About Blender interface...

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

Moderators: jesterKing, stiv

oktodindon
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Post by oktodindon » Wed Jan 10, 2007 2:41 am

stiv wrote:You know about the tooltips, right?
Ahah, why you guys are all on the defensive... We don't want to affirm commercial softwares' superiority, we just want to point things which make Blender not as strong as it could be.

Give a folk guitar to a electric guitar hero, he can play it very well. Give an old little car to a F1 driver, he can drive it very well. Give a Macintosh to a Windows user, he can use it very well.

Give Blender to an experienced 3D artist, he can't do anything with it !

jesterKing
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Post by jesterKing » Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:59 am

oktodindon wrote:Give a Macintosh to a Windows user, he can use it very well.
I beg to disagree gravely. I have no idea how to use those machines, the entire interface puts me off (and yes, I actually have used them).

Besides, I think your example is the wrong way around. If you give a fighter plane (the one with all the knobs and displays and whatnot) to a person who has flown only a two-sitter with yoke and pedals ... I don't want to be the co-pilot. (Neither do I want to be in a F1 car driven by my mom - even though she can drive our Fiat Panda).

/Nathan (Windows and Linux user)

joeri
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Post by joeri » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:22 pm

oktodindon wrote:
Give a folk guitar to a electric guitar hero, he can play it very well. Give an old little car to a F1 driver, he can drive it very well. Give a Macintosh to a Windows user, he can use it very well.
Gives me a nice indication on what level you use software.
But no that is not the level blender is aiming at and yes with "improvements" it could be made more suitable to fit beginners and hobbiests.
oktodindon wrote:Give Blender to an experienced 3D artist, he can't do anything with it !
That is total nonsens. A Maya fuid/fire expert can't do anything in Max. A miracle wonder modeler in Modo will horrid the sight of Maya or Max.
So why would the switch to blender be more easy? On the other hand there are lightwave previz ( spiderman2 for example ) artists swapping to blender because they find blender lightning fast in there production workflow.

oktodindon
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Post by oktodindon » Wed Jan 10, 2007 1:41 pm

OK...

I began computing in 1995 and I started coding in 1996. I used to be a developer, I know Pascal, C, C++, C#, Java, 3D real-time coding, and I'm still coding for myself sometimes. I used all versions of Windows since Win95, I know how to edit autoexec.bat, config.sys, I used Linux and I know how to use a geek-oriented software.

Now I'm working as a cameraman/video editor mostly now, I used all editing softwares on the market. I'm also a photographer and I know how to use Photoshop very well. I also use html, php and MySQL for making websites.

And, finally, even if my 3D skill is not "experienced", I use it from time to time for me or my work (and I started using 3D softwares since 3DS4 and Imagine under DOS).

So from my eleven years experience of a computer user, I can say I know how to merge with a computer. But I'm tired to be a geek and I noted that the best softwares ever are the one combining the most intuitive interface with the most complete features.

When I talked about guitar hero or elite people, I just wanted to say "somebody who knows what stuff he's playing with". I mean a guy who know what's a bézier curve, a mesh, nurbs, extrusion, beveling, lofting... I'm not dumb, but Blender interface make me feel I am. That's very uncomfortable.

PS: sorry for the bragging thing, but you asked me to do it.

Gustav Göransson
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Post by Gustav Göransson » Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:42 pm

joeri wrote:That is total nonsens. A Maya fuid/fire expert can't do anything in Max. A miracle wonder modeler in Modo will horrid the sight of Maya or Max.
So why would the switch to blender be more easy? On the other hand there are lightwave previz ( spiderman2 for example ) artists swapping to blender because they find blender lightning fast in there production workflow.
No it's not total nonsens. I would say that this "miracle wonder modeler in Modo" knows who the topology should look like, he knows were to put his edgeloops and place his poles. Modelling is petty much the same in any application and as soon I've learned how the tools work in Max/Maya It's just a short matter of time before can model at the same level as in modo (I'm talking from my own experinces here)

And it's this "learning phase" I think be reduced in blender by changing a few thing in the UI, without affecting the rest of blender negatively. But it's seems like people aren't very open minded he and It don't look like this discussion is leading anywhere... so I think i stop here... It was worth a try.


