First embergen encounter issues

Hi,

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 :wink:

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Absolutely excellent write up and solid advice. As for the input lag, what GPU are you on? Everything is smooth as butter if your sim is smooth as butter… otherwise it’s going to be choppy.

For everything else, we’re doing a complete overhaul of product branding, UI/UX design, customer experience, and on the back end we’re pushing hard to get the 1st launch to being an 11 out of 10 experience for any new user. Very solid points though.

We do a lot of weird things for sure and we’re ironing it all out.

Thanks again for the writeup, expect to see these suggestions in within the next few months.

Hello,

sorry for late response. I missed the notification there was a reply on my thread (getting actual response from developer(s) is quite rare these days).

I am really happy to hear UI overhaul is in works. One of the big wishes in my regard would be more standardized UI layout, at least by default. If you look at Maya, 3ds Max, Fusion, Nuke, Unreal Engine, Unity, Blender, etc… pretty much every single of them has main properties panel on the right side, which confusingly, Embergen has in on the left side. So it’d just be nice if it followed the same stantard.

As for the lag issue, I am on GTX1080Ti, so that should be fine I hope. I don’t have any issue with framerate, it’s very fluid. The issue is that there seems to be some artificially introduced smoot interpolation of camera orbit that manifests itself as a frustrating lag. Basically when you start orbitting the view, it smoothly lags behind the cursor movement. It’s comparable to for example smooth stroke option in some painting programs, “mouse smoothing” parameter in some games, or an input lag caused when enabling Vsync on low refresh rate monitors (60Hz). It just makes everything feel very clumsy and imprecise, when navigating the viewport. I can clearly see it also on the official Embergen videos on your channel.

EDIT: I just purchased Embergen as it seems to be very useful despite the issues. It’s still really good for being in a beta. A few more issues I found though:

1, Default installer location is wrong. No software should ever go to root (C:\EmberGenBeta). They belong to Program Files (or Program Files (x86) if EmberGen is not 64bit application).

2, After I purchased, I was redirected to a download page to download latest EmberGen. So I did. After I installed it, it prompted to check for updates at the start. So I did, and it found an update. If there was an update, why wasn’t the version on the download page up to date?

3, I ran the updater, but it ran very slowly at 3.24kb/s download speed for couple of minutes after which it failed with “The downloaded file “embergenbeta.0.5.5.1.to.0.5.5.2.wyu” failed the Adler32 validation.” error message.

I’ve recorded comparison between EmberGen and Blender viewport navigation at 120FPS and then encoded the video at 30 FPS, so it goes at 25% speed. The input lag should be clearly visible now. Blender viewport is very smooth and movement sticks to the mouse cursor almost perfectly, while EmberGen viewport just drifts around the mouse cursor motion as if it was drunk.