Thank you SeanJM.
A very interesting story.
I LOVE all these concepts dear Sean, I really mean it. great designs as always ...
Out beyond the ideas of right-doing or wrong-doing there is a field,... I'll meet you there.
The ZBrush UI could use some of my love.
Yeah, funny how things come to be.
Thank you! I know I am awakening some strong emotions with people. Lots of users on these boards love/d Sculptris. I feel like I'm doing something right when I read comments like yours. :-)
-- Updates --
Added the borrowed collapse indicator from ZBrush and changed the structure of the panels to match everything else. Added search by name & color, :-)
Changed the tool options to be more comprehensive and grabbed the collapse indicator from ZBrush (improved collapsed state by having an indicator)
Changed Booleans a bit here to now be that the active object in the outliner becomes the boolean actor. Everything is the same, you get the boolean widget where you select the passive object to affect. Any world object that is visible can become the passive object.
The delete options are the same as ZBrush. Added search.
* Note, search is automatically invoked as soon as typing occurs without a modifier key.
Last edited by SeanJM; 08-02-12 at 05:20 PM.
Added mirror to outliner
I think radial mirror is a good idea for creating things like cogs with booleans and cool Sci-Fi mechanical objects.
Last edited by SeanJM; 08-02-12 at 07:31 PM.
Cinema4D just got Sculpting..
register "free" over at c4dcafe.com and download the "sculpting" video..
it may give you some more ideas.. the radial symmetry(surface)
and some of the other features looks pretty interesting. (like sculpt layers similar to mudbox)
and the "Keep visual Size" setting for brushes, that lets you toggle how the brush is linked dependent on zoom factor.
i.e if you want to brush to always stay the same size or if you like the brush to scale when you zoom in and out.
Last edited by holyenigma74; 08-02-12 at 10:37 PM.
Now the point of an interface the way I am constructing it as that, the only menu you have to go digging through for options are the menus you currently have open. If you want to change the settings for a brush, they are there in that panel and are context sensitive.
-- Mask and selection based mesh operations --
If I was Pixologic, I would move quickly and hire me before Autodesk buys my designs.
When I first heard of Sculptris, it was on the blender forums in December of 2009. I picked it up, started using it and I thought; "Whoa, this guy is onto something big--he's just missing a sexy UI and a whole mountain of features and we have a big product here."
So, I took a screenshot and pasted it into Inkscape, which was my primary vector tool at the time (some of my Open Source work can be seen in the gradient editor in that BTW, search SeanJM and you'll find the blue print) and I started cleaning up the UI.
I then registered an account on Tomas' forum and posted the image. Right after that, I e-mailed him and begged him to let me work with him on this software. I saw something I'd love to use and I also saw how amazing my life would be, dedicated to creating something I love. He obliged, I think because I was passionate about it and it's a lot easier to create something huge with someone else.
Sculptris has a lot of potential, potential to be a great product. I still see that potential. We have a mountain to climb to make this into the robust easy to use product that we visualize. And I plan on having fun the whole time. I had a great time working on these designs and I'd love to see them created. I would really love to use this software, it would be fun!
At the end of the day, art is playing, creating, enjoying and loving. I think and know, that to create that software, we have to love it--and I do. I wouldn't call these designs final, I've been doing this long enough to know that they are a stepping stone to what ever that software will be. However, this stepping stone is pretty good.
I hope you want this software made too.
Thank you Tomas,
Last edited by SeanJM; 08-03-12 at 10:34 AM.
The Week In Summary
We started here:
And eventually we got here, The Main Interface:
Scoping the UI for a more focused user experience
A radial menu which would have access to all menu commands. Still a work in progress.
Active object in the outliner is the actor for the Boolean operation. Boolean widget points from the actor to the passive object to be affected. Any object in the scene that is visible can be acted upon.
A closer look at the Outliner
Search menu invoked either by clicking or by typing without a modifier key. Filter results by name and/or color.
That's about it, that took about a week and needs more work before going into the other tabs. Problems I can see right now: The 'super' menu needs to be redesigned around Booleans and Masks. Working with selections, is it modal? What if I have 1,000 materials, is the menu scrollable--how will that look? How can I change alphas other than the super menu? These are questions that need answering on Monday.
I'd like to thank everyone for their valuable suggestions that were real incentives for me to keep pushing this, I appreciate it very much.
I depend as much on you as you do on me.
Sustainable software development
I think that the only way to continue development of anything is sustainability. I think that the only real way to software sustainability is to charge for that software and charge for upgrades.
A good way to do this is to charge a monthly fee for a software subscription, like what Adobe is doing. This way, revenue is predictable and stable and increasing revenue is a matter of creating new products and gaining new subscribers. The advantage to the subscriber who wants new software, new updates and new features is that the upfront cost is low. The annual fee is lower than what the cost of buying the software outright is. This is a win-win situation.
I believe that the software should have a 'tab', you subscribe to the software and can own it outright when you pay off the tab. To continue receiving updates and special offers, you must be a subscriber.
If the user no longer wishes to subscribe prior to the 'software tab' being paid off, but wants to keep their current software version, they would just have to pay the outstanding tab balance. This is fair to us as developers, since software has a cost. If they wish to cancel their subscription prior to paying off the tab and do not wish to continue using the software, they can just deactivate it without penalty--this is fair since the user won't use the software anyways, and forcing ownership of something they won't use is usury and exploitative.
If the user has been a subscriber, but unsubscribed a year ago, or two years ago. They can always just resubscribe with no penalties and receive updates again.
