[Request] Line from Center point :)
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 From:  -ash-
2782.19 In reply to 2782.18 
Hi, Michael,

I know that getting a patent is both expensive and time consuming so I'm not surprised that you aren't getting involved with that :-)

I know what you mean about the 2 point guides - this is what annoys me most about CorelDraw, only one point (in the version I'm using anyway). Back in the late 80''s, early 90's I use an app called Illustrator II from a company called Intercap. Is was a dedicated technical illustration system and ran on Apollo workstations. It had a brilliant guidelines system, including 2 point lines, circles, etc. I still miss it sometimes.

>> There are still a few unresolved UI issues about making an "official" permanent construction line mechanism,
>> like should you be able to select construction lines somehow so you could remove a particular one? At the
>> moment there is not any infrastructure in place for that part.

Er - I can do this now in the latest beta - click on construction line, shows up as a default style, press delete. Click and drag construction line to move it. Just need a built in command to add a permanent construction line. Or am I missing something?

What doesn't happen is that the line gets highlighted and there is no access to the right click menu to rotate etc. Would be nice to have that too.

Regards
Tony

(aka HamSoles)

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.20 In reply to 2782.19 
Hi Tony,

> What doesn't happen is that the line gets highlighted
> and there is no access to the right click menu to rotate
> etc. Would be nice to have that too.

Yeah, it's some of the stuff relating to feedback on selection like the glow for mouseover highlights, and showing it in a selected state that does not currently work.

Also some other things like window select, ...

It will take some work to iron out all the details.

It's also probably not that great that when you make them stick that they can be moved so easily, probably it would be better if it behaved more like a background bitmap and stayed locked in place unless you went to a special command or mode to adjust them.

- Michael
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 From:  -ash-
2782.21 In reply to 2782.20 
>>It's also probably not that great that when you make them stick that they can be moved so easily,
>> probably it would be better if it behaved more like a background bitmap and stayed locked in place
>> unless you went to a special command or mode to adjust them.

I like this feature as it is - I would much rather have a lock guides feature than having to go into a special mode just to quickly adjust a guide that I didn't get in quite the right place the first time. Much nicer work flow. Making them like a background bitmap is the opposite of what I would expect. Should work just the same as for objects, imagine if all objects were locked just after you added them, then you had to enter a different mode to edit them :-)

Also, all the other apps I use that have guides work that way. Full adjustment unless guides are locked. Most of them just have a global lock all guides, doesn't work on individual ones.

Regards
Tony

(aka HamSoles)

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.22 In reply to 2782.21 
Hi Tony,

> I would much rather have a lock guides feature

Well, that tends to be another problem, getting "feature creep" with getting a whole bunch of extra icons and special modes, etc...

That's kind of the path to UI complexity that I'm trying pretty hard to avoid overall with MoI in general.

That's why I would probably make the "lock/unlock" be kind of implicit within the command similar to background bitmaps. The construction lines would be locked (they are generally meant to be more of a snapping guide than to behave as regular objects) after you exited the special "cline" command, and if you wanted to adjust them you would go into that command which would allow you to adjust them.

Anyway, that just shows that it is a pretty complex area that needs a lot of thought before making it a final feature... That's why it did not really come together yet for version 2.

- Michael
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 From:  -ash-
2782.23 In reply to 2782.22 
Okay, I'm going to argue now :-)

>> Well, that tends to be another problem, getting "feature creep" with getting
>> a whole bunch of extra icons and special modes, etc...

But is that not what you are suggesting with ...

>> the special "cline" command,

and..

>> you would go into that command which would allow you to adjust them.

All I'm suggesting is to turn it around. One special command to lock all the guides. Manipulating guides works as now, but on persistent clines. Click, drag, right click get the wee menu. No extra icons required except for lock guides.


