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Renderworks cameras: horribly confusing, and what is the point of them at all?

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Previously my rendering attempts have been relatively basic; I set up a sheet layer viewport, and then use the settings for the viewport to control how the render looks. But I know there are Renderworks cameras. Previously when I've dabbled with these I've got confused and given up due to lack of time but this morning I decided to brace myself and try and get my head around what they are for.

 

So, it seems they basically give you a greater range of controls over how your renders look ("camera effects" and so on).

 

I have to create a camera and I have to create a viewport, and I have to link them. OK. Got it.

 

Then I want to adjust the settings for that rendering. I've linked a camera to the viewport because that gives me greater control, via the camera settings.

 

When I right-click on my viewport to edit the camera I get an object info pallette titled "Renderworks Camera". So, logically, everything that controls how my rendering looks is in now in here, instead of in the settings for the viewport, right?

 

Wrong!

 

In my camera settings I find a dropdown called "Render Mode". Aha! This is where I change from an OpenGL rendering to a Renderworks one. I choose a Renderworks mode. Nothing happens. Ok. Maybe I have to return to the viewport for it to take effect. I return to the viewport on the sheet layer. Nothing has happened. I try updating the viewport. Nothing. Maybe I thought I'd changed it but actually hadn't. I go back into the settings for the camera. Yes, I have changed the dropdown, and now the view, in this "edit camera" mode, is rendering in a Renderworks mode. Back to the viewport on the sheet layer. Viewport is still rendered in OpenGL.

 

*time passes, some cursing*

 

So I discover that what controls the render mode of the viewport is what's set in the viewport settings, not what's set in the camera settings.

 

But some things in the camera OIP settings don't affect the viewport. For example if I go into "edit camera" and using the camera OIP:

 

- Change to top/plan view, the view in the camera edit mode does change, but does not in the linked viewport, and has not been preserved next time you go into the camera edit mode

- Change projection from perspective to orthogonal, view in camera edit mode does not change, does change in the linked viewport, and has changed next time you go into camera edit mode.

- Use "activate camera" then "click to aim camera", view in camera edit mode does change, does change in the linked viewport, and has changed next time you go into camera edit mode.

 

In other words the controls in that camera OIP are completely inconsistent in what they do. Some seem to control attributes of the camera object, some seem to control not the camera but what you see in edit mode, and of these, some take immediate effect and some don't

 

Am I alone in finding this horribly confusing?

 

Basic questions

 

1) Why have settings in the camera OIP that neither affect the camera itself or what you see during that "edit camera" session?

 

2) Why not just control all this stuff in settings for the viewport itself (fundamentally what's the point of the renderworks cameras at all?)

 

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1) The Camera Effects are edited when you edit the camera of the viewport, then you need to exit the editing mode and update the viewport to see the changes.

 

2) That is exactly how it should work, I have filed a wish for exactly that. Makes sense to just pass whatever camera settings are applicable directly to the viewports OIP.

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2 minutes ago, JimW said:

1) The Camera Effects are edited when you edit the camera of the viewport, then you need to exit the editing mode and update the viewport to see the changes.

 

2) That is exactly how it should work, I have filed a wish for exactly that. Makes sense to just pass whatever camera settings are applicable directly to the viewports OIP.

 

1) my question was wrongly worded, I meant why have changes you can make in the camera OIP that aren't previewed in that edit mode. There's no benefit to having these changes in the camera OIP instead of the viewport OIP. But this ends up as same question as (2)

 

2) Good! Thanks.

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By the way, another confusing thing:

 

In the *viewport* OIP, when you click "lighting options" it takes you to a dialogue that actually edits the active Renderworks style.

 

I think most people's expectation would be that "lighting options" would control settings for that particular viewport, not for all viewports using that RW style.

 

The button should be called "edit active renderworks style" or similar. Or should be analagous to the way you can edit, say, a wall style from the dropdown that lets you replace one style with another.

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1 minute ago, line-weight said:

....and also!

 

This video - http://www.vectorworks.net/training/2017/getting-started-guides/rendering-in-vectorworks/renderworks-cameras

 

From about 10.00 onwards, I think the screen recording gets frozen so that we can't see on the screen what's being described in the audio.

 

Looks like a streaming issue, the original is fine and the problem is new, I'll submit a ticket to them.

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LW, got to love your passion!  I tried the camera once a couple of versions back, and didn't think it was doing enough to warrant mastering it.  And I do a lot of perspective views and animations.  I hope Jim and VW are taking your point about simplifying and making more intuitive not just this item, but everything about the VW user interface.  Don't get me wrong, I think VW is superbly intuitive as it is, but the parts that work really well make us want everything to be like that.

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Another confusing thing:

 

When I have my rendered viewport selected, in the "Visualisation-Lights" palette, it tells me which lights are on/off for that viewport.

 

But when I right-click to edit the camera, and I'm then in the camera view with the Renderworks Camera OIP up, when I look in the "Visualisation-Lights" palette it is showing different lights switched on (and indeed when the view renders, this is reflected in how it's lit, which is differently to what's in the viewport).

 

Doesn't make any sense.

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On 8/6/2018 at 8:55 PM, line-weight said:

All of this needs a complete overhaul. It's an absolutely terrible user interface experience. 

 

I've been working with linked VPcameras a lot in the past few days and I must agree in all points.

Another annoying issue I'm not sure with (maybe a bug):

When editing a linked cam, sometimes when returning to the VP and rerendering, the render will come out completely black after a few seconds. So I go back to edit the camera and the settings are all over the place. Then I edit again and it seems to come out normally. It only does this sometimes and not in any particular pattern. I've tried different documents and it seems to be the case more often with larger ones. (?)

Anyone else experiencing this? It's quite timeconsuming because entering the cam-edit through the VP takes a few secs to load.

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46 minutes ago, Alt+F4 said:

 

I've been working with linked VPcameras a lot in the past few days and I must agree in all points.

Another annoying issue I'm not sure with (maybe a bug):

When editing a linked cam, sometimes when returning to the VP and rerendering, the render will come out completely black after a few seconds. So I go back to edit the camera and the settings are all over the place. Then I edit again and it seems to come out normally. It only does this sometimes and not in any particular pattern. I've tried different documents and it seems to be the case more often with larger ones. (?)

Anyone else experiencing this? It's quite timeconsuming because entering the cam-edit through the VP takes a few secs to load.

 

Not the exact same but I occasionally find the settings have gone haywire within cam-edit. I treat it quite cautiously and minimise the changes I make... I never feel 'safe' in that camera edit mode.

 

Yesterday I thought that the cam-edit mode had stopped working completely because when I went into it there were no settings there to change. I eventually worked out that it was because some non camera objects had become selected, hence the OIP not relating to the camera. But as the camera doesn't exist as an object, it wasn't possible to find and select the camera. In the end I found that deselecting the objects, returning to the viewport, then re-entering cam edit mode made it work again.

 

It's such a clunky way of doing things - the camera settings should simply be controlled from the viewport settings whilst remaining in the sheet layer, just like the render style settings are.

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3 minutes ago, line-weight said:

It's such a clunky way of doing things - the camera settings should simply be controlled from the viewport settings whilst remaining in the sheet layer, just like the render style settings are.

 

Absolutely.

 

3 minutes ago, line-weight said:

In the end I found that deselecting the objects, returning to the viewport, then re-entering cam edit mode made it work again.

 

If you know where the camera sits, just go into 2D Plan mode (within cam-edit). You'll be able to see and select it then and edit it.

If you need to see what the camera sees, click on the edit button and use the sliders.

Edited by Alt+F4

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9 minutes ago, Alt+F4 said:

If you know where the camera sits, just go into 2D Plan mode (within cam-edit). You'll be able to see and select it then and edit it.

If you need to see what the camera sees, click on the edit button and use the sliders.

 

I tried that, actually, but couldn't find it. I may have been doing something wrong though.

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Also, when in the camera edit mode it's annoying that it gives you no preview of where the crop frame is going to be. So to get the viewpoint just right, you have to switch back and forth between the viewport and edit mode.

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To add to your VP preview idea, how about a VP-linked physical 3D camera to work with inside the VP. This would make positioning etc easier and prevent one losing the selection of the linked camera inside the VP (as you described earlier)

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