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Adobe seeking feedback about panels, palettes, workspaces, and other UI elements

Jun 2, 2011 4:56 PM

Several folks within Adobe are discussing the user interfaces for our various applications, and we'd like your feedback.

 

Do you use After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom? Other Adobe applications?

 

If so, please post your comments on this forum thread comparing your experiences with the user interfaces of these applications.

 

Regarding the panels, palettes, workspaces, and overall UI paradigms in these applications: What do you like? What do you hate? Do you care that the applications are different in this regard? What differences do you even notice?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 5:14 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I use Lightroom and Photoshop most frequently. The last several releases of Photoshop CS# have made great UI improvements over older versions, so I don't have much to contribute there. And I am mostly happy with the Lightroom interface, except for one major complaint.

     

    I am a plugin developer for Lightroom's Web module (http://theturninggate.net) and it frustrates me to no end that I am forced to cram all of my controls into the pre-existing panels: Site Info, Color Palette, Appearance and Output Settings, and that I can only house metadata options in the Image Info pane.

     

    In future versions of Lightroom, I would love to be able to create or modify collapsable control panes in the Web module, allowing me to divy up my controls into a more logical layout. I would also love to be able to place metadata controls anywhere in those control panes, so that I can -- for example -- control the metadata source for a page element alongside the styling/appearance controls for that element. As it is, it's very difficult to keep things together, and extremely frustrating attempting to organize controls in a way that makes intuitive sense. I just feel like I'm overstuffing a suitcase, then having to ask my mother, father, brother, girlfriend and the neighbor's family to sit on the thing while I try to zip it up ...

     

    I am very glad to see you seeking feedback in matters of UI. Thanks so much for listening!

     

    Cheers,

    Matt

     

    --

    Matthew Campagna
    The Turning Gate | http://theturninggate.net
    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Web Engines, Tutorials & Resources

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 6:49 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Frankly I too am quite pleased overall w/the UI.

     

    However I ask that you please add the option to use standard window title bars and menus to Flash Pro CSx…  I use it often making swc’s for flex projects… And I must tell you as a developer and not a designer, the UI is frustrating from a programmer’s point of view.

     

    Maybe the Flash functionality could be wrapped up into the Flash Builder eclipse interface, allowing developers/designers to choose which UI they prefer based on the context of the task and their personal preferences. I for one have never been a fan of skinned applications in general, but I use Adobe apps because they are of course the best bar none, despite the presence of the skins.  (I do realize that I'm in the minority of people by admitting that I prefer non-skinned apps).

     

    Also, in my opinion the worst feature in the flash builder interface is the single row of editor tabs, could a multi-row tab bar be developed, similar to the zend studio 5.5 bar (but of course with an eclipse-ish/adobe flavor).

     

    I work with large projects, and I can't think of a single day in the last 3 years that I have not had at least 10 or 15 tabs open, often more.  The single row of tabs is horrible restrictive and in my opinion very frustating.  I for one have a wide screen monitor, rotated to page view, and another widescreen monitor in landscape for the project explorer, debug monitor, search tree, browser, etc...

     

    Many developers work this way, but eclipse has always been lacking good support for large numbers of open documents.  It is one of my longest running wish-list items that eclipse/Flash builder could implement a multi-row editor tab list.

     

    Also in dual monitor setups, with Flash Builder, workspace panes that are dragged onto the other monitor jump back onto the monitor that has the main application for seemingly unexplicable reasons.  (not frequently but just often enough to be annoying, I suppose it may be an eclipse bug).

     

    Overall, though, I can't complain and Three Cheers to you guys at Adobe for opening the floor to us and listening to our feedback.  My hat goes off to all the awesome engineers over there and I hope that my feedback can help in some way!

     

    Sincerely,

    David Coleman

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 6:56 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I work mostly with video editing and compositing - After Effects, Premiere Pro, Photoshop. As many others I have a multi-monitor setup to maximize editing space. One of the nice things you could do is some way of auto populating all (or 2 out of 3) monitors with the application interface, if needed. It would be nice to see the workspace panels reflow without sticking with the monitor boundary splitting a panel or two in half.

