Ocean FFT effect UI decision

The following shows a screenshot of an ocean FFT mesh effect that I am working towards.

From an artists perspective what is better (when it comes to setting the wind direction: using numerical text entry (like what you see here) or having a little popup compass like arrow widget that points to which way the wind is blowing.

Comments are welcome as well

Kind Regards
Simon Harvey

why not have both and just have the compass translate into the numerical equivelents?

we could also use a “wind-dummy” and utilize one of it’s axes to control the wind direction. this way i could use a custom-built object, call it “wind” and also animate it’s direction. how abt. that?

otherwise i can live with classical num.sliders.


Lukily I know some basics in maths so numerical input isn’t a problem…
However I think it is not a good graphical option (think about the OGl lights in user preferences… you manually set the vector: you NEED a good orthonormal brain representation)

So as an artist, I would go for a helper, a dummy in 3D window, or a compass…


I would go for both. When one is creating, the compass or other widget allows easy experimentation, but when one finds a good setting I’d rather note that and reuse it quickly as numerical entry. I personally keep a notebook with settings for this kind of thing so that I can reuse them in other scenes.


yes both. like the NKEY menu…

please no dummy objects. I’d go for having an arrow, aiming from the object origin in the direction of the wind. in the effect properities, you could add a button (rotate freely). so first click the button, then the 3d window you’d like to use to rotate…

btw. nice process!

Just had another thought. How about some pre-sets.

Calm water
Ocean swell

Been playing with maya fluid effects ard their pre-sets are a great starting point.


The compass value is converted to its equivalent X and Y components, I guess that it is all about what is easier for the artist.