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Old 03-01-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
Mfournier
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Michael Fournier
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Tools and work flow question

I was messing around today in Maya and Mudbox and a few questions came to mind.

Maya is huge with SO many features that even after a few years using it there are some features I have never used or only use a small part of the total potential of that feature.
So I admit I am new to these applications compared to many of you and that is why I wanted to open this thread to get opinions from more experienced users then I.

First off there seem to be some features In Maya that really do not work like the rest of the application does. One example is HumanIK until you lock a skeleton no changes you make to it generate any Mel so don't try and use Undo should you make a change you do not like or you will lose all of them or even do not close the window ether as you will lose your changes also. (seems like a bug not a feature really but once you know this it is just another thing you need to get used to) in Maya.

Another is the muscle capsules It may seem like small thing but say you have a character that is completed and rigged but you do not like the resulting way it looks in a animation so you decide to add Muscle system to hold volume and give a more realistic look. SO you need to convert and generate a capsules.
But say a few bones do not have X orientation that is down the bone the capsules are created out if alignment with the bone Now I am calling on more experienced minds here but maybe I had a reason for the orientation of that bone and it is already bound to the skin I have to now unbind it and then correct the orientation so X is down the bone just to create a capsule that is in the correct position with that bone AND is there a reason you would NOT want a capsule to always be created exactly on the bone? and if not why not just always follow the bone regardless of the orientation? Seems NOT like a feature again but a bug to me.

I guess what I am saying is WHY are there so many thing in Maya and other 3D application that do not work like you would expect (until to learn how the developers created the feature to work) And I do not mean expect from a Experienced user's perspective but from just how things work in REAL life, and every application you learn works in a different way then the other. I know you guys all use many different apps through out your work flow. (or maybe not maybe out in the industry people specialize in ONE part of the process as ether a modeler or a Animator or a texture artist or a character designer and spend most of their time in one or 2 Applications and even then only n a few features of that application.)

Seems to me though that we the users have to adapt to the way the Developers decided to make a feature that performs a task in the work flow of our art EVEN if it is NOT how we would naturally expect it to work.
I know again this could be because I am still new that I feel this way but I would like to add that some times when you are looking at something with fresh eyes you see things clearer. That a more jaded (um Experienced) user just accepts as the way things are.

Lastly not to bash Autodesk as they must be doing something right to have become so successful but my first introduction to them was AutoCAD buy far the most used CAD software around and YET it is also on of the most convoluted and difficult to learn applications I have EVER used.

As a disclaimer I started making art and drafting BEFORE the PC took over so I still think in terms how I would draw or sculpt with traditional media.
I am also primarily a Mac User I do also use windows and have about equal time on both platforms. But I have always shared many of Apple's design principals to simplify and Standardize as much as possible (many window developers call in restrict and monopolize) But one thing they get right is this by forcing developers to do things ONE way (even if it is the Apple way) also makes it easier for the user. Applications on the mac even from different developers WORK the same or very similar when performing like functions. (this has been diluted with the porting of many Previously Windows apps to Mac OSX)
And many times the way they choose is a more intuitive way to a non-techie now I have learned a lot of tech over the years so I know do see the other side other side of things especially when APPLE hides or even removes the ability to get at more advanced functions. BUT I still feel that there is a way to keep things simple and easy to use and STILL be powerful.
Maya is powerful but it is Anything but easy to use.
So I guess what I am looking for is what do the more experienced users think what are the reasons certain features work the way they do is there a good reason or is it just the designed to be the simplest way develop a feature for the developers. When what it should be is designed to be the simplest way to perform a task for the user.

This is a pretty open thread so Any input or feed back is welcome have a pet peeve in a application lets hear it have a favorite feature lets hear it if I am WAY off base let me hear that too.
 
Old 03-01-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
Tangled-Universe
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Martin Huisman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mfournier

...

I guess what I am saying is WHY are there so many thing in Maya and other 3D application that do not work like you would expect (until to learn how the developers created the feature to work) And I do not mean expect from a Experienced user's perspective but from just how things work in REAL life, and every application you learn works in a different way then the other.

...



Not much of a help, but this is what you get when these typically complex and difficult matter is being developed and designed by engineers/programmers.
It's fine they develop, but usually it's better if they wouldn't touch the design aspect of implementing it into actual useable software.

This does not account to CG industry only!
Also complex lab equipment at my work like flowcytometers or mass-spectrometers, hell even fluorescent microscopes linked to a PC for capturing images have software with incredibly technically UI's.

Once you know how it works you can mentally substitute UI elements to the things they do in real life, but no way you could have deducted that from the engineers UI and nomenclature.
Imagine you have a big company where multiple engineers work on one piece of software like Maya.

Generally speaking it would be best to have an engineer design (since he's doing it anyway, although he's not supposed to in my opinion) together with an actual user.
In the field of medical equipment you see this vastly improving and also in lab technology.
Of course manufacturers of medical equipment have a certain responsibility in making their equipment as easy as possible to operate with the slimmest chance for user error, but it's a very good example of how extremely complex machines can be made easy to operate for the average person.
Speaking for myself, as an software tester, I can say the same. Sometimes you just think aspects of the software are not user-friendly enough, but by in the answers to your feedback you can kind of taste the engineers' lack of personal experience in actually using the software and that the heads are stuck in the code.

Last edited by Tangled-Universe : 03-01-2013 at 07:21 PM.
 
Old 03-02-2013, 01:06 AM   #3
gauranga108
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jake mr
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I hear your frustration. The solution is learn programming. It's not very hard really, heck you learned english right? Mel and python make a lot more sense then english.

Maya makes it easy too, just open the script editor while you work and see mel in action.

I never thought I'd be a programmer but using maya is way easy with a little understanding a few programming basics.

It's good your frustrated with Maya's developers ideas on how you should work, use that to get motivated to create your own workflows that make sense to you.

How are developers supposed to know how we what to work? They can't they just guess. Plus everyone is different, you idea of a good workflow, may seem retarded to me and vis versa, solution, programming. When you build your own little programs you can bypass UI's if you like to, or have really simple ones. I just copy and paste a lot of code manually, cause I can. Coding is a great way to log workflows as well.

Everyone in CG should learn programming IMO, if I can anyone can.

Last edited by gauranga108 : 03-02-2013 at 01:13 AM.
 
Old 03-02-2013, 02:18 AM   #4
Panupat
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Panupat Chong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gauranga108
Everyone in CG should learn programming IMO, if I can anyone can.

Nah. If everyone knows how easy it is, they won't awe at what I do any more.
 
Old 03-02-2013, 02:18 AM   #5
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