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Realsoft Forum • View topic - Version 7 thread

Version 7 thread

Realsoft 3D Discussion forum moderated by Vesa Meskanen, Realsoft OY

Moderator: vesamesk

Version 7 thread

Postby Timo » Wednesday 23. January 2008, 10:48

Now that V6 is out, we can start bugging Realsoft about the next version ;)
Here's my wishlist for V7, mostly copied from my V6 wishlist...
  • Tools
    • volume selection tool (it already has a topic in the manual?)
    • proper nurbs tools (think rhino)
    • extended poly tools (check silo, modo or polyboost)
      • I'd especially like it if selected faces were highlighted (like in modo), not just the edges
    • replace particles with objects (this has a ton of possible uses)
      • I quess this should be implemented as a constructor mode for the particles object.
      • my idea was to use particles to simulate dirt, then replace them with sphere maps of a dirt material. The problem is that we'd have to be able to get the material objects to appear in the level where our dirtied object is. One option would be to make the constructor mode create the objects in the parent level of the particle object (I think the Creator object already does this).
    • UV unwrapping tool that uses selected edges as seams (see Blender for example)
  • Rendering
    • angle for distant light (f.e. 0.5 degrees for sun, could also be used as a sky dome)
      • add a texturing option to this (+some importance sampling), et voilà: you have an excellent hemilight that can be used with an HDR image to light a scene
    • importance sampling for shadow rays
      • i.e. use less shadow rays for GI rays etc.
    • proper shadow mapping
      • easy creation of 'static' shadowmaps, preferrably totally automatic (i.e. as long as the scene is static, the maps won't be recalculated)
    • proper sample distribution for special lights (f.e. an analytical sphere is 'brighter' at the poles)
      • I know this is not a bug as such, but it's not expected behaviour either
    • sample based post effects (so they'd work with AA)
    • more camera modes
      • environment map camera that renders a lat/long environment map
    • builtin glossy reflection/refraction
      • add a builtin 'glossiness' and maybe a 'glossquality' channel
      • 0 glossiness means the reflections/refractions are totally sharp, 1 that they are completely blurred
      • this way we keep backwards compatibility
    • faster rendering :D
  • Import/Export
    • OpenEXR support
      • OpenEXR supports pratically everything that r3i does
      • it's widely supported
    • HDR support (read and write, also for 64bit version)
    • both of these formats have BSD (or equivalent) licensed c/c++ codecs
    • Collada import/export
    • file format selection for UVImage (and caustics)
  • GUI
    • qt, fltk or wxWidgets based ui for *nix (or all platforms)
    • proper colorpicker for *nix
    • auto rename (edit & select text) when creating channels/variables/whatever
    • multiselection and drop to level for VSL
    • better OGL rendering
      • shadows
      • transparency
  • VSL
    • world2tangent & tangent2world coordinate transform operations
    • latlong2world & world2latlong coordinate transform operations
    • world2probe coordinate transformation (see http://debevec.org/Probes/)
    • fresnel operation
    • Image Processing shader: Image:Aspect Ratio
    • sample materials that replicate default stuff like surface- and volume illumination
    • default color for texture VSL object (if no texture is selected, the color is used)
    • bent normals for AO (i.e. average light direction vector)
    • better support for environment maps (and textures in general)
      • cached blur
      • correct blur for environment maps (i.e. sample the blur around the ray vector, not the image pixel)
    • better UI definition, RealMan does it quite well
  • Javascript
    • make sure the API replicates as much of the SDK functionality as possible
      • point selection lists should be accessible
      • 'extended' interactors like whole loop selection shold be accessible
    • the API documentation is rather cryptic
    • drag&drop from Attribute window should produce runnable code. As in if I drag sphere1's Center to the scripting window, it should produce sphere1.getCenter(); or similar
  • SDK
    • add more (extensive) examples
  • Simulation
    • add a control for simulation accuracy, as in how many non-rendered frames are simulated between rendered frames
Last edited by Timo on Friday 25. January 2008, 14:45, edited 7 times in total.
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Postby Quan » Wednesday 23. January 2008, 13:36

    <b>modeling</b>
  • Faces can only be selected by clicking a little square in the middle of the face (like in Blender) and not the whole face - it makes it easier to select faces behind other faces.
  • selected faces are slightly highlighted (Blender)
  • mesh modifiers (subsurf, smooth) that only affect the rendered image - it shouldn't add more points to the mesh in edit mode

    rendering / shaders
  • I know this is a tall order, but a node based environment for VSL would be great :) (like in Fusion)
  • And another one: a node based compositor to merge the different passes and adjust them manually (like in Blender)

I love nodes and they would increase the user friendliness and would help to keep track of complex materials with many different vls-objects.