With a model like this, we enable ourselves to provide the best possible customer service and update the software regularly and often. With frequent updates there's always a hype around the product. What's going to come out this month? What about next month? This is exciting as a developer and as a user since there is a dialogue, we become a team. Each customer has a real tangible value to continued development of the product. And with a subscriber model, we can better plan for growth and better deal with our existing customer base.
Last edited by SeanJM; 08-03-12 at 04:40 PM.
i dont know anything about the monetary side of the things.
just another comment about the interface, if you want all the options visible,
to add lots of things and even then im not sure that an "options or settings"
still doesn't just makes some sense.
(Navigation Style, Zbrush style, Traditional Sculptris, And i would even add 3D-Coat maybe)
3D-Coat dominates in this respect giving the user total control, letting them remap navigation keys
however they want.
"Compensate for Sculpting at Symmetry line"
"Beautify/Relax mesh when adding detail"
"Smooth Subdivide" (turn off to preserve corners) i guess this could have a little button close to the subdivide button.
"Show Symmetry Line" Again i guess this could have a little button close to the symmetry button.
but there are lots of other things in the current Sculptris options menu that probably need to stay there..
AA, DOF, Background settings etc.
You talked about selling this design to AutoDesk..
MeshMixer is the one that really needs a new interface.
you could float him an e-mail or link him to this tread.
Last edited by holyenigma74; 08-03-12 at 05:50 PM.
PLEASE(!!!), don't make Sculptris a ZBrush mutant of useless and inscrutable tools and functions! It's user interface is as incredibly great as it is now! If there is a thing that hasn't to be there - it isn't! So leave it as is. The only area to improve is the way the tools work (e.g. Transform/Rotate tools. Maybe add Layers or Subtools). And that should do it. No more clutter, as ZBrush has.
Why is Sculptris so popular? Because there is NO fancy-dancy, colored, over complicated and overloaded interface! It's easy to pick up and to adapt! All you see are a few symbols, which you can remember in minutes (+ the shortcuts). Thousands of people (including me) love it! So don't mess it up! Think before make a move in a (wrong) direction!
I shot him off an e-mail when I first saw it a year or so ago, he turned me down, :-)
Last edited by SeanJM; 08-03-12 at 08:33 PM.
It's taken me a very long time reading forums, tutorials, watching Youtube and Vimeo to learn how to use Blender, because it's got a UI that looks a lot like that. Multiple panels, tons of buttons, double and triple keypress shortcuts, pop up menus and widgets. Sculptris was magic because it had NONE of these. Simple straight-forward UI, F1 help menu displayed right off the bat, you can watch about an hour of video and know everything there is to know about it. Then, as your skill and curiosity increase, you can ask questions and get answers here in the forum for improving your skills. You might be directed to Wings3d or Blender, to learn about UV-mapping and Normal maps, model export formats, and how all this works in other software. But right off the start you can jump in modeling and painting with nothing more than mouse and an idea .... It's simple, easy, anyone can do this. As far as putting a price-tag, you could, but what are you competing with? Big brother Zbrush to start, AutoDesk has about a dozen products at various price ranges, Lightwave, Silo, Carrara, Rino3D, Houdini, and all of these are full animation packages with camera tracking and good ray-trace renderers. Sculptris is opengl game graphics only. Not to mention the free alternatives, Wings3D, Blender, Meshmixer, CBmodelPro (is now free I think) all have sculpting, plus DeleD3D, Gmax, TrueSpace are still available. Milkshape, Zmodeler, 3DCoat, Fragmotion all have some trial or free version. And now you can go to 3DTin.com and model right in the browser, no need to download or install.
Get in, see something you can mold, something you can help shape and be a part of. Week 1!
If I've learned anything important by working in software design it's this:
"I am a tool to help craft a vision of my own and most importantly of others. The best work comes from compromise, it is where the greatness is."
IMO, this design took a turn for greatness as soon as I implemented your suggestions, I'm really happy with where it is so far and I look forward to working further with all of you--it looks this good because you helped guide me. And to be guided I need your critical eyes!
Last edited by SeanJM; 08-03-12 at 08:24 PM.
I like the design of your latest post for the most part. You should put the File, Edit, View menus at the top left, where they are in any other app. Same with keyboard shortcuts, leave the basics alone. There's a function (keyboard shortcut 9) that's not mentioned anywhere in the interface or PDF, that turns off the virtual mirror so you can work from the inside (usually fix bad mesh) and it's very helpful, this could use a button. There need not be so many starter shapes, Sculptris will ruin the cone, star, cube and Icoshpere in one or two strokes, as soon as it triangulates. And unless you're implementing some type of edge hard/smoothing control, the hard edges don't show well as it is now. Better would be a low-poly bust starter, a low-poly humanoid starter. The hand is a good idea if you're adding the boolean (Meshmixer) type function. The MaCrea tool would be nice. Some sort of Brightness and contrast control for Alphas would be nice. A function to open an image and crop out a portion to be used as a texture would be nice too. And can we divide the Materials into folders, like the pre-load texture lists. I've ran into problems having too many Materials in the folder. Retopo and UV mapping would be nice, but might fill up this forum with WAY too many questions, not to mention would be useless unless your implementing some sort of "Normal Bake" feature, as to not lose the details of our hard work ....
and one more thing, what about a Render tab, where several models (with textures, normal maps, and material maps) can be loaded and moved into place to set up a Scene. And since Sculptris has it's own way of applying materials (maps), we'll need to be able to export those too ........
So I'll add in the primitives:
Hard to beat XNormal for it's baking abilities, :-) -- I'll keep track of all of this for later, since. Right now we are working and focused in the scope of the sculpting tab. We're going to perfect this tab before moving to the others. But keep the ideas coming
I'll keep that in mind for when we get there, :-)
Last edited by SeanJM; 08-03-12 at 11:20 PM.