Just my tuppence worth ;-)

Regards
Tony

(aka HamSoles)

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.24 In reply to 2782.23 
Hi Tony,


> But is that not what you are suggesting with ...
>
> >> the special "cline" command,
>
> and..
>
> >> you would go into that command which would allow you to adjust them.

Well not exactly - I'm suggesting that there could possibly be just _one_ additional icon for a "clines" command similar to the current plugin.

That would be the spot to go to draw in a bunch of persistent clines, and also to manage them.

From what I understood about what you were mentioning previously, you were asking about having a cline command similar to that current custom command, and also in addition to that a completely separate "lock clines" additional button... That's a 2 times increase in buttonage! ;)


> All I'm suggesting is to turn it around. One special command to
> lock all the guides. Manipulating guides works as now, but on
> persistent clines. Click, drag, right click get the wee menu. No
> extra icons required except for lock guides.

Well, again that's some additional UI stuff to work out - what you are describing now is different than the custom cline command that we were talking about previously.

That's even another issue that needs to be worked out - should there be a special "cline" command that would let you draw in clines without needing to be within some other command to make them? (this is like that custom command)

Or should there be a "keep clines" button that would just let you keep the clines you have created inside the current command? That's rather different.

Again, a lot of UI issues to work out, definitely needs plenty of time to make this nice, that's why it was not particularly feasible to tackle in v2 yet.

- Michael
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 From:  WillBellJr
2782.25 
Interesting discussion!

I think it would be sorta nice to have a construction line entity so that you can place multiples.

Typically when I work on my drawings, I'll lay down some perspective lines on a locked layer to work off of - I could see having similar in MoI.


If you can figure out the UI Michael, I think it would be a nice feature to have.


Does this mean the individual CLines will have the same features as the dynamic one has now i.e. the little menu to reorient, relocate etc?


That would be cool for sure!


-Will
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.26 In reply to 2782.25 
Hi Will,

> Does this mean the individual CLines will have the same
> features as the dynamic one has now i.e. the little menu
> to reorient, relocate etc?

I don't know... That would be among the many issues to figure out.

But I guess I could see popping up the little menu launcher tag when you clicked on one to select it.

- Michael
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 From:  Samuel Zeller
2782.27 In reply to 2782.26 
Why dont using Inkscape type of guides? (its free, install it and try guides) Just for inspiration.
Its just like the guides in photoshop vertical or horizontal but it has a point somewhere on the line that you can drag to re-position
the line, also this point can be moved on the line (the point can be moved horizontally on an horizontal guide, vertically on a vertical one)

Why not making clines that work that way with a button in the ui...

1. Click on the cline button.
2. Click on a first point, then on a second point, an infinite line is drawn between the two.
optional 2.1 (to snap the two points, you could also use the current clines that are already in MoI (the help lines) to help you positioning the two points))
3. You can move these points at any time just like other points, the line is always straight.
4. But you can also move the two points at the same time, or the whole line to move it parrallels.

Basically it would be like click'n'drag like the actual help lines in MoI but it would create lines that stay, also it would be cool
to be able to change the color in the MoI options. And these lines would be auto-locked, to move it instead of click just click once on it to delock and show the 2 points, then click on points to move them or on the line to move it or select the two points and move, if you click or select any other things the line would just lock itself automatically.

Also using a shortcut that show/hide clines would be very cool, like the photoshop default one ctrl-h cmd-h.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.28 In reply to 2782.27 
Hi DesuDeus, yes actually part of the discussion above is about having a cline command similar to what you are describing.

But the first priority for clines was to have something that was very quick to activate, that's why I did not want to rely on a separate icon off to the side of the viewport for their normal regular use.

With the current mechanism, the activation of a cline is very quickly available to you with a simple mouse gesture, you don't have to move all the way over to the edge of the screen to get one. That quick activation helps to make it easy to really quickly pop in a cline more seamlessly and fluidly while in the middle of drawing.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.29 In reply to 2782.27 
Hi DesuDeus, also one other note on clines - it is actually possible in MoI to set up clines that stick around by setting up a plugin or using some keyboard shortcut scripts.

