Interface project stage 1: colour scheme

The interface, modeling, 3d editing tools, import/export, feature requests, etc

Moderators: jesterKing, stiv

ilac
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:24 am

Postby ilac » Tue Mar 04, 2003 11:22 am

LukeW wrote:Most people would have a fairly well-lit room - rather than a dark one


Got anything to back that up?
I for one tend to work in a darker rather than a well lit room.


In conclusion: Couldn't there just be 3 colour/brightness presets or maybe even hue, brightness and saturation sliders for the GUI, and then left up to the user to adjust to what is most convenient for him/her?

LukeW
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:14 pm

Postby LukeW » Tue Mar 04, 2003 11:56 am

ilac:
No, I don't have anything to back up that statement.

My point is that I don't like the dark GUI. There is a reason why GUI's are usually light - like the one for this website - I'm not exactly sure what that reason is, but perhaps it is that it is generally easier on the eyes or something.

Having an option for a darker GUI would be fine, but I would be against having a dark GUI forced on me with no ability to make it how it was.

ilac
Posts: 180
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 8:24 am

Postby ilac » Tue Mar 04, 2003 1:27 pm

LukeW wrote:There is a reason why GUI's are usually light - like the one for this website - I'm not exactly sure what that reason is, but perhaps it is that it is generally easier on the eyes or something.


It has alot to do with the way your eyes perceive colours and brightness.

In 'short' and non-scientic terms:

On your retina you have 3 different types of cones and 1 type of rod.

A) the rods pick up brightness and tend to detect movement (think T-rex in Jurassic Park, that doesn't see you if you don't move - he's got lots of rods in his eyes) Rods are the more primitive form and in humans tend to be more concentrated as we move away from the centre of the retina - which is why you detect movement with the corner of your eye (defensive) or can see shapes in the dark when you're not looking directly at them but they dissapear when you look straight at them (ex. next time you're in a very dark room room with only a Tv on, switch it off and look straight at it and then turn away from it. You'll notice when you're not looking straight at it you can pick up a glow on the screen which doesn't seem to be there when you look straight at it!!)

B) The cones pick up things like colours and details. There are 3 different ones and they tend to be concentrated at the centre of your retina therefore performing best for things you are focusing on.

The cones are what detect colour. When people are colour blind it is normally something wrong with one or more of the types of cones (if the colour blindness is at retina level).
These cones react to variuos wavelengths. The pairs are red and green, blue and orange, and yellow and purple. (the rods detect black and white ie. brightness)
Therefore the cones for detecting red are also responsible for detecting green. that is why when you place a very saturated red next to a saturated green, the border where they come in contact seems to bleed, be blurred and looks all 'wrong' ( unless you are capable of keeping yourself and your eyes PERFECTLY still - which we now won't happen till we're dead! :? :wink: )

What has this got to do with the gui? Well think that a cone that does not have any light on it to be at neutral or '0'. When red wavelenght hits it it gets a certain value, when green wavelenght hits it it gets a negative to red value. The problem is that cones can be slow to adjust

Experiment: grab a red object and stare at a fixed point for about 30 secs to 1min. Straight after look at a big white space (maybe a wall) and keep your eyes at a fixed point. You will see the shape of the red object you were looking at just before - only it is now green!! This is because when the cone was being affected by a constant red wavelenght it 'sort of' came to accept that as neutral, ex if red is +30, cone now thinks +30 = 0, so when you look at something white (white = 0) the chemical unbalance is like a relative -30... ....which is green! ta-daa! :D You can try this with any of the other colours or even black and white. Cool isn't it! :D

Back to the gui.
Example: If you have a red gui, the chemical unbalance in your eyes will make you out put very green work because your eyes are compensating for the red - only you won't notice till you see your work in a non-red environment. Same thing for brightness. That is why GUI's in art related programs tend to a 50%ish grey. Obviuosly your monitor settings also come in to play, as well a colours in your work environment. the walls in my studio are a light grey for instance.

