Populations Anchor Input [Frontier]

Started by WAS, August 16, 2019, 11:32:53 pm

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WAS

August 16, 2019, 11:32:53 pm Last Edit: August 16, 2019, 11:36:23 pm by WASasquatch
Err, but why? I use this plug all the time and it's suddenly not exposed anymore? Makes it a little counter-productive to go into the shader and set it a Compute Normal from secondary shader displacements.
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Matt

This was changed to reduce clutter in the Node Network when working with large numbers populations. You can still assign it from the node properties. I'm not sure what you mean about Compute Normal.
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WAS

Quote from: Matt on August 16, 2019, 11:52:38 pmThis was changed to reduce clutter in the Node Network when working with large numbers populations. You can still assign it from the node properties. I'm not sure what you mean about Compute Normal.

I often have a Compute Normal (many other do as well) that's hanged off their Shaders (not terrain) and use that for populations to account for surface shaders, and subtle leans. I rarely use the default compute terrain.

It was just so much easier to plug this input than go into a shader and assign it manually for each populations. Seems to create unnecessary work for aesthetics.
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WAS

So now we gotta manually assign a new shader a lot of the time, which will just be a floating shader with no real indication of what it's used for (unless you name it accordingly ofc; but for outside users that still may be confusing when looking at shares) when coming back to projects. This is a bad change imo.

Additionally clutter wasn't too bad when you had a Compute Normal with your population shaders, so only one line was coming from your main network.

Also, with density shaders in general, it's only introducing work just to cut out some node connections when we'll still have a bunch for density.
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Dune

I kind of agree with Jordan, to a degree. Removing clutter is great, as I used to add 2 null shaders, one inside the other to invisibly link to a compute terrain or compute normal (indeed off some sideline or loose fractal), to get rid of all the lines, and have it off the main nodes anyway. So this is very handy.
But you now may have loose shaders that 'carry' the pops, and are not distinguishable, and seem redundant. But I don't think that can be changed within the software, unless there can be a way to set a color to the node manually (or lock it?). I usually add a group around it with big letters saying KEEP!, or something like that.

WAS

Quote from: Dune on August 17, 2019, 03:02:52 amBut I don't think that can be changed within the software, unless there can be a way to set a color to the node manually (or lock it?). I usually add a group around it with big letters saying KEEP!, or something like that.

I've asked for this twice I believe. Would be nice in general for project demonstration, visualizations of the projects work flow, and of course sharing.
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Matt

Quote from: Dune on August 17, 2019, 03:02:52 amI kind of agree with Jordan, to a degree. Removing clutter is great, as I used to add 2 null shaders, one inside the other to invisibly link to a compute terrain or compute normal (indeed off some sideline or loose fractal), to get rid of all the lines, and have it off the main nodes anyway. So this is very handy.
But you now may have loose shaders that 'carry' the pops, and are not distinguishable, and seem redundant. But I don't think that can be changed within the software, unless there can be a way to set a color to the node manually (or lock it?). I usually add a group around it with big letters saying KEEP!, or something like that.

I plan to show the same arrow indicator that you see when a node is referenced by a node in a different external or internal network. Will that help?
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cyphyr

The current project I am working on has over 100 populations.
I am VERY happy to have the clutter removed. Thankyou :D

Actually you could do one better (somehow ?). Many of the populations use the same object and/or the same distribution shader network. Still far more clutter than I would like.
It's great and even essential to be able to see full shader networks for shading and terrains construction but not particularly helpful for populations.

Maybe a toggle on/off for showing external links in population shaders.
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WAS

August 17, 2019, 04:05:51 pm #8 Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 04:10:06 pm by WASasquatch
Quote from: cyphyr on August 17, 2019, 03:55:07 pmIt's great and even essential to be able to see full shader networks for shading and terrains construction but not particularly helpful for populations.

Maybe a toggle on/off for showing external links in population shaders.

Ehh, I'd say to the contrary. Populations are very sensitive and one of the major "What's wrong with my scene" help topics. Adding confusing to how it's setup like any other node is just odd, really. Unless this is going to be global for a lot of stretching links, it's sorta random imo.

A toggle would be nice.

Speaking of that, I always thought clutter was a issue because of everything the project represents being in one node network pretty much. I see in other software they use gateway links and separate the different aspects of the workflow into either different windows, or it's own dedicated area in the window without links (due to gateways where you can feed input, and take output with an accompanying node)

Additionally, we're still working in a node system designed for 4:3 aspect ratios (vertical progression). Time to go horizontal imo.
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WAS

August 17, 2019, 04:17:48 pm #9 Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 04:55:30 pm by WASasquatch
Honestly I feel there is other areas of importance that should be addressed that would ultimately remedy this and modernize the software's node system in general than introducing one random "clutter fix".

What about the Planet Shaders and Atmosphere plugs, and it being just a object in the object group which is tiny? Having to reposition these groups to compensate for expanding shader and terrain networks, or ending up with weird huge offset boxes growing off the main node groups like a tumor.

Having to rearrange and change the whole group system for objects to handle something like 100 populations without a vertical progression off the main group system like another growth.

I think a simple link system could be added like a shader, and the whole node group system could be rearranged more appropriately using the link gateways, including populations, while still keeping noticeable links in the node system.

Node groups could be spaced in a more uniform fashion and start with links for for those that hook to another group. A horizontal node system would also save clutter and ease of navigation with horizontal scrolling rather than zooming in and out on a huge block. Instead you can just scroll, and zoom in and out to desired nodes, not using it as a navigation method to nodes throughout the entire system.

It's simply weird having 2-3 compute normals just hanging there with no indication they are used, and such a weird focal point considering other areas of expanding node networks getting complicated.
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Dune

The same arrow would be handy, Matt. I don't suppose it's easy to add a hover function, where you can go to, or at least find, this outward link destination? Like the 'input from elsewhere' hover function.
I'm still fine with the distribution lines for pops, organizing it in groups and as neat as possible within the space (which is quite infinite), and especially naming all blues and reds. If links are gone or inside somewhere else, it might get more confusing.