There is a plugin available here:
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=1029.1
that will set up a custom command that lets you draw clines that stay until you clear them.

Also you can set up a keyboard shortcut with the script mentioned here:
http://kyticka.webzdarma.cz/3d/moi/#KeepCLine
which will let you set up a key that will keep the clines that you created during a command rather than letting them get erased as they normally do.

If you'd like some more flexibility with clines right now, you might want to set up one or both of those to get some additional functionality in the current version.

- Michael
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 From:  -ash-
2782.30 In reply to 2782.24 
Yes interesting discussion - this is what makes Micheal so cool - he listens and discusses features with his users!

Hi Michael,

>> Well not exactly - I'm suggesting that there could possibly be just _one_ additional
>> icon for a "clines" command similar to the current plugin.

Yes I agree, but I forgot this would be new as I already have one for the script - so it wasn't additional for me :-)

>> From what I understood about what you were mentioning previously, you were asking about having a
>> cline command similar to that current custom command, and also in addition to that a completely separate
>> "lock clines" additional button... That's a 2 times increase in buttonage!

Yes you are right. I was.

>>That's even another issue that needs to be worked out - should there be a special "cline" command
>> that would let you draw in clines without needing to be within some other command to make
>> them? (this is like that custom command)

YES. Absolutely, completely separate from the on-the-fly clines.

>> Or should there be a "keep clines" button that would just let you keep the clines you have
>> created inside the current command? That's rather different.

NO, this would be a nuisance. As Will said, it is good to lay down a few guides at the start (standard drawing technique). Would be a pain if you had to kick off a command just to get some construct lines.

To re-cap:

. new command to create a persistent cline.
. clines can be moved by dragging or deleted by pressing DEL - can do this today
. clines can be manipulated via the current cline menu - menu exists today but is not implemented for persistent clines
. persistent clines can be locked/unlocked - would need 2 new commands (lock and unlock), either shortcut or icon

So this looks like 3 new commands to be added to the UI. Could be reduced down to 2 icons, add cline and lock/unlock which could work same as hide/unhide.


I have no idea how much work it would be but, for V2, I would settle for a new command to create a persistent cline that has the little re-orient menu with no icon (I can add my own if I want as long as there is a command there). There's already ways to delete all the lines, move them and delete them.

Regards
Tony

(aka HamSoles)

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 From:  Samuel Zeller
2782.31 In reply to 2782.28 
For Michael, (edit: not seen the previous 2 messages)
Yes I fully understand that, but before using the click'n'drag I was using simples lines and duplicates or move or mirror very fast.
And I still use them because I want permanent constructions lines that I can put in a style and show/hide them and lock them.
I already model pretty fast, modelling faster would create problems and errors from my side.
Instead of an Icon maybe a shortcut would do it? Like key+click

Or to get back to the original request (line from center) why not have a key to press while drawing a line to enable symettry, or a check box like make copy in the rotation tool? That would resolve many problems.

By the way keep the click'n'drag help lines they are cool, but I miss regular lines that are physically there and that react like normal lines.
If we look at the UI there's plenty of drawing tools that start from the center point, why not having a line? Its the less cluttered drop menu of all the 2d tools.

What im trying to say is that I worked for a long time without using the help lines in MoI but using traditionnal paper drawing techniques, all the people have different workflows for sure, what would be very different between help lines and lines from center point is that you would be able to change the angle and see the preview result in real time, for drafting or designing its very usefull.

