Some node material editor suggestions

Hi everyone!

Here are couple of “feature requests” for the nme process now that I have more experience with it :slight_smile: :

  1. Would be cool if there were actual controls to rotate the 3d preview object in all the directions. Kind of having a hand icon there that you could grab the object and give it a good spin if you’d want to :slight_smile: Use case: When I’ve been making a liquid shader it would be cool to actually rotate the object in all the ways to see that the desired effect is good enough and actually works!

  2. A bit harder to pull off but it would be so cool to have Unity -like preview images or even calculations per node. Below is the image how Unity shader graph does it:
    Use case: To better visualize each step that is going on with the shader process.

  3. Would be nice to be able to do more light setupping with the nme preview window. I have no idea what the current lights actually are, what are their intensities etc. Would be nice to dynamically add these, if possible… Use case: To replicate the lighting setup of the actual end product better. I know this could be done by linking the playground with the nme and setting up the lights in playground, but I kind of prefer to keep them separate in my workflow. I think I have trust issues when I open the nme from the playground and I have to remember to save the nme I am editing or all will be lost :smiley:

Adding @PatrickRyan as well to see what he is thinking about those.

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@Panuchka, thank you for the feature requests!

  1. Can you give me a little more detail about this one? Right now, the interaction in the preview window is an arc-rotate camera orbiting the preview mesh. Are you suggesting a toggle to also be able to rotate the mesh? For example, default behavior is an arc-rotate camera were the mesh stays still. Then after pressing a toggle, we detach the camera from the scene and all pointer input rotates the mesh with inertia? If this is what you are talking about, I can see some potential UX issues around getting lost (is the mesh upside down or is the camera?) so we would need to have some input to reset the view as well to right the mesh and/or camera. Is this what you mean?
  2. Previews and/or values per node have been on our list of wanted additions for years. We just need to fund them.
  3. Yes, the control over the lights is minimal just to turn on or off directional or omni lights. We don’t even have IBL in the preview. I think for this one we would have to limit what could be done. For example, we can’t make it a sandbox where you can add and/or modify lights to a completely custom output. We do have a tool for that and it’s appropriately called the sandbox. You can load a model, add in lights, move them around, set their strength, add a node material, assign it to the mesh, open NME and load your shader, etc. It’s all transitory - even more than the playground - however. But for the preview window, we may be able to add in some simple controls to not only turn lights on and off, but also set their intensity and/or color. Adding in IBL would also be helpful. The problem with offering too much control is that the UI will get really complicated really quickly. And even these little additions I mentioned would need some serious UI rework on the preview panel so the controls are accessible and usable. If you had to put your top line wants in terms of light control, what would they be?
  1. Yes, rotating the actual object is what I am talking about :slight_smile: And I agree that there are some UX problems to be solved… Maybe a toggle would be appropriate to switch between modes. There are some current issues also with the “getting lost”, if you, for example, choose a sphere as an object and try to debug your semi flat shaded shader by rotating the ball… :stuck_out_tongue: Maybe a toggle for some semi infinite wireframe mesh that would appear on y=0, I think playground debug mode had this switch? Would help with the orientation issue (maybe).
  2. Roger! Will be huge coolness if you manage do this!
  3. Intensity and color controls would be really nice addition imo!
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I will add these suggestions to our list. No promises on when they could be funded, but I will look at what improvements can be made and detail some feature enhancements for the team.

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