Are you AD guys getting enough feedback? Just curious.
I cannot answer for them, but it seems to me to be a rhetorical question?! How could they not love all this “crowd sourcing” of fault finding and of opinions they can trawl through to refine the interface and the workflow. My only worry is that ‘the crowd’ might not sometimes know what is best for them in the mid-term and end up asking for a product that ‘waters down’ Smokes handleability u.s.p.’s, to mix my elements. Much as I can appreciate the direction that Smoke is taking, there are reasons that it does some of the things it does and I don’t want the drop down and contextual menus to replace, for example and an exemplar, all those wonderfully placed buttons. My own voice in the crowd ‘feedback’ is to have the buttons for those with tablets and have the drop downs for those who want them. I think you really can have your cake and eat it also?
On one matter of concrete feedback. Although I like and can live with the new interface, that ribbon for effects just above the timeline really needs some design work doing to it. The more I look at it the more weird it looks! It, looks, weird! Obviously ‘something’ needs to be there to take up all the effects info, but it is just plain strange the way it suddenly runs out just above the editorial mode box. The soft shadow also makes it stick out all the more, like some floating freaky thing. It looks ok as you look at it on the left hand side, but if you ‘just’ look at it on the right, it is WEIRD. Perhaps it could fade off as it reaches the end? Perhaps it could round off at the end? Perhaps it could go all the way across and be sectioned at one end to include other things (like a customised zone for buttons that contain user options like razor, etc. like Liquid did?).
In any event this ‘running out bar’, as it is, looks really unsightly and lets down a well designed interface. If I am also feeling critical, I would say that some of the icons (the overwrite, ripple, dustbin) are a little “clip arty’’ and do not have the requisite elegance. I actually thought that the old recycle sign had some elegance, while the new one is a little like something from out of ‘The Sims’…
I agree wholeheartedly about not losing the unique UI features that make Smoke so fast to work with. I loved Combustion for the same reason. With a tablet, I can just fly through tasks. It’s one of the main reasons I just can’t warm up to After Effects - the UI is a total mess, overly reliant on menus and palettes. FCP and Premiere are equally bad. You don’t need to have a tool icon for every function - that’s a holdover from the Photoshop/Adobe mentality that’s over a decade old. Overuse of icons and widgets clutters the UI and wastes screen real estate. The (formerly) Discreet “artist interface” ethos is a real differentiator with Smoke and Flame.
If you change Smoke’s UI to please every FCP and Premiere editor, you’ll totally kill everything that’s great about the UI. Just ignore the whining and let them actually spend some time to learn and try the Smoke UI before throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
You guys are awesome. We are reading each and every post on the forum and are getting a lot of very useful feedback.
We are diligently logging everything you report: bugs are reproduced and logged into our bugs database, feature/improvement requests are sent to the Product Management and Product Design teams.
Your help is invaluable and we thank you all for taking the time to put Smoke through its paces and for the very constructive criticism and feedback you’ve been posting this past week.
Autodesk Media & Entertainment Support