    Hope my clumsy write up makes sense.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 7:03 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    How about a universal interface for timeline navigation? AE and PPro shortcuts for getting to the start/end of the timeline, forward/backwards one frame, etc. have little in common.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 7:41 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Hi,

     

    I am currently an assistant editor and have worked heavily in the Television commercial industry the past year. I work mostly as an AVID user however do have a respect for Premiere and what it could eventually be. Adobe seems to have made a huge leap in workflow between the adobe applcations and also the optimisation of playback speed and rendering. However, what I think it is lacking is a professional feeling cutting environment focused heavily on speed of navigating the interface and cutting tools, and also an assistant editor friendly application (ie Premiere currently has terrible subclipping features).

     

    Overall I do like the of the interface/gui, however I believe that there are some wasted screen real-estate and some missing features which would make it a more pleasant experience to cut with.

     

    Here is a few changes I have thought about;  (Most of these are interface/gui concerns but I may have got carried a little off topic in places.)

     

    1. The controls for I/O cards (ie Blackmagic) are currently found in the sequence settings, this would be much easier if you could access it as a program wide setting so you can select and forget, As you can with FCP and even more so with AVID - the only reason you should ever have to even think about this is when you are doing a project that is not your norm.
    2. The ability to create a sequence with default project settings without a settings panel appear. In both FCP and AVID you press the button to create a sequence, and it creates a sequence for you. Every time you have a dialogue box it slows an editor down.
    3. A graphical keyboard layout editor - Editors are visual people - They know what there layout looks like in other applications.
    4. The ability to assign a button only while holding key down, not just click on click off. ( ie. to be able to set  hold the option/alt key to enable snapping then let go and it is disabled)
    5. More control over the layout of the project/bins panel.
      • Many editors are very particular about the size of there thumbnails (when in icon view) and also how many there are in each row and how they are sorted in this layout.
      • The ability to change timecode (and reel name) directly while in the list view without having to go into timecode settings window. Important for assistant editors.
      • The ability to disable the clip information and thumbnail. This would allow for more room in this window for people with lower resolution monitors, or when screen real-estate is important.
    6. Customisation of the source/program monitors.
      • The ability for the user to remove any buttons taking up space that are not regularly used. (for example i would use the JKL buttons to play/stop the video. I have no need to have these buttons below the source/program monitors which I will never use) This will give more space for the sequence  or allow for larger playback views..
      • The quick way to change which timecode your viewing in the program monitor. (for example source timecode, v1 timecode, v2 timecode) etc
    7. When you pull a sequence into the source monitor, it would be nice to have the ability to overwrite or insert the source clips instead of a nested sequence. Maybe this could be an option to change the default behavior depending on the user.
    8. Sequence/Timeline;
      • Change 'Video 1' and 'Audio 1' to 'V1' and 'A1' - Most editors are smart enough to know what this means - and gives you more screen realestate.
      • Give us the option to choose if the audio and video have separate scroll bars or for them to be combined. Coming from avid you tend to find it more confusing.
      • The timeline workspace in and out points take up way to much space, this could be easier if you just used in and out point to determine work area.
    9. The ability to 'render selected' and 'render in to out points'.
    10. Media Management - The ability to choose between working from source clips like FCP and premiere do now, but also to transcode on import and save in a folder containing all media for project. (this goes for audio and stills as well as video) AVID based offline editors this are used to this workflow  and do not want to have to think about where souce clips are located. There needs to be an option to copy into a single media directory. Though Premiere does a great job working with a variety of formats many professional offline editors (and particularly their assistants) wish for everything to be a single file/codec type and to be all contained in a single place. 
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 7:48 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I always wished Photoshop brushes somehow showed the feathering -- maybe radial lines? Next, ALL CS apps need the same shortcuts, icons and other interface signatures. Finally, Acrobat needs to get with the program and adopt some of the CS interface. It reminds me of a (shudder) Microsoft product -- an ugly, disorganized mess (no wonder hardly anyone knows how to use it).

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 7:58 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    After Effects: A configurable thumbnail view which can give you an overview of scenes/frames/comps. Primary use would be for viewing consistancy of graded shots and VFX shots.

     

    Similar to this example of DV Rebels Tools - but with more intigration with AEs interface and less manual work assigning markers etc.

    http://i56.tinypic.com/6rpkp2.jpg

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 9:07 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    What differences do you even notice?

     

    Well, the various ways of collapsing panels into mini bars or icons obviously would be extremely useful for character/ text panels and others that you may use only once a day. Finally that would also allow customized slender UI palettes using Flash panels so all that UI noise that is thrown in the comp and layer viewers can exist separately and where the user really wants it...

