Mistakes in the user guide

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Svengali
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide (interface)

Post by Svengali » 29 Aug 2017, 03:11

Ever since I first started reviewing the online user guide, there was something frustrating about using it... somehow so annoying! Yet, I never stopped to identify what that was, until now.

The current layout makes sense:
left side, a scrolling column = a clickable list of chapters, with nested topics and subtopics.
right side = a display of the selected topic's content with text, diagrams, illustrations and some animations.
But it is unexpectedly difficult to use. Why?

The Interface Mechanics are simply wrong:
Every time you choose a new topic and subtopic, the right side of the display is updated with the newly selected content starting at the (top) of the subtopic page.

But what also happens, simultaneously, on the Chapter/topic/subtopic list on the left side? It ALWAYS resets to the top of the list? :evil:

That's simply counter-intuitive, disorientating, and a serious loss of time.


Independent Scrolling:
The way I feel it should work is the left side (Chapter/topics/subtopics) and the right side (content) should scroll and update independently.

On the left side, the currently selected chapter, topic and nested suptopic should NOT SCROLL. It should stay where it is until the user explicitly moves it up or down.

On the right side, as now logically happens, new content should display at the top of the new, subtopic content AND that information should be separately scroll-able, as you review the multiple pages of information there.

That way, you don't have to remember where in the left hand scrolling list your last selected Chapter/topic/subtopic was AND you can immediately move to the next topic/subtopic in the list and have the right side of the screen update with the new content.

Streamlining the browsing process in this way would encourage the user to quickly jump-to, and scan through, chapters, topics and subtopics to locate the exact content for which they are really searching.

Sven
Desktop: tvp Pro 11.0.8-64bit, Win8.1 - 24GB ram -2TB HHD - 256GB SSD - intuos4 - d.ver.6.3.15-3
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o0Ampy0o
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide (interface)

Post by o0Ampy0o » 29 Aug 2017, 05:50

Svengali wrote:
29 Aug 2017, 03:11
Ever since I first started reviewing the online user guide........edit........

Sven
I agree with Sven regarding the suggested change to navigation of the online manual.
Main System: Mac Pro running OS X: 10.10.5 | 3.8GHz i7 | 32GB RAM | NVIDEA GeForce GTX 970 4GB | 64-bit TVPaint Pro 11.0.6 | iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Astropad | Wacom Intros Pro using Driver: 6.3.21-8

Elodie
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by Elodie » 29 Aug 2017, 11:22

Thank you Sven. It would probably explain why I do also have trouble using the online guide (when I have to look at something, I only use the search engine for I get confused with the numerous menus).

However, I know that changing the behaviour of the left menu won't be easy, for it's the same behaviour as the normal website. I also think we miss "next / previous" page buttons. :roll:

Svengali
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by Svengali » 29 Aug 2017, 12:41

Elodie,
I suspected it might NOT be an easy fix. Sorry. :(

Guess what? A temporary work-around that kinda works - using the browser back arrow returns you to the last selected location in the Chapter/Topic/Subtopic list. That will do me, for now. :D

Sven
Desktop: tvp Pro 11.0.8-64bit, Win8.1 - 24GB ram -2TB HHD - 256GB SSD - intuos4 - d.ver.6.3.15-3
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o0Ampy0o
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide (interface)

Post by o0Ampy0o » 29 Aug 2017, 18:51

Svengali wrote:
29 Aug 2017, 03:11
...That way, you don't have to remember where in the left hand scrolling list your last selected Chapter/topic/subtopic was AND you can immediately move to the next topic/subtopic in the list and have the right side of the screen update with the new content...
The left side resets with 0. Introduction at the top of the column but the place you were at remains highlighted with its sub-folder expanded. All that you have to do is scroll through the left column to get back there. You do not have to remember where you were. (I suppose you could forget but with this spot remaining highlighted and exposed it remembers and would remind you.).
Main System: Mac Pro running OS X: 10.10.5 | 3.8GHz i7 | 32GB RAM | NVIDEA GeForce GTX 970 4GB | 64-bit TVPaint Pro 11.0.6 | iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Astropad | Wacom Intros Pro using Driver: 6.3.21-8

Svengali
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide (interface)

Post by Svengali » 30 Aug 2017, 01:20

o0Ampy0o wrote:
29 Aug 2017, 18:51
... All that you have to do is scroll through the left column to get back there ...
(At the risk of belaboring the issue...)
I guess it is the "all you have to do is scroll through the left column..." part that gets frustrating because your attention should be focused on the content in the right column, as you try to absorb what it is teaching.

The root problem in our manual comes from the way BOTH LEFT AND RIGHT columns always scroll TOGETHER: when you are studying and scrolling the right column of content up and down, the left column (which identifies the Chapter/topic/subtopic) quickly scrolls out of sight, sometimes up, sometimes down.