To anybody that went to the trouble of reading this, the above is heavily simplyfied and explained in layman's terms so don't take it as 100% accurate. If you're interested, there are loads of books and websites that discuss the above in more detailed and scientific manner., which I encourage you to have a look at! It's really interesting (at least for me! :P )

LukeW wrote:ilac:
No, I don't have anything to back up that statement.
My point is that I don't like the dark GUI.


Thank you. Please refrain from making such general statements when you cannot back them up. We have way too many politians around the world doing a good job of it already! :P :wink:

LukeW wrote:Having an option for a darker GUI would be fine, but I would be against having a dark GUI forced on me with no ability to make it how it was.


Yeh I think that's the best option too! :D

Pablosbrain
Posts: 356
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:39 pm

Postby Pablosbrain » Tue Mar 04, 2003 2:13 pm

Turning your screen brightness down causes not only the interface to have less contrast but the entire piece your working on.

I know a lot of people in the both the 3D game industry and in video... almost 90% of them, including myself, tend to work late into the night with the lights turned down so it doesn't hurt their eyes as much.

But... having some way to customize the interface would be great... maybe similar to Mozillas XUL or somthing would be good. You can not only customize the interface the way it looks but also its functionality. That might be something to really consider.

LukeW
Posts: 64
Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2003 1:14 pm

Postby LukeW » Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:31 pm

ilac:
Ok, I'll try and avoid big unsubstantiated statements - though I thought it was true (just a hunch).
BTW, it seems we have red, green and blue cones (see link) - those complementary pairs you were talking about are the ones on the colour wheel I think.

I guess the controls for modifying the colour scheme of the interface could be put above the menus where the general options are.

matt_e
Posts: 898
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Postby matt_e » Tue Mar 04, 2003 3:43 pm

ilac wrote:-snip-


ilac: Thankyou. It's nice to have some solid reasoning rather than opinions and conjecture.

LukeW: Nobody's forcing anything on you, go back and read my original post and you'll see what I'm trying to do here. If you don't like a dark UI for aesthetic reasons, that's fine and entirely up to you. It's good to see that you're being constructive by starting that other thread.

SpiffGQ
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:12 am

Postby SpiffGQ » Wed Mar 19, 2003 12:46 am

LukeW wrote:ilac:
My point is that I don't like the dark GUI. There is a reason why GUI's are usually light - like the one for this website - I'm not exactly sure what that reason is, but perhaps it is that it is generally easier on the eyes or something.


I prefer darker GUIs. When in KDE, I set my color scheme to digital CDE (I think that is what it is called). It is a dark green with greenish-red highlights. It is not very pretty, but it is easy on the eyes.

Having an option for a darker GUI would be fine, but I would be against having a dark GUI forced on me with no ability to make it how it was.


I don’t think it would be to hard to have Blender look up the colors used by the windows manager (KDE, Windows, etc). That way blender could appear to look more standards-compliant and, at the same time, cater to the desires of each individual user.

kid_tripod
Posts: 57
Joined: Sun Dec 15, 2002 10:52 pm

Postby kid_tripod » Sun Mar 23, 2003 11:11 am

Sorry, but that really is way too dark.

As has been said, move your monitor settings around first. And working in dark rooms with isolated bright areas is very bad for your eyesight, because your irises open and you can burn your retina. Seriously I strain to see that interface much more than the Blender one. I don't know where this myth of graphics people all work in darkened rooms comes from, because the people I know can't stand it. I don't necessarily want to feel like I'm a "hardcore graphics pro", and lets be honest, the most useful graphics app on the planet, Photoshop, uses the native scheme available, and no one complains. Maya - last time I looked it wasn't very dark either. XSi, brighter . . .

Those comments were taking into account the oddities of the monitor I'm currently on, because it throws up some stuff of its own. Its a flat panel, and it really struggles to separate dark tones sometimes, and the result is a display with much more contrast than the old one, despite the fact that on normal images (ie not dark) it is far less stressful to look at than standard ones.

