Planetside Software Forums

Support => Terragen Support => Topic started by: jwiede on July 24, 2018, 06:22:28 pm

Title: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 24, 2018, 06:22:28 pm
Long-time lurker customer, just going to say my piece and leave it at that... 

I think the price charged for maintenance on top of fairly expensive upgrade pricing (as percentage of full-buy cost) is asking too much.  I just haven't seen enough improvements (esp. outside rendering) to justify both upgrade costs and annual maintenance on top of that.  That the 4.2 release occurred shortly after maintenance expiration for those of us who pre-ordered V4 when offered also feels a bit craven, frankly.  I do not feel the level of improvements overall between V3->V4 and V4.0->V4.2 even comes close to justifying both upgrade pricing as well as an additional year of maintenance on top of that (as in, >$500 total, for a product whose new license is $700). 

I still continually encounter UI/UX issues with navigation and object manipulation, the "population" support is still direly lacking, content import/export is still very limited, content management is basic at best, and though atmospheric rendering is great, atmospheric generation is very limited in areas like "hero cloud" creation/editing, and so forth.  I see the renderer getting improvements, but it feels like much of the rest of the program lags significantly behind other packages like Vue, Houdini's CloudFx, and so forth -- especially in terms of control/editing UI/UX.  The situation with documentation and example content has been and remains seriously deficient.  If I'd been seeing continuous and significant improvements across those areas, I might feel differently, but that's not what has happened.

I really think you need to rethink your pricing and maintenance structure, or else significantly improve the pace of development across the entire program.  Focusing all improvements into fairly confined areas of the program just isn't yielding broad and/or deep enough improvements across Terragen as a whole (IMO) to justify the relative ongoing costs.  As it stands, I haven't renewed my maintenance, and will definitely be exploring alternatives (of which there are increasing numbers these days).

Just one (reasonably long-time) customer's feelings.
 
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 25, 2018, 11:17:47 am
Hi..

I agree with the parts regarding object navigation manipulation ...that alone may be the biggest factor now for me not to consider a purchase, I am used to Lightwave3d and we have a lot of folks over at the newtek forums..and many of them chime in with regards to their feelings about navigation and moving, or trying to rotate clouds...which options are quite poor in comparison to how lightwave or the competing product vue does it.

The UI needs a serious overhaul as well, I may be able to workout a mockup on how much more graphicly pleasing it could look, apart from adding obvious x-y-z markers within the object/cloud manipulation value sliders, like the RTP buttons for activating or deactivating shaders, atmosphere etc, they are very hard to see wether or not they have been activated or not..a better color scheme that highlights this better is needed.

For some positive records..previously I just couldn´t stand the previewer and how slow it was when having atmosphere on...it is now much much better, could still use some more speedups ..but it is now at a point that I find it acceptable as for a purchase, which it previously not was...but then again as mentioned, there is still the matter of object manipulation and navigation.

Cloud noise and lighting for clouds and skies are Top notch, far better than vue..but despite this, the UI and object, cloud navigation is still not good enough...I actually would still prefer
Vue despite of the Great quality Terragen can produce.

The camera navigation could also need some more love and attention,  with options to adapt to more traditional move, rotate controls and a four view viewport.

Hope to see some more attention to this, and I would most likely get me a license for terragen.

Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 25, 2018, 01:22:40 pm
I'll just add my two cents. I've been using Terragen for over a decade off and on. I haven't been as focused as I have been in the last two years, but I have always loved the program, and the community.

The inherent structure of cloud generation in TG is based on a planet, much like geometry outside of Heightmaps. This makes cloud navigation impractical I'd imagine if I am thinking of what you're thinking like other software's meta clouds. However, a four point viewing mechanic built into the camera system would be beneficial. Maybe a dropdown menu to select viewport, default, of course being the "Camera Eye" itself.

Also, I'm unsure what you mean by more traditional controls? Terragen seems to be using traditional directional oriented buttons for camera panning, tilting, angle, etc. Do you mean quick-access macros like mouse clicks and such? A lot of 3D software has dropped conventional, and traditional buttons for cameras for a long time in place of mouse manipulation.

The UI imo also shouldn't change. The worth of the program, in this field, is not defined by a flashy UI. The way it's designed is pretty straight forward in a defined grid frame layout with everything clearly labeled in text, if not a preview related button or basic file handling quick-access buttons. Lot of newer programs I don't even like to use because they use their UI as a form of artistic expression. Just use basic GUI frameworks. They're speedy and straightforward. :P

For example, I want TG ported over to another GUI which is very similar to what is used now, which would allow Linux compatibility in the future out of box.

Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 25, 2018, 01:41:25 pm
However, I do agree to some degree about pricing. I feel the program would receive a lot more attention in discussion around the net about options with some adjustments. I've wanted TG for a long time, but with the way Poverty has hit the US, there is not way I could justify the price of this program just to continue learning from. And it'd likely put me further on the street. I already live in a RV driving between parks. It's not like something you can pickup with tons of professional documentation that you than learn and go profit from. It really takes years with emphasis on the S, of practice and effort and attention to TG's quirks. I've used just about every learning resource for TG available free and while it helped me a lot with the basics, a lot of it is really complex with no step by step breakdown of what is actually happening. It took me a couple years really to get by being overwhelmed...

That alone doesn't make TG a good option to begin with when you're a casual customer looking over your options to learn the program for your profession. Luckily I have no profession (anymore, it's a oversaturated market with little interest over the do it yourself options) yet and just want to create worlds in TG and discover ways to do things, so that doesn't bother me. But it's immediately a thought when I think about average people thinking about their options in software when they're already active in the field and wanting to branch out for themselves or firm.

I literally dream in Terragen though (sometimes it's hard to sleep), so I'll always support the program, and if I could afford it, I would throw the money at it. But I do wish it was more... available for everyone. It's price suggests you could become a professional on the same pace as other programs which just simply isn't the case at all. And those other programs prices are justifiable because there simply is enough documentation, and community tutorials to literally become a professional on without schooling. And kids are really showing that up these days with Indie work.

This is a production program, that means the average professional should be able to make back the interest they put into the program in a relatively short time. I don't see that happening with Terragen for the everyday user at all. It's more a donation to a on-going project. A ritzy one at that.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 25, 2018, 06:04:33 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 25, 2018, 01:41:25 pm
It's more a donation to a on-going project. A ritzy one at that.


I'll respond to some of the other comments in a follow-up, but your quote nicely sums up my feelings as well.  Viewed in the context of the larger software market, charging so much for upgrades and maintenance for such a project and rate of improvement just isn't reasonable (IMO). 

I was a full+anim customer for V3, and am a "Terragen 4 Pro" customer for V4, and am (and have been) quite satisfied to pay for ongoing improvements.  I am not satisfied paying such relatively high maintenance and upgrade costs, though, given the ongoing, slow rate of Terragen's development, and particularly in light of the significant (and growing) deficits in important areas like documentation, examples/presets, and similar usability-critical resources.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Kadri on July 25, 2018, 06:36:18 pm

I hated the maintenance change since the beginning and was curious if anything would be different, more programmers etc.
Nothing changed much. I am not surprised (after years you kinda know how much new things will be in the newer versions) and won't pay for maintenance. Only when i see enough change for an update.
(jwiede and Prometheus you kinda brought a Lightwave forum feel here  ::)  :) )


Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 25, 2018, 07:49:10 pm
I just feel in a realistic market place to consumer relations, there is a large inequality. The price point seems too high for what is available to the customer without prior comprehensive experience. NO ONE will be able to come here familiar, or a professional, in other programs, and be able to go through documentation, and in a reasonable time make back that money. Products should be worth their face-value, not potential. There are very few professional terragen artists, and like I mentioned, what they discover for professional quality in scenes, they don't often share. I can easily see why, though. Being that person, with the level of quality in your work, and knowing how to do it, leaves you open in the market for prospective contractual work, like some undertake here. Or, from what I see in the industry, Matt himself does. While that's their right to their work, it leaves the community lacking.

Purchasable presets are very nice, but there needs to be more, and feel also encompass larger scale work. I mean, look at other companies and software, they'll provide even commercial assets for testing free of charge, especially for improvement in their software and future methods to improve render times. Disney/Pixar are really big in sharing certain high-stress and complicated scenes because understanding them, and mastering them, is key to improving the whole field.

Like I've mentioned, I've gone through everything that is free, and it's highly unconstructive content that doesn't offer much in the terms of education, but asset picking. For example, it's easy to spot here when other people reuse assets from previous projects over the years without much variation in settings. This isn't because it's fun to use, but because a lot of people, who have even admitted, are still simply confused by much of Terragen that is not even thoroughly explained, or even provide examples on. So when something works, or look good, they save it to clip file or whatever to reuse. This is intended behavior, but I don't think it was intended to be so heavily dependent on other peoples clips. I think this trend is heavy, even outside Planetside, because of lack of resources to properly learn from.

This is why with some of my work I provide a disclaimer for education use. I try to make sure the node tree is straight forward and shader names explain any complex work being done, or add notes. The ultimate goal is that by being able to "read" out the tree, and what's happening, it will stick in peoples minds and provide them a "method" to do something without much experimentation or trial and error.

While I do have these concerns though, like I said, if I had the money, I would gladly support Terragen and purchase a copy. I advocate for something I don't even own because the power and potential in Terragen in my eye is "astronomical". I routinely come up with ideas to push Terragen, and while a lot are not even worth a share, some stuff I have discovered is pretty cool, even if I found it was attempted before. Sometimes I achieve better! Which I feel proud about.

That being said, I strongly feel this potential is being hidden or overlooked when a prospective customer reviews the software and what it has to offer them as far actually learning and using the software. The price tag next to the desert that is the Planetside "University" is disconcerting. I feel that a lower end-price (and lower maintenance) together with the support of the community support, there would be a large flux of trials and purchases, which would subsequently translate over to community engagement, tutorials, etc. Maybe a open tutorial campaign? Or private (membership based until complete) wiki project for select members to start building a comprehensive documentation on? I'd definitely volunteer in areas I feel I can appropriate add too. If need be I'll volunteer web development time to develop necessary secure features needed for a public Planetside wiki if need be.

Maybe for the next milestone there could be a promotional period of highly discounted creative licenses to get people engaged with Terragen. I'd love for my friends that were overwhelmed to come back. Especially when their work in other software puts my entire artistic endeavors to shame.

I feel I should note that my opinions about the price of Terragen are based on Non-Commercial copies, for I hope apparent reasons. In-fact, I feel the commercial license is relative cheap, especially in contrast to some of the software. Last I checked one of the commercial licenses for a engine I wanted was 1,400 USD (annually).
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:00:42 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 25, 2018, 01:22:40 pm

The inherent structure of cloud generation in TG is based on a planet, much like geometry outside of Heightmaps. This makes cloud navigation impractical I'd imagine if I am thinking of what you're thinking like other software's meta clouds.

Also, I'm unsure what you mean by more traditional controls? Terragen seems to be using traditional directional oriented buttons for camera panning, tilting, angle, etc. Do you mean quick-access macros like mouse clicks and such? A lot of 3D software has dropped conventional, and traditional buttons for cameras for a long time in place of mouse manipulation.

The UI imo also shouldn't change. The worth of the program, in this field, is not defined by a flashy UI. The way it's designed is pretty straight forward in a defined grid frame layout with everything clearly labeled in text, if not a preview related button or basic file handling quick-access buttons. Lot of newer programs I don't even like to use because they use their UI as a form of artistic expression. Just use basic GUI frameworks. They're speedy and straightforward. :P




I disagree with a lot of what you say here..for these reasons.
No...vue has world global clouds which you can rotate..in Terragen you can´t ...at least not with easy clouds, maybe with some nodal work..but why making it so hard? so I am not talking about metaclouds in vue.

Besides..both vue and terragen offers radial or distance falloff for the global clouds to create a more hero clouds, the difference is that vue allows for rotation of such clouds and Terragen does not.
There was a volumetric plugin for lightwave called Ogo Taiki, could use full distance global clouds, and you simply entered lightwave´s procedurals and rotated the clouds in any direction you wanted..fully planetary or smaller clouds with distance.

As for controls for cloud items, I am talking about simple y,x,z axis control values as well as being able to slide drag change the values..and these values should have corresponding marks of what axis it pertains, not as it is today with Terragen with no marks on what axis it pertains..leaving it up to the user to guess.

Same for camera, controls for y,x,z  simple navigation gizmo..as we have in vue and in lightwave, blender etc.

As for UI, you are just making excuses for the bad UI by refering to it´s greatness isn´t defined by flashy UI, ...if you make excuses like that, we will never see any improvments on it.
The UI simply Doesn´t look good and can be improved.

All these critical points aside..always have to mention that the quality and realism is outstanding for clouds.
If the developer listens to some of these UI desired enhancements..and do something about it..along with taking notes on the maintainance, then I think Terragen would take another boost in sales and market share´s.

I do understand that Terragen developers may be shorthanded ..but if their gonna compete they need to adress that..and the proposed changes above.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Marander on July 26, 2018, 05:42:00 am
I agree to the sentiments of JWiede and Prometheus

The UI needs heavy rework* and the documentation** should be complete in a release 4 of the software. The fbx / obj import and export should be improved. Import of DAZ characters (including proper texture conversion) would be a great feature and could attract alot of new users.

*Having said that, another application that needs heavy UI rework / complete overhaul is in fact LightWave with its 1990 UI in 2018, LOL  :P. Talking of LightWave, Terragen only supports the LWO2 standard. LW 2018 uses the new format LWO3.

**The documentation is not that important for myself because I mostly learn with experimenting / self-learning. But for most and new users it's an important part of the software. For me one of the most important parts (beside its feature set and output quality of course) is the UI / UX and workflow.

Terragen can produce beautiful renders but it's not very artist friendly.

Currently I prefer using Vue (xStream because its integration in my host 3D applications, better import / export features and due to the nicer UI, terrain sculpting, eco systems and material editor) but Terragen has some nice features like enhancing imported height maps with it's own procedural displacements (in Vue you can only mix height maps and procedurals, not add its own fractals procedurally to it on the fly). Another thing I like in Terragen is the cloud shadow quality and lighting.

Note that I'm a hobbyist but I purchased Terragen Professional 4.1 a while ago (and overall I'm happy with Terragen).

If I will renew my maintanance depends much on what and how many new features will be available within this maintenance period.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 01:08:59 pm
Having problems replying to the thread, every time I press "Quote" to reply to a post, enter my reply, and either press "Post" or "Preview", either the forum kicks me to an (empty) "New Topic" form, or stops responding altogether. 

Anyone else encountering such issues?
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 01:12:29 pm
(trying to use quoted reply in tiny segments instead...)

Quote from: WASasquatch on July 25, 2018, 01:22:40 pm
Also, I'm unsure what you mean by more traditional controls? Terragen seems to be using traditional directional oriented buttons for camera panning, tilting, angle, etc. Do you mean quick-access macros like mouse clicks and such? A lot of 3D software has dropped conventional, and traditional buttons for cameras for a long time in place of mouse manipulation.


Instead of (incorrectly) guessing what I meant, it probably would have made more sense to just ask.  I have as little interest in a "flashy UI" as you do.  I'm seeking more basic functionality.

Many of the UI issues I see stem from Terragen moving beyond being just strictly a procedural terrain engine, and into the realm of coordinating and integrating both procedurally-generated and externally-provided data sets and content.  Like it or not, when it comes to actions like constructing complex 2D and 3D masks/boundaries, including any sort of precision placement/location handling, being limited to a camera-focused perspective viewport becomes a serious impediment. 

Access to orthogonal multi-views, and easy means of setting/recalling 2D and 3D viewpoints (both by "flying navigation" and precise placement) makes working with large-scale "environmental datasets" vastly more efficient.  Likewise, in order to efficiently produce accurate boundaries and define regions for inclusive and exclusive applications of procedural operators (in both 2D and 3D), users need access to the same sorts of 2D and 3D regional selections, constraints/groupings, and transform/rotation operations as are needed in more "general-purpose" 3D applications, including options for precise absolute and relative definitions and dimensions.  Despite adding features which depend highly on these kinds of regional definitions and dimensions, Terragen's UI has evolved very, very little in terms of providing users with efficient means of creating and editing such regional definitions and dimensions.

(continued)

Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 26, 2018, 01:23:26 pm
Quote from: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 01:08:59 pm
Having problems replying to the thread, every time I press "Quote" to reply to a post, enter my reply, and either press "Post" or "Preview", either the forum kicks me to an (empty) "New Topic" form, or stops responding altogether. 

Anyone else encountering such issues?


Yes.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:00:42 am
As for controls for cloud items, I am talking about simple y,x,z axis control values as well as being able to slide drag change the values..and these values should have corresponding marks of what axis it pertains, not as it is today with Terragen with no marks on what axis it pertains..leaving it up to the user to guess.

Maybe I don't understand what you mean. In Terrgan clouds are made through noise, that noise is 3D, you can rotate anyway you want. The final result is a slice in the altitude defined by the cloud layer.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:00:42 am
As for UI, you are just making excuses for the bad UI by refering to it´s greatness isn´t defined by flashy UI, ...if you make excuses like that, we will never see any improvments on it.
The UI simply Doesn´t look good and can be improved.


It's not an excuse. It's shared by most professional software outside the artistic realm where artistic liberties are taken with the GUI. The last thing a GUI needs to do is look nice. It should be function-able, and straight forward, like TG is. What is your actual complaint about the GUI? It's one of the most easy to understand software GUI's in the 3D rendering industry. If you need documentation for your UI, like a lot of software, you're failing UX, one of my main professions in development. It's the same concept in web development. If you need a site map for people to understand your layout, you failed UX. This, is failed, in almost every 3D software for a need to understand their software. Half the time everyone doesn't even use the GUIs because they're cluttered and slow and use macros. In fact I know no one that actually sits there using the UIs beyond value inputs and only use macros for Blender and Maya.

