I have several use-ability issues with the current cascade viewport that I’d like to bring up, as they are very counter-intuitive and the changes made to UE4 since the UDK version are quite frustrating.
First of all, I would like to have the Viewport Drop-down boxes restored to clickable tools on the main Toolbar. Using the dropdown menu in the viewport causes the particle to pause when you do so, but if I want to pause my particle at a specific time, I can’t because as soon as I click something it restarts the simulation. The quick-accessibility of the toolbar was MUCH more efficient and user-friendly than the drop down boxes we have now.
I would MUCH rather have a second toolbar. In small-icons mode there is plenty of screen real-estate to use!
Secondly, PLEASE restore the old viewport navigation method. Using the left mouse-button currently pans the camera around the viewport, which is useless for something that is always going to be at 0, 0, 0. The UDK behaviour would orbit the camera around the focus point which is MUCH more intuitive. You can still change the focal point and pan the camera with the middle mouse button. I keep panning off in the wrong direction and loosing my particle, and to focus on it again I have to close cascade and re-open it to find it. (A ‘Home’ button would be useful)
Finally, please restore the old blue wireframe grid. The current grid is virtually impossible to see in the viewport and is relatively useless. the grid is useful for previewing distortion and refraction materials, but it is currently too dark too see. (yes I can change the background colour, but black is often the most suitable!)
I am aware that the Epic workflow is to preview particles in the level viewport, but the cascade viewport is still very useful and I would like to continue using it the way I was before.
Thank you for the feedback.
I will start off by saying quite a few of your suggestions for interface improvements have been noted and we are considering all options.
To be totally clear here, there is a big effort internally for us move to a new VFX system, and most of the bugs which are being fixed in Cascade are critical fixes to allow coders to focus on Cascade 2.
I cannot promise these suggestions will be implemented, but please understand we are aware of the flaws in the tool set. I apologize if it is frustrating now, but please trust there is a ton of discussion going on here centered around improving the workflow.
In an effort to provide you with solutions to your issues:
You can always use the 1% playback speed option to get as close as possible to pausing your particles in Cascade.
If you want to re-focus the view on your effects just press the ‘f’ key on your keyboard. You can ALT+LMouse and tumble around the focused view in the viewport.
If you want to preview your refraction I highly suggest placing your FX in a level with geometry.
I realize you mention you are aware of the workflow we use here, and you prefer to work the way your are used to working.
I would encourage you to give it a try and adopt a different workflow. In the long term I believe this will benefit your work. I rarely rely on the Cascade viewport with a black/grey/colored background because it provides zero context for PostProcess, relative object scale, timing/speed/duration relative to other FX, and especially Lighting calculations are vital to tweaking FX in UE4. In the long run, considering these elements can improve any VFX work.
I hope that helps you,
Thanks HomeRye, I’m aware you guys are working on a new version of Cascade (I hope it keeps the module workflow :p), the tip about using Alt + Left Mouse and pressing F to focus are very handy, thanks!