViewCube in Maya.

 
Edited by Rygaard

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10 minutes ago, Rygaard said:

@druh0o had commented:

It's funny because by default there is no viewcube in Maya, it's gone with the legacy viewport and you need to enable it with some special settings, and I think it's good. Never seen anyone using ViewCube in Maya.

 

@druh0o
To be honest with you, I haven't used Maya in years ... So I didn't know that the user had to go into the settings to access the ViewCube navigation.

The idea of having something to navigate a ViewCube would be great within 3D-Coat.
Often, I have to keep rotating the camera to know exactly what angle I am at.
Currently, we only have the indication of a text saying which camera angle we are in, without any interactivity.

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Currently, 3D-Coat slides are not very effective and very sensitive.

image.thumb.png.26dfc56fe787c1d7658d69fae11ed498.png

In the case of the example image, when the palette is locked in the interface, the Slides are compressed or with smaller sizes, making usability not very good.
The following happens:
1) The slide is very sensitive. This makes it very difficult when you want to set the slide in a position with more accurate values.

2) Depending on where you start the slide dragging process, (according to the image), the cursor will reach the limit of the interface and will be stopped at the left edge of the interface.
That way, you are no longer able to get other values on the slide, to continue to get the values you want, you will need to stop dragging the slide, position the mouse again on another part of the slide and start dragging again.

Solutions:
- The process of dragging the slide should continue through the slide values without stopping at the interface.

- Regarding the slide's sensitivity, programs such as Blender and GIMP incorporated the CTRL and SHIFT modifier keys on the slides.
This means that when the user presses and holds the SHIFT key while dragging the Slide, the Slide becomes more controlled in relation to the values.
And when the user presses and holds the CTRL key while dragging the Slide, the Slide uses something similar to SNAP resulting in integer values.

----------------

I recorded a quick GIF, demonstrating the 3D-Coat slide and then GIMP.
In 3D-Coat, as you can see when I drag the slide to the left, the value stops as soon as I reach the limit of the interface as explained above.
Then, in GIMP, first I dragged the slide normally (not much control), then I pressed the SHIFT key while I dragged the slide (more control) and lastly I pressed the CTRL key (values snap).

slide_3dcoat_and_gimp.gif.d81138e2468f74a493d22fc5e5bcf6ce.gif

Edited by Rygaard

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3 hours ago, Rygaard said:

I recorded a quick GIF, demonstrating the 3D-Coat slide and then GIMP.
In 3D-Coat, as you can see when I drag the slide to the left, the value stops as soon as I reach the limit of the interface as explained above.
Then, in GIMP, first I dragged the slide normally (not much control), then I pressed the SHIFT key while I dragged the slide (more control) and lastly I pressed the CTRL key (values snap).

I recorded a much better capture that really shows what I explained.
slide_3dcoat_gimp.thumb.gif.b39e77fb2a7553276cda7440a0d81719.gif

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10 hours ago, Rygaard said:

So I didn't know that the user had to go into the settings to access the ViewCube navigation.

No, it was pretty useless for users. So it's gone with the legacy viewport and no complaints from users.

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ViewCube allows the user to see at all times what camera angle it is and interact directly with it.
In this interactivity, the user can rotate with the arrows and define the camera view in any of the pre-determined angles that exist in the ViewCube,
including corners and other angles that would be more laborious to be placed manually by the user.

viewcube_demo.gif.cbf369ae8a7c5348df74af499f0bc16d.gif

In my opinion, I prefer the usability and practicality of having such a utility, in which I can interact and see the correct angle of the camera at all times
than just an angle text (
I speak with all respect to that ) that appears only when you are at a certain angle,
and often the text of the angle appears and when you go to see the camera it is upside down in relation to the ground grid.

nav_3dcoat_demo.gif.1d7f4f5b220999e45d02eeacae9aba4d.gif

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There are a few confusing bugs and annoyances with the UI. For example, the black selection area used by Vox Extrude sometimes remains on the sculpt, even when selection is cleared.

Sometimes gizmos and tool palettes from one tool remain when switching tools. A fine example is if I use the transform tool, and then go to work with curves, and try to transform a point. There will be two transform gizmos, and when I select next point to transform, it doesn't quite work right. There are many times bits of one tool overlap into another and its often confusing or irritating.

When I go to the paint room, the "Show sculpt in paint room" can be unchecked, but this setting does not seem remembered. Please, please, save this so the next time I use 3d coat I dont have to uncheck it. I have unchecked it several hundred times already.

Carve tool... carving is cutting something out of the sculpt. This tool currently adds to the sculpt, which is completely wrong. Please invert the tool use by default.

The Depth setting is almost always too strong for me, I find myself often working with Depth of 1 or 2% for some reason. I think the depth of all tools could be reduced by a factor of 10 by default..

If I use the Bend tool and click Apply, it will change to the Transform tool (a bug ?)

If you click on a tool which brings up a tool palette (most of them), and then go to Preferences, when you exit from preferences the tool palette is removed. Bug.