It's also fun to note that the learning curves with most professional software isn't actually manipulations of scenes, but the UI, and knowing where everything is through the clutter, and all the sub menus. It's in fact the biggest reason that hinders people picking up these software and learning it. The UI. Especially in the 3D competition where software layout becomes proprietary in nature and unique to their vision.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 26, 2018, 01:25:53 pm
Quote from: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 01:12:29 pm
(trying to use quoted reply in tiny segments instead...)

Quote from: WASasquatch on July 25, 2018, 01:22:40 pm
Also, I'm unsure what you mean by more traditional controls? Terragen seems to be using traditional directional oriented buttons for camera panning, tilting, angle, etc. Do you mean quick-access macros like mouse clicks and such? A lot of 3D software has dropped conventional, and traditional buttons for cameras for a long time in place of mouse manipulation.


Instead of (incorrectly) guessing what I meant, it probably would have made more sense to just ask.  I have as little interest in a "flashy UI" as you do.  I'm seeking more basic functionality.

Many of the UI issues I see stem from Terragen moving beyond being just strictly a procedural terrain engine, and into the realm of coordinating and integrating both procedurally-generated and externally-provided data sets and content.  Like it or not, when it comes to actions like constructing complex 2D and 3D masks/boundaries, including any sort of precision placement/location handling, being limited to a camera-focused perspective viewport becomes a serious impediment. 

Access to orthogonal multi-views, and easy means of setting/recalling 2D and 3D viewpoints (both by "flying navigation" and precise placement) makes working with large-scale "environmental datasets" vastly more efficient.  Likewise, in order to efficiently produce accurate boundaries and define regions for inclusive and exclusive applications of procedural operators (in both 2D and 3D), users need access to the same sorts of 2D and 3D regional selections, constraints/groupings, and transform/rotation operations as are needed in more "general-purpose" 3D applications, including options for precise absolute and relative definitions and dimensions.  Despite adding features which depend highly on these kinds of regional definitions and dimensions, Terragen's UI has evolved very, very little in terms of providing users with efficient means of creating and editing such regional definitions and dimensions.

(continued)


And because of the inherent dynamic and procedural nature of the planet, maps, locations, heightmaps, etc, etc, etc, how do you expect that to practically work for everyones scenes, and why we can place cameras anywhere? Not everyones masks will be same dimensions, locations, same for heightmaps and such. Do you want every one of these shaders to be redone to carry their own cameras that dynamics adjust to scales?
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 02:31:09 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:00:42 am
As for controls for cloud items, I am talking about simple y,x,z axis control values as well as being able to slide drag change the values..and these values should have corresponding marks of what axis it pertains, not as it is today with Terragen with no marks on what axis it pertains..leaving it up to the user to guess.

Maybe I don't understand what you mean. In Terrgan clouds are made through noise, that noise is 3D, you can rotate anyway you want. The final result is a slice in the altitude defined by the cloud layer.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:00:42 am
As for UI, you are just making excuses for the bad UI by refering to it´s greatness isn´t defined by flashy UI, ...if you make excuses like that, we will never see any improvments on it.
The UI simply Doesn´t look good and can be improved.


It's not an excuse. It's shared by most professional software outside the artistic realm where artistic liberties are taken with the GUI. The last thing a GUI needs to do is look nice. It should be function-able, and straight forward, like TG is. What is your actual complaint about the GUI? It's one of the most easy to understand software GUI's in the 3D rendering industry. If you need documentation for your UI, like a lot of software, you're failing UX, one of my main professions in development. It's the same concept in web development. If you need a site map for people to understand your layout, you failed UX. This, is failed, in almost every 3D software for a need to understand their software. Half the time everyone doesn't even use the GUIs because they're cluttered and slow and use macros. In fact I know no one that actually sits there using the UIs beyond value inputs and only use macros for Blender and Maya.

It's also fun to note that the learning curves with most professional software isn't actually manipulations of scenes, but the UI, and knowing where everything is through the clutter, and all the sub menus. It's in fact the biggest reason that hinders people picking up these software and learning it. The UI. Especially in the 3D competition where software layout becomes proprietary in nature and unique to their vision.
[/quote]


No you do not understand what I mean, and No..there is no rotational control as I am aware of in terragen direct accesable controls where you have position controls and altitude controls.

With respect for your proffesion as UIX developer? I am not..I am a user and I am probably thinking quite differently..but I can tell you that I would pick the Vue line UI at any time over terragen, same with Lightwave3d, houdini etc, it could also be so that many UI designers at proffesion, isn´t the same user as more focused artists..thus they may fail to see the importance in certain UI aspects from that artists point of view.

The rotational controls you refer to?..where did you say that is available..I understand that you may be able to connect that within nodes, but that just shows how unfriendly the UI is when it comes to basic controls..it should be there next to position and altitude, but it isn´t.

And for more functional good UI, why o why doesn´t the position values have indicators of what axis it pertains in the value fields, Lightwave, vue has it..it is not good UI practice.
Colors do matter, for example..LIghtwave buttons VS modo buttons and text within that, If we exclude the discussion of icons vs text, both have text anyway..the text in modo is presented as black against slightly bluegrey, or orange and soft pastel green in some cases, where Lightwave has dark text against almost neutral grey, in my opinion that is not good, a slight hue variation make our eye distinguish text easier when it is darker text against a more hued grey nuance, that is why I prefer modo color scheme and not lightwave scheme, dark text against neutral lighter gray is more difficult to read.

And I really think you have a misperception of looks doesn´t mean anything for functionality..I assert that is wrong, look at how the rtp buttons is highlighted with slight blue on a dull grey background button..as I mentioned before, it can be hard sometimes to see if it is on or off, a clear darker background with a better ligh highlight would make that more clear to see.

As for another UI issue or greatness of Terragen functionality, you can not even copy and paste cloud layers, that you can do with vue, as well as in lightwave with certain plugins or it´s native layering system.

you can probably through an enquire, which UI is more functional attractive and easy to use, vue or terragen and look what the respons will be, I know there are some folks at newtek forums including the thread starter here, that agrees with me on the controls and UI.

Anyway..I hope I may be able to record some notes about this with Terragen and differences when you compare to vue or lightwave for instance, though Lightwave is not special dedicated as any of vue or terragen.

Apart from the obvious color scheme touch up for a more easier on the eye look, it Is the functionality that is lacking ..which you praise as it has functionality over Looks, when it really doesn´t shine in any apartment there, lack of copy and paste cloud layers, lack of controlling the cloud rotation directly, lack of indicating which value axis it pertains, lack of sliders for the values (having to enter numericly every time)  Lack of using commas which is easier to enter with numerical panel and most other software uses that.


https://www.youtube.com/user/PrometheusPhamarus/videos (https://www.youtube.com/user/PrometheusPhamarus/videos)

Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 26, 2018, 02:55:13 pm
My profession is specifically outlined by understanding the actual needs of the user beyond the bias in art, style, fashion, etc. The fundamentals. What you see with software like Vue is proprietary designs. They are in fact MEANT to make you favor them over another software. It just marketing, like Vue's rather large buttons with giant icons that plays Pictionary with you.

You're arguing against the UI of Windows when you argue with TG's UI, still in places in millions of applications, that no one actually complains about. You're just an artist, and as such, you have specific artistic tastes outside the average person. And again, it Terragen everything is very literally labeled and laid out in front of you. In fact you could very accurate compare TG's interface to professional CAD software, FLIR software, LIDAR software, etc, etc.

As for the clouds and such, I think you're misunderstanding Terragen's goal there. It's going for realistic Earth-type clouds, which follow certain laws. Using nodes to do something, which this software is almost entirely based on and the settings of each node, is not bad, or wrong, it's really inherent to TG's workflow when you get down to doing anything. Other software is in fact not "inherent" to Earth physics laws, and expect radical artistic expression from the get-go, and provide those tools in a easy method. Clouds in TG are primarily for filling out your scenes with procedural clouds. Cloud editing could be better, I am not arguing that, but with other software, the focus is on a artistic approach, not simulation.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: archonforest on July 26, 2018, 03:23:09 pm
Quote from: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 01:08:59 pm
Having problems replying to the thread, every time I press "Quote" to reply to a post, enter my reply, and either press "Post" or "Preview", either the forum kicks me to an (empty) "New Topic" form, or stops responding altogether. 

Anyone else encountering such issues?


I saw today about 50 new threads started up from a chinese address within minutes. Hopefully they are not hacking the forum. I reported this to PS so they can check this out.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 26, 2018, 03:33:36 pm
Quote from: archonforest on July 26, 2018, 03:23:09 pm
Quote from: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 01:08:59 pm
Having problems replying to the thread, every time I press "Quote" to reply to a post, enter my reply, and either press "Post" or "Preview", either the forum kicks me to an (empty) "New Topic" form, or stops responding altogether. 

Anyone else encountering such issues?


I saw today about 50 new threads started up from a chinese address within minutes. Hopefully they are not hacking the forum. I reported this to PS so they can check this out.


Wait, really now? This happened to my friends forum and CMS overnight while he slept. Literally hundreds of accounts all from China, using paid security too.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: archonforest on July 26, 2018, 03:35:36 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 26, 2018, 03:33:36 pm
Quote from: archonforest on July 26, 2018, 03:23:09 pm
Quote from: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 01:08:59 pm
Having problems replying to the thread, every time I press "Quote" to reply to a post, enter my reply, and either press "Post" or "Preview", either the forum kicks me to an (empty) "New Topic" form, or stops responding altogether. 

Anyone else encountering such issues?


I saw today about 50 new threads started up from a chinese address within minutes. Hopefully they are not hacking the forum. I reported this to PS so they can check this out.


Wait, really now? This happened to my friends forum and CMS overnight while he slept. Literally hundreds of accounts all from China, using paid security too.


It happened some hours ago.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 26, 2018, 03:38:42 pm
Quote from: archonforest on July 26, 2018, 03:35:36 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 26, 2018, 03:33:36 pm
Quote from: archonforest on July 26, 2018, 03:23:09 pm
Quote from: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 01:08:59 pm
Having problems replying to the thread, every time I press "Quote" to reply to a post, enter my reply, and either press "Post" or "Preview", either the forum kicks me to an (empty) "New Topic" form, or stops responding altogether. 

Anyone else encountering such issues?


I saw today about 50 new threads started up from a chinese address within minutes. Hopefully they are not hacking the forum. I reported this to PS so they can check this out.


Wait, really now? This happened to my friends forum and CMS overnight while he slept. Literally hundreds of accounts all from China, using paid security too.


It happened some hours ago.


Ehh hopefully not hacked. I have literally MBs of logs to go through. And because he insists on using one MySQL server for CMS, forum and payment system, the log file for MySQL is even larger. So much was accessed. So far doesn't seem anything was phished and no access to physical server.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 26, 2018, 02:55:13 pm
My profession is specifically outlined by understanding the actual needs of the user beyond the bias in art, style, fashion, etc. The fundamentals. What you see with software like Vue is proprietary designs. They are in fact MEANT to make you favor them over another software. It just marketing, like Vue's rather large buttons with giant icons that plays Pictionary with you.

You're arguing against the UI of Windows when you argue with TG's UI, still in places in millions of applications, that no one actually complains about. You're just an artist, and as such, you have specific artistic tastes outside the average person. And again, it Terragen everything is very literally labeled and laid out in front of you. In fact you could very accurate compare TG's interface to professional CAD software, FLIR software, LIDAR software, etc, etc.

As for the clouds and such, I think you're misunderstanding Terragen's goal there. It's going for realistic Earth-type clouds, which follow certain laws. Using nodes to do something, which this software is almost entirely based on and the settings of each node, is not bad, or wrong, it's really inherent to TG's workflow when you get down to doing anything. Other software is in fact not "inherent" to Earth physics laws, and expect radical artistic expression from the get-go, and provide those tools in a easy method. Clouds in TG are primarily for filling out your scenes with procedural clouds. Cloud editing could be better, I am not arguing that, but with other software, the focus is on a artistic approach, not simulation.


You still mentioned rotational functions? but you are now backing away from that with the notion that terragien is going for earth realistic type clouds, that makes no sense..a user may have need to actually change rotation of the cloud to fit a certain look of the clouds..as it also may be perceived in real life..it´s just a shortcoming which you are excusing by saying it´s going for earth realistic clouds.
Where is those rotational controls? aside from entering nodes?

And for going against windows UI, I do not follow you on that one..what can I say.

UI of vue is not mere marketing, In my opinion it is made to be pleasing to work with...in fact it is in it´s color sheme more pleasing that terragen..and I frankly do not understand the need of icons in terragen, it says..terrain, object, camera, atmosphere, lighting...terragen isn´t as jam packed as vue so it really do not need the icons at all...vue´s icons are chromatic..and thus not disturbing the main image renderered or previewed as much..while terragen has disturbing colors for those icons in my opinion...just strip it down..make it dark bluegrey..or almost black, make the text light grey or white..this also removes the amount of white pixel light screen towards you and would be easier on the eyes...and remove the icons, it would make terragen look cleaner.

Vue also has icons..can probably be made smaller and even removed? not sure there..I would rather have that reduced as well...but the thing is that vue is more jam packed with features that icons may suit better for to have accessable, while terragen has not as much.

For your final notes...well I understand that you may think other software is focused on artistic approach and not simulation..but the thing is it shouldn´t be neither..you don´t put out a software for either artistic nor simulated result...you try to do your best to meet the needs of as full control as possible..or maybe some developers do..but then you will loose customers complaining over lack of control..as it currently stands, full control to override Simulated physics? isn´t unnatural..especially since this is just procedurals...not simulated fluid based stuff with real world gaseous cloud behavior.

What do you think of my complaints of lack of the value controls? any thoughts on that, lack of axis indicators etc, commas, sliders for the values?   no need to respond on that..but just curious on what you have to say on that.

Vue interface isn´t bad or flashy just for marketing sake, I think you can scale down icons as well, though I just noticed that the UI has more colored icons than before if I am not mistaken..will have to test the latest vue soon, you could also choose scheme if you want, copy and paste of cloud layers is great where you just may want a similar cloud but a bit high and some minor tweaks..maybe that is possible with nodes in terragen ..but the workflow doesn´t seem as smooth.

Oh well...I need to whip up a UI sample on how I would like terragen to look, highlight the issues within the controls, sliders, values ..and the issues with Terragens color scheme...it becomes talking about a UI without anything of value if I can´t showcase something that may look better, or visually explains it.

AS for real world physics..that doesn´t add up...if this was a true to earth simulator...we would have so many parameters to change as we currently do..and they go way off realistic values..they are there to offer a certain type of control...then it can not be to much to ask for a simple rotational control over the clouds that really doesn´t break real world realism, it just changes perspective on the created cloud to fit your scene of a more beautiful view when needed.

All the other dar..n software has it, plain and simple as that.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 04:06:54 pm
(...continued)

I'm not suggesting Terragen needs a "flashy UI", I'm stating that as a user I find Terragen's UI inefficient and direly limited when it comes to creating/editing/managing the kinds of basic 2D/3D areal and spatial regional definitions and dimensions needed for controlled application of operators (procedural effects, manual placements, etc.). 

For example, defining a region over which a procedural effect is applied, or region over which a population a distributed, requires effective tools to construct a 2D (areal) or 3D (spatial) region definition, and while constructing such selection or boundary regions are trivial in most 2D or 3D software, they're actually surprisingly difficult and inefficient to do in Terragen (due to reliance on 2D flat or 3D perspective IPR as primary view versus OpenGL-drawn orthogonal views, along with lack of basic tools for defining simple region primitives, as well as ability to aggregate basic primitives -- rects in 2D/3D, circles/spheres, etc. -- into complex 2D/3D shapes.  God forbid users require use of any more precise areal/spatial definitions (KMZ/KML-defined regions/boundaries, precisely-located/rotated-in-real-coordinates weightmaps or similar), they're pretty much out of luck.

(continued further...)
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 04:07:44 pm
(contd)

While the "whole environment" focus for applications of procedural shaders, operators, etc. might have been more than adequate for Terragen given the limited functionality of earlier versions, efficient use of more recently-added functionality like populations, detailed sky/atmospheric functionality, etc. requires users have the ability to quickly and efficiently create/store/recall/reference the kinds of areal and spatial definitions and dimensions I described above.  Terragen's UI has not really been doing an adequate job of keeping up with such needs.  Excellent examples are the inability to manipulate groups of population instances at the same time, lack of precise relative placement/alignment capabilities for objects in general, and limited history support when performing editing of population instances, objects, and so forth. 

That Terragen, with its PoV-focused view, still doesn't even have native support for 3D input devices like SpaceNavigator and similar is particularly disappointing.  Its particular navigation approach and view mechanism would benefit tremendously from supporting them.  Meanwhile, it's actually getting quite difficult to find popular 3D apps which don't offer native support for those devices, in part because adding such support is quite direct.

Even Terragen's IO capabilities are quite limited in terms of supporting import/export of commonly-used formats for such definitions -- the general lack of support for SHP or KMZ/KML files (the top-two most common formats for geo-reference data, by far) is a critical omission, IMO.  Even where certain formats are supported, their support tends to be fairly basic -- limited support for more recent image file formats (generally lacking support for aggregated-image capabilities, as well as features like data window support in exr format files) is a significant omission in as image-centric an application as Terragen.

Look, I'm not just trying to beat up on Terragen.  I really do love the app, and have been using and recommending it for years.  I'm just saying that for many of us, the UI isn't "okay" even today.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:12:06 pm
Quote from: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 04:07:44 pm
(contd)



Look, I'm not just trying to beat up on Terragen.  I really do love the app, and have been using and recommending it for years.  I'm just saying that for many of us, the UI isn't "okay" even today.


