Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Autodesk, your success needs to be messed with.

Okay.  I just want to make something clear.  I do like AutoCAD.  Once you learn a few basic conventions, it becomes easier to use.  Not only that, the help system is incredibly well-written...hover your mouse over the command, hit F1, it gives you the instructions in a clear, concise manner.

The same can't be said of most of the other items in my design suite.  I mean 3dsMax works well to convert across file formats so I can move a wireframe between applications, and it's great at optimizing meshes...but when I want to do more advanced things like adjust the position of a vertex or edge, I'm lost.  The basic interface is so radically different from the core technology in AutoCAD that I have no idea where to go.

Mudbox is a bit more intuitive, and with a Wacom tablet, I can do sculpting operations and produce more organic shapes.  However...Mudbox doesn't like solids or surfaces when I port them in from AutoCAD.  The program does what I want but I can't use the result, or it butchers a wireframe beyond recognition simply because it's not a mesh.

Alias?  What the hell do I use that for?!  It looks so much like 3dsMax, but I don't know where the strengths of one vs. the other lie.

Once I'm outside of AutoCAD, hitting F1 does me absolutely no good.  I get no useful information.  Every program in the kit is Autodesk's stuff...WHY IS THERE NO CONSISTENCY, PEOPLE?!

Okay...first, you need to redesign the interfaces of these other programs in the suite and patch the 2012 products on up.  And don't give me that BS about "buy the upgrade." I have 2013.  I can't afford an upgrade, and my school only offers AutoCAD...not 3DS max, or Alias, or Inventor.  The interface is the part that's the problem.  And I know from learning AutoCAD that the program's front end can be tweaked to the nth degree.  Even AutoCAD has an "AutoCAD Classic" setting.  And it even still has the command line.

I mean for crying out loud, Autodesk.  You've got some solid products, but most of the stuff on this highly expensive flash drive seems so foreign, the interface disparities are absolutely insane.  I have no common point of reference between products.

Seriously, get it together.  You can do some great stuff, but I don't know how to use most of it simply because the interface is completely different across products.