Again im just a customer, MoI is already the best in his category and price range, Rhino is slow, T-splines are buggy, Maya nurbs are ugly like the maya interface, Catia is too much to pay as Alias studio as Solidworks. So even If I had money I'll go for MoI, I even use MoI instead of illustrator for doing techy drawings. Where I work a lot of people are impressed by MoI already :) But they dont do Nurbs :(

The whole problem is that MoI is already very stuffed, you can already do all the basic things and more complex things (still miss t-splines :P), its gonna be hard to keep the simplicity of the UI and the simplicity of the tools. But maybe in the futur if MoI have a liquid UI where you can drag'n'drop icons, people would make their own interface so having more and more tools will not be a real problem.
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.32 In reply to 2782.30 
Hi Tony,

> So this looks like 3 new commands to be added to the UI.
> Could be reduced down to 2 icons, add cline and lock/unlock
> which could work same as hide/unhide.

Even 2 icons is a lot - that's pretty much a good example of the kind of thing that I would prefer to wait for a better overall design to try and squeeze it down to 1 icon instead.

Having the "lock/unlock" function be implicitly engaged while that command was running (similar to background bitmaps) would be one way to achieve that. Right now that seems to be the best candidate for compromise between flexibility and UI space, but maybe something different will be possible with more effort and focus on the design in the future.


> I have no idea how much work it would be but, for V2,

Well, quite a lot to a good job designing the UI and various mechanisms to try and keep the overall program UI simple and not get bogged down with feature bloat...

UI design is one of the most difficult and time consuming things that I work on, really.

That's why this is good to discuss to get some ideas for future directions, but there is not really any hope to be able to actually finish this for v2 at all though.

- Michael
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.33 In reply to 2782.31 
Hi DesuDeus,

> Instead of an Icon maybe a shortcut would do it? Like key+click

Usually for something like that, there would be an icon for it, and you could optionally set up a keyboard shortcut for it if you wished.

You can actually set up a keyboard shortcut now for making persistent lines by installing this plugin which it sounds like you would be interested in:
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=1029.1


> Or to get back to the original request (line from center) why not
> have a key to press while drawing a line to enable symettry, or a
> check box like make copy in the rotation tool? That would resolve
> many problems.

Just because it is not necessary, since it is so quick to get the same result by using a construction line.

The construction line method is also a general purpose solution that works within any command, not just a special option that is limited to only the line command.

For example here I use it to draw a square positioned at a midpoint:



Another example - here drawing an arc balanced around a midpoint:


It's better to have that one general mechanism that works in all drawing commands, than to try and have a special option that is duplicated in the UI for every command.

Anyway, that is the reason why there is not currently an alternate mechanism for it.

But I have thought some in the past about adding one in just for the line command to help people who haven't learned about using construction lines.

I still may do that, I'm not quite sure - I tend to hesitate quite a bit before adding in additional UI because it tends to be difficult to remove things later and adding in too many unnecessary things generally leads to bloating the UI and making it more complex.

- Michael
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 From:  Samuel Zeller
2782.34 In reply to 2782.32 
(edit: just seen your last post, well I agree but what about having them inside a group? Maybe for exporting the model and the clines toghether?)

Michael, if you want some kind of help (because you dont have time to) in UI design its also part of my job, I do mockups (bitmap or vector) for web and desktop applications.
Im a graphic designer before being a 3d artist, im totally not a programmer that's why I mostly do mockups.
Speaking of UI the first problem I see is "why blue?" :P It reminds me the horible windows products like office and vista.
Also I know you're not a designer but the MoI website is not as good as MoI is in term of power. Its like having a very good product at is core but a bad packaging, I remember the first time Ive seen MoI and the website ive thought "is that nurbs for kids?" well obviously not but it makes me laugh.
The best UI ive seen are After Effects cs4 (when set to dark), Modo 401, and Nuke wich is pretty strange but not eye distracting.
When I work all the day with MoI my eyes are sometimes hurting, Ive already set up the grid and the background to grey shades :)

Here's one of the latest website design ive worked on (www.lestudiodigital.com) Its strange, the client wanted something colorfull and pro looking. (L.S.D = Le Studio Digital) The center graphic is a mix of stock images and technical drawings.
I do mockups ready to be used by the code guy, I have all in separate layers. So if you need a freelance im here and im free mostly because Im 18 and I still have a lot of time and things to learn (well maybe having a lifetime MoI key for all the upgrades would do the trick) This example is bitmap but I can do exactly the same in vector (except for the center graphic obviously)
There's no watermarks, I hate them :D

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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.35 In reply to 2782.34 
Hi DesuDeus,


> Michael, if you want some kind of help (because you dont have
> time to) in UI design its also part of my job, I do mockups (bitmap
> or vector) for web and desktop applications.

