Author Topic: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting  (Read 258 times)

Offline KlausK

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Hello planetside

This is about my personal workflow in TG:

I use the GUI in windowed mode reduced to the smallest possible size on 1 monitor.
The empty space of the Windows Desktop is filled with other windows like node previews or the render window.
The default GUI shows the 3D Preview above the Node Network.
Whenever I click one of the buttons in the menu above the windows (Library / Objects / Terrain / Shaders / etc)
the Network view jumps to the marked node group.
Would it be possible to have a preference setting that turns this behaviour off?
Using 1 monitor I simply don`t have the space to open a floating node network view and this jumping around slows really down.

Also, when maximizing the Node Network view inside the GUI under the 3D Preview for example,
it jumps back to a window when you click another context button in the top menu (like the Camera or Terrain etc).

This is not helpful imho.

Of course, the best solution would be to have a fully customizable GUI to save different TG desktops.
Perhaps there is a chance to implement this someday.

cheers, Klaus

ps: the bold text is not ment as shouting out in despair but, merely to highlight the important topics. ;)


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Offline Oshyan

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2017, 11:04:46 PM »
Thanks for the feedback. We do hope to implement a more customizable UI one day.

For what reason do you click on the Layout buttons (Objects/Terrain/Shaders)? If you are using the node network you generally don't need to, unless you are needing to use the few Layout-specific preset buttons like Easy Clouds.

- Oshyan

Offline KlausK

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2017, 10:30:07 AM »
@Oshyan, it would be nice if a customizable interface would be introduced, sometime.

As I said this is about my personal workflow. So, it`s not about what I generally have to click or not.
I have attached a picture which shows how I like to set up the interface while working.
Maybe it helps in understanding what I was talking abbout in the first post.

Having all the important properties windows and some previews open helps me to visualize quickly
what each and every setting, value or in general any action I perform on the nodes does to the terrain.
And when I click on the labeled buttons in the upper menu most of the times the network view changes to
the nodes which belong to the item I clicked on. Not always as I found out the past few days.
Not in a predictable way, at last, for me.
I would prefer if clicking on these buttons would only change the upper left window with its properties window beneath.

( right now I am not sure if my English is good enough to express clearly what I want to say...)
Thanks for reading.
cheers, Klaus
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 12:23:10 PM by KlausK »
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Offline Oshyan

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2017, 09:48:13 PM »
Yes, I understand what you would prefer to happen. What I am wondering is *why* you click the Layout buttons (e.g. Terrain, Atmosphere) if you are already working in the node network. I am not saying there is no good reason, I just want to know why you do it.

- Oshyan

Offline KlausK

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2017, 11:48:33 PM »
hehe, well, now I am getting confused (and I am out of options of making myself clear if I fail now. Last try..).

My main intention is to not change the nodes I view in the Network view.
I do not want to move around in the Network view.

And because this contextual behaviour is NOT CONSISTENT, meaning,  the Network view simply does
not change contextually each and every time I click on a button in the "Top Toolbar", I use them.
Sometimes I am lucky (regarding my preferred workflow) and the nodes I have arranged to be in view
in the Network view stay in position - other times though, the view jumps to the nodes related to the
clicked "Top Toolbar" button - like it should when as I read in the manual (TG2 guide part 1).
That is why I click the buttons on the "Top Toolbar"above and not the "Group" button in the Network view.
I thought that was obvious, sorry. I simply hope for the contextual functionality to fail  8)

It seems that my workflow is not the intended way of moving around in the interface of TG.
I had that with a few other things I wrote about in the forum earlier. No big deal.
cheers, Klaus
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Offline Oshyan

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 09:38:24 PM »
I don't think you are doing anything "wrong". We will look into the possibility of inconsistent behavior. Thanks for the feedback. :)

- Oshyan

Offline KlausK

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2017, 11:55:29 PM »
Hi Oshyan
here is a screen capture of me clicking the "Top Toolbar" buttons. This is right after starting up TG.

In the beginning the Network view does not change, later it changes contextually as described in the manual,
then it randomly does not change again. And so on and so forth. That is what I was trying to describe with
"inconsistent behaviour".
cheers, Klaus
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Offline Dune

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2017, 05:37:30 AM »
That is pretty inconsistent indeed. I've never encountered it as I never use the top buttons, except for object adding (which isn't necessary).
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Offline Matt

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2017, 08:53:25 PM »
Each time you selecting a node in the Node List at the top left, it centres the Network View on that node. When you switch Layouts, if there was a node selected in the Node List the last time you used the Layout you're switching to then it will centre the Network View on that node. The reason for the inconsistency is that at first there aren't any selected nodes, so it has nothing to centre on. As you select nodes in each Layout, it remembers your selection and when you switch back to that Layout it displays that node again.

