So here i will start some blog posts about the 3DSmax plugin i'm currently developing Called KeyHydra for 3DSMax. I'm now the product designer of that tool, two persons joined me in the making : Vojtech Cada [Swordslayer] and Roman Dubovyi. I think it could be nice for ArtStation community to learn why did I started developing it. And how we reached the current state of the company, team, and tool itself.
We started it in 2014 [I say "we" but at that time i was alone].
But first what am I talking about ??? What this making of is all about ???
What is KeyHydra ?
- KeyHydra is A User Experience Plugin for 3DSMax.
- KeyHydra Goal is to enhance user’s speed and comfort.
- Increasing in view-port operations and reducing click amounts was, and is still, an obsession for me.
- You can see it as a Big Service Pack for 3DSMax focusing on user Interaction.
So basically in 2014, after Need for Speed Rivals. I decided to settle myself with my family and stop moving from place to places every two years. Making games provide per project contract. And I was moving too much ... Moving is nice, stability is great ! So I wanted to be a freelancer. And I had to empower myself. Being stronger for my client will be better for keeping them. Instead of making tools and workflows for companies, I will develop tools for my own pipeline and company. And if KeyHydra start to be nice and clean, I will sell it. So I decided to sell it too.
KeyHydra Is now Made of 3 Mains Tools, but it began with one :
- KeyHydra Shortcuts : Smarter KeyBoard Shortcuts [Multitap & Context sensitives].
- KeyHydra LazerCut : Our In viewport Hardsurface Boolean Toolkit.
- KeyHydra WheelCtrl : Our In viewport Modeling Interaction Method. [Control modeling settings with MouseWheel]
- We also provide Modifiers [InsetSG, Linear Clone, Radial Clone, Chamfer Fix, Volume Slice], Macros and Scripts.
The first tool we made was KeyHydra Shortcuts. So I started prototyping it with Maxscript [I have basic programming knowledge] and Autohotkey. I needed a programmer so I contacted my friend Marsel Khadiyev from Ephere [Maker of Ornatrix, and Zookeeper] He was kind enough to provide me a list of available programmers. This is how I found Vladimir my main programmer at that time. [He doesn't work for me anymore, he is now working at Google].
Ok, ok … But what the hell is that KeyHydra Shortcut thing ??? I'm lost man ...
1. KeyHydra Shortcuts : Is a plugin for 3DSMax it provide Smarter Keyboard Shortcuts [Multitap & Context sensitives]
KeyHydra Shortcuts Redefines interaction between user, keyboard and 3DSMax. We try to improve input methods aka Keyboard shortcuts. Being able to drag and drop shortcuts from one key to another, create Multi-taps shortcuts, Context sensitives shortcuts & Scripted Shortcuts.
Ok, ok, that is marketing blah blah blah ...
Why did I needed it as a freelancer, in 2014 [and still] and why was i ready to pay the dev with my own money ???
Well working into this industry made me move from software to softwares, and pipepline to pipelines ... I used a lot of different 3D software like Lightwave [at school], Modo, Maya, and Max [my software of choice]. Nb : Blender community yes i love Blender too but never used it yet in real production context.
And all the time i felt frustrated by the UI of those softwares. I wanted to stay in the flow and keep focusing on my task. But instead i was doing an MMA battle against those software, everybody know that we work on thick deadlines so there is no waste of time in battles available ...
In 2014 i installed a soft on my pc that was calculating the amount of Km done with my mouse. And thrust me or not while i was working on "Need For Speed Rivals" i was doing 2.6 km of mouse movements per day ! Yes my friend, no joke here !
And so i started suffering from my shoulders, neck, and wrists.
In order to reduce Mouse movement i started using keyboards shortcuts ... But my keyboard was too small ... So i used two keyboards and my pain in shoulders was getting worst and worst ...
EA was kind enough to propose me a meeting with an ergonomist. This was super important in the making of KeyHydra as she learned me a lot of things.
To be continue in Part 02 ...