    measuring system
  • I really like this feature in the new V6, but it would be nice to see the units displayed behind the numbers (meter, square meter and so on)
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Postby Timo » Wednesday 23. January 2008, 16:31

Quan wrote:
  • I know this is a tall order, but a node based environment for VSL would be great :) (like in Fusion)

I've thought about this as well: converting a stack based (i.e. vsl) shader to a directed acyclic graph (i.e. nodes) should be possible, although the transformation isn't non-destructive (i.e. converting vsl to a graph and back won't produce exactly the same vsl, although its functionality remains the same). The biggest challenge is building the GUI part.
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Postby vesamesk » Monday 28. January 2008, 15:51

Thanks for v7 ideas, they are welcome! Right now, it seems that finishing SP1 and all platform versions will take some weeks more. After the SP1 release, new development will start immediately.

Kind regards,

Vesa
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Postby Timo » Tuesday 29. January 2008, 19:39

Yep, all the beta testers on the irc channel are on a bug-a-thon ATM (with good results if I may say so, lots of bugreports produced), so hopefully all major bugs will get ironed out quite soon.
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Postby K-UDA » Saturday 2. February 2008, 08:12

I wish that I can change the size of the quarter view interactively.
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Postby guest » Sunday 10. February 2008, 16:02

K-UDA wrote:I wish that I can change the size of the quarter view interactively.


Yes ! When I first saw this demonstrated with LW in 1992 I was much impressed .
Glad that we have Quad view as default now in V6 . Please give us back our "dbl left click" to toggle back to single view .
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Postby guest » Sunday 10. February 2008, 17:50

Hi :

I disagree with the gist of this thread ! I mean , sure it would be great to have those suggestions , even right now , but there are much more important things to do inside V6 first , before we start chalking up ideas to make the RSV7 feature list look even more impressive .

First :

Documentation is always 1 or 2 versions behind , it seems . In the rush to get the latest version working and released , the Doc's always seem to fall to the wayside . The new Help System in V6 is very nice , I think . Let's find ways to increase the amount of entries and expand on the ones already there .

Second :

We have great new Project Samples with V6 , but that menu is also at least one version behind . We seem to be continually ignoring the brand new users in this community . People still love to talk about things that the new user has no idea about . People still love to post new shaders and projects (though very few lately) that even have a simple 50 word 'Readme.txt file in them .

Considering how vast and powerful a product V6 is , there should actually be a hundred more Sample projects included . Furthermore , those sample projects should be created by the beta testers . This kills 2 birds with one stone . The samples get written , and the bugs get discovered . There are still areas of RS where people don't go because it is too daunting , and sadly , once they get there , there will be bugs there waiting , simply because the testers did not go there either .

I strongly feel this way because it seems that many times I start to explore new , unfamiliar areas , and then hit bugs , and quite frankly , I am very , very tired of beta testing RS . Bugs and a lack of information make me think once, twice , three times before I decide to begin a new project .

Third :

The most outdated part of RS is the rendering distribution system . As I've said on the list , with Quad cores getting so powerful and so cheap , cores should not be sitting there idle while the Post Processing takes place . I'm not saying that RS should make the Post system multi-threaded , but what I am saying is that we need a way to assign frames to be rendered in a way that these cores do not sit idle . Quad-core is just the beginning and merely the thin edge of the wedge , as far as multi-core development goes , but V6 is still back in Pre-Hyperthreading days .

Fourth :

The distrubuted method of rendering is also not going to cut it anymore . With cheap bare-bone
quad core boxes making perfect render farm components , the current method of having them kick their CPU's in to the current box rendering method is too slow now . I have done some tests with my Quad-core and my small farm and it is not even worth having a farm these days . Forget about considering a wireless network . The Quads are so fast that the current network rendering method cannot keep up anymore .

We need a simple method that will allow us to quickly move a project to all the farm boxes and have each core , on each Quad box going at 100% , or else we are just spinning our wheels . "Like they say , go hard , or go home" .

Fifth :

Almost as ancient as the current distibution method is the Animation System's Keyframing method . Yes , it was nice when we could just hit the 'Record' button and have all the keys placed for us , or hit the 'Key' Icon and have a nice smooth transition built for us , but this can be a real pain when trying to tweak or change those keys , or move them into other spots on the timeline , especially while under a 'Morphing' method . I'm sure I can come up with a work-around (#675463) , but it is only a simple change to make the keyframing method much more intuative and productive .

As I mentioned to the list when I created the Meta-ball camera matching animation - when trying to move and adjust keys , the timeline and all the neighbouring keys would get in the way . Vesa replied that my observations were noted , but however , something must be done about it for V7 , before we look for ways to create other 'Secret Weapons' .