     

    Mylenium

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 12:55 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    The UI have been greatly improved since CS3. I'm using AE, used to work on a dual screen setup, but now, more and more on 13" laptops and single huge screen destop setup. Pixel real estate is very high. I'd love to see the Photopsho ptreatment to AE, where you can reduce a panel ton a simple icon.

     

    I'd also love to remove the panel header when I want. For exemple I always put the preview panel under the comp viewer so I just have the play/pause/preview button just under my viewer. But I loose a lot of real estate because of the "Preview" header. I'd love to keep the header when having tabs inside the panel, but not when I don't or when the panel can't have tabs.

     

    There is also a bug when too much elements are diplayed in a panel. For exemple add 1000 layers in a comp in AE and twirl down for all of them the transformation properties. Now scroll down the panel and at some point it will become completly black.

     

    Hope that helps,

     

    Seb

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 1:27 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I think Adobe must clean all the UI, less un useful option out, but with option to added or customize your own tools sets. I think there is a very inconsistencies in the suite, like Photoshop does not have the same UI than AE than Illustrator for example.

    But look to the UI in illustrator is insane bad organized, it looks very old. In general for me the feeling is that each program is done by a different group of people that don’t communicate between the groups.

    Illustrator have a lot of obscure tools like invert (flip) in a menu! Thats not the way.

    Adobe for me needs urgently a rearrange of all the suite of tools,to be consistent with the same shortcuts, the same kind of names for the same options, and so on.

    Thanks,
    Gabriel

     

    http://microbians.com

    http://cocoe.com

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 4:08 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    It would be great if the UI elements available for scripting would be more similar to the elements used in the application itself.


    For entering numbers, for example, I can only use text boxes in the scripting UI, whereas inside AE you have the more compact UI elements that just show the numbers and that you can click and drag to in/decrease or click on to replace.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 6:55 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I'd love to see Photoshop's History palette replicated in After Effects.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2011 6:21 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I use Story, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition and Encore all the time.

    Consistency troughout all the Adobe products (short cuts and maybe UI structure as much as possible) would be really great cause it would speed up the workflow and allow new users to increase their learning curve (I started out with AE and have still problems finding features in Photoshop or Illustrator)


    A kind of group option (like the one in Photoshop) to organize many layers in AE would really be awesome. Of course right now we can precompose all these layers, but it's still a workaround and it is not always desirable to change compositions all the time.

     

    A visual representation of a keyboard when changing/or searching for a specific short cut would also be a blessing (especially for Premiere Pro)

     

    Also an improved 2monitor workspace with application fullscreen mode, like mocca has it, would be great. There is also a workaround right now but its one more workaround;-)

     

    The option to easily share workspaces with co-workers..

     

    A slider to choose how dark photoshop appears on screen like the one used in PP and AE.

     

    I also use Blender for some simple 3D and Compositing work. There you can customize everything UI related color. Even tough I don't think it is good to change each and every buttons appearance I really like the ability to customize the Ui in the way I prefer to work with

     

    For PP and AE i hope you will implement a true fullscreen view, without all the controll-items at the bottom of the screen. It would help to estimate cuts and timings even better without the need to use an external monitor (I think most of us don't have one available)

     

    It would be nice to change higlighted values with the mouse wheel. much like in Nuke

     

    How about adding something like the Media-Browser from PP or the Mini-Bridge from Photoshop into After Effects (maybe a hybrid of both) Together with an improved Imagesequenz Importer ;-)

     

    You should add a visual representation of all the nested sequenzes and their relationship in pp. Much like the flowgraph or the miniflowgraph in ae

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 7:46 AM   in reply to Andrew Yoole
    I'd love to see Photoshop's History palette replicated in After Effects.

    And Illustrator.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 7:49 AM   in reply to tomprager

    How about being able to save History palette entries as Actions?

     
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  • joe bloe premiere
    4,391 posts
    Dec 6, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 8:56 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    After Effects:

     

    The ability to expand the timeline view to include keyframes that are
    out of range of the composition start and end frames.

     

    A "previous" and "next" button in the keyframe Edit Value pop-up for toggling

    through keyframes without exiting the Edit Value dialog box.

     

    A timeline counter that actually counts time during RAM preview and playback.