Not beating up here as well...not just :)
as I said before, of all software it yields the most beautiful skies, lighting and the cloud fractals are way better than vue, it´s just that I want to work with it without being annoyed when doing so..there is room for improvements and I hope some of it make it soon, cause I am eager to get my hands on it once some of that happens.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 26, 2018, 04:29:48 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm

You still mentioned rotational functions? but you are now backing away from that with the notion that terragien is going for earth realistic type clouds, that makes no sense..a user may have need to actually change rotation of the cloud to fit a certain look of the clouds..as it also may be perceived in real life..it´s just a shortcoming which you are excusing by saying it´s going for earth realistic clouds.
Where is those rotational controls? aside from entering nodes?
The rotational functions are just that. Functions.

Again, Terragen is based on these nodes. Everything. Even objects if you want to correctly import and display anything. Clouds do not rotate like you're describing, and would not, in a earth simulation. So if that's something you're after, it's just likely not going to be part of TG. The cloud layers, are layers. They're layers in the atmosphere essentially. They don't rotate on X or Z axis. You can rotate the noise and obtain different looks, especially with heavily customized clouds. Which again, is based on nodes if you want something like a Hero Cloud. You won't get this with cloud layer sliders and a single fractal input and it's sliders, and I don't think it was initially intended that way.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
And for going against windows UI, I do not follow you on that one..what can I say.


Change the color of your Windows UI, Terragen changes as well. Because it uses assets from Windows, that millions of applications use to build speedy fast comprehensive UI. There are better frameworks that are better for cross-compatibility with like Linux and Mac.

Visual opinions such as color tone, and the color of icons, is a personal thing. I for instance, like color coded icons that offer a peripheral target. Always have, and why when color displays came out, and for the last what, 40 years, they have been used. There could be a mellow-toned icon alternative, or colour-blind alternative icon sets created, and even better icons, as they have aged, but the UI doesn't need to change, doesn't need hard-coded colours, etc.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
For your final notes...well I understand that you may think other software is focused on artistic approach and not simulation..but the thing is it shouldn´t be neither..you don´t put out a software for either artistic nor simulated result...you try to do your best to meet the needs of as full control as possible..or maybe some developers do..but then you will loose customers complaining over lack of control..as it currently stands, full control to override Simulated physics? isn´t unnatural..especially since this is just procedurals...not simulated fluid based stuff with real world gaseous cloud behavior.


This is actually how industry works, though... we have simulation software, and we have production, and art based software. Just because people develop plugins, or a software you're familiar with includes some cool fluid stuff or whatever doesn't mean it's the only.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
What do you think of my complaints of lack of the value controls? any thoughts on that, lack of axis indicators etc, commas, sliders for the values?   no need to respond on that..but just curious on what you have to say on that.


You'd need to be entirely more specific. What lack of value controls?

Axis indicators with what exactly? The camera? Yes, we could use a 3D axis indicator, I believe I've mentioned that before. Clouds? As I explained, it isn't really needed.

Sliders are only for things that have a relative defined range, where outside of scope things may get weird (from what I've seen), or for ease of use such as altitude in surface layers with the preview colour. But other things are based on dynamic input. How would a slide work from 1e-006 - 1e+006? It's be incredibly hard to pick any exact range and you'd be entering values manually anyway. Even on sliders with a max of 1e+006, it's hard to select anything exact, so you enter values manually.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
Vue interface isn´t bad or flashy just for marketing sake, I think you can scale down icons as well, though I just noticed that the UI has more colored icons than before if I am not mistaken..will have to test the latest vue soon, you could also choose scheme if you want, copy and paste of cloud layers is great where you just may want a similar cloud but a bit high and some minor tweaks..maybe that is possible with nodes in terragen ..but the workflow doesn´t seem as smooth.


I don't think it is bad, it definitely is flashing it's unique Vue-ness, just like Maya, Blender, and any branded software. This is inherent to marketing, and it will most certainly be done in a way you're not aware of. In general, a layout is entirely not needed and could just rely on the UI of the OS like Terragen, and be whatever colour the user wants. Icons like I said are usually visual aids. And with Vue, they don't really help.. you still have stop and read them. They aren't very distinct for peripheral targeting when doing things at a flow. When you mention smooth and stuff it just seems like esthetic opinion, not based on actual productivity. A mock design may help iterate what you mean. But so far it just seems you'r explaining opinion on what looks good to you.

Edit: It's always why these sort of things are summed up into "templates" or "Layouts" for frameworks or UIs... Because they don't mean anything really to the functionality and practicality of use, they're just for show. And these things change to as far as what's "In". In the early to end of the 2000s it was light colour tones and colours, since the than we have seen a trend toward dark, and yes, these software have reflected that.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 04:36:36 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 26, 2018, 01:25:53 pm
And because of the inherent dynamic and procedural nature of the planet, maps, locations, heightmaps, etc, etc, etc, how do you expect that to practically work for everyones scenes, and why we can place cameras anywhere? Not everyones masks will be same dimensions, locations, same for heightmaps and such. Do you want every one of these shaders to be redone to carry their own cameras that dynamics adjust to scales?


I'm definitely not understanding why you believe a UI/viewport-set capability for defining arbitrary regions, etc. is such a impossibility within Terragen's operating context. 

Say a user wishes to constrain a specific erosion filter config to a specific region of their terrain, or similarly, wishes to distribute a population over only a limited region of the terrain.  Right now, Terragen offers minimal ability to define the shape and scale of populations as a whole, and no real means for controlling (precisely or otherwise) relative positioning/alignment w.r.t. other populations.  All due to the simple lack of ability to arbitrarily define planar or volume regions using a 3D orthogonal view. 

Whether there are tons of cameras defined is irrelevant, in terms of the ability to offer users an orthogonal view in which they can draw out their regions relative to their arbitrarily-oriented view of the terrain in question -- if Terragen can draw an IPR preview of a camera projection of terrain with OGL gizmos/notations, it can as easily produce orthogonal views for arbitrarily positioned/oriented/scaled regions of the terrain in question (as all GP 3D pkgs do trivially). 

Terragen would just needs to store three or four additional linked OGL view definitions(and reference to the source terrain geometry dataset) associated with a region definition, representing an view slightly larger than the region's bounding box (or alternately, how the user modified the views that started as same).  That is negligible overhead compared to data required for the average hires heightfield / image map.

Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 05:02:11 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 26, 2018, 04:29:48 pm
The rotational functions are just that. Functions.

Again, Terragen is based on these nodes. Everything. Even objects if you want to correctly import and display anything. Clouds do not rotate like you're describing, and would not, in a earth simulation. So if that's something you're after, it's just likely not going to be part of TG. The cloud layers, are layers. They're layers in the atmosphere essentially. They don't rotate on X or Z axis. You can rotate the noise and obtain different looks, especially with heavily customized clouds. Which again, is based on nodes if you want something like a Hero Cloud. You won't get this with cloud layer sliders and a single fractal input and it's sliders, and I don't think it was initially intended that way.


With all due respect, you're conflating how the simulation works during operation, and how the user configures the data used as input for subsequent simulation.  Whether a cloud rotates like that in reality has nothing to do with whether it is more efficient UX for a user to be able to rotate a cloud definition in the fashion Prometheus described while setting up the initial cloud volume's shape/position/orientation information. 

What you're saying is akin to saying that because a dynamics simulation requires 3D objects to have volume, there is no need to manipulate arbitrary polygons, edges, and vertices because those aren't primitives that can move in the simulation.  Whether they can be simulated independently has nothing to do with whether moving them has utility for setting up the simulation inputs.

Being able to efficiently and arbitrarily shape, rotate and transform a given cloud volume definition in 3D space is a highly useful and important aspect of 3D UI usability, regardless whether clouds move that way in simulation/reality or not. Construction is about providing the users with the most efficient means of placing and orienting arbitrary 2D and 3D regions in 2D or 3D space, and in context, limiting users just to "how clouds move in reality" is neither useful or necessary.

Obviously, the simulator is just storing the definition of the cloud volume as arbitrary 3D data.  The UI for how the volume's shape, position and orientation are input by the user has no relationship with how the simulation USES that volume definition subsequently, so long as the code behind the UI provides that 3D region definition in a format compatible with the simulation's standard "3D spatial region" format.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 26, 2018, 06:42:55 pm
I just want to jump in here quickly to say that I'm reading and carefully considering all of the feedback in this thread. I don't want to interrupt the conversation. Thanks!
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Oshyan on July 26, 2018, 07:45:22 pm
Likewise I am reading all of this too, with interest. I think it's fair to say we're aware of much - if not all - of this, but it doesn't make it less valid.

I also just want to mention that if you don't find the Maintenance fee to be a good enough value, then you can just wait to renew it until an update/new feature that makes it worth your money. The cost will be the same and you'll continue to be able to use your current version of Terragen in the meantime. Licenses are still perpetual.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 07:53:26 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 26, 2018, 06:42:55 pm
I just want to jump in here quickly to say that I'm reading and carefully considering all of the feedback in this thread. I don't want to interrupt the conversation. Thanks!


Matt, I appreciate that you're considering the feedback.  Again, to be very clear, I have been a strong proponent of Terragen for years, just ask Prometheus. ;D  I've been more than willing to fund the development, and do think many aspects of Terragen are "cutting edge" implementations, especially atmospheric rendering.

That said, I also encounter lots of UX inefficiencies and problems every single session, and a lot of those are directly due to Terragen not really providing users with an orthogonal view-set nor tools to interactively shape, place and orient entities, constraint boundaries, and so forth.  Object/Population manipulation and atmospheric setup would benefit tremendously from such capabilities, IMO, but even terrain procedural generation would benefit in terms of allowing faster, more efficient and much more finessed application of effects, relative positioning of maps, and so forth.

I've kind of been quiet and tolerant up until this point.  However, after the V3 dev cycle, and V4 upgrade, and relatively minor improvements that have occurred since V4's release, I felt I had to speak my feelings about the pace of improvement in light of the cost structure.  I want to see Terragen succeed, but at the same time, it has to provide adequate value-for-cost, and given the cost structure with maintenance, I don't feel it has of late.

Thanks for hearing us customers out on this!
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 26, 2018, 08:21:46 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 26, 2018, 02:55:13 pm
You're arguing against the UI of Windows when you argue with TG's UI, still in places in millions of applications, that no one actually complains about.


As a fairly senior system software engineer who's worked for Microsoft, and worked on Windows (Windows kernel, to be precise), your statement is wildly inaccurate:  People complain about Windows UI frequently, and in large numbers

Microsoft is constantly improving and enriching the native GUI libraries' and tools' contents and capabilities for application developers (incl. Win32 APIs, WPF/XAML engine & libs, and others), in part, as response to that feedback.  Those improvements include providing entirely new GUI components/libraries/engines/APIs (WPF & XAML were such an improvement).  There are even extensive, highly-active markets of third-party GUI components, as well, because many application developers find the "native" Window GUI options (be they Win32 Common Controls, WPF, UWP, you name it) inadequate for their, and/or their customers', needs.

Both Windows and macOS expose facilities/services for internationalization and locale-sensitive generalization of user input for the benefit of and use by application developers (f.e. adjusting how decimal point is interpreted during user input in different countries' locales).  Whether specific applications use those facilities is up to their developers.  There are many, many devs and apps who do, and at least as many who do not.

Also, that Terragen uses "Windows GUI elements" hardly represents any sort of basis for claiming the actual design and implementation of the GUI using those elements is beyond reproach -- for each app with a well-designed, human-factors-sensitive GUI using Windows native controls, there have probably been at least seven to ten other apps with truly abysmal GUIs using those exact same controls.   :o  ;D

Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jaf on July 27, 2018, 12:29:07 am
Quote from: Oshyan on July 26, 2018, 07:45:22 pm
Likewise I am reading all of this too, with interest. I think it's fair to say we're aware of much - if not all - of this, but it doesn't make it less valid.

I also just want to mention that if you don't find the Maintenance fee to be a good enough value, then you can just wait to renew it until an update/new feature that makes it worth your money. The cost will be the same and you'll continue to be able to use your current version of Terragen in the meantime. Licenses are still perpetual.

- Oshyan

On the other hand, if I could pay half of the $225 each year, Planetside would get my$225 in two years and I would be up-to-date and happy.  If I skip a year and then pay up, Planetside would still get $225 (and Planetside would have an extra $112.50 for that first year and I would be likely to continue to pay $112.50 per year.)

Please keep in mind I wrote this after a few cold one's.  :P
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 01:55:44 am
It seems like you really just want a whole new program. A lot of what you're describing about clouds would be so heavy on the previewer it's just impractical. You wouldn't see anything in real time quickly to be dragging around rotation. So it might as well be rotating the noise by value, and changing the depth and falloffs, using SSS's to redefine a vertical "disc" etc.  And why would a cloud shape, trying to obtain realistic look based on a orientation in the atmosphere, rotate? That's a artistic choice, and not even a common situation in Terragen. I mess around with a lot of clouds, like making hero clouds, and never once though about rotating. Defeats the whole purpose of making my realistic clouds.

And with your viewports, it would be helpful, sure, but again, require rewriting a lot of stuff, on top of other things that are limited with a slow preview, might as well start a new project working with these ideas from the ground up. Also, what if a user has multiple heightfields? Generated heightfields, patched zones (SSS), etc, etc? With things blended and such you may be disabling a lot just too see benefit from the viewports.

Like you mentioned though, different "views" based on a cameras position, would be really nice, the other things though just really encompass a lot. How Matt as explained how TG is developed, I can see why I lot of stuff hasn't changed. The entire idea and workflow involved with how you built a shader a decade ago is lost to time, makes it hard to work with. That being said, That's why in modern coding conventions re-writes are common place just to refresh yourself with the code-base, optimize based on what you know now, syntax adjustments, or pseudo code and commenting relating to other updates and what not, etc, etc. Being a one man show here, I can easily see how going back can be a "Wait and see" sort of thing, or put off. I've done it countless times.

I recently wanted to go back and work with a PHPMyChat build I customized (back in the PHP3 days) and it was so archaic, and how I did things so different from now that I just immediately closed nano and moved on. Lol

In any case I'm done reiterating myself over and over, I've made my input. As Matt has been doing, yes I think development could be faster, even in relation to other single-development software. The UI I don't really have an issue with, and a user can change the colour tone if they want. They icons could use updating. Maybe nice new vector based ones or something.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Dune on July 27, 2018, 02:44:09 am
Interesting discussion, though I find it very negative. Terragen's progress is a one man operation in effect, and time spent needs money earned. I think it's tremendous what Matt has achieved almost by himself. You can't compare that to the teams working on other software.
Anyway, as a long time and intensive user, I am perfectly happy with both UI and functionality. Of course things can be improved, but I'd rather see that posted as positive feedback/suggestions/mockups than as the negative rants seen here. Too bad we haven't seen any work of you guys posted too, btw.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2018, 04:26:35 am
While I appreciate the support, I don't think the "one man" or "small team" argument is very compelling here. To the buyer, it's about value for money. A possible response that argument is "that's fine that you are a small team with fewer new features, but you should charge less". The current pricing is a weighted consideration of many factors. The truth is that many of our users do see value for money and anticipate return on investment at the current prices. But many people won't. That is actually one of the main reasons we decided to switch to a Maintenance model. Previously, if you wanted upgrade from Terragen 3 to Terragen 4, you had no choice in how much you paid. Users who are using it everyday professionally would pay the same upgrade price as a casual user, and that didn't seem fair in our view. Now with Maintenance you get to choose how often you update your Maintenance. Those customers who are really benefiting from regular updates are paying the $249 per year. While those who are less enthusiastic can choose to pay however frequently they want. I think this is fairer. But it's a complex topic and there are various viewpoints on this. We're listening, and we'll consider making adjustments.

One thing I haven't seen discussed here is the price of Terragen Creative. Maintenance for Terragen Creative is less than half that of Professional. But of course it's missing some of the features of Professional. Which of the Pro-only features do you think should be included in Creative to make it worth considering instead of Professional?

Matt
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2018, 04:32:09 am
I don't mean to brush over the requests and ideas for improvements. There is a lot to think about here.

Matt
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: KlausK on July 27, 2018, 05:31:36 am
"Long-time lurker customer, just going to say my piece and leave it at that..." - that never works out well, does it? ;)

Going back to the first two posts in this thread I can only nod in approval to most everything written there.
But I would be very surprised if any of this is going to happen in a meaningful timeframe.
This is simply my interpretation of looking at the pace of development.

From my point of view laying the focus on the documention would have top priority.
And seeing how little attention the documentation gets I dare to say planetside underappreciates the value of this
to new inexperienced potential customers. Not to mention some people using the software already.

With that said: not that I think the forum represents a critical mass of TG users but, looking at the posts of new forum users over time
I for one am under the impression that the manual/wiki/documention is a top concern regarding TG coming up regularly.
It looks and feels outdated. It shows how poorly maintained it is. There is a lot of information missing.
Having a "?" on every property page in the program leading to nothing (at worst) or offering a description of a function without
giving a hint of its place in the workflow does not help (me) a lot.
And no, the search function of the forum is a poor substitute for a thorough help file or wiki.
So is asking questions in the forum and getting answers and solutions even from the developers themselves (cool!).
Be it naive, simpleminded or whatever, having a lot of paragraphs in the wiki still labeled TG2 or TG3 is just not attractive.
Wether it be valid information or not.
And I think the impact this has on potentional new users aka customers is to be taken seriously.

Is it harder to do something about the documention than coding the software?
I do not know but, I cannot imagine this to be the case. I do believe, of course, that writing a good documention is not a weekend endeavour.
I have heard it often enough when any poor manuals are criticised... But you have to start somewhere sooner or later, don`t you?

