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Thread: Surveyor 2.0 feedback thread

  1. #1
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    Default Surveyor 2.0 feedback thread

    As I start working with Surveyor 2.0 the overriding impression is that it provides a massive leap in terms of usability. A real game changer, however I do have some observations regarding minor niggles so here is my feedback thread. This is not for bugs, but rather for feature optimisation suggestions.


    * Un-docking and hiding palettes. Why would you? At the moment there is no benefit in doing this because the dock remains as a huge grey bar eating up real-estate at the edge of the screen. Please can we have the palettes "clipping" or "sticking" to the screen edge. No giant grey dock underneath please.

    * Somewhat linked to my first observation, the dock is rather narrow, particularly for the assets palette. I can't read the full names on many of my assets. It would be nice not to be restricted. Again, just allow us to "clip" the various palettes to the screen border without enforcing a set width for them.

    * Object placement tool. I love this change, but how about the option not only to left button hold and drag but also left button + shift hold (for example) to rotate around the Z-axis?

    * Tooltips. If I'm viewing assets by thumbnail, can we have mouseover tooltips with the name? Especially useful for ground textures.

    * I miss not being able to build custom filters right in Surveyor on a one off basis. Having that white content manager window pop out to edit filters kind of breaks the congruity of the interface a bit and it annoys me that I have to create and save the filter every time. I can filter by trains, or by today, but if I want to filter by trains AND today I have to create and save a specific filter instead of just doing it as a one off.

    I'll keep adding to this thread if I have further suggestions.
    Last edited by weevil; December 1st, 2021 at 02:06 PM.

  2. #2
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    * Tooltips. If I'm viewing assets by thumbnail, can we have mouseover tooltips with the name? Especially useful for ground textures.

    This was one of the things that I mentioned in the early beta-thread on S20. It's not helpful when assets have a generic asset thumbnail, such as "content by so and so" with a pretty icon, because those thumbnails are as useless as a brain fart!

    The docking is great, I agree. If when we minimize the palettes, it would be nice if they minimized to buttons on the top like we've seen in some CAD programs.

    I would like to see more asset information on the asset-information panel including author name, and the asset KUID.

    The asset preview window is a welcome addition, but it would be nice if we can stop the asset from spinning around. There doesn't need to be a ton of information but stop the movement because it's nice to see details.

    The asset handles and information-points could be bigger. Right now, they're difficult to find on a cluttered screen because they're the size of ant footprints.

    Splines should have different colored spline points and information-points. This is particularly important in cluttered scenes where there are many tracks, wires, and other splines all in close proximity to each other. Having a different color for the spline-type is even more helpful for this, perhaps the ability for us to customize that. Grass and flora, green, roads black, tracks white, fences, red, etc.

    I agree with the other points you made.

    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
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  3. #3
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    Next couple of points. Somewhat related to each other.

    * Relative heights for scrapbook data. If I copy and paste a group of objects sitting on a slope but not the terrain itself, when I paste them they lose their height data in relation to each other.

    * Objects on a locked layer still move if I raise or lower the terrain beneath them. It would be useful to change this behavior. To me, locked means locked. They shouldn't change their 3D coordinates at all in relation to each other.
    Last edited by weevil; December 1st, 2021 at 02:31 PM.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    *
    Splines should have different colored spline points and information-points. This is particularly important in cluttered scenes where there are many tracks, wires, and other splines all in close proximity to each other. Having a different color for the spline-type is even more helpful for this, perhaps the ability for us to customize that. Grass and flora, green, roads black, tracks white, fences, red, etc.
    Yes, this could be very helpful in cluttered environment.

    Regards
    Darko

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by weevil View Post
    Next couple of points. Somewhat related to each other.

    * Relative heights for scrapbook data. If I copy and paste a group of objects sitting on a slope but not the terrain itself, when I paste them they lose their height data in relation to each other.

    * Objects on a locked layer still move if I raise or lower the terrain beneath them. It would be useful to change this behavior. To me, locked means locked. They shouldn't change their 3D coordinates at all in relation to each other.
    Agree. Locked means locked - always.

    Regards
    Darko

  6. #6

    Default Incremental control

    Incremental control for x, y and z movement is a must.
    Implemented the same way as height in Surveyor - Shift for 5cm and Control for 10 cm.
    Now precise placement is a problem with both x and y changing when moving items.

    Kind regards
    Darko

  7. #7
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    My first observations.

    1. The overall colour scheme/theme is too dark for certain scenarios. For example, if you make a selection from the asset palette in list view, your selection is highlighted in grey. A grey highlight over a dark menu backround is not ideal, would be better if the highlight was more prominent. For example a shade of yellow or blue might be better. This is even more evident if you switch to thumbnail view.

    Try the following when thumbnails are displayed in the asset palette... Using the Fine Adjustment Tool, select a piece of track and then click on the little spline icon to bring up the pop-up menu. Now choose Select in Assets Palette. It is very difficult to make out the selection highlight because of the choice of colours used. I know dark themes are all the rage but sometimes they don't work. A choice of themes or customisation of themes I think is a must for the end user.


    2. Placing track seems easy enough, with the last piece of track highlighted. But if you finished laying track how do you then take the focus off it. My first guess was to press Escape, but that does nothing. Is there a way to achieve this?