If using a spacemouse, it would be great if the movement sensitivity was reduced as you get closer to the model, and increased as you zoom out. Blender does this.

The Depth parameter doesn't work for Smooth tool, and it really should...

 

Edited by Innovine

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@Innovine Most of the things you talked about are related to some problems (bugs) that 3D-Coat has and the developers aware of this will surely fix it in the future.
Please don't get me wrong, but this topic is only for suggestions and ideas about the 3D-Coat interface.
You'd better post on topics more related to what you want to know or create a new one so that you have the most accurate answers.

I'm going to step out of focus on this topic a bit and try to comment on it.

 

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

There are a few confusing bugs and annoyances with the UI. For example, the black selection area used by Vox Extrude sometimes remains on the sculpt, even when selection is cleared.

The visual problem with Freeze that happens with Vox Extrude happens with other tools that use Freeze as well. I already reported this possible problem in the topic of 3D-Coat Beta. We will wait for this to be fixed in the next versions of 3D-Coat.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

Sometimes gizmos and tool palettes from one tool remain when switching tools. A fine example is if I use the transform tool, and then go to work with curves, and try to transform a point. There will be two transform gizmos, and when I select next point to transform, it doesn't quite work right. There are many times bits of one tool overlap into another and its often confusing or irritating.

This Gizmo problem you talked about, I think I had read about it before when a user described a similar bug.
If you can, please reproduce these same steps as you talked about here in the related topic so that developers can see and fix this problem:

 

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

Carve tool... carving is cutting something out of the sculpt. This tool currently adds to the sculpt, which is completely wrong. Please invert the tool use by default.

Carve Brush (Voxels Mode): You can now do exactly what you said.
You can activate the Invert Tool option in the Brush properties located at the top of the interface together with all other brush and brush tip (alpha) settings.
Then open the Presets palette, click the three-point button icon on the palette, and then click the Add Preset option.
That way you will have the Carve Brush the way you want it in the Preset palette.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

The Depth setting is almost always too strong for me, I find myself often working with Depth of 1 or 2% for some reason. I think the depth of all tools could be reduced by a factor of 10 by default..

You can create presets for all your Brushes with the desired Depth. Just create your presets with the steps I told you about Carve Brush.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

If I use the Bend tool and click Apply, it will change to the Transform tool (a bug ?)

No, it's not a bug! I believe that this behavior is normal when you use the Bend tool. Because when you adjust or manipulate the Bend deformation in the geometry, you are using the Transform Tool, so logically when you apply the Bend in the geometry, automatically the 3D-Coat leaves the Bend Tool and changes to the Transform Tool. I think you are referring to after applying the Bend Tool, the 3D-Coat remains on the Bend Tool.
To be honest with you, I like the current behavior of 3D-Coat when you apply the Bend Tool and go directly to the Transform Tool, because the program gives me the option to transform the geometry (translate, rotate and scale).

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

If you click on a tool which brings up a tool palette (most of them), and then go to Preferences, when you exit from preferences the tool palette is removed. Bug.

I think this could be a bug, please reproduce these steps in the 3D-Coat Beta Release that I passed you the link above so that developers can fix this strange behavior.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

If using a spacemouse, it would be great if the movement sensitivity was reduced as you get closer to the model, and increased as you zoom out. Blender does this.

I can't comment on that because I don't have this device, but try to contact support to find out what they can tell you about it.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

The Depth parameter doesn't work for Smooth tool, and it really should...

I think you are wrong about that. If you select Smooth Brush (Surface Mode or Voxels Mode) and click directly on the geometry surface, the "smooth" behavior of the geometry will occur.
In fact, if you set a value for the Depth property, the Smoth Brush will become stronger or less according to the value you have determined.

On 6/17/2020 at 4:27 PM, Innovine said:

When I go to the paint room, the "Show sculpt in paint room" can be unchecked, but this setting does not seem remembered. Please, please, save this so the next time I use 3d coat I dont have to uncheck it. I have unchecked it several hundred times already.

The only thing related to the topic, I am leaving it here last, and it happens to me a lot. Thanks for remembering this

There are options that I always enable or disable, but unfortunately are not saved when I restart 3D-Coat.
That way, every time I start 3D-Coat, I have to configure it again.
To avoid this, I would very much like developers to be able to add something like this (suggestions):

1) 3D-Coat saves all settings (changes made by the user) automatically and when you reopen 3D-Coat those settings would be kept.
or
2) Any option within the Edit menu of Save all settings made in the program and thus 3D-coat would save a file in the program settings folder with all the settings changed by the user.
So, that way when 3D-Coat was started again the settings would be kept.

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2 hours ago, Rygaard said:

@Innovine   and the developers aware of this will surely fix it in the future.

You must be new here. These bugs have been around forever, and the developers are not attempting to fix them. The reproduction steps are trivial. I am not wasting my time writing bug reports that lead to no fixes.

 

 

 

Edited by Innovine

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