Critical improvements and features

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Critical improvements and features

Post by kurzemnieks »

Hello everyone. I posted this to the mailing list and decided to post it also here.

Our team is trying to adopt blender for some serious commercial work. We come from different 3d backgrounds (Maya, C4D, Softimage) and the feedback is mainly very positive except some things which I hear over and over again.

Here are top things that are very annoying for users:

1. Viewport performance is very poor - especially when entering edit mode.
Performance drops dramatically when entering edit mode for models with high polygon counts (500k+). Performance is quite bad even outside edit mode (for models with 1-2 million polygons), but when entering edit mode - blender almost freezes and is not usable.
In comparison in Softimage or Maya Viewport 2.0, everything is silky smooth for the same polygon counts, so this could be improved dramatically and is very important.

2. Outliner
2.1 Outliner lacks multiple selected object drag-and-drop to parent/uparent.
2.2 Border selection (drag to select) is not working properly in outliner. Items get hilighted (what does it mean?) but not selected when doing this. Also click to unselect is not working. Expected behavior would be the same as in viewport or take Mayas outliner as a reference.
Good outliner is one of the core features used in managing complex scenes and hierarchies and reason for most complaints.

3. Multi-object editing.
3.1. When multiple mesh objects are selected, only last - active - object can be edited in edit mode. This is not the case in many other 3d applications - Maya, Softimage, C4D where multiple objects can be edited at the same time
3.2. Interface does not allow any convenient way to assing material to multiple selected objects at once.
3.3. It would be convenient to change other properties as well for all the selected objects from the properties panel.

4. Extrude behaviour - Extrude region should have option to transform each face along it's own normal (default behaviour in all other 3d apps). Currently something similar can be achieved with shrink/flatten after extruding without any transformation, but it does not always work as expected.

5. When viewport rendering is active in Cycles and editing material nodes, viewport re-renders when adding new nodes - even when they are not connected to anything. Viewport should re-render only when material node network is modified, therefore improving user experience without unnecessary sluggishness.

6. Bone weight painting is not reliable. Blur tool produces some explainable peaks and has very limited control. There should at least be option to blur only already assigned vertex groups and do not assign any new. (This is the behavior in Maya). This is important so no other bones are assigned to vertices without user knowing it.

7. Editing object pivot interactively - it would be nice if we could transform object pivots (centers) around using standard manipulation tools. The same would be nice for 3d cursor. (I know there is addons, but it should be incorporated in interface more nicely)

8. Snapping to grid in snap mode - not just increments. (Currently I can do snap selected to grid and then turn on snap increments mode, but that could be added to snap mode)

I think these are core issues which must be addressed. There is no point in adding some new features and hope for expanding serious user base if these issues are not fixed in some way. For some these are so critical that they go back to maya or any other software despite that Blender has some really nice and useful features (especially modelling in blender is awesome). I know that there are workarounds and ways of doing things, but why not improve towards widely accepted workflows and UI.

I really think blender is amazing software in so many ways - and just by fixing/improving these not so complicated issues, blender could easily become one of the best 3d apps available!

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