As I already mentioned , the way some apps have been doing it (also since 1992) is to allow a user to 'Create a Key' , but then to simply ask the user "Which Frame # do you want this key to be placed at?" . That way this key can be placed at this current frame# , or beyond the next key , or beyond the next 50 keys ! It's a complete 'No Brainer' and really should be introduced before we start considering Photon Mapping the RPL editor's GUI .

Sixth :

The community is dead ! Yes , there are many hours to be wasted on IRC talking trash that leads to a practical dead-stop in production . IRC is great , so much knowledge there , so little time to waste it all talking in private . Put that energy into building a web page and sharing that info , and now you've got something !

What the community needs is something concrete to sink their teeth into . If there was a bi-tri-monthly meeting on IRC where Vesa or Juha would show up and talk about development and ideas , and advanced fishing methods , then I'd be there with bells on .

We need some real ways to share within our community (and no , I don't mean shaders or java scripts that are only semi working , without any instructions at all) . We need to find a way back to the older days when there were constant contributions within the community , when we were all exploring and being amazed as we went . Now it seems that we only want to compare the RS feature list with the Blender feature list . There seems to be a 3:1 ratio of , off topic sharing - to RS sharing .

I guess what is also , maybe needed , is some kind of clue from RS as to where they are headed . I can't really seem to figure it out . I get the distinct feeling that the most important thing is to just have fun with what we have and enjoy the time along the way - but for me , it is mostly about frustration , when I am continually getting the feeling that no one is actually using this app (except Matthias) .

Bugs , unimproved basic tools , hardware outpacing S/W by vast amounts . Yes , the upgrade price is awesome , too cheap if you ask me , which also makes me wonder , "why ?" . Charge more , but then give more too . Hire another programmer (or 2) . Fire some testers and get some new ones .

RS has become a nice little S/W , but it certainly is not the killer app it once was , and adding a bunch of difficult to use , poorly documented , new bells and whistles is not the answer to making it the "heads and shoulders above all else" app that we all knew it was at one time .

If the goal is no longer to be #1 , then say so (or maybe that is what RS is saying by charging so little for the V6 upgrade and all the free V5 SP's ?) . If the goal is to be #4 or 5 (behind Blender?) then maybe RS should think about just giving it away too ? Then we can all just relax , let the testers ignore the bugs , let the Docs go stagnant and be satisfied with the old , worn out tools .

Sit back and let 19 of those 20 cores lay there , cooling in the shade ...

Sincerely

garry
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Postby Timo » Monday 11. February 2008, 09:53

So, in the end, you're contributing to this thread in the same way as the rest of us. Most of my ideas are just as much about making the old better as yours.
You might want to consider that most people don't use the application for the community, but purely as a tool.
What comes to IRC, we try to put anything useful that comes up there either in the forum or in the wiki. I do agree with some of your points though: the documentation is lacking in many places, you're likely to run into bugs if you try to do anything more advanced, there should be more samples etc.
The documentation in V6 is way better than before though, maybe we should think of a way to enable users to contribute in it? SP1 of V6 should also have a huge load of bugs killed, we've 'wasted our time on IRC talking trash' by doing collaborative bughunting, resulting in over 150 bugreports, most of which have been tested on three different computers and two platforms. Sample projects could also be provided by the community (or beta testers), alas there really isn't much sharing going on there.
I was never a part of the Real3D scene, could you give me an idea of what these glory days were actually like? What were people sharing, what made the users so amazed?
What else can we share than scenes, materials and scripts (and the occasional tutorial)?
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Postby guest » Monday 11. February 2008, 13:29

Timo wrote:So, in the end, you're contributing to this thread in the same way as the rest of us.


Well , I did start off by saying that it would be good to have the things that were mentioned by you and Quan , but what I'm trying to say is , that we should begin with V7 by putting things in their order of importance . There is a certain order of priority , and the priority with S/W developers has always been "let's develop this really cool advanced tool" .
Not , "hey , let's concentrate on making the S/W easier to use" .

Timo wrote:Most of my ideas are just as much about making the old better as yours.


I disagree . I am talking about stopping , taking a big breath , and looking at what has been glossed over these past 5 years . The effort seems always to be "let's develop something that will look really great on the Box cover" . In the meantime , in the rush to move forward the Doc's get pushed to the back burner , and the basic tools get ignored , instead of being updated and improved .

Timo wrote:You might want to consider that most people don't use the application for the community, but purely as a tool.


Did you do a survey ? What % of new user is going to buy RS and use it for a tool when they already have better and more advanced 3D S/W ? Even dedicated RS users will say "well , I really love the RS raytracer" . Fine . If that's what RS really is , a good old fashioned ray marcher best suited for doing single images , then so be it . I'll shut up now .

