User Feedback

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This page contains the results of feedback from supervised tests with new k3d users. It is focused mostly on the expectations of an artist who has no familiarity with the software, how easily they can figure out how to use it, and which critical features they found missing or tasks they thought they should have been able to perform but could not.

K3d use test July 18th 2006 - Matt Vogt [[1]], familiar with 3dsmax, Maya, and Wings3D Version was used. Joe Crawford obseved this test. Matt Vogt reported the following:

Loved being able to to do viewport navigation without holding down any keyboard keys.

Really liked the transform tools. Really liked tweaking verts with manipulator hidden.

Was able to understand and feel his way through many of the modeling tools.

Liked the orthographic toggle function.

Was impressed by the reference planes, but said they should be easy to add with one or two clicks. (comment from Joe: Users shouldn't have to understand how to connect properties to create reference planes.)

Had trouble rotating things to precise amounts interactively. Said that rotate needs an angle snap. (comment from Joe: we should probably have a global angle snap button on the main toolbar which would affect a lot of things,but mostly be applicable to rotate tool.)

Since the manipulators gave imprecise amounts, after applying manipulations, tried to edit the transform nodes, to change the numbers, but was unable to.

Wanted a wireframe/shaded toggle for the viewport.

Found the sensitivity of orbiting to be too slow. (comment from Joe: It would be best if this was set in the preferences file.)

Expected to be able to frame and aim at components. It should be possible to frame/aim component selections,instead of framing the entire object.

Frame should zoom to the extents of the object.

Selection highlighting (a quick preview of what will be selected if the user clicks) should be added similar to Wings3D. Said that selection highlighting should work as a temporary selection, so the modifiers can quickly be applied by simply covering the mouse over a component and applying the modifier. this can speed up work flow quite a bit and save a lot of clicks.

Similarly to previous users, Matt fell that Subdivide edges should have a connect option, so that an extra modifier doesn't have to be added to connect the verts.

K3d use test Feb 1st 2006 - Colby, experienced 3D artist, familiar with 3dsmax, Blender and Wings3D Joe Crawford obseved this test, and took comments from Colby Crawford (who is Joe Crawford's brother). Colby, similarly to Joe, is a professional 3D artist, though he is quite young and at the begining of his career. Colby reported the following:

As a first note, Colby has seen k3d before, but has never sat down with it for long.

Colby was very impressed overall. (However, Colby could be biased because of his relation to me.)

Colby noticed a major bug. When a manipulator is active, and affecting selections of components, new modifiers applied will cause the manipulator to not work as expected. I think this is because the modifiers change the selection, but the manipulator is not notified of the change, and keeps trying to manipulate the previously selected components.)

Colby was especially impressed with the new k3d progress. He also really liked the camera system, and had no troubles at all figuring out the views, how to set camera's to viewports, and use the +X etc... for lining up views.

Colby was extremely confused when he accidentally selected individual edges on objects that weren't selected in object mode. Also, after using extrude polys, he was confused by the fact that the faces kept showing as selected even when he unselected the object. (These bugs are already in the tracker though.)

The "Toggle Projection" menu item did confuse him, only because he was missing the key word "Orthographic." Maybe a simple rename of the menu item to "Orthographic Projection Toggle" or even just "Orthographic Toggle".

Note that Colby didn't require any documention, and hardly even needed to ask any questions to be able to use the software. He was able to pick it up and start immediately. That is a super positive sign.

Colby also couldn't find how to switch to Wireframe only view mode.

  • I suggest that a Wireframe Toggle under the view menu would help a lot.

He also said a bacface culling toggle (which currently seems to default to being "on") would be useful.

  • Note that our current default is good, but the option to not do backface culling would be useful also, and its presence in the view menu would be great.

