I am excited to use live components and i wanted to give some feedback based on my experience so far. I come from using node graphs in other softwares like Cinema 4D and I am finding that the graphs in Trimble Creator are taking a lot more clicks to setup and make connections. And they are a lot harder to read and see what is happening since we have to click each nodes input or output to expand it before we can see attributes that are connected.
I have now come to appreciate the ability to collapse or expand nodes in some of the other software i use, and I am hoping the sketchup team will consider adding an expanded node view as i think it helps a lot when building a graph!
One other feature that would be really helpful, is the ability to group nodes together and label them, or some other system to leave comments (like you would leave when scripting).
These are just a few things that come to mind as i dive in. I love the potential live component offer and I am excited to see what what you guys have planned for it. Thanks!
Yes! Something like this will help keep a graph organized. Here is a screenshot from cinema 4d of the xpresso node editor. You can see all of the node inputs at a glance and follow the data flow easily. The screenshot also shows a node group, but a simple background like your screenshot would already be a big improvement.
Thanks for chiming in Keith. Good to know the dev team is listening in.
Personally, i would prefer non uniform nodes with all the inputs and outputs expanded over the uniform graph that we have now. Granted, the graphs do look pretty cool when zoomed out. They are like a mini city or metro map. But these esthetics have no utility at the moment, and from my experience make it much more difficult to build than it should be.
I like the idea of everything being visible, but next to that the graph would take on colossal dimensions with a lot of scrolling to link the entries.
I like how Filemaker Clarisse handles this problem for the database graph
The nodes would have 3 possible states:
Minimal like today.
Active links only.
All inputs outputs visible
Switching from one state to another would be accessible by right-clicking on the node.
Once the parts of the graph have been verified, we can minimize them. In the current graph area, the nodes would be maximized.
A node would default to a maximized state.
When nodes are created, they come with the most common inputs and outputs already visible on the node. However, you can click the left or right boxes at the top of the node to add additional or less common connection points. Or you can right click a connection point and delete the input to keep the node clean and efficient.
I think both what you described and the cinema version have similar concepts, and i am sure the devs take on them could be a big improvement the Trimble Creator UX.
For the sketchup team: And this is off topic a bit, but is it planned have the ability to add additional inputs to nodes? For example, the “add” node has four inputs, is there a feature planned to allow us to create additional inputs?