Timo wrote:What comes to IRC, we try to put anything useful that comes up there either in the forum or in the wiki.


In the forum ? The Forum is dead . So is the List . I check my list mail 20 times a day and the only things I see of any value come from Matthias , mostly . Lot's of Blender updates . Oh , yes , I did see Irish post a camtasia on RS . That's one thing from IRC to the List in a thousand days .


Timo wrote: I do agree with some of your points though: the documentation is lacking in many places, you're likely to run into bugs if you try to do anything more advanced, there should be more samples etc.



Right , that's 3 things , plus the keyframing system is antiquated , and so is the rendering distribution system , so that's 2 more very important things . That's my whole argument , basically .

Timo wrote:The documentation in V6 is way better than before though, maybe we should think of a way to enable users to contribute in it?


Years ago , circa Satu days , the push was on for a 'Dynamic Manual' . It never materialized , and never will . The new help system is great , but the problem is with S/W like RS that has a million (never used) tools , is that updating the help files is a major-major task , but the task should be begun now , not in V9 .

Many , many times I have gone to the help files to see if this tool I'm fighting with is either ... not working ... or , requires a special odd way to get it to work ... or is buggy , ... or whatever . Then I see it's not mentioned , except in the reference manual , and the only direction there , is how to spell it correctly .

Timo wrote:SP1 of V6 should also have a huge load of bugs killed, we've 'wasted our time on IRC talking trash' by doing collaborative bughunting, resulting in over 150 bugreports, most of which have been tested on three different computers and two platforms.


Seriously ? I'm in shock ! I post bugs to the list and to realsoft and I get ... ... nada . Test for echo ... ... ... nobody home . If the testers are actually trying to locate bugs and fix them , then I apologize . Perhaps , in that case , IRC has some obvious merit after all . If the SP1 has that many bug fixes , then RS can feel free to charge me for it .


Timo wrote:Sample projects could also be provided by the community (or beta testers), alas there really isn't much sharing going on there.


I'm sure if Realsoft were to post on the list , on the IRC , in Stream & Outdoors , that they were interested in looking at any scenes that users had that could possibly be included in the Samples Section , that there would be more than just a couple offered .

However , in my opinion , these samples should have a little documentation included . Some info in the "Info Window" or something more clever that that . I look at some of these samples and shake my head . I have no idea how the animation is working , and when I dig and dig for clues , end up with nothing . 50 words or less . That's all it takes to explain a new concept or procedure .


Timo wrote:I was never a part of the Real3D scene, could you give me an idea of what these glory days were actually like? What were people sharing, what made the users so amazed?


The users were so amazed , I think , because R3D was very simply the best 3D S/W on the market at that time .

Did you ever try to use MS Windows with a 286 CPU ? I did . Many did on a daily basis (poor stupid bastards) . To try and use other 3D S/W was much like trying to use MS Windows instead of an Amiga , or a Macintosh . There was L/W , but it was clumsy , and the interface was an interference , the S/W was un-dynamic , handcuffing . There was Imagine also , but it had a bizzarre and weird interface (3 times more strange than L/W) . There were others too , equally bad (WCS & Vista Pro were cool !)...

Then there was R3D . It was elegant . It was powerful . It was customisable . It had a built-in language that enabled it to do incredible things . It had plugins . It had gifted artists in the community that shared their secrets and their time on a daily basis , teaching others , writing tools and methods when asked . The Docs in the final manual were a wonderful work of art .

There was a certain amazing feeling knowing that you were using the best in the world . There was an aura of mystique that surrounded the Meskanens in those days , too . Not as many in north America were as familiar with R3D then (and today) but those that were knew that the images that were shown in the back of the computer graphic magazines were mostly garbage compared to the images that were shared on the R3D list and image contest . Some of those images still stand the test of time even yet , today .

R3D was much more than a "tool" , as you say it mainly is today . I used to call the concept of sharing that we had back then - "Stone Soup" . Do you know that story ? That is what we had , what the Meskanens had given us . Today the community is mostly rock-heads , who have no time to share , no time to give , no time to take an extra 10 minutes and do it right .

Timo wrote:What else can we share than scenes, materials and scripts (and the occasional tutorial)?


I think you took that the wrong way . Yes , share , but put some freakin' documentation with it . Put an example file with it too . Above all , share more . Share more files and share more information . The scripting inside RS has much potential . (not sure where we stand on the SP1 scripting fixes) . So does the VSL system , but without more examples it's a nightmare . We keep hearing "oh , I am going to build a tutorial on this , and on that , and on this that-this-that-this-this-that-that-and this" , but of course , nothing ever comes (except the excuses) .