I maintain that if each column scrolled separately, you'd always know at a glance what Chapter/topic/subtopic you were FOCUSED on, and what subtopic you might want to explore next (or refer back to for review).

Interface design is a subtle thing, even in an interactive user's manual. It needs to successfully manage your FOCUS AND ORIENTATION while you construct a useful mental model of the software you're trying to learn.

Sven
Last edited by Svengali on 30 Aug 2017, 02:21, edited 1 time in total.
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o0Ampy0o
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by o0Ampy0o » 30 Aug 2017, 01:43

I just pointed that detail out in case you did not realize it worked like that. I am in agreement but I would say interface design has a dramatic effect on a user's ability to get the most out of a product.

Fortunately, at least in my perception, TVPaint 11 is at the stage of fine tuning.

Thus far I have only recently acquired TVPaint Pro 11 and have barely scratched its surface.

I noticed that the offline version relies on an internet browser and therefore behaves exactly like the online documentation.

I am probably going to construct a fully interactive PDF from the TVPaint documentation for my personal use when I am ready to focus on the software.

I have a Mac Mini on one side of my desk dedicated to manuals and other supporting material.
Main System: Mac Pro running OS X: 10.10.5 | 3.8GHz i7 | 32GB RAM | NVIDEA GeForce GTX 970 4GB | 64-bit TVPaint Pro 11.0.6 | iPad Pro, Apple Pencil and Astropad | Wacom Intros Pro using Driver: 6.3.21-8

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Fabrice
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by Fabrice » 30 Aug 2017, 12:51

We also have something like that in our mind (having both a html and PDF downloadable manual)
The manual was PDF in the past, but much more tedious to update since included within the software installer.
Fabrice Debarge

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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by D.T. Nethery » 19 Sep 2017, 17:07

I really hate to be a bother about this , but even apart from the important issues Sven brought up , the User Manual still needs some attention to be more user friendly and not confuse new users. Some of these user friendly fixes should not be too difficult to implement.

Just one example :

I sent a student to this page about the Light Table to better understand how the Light Table works -
https://www.tvpaint.com/doc/tvp11/index ... ight-table

On this page the student reads these instructions :

"Load the "Bob" project and display only the current layer."


"Ok", the student replies to me: "what and where is 'the Bob project' " ?

How does anyone find this "Bob project" to load it in TVPaint and follow along with the demonstration of the Light Table in the user manual ? (I'm not asking for myself, I know where it is , in the Contents & Examples folder , but why confuse new users by instructing them to load a project file they can not easily locate on their own ?)

This doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to do some quick edits on the user manual pages to add a hyperlink that someone can simply click on to download the referenced tvpp project file directly from that page in the user manual.

In the video tutorial that covers the Light Table , couldn't there be a link included to download the Bob_project.tvpp or a link to download all the "Contents & Examples" files ? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4AE97QdykI

------

While I am at it, would someone please fix the wording on the page about the Multiplane camera where it says: "a traditional multiplane camera setup often referred to as an editing table. " No, as I pointed out some time ago (https://www.tvpaint.com/forum/viewtopic ... =45#p99063) , in English a multiplane camera is not often (or ever) referred to as an "editing table" . There is some sort of mistranslation with that phrase . The reference to "editing table" does not make sense and it makes the user manual seem less credible to have such basic errors in discussing motion picture terminology.

An editing table is a different piece of equipment than an animation rostrum camera stand (multiplane or single-plane) .

.
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Elodie
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by Elodie » 20 Sep 2017, 05:30

Thank you for your feedback David :)

* About adding downloadable links :
It's actually "more complex" than you think (well, not complex but longer than you assume), for it requires to edit both the localisation (all translations are separated from the doc / website structure) and php files (in order to add the link).
Plus, we should obviously do it on all the pages.
Hopefully, with the team growing up, we should be able to assign that task to someone.

* about multiplane camera :
I did not remember this post ! Indeed you're right and this will be easy to change.

BTW, we've recently changed all the "wrapping grid" into "warp grid". :mrgreen:

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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by D.T. Nethery » 05 Dec 2017, 21:09

Here's one:

https://www.tvpaint.com/doc/tvp11/index ... ade-import
"On Mac OS X, TVPaint Animation works with ICA standard scanners. Use the File > ICA > Acquire option to display the acquisition interface.
Pay attention : 64 bits versions of TVPaint Animation do not always support scanners"
I can not get my ICA standard scanner to scan directly into TVPaint on Mac OS X, not with 32bits or 64bits.
Is anyone able to do this ?