/Gustav

oktodindon
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Post by oktodindon » Wed Jan 10, 2007 3:57 pm

I totally agree with Gustav.

nemyax
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Post by nemyax » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:23 pm

Blender does have a number of very concrete design flaws. However, coming in and saying that the interface is "shit" without elaborating does not help anyone. Especially if you don't have suggestions as to how to make it "not shit".
Why not point out which bits exactly you think are wrong and why not propose a way to improve those bits (Gustav tried this)? Otherwise, it's easy for this sort of discussion to degenerate into a handful of people pooh-poohing each other and throwing irrelevant metaphors around.

oktodindon
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Post by oktodindon » Wed Jan 10, 2007 4:37 pm

Let's try.

- As said in a previous thread, starting in a 3D view, and proposing a multiple viewport layout with only one click / one shortcut.
- Making the buttons much bigger, give concrete and accessible names to them (names which don't need to wait 2 sec for the tooltip), and show 3D navigation tools and gizmos clearly on the workspace, and not only in shortcuts.
- As Gustav said, removing Toogle Buttons to make them checkboxes or radiobuttons.
- Put more space between buttons (like in typography, the eye need space to make the brain feel comfortable), make true big tabs and not tab-buttons
- Making layers as all other softwares represent layers, not a bunch of agglomerated little 3x3 pixels squares.
- Making a true timeline
- Adding context menus
Etc...

elander
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Post by elander » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:01 pm

Gustav Göransson wrote:And it's this "learning phase" I think be reduced in blender by changing a few thing in the UI, without affecting the rest of blender negatively.
Do you have any sugestion that doesn't amount to turning blender into the application you enjoy the most? There are different levels of difficulty for learning different applications. Knowing this would be a start for an inteligent discussion.

I'm a bit suspicious to say this because i'm using Blender for years, i think the learning curve for beginners for Blender it's not the best but it's already good. It probably requires more manual reading but that's just something everyone has to do to a certain extent. I, for example, can't do anything with 3d studio or Maya and i find myself looking for many ui features i can use in Blender those apps don't have. Besides if you don't afford to buy a 22'' inch monitor or have any trouble memorizing Blender shortcut keys you can actualy work better and faster than Maya or 3dstudio. If you use Blender long enough this will come easy. If not most tips and menus show what features are available and the shortcut to use them. The reduce number of overlaping windows is actuay a good idea.
Gustav Göransson wrote:But it's seems like people aren't very open minded he and It don't look like this discussion is leading anywhere... so I think i stop here... It was worth a try. /Gustav
Why is that people are allways NOT open minded when they don't acept your sugestions immideatly and without contesting? If you bother yourself to do a search you will see that many subjects have already being discussed and nothing that you are proposing is new or desirable.

It would be better for you to pick up one of these old threads, read them, and defend the points of view that match your own. You can't simply say i think this is better for everyone without listen to the opinions of others.

pinhead_66
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Post by pinhead_66 » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:23 pm

More time should be put into real proposals concerning the interface
Too often these threads come down to people wanting parts of the interface of other programs.

Blender is not windows. blender is not 3d studio max. blender is blender. Don't be mistaken. Blender was and is made for speed. time is money right. (bear with me). An intuitive interface for most users is something everybody feels familiar with, wich you can use, because you have seen it elsewhere, used it before. an intuitive interface for most users is the interface with the most compromises to satisfy as many people as possible. In order to obtain this, compromises have to be made, often sacrificing speed, work flow.

A second form of intuitive interface is the interface you've learned by study and practice. Hell most people will be able to quickly produce something in maya or 3ds max, but it won't be with the advaned features, because those you need to learn.

