Beyond and Beyond 3D ...

Discussion in 'Lasershow Designer BEYOND' started by laserpeter, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. laserpeter

    laserpeter Member

    Hello PANGOLIN Team,

    I have the following questions about Beyond 3D:
    01. How can text (spline, 3D) be arranged in a circle with modifiers?
    02. How can I create a 3D ramp for fading in the Material Manager, similar to the 2D ramp?
    03. Is it possible to insert or add points to an existing Surface?
    04. The Material Manager cannot be docked, if I try, Beyond 3D crashes completely, every time ?!
    05. Where can I save user-specific materials?
    06. What is the "Bake Vertex" option used for?
    07. Is it possible to import/merge 2D laser frames in Beyond (*.qsbframes)?
    08. Why is 2D and 3D text not created in the center (Pivot) like all other objects, but text always oriented to the left?
    (this makes working with texts extremely difficult)
    09. Where can I see which materials and textures are currently used in the current model in the Material Manager?
    10. Why are certain Windows fonts only displayed in the Beyond Main program but are not available at all in the Beyond 3D module?
    (both program parts don't have access the same Windows font folder? - I bought the font especially for it and now I cannot use it in Beyond 3D ...) ;o(
    11. When will we finally be able to provide detailed help on the "Modeling", "Mirror and Subdivide" functions and "Modifiers" after so many years of Beyond 3D on the market?
    (the manual for Beyond 3D as well as all available tutorials usually only deals with the functions that are self-explanatory anyway)
    12. This would also be desirable for the Material Manager, with examples for the use of textures too!

    Unfortunately, you can never really assess and exploit the potential of this software, because the manual hardly goes into the last detail and explains everything very roughly and superficially, or certain functions have not yet been implemented or explained,
    which is very it's a shame because as a professional user you lose a lot of time with "Try and Error"! ;o(

    The manual needs examples of many other functions, as you have done in a very exemplary manner for the "Surfaces Shading Group" function!!!
    In your current and "new" "Quick Hints" you unfortunately only deal with basic functions again and nowhere go deeply into detail, that would really be an important task for the future before new functions are added.
    There is simply no time to "explore" everything laboriously and that is not the point and purpose of "professional" software, sorry!

    For the price of the software (Ultimate), you should actually be supplied with a manual as a customer, which leaves no questions unanswered about the operation of the software and certain functions!
    You can not assume that every customer who uses Beyond 3D has experience with relevant 3D modeling programs, such as C4D or 3DsMax ...
    The best special software is of little use if not all functions are understood by the user down to the smallest detail! ;o)

    I / we have addressed this several times in the past few years and this has always been thought that this will happen in the "near" future,
    but all manuals for Beyond and Beyond 3D are still version 2.0, this also applies to the Beyond Wiki. ;o(

    Professional users buy this software to make money with it, as a tool and unfortunately this is only as good as how you can use or have learned it.
    But how should you learn something if you don't know many functions and details, or if they are undocumented?
    Unfortunately, this is not much fun and costs a lot of time, which you actually need for your creativity and the implementation of various customer requests, please consider that.

    Best regards from Germany and stay healthy and careful!
  2. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi Laserpeter,

    Thanks for posing these great questions.

    At the present time, BEYOND has I think 50 separate PDF help files, plus 109 separate tutorial videos that cover BEYOND, including 8 separate help files in English (and another 8 in German) covering specifically BEYOND 3D itself.

    If I might compare our software to other laser software on the market, I know of no other laser software that has such intensive help files, WIKI or Tutorial videos.

    Nevertheless, there is certainly room for improvement, which is why we have already begun publishing more videos and improving the WIKI. For example, the product development roadmap includes probably an additional 50 more help videos for BEYOND, plus further improvement to the Wiki and help files. Over the past few weeks we started with the "Quick Hints" and in the coming months this whole area is something you will notice very tangibly.

    Regarding your comment about the manuals still state "2.0", I thank you for pointing that out! We will need to update those manuals to clarify that they document "2.0 and later", since prior to version 2.0 things were significantly different. Alternatively we could actually remove the reference to any version since, surely by now everyone is using "2.0 and later"...

    Regarding your specific questions above, we have already started answering them in the separate private email that you wrote to us while also making this post, and we will make those answers and others available here in the Forum for everyone to see.

    Stay tuned!

    Best regards,

    William Benner
  3. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi Laserpeter,

    We are continuing to look into this. In the coming days we will do work on B3D to address some of your concerns. In the mean time we have a few questions for you.

    Please provide more information about your question. I'm afraid we don't understand what you're asking.

    At the present time this is not possible, but that is planned for a future update.