I think one of the most powerful things we all can do , is to get in the habit of trying to see V6 through the eyes of the new user . The other day someone posted about using Richies 3DS plugin . OK , fine , but put a link to his plugin . If it's already inside V6 , then say so . Why does everything have to be a guessing game to the new user ?

It's like a knowledge Mafia around here . It's as though people are trying to show how much can be done with so little words . There is so much smugness now . No one seems willing to take risks in sharing , in case they are wrong about something . "Here , look at this . See how advanced I am ? How did I do it ? It's a secret , but here's a tiny clue for you all..." .

As we and you and I , and Realsoft change their focus from "it's all about me , or all about our club , or all about my reputation" , to ... "it's all about the new user" , then the information just automatically flows . (well , not for the advanced users that don't share because they are way too busy to consider the needs of neewbies or intermediate users among us , but fuck them and the horse they rode in on ,anyway)

Everyone is too busy now . Too busy to test ... too busy to write readme.txt's ...too busy to write Docs ... too busy to read the flippin mail first ,before replying to it ... too busy to create tutorials ... .

Anyway , getting way off topic here . As far as community goes , as I said , I think if RS asked the community for contributions that they would get a large response . There's probably a lot of things that could be suggested to help build the community back up again , but for now , as far as I'm concerned , the first thing is to make the S/W much more useable (via improving the most very basic animation utilities [keyframer/render distribution]) and also more user friendly (via Docs and user created Samples) .

cheers

garry
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Postby Timo » Monday 11. February 2008, 14:21

guest wrote:Well , I did start off by saying that it would be good to have the things that were mentioned by you and Quan , but what I'm trying to say is , that we should begin with V7 by putting things in their order of importance . There is a certain order of priority , and the priority with S/W developers has always been "let's develop this really cool advanced tool" .
Not , "hey , let's concentrate on making the S/W easier to use" .

I do agree to some extent. The problem here is that RS really needs both (new features and fixes to the old ones) and their resources are limited (so your idea of hiring more coders isn't that far fetched).
quest wrote:Did you do a survey ? What % of new user is going to buy RS and use it for a tool when they already have better and more advanced 3D S/W ? Even dedicated RS users will say "well , I really love the RS raytracer" . Fine . If that's what RS really is , a good old fashioned ray marcher best suited for doing single images , then so be it . I'll shut up now .

So you're saying that people buy RS for the community? Last time I checked it was marketed as "The latest full-featured 3D modeling, rendering and animation software package from Realsoft".

quest wrote:In the forum ? The Forum is dead . So is the List . I check my list mail 20 times a day and the only things I see of any value come from Matthias , mostly . Lot's of Blender updates . Oh , yes , I did see Irish post a camtasia on RS . That's one thing from IRC to the List in a thousand days .

Again I'll have to agree with you. We've been too busy testing lately, so not much action on our part. No idea why everyone else is so silent: maybe they need someone to show example?
quest wrote:Years ago , circa Satu days , the push was on for a 'Dynamic Manual' . It never materialized , and never will . The new help system is great , but the problem is with S/W like RS that has a million (never used) tools , is that updating the help files is a major-major task , but the task should be begun now , not in V9 .

Many , many times I have gone to the help files to see if this tool I'm fighting with is either ... not working ... or , requires a special odd way to get it to work ... or is buggy , ... or whatever . Then I see it's not mentioned , except in the reference manual , and the only direction there , is how to spell it correctly .

Aaand again, I mostly agree. One option would be to extend the Wiki to a more manual-like form.
quest wrote:Seriously ? I'm in shock ! I post bugs to the list and to realsoft and I get ... ... nada . Test for echo ... ... ... nobody home . If the testers are actually trying to locate bugs and fix them , then I apologize . Perhaps , in that case , IRC has some obvious merit after all . If the SP1 has that many bug fixes , then RS can feel free to charge me for it .

IRC is excellent for bugtesting, as we can ask others to confirm bugs right away. We've tried to test all parts of the program, so there should be fixes all around.

quest wrote:I'm sure if Realsoft were to post on the list , on the IRC , in Stream & Outdoors , that they were interested in looking at any scenes that users had that could possibly be included in the Samples Section , that there would be more than just a couple offered .

However , in my opinion , these samples should have a little documentation included . Some info in the "Info Window" or something more clever that that . I look at some of these samples and shake my head . I have no idea how the animation is working , and when I dig and dig for clues , end up with nothing . 50 words or less . That's all it takes to explain a new concept or procedure .

One option would be to add a little rule to the image contest that requires the winner to provide the image scene and a tutorial on its creation.

quest wrote:The users were so amazed , I think , because R3D was very simply the best 3D S/W on the market at that time .