I do actually think bringing the documentation up to par would help a lot.
More than any much wanted, wished for and needed functionality.
It would buy you time - "and time spent needs money earned" (Dune).
Depending heavily on what kind of clientele should be developed in the first place, I guess.
As a non-commercial dabbler this is what I am looking for. Professional users might not need this.



Last but not least: the new pricing model has been presented when TG4 arrived.
Planetside laid out some of there thoughts leading to the decisions made.
I think it is offering a acceptable balance between being up to date and buying into or updating the application
whenever you feel it is worth it. Hopefully they do not ever take away perpetual licenses or go any other route
like some of the big players do. As non-professional customer I surely would have to give Terragen up at this point.
And money is always too tight to mention, isn`t it.

CHeers, Klaus
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: KlausK on July 27, 2018, 05:46:09 am
hi Matt,
I just read through the comparison of TG4 Pro and Creative.
There is not the one feature I`d like to see in Creative.
To buy Professional was based on the fact that it has the export and import functionality.
Basically everything that is not in Creative now.
I think putting more into Creative would diminish Professional.
Kill Creative and think about a lower price tag for Professional  ::)
(I wonder how many copies of Creative are out there at all)
CHeers, Klaus
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Dune on July 27, 2018, 05:54:47 am
I know that a customer looks at value for money, I just didn't appreciate the negative wording used, and was merely explaining why TG is not developed into something perfect overnight. I appreciate it taking so much time for a small team.
Regarding the wiki or any documentation explaining nodes, their places in the network, etc. It has been discussed continually over the years, but it is just not easy to do, and I phrase it carefully. I could better say, explaining it indepth is virtually impossible. I still find new ways of doing things, new ways of setting up networks 'out of the box', and I've been here about a decade or more. As soon as you explain one thing, you miss a hundred. And if you explain all, a user will be flabbergasted by its sheer mass. Though I never look at the wiki or documentation anymore, and don't know what's in there, I have to say.
I'd say, the basics are explained well enough, IMHO, and learn by following threads and asking (specific) questions. It's just not a click and render software.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: KlausK on July 27, 2018, 06:36:38 am
Dune, that is all true but my point is that the forum should not be a replacement for that.
It should be a substitution. And I think the topic comes up again and again because it is still a pita.

I am not looking for detailed explanations of the nodes - this is neither possible nor necessary.
It is about presets, showcases, readymade tgd`s to start from, examples of setting up and bringing together the whole thing.
The wiki is not up to date and surely not complete by all means.
I am happy the forum is in place, and as you know I use it whenever I need to.
But a lot of people nowadays are using other information channels - perhaps even exclusively.

People deal with "shortcomings" of the software all the time. That is inherent to software which does more than 1 thing, I guess.

Let me sketch how I encounter a new software:

I install it, run it, play and experiment with it.
If I can get some pleasing results fast without diving through tons of help pages, all the better.
But there comes a point where I want to learn more and especially more specific things.
When I then find that most of the information is based on 1 or 2 prior versions of the application I am not amused.
When I then find that after investing my time and money in this product for more than 1 1/2 year the information
has not changed a bit - I am - very much - not amused. That`s all.
And I say it again: I am convinced this drives people away from a application more than the odd missing functionality.
Of course, this might be more about "looks" than real face value.

Anyways, this and the (looking from the outside) rather slow development cycles lead me to not renew maintenance. Which is fine.
As I said above I am glad planetside makes this possible. And as I said above spending time updating the documentation seems to me
like a goal in closer reach than getting functionality coded.
I am absolutely impressed where Terragen is now, but  I also do think about value for money.

CHeers, Klaus

ps: "It's just not a click and render software." Really?
 
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Dune on July 27, 2018, 07:20:23 am
 :)
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 11:27:27 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 26, 2018, 04:29:48 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm

You still mentioned rotational functions? but you are now backing away from that with the notion that terragien is going for earth realistic type clouds, that makes no sense..a user may have need to actually change rotation of the cloud to fit a certain look of the clouds..as it also may be perceived in real life..it´s just a shortcoming which you are excusing by saying it´s going for earth realistic clouds.
Where is those rotational controls? aside from entering nodes?
The rotational functions are just that. Functions.

Again, Terragen is based on these nodes. Everything. Even objects if you want to correctly import and display anything. Clouds do not rotate like you're describing, and would not, in a earth simulation. So if that's something you're after, it's just likely not going to be part of TG. The cloud layers, are layers. They're layers in the atmosphere essentially. They don't rotate on X or Z axis. You can rotate the noise and obtain different looks, especially with heavily customized clouds. Which again, is based on nodes if you want something like a Hero Cloud. You won't get this with cloud layer sliders and a single fractal input and it's sliders, and I don't think it was initially intended that way.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
And for going against windows UI, I do not follow you on that one..what can I say.


Change the color of your Windows UI, Terragen changes as well. Because it uses assets from Windows, that millions of applications use to build speedy fast comprehensive UI. There are better frameworks that are better for cross-compatibility with like Linux and Mac.

Visual opinions such as color tone, and the color of icons, is a personal thing. I for instance, like color coded icons that offer a peripheral target. Always have, and why when color displays came out, and for the last what, 40 years, they have been used. There could be a mellow-toned icon alternative, or colour-blind alternative icon sets created, and even better icons, as they have aged, but the UI doesn't need to change, doesn't need hard-coded colours, etc.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
For your final notes...well I understand that you may think other software is focused on artistic approach and not simulation..but the thing is it shouldn´t be neither..you don´t put out a software for either artistic nor simulated result...you try to do your best to meet the needs of as full control as possible..or maybe some developers do..but then you will loose customers complaining over lack of control..as it currently stands, full control to override Simulated physics? isn´t unnatural..especially since this is just procedurals...not simulated fluid based stuff with real world gaseous cloud behavior.


This is actually how industry works, though... we have simulation software, and we have production, and art based software. Just because people develop plugins, or a software you're familiar with includes some cool fluid stuff or whatever doesn't mean it's the only.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
What do you think of my complaints of lack of the value controls? any thoughts on that, lack of axis indicators etc, commas, sliders for the values?   no need to respond on that..but just curious on what you have to say on that.


You'd need to be entirely more specific. What lack of value controls?

Axis indicators with what exactly? The camera? Yes, we could use a 3D axis indicator, I believe I've mentioned that before. Clouds? As I explained, it isn't really needed.

Sliders are only for things that have a relative defined range, where outside of scope things may get weird (from what I've seen), or for ease of use such as altitude in surface layers with the preview colour. But other things are based on dynamic input. How would a slide work from 1e-006 - 1e+006? It's be incredibly hard to pick any exact range and you'd be entering values manually anyway. Even on sliders with a max of 1e+006, it's hard to select anything exact, so you enter values manually.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
Vue interface isn´t bad or flashy just for marketing sake, I think you can scale down icons as well, though I just noticed that the UI has more colored icons than before if I am not mistaken..will have to test the latest vue soon, you could also choose scheme if you want, copy and paste of cloud layers is great where you just may want a similar cloud but a bit high and some minor tweaks..maybe that is possible with nodes in terragen ..but the workflow doesn´t seem as smooth.


I don't think it is bad, it definitely is flashing it's unique Vue-ness, just like Maya, Blender, and any branded software. This is inherent to marketing, and it will most certainly be done in a way you're not aware of. In general, a layout is entirely not needed and could just rely on the UI of the OS like Terragen, and be whatever colour the user wants. Icons like I said are usually visual aids. And with Vue, they don't really help.. you still have stop and read them. They aren't very distinct for peripheral targeting when doing things at a flow. When you mention smooth and stuff it just seems like esthetic opinion, not based on actual productivity. A mock design may help iterate what you mean. But so far it just seems you'r explaining opinion on what looks good to you.

Edit: It's always why these sort of things are summed up into "templates" or "Layouts" for frameworks or UIs... Because they don't mean anything really to the functionality and practicality of use, they're just for show. And these things change to as far as what's "In". In the early to end of the 2000s it was light colour tones and colours, since the than we have seen a trend toward dark, and yes, these software have reflected that.


I can not reply properly..the forum is messing up my posts when I quote.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Marander on July 27, 2018, 11:45:34 am
The forum / customer interaction of the developers is really commendable.  :D

I also like the idea of beta participation for users on maintenance. The possibility that one can wait with renewing the maintenance (and having TG as perpetual license) is great.

I gladly support companies like Planetside where the dev cycles are longer but they are passionate about their product and listen to customers instead of shareholders.

A UI refresh and some workflow improvements (navigation, camera, views, object selection and manipulation as well as improved import/export) would be nice. But given the fact that TG is developed by 1-2 people up to this current state with this outstanding output quality is remarkable.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Kadri on July 27, 2018, 11:56:35 am
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 04:26:35 am
... Previously, if you wanted upgrade from Terragen 3 to Terragen 4, you had no choice in how much you paid. Users who are using it everyday professionally would pay the same upgrade price as a casual user, and that didn't seem fair in our view. Now with Maintenance you get to choose how often you update your Maintenance. Those customers who are really benefiting from regular updates are paying the $249 per year. While those who are less enthusiastic can choose to pay however frequently they want. I think this is fairer. But it's a complex topic and there are various viewpoints on this. ...


While i still don't like Maintenance, this explanation clicked somehow. But still it feels high to me Matt. Others might think different of course.

Quote from: Marander on July 27, 2018, 11:45:34 am
The forum / customer interaction of the developers is really commendable.  :D
...


This was-is always great here. The opposite of the Lightwave forum.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: otakar on July 27, 2018, 12:07:32 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 04:26:35 am
Which of the Pro-only features do you think should be included in Creative to make it worth considering instead of Professional?

Matt


For me, mesh displacer and spherical camera.

And I will join those that cannot justify a large maintenance expense for a 4.2 upgrade. I am just a hobbyist, after all.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 12:50:21 pm
I am trying to replying here with quotes, but I need to copy text and paste the answer, I had written to long answers and do not wish to re-write it, I have it copied in text format ..but it seems this forum doesn´t validate that and brings me to a new post and then nothing happens

Quote from: WASasquatch on July 26, 2018, 04:29:48 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm

You still mentioned rotational functions? but you are now backing away from that with the notion that terragien is going for earth realistic type clouds, that makes no sense..a user may have need to actually change rotation of the cloud to fit a certain look of the clouds..as it also may be perceived in real life..it´s just a shortcoming which you are excusing by saying it´s going for earth realistic clouds.
Where is those rotational controls? aside from entering nodes?


QuoteThe rotational functions are just that. Functions.
Again, Terragen is based on these nodes. Everything. Even objects if you want to correctly import and display anything. Clouds do not rotate like you're describing, and would not, in a earth simulation. So if that's something you're after, it's just likely not going to be part of TG. The cloud layers, are layers. They're layers in the atmosphere essentially. They don't rotate on X or Z axis. You can rotate the noise and obtain different looks, especially with heavily customized clouds. Which again, is based on nodes if you want something like a Hero Cloud. You won't get this with cloud layer sliders and a single fractal input and it's sliders, and I don't think it was initially intended that way.


And that means what?  I know rotational functions is functions..it doesn´t make it any clearer on why Terragen doesn´t have it directly accessable as any other software has.
Both vue and Lightwave (ogo taiki) has planetery cloud layers...fully rotational...Again Terragen doesn´t due to the mysterious reason you mention, I find it hard to believe that due to how the Terragen is built up..it would be impossible ..or it doesn´t work that way..when vue seem to work with planetary cloud layers as well, and lightwave ogo taiki.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
And for going against windows UI, I do not follow you on that one..what can I say.


QuoteChange the color of your Windows UI, Terragen changes as well. Because it uses assets from Windows, that millions of applications use to build speedy fast comprehensive UI. There are better frameworks that are better for cross-compatibility with like Linux and Mac.

Visual opinions such as color tone, and the color of icons, is a personal thing. I for instance, like color coded icons that offer a peripheral target. Always have, and why when color displays came out, and for the last what, 40 years, they have been used. There could be a mellow-toned icon alternative, or colour-blind alternative icon sets created, and even better icons, as they have aged, but the UI doesn't need to change, doesn't need hard-coded colours, etc.


I do not want to change my windows UI to get a nicer terragen look, besides...Terragen needs special color attention..which I do not think windows can handle.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
For your final notes...well I understand that you may think other software is focused on artistic approach and not simulation..
but the thing is it shouldn´t be neither..you don´t put out a software for either artistic nor simulated result...you try to do your best to meet the needs of as full control as possible..or maybe some developers do..but then you will loose customers complaining over lack of control..as it currently stands, full control to override Simulated physics? isn´t unnatural..especially since this is just procedurals...not simulated fluid based stuff with real world gaseous cloud behavior.


QuoteThis is actually how industry works, though... we have simulation software, and we have production, and art based software. Just because people develop plugins, or a software you're familiar with includes some cool fluid stuff or whatever doesn't mean it's the only. [/quote

I do not follow you here...I have never argued around something along the line that you conclude here, I said there is a difference when you mentioned simulations..and I pointed out that terragen doesn´t perform a simulation in the more advanced true physics form such as fluids, it just uses special fractals that (simulates) clouds..but it isn´t anywhere near true physics simulations of how a cloud should build up, it´s pure fractals..not a true simulation in that sense.
so I do not follow you in your conclusion here.

Quote from: Prometheus on July 26, 2018, 04:02:12 pm
What do you think of my complaints of lack of the value controls? any thoughts on that, lack of axis indicators etc, commas, sliders for the values?   no need to respond on that..but just curious on what you have to say on that.


QuoteYou'd need to be entirely more specific. What lack of value controls?

Axis indicators with what exactly? The camera? Yes, we could use a 3D axis indicator, I believe I've mentioned that before. Clouds? As I explained, it isn't really needed.

Sliders are only for things that have a relative defined range, where outside of scope things may get weird (from what I've seen), or for ease of use such as altitude in surface layers with the preview colour. But other things are based on dynamic input. How would a slide work from 1e-006 - 1e+006? It's be incredibly hard to pick any exact range and you'd be entering values manually anyway. Even on sliders with a max of 1e+006, it's hard to select anything exact, so you enter values manually.


I have already written exactly what controls I was talking about in previous posts, and no not camera...I said specificly the z,x,y axis for position of clouds..there are no such indicators in the value fields, below cloud depth in cloud layers, there is localize and there is center..then you got these field to center the cloud density..but you have no indicators on which axis it pertains..if you know it, after testing..that´s one thing..but every software I know has indicators for such things, terragen does not...and these value fields are only having the option of entering values numericly, while many other software also  additionally can use a slider to set the position.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 12:56:38 pm

Edit: It's always why these sort of things are summed up into "templates" or "Layouts" for frameworks or UIs... Because they don't mean anything really to the functionality and practicality of use, they're just for show. And these things change to as far as what's "In". In the early to end of the 2000s it was light colour tones and colours, since the than we have seen a trend toward dark, and yes, these software have reflected that.
[/quote]

I think you fail to see what I am saying, and I disagree when you say it means nothing ot functionality and practicality of use..I have pointed out the color scheme issue making it hard to work with terragens RTP for shading, lighting and atmosphere visibility.. when you can not properly see what is active and what is not.
Other examples from other software like...Modo using verticle menu tabs, aligned vertikal....things like that matters, I do not like them, blender has it too, Daz 3d as well..while Daz 3d allows you to change that ui to more normal horisontal menu tabs, which I am more comfortable to work with..but that is another story.

I just don´t get your perspective on the Whole UI thing as seemingly being of little importance, we clearly have different views on that.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 12:58:22 pm
Quote from: Dune on July 27, 2018, 05:54:47 am
I'd say, the basics are explained well enough, IMHO, and learn by following threads and asking (specific) questions. It's just not a click and render software.

Not even remotely close. The track record of new users, and users showing work over the years (same users) shows that evident enough.

Not to mention documentation should include multiple examples of use with something that can be used for a lot. And when, like you mentioned, discovered something new, it should be shared in documentation.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 01:01:53 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 12:56:38 pm

Edit: It's always why these sort of things are summed up into "templates" or "Layouts" for frameworks or UIs... Because they don't mean anything really to the functionality and practicality of use, they're just for show. And these things change to as far as what's "In". In the early to end of the 2000s it was light colour tones and colours, since the than we have seen a trend toward dark, and yes, these software have reflected that.

I think you fail to see what I am saying, and I disagree when you say it means nothing ot functionality and practicality of use..I have pointed out the color scheme issue making it hard to work with terragens RTP for shading, lighting and atmosphere visibility.. when you can not properly see what is active and what is not.
Other examples from other software like...Modo using verticle menu tabs, aligned vertikal....things like that matters, I do not like them, blender has it too, Daz 3d as well..while Daz 3d allows you to change that ui to more normal horisontal menu tabs, which I am more comfortable to work with..but that is another story.

I just don´t get your perspective on the Whole UI thing as seemingly being of little importance, we clearly have different views on that.


You're still explaining personal problems, that are inherent to you, not everyone. People have plainly said it doesn't bother them, like me. I can see the preview just fine. And by not seeing what's "active or not" do you mean you cannot use the surface test colours, and correctly see a white border turning orange, or the defined custom colour of borders?

Align vertical with what? You could be technically millions of miles away from your original scene, pop in a planet, and be working on it, to etc. What are things aligning with? There is no real "workspace" in Terragen like other programs. What is aligning vertical? And why is it hard to have an understanding of your world scale and know where things should be?

Again there seems to be a lot of misconception of what Terragen is to begin with.


Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2018, 01:03:43 pm
Prometheus, recently I've had problems pasting long replies. It seems to work better when I break it into smaller replies. It may be some recent change to our server settings.

