From:  Michael Gibson
150.6 In reply to 150.1 
Hi Guru, I'm glad that you like MoI!

> As a Beta version are you expecting those who would mainly benefit from
> the utter simplicity of your programme to interact with you? Or, as seems
> to be the case, most experienced users seem to be writing in with
> difficult problems?

I'd say that I'm not particularly expecting only one type of user to contact me. It is rather useful for me to interact with both beginning as well as more experienced users.

MoI is designed to be easy to use, but somewhat more in a sense of easy to get tasks done quickly once you have learned how some things work. I've put quite a bit of effort into trying to reduce the learning curve, but it is not as if a learning curve doesn't exist, there is definitely still one there.

There is kind of a fine balance, because simplifying things can in some ways also reduce the flexibility and power of a tool, and I wanted to try and keep quite a strong element of flexibility and power in there as well.

As an example - perhaps it would be easier for beginning users if there was some kind of "surfacing wizard" that walked you through the creation of a surface through dialog boxes with many steps and illustrations along the way. This would make it easier for someone to create a surface at first, but it would then become cumbersome and get in the way if you needed to go through those steps all the time...

> Because: the final programme will probably maintain its simplicity, for simple users like me.

Yes, I do expect that the final V1 release will not be particularly more complex than the current beta. There will be some additional tools and refinements to some existing tools, but nothing too terribly dramatic. The basic structure will be as you see it now.

> My problem as a RANK beginner is: I do not even know what the terms mean !!!

Yes, I know this is a problem. It should greatly help once some proper documentation is available. I expect that there will be a reference section of documentation that will give a summary of all the available tools within maybe another month or so.

> After making a simple brooch, with holes for precious stones usw., I KNOW that
> I should be able to "Loft" parts of it into 3d levels. But WHAT is "Loft"? How to use
> it? What is "trim"? "Extend"?

I think one of the easiest ways to help you with this would be to show you some steps in creating a specific model, rather than just talking about loft/trim/extend, in the abstract. There are actually several tools that you won't really need to use for any one particular task... Like extend for instance is used primarily for drafting/blueprint drawing type tasks, you probably won't need to use it at all for a brooch.

Do you have some basic curves from your brooch, and possibly a drawing or image of what you want to create? If so, please post this stuff and I can show you some steps in making progress towards constructing that.

I just find it's often a lot easier to explain things when working on something specific.

One thing that you may want to do is to download the Rhino evaluation version (http://download.mcneel.com/rhino/3.0/eval/) and take a look at its help file. Although there are many differences beween how Rhino works and how MoI works, you still might find it useful just to see some images that summarize the overall use of a particular tool - for instance you'll see some images of lofting there that would probably help you to understand what a loft generally does, as in how it uses the curves to create a surface.

> Too, please, please give me an idea of final price before I get
> completely hooked on this thing!!! Ballpark-ish?

The final price hasn't been completely set yet, but it is intended that it will be inexpensive compared to other CAD programs. The initial release of MoI will actually be missing many features that a lot of CAD programs have such as printing. So I kind of expect that a lot of times you'll need to use MoI (especially in its early release versions) as a companion to other programs, and it will be priced to make it easy to afford along with other programs. Sorry I don't have any exact figure to give you right now, but I don't think it will be a problem for you, unless you're expecting to pay less than $100, I can tell you it will be more than that at least... :)

- Michael