Page 5 of 8

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 5:02 am
by Gorgo13
Hi there,

I'm an almost brand new user of Blender. I say almost, because I took me 2 or 3 times before I really decide to get into it. I have to completely agree with what oktodindon and other said. Especially:
LetterRip wrote:That said - the interface is to become fully customizable after 2.43 - and likely will have some themes that can have things work in a similar fashion to Maya, XSI, etc.
...so why not define configurations presets so that Blender asks you at the very beginning if you'd like to have a preset preference (at least that reminds you of another application you are more familiar with)? I think it can be done to some extent even in the current version 2.42. The possibility to have a highly customizable environment is totally confusing for new users IMHO.
Gustav Göransson wrote:Another thing that makes it difficult new users (and people like me who can’t even remember my own telephone number) is the frequently use of hotkeys. Hotkeys are great those know them and it improve the speed dramatically. I believe that you never should replace a button with a hotkey. It’s much easier to learn where a button is than learning a shortcut. A tend to learn where the buttons is and what it does before I learn the hotkey, and believe most people also do.
I agree.
pinhead_66 wrote:- 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:")
This is very nice indeed... BUT why are the workspace and scenes destroy buttons located at the righthand side of the drop down menu? This is totally non-intuitive and freaking annoying when you accidentally destroy the workspace you just spent 30 minutes configuring. And this should not even be a button, but an option at the very lower position of the dropdown menu, moreover with a request box asking you if you would really like to destroy it!!

It is true however that after a relatively short time, I could handle the thing quite OK (excluding unimplemented features, e.g. camera bank along the LOS). I guess many of you will tell me "then if you're ok with it after 10 minutes, what you say is irrelevant". But I did not mention that I spent some hours configuring my environment, and try to learn some essential keyboard shortcuts. I also read some Blender tutorials mentioning something like "...after spending one week learning it, it became easy to use". That's not the way it should work I think.
oktodindon wrote: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.
I'm exactly in the same situation. I've been using computer since 1984 with Aplle IIe. I've been doing a lot of computer programming, from Apple BASIC to realtime parallel assembly code of DSPs, and I've played the geek game for quite a long time (Apple, PCs, Amiga, Mac, Windows), and as oktodindon said "I'm tired to be a geek" now (although I still have the feeling sometimes). I also add that I've been designing realtime instrument software for scientific applications, and that I've especially cared about the users's opinion to program them and make the interface user-firendly and intuitive. From that experience, I can say that blender UI is not very intuitive in the first place.
oktodindon wrote: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).
I agree too on that point. And I must admit that the manual clearly lacks explanations on certain points. And I do not want (certainly like many others) to spend time reading tons and tons of forum messages to find the answer.
kAinStein wrote:b) Have you ever told Autodesk that their interfaces are "shit" and that they have to change the interface that way that it fits to your needs? And in addition forcing others to change their way of doing things because you don't do it that way... (Would be interesting to hear the answer to such a request... *giggles*)
Actually something like Next Limit's "Maxwell Render" is doing that. I regularly check the user forum, and many improvements of the GUI has come from users wishes.
jesterKing wrote:My mother will not be able to use 3dsmax, how intuitive it may be to those who work with it.
I doubt your mother has any interest in 3D softwares... has she?
oktodindon wrote:When you come to make 3D graphics, you already are not dumb and your brain has enough capabilities to make "right" decisions intuitively. You won't click on the Quit button to create a cube.
Another non-intuitive thing in Blender: why isn't the "Add" menu located in each 3D header? Why are the "Add" and "Timeline" menus located in the "User preferences" window? Please tell me what is intuitive in that... That's what oktodindon wants to say. Intuitive also means that when you did an action, then you can remember how you did it, simply because the steps to lead you there were flowing naturally (at least for basic actions). Sometimes in Blender, you need to go look 3 times in the manual (or spend a few minutes) to remember how you did things because some GUI elements are not where or how they should probably be. Oktodindon doesn't mean the interface is "shit", he just said it could be improved very straightforwardly.
kAinStein wrote:Having in mind that Blender is used via keyboard and mouse there's nothing more intuitive than R for rotating, S for scaling and G for grabbing
Except that "Grabbing" is the typical example not very intuitive things, at least far less intuitive than "m" for moving, or "t" for translating, because "Grabbing" does not mean "moving things" in the first place. I agree that grabbing is probably a pre-requisit for moving or translating things, but again, it's not intuitive (sorry I'm not a native english speaker, so please someone tells me if I'm wrong on that point).