Did you ever try to use MS Windows with a 286 CPU ? I did . Many did on a daily basis (poor stupid bastards) . To try and use other 3D S/W was much like trying to use MS Windows instead of an Amiga , or a Macintosh . There was L/W , but it was clumsy , and the interface was an interference , the S/W was un-dynamic , handcuffing . There was Imagine also , but it had a bizzarre and weird interface (3 times more strange than L/W) . There were others too , equally bad (WCS & Vista Pro were cool !)...

Then there was R3D . It was elegant . It was powerful . It was customisable . It had a built-in language that enabled it to do incredible things . It had plugins . It had gifted artists in the community that shared their secrets and their time on a daily basis , teaching others , writing tools and methods when asked . The Docs in the final manual were a wonderful work of art .

There was a certain amazing feeling knowing that you were using the best in the world . There was an aura of mystique that surrounded the Meskanens in those days , too . Not as many in north America were as familiar with R3D then (and today) but those that were knew that the images that were shown in the back of the computer graphic magazines were mostly garbage compared to the images that were shared on the R3D list and image contest . Some of those images still stand the test of time even yet , today .

R3D was much more than a "tool" , as you say it mainly is today . I used to call the concept of sharing that we had back then - "Stone Soup" . Do you know that story ? That is what we had , what the Meskanens had given us . Today the community is mostly rock-heads , who have no time to share , no time to give , no time to take an extra 10 minutes and do it right .

I think I tried Windows on a 386... it sucked just as bad as it does today :)
The 3D app scene is so big today that RS can't really fight with the big boys, there's a slight advantage in having 100* the coders :P
Hopefully we'll get some kick in the scripting side from the new Macro Monitor tool (which is nicely hidden btw, I bet you didn't even know it's there ;) Available GUI Objects->App. Window->MacMon IIRC). What comes to plugins, I'd love to make some myself, but my C skills are close to zero and the API is rather confusing. I've talked with Zaug about trying to collaborate on redoing the HDR plugin, we'll just have to see how far we get with that.

quest wrote: think you took that the wrong way . Yes , share , but put some freakin' documentation with it . Put an example file with it too . Above all , share more . Share more files and share more information . The scripting inside RS has much potential . (not sure where we stand on the SP1 scripting fixes) . So does the VSL system , but without more examples it's a nightmare . We keep hearing "oh , I am going to build a tutorial on this , and on that , and on this that-this-that-this-this-that-that-and this" , but of course , nothing ever comes (except the excuses) .

Point taken, I'll try to run my stuff through other users from now on to see if there's sufficient documentation. There's some scripting fixes in SP1 and the Macro Monitor tool now produces much more readable code. On the VSL side we could use simple building block type shaders, as in a material that just does nice Specular Illumination etc. which could then be combined (and they'd work as excellent examples). Now that VSL has a comment element, they could even have 'inline' documentation.

quest wrote:I think one of the most powerful things we all can do , is to get in the habit of trying to see V6 through the eyes of the new user . The other day someone posted about using Richies 3DS plugin . OK , fine , but put a link to his plugin . If it's already inside V6 , then say so . Why does everything have to be a guessing game to the new user ?

I get your idea, but this is a rather bad example: the plugin doesn't have a website. AFAIK it's only available through a thread in this forum.

quest wrote:It's like a knowledge Mafia around here . It's as though people are trying to show how much can be done with so little words . There is so much smugness now . No one seems willing to take risks in sharing , in case they are wrong about something . "Here , look at this . See how advanced I am ? How did I do it ? It's a secret , but here's a tiny clue for you all..." .

As we and you and I , and Realsoft change their focus from "it's all about me , or all about our club , or all about my reputation" , to ... "it's all about the new user" , then the information just automatically flows . (well , not for the advanced users that don't share because they are way too busy to consider the needs of neewbies or intermediate users among us , but fuck them and the horse they rode in on ,anyway)

Everyone is too busy now . Too busy to test ... too busy to write readme.txt's ...too busy to write Docs ... too busy to read the flippin mail first ,before replying to it ... too busy to create tutorials ... .

Anyway , getting way off topic here . As far as community goes , as I said , I think if RS asked the community for contributions that they would get a large response . There's probably a lot of things that could be suggested to help build the community back up again , but for now , as far as I'm concerned , the first thing is to make the S/W much more useable (via improving the most very basic animation utilities [keyframer/render distribution]) and also more user friendly (via Docs and user created Samples) .

cheers

garry

I agree that RS could really use more community action, it's good for the users and good for the company. They just need to find a way to get the users to contribute, and I'm not as sure as you are that simply asking will cut the mustard. Maybe they should sponsor a tutorial contest (with plugins as prices)?
When it is darkest, men see the stars.
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Postby zaug » Monday 11. February 2008, 17:30

Garry,
I am really not sure where you think this time is to come from. Putting together a correctly written, to the point, etc., tutorial, takes a good amount of time, time that one is giving away; no small consideration! Especially, when it gets little or no response for the effort.

