Restructuring the Skatter Window

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Moderator: jiminy-billy-bob

Restructuring the Skatter Window

Postby plot-paris » Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:30 pm

The discussion about a new name for the "Surface" panel got me thinking... do we really need two separate panels for "Surfaces" and "Areas"? I mulled it over in my mind and came up with the following idea:

Create two general Sections:

Skatter Areas
  • Density Falloff and Scale Falloff are a sub-section of the Skatter Areas panel
  • Contains all surfaces, objects, curves, etc.
  • these can be set to Include / Exclude mode (immediately visible via a small + or - symbol next to the name)
  • Falloffs can be set for each individual item
    or
  • several items can be grouped to form a set. If not specified otherwise, all items use the falloff settings of the set (a bit like CSS)
  • you can create a hierachical structure (Parent > Child) to have more complex interaction (a "child-object" that is set to Exclude will only affect its own parent object, but not other parent objects)

Skatter Objects
  • Distribution and Random Transformation are a sub-section of the Skatter Object panel
  • Contains all objects to be scattered
  • each object can have individual settings for distribution / transformation
  • here too, several items can be grouped to a set to have the same settings

I think this would make the interface more structured and easier to comprehend. And it would introduce additional, more complex ways to scatter / manipulate objects.

An example I came across where this would make things possible that currently aren't:
I scattered tall grass on a rectangular surface with big density falloff, so that the grass would gradually thin out towards the edges.
Now I wanted to draw a footpath through the middle of this meadow. I painted the path, set it to exclude... but because there is only one general falloff setting, instead of creating a sharp cutting line, the tall grass gradually faded out towards the footpath too...

With the new system, I could define different falloff settings for the parent-object (the main Skatter Area) and the child-object (the Exclude-Path), smoothly fading out the grass towards the borders, yet sharply cutting out the footpath...

Another benefit would be that we could have one Skatter Library item, containing both the large grass patch as well as the border grass patch - possible because they both can have separate falloff settings... even more awesome, now the proxies of these two different Skatter Objects could be displayed at the same time (maybe with different box-colors?)...

What do you think? Right now I can only see positive consequences with this new structure...

I would love to hear your thoughts about it.
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Re: Restructuring the Skatter Window

Postby jiminy-billy-bob » Tue Dec 01, 2015 11:15 pm

The whole UI/UX is bound to get a full overhaul. But not now, as this will require a lot of work and changes.

I won't respond it details for now to your post. This is a conversation we'll have later on :)
But I want you to know this is very helpfull, it was a very interesting read. It gave me nice ideas and guidelines.
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Re: Restructuring the Skatter Window

Postby plot-paris » Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:03 am

of course, these would be major changes. And its probably most important to get the tool into peoples hands before Christmas...

maybe Version 1.5 or 2.0 ;)
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