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Can't work out if I like UVLayout...
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r10k



Posts: 13
Joined: 02 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:07 am    Post subject: Can't work out if I like UVLayout... Reply with quote

Just a few random comments, that somewhat sum up why I can't make up my mind if I like the program or not. Mostly, they have me scratching my head, trying to work out if the program will be the UV'ing solution I'm after, or more trouble than it's worth.

- The controls are bizarre. There's just no consistency throughout the program. I can live with them, but they're quite strange.

- Sometimes I can't select an edge. I have no idea why, but the program often gets confused and selects an edge on the other side of a model, which is quite frustrating. If I zoom out a fair way it then lets me select what I want, but if I don't move the camera, I can't no matter how hard I try. It happens about 10-15% of the time, which is pretty often!

- At times, while Shift-D'ing shells back together, the green lines don't go away. They stay on the model in Ed view until I reload it. They're not cuts however, or the sign of other shells. Everything is joined.

- The manual tells me the Smooth button isn't limited to the pro version, but it is. And, a shame it is, too. It seems like a meat and potatoes tool for every version of UVLayout.

- The hobbyist version lacks basic symmetry. I have $30 UV'ing programs that have symmetry. It doesn't seem like a pro feature.

- Speaking of the pro version, it uses a dongle. Why does it have to? Considering the cost compared to the hobbyist version, is it really necessary? I'd rather pay more to avoid it. Obviously it can be an advantage to the travelling professional, but as someone that doesn't need or want it, it'd just becomes a bit of hardware I'd have to worry about.

The long story short is- I'd love the features of Pro, but I'd rather buy the hobby version so I could run it as I do every other bit of software I use.
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headus
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Can't work out if I like UVLayout... Reply with quote

"Sometimes I can't select an edge."

Try using the Home or '.' hotkeys to focus the view on the area you're working on.

"At times, while Shift-D'ing shells back together, the green lines don't go away."

Shift-D just moves the shells back into the "Ed" space, but doesn't do any welding, so actually the green UV seams should always stay there. That first Shift-D is just an undrop (the opposite of D), so you need to do a second Shift-D to re-join everything if you want to get rid of the seams.

"The manual tells me the Smooth button isn't limited to the pro version"

It isn't, but you need to tick the "Pin" option next to the 4/5/6 label to turn on smoothing with the '6' hotkey.

"The hobbyist version lacks basic symmetry"

It does have some symmetry tools, just not the "active" symmetry editing you get in the Pro version. The Stack tool (available in both the Pro and Hobbyist versions) allows you to average or copy the boundary shape of already flattened symmetrical shells. You can view it in action in the UVLayout-Beta-v1.15B movie under the Beta videos at uvlayout.com.

"Speaking of the pro version, it uses a dongle. Why does it have to?"

It doesn't. The Pro license can be locked to your PC's Ether ID instead, but we generally don't encourage this option because of the extra hassles for both the user and for us. "Ether" licenses can only be used on that one system, where the dongle allows you to freely move the license from desktop to laptop to mac etc.

The Hobbyist licenses are different; they'll unlock UVLayout on any system you own, and you don't need to contact us for a new license whenever you want to use UVLayout on a different system.

Phil
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r10k



Posts: 13
Joined: 02 Mar 2009

PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Try using the Home or '.' hotkeys to focus the view on the area you're working on.


Yep, done that. I still run into the issue all the time, no matter how I'm focusing on the object.

Quote:
That first Shift-D is just an undrop (the opposite of D), so you need to do a second Shift-D to re-join everything if you want to get rid of the seams.


Yep, I did that too. I had a face and dropped the ears to UV space. Then I Shift-D'd them back as much as I could. One of the ears attached, while the other didn't (visually, anyway).

Quote:
It isn't, but you need to tick the "Pin" option next to the 4/5/6 label to turn on smoothing with the '6' hotkey.


That's interesting. I look into that, and the symmetry, thanks. With the symmetry though- I have many tools which have active symmetry for things like selecting edges. It's a shame the hobby version doesn't have this, as it's standard in almost every tool I have (even non-professional, low cost tools).

Quote:
The Pro license can be locked to your PC's Ether ID instead, but we generally don't encourage this option because of the extra hassles for both the user and for us.


I agree that ether IDs can be extra work for everyone involved (unless the system behind it is fully automated) but a dongle for a guy with one computer is a tad annoying. If I have trouble with it past the 12 month point, I'm looking at extra costs. Still, it's nice to know the ether option is available. What kind of hoops will I have to jump through to get it set up? Will I need to email you guys, or...?

