v10 Progress

I’ve decided to reorganize 3DC’s functions into four tabs: Build, Paint, Scene Layout and Animate. I think that is the typical order. The idea is that only those functions related to what you are doing at a given moment are displayed. Scene Layout would be for things like arrranging lighting, changing the hierarchy, etc.

Also, when something is selected a new tab opens that shows those functions related to whatever is selected. For example if you choose an edge you would have the “divide” operation, but not the fill operation on the ribbon. And only the most common operatios will be on the ribbon. Obscure things would only be visible if you chose “advanced”.

So it’s all about “context” in v10.

More to come on all of this. As soon as I have a roughed in design I’ll make it available for download in order to get feedback.

I think the transition will be really easy from v9 to v10 for experienced users. I’ll make the usual panels visible via options so you can keep using things pretty much as you have if you want.

Great stuff 🙂

Just upgraded my 2006 XP 32bit system to Windows 10 64bit and it’s working well so far, learning lots of new tricks.

Being XP I had to pay for the OS update – interestingly the money came from selling 3D printed models made using 3DC

3DC 9.3 worked first time, unlike a few other apps. Looking forward to 3DC 10 – it’s been a while since I did much modelling.

PaulGausden: “Being XP I had to pay for the OS update – interestingly the money came from selling 3D printed models made using 3DC”

Oh, I like that. 🙂

Today I am replacing the “Properties and Info” window with a slide out. It is realistically the only way to integrate it into a ribbon based environment. Besides, it is a bit more “modern” in my opinion.

So, you will be able to resize the properties and info slideout as you see fit. A click on the divider slides it in, or out.

One of the goals in v10 is to maximize the work space. My goal is to make it so that you can do pretty much everything with the construction and properties/info panels hidden.

It is really good to see this version taking shape

I look forward to upgrading

Geoff Potter

So… something interesting came up. I’m using the Windows Ribbon interface for v10. Slight problem. It is not possible to determine which tab on the ribbon has been pressed which means many of my ideas about “context” in v10 won’t work. Ok, it’s not a slight problem, it’s a major problem.

I’m looking at ways to “hack” it, but of course it has to be done in a reliable way. If not, then I’ll have to have less “context” in this version. A redesign.

Hi, I’m a professional C# programmer and on my daily job I work mainly on user interfaces for custom Windows applications. Are you using WPF and XAML or Windows Forms? Based on the earlier screenshot on v10, I’d guess Windows Forms, but can’t be sure as you can style the app however you like with XAML.

If you’re doing it in XAML, there are some commercial full-featured ribbon controls that have relatively low cost licenses for small business like yours. Take a look at Actipro’s or DevExpress’ ribbons, for example. They can be databinded using the MVVM design pattern, so keeping track of the selected tab is really easy. I believe there are also Windows Forms versions available.

Moreover, I’ve actually written my own ribbon control from scratch for WPF aswell. Wasn’t that difficult.

Zero,

It’s Windows Forms. I’m using a ribbon generator created by Bernhard Elbl. It uses the Windows Ribbon Framework, with the ribbon controls specified in XML.

I’m confident that there isn’t anything exposed by the Windows Ribbon Framework that allows the developer to know which tab is active. I’ve looked. Really looked. Events related to tabs are sent to a Windows log, but not raised as events and there is no way to inquire as to what tab is active.

It looks like both Actipro and DevExpress have written their own ribbons rather than using the Windows Ribbon Framework. DevExpress’s has what I need to produce what I want. I like Actipro’s look better. More like the real thing. I assume Actipro’s has what I need also, though I’d have to dig more. But both cost money and I’d really rather not spend anything. That’s the problem.

I can use the existing ribbon, but have to display panels etc based on current tool. That still gives me the context based interface that I want, but not quite.

Thanks for the info Zero. It looks like I’m going to be roadblocked for a bit while I decide what to do.

One more thing on ribbons. What I like about the Windows Ribbon Framework is that it uses THE ribbon. It looks exactly right in Wiindows 10. I don’t know why that is important to me, but it is.

Such a struggle…

But come hell or high water there will be a v10 this month. At least a preliminary version. I’m severly time limited and I’m booked on other things starting in November.

No need to be roadblocked 😉 I’m sure you’ll find a way – after all it’s part of the job to face technical challenges. And as you know, in the end we’ll always overcome them.

I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for 3D Canvas; it was the first 3d modelling software whose UI I really liked. It was simple and feature rich enough to get the job done (I used it mainly for game models). I’m absolutely thrilled about the fact that you finally have modernized the underlying technology. It’s about the time (and I say this with all love).

That being said, if it feels like too big of a job to move to the ribbon based UI, then do it in the next version. Migrating over to .NET is fairly big step in itself.

Sorry Zero, but it looks like I’m going to have to disappoint you. v10 will be a mixed .NET/COM app. I had to decide at some point about scheduling and there was no way that I could get out that 100% .NET app I wanted anytime in the forseeable future. I just have too much on my plate.

On the bright side, I think there will lots of benefits to v10 including (so far at least) a pretty significant stability improvement. (keeping my fingers crossed on that one).

Btw, I miss the name “3D Canvas”. But 3DCrafter turns out to be a better name now than when I first chose it. The word “craft” is used all the time in games, so it doesn’t sound quite so strange to me anymore.

So, I’ll be moving forward with the “standard” Microsoft Windows ribbon interface. I don’t want to add a major third party control to 3DC which might have reliability issues.

I’m goint to play around with a few ideas I have for having it behave the way I would like it to. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll design around its limitations.

Crisis averted. v10 back on track as previously planned.

How will the Railworks, now Train Simulator exporters be handled?

Are older v9 plugins compatible with v10?

The Amabilis created plug-ins will continue to work, but any third party ones will need to be recompiled. There shouldn’t be any work for the plug-in developer other than compiling and distributing them.

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