Originally Posted by SheepFactory
Why what is wrong with NEX? It makes modeling so much smoother and fun.
The idea behind NEX is great, but the implementation not so much, because the entire tool relies on the current modeling paradigm which is archaic. You still have to click select things in order to perform an operation. From personal experience it irritates the hell out of me that it nullifies some default settings and activates its own. Why? Again, great tools that are hindered by how Maya requires you to work.
Here is my short write up on modeling tools in Maya. Perhaps someone will finally try to understand a portion of what I would like to see. I have done this several times already and each time I do, I add more ideas.
For starters, my very serious suggestion would be to completely eliminate the modeling module and start fresh. Combine as many tools as possible into one. The specific functionality of each modeling tool would depend on selection type. Further, tool functionality could be enhanced by the use of sticky keys. Eliminate or minimize the use of channel/attribute editor. Same could be done when animating/rigging. Every tool parameter, object or component attribute should be adjustable IN THE VIEWPORT right on the selection without the need to access the channel/attribute editor. Think of using the new extrude tool sliders when adjusting bevel, inserting multiple edge loops/rings, adjusting chains, controls, muting, blending, setting rotation limits on the fly right on the bone/joint/chain, anything that requires accessing the channel/attribute editor. Possibilities are endless.
I keep talking to no end about a global pre-selection highlighting system, but I keep hitting a brick wall. No software currently employs a global PSH system. Either people don't understand it or simply....don't understand it
Imagine a global cross modular PSH, meaning that it should work on modeling, animation, dynamics, hair/fur, fluids and rendering objects and their components! In other words a PSH system should allow the user to select anything and everything in the viewport. Think of deleting things without actually selecting anything: hover over an object hit the delete key, booom, gone!
To expand on this concept, commands over highlights, something that a lot of people especially the software designers are having a serious problem understanding. I sometimes get a feeling that not many users get this either. Seems that so many people are comfortable using the old way of doing things that they don't realize there are ways of improving their workflow tenfold.
Pre-selection highlighting system with nice visual aids seems simple enough, but this isn’t all that it can be used for. The PSH system can be combined with commands and tools over highlights. The idea behind commands over highlights is to eliminate as much repetitive tool selection as possible and make the modeling process as fluid, interruption free and model centric as possible. This means for example that a highlighted selection can be extruded, beveled, wedged, inset, split, bridged, chamfered, spun, merged/welded, etc. with a simple combination of mouse clicks and hotkeys (MMB+Shift, MMB+Alt, MMB+Alt+Shift, MMB+Hotkey). Every object including its native components (this applies mostly to the modeling process) can be modified this way without actually clicking/selecting objects or components.
We need to get out of the habit of selecting things. It's 2013, there are more efficient methods of doing the same thing over and over again. Why not take advantage of it?
Commands over highlights could also be combined with object/component specific context sensitive menus for even greater flexibility. Again imagine hovering over an edge (WITHOUT SELCTING IT!) and pressing L to create a complete edge loop. Partial edge loop could be created by hovering over an edge and clicking and holding L and dragging over a desired number of edges to where the partial edge loop would be created. Simple. Sticky keys would play a major role in this.
Forget marking menus! They aren't the "Messiah" of improved functionality and efficient workflow. In all seriousness many novice Maya users have expressed their confusion over the extensive amount of marking menus and inability to remember various tools and their subsequent locations. The idea is that, whether marking menus or contextual menus, they are supposed to be easy to remember and should not require a combination of keys and mouse clicks. They are supposed to be context sensitive, meaning single mouse click bringing up appropriate menu based on perceived selection!! It's an easy concept, nothing abstract.
Much of this functionality can be applied to animation, creating skeletons, rigs, controllers, etc.
Maya has some of the worst poly modeling tools of any software. Most of them have not been updated in years and they are begging for it. I have a $140 Silo sitting on my desktop that has better modeling tools than Maya.
Symmetry? You would think that by 2013 Maya would have what seems like a basic modeling function, but heck...it's Autodesk after all and no, there is no symmetry modeling in Maya, because you don't need it!! Why would anyone use symmetry right? You have to use an instance in the duplicate special options and then convert the instance to regular geo once you are done and merge vertices. That's the workflow ADSK wants you to use. I mean WTF man!?
I understand that it's all personal preference, but if you ever did a real, in depth analysis of workflow, tool implementation and usability you'd understand why so many people complain about modeling in Maya.
I have a great idea. Valve just let Bay Raitt go. Hire the man, help him rewrite the modeling tools, duplicating Mirai functionality. Trust me, the world will thank Autodesk.