     

    The ability to specify an unlocked panel to always be on top of other unlocked panels.

     

    The ability to force save a project if only an interface change has been made that
    will be recalled when the project is re-loaded (i.e. expanding/collapsing layers,
    currently displayed comp, etc.)
    In fact, the Ctrl+S shortcut should always be operable (as in Pr).

     

     

    Application Windows keyboard shortcuts that need
    a three-stroke cycle to return to original position:

     

    Ctrl+\ (backslash)
    Resize application window or floating window to fit screen.
    (Press again to resize window so that contents fill the screen.)
    NEEDS: (Press again to return window to it's original position.)

     

    Ctrl+Alt+\ (backslash)
    Move application window or floating window to main monitor;
    resize window to fit screen. (Press again to resize window
    so that contents fill the screen.)
    NEEDS: (Press again to return window to it's original position.)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 10:39 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I was just thinking yesterday about how great it would be in AE to be able to have multiple project windows or the ability to open and move folder contents into separate spaces in the UI. Similar to what the NLEs do. Its frustrating in a long list of assets to always have to scroll

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 8:34 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Is this the right place to post comments about Premiere Pro? I came here from http://blogs.adobe.com/toddkopriva/2011/06/adobe-seeking-feedback-abou t-panels-palettes-workspaces-and-other-ui-elements.html#comment-2847 but it says After Effects here.

     

    I’m using Premiere Pro CS 5 (till I upgrade to 5.5 soon).

    Premiere Pro Titler could use an update. It feels like the most stale part of Premiere.

    Insert Logo should be Insert Graphic (since you renamed some things in 5.5).

    There should be constrained scaling using percent. When I import a logo into the titler, it’s often larger than the titler window, and it’s very awkward to find the corner handles and drag down the size (holding shift to lock proportions, of course) to end up with the right sized logo, in the right aspect, that fits in the Title space.

    There should be a way to set the default font, size and color for the text tool. (On a new porject, it defaults to the first font alphabetically, which I rarely use.) Just as I can set the sample text (AaBbZz) I want to start with, say, Ariel, 30 Pt., grey. Even the style gallery defaults to 100 pts. (for new projects, otherwise it does last used, which is fine).

    Selecting fonts from a large list is tricky. If I type “A” it goes to the fonts that start with A, but if I type “Ar” it doesn’t narrow down the search (for Ariel) but it goes to the “R” fonts. And scrolling through many fonts is cumbersome, so I’d like it to be more like a font search, as in Word, etc. I type “Tim” and Times New Roman shows up. Also, like your filter search.

    How about ‘Paste Attributes” for text boxes? The workaround for making text look just like other text is awkward.

    I would love to see some key framing in the text tool. Especially for Leading. It would be more like the text tool in Flash.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 8:42 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    (Again, I'm still in Premiere Pro 5. Will go to 5.5 soon.)

     

    Premiere Pro titler should have “Save As.” Many times I start modifying a title design, but I’ve forgotten to hit “New Title based on current title.” I used to be able to “Save As” a new title.

     

    Sometimes the effects in the Effects Panel don’t scroll down correctly. A good example is in Audio, Dynamics, or Audio, EQ. If I don’t have the Effects panel set really large, I’ll be looking at the custom settings, and as I get down to that effect’s bottom of the interface, it disappears before the bottom shows. It’s hard to describe, but if you play with those effects (show the UI “knobs”) and scroll down in the effect window, you’ll see what I mean.

     

    BTW, I believe round “knobs” should never be on any interface, because they don’t translate well to mouse movements. “Sliders” are more intuitive.

     

    In Premiere Pro, the Multicam Window, the Program Monitor, and/or the Reference Monitor should be able to run (with moving video) together at all times. I don’t know if the “one or the other” is because of my older video card. I’m getting a new Adobe-recommended (CUDA enabled) card soon, and I hope the monitors work together.

    For instance, I can watch the Program Monitor and the scope at the same time, but the scope freezes until I pause the video.

     

    In PPro, Time Remapping in Effects Controls is very hard to figure out. I would think there could be a key frame for the one speed, a key frame for a different speed, and a line or curve in between.

    Your Temporal Interpretation for key frames, such as Linear, Bezier, Ease In/Out is very nice, and I use them all the time. But Time Remapping confuses me.

