EmberGen Experience & Onboarding Suggestions (Asking for community feedback!)

So as per the stream that we just had on 0.5.3.0 we want suggestions on the onboarding and launch experience for EmberGen. What can we do to make using the software absolutely incredible.

Any suggestion is good, maybe a small tune plays or there an animated splash screen. Automated tutorials, more tutorials, more documentation. Anything goes!

What would you want our email content to be for onboarding, what sort of tips are you looking for in an email. Do you like the idea of email onboarding?

So basically this thread is to get suggestions on making your learning and user experience better and easier. Any thing that you go man that’s weird, or man i wish they did X when i launched the software is something you should speak up about!

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Coming from an animation background as opposed to games, I’m used to working with real world scales. This doesn’t seem to be possible currently. (The epic Volcano scene is only 8 meters for example!)
Would be great to be able to work this way and would have made my initial experiences somewhat smoother.

Embergen is still the coolest software on my computer currently, which is ironic as its dedicated to fire! :smiley:

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Just came from the stream and I’m happy the YT algo gods showed me your stream. As someone with a background in Maya but not using fluids much, I’d like to be able to see some tutorial content(especially recreating the preset effects like you mentioned) before burning the trial. Also a workflow for going between Embergen and Unreal would be sweet. Embergen looks very cool so far.

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Make Youtube series about certain Embergen topics. So when people search for Embergen like software they find Embergen all over the place. They will be drooling for years :slight_smile: Also put an tutorial option at the startup screen of Embergen in where you learn the most important basics of Embergen. I think that will be enough to keep people stuck free at will to Embergen for a very long time. I will buy this software, that is a fact. Only not just yet.

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Personally I’d really like some robust documentation. As someone who does a lot of look dev I can’t help but love how Arnold has it’s documentation laid out. Detailed explanation of settings and values and visual examples of of what they look like when you change them. It really helps people that just want to dive in and learn on the fly as well. It also helps you make more informed decisions before you start moving sliders around like crazy without having to scrub through a video to find what you need (Though video tutorials would still be appreciated) .

Oh less high on my list but an animated splash screen that was made using EmberGen would be a small but nice touch.

Thank you for the wonderful software! Can’t wait to see the improvements you guys make to it.

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Coming from Houdini, I think they have a nice way of prompting you to follow learning paths on the first run with a small pop up that you can switch off if you know what you are doing. They have made long strides in recent years to make the software for new starts not feel so intimidating, especially coming from other software like Maya. Some of the learning material aimed at these people include associations with the software they already know in the explanations of terms and layouts.

I think a video walk through of how to make the effects, step by step, is a good idea. From my experience people want to make an explosion fast so some thing simple for the first one, introducing them to the UI. Advanced users or people coming from other particle/volume software might want more detailed intro.

Having taught Houdini to beginners I would say to have something in the node window at boot up like a start node/header node, because blank spaces scare people.

Lego Boost uses Scratch to help teach children to code their motorized Lego . The “Boost” part are coded walk throughs, where you can’t progress to the next stage until you had done a task. A little annoying, but it has my 8yr old chasing her Lego cat around the room on a programed path and had it reacting to colour and light (via sensors and events), in an afternoon with no prior knowledge!!


Video for Frankie the cat - Skip all the build bits and look at the code bits. Yes, its very simple but very intuitive. It was very easy to see what each header or was associated with and how to program it.

I think Unity3D had some thing similar a couple versions ago (v5? - In-Editor tutorials?), where a code ran whilst you did a demo scene and prompted you to do certain tasks with annotation. Not progressing until you did the appointed task

Also from my teaching, I find simplifying the UI or making it familiar, helps alot to settle initial nerves. I dont think you can do a lot more to simplify the UI, but being able to move the various planes/windows around to a layout that is familiar also might help. I haven’t opened EmberGen in a couple months or seen the new UI to see if its possible, but I personally prefer my render window to be on the left and my parameters on top right. Nodes below that with the time line at the bottom. Similar to Houdini and Maya. Some might like nodes on top, parameters to the right and render below like Substance

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It would be very nice if you made small comments on your presets - what settings in this preset you need to pay attention to, what parameters allowed to achieve this result. or highlight by color them in the parameters of the nodes. Or tooltips when hovering over a parameter, with a visual explanation of how this parameter works

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Hi

I’m going nuts with it while I have the trial, and this post is just something I wanted to add and then add to randomly and whenever something crosses my mind, as I’m not organized enough to keep a pad of points and organize them later :wink:

STUFF & THINGS

  • Text primitives that can access your fonts, with scalable extrusion etc., caps and so on
  • Undo is a bit funky - it will often reset the viewport from camera to default view, so I’m generally avoiding it, which is a bit unusual. A few levels of undo would be really handy.
  • Probably just my laptop and overheating, but the numeric value boxes for everything are incredibly ‘sticky’. Change a value, press return, see it change, move pointer, oh no! pointer is still attached to value slider, blam goes the adjustment. Start over. Leave big pauses between changes and mouse (trackpad) movements, all fine, but I mean big pauses haha.
  • As mentioned in another thread, a buffer channel for primitives and separate alpha with or without primitives would be great for compositing.
  • Does upscaling the sim get translated to the vdb exports? It seemed not, but I may be mistaken.
  • Great renderer! Really fast, with great OOTB ‘looks’, much quicker than my experiments with Redshift on the vdb files at decent sample rate, if only we had an alpha channel for the primitives!
  • Timeline needs to be expandable really, it’s a bit small once you have a few attributes keyframed, but overall I like the layout and simplicity, limited buttons etc. I found everything really intuitive, personally, once explained. (shift click to navigate the node graph etc.)
  • Primitives aren’t visible until plugged into colliders and then the sim, but it would be very helpful if one could make them visible as emitters sometimes as well, while setting up and without needing to have the sim connected to see them.
  • Sub frame emission, fast emitters create a put-put-put fluid
  • A co-ordinate system for integration with eg C4D…it’s been fun eyeballing it and iterating, but damn
  • Moving mesh primitives would be amazeballs, OBJ sequences just fine by me.
  • the tooltips are cool, but the C4D function of almost everything in the UI having a help function with practical examples is just so useful, I miss it in all other software that lacks it. Epic task, for sure, but so so good for end users, who are almost all nerds and don;t mind reading technical stuff to skill up.
  • The save function doesn’t change the name of the open document, which is a bit confusing and could lead to over-writing files you don’t intend to
  • A configurable autosave, please God, with incremental naming or timestamps, even better
  • multiple cameras
  • Easing for the keyframes

I’ll come back when I think of more.

Love it a lot, I can imagine myself using it on so many things

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