In response to:
" That's one thing from IRC to the List in a thousand days ."
Besides barring the rather high likelyhood, that all of my contributions add up to a pile of shite, it is a mystery to me that I get almost no response, and what little I do get rarely comes from you. Except to perhaps point out how powerful RS scripting must be; yes they just write themselves, you know.....
The scripts and else that I produce are nothing short of products of the IRC interaction, by way of suggestions and help I receive from others, there; and well, there has been quite a bit in the last thousand days; shite or not.

You have done only a small amount yourself, but continue to bitch endlessly, your mails ramble, you hijack threads (like I am doing here), you resort to name calling; Bore-Ass John, Gayson Slanders, another of the Doobie Brothers....
What was gained by by saying these things or any of the other hateful, mean spirited, meant only to negatively provoke, things that you consistently say? You are not a comedian, you are not a prophet and you are not a very nice person, indeed!
I am surprised that any of these people respond to anything you post; after so many of these attacks. I guess we are hoping you will decide to stop, one of these days.
It is really no surprise to me, however, that the list is so quiet. As others have said on the list, thinking of contributing now has to include thoughts like: do I risk getting attacked by Garry, or just keep quiet; was this your goal? as it is exactly what you have achieved. When will you understand that you cannot force people or insult people into doing what you "demand"?; even if the demands are valid.

I wish for more participation too, but know that this is not the way to get it to happen.

The saddest part of this is that you make several valid points above, but the fact that nearly all of your words are so steeped in fatalism and bitterness, makes it difficult to sort out what you are saying and to take it with any level of seriousness.
Plain, non-sarcastic, speech that does not constantly allude to an endless victim-hood on your part might really go a long way towards getting your points across and having them actually considered.

Finally, there is no Knowledge Mafia (I checked), so rather than attacking someone for not thinking to explain something, perhaps just simply ask; is that really so hard? I think I even witnessed this off-the-wall method working a couple of times.
Often times I, and I am sure others, do not guess we have came across anything so important but more likely something most already know and that we were lucky enough to find the answer to, on our own.
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Postby guest » Tuesday 12. February 2008, 16:43

EDIT by GC : reply deleted
Last edited by guest on Tuesday 19. February 2008, 01:21, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby guest » Tuesday 12. February 2008, 18:12

Timo wrote:I do agree to some extent. The problem here is that RS really needs both (new features and fixes to the old ones) and their resources are limited (so your idea of hiring more coders isn't that far fetched).


Yes , but it's even worse than that .
We have corporations that are heavily discounting their very expensive and very capable S/W .
We have many groups concentrating on real-time raytracing/radiosity/etc .
We have high quality Gelato working on various apps .
We have freeware 3D that just keeps gaining ground on the big boys , both in user base and in feature set too .
Also , RS is proprietary mostly , so 90% of plugins are not written for us .

That's one of the reasons I asked "where is RS heading?" . It can't possibly keep up . I have to stand back and ask "where am I/us headed if we stay with this S/W?"

V6 is a big step forward , catching up , with the interface being the same but nicer to use , and instances , and faster tracing , but in my opinion , V7 should be yet again , another step catching up , with the things that were mentioned above .

Timo wrote:So you're saying that people buy RS for the community? Last time I checked it was marketed as "The latest full-featured 3D modeling, rendering and animation software package from Realsoft".


No , of course not for the community . I'm saying "not for the tools" . If I was starting out with 3D , right now , would I look at buying RS ? Would I try it if it came on a cover disk ? Yes , but I might very quickly bail . I would go away scratching my head .

So what would I first , seriously consider ? Maya ? Maybe , since I can use an extremely cut down version for free , and I've heard lots about it . SI ? Maybe , also very cheap and it get's the press . Blender ? Probably a very good place to start .

However , I have used the best for a long time and would very much like to continue doing so . I am not going to go and work for a Studio , but maybe I could get some freelance work ... but not with this S/W the way it is with V6 , pre SP1 . It's too frustrating , constanly looking for the inevitable 'workaround' for everything I've ever wanted to do .

I bought a new computer , and got my hands on V6 , and quickly got so fed up with trying to do simple , basic stuff the hard way , that I just finally said "screw it" , I'm done ... but , then maybe it is a great little old fashioned tracer that can do a very photorealistic image , but for large animation projects , it needs some simple considerations , thus my post to this thread .

Timo wrote:Again I'll have to agree with you [edit:about dead forum]. We've been too busy testing lately, so not much action on our part. No idea why everyone else is so silent: maybe they need someone to show example?