     

    In Adobe Media Encoder, how about presets that group other presets together? For instance, I have a client who always likes to get WMVs and FLVs, and I like to make another version for Vimeo Thanks for those presets, BTW!). It would be nice to make a super-preset that I could name after my client, and when I click on it, my video would be queued up for WMV, FLV and H.264 in one step instead of three (or more, if you include finding the client’s favorite WMV, FLV and H.264 settings for each format). It would be listed as three encodes, of course.

     

    In the Project Panel, Preview area, it would be nice to be able to make that a little bigger. You can make larger icons or thumbnails, but that little player in the upper right should have a bigger option.

     

    In the source clip window, I’d like a button or some quick way to view the audio in a video clip. The Output button, with the list of all the options, is okay, but I thought there used to be one button to check audio.

    How about some way to see video AND audio waveform at the same time (other than dropping it into a sequence).

     

    In the Source Panel and Program Panel, there is a terrific little button to export a video frame. The options are: Name, Format and Path. But in older versions of Premiere Pro (3), I knew how to set the size, pixel aspect and deinterlacing. My client often asks for still frames, and it would be nice to not to have to go into Photoshop to make stills look right. (And I can never figure out how to convert pixel aspect ratios there anyway.)

     

    I love Premiere Pro. Keep up the great work!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 9:31 PM   in reply to cocoe.com

    … each program is done by a different group of people that don’t communicate between the groups… rearrange of all the suite of tools, to be consistent with the same shortcuts, the same kind of names for the same options

    Agree.

     

    … Illustrator have a lot of obscure tools like invert (flip) in a menu! Thats not the way.

    Disagree.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 3, 2011 11:54 PM   in reply to cocoe.com

    But look to the UI in illustrator is insane bad organized, it looks very old.

     

    It is old and badly organized.... But then again, the same is true for Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Photoshop - unless you really get into them, their UIs are intimidating and confusing. It matters a lot what you do and how often you use an app...

     

    In general for me the feeling is that each program is done by a different group of people that don’t communicate between the groups.

     

    They certainly do, but probably not to the extent that would truly foster integration. Everybody just does the bare minimum due to limited resources...

     

    Mylenium

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2011 12:04 AM   in reply to matt_larson

    I was just thinking yesterday about how great it would be in AE to be able to have multiple project windows or the ability to open and move folder contents into separate spaces in the UI. Similar to what the NLEs do. Its frustrating in a long list of assets to always have to scroll

     

    Na, I don't think so. Substituting lists for bins is just replacing one UI metaphor with another and even then, essentially you can already do that by creating folders in the hierarchy, AE just doesn't treat them separately. The real problem I see is that AE (and ultimately all Adobe video apps) need to get smarter and more flexible in managing and tracking assets on a more general level. Many inconveniences and slowdowns are related to the programs being locked into specific project folder structures and in turn the apps reacting über-sensitive to changes or just the same not properly responding to such changes and keeping outdated files and assets around, causing confusion with different versions... That particular one is realyl much deeper than just the UI IMO.

     

    Mylenium

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2011 4:16 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    PPro cs5

     

    At the very least, cntrl +/- to increase/decrease zoom on the timline and preview monitors. This is a fundamnetal shortcut in other programs why not premiere?

     

    I second the need to update the whole title creation tool, can I not just have a text tool and drag out a box on the preview monitor? then I can change the text via the text pallet like in the other programs

     

    AE cs5

     

    I second someones elses suggestion here:

    The ability to hide/group layers in the timeline, sometimes you just have too many layers and they should be grouped in a folder out of the way!

     

    Thanks for enabling my creativety Adobe but when are you guys bringing out a true 3D program so I can create 3d objects to use in my PPro & AE movies?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2011 6:26 AM   in reply to tomprager

    tomprager wrote:

     

    How about being able to save History palette entries as Actions?

    Wow, you just reminded me.  I was thinking this just days ago - After Effects needs an Action Palette like PS.  This would streamline repetitive tasks enormously, without needing to resort to scripting.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2011 6:39 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    And I'll mention it, although it's more than a true interface issue - the ability to move elements around within the render pipeline is long overdue.  Not necessarily true nodal control, but why can't I render Layer Styles before effects?  Or Masks post-effects?  Because of their position in the render pipeline, I find Layer Styles virtually useless in most of my work, especially when motion blur is used.  The ability to simply drag layer properties into a customised order within the timeline would be an incredibly powerful capability.