BTW, the way you are using the quote function, it's attributing text to the wrong people. If you want to reply in the middle of quoting someone, you should close their quote with the /quote tag, then after your reply you can restart theirs again with another quote tag.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:06:28 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 01:55:44 am
It seems like you really just want a whole new program. A lot of what you're describing about clouds would be so heavy on the previewer it's just impractical. You wouldn't see anything in real time quickly to be dragging around rotation. So it might as well be rotating the noise by value, and changing the depth and falloffs, using SSS's to redefine a vertical "disc" etc.  And why would a cloud shape, trying to obtain realistic look based on a orientation in the atmosphere, rotate? That's a artistic choice, and not even a common situation in Terragen. I mess around with a lot of clouds, like making hero clouds, and never once though about rotating. Defeats the whole purpose of making my realistic clouds.



With all respect..but all of what you say here makes absolutely no sense, rotating a cloud is i no way interfering with the Realism of a cloud or how it works in real life, it simple turns yourself in the perspective of the viewpoint ..if you were to be on the other side of the cloud if you rotate it 180 degrees, it simply gives you another take on how a cloud would look, but it No way would it brake any so called real life true realism of the cloud or how it should behave.
Artistic choice and common situation?   of course it´s not a common situation, terragen lacks the ability to do so, artistic...it´s semantic..the real worl would care less wether the cloud is rotated in any way...when you tweak clouds, you tweak scale, and altitude to get what You Want..it´s the same with rotation control...I just don´t understand why you are going against this without any decent explenation?

You have never ever once thought of rotating the clouds...well, if the controls are not there..how could you, the question is why you wouldn´t rotate your cloud to get a cloud that matches maybe a photo, rather than what terragen seed values are telling you?  the realism and how it behaves is really irrelevant.

I rotate it all the time in other software, ultimately the software is  a tool you need to control, not let the software create it all for you..then you would for sure end up with crappy pictures.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2018, 01:08:47 pm
Quote from: otakar on July 27, 2018, 12:07:32 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 04:26:35 am
Which of the Pro-only features do you think should be included in Creative to make it worth considering instead of Professional?

Matt


For me, mesh displacer and spherical camera.


Thanks for the feedback.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 01:11:45 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:06:28 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 01:55:44 am
It seems like you really just want a whole new program. A lot of what you're describing about clouds would be so heavy on the previewer it's just impractical. You wouldn't see anything in real time quickly to be dragging around rotation. So it might as well be rotating the noise by value, and changing the depth and falloffs, using SSS's to redefine a vertical "disc" etc.  And why would a cloud shape, trying to obtain realistic look based on a orientation in the atmosphere, rotate? That's a artistic choice, and not even a common situation in Terragen. I mess around with a lot of clouds, like making hero clouds, and never once though about rotating. Defeats the whole purpose of making my realistic clouds.



With all respect..but all of what you say here makes absolutely no sense, rotating a cloud is i no way interfering with the Realism of a cloud or how it works in real life, it simple turns yourself in the perspective of the viewpoint ..if you were to be on the other side of the cloud if you rotate it 180 degrees, it simply gives you another take on how a cloud would look, but it No way would it brake any so called real life true realism of the cloud or how it should behave.
Artistic choice and common situation?   of course it´s not a common situation, terragen lacks the ability to do so, artistic...it´s semantic..the real worl would care less wether the cloud is rotated in any way...when you tweak clouds, you tweak scale, and altitude to get what You Want..it´s the same with rotation control...I just don´t understand why you are going against this without any decent explenation?


The physics of clouds will immediately beg to differ with what you're originally explaining. But now you're talking about rotating a camera, not a cloud. And again it seems you're suggesting the previewer, let alone the RTP can keep up. And again, why is it so hard to punch in 3 digits to do this?
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 01:13:03 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 04:26:35 am
Which of the Pro-only features do you think should be included in Creative to make it worth considering instead of Professional?

Matt


I feel they should be indistinguishable besides professional exporting and commercial resale of projects/scenes/renders/videos. Like most every program out there with commercial and non-commercial products. They usually entail commercial features. Not random things that just keep you from creating... also defeats the name "Creative" lol

It's sorta implied in your names to begin with. With TG Creative I should have all features to create what Pro can. But pro, is professional, I can than go and take a 15,000 dollar contract for a movie, and than have that production company continue to gather royalties on the project over time.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:15:28 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 01:01:53 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 12:56:38 pm

Edit: It's always why these sort of things are summed up into "templates" or "Layouts" for frameworks or UIs... Because they don't mean anything really to the functionality and practicality of use, they're just for show. And these things change to as far as what's "In". In the early to end of the 2000s it was light colour tones and colours, since the than we have seen a trend toward dark, and yes, these software have reflected that.

I think you fail to see what I am saying, and I disagree when you say it means nothing ot functionality and practicality of use..I have pointed out the color scheme issue making it hard to work with terragens RTP for shading, lighting and atmosphere visibility.. when you can not properly see what is active and what is not.
Other examples from other software like...Modo using verticle menu tabs, aligned vertikal....things like that matters, I do not like them, blender has it too, Daz 3d as well..while Daz 3d allows you to change that ui to more normal horisontal menu tabs, which I am more comfortable to work with..but that is another story.

I just don´t get your perspective on the Whole UI thing as seemingly being of little importance, we clearly have different views on that.


You're still explaining personal problems, that are inherent to you, not everyone. People have plainly said it doesn't bother them, like me. I can see the preview just fine. And by not seeing what's "active or not" do you mean you cannot use the surface test colours, and correctly see a white border turning orange, or the defined custom colour of borders?

Align vertical with what? You could be technically millions of miles away from your original scene, pop in a planet, and be working on it, to etc. What are things aligning with? There is no real "workspace" in Terragen like other programs. What is aligning vertical? And why is it hard to have an understanding of your world scale and know where things should be?

Again there seems to be a lot of misconception of what Terragen is to begin with.


I am explaining issues that are not purely personal, there are complaints on newtek forums as well where they agree mostly, as welll as jwiede here, so you are not accurate about that, besides..what I explain is something that other software recognize..and as such you may recognize that it may not be just a personal perception..though I as a user here with this input may give that appaerance.

as for vertical align, no..you have no idea on what I talk about and continues to talk about something that has no relevance what so ever, I said specificly it was about menus and tabs in the UI and refered to modo and daz and blender, take a look at those ui menus and you´ll understand..it has nothing to do with real workspaces.

and no..there is absolutely no misconception on what Terragen is.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 01:27:24 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:15:28 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 01:01:53 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 12:56:38 pm

Edit: It's always why these sort of things are summed up into "templates" or "Layouts" for frameworks or UIs... Because they don't mean anything really to the functionality and practicality of use, they're just for show. And these things change to as far as what's "In". In the early to end of the 2000s it was light colour tones and colours, since the than we have seen a trend toward dark, and yes, these software have reflected that.

I think you fail to see what I am saying, and I disagree when you say it means nothing ot functionality and practicality of use..I have pointed out the color scheme issue making it hard to work with terragens RTP for shading, lighting and atmosphere visibility.. when you can not properly see what is active and what is not.
Other examples from other software like...Modo using verticle menu tabs, aligned vertikal....things like that matters, I do not like them, blender has it too, Daz 3d as well..while Daz 3d allows you to change that ui to more normal horisontal menu tabs, which I am more comfortable to work with..but that is another story.

I just don´t get your perspective on the Whole UI thing as seemingly being of little importance, we clearly have different views on that.


You're still explaining personal problems, that are inherent to you, not everyone. People have plainly said it doesn't bother them, like me. I can see the preview just fine. And by not seeing what's "active or not" do you mean you cannot use the surface test colours, and correctly see a white border turning orange, or the defined custom colour of borders?

Align vertical with what? You could be technically millions of miles away from your original scene, pop in a planet, and be working on it, to etc. What are things aligning with? There is no real "workspace" in Terragen like other programs. What is aligning vertical? And why is it hard to have an understanding of your world scale and know where things should be?

Again there seems to be a lot of misconception of what Terragen is to begin with.


I am explaining issues that are not purely personal, there are complaints on newtek forums as well where they agree mostly, as welll as jwiede here, so you are not accurate about that, besides..what I explain is something that other software recognize..and as such you may recognize that it may not be just a personal perception..though I as a user here with this input may give that appaerance.

as for vertikal align, no..you have no idea on what I talk about and continues to talk about something that has no relevance what so ever, I said specificly it was about meny and tabs in the UI and refered to modo and daz and blender, take a look at those ui menus and you´ll understand..it has nothing to do with real workspaces.

and no..there is absolutely no misconception on what Terragen is.


Please, explain yourself thoroughly at every point. Please provide clear examples of what "others do" and how TG can do it. Cause you are not making sense, or making yourself clear. Throwing out vague terminology THAT IS used in other programs, such as aligning objects to viewport, etc.

And yes, you do have a misconception regarding Terragen, you inherently came into this discussion not understanding how the workflow is, and stating things contrary to normal workflow because you want it like other programs you are familiar with. For example the UI thing which is proprietary and certainly made to make you favor types over others. That's why you continuously use "Vue" as an example, and even had to rebuttal with other software when I made this point. You are bias because marketing worked on you. In reality the UI is irrelevant to true productivity. It's just a personal taste. Even when you have a hard time seeing. That's just your personal struggle. Sure programs try to conform to people like this, but not all, and not all are as concerned with it. No one complains about CAD software building our modern infrastructure IRL. This reminds me of all the people over the year complaining about SolidWorks UI. It has never changed to encompass requests like "Please give us a dark UI" cause why? Really why? "smoothness" cause something is dark is personal, subjective, and not a good argument. I like light GUI myself. That's direct opposition, and is shared by many. And if you didn't know, scientifically, dark UIs are bad for you eyes because of the contrast of your focal area. It's like reading bright text on a dark background. It's not healthy for the eyes.





Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2018, 01:29:53 pm
Guys, I think you are both speaking different languages to each other. Can I please ask that if you don't understand what someone is saying, then ask them to clarify, rather than telling them they're wrong or that their opinion doesn't matter?  ;)
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 01:32:02 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 01:29:53 pm
Guys, I think you are both speaking different languages to each other. Can I please ask that if you don't understand what someone is saying, then ask them to clarify, rather than trying to explain why they're wrong?  ;)


Being told you don't understand is a far cry from you understanding what you understand and reply. Lol You can't know you don't understand if you understand what you understand. xD

Why I just asked for clear examples.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:38:33 pm
I have now found the node functions for this about rotating cloud layers..look at the image..

The functions are there and it is possible, but as I mentioned before, most other software does this with direct rotational acess,such as vue..which makes it a breeze to use, nodes are powerful..but not when it comes at the expense of having the software not capable acessing directly the more basic important functions.

Vue even has opengl direct gizmo rotational control, for hero clouds, as full global clouds.

It proves it is possible, and nothing in how terragen simulates the world is preventing this.
It is the transform input shader.

I will try and record a demonstration on how Lightwave and vue does this much simpler, thus more effective.





Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 01:39:59 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:38:33 pm
I have now found the node functions for this about rotating cloud layers..look at the image..

The functions are there and it is possible, but as I mentioned before, most other software does this with direct rotational acess,such as vue..which makes it a breeze to use, nodes are powerful..but not when it comes at the expense of having the software not capable acessing directly the more basic important functions.

Vue even has opengl direct gizmo rotational control, for hero clouds, as full global clouds.


Try inputing incremental steps and watch that renderer keep up (if you don't crash). It's jut not practical to have rotation dragger or button to be watching the results... Especially with working with V3 clouds. My system is still supposedly within TG's System Requirements and clouds take several moments before even the first phase of the preview shows. And there is a bit of computation going on to get that first phase. Me dragging around a slider or something, I'd crash, like I do a lot with cloud work. Lol
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:44:48 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 01:39:59 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:38:33 pm
I have now found the node functions for this about rotating cloud layers..look at the image..

The functions are there and it is possible, but as I mentioned before, most other software does this with direct rotational acess,such as vue..which makes it a breeze to use, nodes are powerful..but not when it comes at the expense of having the software not capable acessing directly the more basic important functions.

Vue even has opengl direct gizmo rotational control, for hero clouds, as full global clouds.


Try inputing incremental steps and watch that renderer keep up (if you don't crash). It's jut not practical to have rotation dragger or button to be watching the results... Especially with working with V3 clouds. My system is still supposedly within TG's System Requirements and clouds take several moments before even the first phase of the preview shows. And there is a bit of computation going on to get that first phase. Me dragging around a slider or something, I'd crash, like I do a lot with cloud work. Lol


There is absolutely nothing wrong on adding incremental steps, it renders just fine in previewer, and i can watch the rotation in the renderer iterate update decently fast.

Now you are talking about dragging and crashing, now you are assuming..there is no slider or gizmo to try this out.

Maybe it is your system, I do this all the time in Houdini, Lightwave, vue...no problems at all, no crash and decently fast preview updates.

If you suggest Terragen would crash..then I suggest they need to make sure it doesn´t ..or you may need to update to a better computer system?

Several moments for you?  what ..are you not activating the RTP sýstem?

And as seen on my posted image, you have to use guessworks in order to know what axis you are using for entered values, as I said..a shortcoming of the Terragen UI.

and for the record when it  concerns misunderstandings..I am swedish so some things may get lost in translation and understanding the way I describe things, or understand things.

For the record about the various cloud layer versions, and as WASasquatch pointed out, this was a try on the older cloud layers, not the easy cloud layers..so that may cause trouble...but I have yet to figure out the connections there.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 01:48:08 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:44:48 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 01:39:59 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 01:38:33 pm
I have now found the node functions for this about rotating cloud layers..look at the image..

The functions are there and it is possible, but as I mentioned before, most other software does this with direct rotational acess,such as vue..which makes it a breeze to use, nodes are powerful..but not when it comes at the expense of having the software not capable acessing directly the more basic important functions.

Vue even has opengl direct gizmo rotational control, for hero clouds, as full global clouds.


Try inputing incremental steps and watch that renderer keep up (if you don't crash). It's jut not practical to have rotation dragger or button to be watching the results... Especially with working with V3 clouds. My system is still supposedly within TG's System Requirements and clouds take several moments before even the first phase of the preview shows. And there is a bit of computation going on to get that first phase. Me dragging around a slider or something, I'd crash, like I do a lot with cloud work. Lol


There is absolutely nothing wrong on adding incremental steps, it renders just fine in previewer, and i can watch the rotation in the renderer iterate update decently fast.

Now you are talking about dragging and crashing, now you are assuming..there is no slider or gizmo to try this out.

Maybe it is your system, I do this all the time in Houdini, Lightwave, vue...no problems at all, no crash and decently fast preview updates.

If you suggest Terragen would crash..then I suggest they need to make sure it doesn´t ..or you may need to update to a better computer system?


You originally described a visual rotation aid. That inherently entails being able to drag and rotate. Like the ability to drag the cloud layer itself on XYZ. That would be the way to add it, if it were added, not a entirely separate, random rotation only thing. Though I'm sure it could be done, that's just counter-intuitive.

I am also not sure how fast you are stepping clouds but for me, again, I have to wait awhile before I can one result. Terragens minimum requirements are 4-core, and 8gb of ram. Not very specific at that.

Update: And of course, sure enough, I started changing numbers quickly and clicking away (to start a preview) and crashed. Lol
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2018, 01:57:02 pm
It shouldn't crash. Can you send us a TGD? What type of cloud is it?
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 02:06:06 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 01:57:02 pm
It shouldn't crash. Can you send us a TGD? What type of cloud is it?


Just a v3 with a transform input, shouldn't be any different than any other file.

The previewer, like with any other many changes, tends to crash, hence the request by you and Oshyan to pause my previewer in these instances. It resets when changes are made, and starts doing computations.