Okay, let's continue to learn how to use Blender! :wink:

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 3:15 pm
by joeri
Actually something like Next Limit's "Maxwell Render" is doing that. I regularly check the user forum, and many improvements of the GUI has come from users wishes.
Now if only they would listen to the price wishes then all of the complaints about blender would be a lot less.

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:55 pm
by kAinStein
Gorgo13 wrote:Hi there,

I'm an almost brand new user of Blender. I say almost, because I took me 2 or 3 times before I really decide to get into it. I have to completely agree with what oktodindon and other said. Especially:
...so why not define configurations presets so that Blender asks you at the very beginning if you'd like to have a preset preference (at least that reminds you of another application you are more familiar with)? I think it can be done to some extent even in the current version 2.42. The possibility to have a highly customizable environment is totally confusing for new users IMHO.
Well, it isn't possible with 2.42 - there ain't any possibilities to assign keys to actions. And it surely won't come before 2.44 - as it has been anounced. Though it's on the list with future features.
Gustav Göransson wrote:It’s much easier to learn where a button is than learning a shortcut. A tend to learn where the buttons is and what it does before I learn the hotkey, and believe most people also do.
I agree.
Well, the button is on the keyboard (And I'm really trying hard not to be sarcastic). Personally I prefer a real button on a keyboard than something I've got to search across several tabs or a deep menu structure. I don't think that should be the way to go (There's a keyboard right in front of my nose - in real life - so why shouldn't it be used instead of hiding things?).
This is very nice indeed... BUT why are the workspace and scenes destroy buttons located at the righthand side of the drop down menu? This is totally non-intuitive and freaking annoying when you accidentally destroy the workspace you just spent 30 minutes configuring. And this should not even be a button, but an option at the very lower position of the dropdown menu, moreover with a request box asking you if you would really like to destroy it!!
Well, you can remove a window with a button click on every window system I know about. Now while some people are whining about so-called "conventions" then I really don't understand why it now shouldn't be a button! But I fully agree that it might scare some people that Blender doesn't ask. I personally also would like it to ask before deleting - though it's not a real problem.
It is true however that after a relatively short time, I could handle the thing quite OK (excluding unimplemented features, e.g. camera bank along the LOS). I guess many of you will tell me "then if you're ok with it after 10 minutes, what you say is irrelevant". But I did not mention that I spent some hours configuring my environment, and try to learn some essential keyboard shortcuts. I also read some Blender tutorials mentioning something like "...after spending one week learning it, it became easy to use". That's not the way it should work I think.
I also would like just to tell the holosuite computer what it should create. Honestly: You can't learn how to use Blender in 10 minutes or a week. The same way as you can't do it with Maya, Max or whatever. That's part of the complexity of 3D art. It wouldn't change if Blender looked and behaved like Maya. That's just simply a fact. My observation in the last years was that there are many people (mostly hobbyists) with too high expectations (regarding themselves) and some people (mostly pros - or just wannabe pros - at least they left that impression on me) that just want to have a cheap [fill in any modelling suite you like] substitute. The first probably are too enthusiastic and/or not patient enough - or probably would never be 3D artists simply because it's not theirs (probably they should something I can't do - like horse riding or whatever). The latter have found the tool they want to have - but don't like to pay for it - though they earn their money by creating art. And the latter are coming with a more or less leechy attitude and telling how shitty everything is, just because they don't like the tool and don't want to put any effort or money to get what they want. From my point of view it's all a matter of choice and what people like the best: A hobbyist can use Blender, if he likes it - or K-3D/Wings if he doesn't want to invest too much money. 3 tools, 3 philosophies. A pro can use Maya, XSI or whatever he likes - or Blender if he likes it more. Now if someone doesn't think that Maya is worth the price - well then: At least he should help in the development of Blender - be it in money, in good proposals or in any other way. Telling that Blender is shit[/] and that it should look and behave like [fill this out] is not just god damn stupid, it's also displaying total disrespect to other users and the community that uses Blender for years!