On a side note, I see you guys are in Osborne Park! Wow, it's a small world Smile
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r10k



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update on the selection issue- on some models, it's up around the 70% mark. I've tried zooming in and out, focusing the camera... you name it.

Like me to write this one up as a bug?
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headus
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I still run into the issue all the time, no matter how I'm focusing on the object."

Do you have "Optimized Picking" turned on in the Preferences? It should be off by default, but check it anyway.

Otherwise, as far as I know, most people have no problem with the picking. Is there anything exotic about your system? Are you running the Windows or Mac demo? What OS and graphics card?

"One of the ears attached, while the other didn't (visually, anyway)."

Hmmm, it should have! Maybe its related to the edge picking problem; its not registering correctly the selected shell when you undrop?

"It's a shame the hobby version doesn't have this ..."

Once I get some more things added to the Pro version, I'll bump a few features down to the Hobbyist, and parts of the active Symmetry editing will be one of those I think. Don't hold you're breath though ... this change could 12 months away.

"What kind of hoops will I have to jump through to get it set up?"

Send me email (architec@headus.com.au) to get the ball rolling.

" I see you guys are in Osborne Park! "

Well, sort of ... that's the "official" business address, but headus HQ is up in the hills :-)

Phil
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r10k



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I turned off Optimized Picking. I had a quick go, and I didn't seem to have the problem. So, that's a good first sign. I'll try more later.

Quote:
Is there anything exotic about your system? Are you running the Windows or Mac demo? What OS and graphics card?


Nothing strange I can think of. I'm running Vista, with a GTX260. I run a lot of other apps, and they all work without issue.

Quote:
Hmmm, it should have! Maybe its related to the edge picking problem; its not registering correctly the selected shell when you undrop?


I'll see if I can get it to happen again...

Quote:
Once I get some more things added to the Pro version, I'll bump a few features down to the Hobbyist, and parts of the active Symmetry editing will be one of those I think. Don't hold you're breath though ... this change could 12 months away.


Okay, sounds good. Thanks for considering it, at least Smile Perhaps I should start with the Hobby version, and then reassess in a year. I found the smooth you mentioned, and it works quite well. But, I'll give the pro version a roll and see if if the extras are worth the cost at this point.

Quote:
Well, sort of ... that's the "official" business address, but headus HQ is up in the hills Smile


Smile
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headus
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I turned off Optimized Picking ... and I didn't seem to have the problem"

Great! I've just removed that option from future Demo installs in case someone else accidentally turns it on. Its supposed to speed up the picking for very large meshes, but I haven't gotten round to fixing the bugs in it yet.

Phil
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r10k



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, I like UVLayout now Smile

Everything works much better. Thanks for your help with that one... it really has taken the program into new places, in terms of usability.

Now if there were a way to remap the hotkeys...

Smile
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headus
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Everything works much better"

Thanks for the good news!

"Now if there were a way to remap the hotkeys..."

Well, you should cast your vote for it in our "What would you most like to see" poll ...

http://www.headus.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?t=665

You'd be the first to vote for the user defined keys though :-) Granted, its not a very big sample (only 12 votes so far, and one is mine), but I suspect the long time users are used to the keys now and would rather see the other features.

Phil
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r10k



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They might be used to it, but being able to remap the keys would really help with how fast the app is to use. For example, I spend a lot of time with my fingers on C, but when I want to unselect an edge, I have to either let go of my mouse or reach right across the keyboard. Shift-P for the pinning menu also requires a bit of effort. The pro version is supposed to be for "when every minute counts", but a lot of time is wasted reaching to and from the mouse because of the key setup. The long story short is- the current setup is fairly inefficient, if you're looking to do things quickly.

The reason I mention it is because, compared to what's listed in your poll, it doesn't rank highly on the difficulty level.

Anyhow, I've cast my vote, for all that will do Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

" I spend a lot of time with my fingers on C, but when I want to unselect an edge, I have to either let go of my mouse or reach right across the keyboard"

The W key will also unselect cut edges, so you can do that without having to reach too far.

