Enhancing the background 3D experience - Need your input

You all would have noticed the enhancement we did for the node<->geometry switching, here are some more ideas to move it forward. https://docs.google.com/a/adsk-oss.com/document/d/1RGeCJn-GxhyN4GZQ0YkqYqlboQpxWVZ6rJ1J4PC_3Pk/edit

The current usability problems with background 3D are

  1. No easy access to geometry view without leaving the node view
  2. Not enough data on the canvas about geometry
  3. No clear mapping from Geometry -> nodes

The proposed improvements aim to fix these. By no means the ideas are finalized, and so I look forwards to hearing your thoughts. You may add your comments below or add them in the same doc using the right click -> Comment.



Thanks for asking!. Just some fast initial comments:

-Staking nodes and geometry sound interesting. But what about to allow the geometry view in a different window, so we can fully use two screens. The normal window with the pull down menus and the library for the nodes and the separate window for the geometry.

-It is great that you are trying to achieve the best possible use of the buttons for pan and rotate. But please allow at least as an option the normal use that is consistent across many Autodesk applications. Revit between them.

-IMO there are some other important limitations in the 3d navigation
----no possibility of axo view. And not many control of the perspective view.
----The zoom extents always include the grid. So any geometry a bit far away can be problematic
----Really big models, in relation with the default grid seems to be not possible to navigate at all.
(and this three problems normally are combined somehow)

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Navigating the node structure might be easier if you could set certain nodes to stay pinned at a certain scale. Then, zooming out would allow the definition to become super simplified - similar to a custom node collapsed onto itself, however in a more zoom scale dynamic manner.

Another option would be to adopt a swim lane paradigm: inputs in one area, algorithm in the middle, outputs at the end. anything geographically located in a swim lane would have a set of grouping options for simplifying the organization.

When the geometry entity is selected, its corresponding nodes will be highlighted with opacity 50%.” will be welcome.

Would be nice if there is a right click ‘Zoom to Selection’ option for nodes that generate geometry with an automatic temporary shift to Geometry Mode (with an ESC back to Node mode).


Vikram Subbaiah

maybe using ctrl or alt or… could help to swap between nodes and geometry on the fly

What if… Call me crazy… you could select the Dynamo geometry and the nodes that created it are highlighted and zoomed/brought into focus? The toggle button to fade nodes or geometry is much improved over prior display, however I wonder if there’s a way to enhance the experience.

Maybe as someone else mentioned a split screen. I would favor tiled viewport toggle as in 3ds Max - showing both nodes and geometry in a single viewport, or nodes, geometry and possibly code in separate tiled views.

To extend the idea: If a live Revit window could be displayed inside a Dynamo viewport, then the application could always be full-screen, with Revit hiding underneath. That would be something’! Toggling back and forth is the least elegant thing about the way you navigate between Windows desktop applications.

Would it be possible to view geometry created by a node in the Watch 3D node even when the right click Preview is unchecked/turned off for that node?

With the background 3D serving the purpose, the Watch 3D node, presently seems to be redundant.


Vikram Subbaiah

I’m new to Dynamo, so take these suggestions with a grain of salt. I’m just working with it and trying to find what I naturally want it to do. I like a lot of the suggestions in the proposal, but I’d like to add a few.

First thing I noticed was that the geometry view scales with the window resize and the nodes do not. This was a bit of a distraction, because I also find myself occasionally mapping my nodes around parts of the geometry and I’m not always working full-screen.

Taking this a step further, it would be nice to be able to “lock” the scaling/positioning of the two views together, so you move one, you move the other. This way you could map node x,y to correspond to the x,y,z of the geometry and move around the “space” bringing up nodes relative to the geometry you’re looking at. This somewhat overlaps with just using Watch 3D in multiple places, but without the distraction of having the connecting edges.

In Node View, I’m really finding that I want the geometry to have a configurable level of opacity. Sometimes I want to see it clearly; sometimes I just want a ghost in the background.

Ability to turn off preview of geometry in geometry view from a selected an item.

Stacking Views – I almost want to have this side-by-side for a couple reasons. 16:9 monitors have more horizontal real-estate than vertical, so it may use the space better. A semi-weak argument, but It also fits a bit better into the Windows 8 paradigm of how docking apps next to the desktop works. The major drawback of this approach is that the node graph flows left to right, so it could really limit how much of the graph you can see and work with. It really depends more on how the typical user uses the node view at the moment. I may also be getting too comfortable with touch input, because I want to be able to “drag in” the geometry view from the side/bottom.

To that end though, I’d like to be able to have multiple views of the node-graph as well. That way you could keep certain views in focus at a selected area and switch to them rapidly (for instance, to change input values without having to scroll across a large graph). You could treat them almost like layers, with a list available and names that could be set by the user. This would also make dividing the working space (in any configuration) more useful.

A similar concept could be used for settable camera positions in geometry view. Because sometimes you always want to look at (or start looking at) something from a particular orientation and you may have more than one. Click a layer to reset to the saved position.


How about the ability to change the center of rotation when in geom mode