I'm not convinced customisation is necessary, and I note NaN moved from the darker tones pre2.0 to the current scheme with 2.0. If you go back to say 1.8 it really is nasty. If you try it on an SGI the difference is even more noticeable because of SGI's gamma settings.

Being a real killjoy . . . . I also liked those buttons round. Don't interpret this as a "things must stay forever the same" but keep the colour brightness reasonable, and I think making the whole program too 'serious' with the buttons and all would be bad. Fancy customisable buttons would surely reduce performance, and so I'd stick with the current relatively simple style myself. Slight aside, I really wouldn't want it to pick up on the native colours, either, because its such a different style of GUI it would look wrong, and then I'd have to change my scheme every time I wanted to use Blender.

A lot of that isn't opinion. People set up their computers to do work on in well lit spaces, because we work best that way. If the GUI is dark then its a strain on the people using the computer and that is bad. If you think the GUI is too bright either turn the lights on in your room, or check your monitor.

Sorry, you touched a nerve, but I've not seen any other modern pro-3D with such a dark UI, in fact the really good ones seem to either use native widgets (which I'm not necessarily advocating) or have a scheme equivalent to Blender's current one. Only the old generation ones like Lightwave, MAX and Softimage 3|D seem to be sticking with it, but the rest have totally moved on to better things.

In fact going through trolltech's website of late I found a thing by Duboi, who did the post work on Amelie, and them porting their paint application from Irix/Motif to Qt.

http://www.trolltech.com/success/duboi.html?cid=3

Now if people all want dark interfaces why run that on OS X at all? The truth is graphics people like lighter interfaces, and computer people like darker interfaces.

matt_e
Posts: 898
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Postby matt_e » Sun Mar 23, 2003 12:22 pm

kid_tripod wrote:I'm not convinced customisation is necessary, and I note NaN moved from the darker tones pre2.0 to the current scheme with 2.0.

Hi, like I mentioned in the first post, I don't have any intentions of forcing anything on anyone. I made this customised version for myself, for the reasons I outlined. If others like it, then they can add the code into Blender, probably as a user option. Whether or not you're convinced customisation is necessary doesn't really matter, since by the looks of this thread, a reasonable amount of people think it is, and they can add the options for it to the code.

I don't know where this myth of graphics people all work in darkened rooms comes from, because the people I know can't stand it.

Refuting a 'myth' with your own personal experience is not very scientific either. Whether or not all graphics people work in such an environment isn't relevant either, as long as there is a reasonable amount of people who do and would like a darker scheme; thus they have the freedom to add the option to the code.

Sorry, you touched a nerve, but I've not seen any other modern pro-3D with such a dark UI, in fact the really good ones seem to either use native widgets (which I'm not necessarily advocating) or have a scheme equivalent to Blender's current one. Only the old generation ones like Lightwave, MAX and Softimage 3|D seem to be sticking with it, but the rest have totally moved on to better things.

Looks like I did touch a nerve! ;) Actually in MAX's case, from the old 3D Studio, then to MAX, up until version 4 you could only use the Windows default colour scheme. In version 4, they added an option for a darker colour scheme (screenshots here @ p.28 and here), so it's hard to attribute that to a hang-over from older times. ZBrush uses a darker colour scheme too. Outside of 3D software, all Discreet's high-end compositing/VFX packages use dark schemes, as does Shake, as well as Eyeon's Digital Fusion and DFX+. You also mentioned "why run that on OS X at all?", but Apple's pro graphics programs such as DVD Studio Pro and Final Cut Pro use darker colour schemes in lieu of Aqua too.

Photoshop, uses the native scheme available, and no one complains. Maya - last time I looked it wasn't very dark either.

Both Photoshop and Maya use native widgets, allowing people to use dark colour schemes if they choose, just by adjusting the OS colours.

I think making the whole program too 'serious' with the buttons and all would be bad.

So then it's just one personal preference against another. In that case, why should others be denied their personal preference? Especially considering that having a more professional, serious looking interface will help in getting Blender accepted in industry as a reliable and competent tool.