    3. There is no indication of the length of track you have placed. This is a must have.


    4. There doesn't appear to be a way to slow down the rotation of an object or track spline other than very careful movements of the mouse. Not so easy for this old bloke. We need the same as S1, use of CTRL and Shift keys. This is my first stab at S20 so maybe there is a way and I haven't found it yet.


    5. Last one for now. Back to the asset palette. The dock is indeed narrow, but you can undock it and move elsewhere on the screen. However, when you make a selection your choice is not updated in the palette title bar. When docked, it is. I've logged this as a bug. As to 'why' would you undock and hide palettes. I think this should be a user choice. We all work differently. Why not have collapsible palettes/panes?


    Very early days I know, but N3V need the feedback don't they.

    Regards,

    John

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the feedback guys - please keep it coming!

    Most items mentioned are already noted and our internal build already has some of them fixed.

    Regarding x,y,z fine tuning, the Info palette allows you to micro adjust things. EIther entering numbers or dragging your mouse over the arrows.

    To deselect all use Ctrl-D.

    Regarding locking, that's an interesting one. I'll pass that on for further consideration.

    When copy pasting items from hills, why would you ever want the up in the air if you're not bringing the terrain? Is there a use case here I'm missing?
    Tony Hilliam

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  9. #9
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    I would personally believe that if a layer is locked, that you would not be able to select an asset with any of the move or marquee tools, especially if you've not got that layer selected.

    For example:
    -I have a layer for basemaps that I create, separate to my route layer, so I can hide just the basemaps when I need to tweak other things.
    -In order for me to select anything that sits on/near the basemap, I need to hide the basemap layer, even if I have the route layer selected.
    -This very much affects tracklaying over the top of these basemaps, including fine adjustments.

    Currently, for tracklaying over the basemaps, I find myself switching back to Surveyor Classic, just to get around this issue.
    Cheers

    Em

  10. #10
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    Looks like a bug there - and it's broader than your use case. Thanks for the extra details.
    Actually, that was user error on my part (wrong build). What is the problem you're seeing? It is quite possibly that the non-PBR texture bug is hiding your track. If that's the problem, then that's already fixed.
    If the problem is something else, can you add a few more steps to your repro and explain the problem encountered in S20.
    Last edited by Tony_Hilliam; December 2nd, 2021 at 12:26 AM.
    Tony Hilliam

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  11. #11
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    Default

    As written in the other thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by -Basti- View Post

    - I hope that coupling sound does not apply to all kinds of trains. When I imagine a modern DMU/EMU with that coupling sound... please no. For freight cars it's okay I guess.

    - lots of rolling stock is missing the thumbnail, there I see a Trainz Logo. Will they be added or is it a program fault?

    - The content list could be scrolled far beyond entries

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Hilliam View Post
    Regarding x,y,z fine tuning, the Info palette allows you to micro adjust things. EIther entering numbers or dragging your mouse over the arrows.
    Yes, fine tuning in Info palette is very useful. But incremental control (Shift 5 cm, Ctr 10 cm) is very usefull .

    Regards
    Darko

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony_Hilliam View Post
    When copy pasting items from hills, why would you ever want the up in the air if you're not bringing the terrain? Is there a use case here I'm missing?
    Yes there is. Where track cuts through DEM generated terrain it would be nice to be able to assemble rock assets into the cutting face and then copy and paste them to other such locations. Obviously copying and pasting terrain on a DEM is not desirable.

    Really this is applicable to any case where effectively a group of assets have been "kitbashed" together to form another single large object (perhaps an industrial complex or factory). Maybe the original was on flat ground but copy needs to be placed on a piece of spline ground behind a retaining wall. Or maybe a group of trees and bushes on top of a tunnel portal. In all these cases we are interested in the relationship between the objects themselves and not their relationship to the "surveyor ground" level.

    Screenshot 1. Multiple rock assets all aligned and rotated to form one big rock face. This was an absolute joy to accomplish with the new move/rotate tools.



    Screenshot 2. Pasted the scrapbook data and the objects have lost all relationship to one another.



    So, it seems the use cases may be a lot more numerous than I first thought. Let's kitbash a factory complex and see what happens. . .
    Last edited by weevil; December 2nd, 2021 at 10:13 AM.

  14. #14
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    I've done some more experimenting with the scrapbook feature:

    Kitbashed myself a nice little factory consisting of four assets. The factory, a shed, a chimney and a water tank. Saved the group of objects to the scrapbook.



    On trying to paste them back I have discovered that they maintain their height relationship with the ground (because in this case it was totally flat), but their spatial relationship with each other depends on the brush radius you use.



    In this screenshot they are spaced further apart, so I reduced the brush size and . . .



    now they are spaced too close together.

    Maybe this is where you're supposed to use the clone feature . . .



    But again, trial and error with the brush radius means that either objects are missing from the original group or extra ones get added.

    This feature shows a lot of promise, but in actual practical usage tests, seems to fall somewhat short. Maybe pasting should be linked to scale rather than brush size?
    Last edited by weevil; December 2nd, 2021 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Additional info.

  15. #15
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    * Spline point circles. These were very, very useful for controlling spacing between parallel tracks and aligning all sorts of other spline objects. I can't help but feel that, whilst their absence does clean up the look of things, it's also going to make life quite tricky.

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