Stuck at the first step - HELP!!!

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Most likely it's just me, so pull my leg as much as you wish, but please TELL ME HOW TO GET STARTED!
I downloaded Seamless3D, installed it (on WinXP) smoothly, run it and... nothing.
A window full of interesting icons to perform quite intuitive functions, but I couldn't find a way to start a new job. I looked for a hint in the tutorials but those I found seemed to start a few steps above my level - I couldn't even locate the "start new smls" button!
And I'm supposed to be a 10-years 3D veteran...
I'm running (so to speak) ver. 3.003 - can it be the wrong one?

Chiron - 2016-07-21 18:39:14

Your Response:          

Hi Chiron
It always takes me some time to get use to using any general purpose 3d modelling software. More specialised software can be more straight forward to use but will likely limit your options and creativity.

I have been working on a new version of seamless for over a year now which will allow me to show how to animate models using seamless3d 3 but the current online version which you have, should allow you to be able to model a structure as complex as a human face.

When you start seamless3d a new smls file is automatically created so there should be no need to create a file manually to get started. You can manually create a new smls file by clicking on the file menu (the first button on the top tool bar) but for new software like seamless (that is still in the process of being ironed out), when starting a new session, I recommend starting with a clean slate by starting the program.

The first thing I recommend learning is how to create a nurbs lathe and how to convert it to a nurbs patch which I show at the beginning of my head modelling tutorial:

If you have trouble getting this far please let me know so I can help.

best wishes

thyme - 2016-07-22 12:21:32 in reply to Chiron 2016-07-21 18:39:14

Your Response:          

Hi Thyme, thanks for your time and your patience!
Once you told me which tutorial to start on things turned much less scary. It will take me a while to get adjusted to a new pretty original GUI as well as to master the function of each button, but that's no real problem - and the reward looks quite promising :-)

Now let me try and provide my two cents of feedback - little or no criticism implied, take my word for it; just a few suggestions from a total newbie that might help cushioning the first impact for other newbies.

I understand and appreciate your efforts to maximize the workspace rather than cluttering it with panels and toolbars. Still a small laconic caption on each button would possibly speed up locating the tool one is looking for - the pop-ups are helpful but only if you already know the ropes: if you try to read them all one after the other, as you come to the 10th you've already forgotten what the 1st was ;-)
A decent compromise would be a setting to remove the captions thus regaining a little workspace once one gets acquainted with them.

- You talk and zap your mouse lightning-fast, which is quite OK if one already has a faint notion of what you're talking about. But if one is taking his first steps on an unknown terrain (even more so if he's no native speaker) it may be a little discouraging.
- The balance between omitting the obvious and risking to bore the audience is damn critical and mostly a matter of taste. Still shifting it just a bit towards the boring might be more moron-friendly...

Forgive me if you can, and thanks again!

Chiron - 2016-07-22 15:16:39 in reply to thyme 2016-07-22 12:21:32

Your Response:          

To avoid unnecessary frustration, I recommend keeping away from features that are not documented in any of my tutorials written since Seamless3d 3.000 was released.
Not all of the functions for the buttons on display have been fully worked through for seamless3d 3 yet but if they were I would not recommend a beginner learn what each button does first before they start doing any modelling. That would be a really boring way to start.
It is important to stress that a user only needs to learn how to use a few of the buttons from the tool bar to model a human head.

Though all the features I reference in my head modelling tutorial are worth learning and should not be difficult to grasp over time, many of them are not essential. For example being able to select multiple points using the rectangle selection tool for the purpose of squashing or stretching a portion of points can save a lot of time but one can get buy just dragging each point one at a time.

Like learning to use a pencil, it takes time for the user to develop their artistic skills using 3d modelling software and most of this time will not revolve around learning the technicalities of the tool.

Yes I agree it is hard getting the balance right of what to explain and what to leave out. I spent a lot of time deciding on this which involved deleting lots of lines in my script that I felt were too distracting so I would appreciate knowing where in this tutorial you feel I have not explained something well enough but bare in mind I want to elaborate on many of the things I have touched on in separate videos. My goal for this tutorial was to steer the beginner towards the essentials of modelling and avoid being distracted by information given too soon.
I don't expect anyone to be able to watch the tutorial and take it all in one go and then be able to apply that information when they attempt to model a head. The user needs to try using the explained feature before they get a good understanding of how to use it and I expect some of my explanations to be replayed a number of times.
If a user can learn only how to insert lines and extrude points in one session I would be happy with that result as they would know the basics of modelling a human head using seamless3d 3.
Thanks for your feedback

thyme - 2016-07-26 22:05:41 in reply to Chiron 2016-07-22 15:16:39

Your Response:          

For dummies :-)

Hi Thyme, thanks for answering!

