I just downloaded EmberGen to give it a shot. I am aware that the software is still in beta, but I don’t think it necessarily has to feel like a beta. There are a few things that can help to polish it so that the first encounter of a new user with the software is not so jarring and frustrating.
The console window should be optional. It may not seem like a big deal, but on windows, when working with multiple open software, having a software comprised of two separate windows means that switching between windows through taskbar takes one more click, which is unnecessary source of frustration. It makes all the less sense given that the console window does not display any information meaningful for the end user.
There is a brutal amount of navigation lag in the viewport. Viewport navigation feels as if it had some smooth interpolation added. That is never a good idea as this is never perceived by user as smoothness, but rather as an input lag.
For a software like EmberGen, which is primarily intended to be used alongside othe software in a pipeline, not on its own, an industry standard navigation is a must. Right now, LMB orbits, MMB pans, and RMB looks around. That’s relatively fine, as it somewhat aligns with game engines. However DCC style navigation should also be supported. Alt+LMB should orbit but without the change that makes it orbit around the cursor, Alt+MMB should pan and Alt+RMB should zoom. Again, while it may not look like a big deal it makes a huge difference if you don’t have to switch your muscle memory when switching between different software you use in a single pipeline.
I know these 3 things individually sound like a petty requests, but together they’d significantly alter the first impression the software makes.
Imagine an experience of a new user who downloads the EmberGen:
You are greeted with a sketchy looking CMD window with ASCII art, definitely not up to standard with a commercial software. You then proceed to close the console window, as you are not interested in it and want to interact with the GUI instead. That’s when you encounter the first frustration as console window shuts down the entire software without any warning.
On the second attempt to use the software, you avoid closing the unnecessary console window and proceed to tumble around the viewport, noticing the lag, and immediately searching for some sort of Preferences window to find some sort of “Disable camera smoothing checkbox”.
After a failure to do so, you try navigating viewport a bit more, but it just does not feel right, as parts of navigation scheme align with the average of 3D software while others are completely off.
Compare that to an experience where you launch the software and you are immediately greeted with a simplistic UI of embergen without any console in the way, click in the viewport to see perfectly quick and responsive viewport, and immediately notice you can use the industry standard viewport navigation you are accustomed to.
(Alt+LMB/MMB/RMB to Orbit/Pan/Zoom aligns with Unreal Engine, Unity, Autodesk Maya, SideFX Houdini, Cinema 4D, Substance Painter, Blender in Industry Standard mode, etc…)
Also, one more keyboard shortcut that is very commonly shared across most of aforementioned software is F key to center camera on the object. It should definitely not be C