Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

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lacilaci
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Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by lacilaci » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:37 am

I'm starting this thread based on what I started talking about in Development/Funding thread.
This would ideally be for everyone to share ideas on how to streamline Luxcore workflow for new users and make it work optimal by default.

As I'm no developer myself, only user coming from different applications and using different renderers, these are only USER OPINIONS on how to make the renderer more appealing to new users and popular choice for proffessionals.

Some ideas might be about UI changes, others might be about default settings and maybe some about development suggestions

There is only single rule: "More appeal for mass market"
While we cannot and should not avoid personal opinions and preferences, we should always ask ourselves if our suggestion are also good for as broad range of users as possible.

Every design choice or suggestion should be made for that purpose and never against it (at leas we can try, right?)!

Remember, this is a place for ideas and suggestions and maybe even complaints that are usability and workflow related.
Developers will always be the judge if and what they consider useful and how they implement them.

If this is not something that Devs consider worthy of pursuing, or a good way to go about things just delete this thread.

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lacilaci
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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by lacilaci » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:42 am

So continuing, what I was talking about in: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=760

When I said I'd suggest pretty drastic changes to what is exposed and how, I meant literally putting most stuff into some "experimental/under development" category and main config should look like in attachment, where disabling every gpu device autoswitches to cpu mode (no separate cpu/opencl switch)

I will later, as I find time. Post more mockup and ideas. But everyone should feel free to use this thread for their ideas and complaints as well.

Let me know what you think, is this a good way of approaching this problem (Workflow and Usability)?
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B.Y.O.B.
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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by B.Y.O.B. » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:18 am

lacilaci wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:42 am
disabling every gpu device autoswitches to cpu mode (no separate cpu/opencl switch)
That's a good idea.
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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by FarbigeWelt » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:26 pm

May I suggest to write kind of basic requirements like

Installation
Installation shall be as easy as intended. Read me and links to support shall be availble in addon‘s preferences as well as easy accessible on homepage.

First use
There shall be easy to use example scenes available, included for first users or as how to do reminders.
Basic examples shall show different usage of materials and render engines like path and bidirectional.
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lacilaci
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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by lacilaci » Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:36 pm

Also, some sort of luxcore ubermaterial (preferably metalness+roughness) should completely replace matte,glossy,metal,glossy coating and glass materials... ideally all matterials except specials like carpaint(which should also include flakes) and some easy to set-up skin material.

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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by Dade » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:36 pm

lacilaci wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:36 pm
Also, some sort of luxcore ubermaterial (preferably metalness+roughness) should completely replace matte,glossy,metal,glossy coating and glass materials... ideally all matterials except specials like carpaint(which should also include flakes) and some easy to set-up skin material.
Materials is a big topic on its own and it is untouched since old Lux. LuxCore had first the task to emulate old Lux, this is one of the reasons to have them "untouched" however we can now flip them upside down. I'm maturating the idea to have V2.1/2.2 dedicated to "caches" and v2.3 to "materials".
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marcatore
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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by marcatore » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:48 pm

Dade wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:36 pm
I'm maturating the idea to have V2.1/2.2 dedicated to "caches" and v2.3 to "materials".
I think it's a great plan. :)

About materials, I don't find that we have too much materials... in any case, coming from Vray, I always pushed for a ubershader... both in Cycles...or in any thread like this topic.
I'm a big fan of a ubershader cause it cover an high % of material you usually have to do.

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lacilaci
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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by lacilaci » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:57 pm

Dade wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:36 pm
lacilaci wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:36 pm
Also, some sort of luxcore ubermaterial (preferably metalness+roughness) should completely replace matte,glossy,metal,glossy coating and glass materials... ideally all matterials except specials like carpaint(which should also include flakes) and some easy to set-up skin material.
Materials is a big topic on its own and it is untouched since old Lux. LuxCore had first the task to emulate old Lux, this is one of the reasons to have them "untouched" however we can now flip them upside down. I'm maturating the idea to have V2.1/2.2 dedicated to "caches" and v2.3 to "materials".
Yup, sounds like a good strategy, I hope though that once you start reworking the shading that "terminator" will get some treatment too. At least minimizing the effect cause it's super painful with bump mapping. And let's not forget rayswitches and ray visibility options.

I agree that materials is a big topic, but I'd still mention it here cause it affects a lot how a renderer is perceived, especially when people come from other renderers and simply expect same if not easier workflow to adapt.

Why I'm mentioning ubermaterial as a way of handling things is that it also makes it super simple to make exporter scripts for third party packages, like mari or substance painter. Since you don't need to take into account different looking results from matte/metal/glossy and mixing multiple types.
But it still should be possible to layer that ubermaterial.

Also, learning curve. Instead "this is metal material used for this and that", "this is glossy material..." etc..
you go:
"this is metalness slider and this is roughness slider.. you know them from every other popular renderer and they're intuitive to use"

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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by B.Y.O.B. » Tue Dec 04, 2018 4:28 pm

One thing I would like to see in a future rework of the material system is "everything texturable".
Wherever possible, parameters should be texturable, for example UV mapping offset/rotation.
This makes the materials/textures much more versatile.
And it might not be obvious at first where a texturable input is better than a scalar. For example, for the UV offset you could use the normalized Object ID as input - this way the offset is different for each object.
If this makes performance worse, we could consider doing a pre-pass over the materials to find out which parameters are not textured, then treat them as scalars during render.
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lacilaci
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Re: Usability and Luxcore workflow streamlining ideas

Post by lacilaci » Sat Dec 08, 2018 10:47 am

1. Sun controls and default power should be redesigned. It's the only lightsource that is so powerful that we need to very carefuly tweak clamping. I think that there should be a "use real sun power" checkbox, unchecked by default and a new value should be used by default so that some reasonable clamping value could be used as a default setting(one that users might "never" need to tweak). Sun power/gain control should be a multiplier of this new value (ignored when using "real sun power").

2. changing sun size should autocompensate for power.
No one changes sun size to have it stronger, the only thing you need is softer shadows.

3. unless I'm doing something wrong there doesn't seem to be an intuitive way to control sun color. there should be autocolor checkbox(on by default)
which when disabled allows user to control light color directly.

4. if previous points are done, you can remove the option to switch to distant light source since you already have full control over sun which is a distant lightsource. No one needs a dedicated distant light or god forbid multiple of them.

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