     

    Naturally, pre-composing is the way around this issue, but it makes things so much more cumbersome.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2011 11:26 AM   in reply to a178Design
    The ability to hide/group layers in the timeline, sometimes you just have too many layers and they should be grouped in a folder out of the way!

     

    Ah, here we go again... Timeline folders, eternal bane of my existance. I really don't like the idea of having yet another redundant UI feature, when we already have nested compositions. You know, the whole concept very much sounds like shying layers, including the reasons why I never use it - too much trouble to assign the layer switch to begin with and then you still spend much time with it being not used. Same goes for locking and soloing such stuff - too many potential combinations of settings and I already hear people screaming when the accidentally bust up their stuff. I'd much prefer we stick with AE's current model, but I would agree that it might be useful to be able to reveal the content of a nested composition as "ghosted" and uneditable in the main comp for reference purposes just like it would be useful if AE finally got a marker system that actually works based on common sense rather than esoteric, unfathomable rules...

     

    Mylenium

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2011 2:20 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    It would be nice:
    Layers into folders
    Multiple instances of palettes (effects & presets palette and effects controls palette)
    Composition navigator under the image, or next to Adjust Exposure
    Editable palettes with buttons (C4D is a great reference)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 4, 2011 4:39 PM   in reply to martinfernandez.tv

    I'd love to see collapsable palettes (Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator), Uber twril for pre-comps (and I love pre-comps by the way) instead of layer groups like in Photoshop, and in the absence of a true node interface for transformations, masks, and effects I'd love to have the ability to re-arrange the rendering pipeline in the timeline window by simply dragging things around. For example:

     

     

    A simplified form of node editing could also be implemented in the flow chart. For example you could pick a mask from one layer and drag it to multiple layers. This would be especially useful for track mattes.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 5, 2011 3:00 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Some of the best UI features of Adobe apps are ones that are universally intuitive, like: Space Bar = Hand Tool/Pan.

     

    Often what seems poor in one application is the lack of a feature you’re used to from another, eg. a ‘group’ command, history palette, UI brightness control etc.  I really think that for starters the following features could and should exist across all three of these applications (and possibly others):

     

    AE:
    Save Incremental
    Any numerical (and colour) value can be scrubbed
    Is effectively fullscreen by default
    Gradient editor
    Dialog boxes always ‘Preview’ by default

     

    PS:
    ‘Smart’ Control/Options (horizontal) toolbar
    Vertically collapsible palettes
    History palette
    Brush/tool size can be altered on-the-fly with ctrl-alt
    Brush/tool size is represented by cursor size

     

    AI:
    Mini top-floating toolbars (Pen tool etc)
    Content present outside the active area can be usefully viewed
    Swatches palette

     

    Keyboard shortcuts are a slightly different matter.  It would be lovely if they were all the same but in reality having P in AE be Pen tool instead of Position would be hard to justify.  But anything which can easily be unified, should.  Such as:

     

    ‘Hide application’ shortcut
    Scale from centre shortcut (alt in AI/PS, Cmd in AE)
    Exit editing text shortcut (esc or enter)

     

    Illustrator definitely needs the most work, it could be so much more intuitive and natural feeling, I don’t know how real illustrators can stand it.  Across the board I also think the UI’s could be more user-configurable, possibly via HUD’s (think C4D or Apple Motion), looking again at the way palettes dock/collapse (I used to like the old InDesign where they collapsed horizontally to the screen’s edge like a draw),

     

    Generally speaking I think a lot of the UI paradigms are outdated in the sense that the GFX cards and OS's are so much more powerful now than they were 10 years ago, screens are bigger, and workflows are faster.  Most of the time, the UI is the only thing that stops your thought-process from happening instantaneously.  With this in mind, I think Adobe could benefit from revisiting notions of the 'intuitive' and think about ways to get the UI out of the way of the creativity as much as possible. This might be ultimately difficult as long as Adobe thinks like a 'software company', but the new Photoshop iPad apps were a step in the right direction.  Would a closer partnership with Wacom be worth considering? Or even developing your own physical 'Toolbar' keypad with dynamic, configurable LED buttons.  Massive cliché warning: You have to think outside the box to innovate! Even simple features like a universal shortcut to temporarily horizontally flip the art (a trick traditional artists have used for centuries to check their compositional balance etc.) or an option for a larger colour picker/mixer palette with various modes are easy to imagine.