I am reminded because I just had a student ask me about it , wondering why she could not get her scanner to scan directly to TVPaint and she mentioned that in the User Guide it says you can scan directly to TVPaint. I don't think this is possible.
MAC OS 10.12.6 , Macbook Pro Retina 15-inch, Mid 2015,
2.5 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB Memory , TVPaint PRO 11.0.8, 64bit -
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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by D.T. Nethery » 20 Feb 2018, 19:02

D.T. Nethery wrote:
05 Dec 2017, 21:09
Here's one:

https://www.tvpaint.com/doc/tvp11/index ... ade-import
"On Mac OS X, TVPaint Animation works with ICA standard scanners. Use the File > ICA > Acquire option to display the acquisition interface.
Pay attention : 64 bits versions of TVPaint Animation do not always support scanners"
I can not get my ICA standard scanner to scan directly into TVPaint on Mac OS X, not with 32bits or 64bits.
Is anyone able to do this ?

I am reminded because I just had a student ask me about it , wondering why she could not get her scanner to scan directly to TVPaint and she mentioned that in the User Guide it says you can scan directly to TVPaint. I don't think this is possible.
Bump:

Can someone from TVPaint development confirm that the File > ICA > Acquire option for scanning on Mac does not currently work ? Will it ever be possible for File > ICA > Acquire to work again on Mac ? (if this is not possible , then the user manual should be changed to delete the part that says:
"On Mac OS X, TVPaint Animation works with ICA standard scanners. Use the File > ICA > Acquire option to display the acquisition interface.")
I can not get my ICA standard scanner (Brother MFC_6490-CW, with updated drivers and firmware for Mac OS 10.11) to scan directly into TVPaint on Mac OS X, not with the 32bit or 64bit version of TVPaint 11.0.8 .
MAC OS 10.12.6 , Macbook Pro Retina 15-inch, Mid 2015,
2.5 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB Memory , TVPaint PRO 11.0.8, 64bit -
Wacom Cintiq 21 UX - Wacom Intuos Pro 5 - driver version 6.3.20-8

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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Mistakes in the user guide

Post by D.T. Nethery » 14 Jan 2019, 16:11

The updated section on the Video Input is better , https://www.tvpaint.com/doc/tvp11/index ... ideo-input , the photos showing a more typical table top stop motion set up demonstrate the function of the video input more clearly , but it could still use some further clarification to discuss the options for selecting video capture devices and the difference between the selecting and setting up the video device on the 64bits version and 32bits version (which are different, at least on Mac OS ... I don't know about Windows.) My suggestions below are based on using Video Input on Mac OS , because I do not have Windows .

Where the User Manual says:
Device: shows the video flow retrieved by the user’s OS ; on Windows it shows WDM, on Mac Facetime, and on Linux V4L2
It is true that on Mac one of the devices to show up will be the Facetime HD camera (the Mac's internal webcam) , but if an any other compatible video device is plugged into the Mac it will also show up on the list . The user must select the desired device. In the screen capture shown below , it shows selecting the Logitech C930e webcam, not the Facetime camera.
Video Input available devices.jpg
Video Input available devices.jpg (35.24 KiB) Viewed 728 times
The User Manual says:
"The Settings button: located just below, opens the window where you can adjust your camera’s / webcam’s settings."
In the 64bits version of TVPaint running on Mac OS the "Settings" button underneath "Device" has no functionality. Clicking on "Settings" does nothing. (is the "Settings" button functional on Windows ? Ok, but could you make a different version for Mac to avoid confusion to the user?) I can tell you from my own personal experience tutoring students and faculty who are new to using TVPaint , this non-functional "Settings" button is confusing to the new user , because when they see a button called "Settings" they would expect that the button has some functionality . (and indeed, if they hover their mouse over the "Settings" button it says: "Opens the video device's settings panel" )
Settings button is non-functional in Mac OS.jpg
Settings button is non-functional in Mac OS.jpg (89.37 KiB) Viewed 728 times
Here is something important : On Mac OS , if using a webcam with the 64bits version of TVPaint, to adjust any settings on the webcam (i.e. focus, exposure, white balance) one must first open the camera using a webcam control software. The webcams I have the most experience using (and the ones we recommend to our students) are the Logitech C920 and Logitech C930e . These can be used with the very basic Logitech Camera Settings software (which must be installed from the Logitech support website ) , or better, used with the more sophisticated webcam control software for Mac such as iGlasses or Webcam Settings. After pairing the webcam with one of these webcam control softwares , open TVPaint and select the Logitech webcam as the video input device (or in the case of running the Logitech webcam through the iGlasses software you must select "iGlasses" as the video input device.) Any changes to be made to the webcam's focus, exposure , white balance, etc. must be done through the webcam control panel (iGlasses or Webcam Settings, or Logitech Camera Settings) , but this webcam control software is not accessed directly from TVPaint with the Settings button , the webcam control software must be kept open in a separate panel (which can be hidden in the dock when not needed) .