It's very kind of you to offer!

But actually there are some benefits in taking time and kind of "growing" the UI more slowly rather than too rapidly, it can actually make for a better long term outcome.

A lot of the most important aspects in MoI are actually more about workflow and usability rather than so much focused on just the graphic design of the UI actually, although that is nice to have tuned up too of course.


> Speaking of UI the first problem I see is "why blue?"

Because it is a nice color? :)

I know it is much more in vogue to have dark colors, but actually I don't really like that as much, I find it kind of depressing.

But tastes vary a lot!


> Also I know you're not a designer but the MoI website is not
> as good as MoI is in term of power.

You should have seen what I had at first, the current one is a pretty big improvement! :)

But yes, I have not really had much time to spend on the web site, I wish that I could spend more time working on that as well as the software but there are only 24 hours in the day...

Probably after v2 is released I'll focus at least a little effort on making another pass at tuning it up.


> The best UI ive seen are After Effects cs4 (when set to dark), Modo 401,
> and Nuke wich is pretty strange but not eye distracting.
> When I work all the day with MoI my eyes are sometimes hurting, Ive
> already set up the grid and the background to grey shades :)

Sounds too dark and depressing - when you're working with something all day, it's nice for it to not feel like you're in a crypt or something... ;)

It's nice when the UI has a somewhat more refreshing and friendly feel to it, or at least an element of that instead of all just darkness...


Don't get me wrong, your example there looks great and very professional! But that's really not along the direction that I like to have for MoI though.

- Michael
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 From:  BurrMan
2782.36 In reply to 2782.35 
Also, MoI's UI look and feel and colors are "TOTALLY CUSTOMIZABLE"! A great acheivment by the design.

While in its beta state you havnt seen the iterations of "Skins" but they have been done. When it's released maybe a few more will pop up that you like the look of.

I've seen "Pilou" show some different looks. Maybe he can demonstrate here now?

As far as the look I dont think you have to worry. Custom UI is a HUGE plus with MoI! You can even create your own graphics and replace, to make your own "buttons" "tabs" "text" and whatever. Most apps let you choose "Colors". MoI, far superior here :O
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 From:  Samuel Zeller
2782.37 In reply to 2782.36 
I agree, but behind changing colors and icons there's also the borders/shapes and overall layout of the UI.
The better interface is of course the one you can change, move panels, re-organize icons, change any of the UI colors etc..
But that's also more difficult to code it.

I dont find dark depressing, its been in all the pro applications for one thing, contrast for the eye.
This is just another exemple, Blender 2.5 mockups are dark and blue.


Of course MoI interface gonna change in time, and as I said if you need any icons (I do vectors ones) or mockups im there.
MoI need to be different vs other programs in term of UI, its already different. But sadly some people judge first by the UI.
And to be fair, I like the current UI and blue is not so terrible, but ive heard some people at my work asking me what I was doing in this program they never seen before. Just like if by the first sight it look non-pro, just like when sketchup started, some people sayed it was just a toy. This period of the web 2.0 and ugly flash website has made everyone aware of the design of things, people want apple because apple is "design".
But before the UI, the website need some work (for example the screenshots are old versions) the gallery could emphase more the work shown etc..
I know its ridiculous to try to make "pro" looking interface for programs that are poor, to make users buy them, to push more the interface to trick people into thinking its a great program when it actually lack of feature (the Delicious generation, glossy everywhere, 90% UI 10% features).