     
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    Jun 5, 2011 3:26 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    AE

     

    ability to scroll through layer blending options (add, overlay, darken, ect) with the down/up arrow just like in PS. Im sick of manually mouse clicking through each of them.

     

    (If this is a newbie thing and I should know the effect that each option bring than sorry but think of it from Adobe point of view, they should be making their programs accesible to new customers, while still catering for seasoned pro's of course.)

     
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    Jun 5, 2011 10:58 PM   in reply to a178Design

    Shift and + or - key moves through blending modes in AE.

     
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    Jun 5, 2011 11:41 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    Primarily using AE/PP with often PS as well, some illustrator.

     

    I don't think the UI itself -- panels palettes workspaces etc -- need much work, they are overall greatly improved in the last 5+ years & for the most part much ahead of competition. More attention should probably be put into other items that need improved, many of which already came up listed here.

     

    One thing, I wish text brightness was added as customizable as well as the UI slider; I don't like the text brightness on the lower and higher end of the slider, wish I could customize it.

    _____

    BUG since as far as I can remember, maybe CS3 or earlier: workspaces need to remember multiple monitor setups!

     

    The problem is, I snap off my timeline into a separate window, and make it full screen.

     

    Now, if have an explorer/finder window open on the screen where the project & monitors panels where, everything opens fine & my full, double screen layout opens just as I left it.

     

    However, if I open the project from the monitor that say, my full screen timeline is in, the project/monitor panels etc come up in that same screen, undernearth the timeline.  So I have to nudge the timeline window down, and double click the primary premiere pro window, and for some reason that maximizes it to the other screen).  Then bring my timeline window back into place.

     

    For this reason alone I kind of like making a single window layout that's just 2-screens wide (Avid-esk), however, I run different resolutions on the monitor and this really complicates things if I'm trying to use all of my screenspace, when two or more monitors have different heights for resolution.  Also, in this setup, all progress windows appear right in the middle, so it's split between the two monitors.  This could be improved.

    ____

    Another request would definitely be to make hotkeys and things like timeline navigation more universal among your apps.  I run Avid+custom setup on my hotkeys in PP--I jump into AE, and every last button is different, and in AE it's not nearly as easily customizable. Same for Encore's, etc.  I'd LOVE for a change in PP's hotkey to reflect how it works in AE, Encore, and even PS in video mode, etc.

     

    Simarly, as mentioned on this forum, I hate how blending mode changes in PS is arrows keys, on AE is shift + or -, and totally manual (mouse--annoying) in PP.  If there's one thing I wished was improved, it would be to make this particular task universal among Adobe apps.

     

    I also really miss the hotkey property drop downs from AE when in any other program (c for opacity, a for anchor, etc).  I'd love to see them make it into other apps.

    ____

    Try not to hide things in the panel's window, coming from "hamburger menu's", I like that CS5 has kept things well enough organized to not have a bunch of important options there that are easy to miss.

     

    Speaking of buttons, I think you'd find it rewarding to add 'fit to fill' and other fit clip options into buttons. They are extremely hidden right now, because you only see the options if you set 4 in/out points and don't drag/drop, which most users will never do.  Additionally, "solo" & "mute" buttons for audio tracks, which are right there on the audio mixer, just makes sense, add them.

    ____

    Another important one is you need to make everything keyboard mappable.  Like in MC, all buttons and actions need to be mappable--just the drop down menus and the few extras you have listed doesn't cut it.  I agree with others here, the keyboard visual layout would be dandy here.

    ____

    Definitely a +1 to improving thumbnail views.  Really quite bad right now.  Need much more customization in sizes thatn just 3 sizes, and a thumbnail + info view (like script view in MC) makes it so you can both see and sort the info, and see the clip at the same time, which is ideal for me.  Be able to customize the thumbnail, maybe a special type of marker that's put in from the preview window?

    ____

    Hope this helps.  For the most part the UI's are really great; it's the thing that most other NLE users are complaining about in their software, not Adobe users.  Often in their forums I'll see posts comparing things to PPro's UI and pointing out how much better developed it is & that particular app should do something similar to what Adobe did.  In my experience, anyway

     

    - wb

     
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    Jun 6, 2011 7:10 AM   in reply to Mylenium
    Substituting lists for bins is just replacing one UI metaphor with another

    That's not what I was asking for. Maybe I wasn't clear enough: I would like to have the ability to have multiple project windows open at once (similar to the ability to have multiple timeline windows open at once).