We might make this optional. There have also been other requests that affect how different parts of the UI are linked together when objects and nodes are selected in different parts, so I'd like to make sure everything ties together well with whatever changes we make for the future, but I think it could OK be make this one thing optional.

Matt
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Offline Matt

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2017, 09:08:36 PM »
Also, when maximizing the Node Network view inside the GUI under the 3D Preview for example,
it jumps back to a window when you click another context button in the top menu (like the Camera or Terrain etc).

This is not helpful imho.

The top buttons are designed to be "layout" buttons, so when you click on a button it switches to a different GUI layout. It remembers your choices within a session, so if you maximise the Network View in one layout (e.g. the Terrain Layout), it will be maximised the next time you come back to that layout.

However, it doesn't remember layouts between sessions, so if you close Terragen and reopen it all the layouts revert to their defaults.

I suppose it's not clear that these buttons operate as different layouts, or even if it is, it's not helpful for many people. We are thinking about ways to change this behaviour in future versions and we're open to suggestions.

Would it be useful to you if it remembered the layouts between sessions (so if you maximise the Network View while in every single layout, for example, it would always be maximised when you restarted Terragen)?

Or would it be better to not use this Layout paradigm at all?

Should layouts be something you choose separately, completely independent of how you switch between different Node Lists at the top left?

Matt
Just because milk is white doesn't mean that clouds are made of milk.

Offline KlausK

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Re: Automatic centering of Network Window - Preference setting
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2017, 12:11:52 AM »
Hi Matt
Thanks for taking the time here.

I went through your description of how the GUI works and finally understood.
If I ever read this in the TG 2/3 Manual I had forgotten and now found it not really intuitive to work this way.

In my book working in TG could be something like this:

01 - The 3D Preview together with the Network View are my layout block 1. 2/3 of the GUI are occupied with these 2 windows.
The Network View should ONLY change when I click on one of the Special Groups buttons inside the Network View window.

02 - I read the term Layout buttons in the manual but did not really take it for what it is, obviously.
When I think of Layout I think of special arrangements of the windows in the GUI (more like different desktop layouts).
This is clearly due to the use of the term in other 3D apps.
   
03 - So, the idea that clicking a Top Toolbar button changes the Node List and, since there is eventually more than one node listed,
selects the first item in the list and additionally calls the Properties (Settings) window below, would be my layout block 2.
   
04 - The state of the GUI could be saved with the scene file perhaps. Especially saving the state of layout block 1 would be a plus for me.
Since the Network view would not be connected to the Top Toolbar buttons anymore, only the windowed or maximized state would have to be remembered.
   
05 - There is a Preference Setting which allows the user to: "Center on Node selected in the Node List".
While this is useful in large node networks, I have it turned of most of the time I work in TG. Simply because I don`t need it every time I click a node in the Node List.
When working with Terrain or Shaders nodes I do not need the Network view to jump to a Camera or the Renderer node when I only need to get to the Properties view.
But, make this Selection click a Double Mouse click and I would be able to decide on the fly if I need the center focus on the node or not.
   
06 - In general I for one would very much appreciate it to have TG remember the size and position of the application on the desktop when I fire it up.
Either per scene or per last session. Not first rank listed, though.
   
07 - "Or would it be better to not use this Layout paradigm at all?" I am not sure I have an idea what this would look like.

08 - "Should layouts be something you choose separately, completely independent of how you switch between
different Node Lists at the top left?" If I understand correctly this could lead to something like I sketched with my 2 Layout Blocks.

09 - Last but not least I would like to say something about the interface design of GUI:
I am a big fan of the text based (more or less) interfaces and I am glad you did not (yet) jump to a icon based interface!
Something along the lines of Maxon Cinema4D would be a absolute nightmare for me.

Well, one more...
I am not sure if it is appropriate to compare TG to a 3D app and how it handles its GUI, but nonetheless pinning mechanism SideFX Houdini uses is quite nice, I think.
The user can pin different windows together so that they change together in context. Very flexible system.

cheers, Klaus
« Last Edit: May 25, 2017, 12:13:44 AM by KlausK »
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