Code (xml) Select

<terragen
name = "Project"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "0 0 0"
gui_group = ""
written_by_program = "Terragen 4"
written_by_version = "4.2.10.0"
author = ""
comments = ""
current_frame = "1"
start_frame = "1"
end_frame = "100"
gui_network_view_position = "304.5895438 143.9973676 0"
gui_network_view_size = "1066 387 0"
gui_network_view_zoom = "0.6905405529"
>
<camera
name = "Render Camera"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "640 0 0"
gui_group = "Cameras"
show_camera_body_in_preview = "1"
show_frustum_in_preview = "1"
show_path_in_preview = "1"
position = "0 10 -30"
rotation = "18 0 0"
light_exposure = "1"
perspective = "1"
fisheye = "0"
use_horizontal_fov = "1"
horizontal_fov = "60"
use_vertical_fov = "0"
vertical_fov = "40"
focal_length_in_mm = "31.17691454"
film_aperture_in_mm = "36 24"
orthographic = "0"
use_ortho_width = "1"
ortho_width = "1000"
use_ortho_height = "0"
ortho_height = "1000"
spherical = "0"
motion_blur_position = "1"
motion_blur_length = "0.5"
shutter_offset = "-0.25"
subject_distance = "100"
aperture_diameter_in_mm = "5"
import_position = "1"
import_rotation = "1"
import_fov_general = "1"
import_Z_up = "0"
import_rotation_order = "4"
import_vertical_FOV = "1"
import_focal_length = "0"
import_focal_length_to_FOV = "0"
do_not_import_FOV = "0"
m_fbx_convert_to_metres = "1"
import_offset = "0 0 0"
import_scale = "1"
import_filename = ""
export_filename = ""
stereo = "0"
stereo_left = "1"
stereo_centre = "0"
stereo_right = "0"
stereo_mode = "0"
inter-axial_separation_in_mm = "63.5"
zero_parallax_distance = "2.54"
>
</camera>
<render
name = "Render 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "960 -120 0"
gui_group = "Renderers"
master = "1"
image_width = "800"
lock_aspect_ratio = "0"
image_height = "450"
image_aspect_ratio = "1.777777778"
pixel_aspect_ratio = "1"
camera = "Render Camera"
render_layer = ""
surfaces_visible = "1"
atmosphere_visible = "1"
do_shadows = "1"
detail = "0.5"
anti-aliasing = "2"
ray_trace_atmosphere = "1"
defer_all_shading = "0"
motion_blur = "1"
motion_blur_method = "1"
depth_of_field = "0"
dof_method = "2"
GI_relative_detail = "2"
GI_sample_quality = "2"
GI_blur_radius = "8"
supersample_prepass = "0"
GI_surface_details = "1"
do_crop_region = "0"
crop_left = "0"
crop_right = "1"
crop_bottom = "0"
crop_top = "1"
crop_to_object = "0"
crop_object_name = ""
pixel_filter = "2"
anti-aliasing_bloom = "1"
experimental_atmo_bloom = "0"
atmo_bloom_amount = "0.25"
atmo_bloom_size = "0.25"
bloom = "0"
bloom_amount = "0.1"
starburst = "0"
starburst_amount = "0.1"
starburst_softness = "0.05"
detail_blending = "0"
displacement_filter = "1"
microvertex_jittering = "1"
detail_jittering = "1"
soft_clip_effect = "1"
soft_clip_softness = "1"
compensate_soft_clip = "1"
contrast = "1"
contrast_adjust = "0.25"
gamma_correction = "2.2"
maximum_threads = "64"
ray_detail_region = "1"
ray_detail_region_padding = "0"
lock_subdiv_to_frame = "0"
lock_to_frame_number = "1"
ray_trace_everything = "0"
GI_prepass_padding = "0"
do_reverse_primary_rays = "0"
reverse_primary_rays_multiplier = "1"
ray_trace_objects = "1"
do_ray_traced_shadows = "1"
output_image_filename = "C:\Users\WAS\Documents\temp.%04d.tif"
extra_output_images = "0"
extra_output_image_filename = "C:\Users\WAS\Documents\temp.IMAGETYPE.%04d.tif"
create_subfolders = "1"
exr_pixel_type = "1"
tiff_bits = "8"
tiff_compression = "1"
micro_exporter = "0"
micro_exporter_name = ""
sequence_first = "1"
sequence_last = "100"
sequence_step = "1"
>
</render>
<enviro_light
name = "Enviro light"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "320 0 0"
gui_group = "Lighting"
enable = "1"
mode = "1"
ambient_strength_on_surfaces = "1"
ambient_colour_on_surfaces = "0.6499999762 0.8000000119 1"
ambient_strength_in_atmosphere = "1"
ambient_colour_in_atmosphere = "0.6499999762 0.8000000119 1"
global_strength_on_surfaces = "1"
global_tint_on_surfaces = "1 1 1"
global_strength_in_atmosphere = "1"
global_tint_in_atmosphere = "1 1 1"
strength_on_surfaces = "1"
colour_on_surfaces = "1 1 1"
strength_in_atmosphere = "1"
colour_in_atmosphere = "1 1 1"
>
</enviro_light>
<sunlight
name = "Sunlight 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "320 -60 0"
gui_group = "Lighting"
enable = "1"
light_surfaces = "1"
light_atmosphere = "1"
heading = "300"
elevation = "25"
colour = "0.8999999762 0.9359999895 1"
strength = "5"
cast_shadows = "1"
shadows_of_surfaces = "1"
shadows_of_atmosphere = "1"
soft_shadows = "0"
soft_shadow_diameter = "0.5"
soft_shadow_samples = "9"
soft_shadow_sample_jitter = "1"
glow_in_atmosphere = "1"
specular_highlights = "1"
visible_disc = "1"
angular_diameter = "0.5"
>
</sunlight>
<sphere
name = "Background"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "0 -60 0"
gui_group = "Objects"
enable = "1"
show_b-box_in_preview = "0"
visibility = "2"
visible_to_camera = "1"
visible_to_other_rays = "1"
cast_shadows = "0"
render_method = "0"
sorting_bias = "0"
centre = "0 0 0"
radius = "-200000000"
rotate = "0 0 0"
scale = "1 1 1"
proper_surface_normals = "0"
scaling_deforms_normals = "1"
heading = "0"
elevation = "0"
distance = "0"
surface_shader = "Background shader"
displacement_tolerance = "1"
import_offset = "0 0 0"
import_scale = "1"
import_motion_filename = ""
>
<constant_shader
name = "Background shader"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "200 0 0"
gui_group = ""
enable = "1"
input_node = ""
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
colour = "0 0 0"
alpha = "0 0 0"
>
</constant_shader>
</sphere>
<planet
name = "Planet 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "0 0 0"
gui_group = "Objects"
enable = "1"
show_b-box_in_preview = "0"
render_surface = "1"
translate_textures_with_planet = "0"
render_atmosphere = "1"
rotate_textures_with_planet = "0"
lat_long_at_apex = "0 0"
centre = "0 -6378000 0"
rotation = "0 0 0"
radius = "6378000"
heading = "0"
elevation = "270"
distance = "6378000"
surface_shader = "Base colours"
atmosphere_shader = "Cloud layer v3 01"
displacement_tolerance = "1"
import_offset = "0 0 0"
import_scale = "1"
import_motion_filename = ""
>
</planet>
<planet_atmosphere
name = "Atmosphere 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "0 460 0"
gui_group = "Atmosphere"
enable = "1"
input_node = ""
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
enable_primary = "1"
enable_secondary = "1"
centre = "0 -6378000 0"
radius = "6378000"
seed = "0"
haze_density = "1"
haze_horizon_colour = "0.25 0.25 0.25"
bluesky_density = "2.5"
bluesky_horizon_colour = "0.200000003 0.25 0.3000000119"
bluesky_additive = "0.75"
bluesky_additive_colour = "0.1438666731 0.3779166639 1"
redsky_decay = "2.5"
haze_exp_height = "2000"
bluesky_exp_height = "8000"
ceiling_adjust = "7"
ceiling = "56000"
floor = "-16000"
haze_glow_amount = "1.5"
haze_glow_power = "1"
bluesky_glow_amount = "0"
bluesky_glow_power = "0.75"
enviro_light = "1"
enviro_light_tint = "1 1 1"
anisotropic_enviro_light = "1"
shadow_function = ""
ambient = "0 0 0"
fake_dark_power = "0"
fake_dark_sharpness = "10"
bluesky_density_colour = "0.2158000022 0.4535000026 1"
redsky_decay_colour = "0.805896461 0.6354003549 0.3678794503"
ozone_factor = "0.5"
improved_glow_model = "1"
number_of_samples = "16"
adjust_to_distance = "1"
enable_ray_traced_shadows = "0"
>
</planet_atmosphere>
<power_fractal_shader_v3
name = "Base colours"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "-920 220 0"
gui_group = "Shaders"
enable = "1"
input_node = "Compute Terrain"
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
seed = "8028"
feature_scale = "1"
lead-in_scale = "1000"
smallest_scale = "0.1125930452"
noise_octaves = "15"
obey_smoothing_filter = "1"
noise_stretch_XYZ = "1 1 1"
apply_high_colour = "1"
high_colour = "0.3000000119 0.3000000119 0.3000000119"
apply_low_colour = "1"
low_colour = "0 0 0"
colour_contrast = "0.125"
colour_offset = "0"
colour_roughness = "5"
clamp_high_colour = "1"
clamp_low_colour = "1"
apply_displacement = "0"
displacement_direction = "1"
displacement_amplitude = "1"
displacement_offset = "0"
displacement_roughness = "1"
displacement_spike_limit = "1"
continue_spike_limit = "0"
adjust_coastline = "0"
coastline_altitude = "0"
coastline_smoothing = "30"
noise_flavour = "0"
ridge_smoothing = "0"
gully_smoothing = "0"
noise_variation = "1"
variation_method = "2"
buoyancy_from_variation = "0"
clumping_of_variation = "0"
better_colour_continuity = "0"
better_displacement_continuity = "0"
distort_by_normal = "1"
distortion_by_normal = "5"
lead-in_warp_effect = "1"
lead-in_warp_amount = "0.5"
less_warp_at_feature_scale = "0"
allow_vertical_warp = "0"
four-d_noise = "0"
four-d_noise_speed = "0.1"
reference_frame_number = "0"
blend_by_shader = "0"
blending_shader = ""
fit_blendshader_to_this = "0"
invert_blendshader = "0"
>
</power_fractal_shader_v3>
<simple_shape_shader
name = "Simple shape shader 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "-720 800 0"
gui_group = "Terrain"
enable = "1"
input_node = ""
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
show_b-box_in_preview = "1"
draw_shape_edges_in_preview = "1"
type_of_shape = "1"
position = "0 0 0"
size = "10000 10000"
rotation = "0"
polygon_sides = "5"
apply_colour = "1"
apply_main_colour = "1"
colour = "1 1 1"
apply_edge_colour = "1"
edge_colour = "0 0 0"
colour_edge_profile = "1"
colour_edge_width = "90"
colour_edge_units = "1"
colour_position_key = "1"
apply_displacement = "0"
displace_relative_to_surface = "1"
displace_relative_to_shader_position = "0"
displacement_direction = "1"
displacement_amplitude = "1"
displacement_offset = "0"
displacement_edge_profile = "0"
displacement_edge_width = "50"
displacement_edge_units = "0"
displacement_position_key = "1"
>
</simple_shape_shader>
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name = "Fractal terrain 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "-920 740 0"
gui_group = "Terrain"
enable = "1"
input_node = ""
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
seed = "119"
feature_scale = "5000"
lead-in_scale = "25000"
smallest_scale = "0.107881116"
noise_octaves = "20"
obey_smoothing_filter = "1"
noise_stretch_XYZ = "1 1 1"
apply_high_colour = "0"
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low_colour = "0 0 0"
colour_contrast = "0.5"
colour_offset = "0"
colour_roughness = "5"
clamp_high_colour = "1"
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displacement_amplitude = "2000"
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displacement_spike_limit = "0.25"
continue_spike_limit = "1"
adjust_coastline = "0"
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variation_method = "2"
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better_colour_continuity = "0"
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four-d_noise_speed = "0.1"
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blend_by_shader = "1"
blending_shader = "Simple shape shader 01"
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>
</power_fractal_shader_v3>
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name = "Fractal warp shader 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "-920 620 0"
gui_group = "Terrain"
enable = "1"
input_node = "Fractal terrain 01"
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
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warp_amount = "0.25"
variation = "1.5"
roughness = "1"
scale_filter = ""
obey_smoothing_filter = "1"
blend_by_shader = "0"
blending_shader = ""
fit_blendshader_to_this = "0"
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>
</fractal_warp_shader>
<compute_terrain
name = "Compute Terrain"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "-920 500 0"
gui_group = "Terrain"
enable = "1"
input_node = "Fractal warp shader 01"
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
gradient_patch_size = "20"
smooth_surface = "0"
>
</compute_terrain>
<group
name = "Objects"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "0 -80 0"
gui_group = ""
gui_node_size = "240 320 1"
gui_node_colour = "0.8000000119 0.8000000119 0.8000000119"
special_group = "1"
global_bookmark = "1"
>
</group>
<group
name = "Terrain"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "-720 660 0"
gui_group = ""
gui_node_size = "640 440 1"
gui_node_colour = "0.2119999975 0.5174000263 0.1138999984"
special_group = "2"
global_bookmark = "1"
>
</group>
<group
name = "Shaders"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "-720 220 0"
gui_group = ""
gui_node_size = "640 280 1"
gui_node_colour = "0.7968999743 0.1604000032 0.1604000032"
special_group = "3"
global_bookmark = "1"
>
</group>
<group
name = "Water"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "200 840 0"
gui_group = ""
gui_node_size = "640 240 1"
gui_node_colour = "0.1000000015 0.5 0.349999994"
special_group = "4"
global_bookmark = "1"
>
</group>
<group
name = "Atmosphere"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "200 350 0"
gui_group = ""
gui_node_size = "640 400 1"
gui_node_colour = "0.2310000062 0.3203999996 1"
special_group = "5"
global_bookmark = "1"
>
</group>
<group
name = "Lighting"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "320 -80 0"
gui_group = ""
gui_node_size = "240 320 1"
gui_node_colour = "1 0.7299000025 0.2195000052"
special_group = "6"
global_bookmark = "1"
>
</group>
<group
name = "Cameras"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "640 -80 0"
gui_group = ""
gui_node_size = "240 320 1"
gui_node_colour = "0.3021000028 0.2673999965 0.4647000134"
special_group = "7"
global_bookmark = "1"
>
</group>
<group
name = "Renderers"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "973 -80 0"
gui_group = ""
gui_node_size = "266.0336416 320 1"
gui_node_colour = "0.7372000217 0.3440000117 0.2119999975"
special_group = "8"
global_bookmark = "1"
>
</group>
<cloud_layer_v3
name = "Cloud layer v3 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "80 200 0"
gui_group = "Atmosphere"
enable = "1"
input_node = "/Atmosphere 01"
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
seed = "0"
enable_primary = "1"
enable_secondary = "1"
move_textures_with_cloud = "1"
centre = "0 -6378000 0"
radius = "6378000"
cloud_altitude = "1751.959324"
cloud_depth = "500"
local_sphere = "1"
local_sphere_centre = "0 1750 5000"
local_sphere_radius = "5000"
local_sphere_falloff = "1"
local_sphere_value_at_radius = "-0.5"
density_shader = "Transform input shader 01"
edge_sharpness = "1"
cloud_density = "0.1"
coverage_adjust = "0"
cloud_colour = "0.25 0.25 0.25"
sun_glow_amount = "2"
sun_glow_power = "1"
light_propagation = "3"
light_propagation_mix = "1"
fake_internal_scattering = "0.25"
enviro_light = "1"
enviro_light_tint = "1 1 1"
darker_unresolved_scattering = "1"
altitude_offset_function = ""
altitude_offset_multiplier = "1"
depth_modulator = ""
depth_modulator_centre = "0"
final_density_modulator = ""
direct_light_modulator = ""
enviro_light_modulator = ""
ambient_light_modulator = ""
shadow_function = ""
ambient = "0 0 0"
fake_dark_power = "0"
fake_dark_sharpness = "10"
improved_lighting_model = "1"
taper_top_and_base = "1"
flatter_base = "0"
base_wispiness = "0"
base_softness = "0"
invert_profile = "0"
coverage_gamma = "1"
rendering_method = "1"
quality = "0.25"
number_of_samples = "8"
sample_jitter = "1"
enable_ray_traced_shadows = "0"
acceleration_cache = "0"
use_2D_shadow_map = "0"
shadow_map_resolution = "200 200"
shadow_map_blur_radius = "2 2"
use_voxel_buffer = "1"
millions_of_voxels = "30"
voxel_buffer_resolution = "826 43 844"
use_voxels_to_accelerate_empty_space = "0"
visualise_voxels = "0"
use_voxels_for_shadows = "1"
voxel_shadow_threshold = "8"
>
</cloud_layer_v3>
<cloud_fractal_shader_v3
name = "Density fractal 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "200 400 0"
gui_group = "Atmosphere"
enable = "1"
input_node = ""
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
seed = "34969"
feature_scale = "500"
lead-in_scale = "20000"
smallest_scale = "10"
noise_octaves = "13"
obey_smoothing_filter = "1"
noise_stretch_XYZ = "1 1 1"
apply_high_colour = "1"
high_colour = "1 1 1"
apply_low_colour = "0"
low_colour = "0 0 0"
contrast = "1"
coverage_adjust = "0"
roughness = "1.5"
clamp_high = "0"
clamp_low = "0"
apply_displacement = "0"
displacement_direction = "1"
displacement_amplitude = "1"
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displacement_roughness = "1"
displacement_spike_limit = "1"
continue_spike_limit = "0"
adjust_coastline = "0"
coastline_altitude = "0"
coastline_smoothing = "30"
noise_flavour = "0"
ridge_smoothing = "0.1"
gully_smoothing = "0.1"
noise_variation = "1"
variation_method = "2"
buoyancy_from_variation = "0.5"
clumping_of_variation = "0.25"
better_colour_continuity = "0"
better_displacement_continuity = "0"
distort_by_normal = "0"
distortion_by_normal = "5"
lead-in_warp_effect = "1"
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</cloud_fractal_shader_v3>
<transform_input_shader
name = "Transform input shader 01"
gui_use_node_pos = "1"
gui_node_pos = "200 300 0"
gui_group = "Atmosphere"
enable = "1"
input_node = "/Density fractal 01"
gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
use_world_space = "0"
use_undisplaced_space = "0"
translate = "0"
translate_by = "0 0 0"
rotate = "1"
rotate_by = "0 30 0"
scale = "0"
scale_by = "1 1 1"
>
</transform_input_shader>
</terragen>
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 02:16:00 pm
Though, considering the nature of the Transform Inputs "Rotation" feature, maybe the addition of sliders for each value, with directional step buttons on either side would be a fancy feature to have. Like below the rotation inputs. That could apply realtime rotation for many that can handle it. And of course not just for clouds. And it would be a relatively localized update to add that feature.

Image for fun scales are off on sliders but meh
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 03:22:55 pm
[attachimg=2][attachimg=2]
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 02:16:00 pm
Though, considering the nature of the Transform Inputs "Rotation" feature, maybe the addition of sliders for each value, with directional step buttons on either side would be a fancy feature to have. Like below the rotation inputs. That could apply realtime rotation for many that can handle it. And of course not just for clouds. And it would be a relatively localized update to add that feature.

Image for fun scales are off on sliders but meh


Great..now you are almost talking with the same idea, that mockup is a kind of improvement, but I would go further and just put the x,y,z values in front of the axis fields, and you only need a visual slider ..not a long slider bar...all that would spare you space in the UI.
Wether or not you then have the fields stacked verticly or horisontally ..that is a format for discussion on what requires less space.