     
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    Jun 6, 2011 9:25 AM   in reply to matt_larson

    Mmh yeah, but what would be the advantage over importing projects into other projects beyond perhaps some minor copy&paste stuff? Odd is this may sound, but I think a multi-document environment is not necessarily something that would streamline your workflow here, at least not given AE's current inabilty to simply reference external project files and have those referenced changes ripple through all other projects that use this external file. If we had this feature, then we are talking, but not before. Also with any such stuff there is always the danger that people end up busting up their own stuff by copy&pasting/ drag&dropping to the wrong files... To me, it's simply not a clean workflow as too many things in AE are dependent on specific contexts as opposed to being encapsulated and able to exist as independent entities. Of particular note here would be effects that reference other layers or expressions which are even tricky to deal with when working with just a single project... If you will, IMO AE's internal referencing system is not robust enough to deal with project structure changes when specific things are already in place and that where it fails for me...

     

    Mylenium

     
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    Jun 6, 2011 9:20 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    My thoughts on the above:  why can't I just drag an item direct from Finder/Explorer window onto a timeline?  After Effects should allow me to do so, and automatically place that item into the project for me, rather than require me to add to the project first, THEN drag to the timeline.

     
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    Jun 7, 2011 5:49 AM   in reply to Andrew Yoole

    you can do this in flash builder, dropping something in the project explorer, but this makes me think, why can't i drag a file into the code view of flash builder and have it automatically import it to the "default asset location" and then drop an appropriate embed tag in my code?  this would be super slick!

     

    Date: Mon, 6 Jun 2011 22:19:33 -0600

    From: forums@adobe.com

    To: david_coleman_007@hotmail.com

    Subject: Re: Adobe seeking feedback about panels, palettes, workspaces, and other UI elements Adobe seeking feedback about panels, palettes, workspaces, and other UI elements

     

    Another thought:  why can't I just drag an item direct from Finder/Explorer window onto a timeline?  After Effects should allow me to do so, and automatically place that item into the project for me, rather than require me to add to the project first, THEN drag to the timeline.

    >

     
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    Jun 7, 2011 4:22 PM   in reply to Mylenium

    Referencing would be a major step up, Mylenium.  I can't help but miss some of the features I have in 3D apps like x-refs from outside files and referencing/instancing a single modifier or effect across multiple layers.

     
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    Jun 9, 2011 5:46 PM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    I use Photoshop and Flash a lot for my website (along with Dremweaver) and I find it illogical that in Flash, you can lock/unlock multiple layers but you cannot delete multiple layers and in Photoshop, you can delete multiple layers but you can't lock/unlock multiple layers.

     

    I find this a pain sometimes, especially that in Flash let's say for example I have imported layered content from Photoshop and then I shift most of it to a few layers, I am then left with 5-10 layers which I have to painstakingly right-click, delete, right-click, delete... I find it a nuisance.

     

    And why does Flash appear to have no alignment guides? And Photoshop does not allow me to modify the gradient after it has been added like Flash does and there is no primitive rectangle or oval tool that I can modify after placement.

     
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    Jun 10, 2011 2:02 AM   in reply to Todd_Kopriva

    The docking behavior on Fireworks drives me insane on a  daily basis. I never, never, never,never, never, never,never, never,  never want to open 17 docked palettes at once!

    It’s a real pain trying to close them all. Also, they dock in ways  that aren’t useful. Get a pallete near another, and it instantly wants  to dock, or go inside it. This is not fun.
    Sometimes I just want to move them around. Also, when a palette such as  layers wants to dock with the main screen, making your document window  smaller is completely useless as a default behavior. I always want the  palettes to float.

    What would be nice is a pallete manager, where you could somehow choose and arrange a set of pallettes external of using them.

    In Fireworks, the most important pallettes for me are in order: Properties, Pages, Layers, Align, History & Optimize.

    I never use States! Surely most designers use it very sparingly, So  it should not be grouped with the two most important palettes: Layers  and Pages. I think this is a mistake.
    One of the major weaknesses of the palletes in FW is the default  grouping. It seems to be designed by someone who actually does not use  the program on a daily basis.

     
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