Well, as kellpossible said there are obviously benefits to having indigo the way it is right now. Simple work flow. I don't like the way kerkythea is and that's why I switched to indigo However, there are a few downsides of the "multiple independent exporter" approach :pixie wrote:What would be the benefits of Yet Another 3D Studio?
» When people have trouble (as anyone does, especially newbies), no one can provide assistance until they specify their exporter and exporter version. With over half a dozen exporterts and different versions of each (a stable, a beta, and sometimes even another), the actual number of people here that can help them is very small. This is why it often takes a few days to receive an answer for an issue.
» Lack of consistency between exporters. Blendigo is allegedly the most capable exporter, and skindigo lacks specular reflection for phong materials (aside from manually editing the igm which seems like a bit much to ask for someone who wants to use the GUI.) In order to have access to the most capable exporter, blendigo, you must use Blender which involves overcoming it's high learning curve.
»Discrepancy between exporters and Indigo. New features are introduced (through different version of indigo) faster than they can be incorporated into the different exporters. The exporters are conduits to indigo, and thus, under this system, users can't take full advantage of indigo. More critically than new features, this problem also extends to bux fixes. There might be a critical bug fix like a crash that was addressed in the latest version of indigo, and that simply can't reach people because in order to give people access to the bug fixes, they would also need to do things like update material code, etc. Indigo is a limiting factor unto itself, from a user standpoint..
That said, Im beginning to wonder if the gap between separate exporters and full blown studio app can be bridged. Maybe you could press a button within your app and your model/scene would be exported to indigo with all the material groups, and you could edit your materials there, with some sort of a real time material previewer. Radium renderer can do "real time" material previews, where changes to physically correct materials are updated as you make them. The changes aren't shown instantly, but the render time is pretty short and it beats the clumsy trial and error process of starting render → Finding problem with material → Shutting down a render and making another educated guess → starting render → Finding a problem with material. The time saved could be massive. It could also provide a rough preview of your lighting, allowing you to tell whether things are too bright or dark.