Lightwave has it stacked verticaly for any kind of texture, (see image) the small arrows next to the fields are the slider drag button, and the values are interpretad as heading, pitch and banking, which may not suit Terragen.

The only thing I complain about that with lightwave, that is that when I scale textures within a landscape, I have to enter every value three times as there are no way to scale uniformly ..except referencing the texture to a null, in blender and vue, you can for instance just select all the fields with the mouse and drag..and it scales uniformly, now this isn´t good to use for rotation, but for scaling of textures on landscapes.

Sample image, cloud made with the new lightwave 2018 volumetrics..I hope I do not go past forum rules here with that image and referencing...creating cloud pillars like this is in my opinion easier in Lightwave..I just clone nulls, move them and rotate textures and easy to get desired height etc.

What lightwave still doesn´t do good, unless using the  ogo taiki volumetric plugin...that is a  full volumetric spectral skies...the new global scattering system isn´t adapted for anykind of similar real world physics as terragen and vue, ogo taiki may get similar result.
Nor is the volumetric items for cloud made as infinite global/planetary scale...so they need to work on that.

And the GI and multiscattering in lightwave can not compare to Terragens, Terragens is far better for this kind of things.
Again..someone please notify me if my post of the image and lightwave reference is out of forum rules?
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 27, 2018, 04:41:31 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 27, 2018, 03:22:55 pm
[attachimg=2][attachimg=2]
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 02:16:00 pm
Though, considering the nature of the Transform Inputs "Rotation" feature, maybe the addition of sliders for each value, with directional step buttons on either side would be a fancy feature to have. Like below the rotation inputs. That could apply realtime rotation for many that can handle it. And of course not just for clouds. And it would be a relatively localized update to add that feature.

Image for fun scales are off on sliders but meh


Great..now you are almost talking with the same idea, that mockup is a kind of improvement, but I would go further and just put the x,y,z values in front of the axis fields, and you only need a visual slider ..not a long slider bar...all that would spare you space in the UI.
Wether or not you then have the fields stacked verticly or horisontally ..that is a format for discussion on what requires less space.


That pretty sure, like I mentioned previously, that would require a GUI port to another framework. A pretty big endeavor. The sort of functionality in those programs is because of the GUI framework. I don't believe what is used has click and drag hidden sliders. They also don't give you a representation of the a value range, which is why TG uses these sliders in some instances, like I also mentioned. And it wouldn't make sense again, to be doing that with one thing, that's not intuitive, that breaks the flow of the GUI, so all sliders would need to be changed that aren't explicitly specific to function the same. Again more of a whole GUI port/rewrite. I've already discussed this before, and while with a more compatible GUI, it was mentioned it was on the roadmap, waaay down the road.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2018, 05:55:03 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 04:41:31 pm
That pretty sure, like I mentioned previously, that would require a GUI port to another framework.


These things are possible with our current framework. They can be built with low level components. Not a trivial task to make changes that affect the whole GUI, but it's possible.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 27, 2018, 07:41:13 pm
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 27, 2018, 01:01:53 pm
You're still explaining personal problems, that are inherent to you, not everyone. People have plainly said it doesn't bother them, like me. I can see the preview just fine.

He is not speaking solely for himself, myself and others have already made similar comments.  Calling his comments a "personal problem, that are inherent to you, not everyone" is dismissive to him as well as others of us who've made similar comments. 

These are general usability problems he's relating, and contrary to your assertion, not everyone else is "fine" with Terragen as it is in that regard.  The whole point of the post I had to split into multiple parts was to give multiple examples for different scenarios where the general lack of "standard" 3D placement/orientation tools made many different aspects of Terragen much more difficult to use than necessary. 

He's referring to a specific case, but his specific case is part of a genre of problems I mentioned as well.  He's not the only user who finds this genre of issues a problem in daily use, there are many more (including myself).  Further, some of the forum posts where others report difficult with the existing inputs, are themselves also scenarios where access to more standard 3D interactive placement/orientation interfaces would mitigate or even eliminate their problems.

One of the problems with strict numeric entry is that the preview/RTP views do not really provide a good means of visualizing where specific locations fall within Terragen's "world coordinate space".  If you start doing any sort of serious look at 3D inputs and interaction efficiencies (look at SIGCHI, ACM, IEEE for starters) you'll see there's been a LOT of research into the efficiencies of different means of navigating within and controlling placement/orientation of entities in multiscale 3D environments (which is what Terragen manifests).  To say that research has shown manual input of numeric values as primary means of 3D positioning/orientation is inefficient would be an immense understatement.  Even the most basic in-environment mechanisms for 3D manipulation are vastly more efficient and give users much greater situational awareness of how their actions fit into the overall environment.

Matt / Oshyan, I'd strongly recommend at least perusing the following papers:

Luca Chittaro , Roberto Ranon , Lucio Ieronutti, 3D object arrangement for novice users: the effectiveness of combining a first-person and a map view, Proceedings of the 16th ACM Symposium on Virtual Reality Software and Technology, November 18-20, 2009, Kyoto, Japan

Taylor Sando , Melanie Tory , Pourang Irani, Effects of animation, user-controlled interactions, and multiple static views in understanding 3D structures, Proceedings of the 6th Symposium on Applied Perception in Graphics and Visualization, September 30-October 02, 2009, Chania, Crete, Greece

Melanie Tory, Torsten Moller, M. Stella Atkins, and Arthur E. Kirkpatrick. 2004. Combining 2D and 3D views for orientation and relative position tasks. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '04). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 73-80. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/985692.985702

Melanie Tory , Arthur E. Kirkpatrick , M. Stella Atkins , Torsten Moller, Visualization Task Performance with 2D, 3D, and Combination Displays, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, v.12 n.1, p.2-13, January 2006

Tina Ziemek, Sarah Creem-Regehr, William Thompson, and Ross Whitaker. 2012. Evaluating the effectiveness of orientation indicators with an awareness of individual differences. ACM Trans. Appl. Percept. 9, 2, Article 7 (June 2012), 23 pages. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2207216.2207218

James McCrae, Michael Glueck, Tovi Grossman, Azam Khan, and Karan Singh. 2010. Exploring the design space of multiscale 3D orientation. In Proceedings of the International Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI '10), Giuseppe Santucci (Ed.). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 81-88. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/1842993.1843008

They explore improvement areas where Terragen has some specific issues, including users' navigation of their view position in terms of the world coordinate space, general placement/orientation of objects in 3D environments, and in terms of helping users understand general spatial relationships and orientations in a "big picture" sense.  A couple also touch on why relying on a single 3D view is inefficient/problematic for users in 3D navigation / placement / orientation tasks.

I leave the research into why nigh-all 2D & 3D apps have abandoned numeric entry of coordinates and measurements as a primary means of areal/spatial placement/orientation, and now support it as a secondary "special use case" mechanism, to the reader. 

You'll need to go back to the 90s and before, but there is actually a fairly decent amount of research metrics still available explaining why interactive, in-view UI approaches replaced numeric entry of coordinates and orientations as primary input mechanisms among CAD and Visualization applications (2D & 3D), and slightly later in the then-infant 2D & 3D graphics/media application market. 

Hint:  Those changes had nothing to do with wanting to make CAD and Visualization apps' UIs "fancier" (irrelevant, to those markets' customers), and just about everything to do with maximizing productivity and "comprehensibility" while minimizing user errors -- among the highest priority concerns of customers in the CAD and Visualization markets.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 27, 2018, 11:51:46 pm
Thanks John.

The RTP is missing a lot of the features that are available in the preview in non-RTP mode, but these are planned to be brought into RTP mode this year. Specifically manipulation handles for objects, cameras, lights and shaders which have them, as well as coordinate selection for pasting into numeric fields. You're probably aware that these things exist in Terragen and your concerns go well beyond just those, but I mention this just in case you're not. At the moment you have to go back to non-RTP mode to do many things but the end goal is for RTP to be at least as useful as non-RTP.

We also have orthographic view modes in the preview, but they are not as easy to use as I'd like. We could do with a quad view.

Documentation is an ongoing battle for us. Work is being done on this at the moment and we will keep pushing this forward. We are going to expand our team this year to move faster on documentation and training materials.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 28, 2018, 01:42:32 am
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 11:51:46 pm
Thanks John.

The RTP is missing a lot of the features that are available in the preview in non-RTP mode, but these are planned to be brought into RTP mode this year. Specifically manipulation handles for objects, cameras, lights and shaders which have them, as well as coordinate selection for pasting into numeric fields. You're probably aware that these things exist in Terragen and your concerns go well beyond just those, but I mention this just in case you're not. At the moment you have to go back to non-RTP mode to do many things but the end goal is for RTP to be at least as useful as non-RTP.

We also have orthographic view modes in the preview, but they are not as easy to use as I'd like. We could do with a quad view.

Documentation is an ongoing battle for us. Work is being done on this at the moment and we will keep pushing this forward. We are going to expand our team this year to move faster on documentation and training materials.


Is the RTP also suppose to be so slow? This is another concern I have with Terragen's System Requirements. My 4 core won't get back 4/4 for well over an hour. Making it essentially useless and just a block show. Might as well do a preview render in low quality.

Quote from: jwiede on July 27, 2018, 07:41:13 pm
He is not speaking solely for himself, myself and others have already made similar comments.  Calling his comments a "personal problem, that are inherent to you, not everyone" is dismissive to him as well as others of us who've made similar comments. 

These are general usability problems he's relating, and contrary to your assertion, not everyone else is "fine" with Terragen as it is in that regard.  The whole point of the post I had to split into multiple parts was to give multiple examples for different scenarios where the general lack of "standard" 3D placement/orientation tools made many different aspects of Terragen much more difficult to use than necessary. 


Again. Colour tones and icons are irrelevant to usability, and quantify subjective personal taste. This is not an argument, it's empirical fact. That was the main argument that was actually taking place. I in fact agreed to many optimization and improvement suggestions.

Quote from: jwiede on July 27, 2018, 07:41:13 pm
He's referring to a specific case, but his specific case is part of a genre of problems I mentioned as well.  He's not the only user who finds this genre of issues a problem in daily use, there are many more (including myself).  Further, some of the forum posts where others report difficult with the existing inputs, are themselves also scenarios where access to more standard 3D interactive placement/orientation interfaces would mitigate or even eliminate their problems.


I'm referring to GUI assets, again. And again while rarely this is brought up, it seems every time, users tend to agree more towards leaving the GUI alone. Not the other way around. This isn't just this topic.

Quote from: jwiede on July 27, 2018, 07:41:13 pm
...

I leave the research into why nigh-all 2D & 3D apps have abandoned numeric entry of coordinates and measurements as a primary means of areal/spatial placement/orientation, and now support it as a secondary "special use case" mechanism, to the reader. 


An ironic statement considering none have, and where there isn't an ability for raw input, there is a lot of request support for and support tickets about being limited to GUI quirks. The one thing that is uniform between systems is raw data, and is usually always available in good production level software.  ::) In fact, raw, primary inputs usually come before their alternatives.





Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Dune on July 28, 2018, 01:52:56 am
QuoteAnd when, like you mentioned, discovered something new, it should be shared in documentation

I'm afraid not. I like helping (some) people, but I spend an awful lot of (unpaid) time working up ways to get things working in TG. I'm not putting that all online for lurkers who never post or help) and just grab and earn. By the way, I've posted tons of workable files over the years, just not everything. And if something works in my lines of nodes, I can't just pull that out as a tgc and post it for other uses. It's all interdependable, and I don't sometimes even understand what I've done a year ago if it's a bit more complicated.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: WAS on July 28, 2018, 01:58:23 am
Quote from: Dune on July 28, 2018, 01:52:56 am
QuoteAnd when, like you mentioned, discovered something new, it should be shared in documentation

I'm afraid not. I like helping (some) people, but I spend an awful lot of (unpaid) time working up ways to get things working in TG. I'm not putting that all online for lurkers who never post or help) and just grab and earn. By the way, I've posted tons of workable files over the years, just not everything. And if something works in my lines of nodes, I can't just pull that out as a tgc and post it for other uses. It's all interdependable, and I don't sometimes even understand what I've done a year ago if it's a bit more complicated.


By that I mean essential things people struggle/question. For example the transparency issues, recently, or further back with coloured glass or like Bobby's Stained Glass. Not like "How I make photo-realistic tundra" or something.

Though fun stuff like that is helpful, more just tutorials. What I mean is examples of what these functions can do. More than a lot of them have pretty vague explanations. Especially when it comes to functions.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Dune on July 28, 2018, 02:19:01 am
Sure, that's no problem.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Prometheus on July 28, 2018, 06:23:55 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 28, 2018, 01:42:32 am

Again. Colour tones and icons are irrelevant to usability, and quantify subjective personal taste. This is not an argument, it's empirical fact. That was the main argument that was actually taking place. I in fact agreed to many optimization and improvement suggestions.




Where did you learn this? where is the scientific studies, researches and tests that validates what you assert about color tones and icons being irrelevant to usability?
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 28, 2018, 08:09:55 pm
Quote from: Prometheus on July 28, 2018, 06:23:55 am
Quote from: WASasquatch on July 28, 2018, 01:42:32 am

Again. Colour tones and icons are irrelevant to usability, and quantify subjective personal taste. This is not an argument, it's empirical fact. That was the main argument that was actually taking place. I in fact agreed to many optimization and improvement suggestions.


Where did you learn this? where is the scientific studies, researches and tests that validates what you assert about color tones and icons being irrelevant to usability?


Probably not from the following papers...   ;D

Aliaksei Miniukovich and Antonella De Angeli. 2015. Visual diversity and user interface quality. In Proceedings of the 2015 British HCI Conference(British HCI '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 101-109. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2783446.2783580

Bodrogi, P. Chromaticity contrast in visual search on the multi-colour user interface Displays, Volume 24, Issue 1, February 2003, pp. 39--48

Gilles Tabart, Stéphane Conversy, Jean-Luc Vinot, and Sylvie Athènes. 2008. Designing Graphical Elements for Cognitively Demanding Activities: An Account on Fine-Tuning for Colors. In Interactive Systems. Design, Specification, and Verification, T. C. Graham and Philippe Palanque (Eds.). Lecture Notes In Computer Science, Vol. 5136. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 136-148. DOI=http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-540-70569-7_13


Katharina Reinecke , Tom Yeh , Luke Miratrix , Rahmatri Mardiko , Yuechen Zhao , Jenny Liu , Krzysztof Z. Gajos, Predicting users' first impressions of website aesthetics with a quantification of perceived visual complexity and colorfulness, Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, April 27-May 02, 2013, Paris, France  [doi>10.1145/2470654.2481281]

Aliaksei Miniukovich and Antonella De Angeli. 2014. Quantification of interface visual complexity. In Proceedings of the 2014 International Working Conference on Advanced Visual Interfaces (AVI '14). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 153-160. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2598153.2598173

Duncan, J. and Humphreys, G. W. 1989. Visual search and stimulus similarity. Psychological Review, 96, 3, 433--458.

M. Zen and J. Vanderdonckt. Towards an evaluation of graphical user interfaces aesthetics based on metrics. In M. Bajec, M. Collard, and R. DeneckÃÍre, editors, IEEE 8th International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science, RCIS 2014, Marrakech, Morocco, May 28-30, 2014, pages 1--12. IEEE, 2014.
   
Aliaksei Miniukovich and Antonella De Angeli. 2015. Computation of Interface Aesthetics. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1163-1172. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702575

Simon Harper , Eleni Michailidou , Robert Stevens, Toward a definition of visual complexity as an implicit measure of cognitive load, ACM Transactions on Applied Perception (TAP), v.6 n.2, p.1-18, February 2009  [doi>10.1145/1498700.1498704]

Therese Dries-Tönnies, Axel Platz, Michael Burmester, Magdalena Laib, and Nathalie Blanc. 2015. Visual Characteristics' Inherent Impact on People's Strategic Orientation. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA '15). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 1863-1868. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/2702613.2732915

Elliot, J. A., Maier, A. M., Moller, C. A., Friedman, R. & Meinhardt, J. (2007): Color and psychological functioning: the effect of red on performance attainment. Journal of experimental psychology, 136(1), 154--68
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 28, 2018, 11:32:37 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 11:51:46 pm
Thanks John.

The RTP is missing a lot of the features that are available in the preview in non-RTP mode, but these are planned to be brought into RTP mode this year. Specifically manipulation handles for objects, cameras, lights and shaders which have them, as well as coordinate selection for pasting into numeric fields. You're probably aware that these things exist in Terragen and your concerns go well beyond just those, but I mention this just in case you're not. At the moment you have to go back to non-RTP mode to do many things but the end goal is for RTP to be at least as useful as non-RTP.


I'm aware that many of those things exist, but there are some painful limitations there as well.  For example, the inability to manipulate multiple objects/instances/etc. at once is frustrating in extrema.  Having to iterate manually through dozens or more instances among a population just to do grouped transforms, etc. is highly inefficient and onerous (and prone to mistakes).  For an app so focused around large-population data sets, the current limitations in this regard are, again, highly frustrating.

A related, oft-frustrating issue is the general lack of ability to easily adjust relative positioning, orientation, and alignment among groups of entities (objects, instances, etc.).  Attempting fancier array- or radially-organized (packed or isometric) positioning of large numbers of objects or entities is a painfully time-consuming exercise in frustration.  If/when multi-entity in-view transform/rotation operations are added, please also ensure users are given adequate tools to easily adjust relative positions, alignments, and orientations amongst those selected multi-entity groups.  As a stretch goal, also give users the ability to arbitrary inject jitter/noise into other placement/orientation adjustments of groups, to produce more natural results -- options like poisson and different noise-based or -modified distributions would also be useful in that regard.