    Please send additional information including the actual font files along with some screen shots so that we can investigate this. You can send them to Aaron McDonald in support. You already have his email address.

    We will provide a more detailed reply to your other points in a future post. In the mean time we'd like to get more input from you so we can investigate this and reply.

    Best regards,

    William Benner
  4. laserpeter

    laserpeter Member

    Hi William,
    many thanks for your answer.

    Of course I know about the innumerable tutorial videos for all PANGOLIN products and that is really unique in the laser market, I admit that to you undisputed!
    Unfortunately, it is not very productive on a professional job to "look up" or search for certain functions, that you do not use regularly, in a tutorial. ;o)
    For this, a manual in PDF format is much more effective.
    However, the documentation for the individual functions, whether Beyond or Beyond 3D, is very spartan, sorry.
    I have been working with the DSP since 1995 and believe me, the range of functions of this laser software is VERY extensive!
    However, there is an absolutely complete manual for every command, tool or whatever, which hardly leaves any question unanswered for the user / programmer and this manual is currently THE standard for the laser programs for me,
    whereby it really is only these 2 Market leader for me there! ;o)
    It is not for nothing that this manual has almost 900 pages in PDF format and I can assure you from decades of experience that despite the 900 pages, I will find there at least a short helpful explanation of EVERY function of the software
    in a very short time.
    The manual has been maintained and maintained from the beginning and what I miss very much at Beyond, are release notes, at least in the form of a PDF, where the innovations are briefly discussed.
    The good thing about these release notes is, that the programmer can "process" or try out these innovations immediately after they appear, and thus his knowledge increases as the range of functions increases.
    In addition, this also gives you a complete overview of what is really "new" and "stumbles" on it not by accident. ;o)
    On the other hand, it is absolutely chaotic to document a program only moderately and to integrate innumerable innovations again and again, that at some point will no longer be fun if the programmer "can no longer keep up" and only new functions appear with which one can only do so due to a lack of documentation nothing can ever start!
    For example, a super simple, clear release note for a new function could look like and then of course also be entered into the manual:
    (Aaron McDonald posted 04/15/20 4:28 PM) (Text around circle)

    What I've been waiting for, among other things, is a documentation of all existing effects in Beyond.
    Of course, many effects are self-explanatory, but unfortunately I cannot use many of them because I don't really know when, where and how they can be used! ;o(
    This is very frustrating as a laser programmer, who earns his money with it and could actually speed up and simplify his workflow immensely by using special existing effects!
    To put it in a nutshell: "I just want to get / use EVERYTHING out of the software" and I cannot do that at the moment because so many functions are not or only insufficiently documented.
    That means I cannot really assess the potential and the possibilities at all and therefore offer my customers only "half the service".

    Please see all of my comments as a positive review, because I am a huge Beyond Fan after all,
    because I absolutely like the operation concept of this software and I have been waiting for such an innovative product in the field of lasers for a long time!

    Best regards from Germany
  5. Pangolin

    Pangolin Staff Member

    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your constructive comments. Although I haven't replied to this thread until now, through your work with Aaron (in private support emails), I hope you can see that we're taking your input to heart, and implementing changes.

    Our work on BEYOND3D is ongoing. We have already solved many of the things you discussed above, but not all of them. Once they're all addressed, I planned on replying.

    Regarding your comment about documentation, I wonder if you have discovered our Pangolin Wiki? It is *relatively* new, and it is a single location that distills all of the individual PDF help files.

    You are right insomuch that having a single searchable place of where to learn about the functions is very helpful and the Wiki is indeed that single place right now! Our webmaster and main IT guy Bob has distilled everything there from the past 10 years of development, including release notes!

    You can find the Pangolin Wiki here:

    Nevertheless, different people learn in different ways. I'm glad you look at the help files, because we put a lot of time into those -- especially the Wiki if you check it out.

    On the other hand, we know that a lot of people learn more easily by watching videos, so I'm glad you admitted that we're the undisputed leader in this area ;-)

    And there are a lot more videos in the works too, plus there are other opportunities to learn the product, such as the Webinars we occasionally put on. We've also just constructed a new studio where we will do in-house training sessions if you're ever in the Orlando area.

    By the way, I'd like to hear a bit more about how you use the software, and what tools and information would be useful. However, I don't believe that a forum, or forum-like interaction is really great for this. I'd love to get into a Skype discussion or Zoom meeting where we can discuss your points in greater detail.

    Since Aaron has been working with you through private support emails, we will reach out that way and try to organize a meeting. It might be with me, or with one of my team members, or even several people on the team.

    Best regards,

    William Benner