In fact going through trolltech's website of late I found a thing by Duboi, who did the post work on Amelie, and them porting their paint application from Irix/Motif to Qt.

Now if people all want dark interfaces why run that on OS X at all?

I read the article, and I can't find anything in it to do with the merits of lighter or darker colour schemes. If you're implying that the reason they are running it on Mac OS X is because of the light interface, I think that's more than a bit of a stretch; they use it on NT, Linux and Irix too. The point of the article is showing how they easily acheived cross platform portability by using QT. QT uses semi-native widgets, so of course the Mac OS X version will be using a light, Aqua-style colour scheme.

The truth is graphics people like lighter interfaces, and computer people like darker interfaces.

Well that's quite a sweeping generalisation. 'Graphics people' and 'computer people' are people, not stereotypes that have consistent preferences in colour schemes and nor can they be neatly divided into little demographics either. If that comment was meant to be some sort of dig saying "You're just a geeky coder and don't understand what artists want", then it's misdirected because I'm not a programmer, I'm a graphic designer.

hanzo
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 9:56 am

Postby hanzo » Thu Mar 27, 2003 10:21 am

Actualy I most say I've seen many artist that produce some of the best work in the industry and they use dark Ui with max, maya, etc.. :?

Me personaly I like a dark UI it is realaxing to the eye, also I conseder myself a great artist 8) (and I'm serious) I would love to work under a dark ui in blender,

Broken put me on the list aof people to get the dark UI, cuase man your doing a great thing, well :twisted: for some people...

hanzo
_______________
the guy who consepts and models....

ChrisW
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:17 am
Contact:

Postby ChrisW » Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:26 am

I totally agree, I work on Combustion, which looks very similar to the colour scheme you've got going. Its great! the darker interface doesnt draw your attention away from what you are working on. Most compositors & editors I've seen working or work with work in dimly lit rooms, it causes less screen glare & gives you a better idea of the colours. Not to mention being far easier on the eyes after a 12 hour session...

Discreet put a lot of money & research into their colour schemes & the 'artist friendly interface', used on Combustion, Flint, Flame Inferno, Smoke etc colours which are subtle & professional looking, but are also clear & easy to find when needed. I say go with it!

luckybreak
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Nov 22, 2002 12:35 am

Postby luckybreak » Fri Mar 28, 2003 4:01 am

Yes Go for it.
I love the button changes, you will probably have to keep an option to switch back to the old look for the sentimental types :roll: but I like the quiet seriousness feel you got going. The stimulating impact of a fresh look can't be denied.
LB

Dani
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2002 8:35 pm

Postby Dani » Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:47 pm

Broken
where is the code for this? I'm a beginner at programing (really beginner) , but I'd really want to have a look at the interface code. In the tuhopuu tree, there's a buttons.c and a blenderbuttons.c in this place / blender / source / blender / src.

That is where Green adds and modifies the export gui, but where can we modify the colors?
blenderbuttons.c is unreadable for me.
and in buttons.c I see some BUTGREY, BUTGREEN that must be defined somewhere... but where?

Thanks
Dani

matt_e
Posts: 898
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Postby matt_e » Fri Mar 28, 2003 12:56 pm

I'm a beginner at programming too, so don't worry about that :P

Here are the notes I made while looking for the colour values (notes contain source locations for various things). It was pretty much a process of sampling the colour values from a screenshot in photoshop, then searching through the source for those values.

And here is a ZIP of the files I changed. I'd really like to do some more playing and experimenting some time soon, but I've become quite busy recently :(

Dani wrote:Broken
where is the code for this? I'm a beginner at programing (really beginner) , but I'd really want to have a look at the interface code. In the tuhopuu tree, there's a buttons.c and a blenderbuttons.c in this place / blender / source / blender / src.

Dani
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2002 8:35 pm

Postby Dani » Sat Mar 29, 2003 1:05 pm

Thank you!!!

It's exactly what I needed!

Now, there's just one problem left... did anybody manage to compile this unsing Dev-C++... i can't afford MSVC.

Dani


Return to “Interface & Tools”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests