Topic: A few suggestions for viewer controls

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Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
First and absolutely foremost: can we please get roll control keys for the free navigation? We have pitch and yaw, but no roll, which makes for an extreme inconvenience when flying above the point cloud and attempting to perform a circular horizontal strafe of a particular point when there is no object halo available. It is, of course, possible to right one's self by turning 180 degrees and using the pitch controls to level one's self out or use a combination of other keys pulling in opposite directions.

To me it is most certainly as irritating as if we did not have the [E] and [C} key controls. Yes, it would still be possible to gain altitude by looking up and 'walking forward', but this would grow quite tiresome, hence the E and C keys. Similarly I would dearly love to have roll left and roll right keys.

Secondarily, I would love to have shortcut keys for progressing and regressing through highlights. What are the odds of this?
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Thirdly, I have some complaints about a few quirks in the existing keyboard shortcuts differing in a few crucial ways from the Direct3D viewer.

Silverlight viewer keyboard shortcuts quirks: Let's start with: 

The control key functionality of being able to peek at the point cloud and then immediately be back in photos+points mode is really a favorite of mine. 
:: Unfortunately it does not work on the Macs that I have tested, nor does the Mac key perform the expected action as it is the general substitute for the control key in most common keyboard shortcuts. 
:: Also, whereas in the Direct3D viewer, you could, having used the [P] key once to enter 'Points only' mode, use the control key to perform, in essence, a Shift+P (I would like to see that as well). In the Silverlight viewer we have no such luck. Is this intentional? Is this necessary to implement the 'pause the point cloud anywhere rather than snapping to the nearest photo' behaviour? I'd love to know
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
[Z] [ , ] [ . ] and the lack of navigation types within Grid Mode.
In the Silverlight 2 viewer, when in grid mode, the functionality of the fullstop|period and comma keys are lost, as is, seemingly, the Z key. This is a fairly substantial stripping out of navigation. Again, was this intentional? (I sincerely hope not.) Was it for technical reasons or time constraints? Will we get functionality restored in this respect to Direct3D viewer control standards in the Silverlight 3 viewer when it is released?

Really, why? What happened to our ability to switch between 'world up' and 'photo up'? Will we ever see our old friend again?

Thanks for listening, guys. There might be more that I've been growling about but I'm not thinking of it at the moment. Perhaps some of this should have been filed under Bugs but I thought there might be an explanation for why you had changed these things in the Silverlight 2 viewer.

I'm all ears.
Jonathan (Over 1 year ago)
wow. that's a lot Nate. The short answer is simplicity. I've been working on cutting back on our controls to what's really needed for viewing and experiencing the synth. The extra keys in grid mode don't seem necessary to me, because we enable the arrow keys for navigating the grid - which is way more useful. It's also why you probably won't see keys for roll anytime soon (not that it's a bad suggestion) - we have many more higher priority issues to deal with. Similarly, the control key does one thing no matter what mode you're in - it's a bit conflicted in the D3D viewer.

The 'y' key is probably an oversight. It would be easy to add it in. And, I'll add a bug for the ctrl key not working with Macs as well. 

Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
Hi, Jonathan; thanks for replying.

I will concede that the new behaviour of the [Ctrl] key  is an improvement on the old behaviour in terms of predictable results. 

New being: (key down = point cloud only | key release = revert to prior state)
Old being: (key down = photos off | key release = photos on)

Even I had accidentally pushed Ctrl when viewing the point cloud before, accidentally flipping the photos back on and irritating myself so I openly admit that this is a change for the better.

I still would like a Shift+P functionality. I know that it sounds absurd that someone would want a two key combo for getting back to a viewing mode that can be reached by tapping the [P] key twice more, but it's more of a consistency issue with me than anything else. We have Shift+Spacebar and Shift+Z, so Shift+P fits in well for me. It's also about reaching my intended view from my current view directly rather than transitionally that is what I'm after.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
As for the shortcut keys in grid mode, I can only assume that you have removed them so as to prevent people from accidentally hitting them and wondering what is going on, leading to their dissatisfaction. If you would, please allow me to explain why I value them. 

Again, there is the consistency issue. In the same way that you changed the Ctrl behaviour to predictably show the point cloud when pressed I, as your user, expect that if I have taken the time to learn that fullstop and comma travel through filename order this knowledge stays valuable and relevant to me throughout the synth, regardless of viewing mode. When a synth has not reached 100% synthy it is extremely informative to be able to use the comma and fullstop to see how the matching has splintered vs. the original shooting order. Actually, this remains valuable even when you have achieved 100% synthy, simply to see the shooting order within the spatial order.
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
As to the roll keys, I can appreciate that you guys have far more pressing problems to solve, but I am absolutely adamant that these commands NEED to happen. How difficult can it possibly be to implement? Currently I feel as though my virtual neck is damaged or in a sling or something of the sort. 

Flying above a synth is great fun, but if you start circling it you very soon find yourself flipped on your side with no way to simply turn your head right side up again without *slowly* turning the camera backwards, guessing as to the correct amount of look up or look down to use, and turning slowly back around (which is laborious enough) to sometimes find that you need to repeat the process as you are still not quite level. *This is neither great nor fun!*

I can appreciate that the synth embedding in Bing Maps that you guys are working on may render some of the current synth navigation moot because we begin using Virtual Earth controls at that point.. but I must roll!
Nathanael (Over 1 year ago)
I know that you cannot possibly please every user but I just wanted to say that when I complain that there are no roll keys, it comes with over a year of consistent usage behind it. I wouldn't bring it up if it were something that I believed should be adapted to.

I don't plan on leaving the Photosynth community willingly any time soon and I don't want to be the obnoxious user that won't shut up because he can't have his way, but it seems like such a small issue would require very little effort on the team's part to address and pay large dividends to your advanced users' experience.

That's all the more I'll say on the topic for now.
Jonathan (Over 1 year ago)
thanks for all the details, Nate. I've added it to the backlog.