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  1. Snowstorm
  2. STORM-1126 Windlight Region Settings
  3. STORM-1168

[DESIGN] Give first editing priority to Day Cycle (not Advanced Sky)

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    Details

    • Type: Story Defect
    • Status: Closed
    • Priority: Major
    • Resolution: Won't Finish
    • Affects Version/s: None
    • Fix Version/s: project-windlight
    • Labels:
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      Description

      So, if I'm understanding this correctly...

      Say I'm a new estate owner and a fairly new Resident. I don't know all the intricacies of the WindLight controls. What I want to do is easily set up a custom day cycle that all my visitors can see. The first two things I need to understand are:

      1. The mechanics: I get to the controls in World > Place Profile > Region/Estate > Terrain tab. (Given that confusing name, you can see why I've opted to rename it in STORM-1167.) It's already buried some levels deep, so repeated public education will help, and word-of-mouth between Resis.
      2. The concept: A day cycle is made up of one or more sky settings mapped to times that I can change to my heart's desire, or if I screw up, I can easily reset to default. And right now, I don't want to make new sky settings — I'm content to pick from the settings included with the Viewer. Optionally, I can also change the water setting, but there is only one of those for the whole day cycle.

      Now, imagine my confusion: I'm in the Terrain tab and I click Advanced Sky, and I wonder to myself, "Well, how do I change skies at the other times of day?" After some fumbling around in the ADVANCED SKY EDITOR, I notice the Day Cycle Editor button.

      This seems backwards to me (and a huge usability problem). My expectation is:

      • Show me the DAY CYCLE EDITOR first so I can get a big-picture view of what my whole day is going to look like. In other words, replace the Advanced Sky button in the Terrain tab with a Day Cycle Editor button.
      • Then, near the Key Preset control in the DAY CYCLE EDITOR (Region Settings), show me an Edit button so I can edit the currently selected sky with the ADVANCED SKY EDITOR — if I want. Otherwise, I'll simply use the dropdown menu to choose an existing sky for the selected keyframe.
      • If I edit a sky setting without saving and make a change that replaces the current selection with another sky, I should be prompted if I want to save that sky to a new sky, the same functionality as the existing New button in the ADVANCED SKY EDITOR.

      Also be aware of the difference in intended behavior in the local vs. estate modes based on existing behavior:

      • At the local level, most Resis want to set a single sky setting, take pictures/explore, and move on. Using the DAY CYCLE EDITOR (Local Settings) is rarer since it involves more work for something that won't persist (unless you Save Test Day but that's kind of obscure), and applies more to someone filming a movie than still photos. In other words, good to know, but a minority case.
      • At the estate level, most estate owner will gravitate towards making a whole day cycle, since that will make their region more dynamic. With the added appeal of estate-side WindLight, we should also watch for their tendency to experiment with the new possibilities. An estate owner can easily have a day cycle with one sky setting (so it looks the same all the time — wonder if we can track data for regions and # of day cycle keyframes?), but that's still done with the understanding that a day cycle (not a single sky) is the more common mode for a "natural" experience, given precedence in the real-world. Also, estate-side WindLight opens up subtle shifts, like two somewhat different "Midnight" keyframes in a day cycle that look more alive than a static one, since clouds can come and go.

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            Reporter:
            torley.linden Torley Linden
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