But point taken ... there's probably plenty of other cases where someone's personal preferences would work best for them (e.g. left handers). Now that it has at least 1 vote, it should get some attention :-)

Phil
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r10k



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Smile For now, I'll switch to W for my unselecting...
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SLI_Fallen



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, i'll chime in with my 2 Wink

Initially, I would have agreed with r10k. The learning curve was somewhat steep at the beginning because the program can do so much..but every function is a key, or or a key combination. Some even only work in a specific screen mode.

It can be a bit daunting to try to remember all this, especially if you bounce back and forth (as we all do) between your 3D app, Paint app (like photoshop) and UVLayout.

I printed a cheat sheet with all the key commands and there is lots of scribbling there too so I can "remember" what all the cool commands do or what workflow within the app to accomplish a specific task.

I'm no programmer, but I can only imagine what it would take to make an actual gui interface for UVlayout with icon buttons to perform the various commands..context sensitive to whatever screenmode/function you are performing. (to be fair, this already shows up as key command menus at the bottom of the screen when you enter a mode)

But...that being said the price we are currently paying for UVLayout is more than fair. And such a radical departure would indeed drive the cost higher (as it should)

In a perfect world, sure, I would love it if it was a bit more "user friendly" but once you get the groove of what this app can do, I dont want to touch anything else. I've actually been lamblasted in 3D forums merely mentioning I use a 3rd party app to UVMap, and was an idiot for paying for the priveledge. But you know what? It works for me..and MOST IMPORTANTLY it is faster and easier for me. So there!!!

[soapbox OFF]
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r10k



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heh, nice soapbox speech. Mind if I get on again? Wink

Quote:
It can be a bit daunting to try to remember all this, especially if you bounce back and forth (as we all do) between your 3D app, Paint app (like photoshop) and UVLayout.


I wouldn't say it's daunting for me. I'm used to different control schemes... I'm familiar with a litteral ton of programs, from 3D through to compositing apps and other 2D programs. I've been playing games for years as well, so keeping sets of controls in my head is just natural. However, remembering controls really isn't the issue. Since UVLayout is control heavy and not so much UI heavy (meaning it doesn't have hundreds of buttons, but does have a ton of hotkeys) being able to adjust the most used part of the program to better refine your own workflow simply saves time. UVLayout really doesn't need a new UI- it doesn't slow me down much, and it doesn't get in the way. The hotkey arrangement however, does. A simple example is having to hit the Enter key all the time. It happens a lot, but every time I need to take my hand off my mouse to hit the keypad Enter, or reach across the keyboard to hit the main Enter key. That's slow.

Quote:
But...that being said the price we are currently paying for UVLayout is more than fair. And such a radical departure would indeed drive the cost higher (as it should)


I half agree with this. Firstly, I don't think this is a radical departure. I know a thing or two about programming, and generally speaking, something like hotkey remapping isn't the most difficult thing in the world to do (unless something really is awry in the code! Smile). Creating a new UI... sure, that can take time, but that's a whole other kettle of fish.

Secondly, there are a lot of 3D apps these days with pretty decent UV mapping capabilities. Granted, UVLayout is unique and amazingly good for those looking to map in a very visual way (the non-destructive cutting up of objects is brilliant, as is the flattening) but to win over or even keep customers there has to be some give and take. The customer realises they're getting a good deal for what's offered, and the developer realises that getting or keeping customers requires providing people with the tools they'd happily pay for. Obviously UVLayout's marketing strategy is a relaxed one, but I'll assume that still applies Smile

Quote:
I've actually been lamblasted in 3D forums merely mentioning I use a 3rd party app to UVMap, and was an idiot for paying for the priveledge.


As mentioned above- there are some really good UV mapping implimentations out there at the moment (I believe Modo is solid, Blender is popular as it's capable and free, and Softimage will be good to use in a version or twos time, with an implimentation of Unfold3D that has recently been added in 7.5) so in some ways I can't blame people for thinking it's foolhardy to go 3rd party for UV mapping.

However, having had a good run with UVLayout's demo for the last few days, I agree the program is worth the cash. It actually makes UV mapping fun, and that is amazing!
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headus
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I can't blame people for thinking it's foolhardy to go 3rd party for UV mapping."

Yes, and we do appreciate that $300 is a lot of money for some people, but its a balancing act because many of our customers (i.e. companies) consider it a bargain when compared to the time they save. In fact almost exactly 50% of UVLayout licenses are in multiple seat situations (i.e. 2 or more licenses to a customer) ... I don't know what that's telling me exactly. but it sounds like its balanced.

Oh yeah, and "marketing strategy"? You're kidding, right :-)

Phil
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