The coordinate selection can be helpful for many basic tasks, no question.  However, having better sense of how the scale of the item in question "fits" into the current view during manipulation, as well as generally better signposting as to where the view and entities within "sit" in the overall coordinate space would also make manipulation and coordinate entry much easier.  Some sort of dynamic, multiscale grid/workplane mechanism would certainly help there, as would tools to do easy in-view absolute and relative measurements, as well as (better) HUD-type information detailing positioning/orientation during in-view manipulations of entities.

Just some things to consider.  I certainly don't expect everything I've mentioned to change overnight, but even a sense things are moving towards better solutions and capabilities in some of these areas would be greatly appreciated.

Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 11:51:46 pm
We also have orthographic view modes in the preview, but they are not as easy to use as I'd like. We could do with a quad view.


A quad view would certainly help, as generally would easier in-view abilities to switch between different orthographic and camera views.  Ability to link different orthographic views during view orientation would also be highly useful, and I've not seen any way to (easily, anyway) do so in the current UI.

Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 11:51:46 pm
Documentation is an ongoing battle for us. Work is being done on this at the moment and we will keep pushing this forward. We are going to expand our team this year to move faster on documentation and training materials.


Understandable, and a battle all software producers face.  I'm glad to hear you intend to increase staffing in order to focus more effort on updating docs.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on July 29, 2018, 09:09:53 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 27, 2018, 04:26:35 am
While I appreciate the support, I don't think the "one man" or "small team" argument is very compelling here. To the buyer, it's about value for money. A possible response that argument is "that's fine that you are a small team with fewer new features, but you should charge less". The current pricing is a weighted consideration of many factors. The truth is that many of our users do see value for money and anticipate return on investment at the current prices. But many people won't. That is actually one of the main reasons we decided to switch to a Maintenance model. Previously, if you wanted upgrade from Terragen 3 to Terragen 4, you had no choice in how much you paid. Users who are using it everyday professionally would pay the same upgrade price as a casual user, and that didn't seem fair in our view. Now with Maintenance you get to choose how often you update your Maintenance. Those customers who are really benefiting from regular updates are paying the $249 per year. While those who are less enthusiastic can choose to pay however frequently they want. I think this is fairer. But it's a complex topic and there are various viewpoints on this. We're listening, and we'll consider making adjustments.


Matt, the big difference now is that current "perpetual" license owners no longer receive bug fixes without maintenance, so it isn't quite true that "perpetual" are same as before.  In order for perpetual license owners to get bug fixes, etc. we have to pay for maintenance.

Previously, we'd pay for version upgrades, but we would also get the interim fixes and updates throughout the version as part of our upgrade cost.  The upgrade cost still occurs, but us "perpetual" license owners are now actually getting significantly less for that upgrade cost because we're only receiving a year's worth of fixes.  That's less value for cost received.

If the upgrade were significantly cheaper, the annual maintenance cost would be more tolerable.  However, the combination of the relatively-high upgrade pricing (in % of new license cost), and the new addition of relatively-significant (in % of new license cost) annual maintenance cost to obtain ongoing fixes beyond a year is asking a lot.  That's especially true given the annual maintenance cost does not guarantee covering a new version upgrade. 

In fact, based on prior length of version development cycles (and current position in v4's cycle at 4.2), it is actually unlikely my next year's maintenance cost (if purchased now) will include a new version upgrade.  It wouldn't be until the following annual maintenance period a new version upgrade would likely be covered.  That means I'll pay the v3->v4 upgrade cost plus (at least) two annual maintenance period fees to get to the next version -- that adds up to more than the cost of an entire new license, which IMO is asking too much. 

I really hope that helps explain where I'm coming from with my complaint about the pricing structure. 

Also, I'd love to use a Creative license, but it is missing critical (basic, IMO) 3D IO features, thus anyone who needs to interact with other 3D content/apps (like me) is more or less required to purchase the Professional license.  The Creative license is also missing EXR output and image-processing capabilities, and that seriously limits Terragen's ability to produce decent images at all, IMO. 

I use Terragen as a hobbyist, but were I restricted to just what the Creative license offered, I probably wouldn't use Terragen at all.  Unfortunately, that appears to be where the Professional license pricing structure is pushing me anyway.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 30, 2018, 12:51:09 am
Quote from: jwiede on July 29, 2018, 09:09:53 pm
Matt, the big difference now is that current "perpetual" license owners no longer receive bug fixes without maintenance, so it isn't quite true that "perpetual" are same as before.  In order for perpetual license owners to get bug fixes, etc. we have to pay for maintenance.

Previously, we'd pay for version upgrades, but we would also get the interim fixes and updates throughout the version as part of our upgrade cost.  The upgrade cost still occurs, but us "perpetual" license owners are now actually getting significantly less for that upgrade cost because we're only receiving a year's worth of fixes.  That's less value for cost received.


Our policy is to release critical bug fixes as updates to versions quite a long time after maintenance has expired, and to be generous with minor improvements that don't constitute major features. If 4.1.00 were to fall within a person's maintenance period, then they would also be eligible for any 4.1.xx updates. We have parallel support branches of the code for this purpose. For example, the latest version of 4.1 (4.1.25) was released on July 10th of this year (it's just a coincidence that we also release 4.2 that day), and even those people who pre-ordered TG4 as far back as 2015 are eligible for this update. Our official maintenance cutoff date for 4.2 is January 21, 2018, but we are still releasing 4.1 updates for people who paid over 2½ years ago. This isn't something we're advertising, but we've been doing this while we are still working up to a faster development pace. Granted, there weren't any major features 4.1.25, only minor improvements and bug fixes.

Quote
If the upgrade were significantly cheaper, the annual maintenance cost would be more tolerable.  However, the combination of the relatively-high upgrade pricing (in % of new license cost), and the new addition of relatively-significant (in % of new license cost) annual maintenance cost to obtain ongoing fixes beyond a year is asking a lot.  That's especially true given the annual maintenance cost does not guarantee covering a new version upgrade. 


I have a different opinion on whether the upgrade price as a percentage of new license cost is particularly high compared to other software in the industry, but we may be looking at different sources. I will do some more research and see if we've fallen out of step.

Quote
In fact, based on prior length of version development cycles (and current position in v4's cycle at 4.2), it is actually unlikely my next year's maintenance cost (if purchased now) will include a new version upgrade.  It wouldn't be until the following annual maintenance period a new version upgrade would likely be covered.  That means I'll pay the v3->v4 upgrade cost plus (at least) two annual maintenance period fees to get to the next version -- that adds up to more than the cost of an entire new license, which IMO is asking too much.


I'm pretty sure 4.3 will be released in 2018, and probably 4.4 too. I realise that the timing from 4.1 to 4.2 would make you skeptical though. Because of this we added a grace period of a few months for 4.2 eligibility (it includes anyone whose maintenance was still valid on January 21 - this date is based on when 4.2 first went into alpha testing).

Quote
I really hope that helps explain where I'm coming from with my complaint about the pricing structure.


Yes, I think it does. I doubt my responses above will change your mind, but I hope I've given you a bit more insight into the kind of maintenance policy we're trying to enact.

Quote
Also, I'd love to use a Creative license, but it is missing critical (basic, IMO) 3D IO features, thus anyone who needs to interact with other 3D content/apps (like me) is more or less required to purchase the Professional license.  The Creative license is also missing EXR output and image-processing capabilities, and that seriously limits Terragen's ability to produce decent images at all, IMO. 

I use Terragen as a hobbyist, but were I restricted to just what the Creative license offered, I probably wouldn't use Terragen at all.  Unfortunately, that appears to be where the Professional license pricing structure is pushing me anyway.


Our aim is to find an ideal set of features to differentiate Creative from Professional without taking too much away from Creative. Right now we have a fairly even balance between sales of Creative and Professional, but Maintenance is biased toward Professional. We're listening to feedback on that, and I'm sure there will be adjustments in future as we get a better picture of what people want. We are considering the possibility of bringing more IO/inter-app features from the Professional Edition to Creative, but if we do that, what features do you think should be Pro-only to keep the non-hobbyists choosing Professional?

Matt
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: N-drju on July 30, 2018, 02:11:38 am
To be absolutely honest with you... I also think TG is ridiculously overpriced and I would have probably never used it if it was not a gift.  ::)

700$...? Pleeeaaaase.... Some people in my country don't even earn that much in a month. ::) Matt, believe me when I say it's expensive. Don't compare with other software. Compare with people's wallets...

I yet have to see the "gravity" making a debut in Terragen. ::) Because, through all those years, trees still point directly upwards instead of being aligned relative to the planet's core-to-surface line.

Then you need to ask yourself a question - is it right to charge such a cost onto someone who, for example, rarely even uses blue nodes? I know it's impossible, but to be idealistically just, one should be able to pay 30% of the original price if they don't bother using certain stuff. Why should they be charged for it?


Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Matt on July 30, 2018, 04:08:47 am
N-drju,

I was commenting on the price of upgrades as a percentage of initial price, not the initial price itself.

I know $699 is a lot of money, but that is for the Professional edition, and there is a market at that level where it is reasonable IMO to compare with other software. But that isn't the only version of Terragen. I'm not sure it's fair to pick out the most expensive version without mentioning the Creative edition. At $349 that's also expensive for many people, but it's a lot less than $700 so let's start there. We are looking for ways to make Creative better value for money.

About paying for "blue nodes", I get you. I think it would be great if we could offer a version that doesn't allow you to edit them for a lower prices. While developing TG2 we envisioned a modular product system that would allow you to choose which features were important to you and to pay only for what you wanted to use. Both Vue and Mojoworld tried that. I don't know how well it worked for them or their users, but it looked very complicated to me. Even a simpler version of this for TG3 (just treating animation as an optional module and the "pro" features as another), we found it difficult to handle in practise so we simplified things for TG4. I don't see many CG software vendors doing the modular approach these days, and I understand why.

Having said that, I still really want to produce a version of Terragen that lets you work without a node network and/or a version that has the network minus the ability to edit blue nodes.

Matt
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Marander on July 30, 2018, 02:49:25 pm
The initial pricing of TG Creative / Professional is absolutely OK in my opinion. This is a specialized software.

Look what other options are on the market. There are basically two alternatives, one is a much more expensive landscape package at its full version (about $2k with 1y maintenance), maintenance renewals need to be purchased within 30 days after expiration and uses node locking. On the other hand it offers more functionality or lower versions without these pro features. The second software alternative for procedural landscape rendering is a very complex complete 3d solution and rental only. Other landscape software produce mainly height maps. They are a great additions for Terragen and not competing products in my opinion. Best is if you can use a combination of different landscape solutions, each have their pro's and con's in my experience. So overall, a fair price to me.

There are various more expensive hobbies (and 3d software), compared to that TG is very affordable.

Also I find it OK that the additional export options for workflow integration / compositing are in the Pro version only. If these features were in the Creative version, I might not have chosen Professional. It would then be more or less a difference about with or without animation features and for that the price difference would seem too large to me. It's the same in the other landscape package, some of these workflow features are also only in the Professional line of products.

What would be interesting is a discount offer a for maintenance renewal when purchasing as early bird or quick upgrader within a certain period (couple of days when maintenance expires). That would make it more interesting for users that keep the software up to date / loyal customers.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: KlausK on July 30, 2018, 04:34:04 pm
"What would be interesting is a discount offer a for maintenance renewal when purchasing as early bird or quick upgrader within a certain period (couple of days when maintenance expires). That would make it more interesting for users that keep the software up to date / loyal customers."

That`s quite a good idea to consider, I think.
CHeers, Klaus
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: pokoy on August 01, 2018, 10:50:15 am
Just to add my thoughts - not that they're worth anything ;)

I was a bit surprised by the fact that TG now has a maintenance model, I must have missed the announcement for some reason. Also, the price of TG seems to be higher than back when I purchased. With that said, I'm using TG professionally so I'm personally fine with the price for the Pro version, but still, the maintenance fee feels a bit high. On the other hand, I'll always support small shops with a vision and I think that you guys need to be able to make a living while giving us continued support so I really don't want to complain too much.

Matt, you said:
QuoteHaving said that, I still really want to produce a version of Terragen that lets you work without a node network and/or a version that has the network minus the ability to edit blue nodes.


I'm really not sure if this is a good solution. TBH this is one of the main reaons I left the world of Vue. It may leave your users with the feeling that their software flavor is left incomplete by purpose. Also, maintaining documentation for 5 flavors of the same application can be very complicated for you, and very confusing for your users. I remember I got frustrated heavily with Vue after I found out that their documentation didn't mention that my crippled version didn't support a few things that I desperately needed, I abandoned Vue a few weeks after that with the feeling of being told lies about the abilities of the software I purchased. I wouldn't want to see the same happening with TG; if you still want to do this, make sure people are aware of any limitations en detail upfront.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jaf on August 01, 2018, 03:28:59 pm
"I'm really not sure if this is a good solution. TBH this is one of the main reaons I left the world of Vue. It may leave your users with the feeling that their software flavor is left incomplete by purpose. Also, maintaining documentation for 5 flavors of the same application can be very complicated for you, and very confusing for your users. I remember I got frustrated heavily with Vue after I found out that their documentation didn't mention that my crippled version didn't support a few things that I desperately needed, I abandoned Vue a few weeks after that with the feeling of being told lies about the abilities of the software I purchased. I wouldn't want to see the same happening with TG; if you still want to do this, make sure people are aware of any limitations en detail upfront."

I would agree with you.  I think most complaints were not that the program is too complicated, but that the UI could make some tasks simpler without impacting creativeness.  Maybe attracting more users could lower the maintenance renew cost a bit.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: Yanik on August 02, 2018, 12:09:58 pm
Hi. I bought Terragen Professional this week so I am very new to the application, but I have been following the updates.
I do environment design as a hobby and use a variety of tools.

I bought Terragen for its ability to generate clouds, overhangs, planets and because it's quite easy to setup renders.

My positive impressions so far:

- The UI is easy to learn. Visually not so attractive, but it doesn't bother me. I love the node based workflow.
- The clouds and atmosphere look great. Much much much better than VUE.
- Easy to place nodes by grabbing the coordinates. Very easy to inspect the scene.

My negative impressions so far:
- The pricing is too high, but luckily not as high as the overpriced Vue.
- The documentation is very poor.
- There aren't much tutorials to be found. The ones of Vladimir Chopine aren't that good. Learning this application will be very hard me.
- I also use Clarisse and really like that renderer. The lighting/shading in Terragen has this cg'ish look as if ambient lighting is used. It throws me off a bit. I hope the new path tracer will come out soon.
- The shading workflow is quite slow. You often have to make many test renders.
- Frame buffer is quite limited. It also hangs a while after each render.

Things I'd like to see added/changed:
- While experimenting I often play with the values. I'd love to reset values to their default state without undoing.
- Quicker ways of exporting out to different applications.
- I'd like to have the ability to randomly scatter heightmaps. The Crater node looks very cool, but it's of no use if you can't scatter it. The Shader Array is not what I'm searching for, it should be random.

So far I'm liking Terragen. I need to figure out what all the nodes can do. I see many handy function nodes, but have no clue how to use them. I would like to use the Voronoi or Perlin noise nodes for displacing or coloring surfaces. I'd love to see information on building own shaders.

*** Edit ***

I have been playing some more with it the last few days. I have been testing many of the blue nodes to see what's possible. My impression is quite negative regarding blue node workflow.

Things which hugely let me down:
- I don't see a way to combine nodes into one node(macro) and expose certain parameters. Just try making your own noise function with a few octaves and you get unreadable spaghetti. The group or clip system is not what I want. Macros can help your community to grow and make the application more popular.
- Value remapping. There are no remapping functions you have to build them from scratch and create more spaghetti. Also a curve editor is missing to remap values with a bezier curve. You're stuck to basic math functions.
- Artistic utility nodes are missing. From basic color correction tools like HSB, Levels, Brightness & Contrast. These are basic functions which you often use. Why not give us the possibility to do this in 1 node instead of having to add so many nodes?

The whole blue node workflow is quite counterproductive and frustrating.
Title: Re: High ongoing cost, relatively low "improvements".
Post by: jwiede on August 10, 2018, 02:39:15 pm
Quote from: Matt on July 30, 2018, 12:51:09 am
Quote from: jwiede on July 29, 2018, 09:09:53 pm
In fact, based on prior length of version development cycles (and current position in v4's cycle at 4.2), it is actually unlikely my next year's maintenance cost (if purchased now) will include a new version upgrade.  It wouldn't be until the following annual maintenance period a new version upgrade would likely be covered.  That means I'll pay the v3->v4 upgrade cost plus (at least) two annual maintenance period fees to get to the next version -- that adds up to more than the cost of an entire new license, which IMO is asking too much.


I'm pretty sure 4.3 will be released in 2018, and probably 4.4 too. I realise that the timing from 4.1 to 4.2 would make you skeptical though. Because of this we added a grace period of a few months for 4.2 eligibility (it includes anyone whose maintenance was still valid on January 21 - this date is based on when 4.2 first went into alpha testing).


I'm talking about when v5 will be released.  Effectively the "big payoff" for maintenance subscribers is to have a version upgrade happen within the maintenance term, and that seems unlikely to happen for Terragen in the next year (maintenance period).  That's what I'm referring to when I cite upgrade cost plus two years of maintenance:  If the next version doesn't come within the next year of maintenance (and by your statements above, that seems unlikely), then customers like me who purchased during v4 initial presale are typically going to wind up paying upgrade (v3->v4) plus (at least) two years of maintenance before the next "version payoff" is covered by maintenance (in this case, v4->v5).

Anyway, I think I've made my point clearly enough.  Thanks for the discussion.

P.S. Your antispam filters are set much too sensitive, even previewing a post twice after making a change caused them to stop responding to the connection.  It's making it next to impossible to properly edit forum posts.