I went through the 'human head' tutorial another couple of times looking for specific points where I'd rather get further details explained, but the overall outcome was a pretty useless "everywhere and nowhere".

The general feeling is that the 'human head' might benefit from an elementary pre-tutorial (just a coarse printable sketch would do) to explain placement and basic functions of the buttons you're going to use in the real thing; this would make it easier to concentrate on the workflow rather than having to play the same sequence over and over just to find out where the hell you clicked to achieve that particular miraculous result.

Speaking of which, rather than bitching (too little productive :-) I've thrown together a first stump of it; I know it's laughable but all the same it's helping me getting a little familiar with buttons and functions. Should you have any use for it (e.g. colour-marking the most important buttons and/or greying-off the ones still in their beta phase), just ask me for the editable .cdr.
All I did was copying the button pop-ups, in most cases without having a clear notion of what lies behind them. Perhaps a little more (written) info would cast plenty of light on them... if you loathe writing I'd gladly volunteer - many fools take me for a decent teacher - as long as you provide the concepts, of course :-)

Let me know...

Chiron - 2016-07-27 14:58:17 in reply to thyme 2016-07-26 22:05:41

Your Response:          

Were you able to insert control lines and extrude control points?

I have a 30 second tutorial that focuses on these 2 functions:

This ultra short tutorial bypasses setting up a nurbs lathe and converting it to a patch by starting with a downloaded file that contains a single patch.

I have written a good many long tutorials for seamless over the years that soon got outdated by new versions.

In designing Seamless3d 3, my goal has been to make it so that to be able to model a head, you don't need a reference to lots of buttons and functions. I want it to challenge the view 3d modelling is much more complex than using a pencil.
I know from experience young children (1 as young as 3) can use seamless. So long as they have mouse skills, I have had little trouble instructing them to model a head by pointing with my finger where to click and where to drag, using a minimum of words. They don't understand right away what they are doing exactly but by observing what happens when they drag a control point, they can pick up on how they are controlling the shape and how different view orientations gives them control over the shape in 3 dimensions. Likewise by observing how new control lines are inserted and points extruded, they can figure out how a structure well suited for modelling a head can be created.

Learning by doing reduces the problem of words being misunderstood and bypasses getting bogged down learning lots of different concepts just so another concept can be explained.

It may well be that children and adults who don't have preconceived understandings of how things should be done, progress faster with seamless.

Needing a quick reminder which button extrudes and which button is used to insert a control line is like an artist needing a quick reminder where the lead is located in the pencil and which end they must press against the paper to draw a line.

More advanced features may need more explaining but they should not be needed before one is skilled in modelling a head using seamless. My priority over explaining less important features is to debug and complete seamless3d 3 so that anyone can create 3d animated movies with artistic freedom and without needing to have read a book full of documentation.

best wishes

thyme - 2016-08-02 16:54:10 in reply to Chiron 2016-07-27 14:58:17

Your Response:          

Groucho Marx used to say "A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five!" :-)
Yes, you're absolutely right: sometimes what we know hampers us more than helping us - not to mention that children may lack knowledge and experience, but they are way brighter than us poor seasoned adults ;-)

So after reading your last post I did my best to forget being a veteran mesh-maker and started looking at Seamless3d as if it were a magic box capable of doing wonderful but sensible and consistent things, and all began making sense.
Only once I got back into my old skin I could appreciate with awe the software covertly working under the hood that makes look so innocently simple what is actually damn complex hard-core maths - KUDOS TO YOU!!!

Chiron - 2016-08-02 18:43:56 in reply to thyme 2016-08-02 16:54:10

Your Response:          

What the heck has the anti-virus to do with getting properly acquainted with a new brilliant piece of software?
Are you spamming or whatever?

And, by the way, canned cyber security sold this way doesn't sound terribly reassuring either, you know?

Chiron - 2016-11-18 08:45:31 in reply to

Your Response:          

Hi aassblack
why don't you go and leave your droppings somewhere else?

BaldEagle - 2016-11-18 10:10:42 in reply to

Your Response:          

Sorry I have not been checking back as much as I should. I have deleted aaronblack's spam. I am still busy each day programming and using seamless. I hope to upload the new version soon and share some of the things I have been up to. Hope everyone is doing well.

thyme - 2016-11-30 18:02:49 in reply to Chiron 2016-11-18 08:45:31

Your Response:          


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