I realize you may not want to address using third-party webcam control software in the context of the TVPaint User Manual , but for Mac users some mention needs to be made that on Mac OS in the 64 bit version, there is no functionality to the "Settings" button , and any adjustments to the webcam's settings must be performed through a webcam control software. (and I would argue for removing the non-functional "Settings" button entirely in the 64bits version for Mac OS to avoid any confusion on the part of new users who would naturally expect that this button would have some function ...)

Now , about using the Video Input in the 32bits version on Mac OS :

There are several additional steps that must be taken which are not mentioned in the User Manual, so it is the source of confusion for the new users who has TVPaint Standard Edition (32bits) or is using the 32bits version of TVPaint Pro .

Under Device there are only two options: "None" and "Movie Grabber" . No matter what video device(s) are plugged in to the Mac , the only device that shows up in the list is "Movie Grabber" . I would say this is also confusing. The new user who has plugged in their webcam is naturally expecting to see the name of their webcam (Logitech C920 , or whatever it may be) in the list of available devices. But there is only "Movie Grabber". The "Movie Grabber" is what must be selected , before the "Settings" button underneath becomes active. (otherwise it is greyed-out).
32bits version Video Input - Movie Grabber.jpg
32bits version Video Input - Movie Grabber.jpg (31.66 KiB) Viewed 728 times
After selecting "Movie Grabber" , the user must then click on the "Settings" button (which is now active) and go to the "Source" tab to select the desired video source device .
(and this is a major difference between the 64bits version and 32bits version: in the 32bits version the "Settings" button is functional , so it must be there for the 32bits version , but it is confusing to have the non-functional "Settings" button in the 64bits version ... is there any way to remove it for 64bits version , but retain the "Settings" button in the 32bits version?)

They must also go to the "Compression" tab to select the compression type. In my experience from many hours of trial & error testing there are two compression types that work best on Mac OS : DV/DVCPro-NTSC or Apple Intermediate. Some types of compression (such as H.264 or Uncompressed) will result in the webcam displaying a split screen in TVPaint (this is a long-standing bug which as never been resolved entirely ; the workaround is to use DV/DVCPro-NTSC or Apple Intermediate as the compression type ; but this is "hidden knowledge" that is not at all apparent to the new user from reading the user manual , thus the source of much confusion.)
32bit version Settings-Compression-Source.jpg
Some minor adjustments may also be made to the webcam (such as Brightness , Contrast, White Balance, Sharpness ) under the "Adjustments" tab . (but on Mac OS it is better to use the webcam control software , either iGlasses or Webcam Settings for a much greater degree of control over the webcam's image quality.

After having followed those steps , the webcam is now set up to capture images into TVPaint (32bits version) . But from reading the User Manual , how would the new user with TVPaint Standard Edition or TVPaint Pro 32bits version know any of this ? (because it is not mentioned in the User Manual.)

------

Frankly, it must also be said there seems to be a bug in the 32bits version where sometimes it is impossible to select the option of "Movie Grabber" and at that point TVPaint is frozen and must be forced to quit and the computer must be restarted . Sometimes this will fix the problem and then the procedure given above may be followed to enable the webcam capture. But other times the only solution to fix this issue is to make a new configuration .

EDIT: Here is more information about the bug I mentioned above: a seemingly random issue students have reported to me in the past with the 32bits version is that occasionally when they try to select "Movie Grabber" in the Video Input panel , TVPaint freezes , the cursor turns into a 'clock' icon (see the attached screen grab) as if the software is calculating something , but nothing ever happens and eventually the user must force quit TVPaint.
Video Input_panel_frozen.jpg
Video Input_panel_frozen.jpg (45.71 KiB) Viewed 713 times
When this happens they are able to get the Video Input to work again by creating a new configuration (or switch back to the Default config) because I think the issue is that the config has become corrupted in some way , which is what prevents the Video Input from functioning properly ... this is a very time consuming annoyance, because it requires re-building/re-loading all custom panels from the old configuration to the new configuration. In my notes from dealing with reports of this issue I am sorry to say I can not detect any regular pattern to this 'bug' . It just happens randomly ... the easiest solution for TVPaint Pro users is to simply not use the 32bits version for video capture , but to only use the 64bits version for video capture. However, I think this is an issue that the developers should be aware of (if they are not already aware of it) , because it is an issue which impacts people who only have TVPaint Standard Edition (32bits) and who do not have the option to switch over to using the 64 bits version.


When set up correctly , TVPaint's Video Input function is a very useful tool for either traditional line testing or for Stop Motion frame capture, but it is unnecessarily confusing to the new user on how to set it up (especially in the 32bits version , which is not addressed at all in the User Manual.)


.
MAC OS 10.12.6 , Macbook Pro Retina 15-inch, Mid 2015,
2.5 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB Memory , TVPaint PRO 11.0.8, 64bit -
Wacom Cintiq 21 UX - Wacom Intuos Pro 5 - driver version 6.3.20-8

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