Glad to hear so much testing is going on . This is very critical , I think . When new users try or buy and find bugs , it's just downright embarrasing . If a S/W does not have a certain capability , well then , fine , so be it ... but when it has bugs all over ... that's another thing all together . It's understandable that RSV6 does have bugs , since it is so vast and almost unexplored ... anyway , ...

Busy , yes , but I think everyone else is using other S/W now . The status quo , (Gunther and company) that used to use RS exlusively , now use a variety of tools , and good for them . So now , the focus is not directed here , to this community , the way it used to be . In fact , most everyone in the community is also part of another community too (except me , I have no time for this community , let alone other ones too) .

Timo wrote:And again, I mostly agree [editGC:about the manual] . One option would be to extend the Wiki to a more manual-like form.


It's not going to happen . The manual we have now is good enough , but needs constant updating by Realsoft , and needs a whole group of people to try new tools , and then go into the manual to see if that area of the manual , for that tool , needs more information . If it does , write that information , and then include it in the next Service Pack . Vesa & Juha do not have time for this , and the Dynamic Manual was not put forth .

Timo wrote:IRC is excellent for bugtesting, as we can ask others to confirm bugs right away. We've tried to test all parts of the program, so there should be fixes all around.


Yes , this is a good point . IRC would be perfect for that . I never even considered IRC for this function . For people who are willing to put in the time testing , IRC would be the perfect format . Real-time info , not only about bugs , but about new ideas and areas of the manual where certain info could be added .

My problem with IRC , years ago when I would visit a few rare times (when you were doing those cool machine nuts) was that I could not get a damn thing done ! I am not much of a typist , and I was spending 80% on typing , and 20% on RS . I had to stop going , if I was ever going to get anything accomplished .
Timo wrote:One option would be to add a little rule to the image contest that requires the winner to provide the image scene and a tutorial on its creation .

Yes , good idea . I know some have trouble with english , but they could post in their own language and it could be translated . This would provide some very cool Samples . Better if they were animated , too .

Timo wrote:
The 3D app scene is so big today that RS can't really fight with the big boys, there's a slight advantage in having 100* the coders :P


Yes , and for that reason , you may understand why the RS community is so very , very important . It's our only hope . The community can and will keep those new users who come here from all over the world , if it so concentrates on doing that , by making things easier to understand , offering help and suggestions in a plain and easy to understand manner .
Timo wrote:Hopefully we'll get some kick in the scripting side from the new Macro Monitor tool (which is nicely hidden btw, I bet you didn't even know it's there ;) Available GUI Objects->App. Window->MacMon IIRC). What comes to plugins, I'd love to make some myself, but my C skills are close to zero and the API is rather confusing. I've talked with Zaug about trying to collaborate on redoing the HDR plugin, we'll just have to see how far we get with that.


We need to attract scripters . People who may not have real strong animation skills , but who do love to code , and create . We need to be able to say to someone "would you mind D/L'ing the RSV6 demo and trying the scripting , and see what you think?".
With the new Macro Tool the new person may have a ton of fun seeing their scripts come to life in 3D !


Timo wrote:Point taken, I'll try to run my stuff through other users from now on to see if there's sufficient documentation.


Awesome !

Timo wrote: There's some scripting fixes in SP1 and the Macro Monitor tool now produces much more readable code.


This sounds like a really great tool .

Timo wrote:On the VSL side we could use simple building block type shaders, as in a material that just does nice Specular Illumination etc. which could then be combined (and they'd work as excellent examples). Now that VSL has a comment element, they could even have 'inline' documentation.


This sounds fantastic . Something that's been asked for , for years .

Timo wrote:I get your idea, but this is a rather bad example: the plugin doesn't have a website. AFAIK it's only available through a thread in this forum.


Oh . Too bad it's this way . Just adds another layer of difficulty to an already difficult situation .

Timo wrote:I agree that RS could really use more community action, it's good for the users and good for the company. They just need to find a way to get the users to contribute, and I'm not as sure as you are that simply asking will cut the mustard. Maybe they should sponsor a tutorial contest (with plugins as prices)?


Well , what would Realsoft loose by asking for direct help from the community ? Nothing , that I can see . Well , maybe for once they might be seen as human , instead of some ET's . :)

Ask for Samples , and if there is no good response , then maybe create a contest , or something , but first start by asking for cool Samples . I'll bet Matthias could add a dozen unique samples on his own !

Ask for samples , then post those that were submitted , to a place on their server , so that others can see them and maybe think about how they might like to have their's up there too .

It increases the size of the 'Install file' , but that file is so small now it's unreal . There's tons of room for more example files , I think .

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Postby zaug » Monday 18. February 2008, 13:17

Garry,
You are correct, I should not have brought my exceptions to your behavior to this thread.
Apologies to Timo and all.
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