Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Things you'd like to see in future versions of Cycles 4D.
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King of Snake
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Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by King of Snake » Sat Dec 16, 2017 12:41 pm

I feel that Cycles' gui is pretty good but it seems to waste some space unneccesarily. Especially since the last update added a row of large buttons on the top. The functionality of these buttons is nice to have but is it really neccesary to have a permanent large button for switching the type of wiring? IMO this could easily be just a setting in the options menu in the top left, which now has only 4 entries anyway.
Equally the various sorting actions do not need to be visible as big buttons permanently and could be moved to either the options menu, or a seperate "sorting" menu next to the options menu.

Either that or can we at least have an option to show and hide those buttons?

Also, there seems to be superfluous twirl-down arrow in the nodes menu.

Image

Another point is when using groups, inside the group large horizontal areas of the window are taken up by the group in- and outputs, even though most of this area is just empty grey space, much larger than the text labels contained in them. IMO these areas take up way too much space, espcially if you a have a vertical arrangement of windows with, for example, the node viewer on the left and the real time viewport on the right.

Image

Would it not be better to just have the inputs and outputs represented as nodes like in blender?

Image

I hope this makes sense and please take it as constructive criticism :)
I hope Cycles 4D continues to get better!

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Martin
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by Martin » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:36 pm

I already made this suggestion for icons area:

1. Detach or Hide RTP icons pallet.
2. Custom Pallets Area in Node Editor (now empty and big useless area).
3. Ability to add Play/Pause (and other) button to custom pallets.
4. Add RTP Pallet option in Cycles 4D menu.
5. Hotkey for Play/Pause button (in my case it sits mostly in the upper left corner, tired of dragging mouse there every time (hopefully not only me).
6. Hide/Show icons using Options menu.

Sort and Align Icons are in place and should not be moved or removed. Personally, I use them a lot and it's way faster to organize nodes than using right click (we have that) or options menu (as you suggest) and there was a problem with tooltips (confusing, you can read them by hovering the mouse over icons). That's the reason why icons were added there.
Maybe just adding an option to hide icons area like nodes and attributes in the Options menu for users having small monitors is the way to go.

Not sure about grey areas in the group. Still thinking how to use those for other purposes.
There should be up/down arrows to move ports up/down quickly, that needs additional space.
Or better rearrange by dragging ports? But I'm not a big fan that our node setups are like spider webs stuck to the walls as well.

As Cycles node setups go from left to right horizontally, you should rearrange your windows that node editor is landscape and not portrait :) You're making yourself hard to work like that, we will not have vertical setups in near future anyway.
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King of Snake
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by King of Snake » Sun Dec 17, 2017 1:02 pm

Ok you are probably right. As I'm still a beginner with Cycles my node trees aren't very big or compicated yet so I haven't found myself using the arranging buttons much, but I can imagine it's nice to have them right in front of you when you get to making more complex stuff. But I think an option to hide the button area would still be good.

And I hadn't realised the grey sidebars in the group view also would contain sliders and such, and in that case at least the horizontal space is actually needed, but there's still a lot of empty grey space vertically so I think just having a input node as in the Blender screenshot would work as well, and it would solve the "spider web stuck to a wall" thing.

On the other hand I guess the fixed input/output areas do convey the idea that your are inside an enclosed group that is seperate from the regular node view.

Rearranging the input ports by dragging would be nice. That seems like it would be the most intuitive way.

But as you say, as long as you use the node tree in a horizontal layout it's not so much an issue. The vertical layout I showed was just an experiment but as you say it's not very practical so I will stick to horizontal :)

King of Snake
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by King of Snake » Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:45 am

Another thing I was thinking about was the position of the labels of the sliders in the node view. Especially with a large node like the principled BSDF I find myself often thinking "does this label belong to the slider above, or below it?" as it is not at all obvious by looking at the node, unless you are looking at the top or bottom slider. In the attribute manager the labels are to the side of the slider, making it impossible to confuse.

sliders.JPG
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So of course, one can just use the attribute manager, but then it is nice to be able to use the ui's in the nodes themselves too.

In the Blender node editor it is much clearer, as the sliders and labels (and values) are combined, which also saves a lot of space (also, subsurface radius values are combined under a drop-down menu, saving more space and de-cluttering the interface).
You can see how much larger the interface can appear in Blender, showing the complete node in the same height:

blendsliders.JPG
blendsliders.JPG (48.86 KiB) Viewed 2201 times

Perhaps this could be improved in some way.

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Martin
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by Martin » Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:40 pm

This was already discussed and they tried that at the beginning.
Sadly but It's not possible with the current Cinema 4D drawing (text must have a background).
If alpha out the text it looks terrible.

More compact nodes were not a priority in this update. Will be improved in the future I believe.
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King of Snake
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by King of Snake » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:13 am

Haha, ok sorry for bringin up points that have apparently all been discussed before :) I did look through the forums and hadn't encountered it. Those mockups (?) you show do look like really good possible solutions. I like the orange-filled sliders, makes it very clear at a quick glance what the settings are.
And even in the top sliders of the right most image, the text labels are still seperate from the sliders but due to the extra spacing it is more clear which label belongs to which slider. (though if you would do all the sliders like this the node would be even taller I guess).
So hopefully something like this can be implemented at some point.

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Martin
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by Martin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:16 am

would be the same size as orange thick sliders :)

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Martin
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by Martin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:19 am

If you have better ideas how to improve nodes readability, put examples here.
This question is still open.

King of Snake
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by King of Snake » Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:30 am

None really at the moment. I think the sliders/labels thing is the most obvious aspect that could be improved.
Maybe a light-theme (to go with the C4D light theme) with dark text on lighter backgrounds but I'm sure there are other things that should get highter priority than something like that.

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Martin
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by Martin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:13 pm

King of Snake wrote:
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:30 am
None really at the moment. I think the sliders/labels thing is the most obvious aspect that could be improved.
Raw example how we can cut sliders nearly in half if that will not make harder to adjust them.
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King of Snake
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by King of Snake » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:38 pm

Yeah cool! So in that case the slider as well as the label would function as a clickable/draggable area?
Personally I would still slightly increase the spacing between the labels and the next slider beneath it (to the same as the spacing between "subsurface" and "subsurface radius" in your example, or like in the third image in your previous example).

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Martin
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by Martin » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:06 pm

That's just an idea. By cutting sliders you just make bigger space between sliders.
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jpageau
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by jpageau » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:21 pm

That example above with the orange sliders would solve the issue for me and also use space efficiently. The current way slows me down trying to be sure about the which text, connector, and slider goes with which. I have wondered why something did not work and then realized I plugged it into the wrong connector or slid the wrong slider. At a basic level adding more space between the groups would help. But it was not a clear as that orange example

If there were a registry value or config file that let me up the control group spacing.... I would love to know about it just to make it better until you guys cook up a proper fix.

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Martin
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by Martin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:09 am

You have to get used to looking at the slider above the text at the moment :)

GLAUDUS
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Re: Cycles 4D GUI tweaks

Post by GLAUDUS » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:55 pm

I like how I can click my middle mouse button and be able to pan within the node editor. However, it would also be nice to ALT click right mouse button to zoom and out. Just like in the cinema4d editor window.

I often find my self zooming in or out to much whenever using the mouse wheel.

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