K3d use test Jan 25th 2006 - Chris, very advance 3D artist, familiar with Maya, 3dsmax and Wings3D Joe Crawford obseved this test, and took comments from Chris Holbrow. Chris is a professional 3D modeler and texture artist. Chris reported the following:

Scale Rotate and move tools worked extremely well. Chris really liked them, especially the ability of the tools to select the nearest vertex on surfaces. Did a lot of moving vertices that way.

Chris really wanted a way to move vertices on their normals using the move tool. (In wings3d it is holding down ctrl while you move, but we can't do that, since we already use that modifier key. I suppose when the move tool can support more coordinate systems, one will have to be normal.)

Had a hard time scaling things to become flat. Thought that the scale tool, should pause when it gets to zero, and that you should have to move it a ways farther to get past zero. Scaling to zero is a very common modeling operation because it flattens things. An example would be that when you click on a handle, and drag it smaller, to become negative, the sensitivity would works like: 1, 0.75, 0.5, 0.25, 0 , 0 , 0 , -0.25, -0.50, -0.75, -1. I know other software has ways of making manipulators/spinners pause when they hit specific often used numbers.

Chris couldn't find buttons/icons for the move rotate scale tools, until he started randomly clicking things, and suggested we use the more obvious standardized icons like 3dsmax uses.

Instantly found the hotkeys for move rotate scale and select, since he's a major Maya and 3dsmax user. That was nice to see.

Selecting edge rings, subdividing them, optionally changing the connecting edges worked well. Chris couldn't at first find the connect tool though. He was looking for a "Connect Edges" command, which would both subdivide the edges and connect the resulting vertices at once. He said a checkbox in the "subdivide" edges which would connect the resulting vertices/edges without having to apply a seperate filter. Is it possible to put another menu entry, called connect edges which would apply both filters in a row? That would be good enough.

Said undo viewport navigation should be seperate from regular undo. We already know about this one...

Extrude worked very well. Wasn't sure about the fact that the default extrude distance was one 1 by default. (It is common to extrude and set the distance to zero and only make an inset.

Had problems with the inset spinner of the extrude tool causing self intersecting geometry. Said this was a major bug. (If you extrude a complex multi polygon section and try to set the inset to be fairly extreme, you get messed up self intersecting geometry.)

Couldn't figure out how to set the render engine properties, like output resolution. Under the render menu engine we need options entry to bring up the properties of the render engine.

Didn't understand the record buttons in the render engine properties, expected them to start recording his actions or something. I explained the metaphor to him, like a video camera. He said it wasn't obvious, but did not offer a solution as to a better icon.

Got stuck with the render region tool. He said a single click should clear the region. He also suggested that after drawing a region window, its contents should be rendered immediately. He was also confused that there was nothing in the interface to indicate that rendering had begun, and tried pushing render several times before the first rendering window finally appeared on screen. He then ended up with lots of renders.

Liked the render properties, and the presets, but didn't find presets for Pal and NTSC. (NTSC is 720x480 pixel aspect 0.9 image aspect 4:3, don't recall what PAL is.)

Was very confused with viewport display settings. Wanted some kind of menu for the viewport to toggle shaded/wireframe display, and toggle between showing scene lights and showing the headlight.

K3d use test Jan 4th 2006 - Petra, intermidiate level artist familiar with 3d software Joe Crawford obseved this test, and took comments from Petra Richli, a Vanarts game art and design graduate. Petra reported the following:

Marquee selection has a delay - Tim recently fixed this bug so it shouldn't be a problem any longer.

A heads up display for polygon counting is needed like in Maya nsided, verts, edges, tri, polygons

Need split polygon tool desperately

Selection after connect staying visible, and component selections showing in object mode is the most frustrating thing right now.

Liked auto selection conversion between component types when switching component modes

Fillet edges should be called bevel edges.

Couldn't figure out how to combine objects. Merge meshes needs to be much friendlier in UI. Should automatically merge all selected objects.

No other camera views? Petra couldn't figure out how to get to front side top views etc. We don't have them yet, also, we haven't solved our ortho navigation problems.