MoI is at the exact opposite, its really a great program that has an heavy potential and features, but lacks a little bit of ego :)
People that come in the MoI website must be saying "wow its so simple, I never thought nurbs where as simple as that"
Another website that I found is not at the same level as the program itself is Rhino website, but Rhino is far more into pro industry than MoI so a bad website doesn't matter because everyone know that Rhino is "a standard" in the industry.

MoI is not "a standard" in the industry yet but it will become one im sure, having a good UI and an attractive but still pro looking website are good points to the customer eyes. To start you should keep the current website look, but develop a bit more the "content" for example a features section, to make people see animations like the ones you put in the forum, that show every major features. Also put more informations about the MoI mesher because its an awesome "behind the scene" power of MoI. Making a good website is not about design, design is just the sugar on top, the apple website has a simple design but its awesomly build in term of layout, you have for all products complete informations and features with a lot of images/video and explanations.
Apple can take every little feature (for example the luminous keyboard) and make it a major one by using design tricks and words.

Im getting a little bit "off" the original topic there, I dont want to start a topic about Design so...
Keep the good work Michael, I dont know about the futur but im very sure that MoI is gonna become a major app into nurbs modelling soon :)
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 From:  Michael Gibson
2782.38 In reply to 2782.37 
Hi DesuDeus,

> I agree, but behind changing colors and icons there's also
> the borders/shapes and overall layout of the UI.

Actually, all of that stuff is available to change, things like borders are also images that are inside of the \ui subfolder inside of MoI's main installation folder.

But that can be a pretty big job to maintain a tweaked UI, especially when I also make changes during a beta release cycle. However if you want to it is certainly possible.

For an example, see here:
http://moi3d.com/forum/index.php?webtag=MOI&msg=1521.1


> I dont find dark depressing,

I do!

It's not really an uncommon association.


> its been in all the pro applications for one thing, contrast for the eye.

Yes, it certainly has been the trend for awhile.

But it is a pretty unnatural presentation to have a dark background and white text. The vast majority of "natural" text that you see is with black text on a light background, for example in nearly any book that you might pick up. Or another example is Google's page, or if you draw with a pencil on a sheet of paper you will normally have a light background for that.

It's nice to have that more familiar kind of contrast, it just keeps things having more of a natural feeling.

It's also easy to run into serious readability problems when going away from the natural kind of presentation.

For example several areas in that Blender screenshot that you posted are quite difficult to read, especially the text that is mostly black on the dark background, like "SCULPT TOOLS" for example - that's lacking so much in contrast that it can't easily be seen anymore at a quick glance.

That kind of sacrifice of usability/legibility for style purposes is something that I try to stay away from.


> But sadly some people judge first by the UI.

Yes, that's true! But luckily it is very rare for me to receive complaints about the UI, most often people have a very favorable impression of it in general.

I've even had people remark that they changed the UI in some of their other programs to match MoI's color scheme after they saw it.


Of course, it is impossible to please 100% of people, and I actually gave up trying to do that a while ago.... ;)



> Just like if by the first sight it look non-pro, just like when sketchup
> started, some people sayed it was just a toy.

A lot of times people will say this not because of the graphic design, but rather if they see that it looks like it has a smaller set of tools and is not covered with a zillion buttons like a normal "pro" app.

But that's a problem that is not going to really go away with MoI because having an easy to use and approachable UI is one of the main goals of the program.

I think that there is a growing trend though where good workflow and ease of use is becoming more valued by professionals, so there is gradually less of an association with "easy to use" automatically is the same as "toy".


re: web site stuff -

I definitely do intend to tune up the web site, like I mentioned I hope to give it at least a little bit of attention when MoI v2 is released.

But at the moment, the focus is much more on the software and not on the web site, which I think is the right priority.

Thanks very much for the feedback!

- Michael
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