Yes blender looks different. it doesn't look like windows, it doesn't have huge icons you' can't miss clicking. It requires an effort.
I'd like everybody who wants to contribute to blender, to read up on its history, and especially the amount of changes that have already happened. Long time users have very good reasons for not wanting certain things changed: experience.

Blender has its flaws, but a in order to change it, you first need to understand its workings. if you can't be bothered to spend the time, learning even though there's a speed gain later on, maybe blender isn't for you and you should stick to the applications you are comfortable with.

concerning your try oktodindon (thanks for trying)

- you can have as many screenlayouts as you want and change quickly between them, this has been in blender from the start (above the 3d view, the field with "SR:")
- bigger buttons in my view would steal precious 3d space I need for modelling
- better naming conventions are planed as far as I recall for after the 2.43 release (more in the wiki)
-define a true timeline (a mockup would be appreciated)

my 2 cents
greets

oktodindon
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Post by oktodindon » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:24 pm

If you use Blender long enough this will come easy.
I think everybody here agree with that. And I think everybody agree to say that all Blender experts know how to use Blender very quickly. The discussion of this thread is about intuitivity of the interface. Which means : for new users.

Of course a Blender expert don't care about all things he knows how to configure and customize his favorite software.

But think about the "occasional" users, like me, who use 3D softwares a few times a month, but still like to do 3D. Blender has an elitist ideology about the UI, that's a fact and you prove it to us right now...

oktodindon
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Post by oktodindon » Wed Jan 10, 2007 6:55 pm

Why open-source and free softwares are mostly all designed for "experienced users" and people who love to spend one week customizing their program ?

Why this community don't see that because it's free, it will attract all kind of people (and excuse me if I'm wrong, but when we watch Blender communities and Blender galleries, it's 95% young people discovering 3D, and images are in general much less impressive (in terms of modeling, texturing and rendering) than most commecial softwares).

Of course I understand that Blender has an history and that it's difficult for experts to change their habits. But what is attractive in Blender is... his price ! That's why new users would like Blender looks like expensive programs !

And... even if it's free, why people still use commercial software if Blender is so great in speed and workflow ? Why can we find thousands times more of experts of commercial softwares than Blender experts ? Because Blender has a huge problem in its UI... It can do what others can do, it's free, it should be the n°1. But it's not. Why ?

Marianne
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Post by Marianne » Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:34 pm

oktodindon, calm down...

why does it always have to turn into a flame war? :cry:

I'd just like someone to explain me why do checkboxes, buttons and radio buttons have to look the same?

and why can't big bunches of radio buttons can't be turned into a combo box?

I don't think these proposals are bad? Yet people avoid talking about them, the discussion always turns on the bad proposals!

oktodindon
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Post by oktodindon » Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:53 pm

I'm calm... I'm open to dialog and what is a forum for if we can't express our points of view even if they are a little enthusiasts... I'm happy here, and even if I disagree with joeri and others, and if I might think I'm right (but open to good counter-arguments), I'm still learning from their points of view...

elander
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Post by elander » Wed Jan 10, 2007 8:40 pm

oktodindon wrote:But think about the "occasional" users, like me, who use 3D softwares a few times a month, but still like to do 3D. Blender has an elitist ideology about the UI, that's a fact and you prove it to us right now...
I'm going to disregard your atitude, but i espect that you can at least in the future be able to carry a discusion much better than this.

Do you think Blender sacrificing everything to the "ocasional" users in the way YOU are confortable with is a good ui design decision?

Did you ever considered reading the program docs to see what has been done about this? Or even did what i mentioned and browse older threads where these subjects have been lengthly debated?

If you aren't serious enough to take some work to know what other people think about this besides YOU and a couple and guys then your opinion is just YOUR opinion and not what is best for everyone.

This is rule number 1 of ui design, it takes serious WORK to be done right.

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