I'm exactly in the same situation. I've been using computer since 1984 with Aplle IIe. I've been doing a lot of computer programming, from Apple BASIC to realtime parallel assembly code of DSPs, and I've played the geek game for quite a long time (Apple, PCs, Amiga, Mac, Windows), and as oktodindon said "I'm tired to be a geek" now (although I still have the feeling sometimes). I also add that I've been designing realtime instrument software for scientific applications, and that I've especially cared about the users's opinion to program them and make the interface user-firendly and intuitive. From that experience, I can say that blender UI is not very intuitive in the first place.

So aren't other. We had this discussion too often. There always must be made some compromises due to the complexity of a job that a program has to accomplish. Google Sketchup is definitely extremly intuitive, but it doesn't have too many features and hides too much that a pro would like to have control on. You actually can't have both in one program - unless you complicate the UI too much or find another way to deal with it. That's why I use Blender: It's not perfect, but it does what I want extremly efficiently and easy. That's something that Max will never accomplish from my point of view - though it might be perfect for others!

oktodindon wrote: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).
I agree too on that point. And I must admit that the manual clearly lacks explanations on certain points. And I do not want (certainly like many others) to spend time reading tons and tons of forum messages to find the answer.
You agree that the work done with Blender is less impressive than things done with [whatever]? Elephants Dream is extremly impressive. What some people are doing and posting on the user forums is also quite impressive. Probably the greater user base of Blender is grounded on hobbyists instead of pros that do have [whatever] at work or just simply are willing afford an expensive package - that'll make a difference, sure, but you also can find people using Maya that just can make a shiny sphere on a checker board. That's a totally ridiculous point... If you compare the Blender pros and some other you'll see that there isn't a difference in quality and that the tool isn't as important to create a marvelous piece artwork as is imagination and originality.

I agree that the documentation is *coughs* suboptimal. That's the weakest point of Blender right now. But I can't understand how you can relate from the documentation to the UI since those are two different pairs of shoes.
Actually something like Next Limit's "Maxwell Render" is doing that. I regularly check the user forum, and many improvements of the GUI has come from users wishes.
You didn't get the point, sorry. It was quite sarcastic. Imagine if I would go to the Maxwell forums and simply telling everyone that the UI is totally shitty, unintuitive, unefficiently and has to be like the Blender UI. Get it?
I doubt your mother has any interest in 3D softwares... has she?
So... Do you or do you not have any interest in 3D software?

Btw.: Right now I'm really getting suspicious on your spelling and on who you are...
Another non-intuitive thing in Blender: why isn't the "Add" menu located in each 3D header? Why are the "Add" and "Timeline" menus located in the "User preferences" window? Please tell me what is intuitive in that... That's what oktodindon wants to say. Intuitive also means that when you did an action, then you can remember how you did it, simply because the steps to lead you there were flowing naturally (at least for basic actions). Sometimes in Blender, you need to go look 3 times in the manual (or spend a few minutes) to remember how you did things because some GUI elements are not where or how they should probably be. Oktodindon doesn't mean the interface is "shit", he just said it could be improved very straightforwardly.
On the "Add" menu thing: Yes, it actually could be in every 3D window header - but why should it, if it is visible in the default screen all the time? You don't add objects into specific windows - but you do add them into a scene. So I don't see any real reason why that should be needed. In addition: Avoiding clutter is really needed. And I actually hate it having to scroll a header to reach any button at the end.

(And I'm getting more suspicious...)
Except that "Grabbing" is the typical example not very intuitive things, at least far less intuitive than "m" for moving, or "t" for translating, because "Grabbing" does not mean "moving things" in the first place. I agree that grabbing is probably a pre-requisit for moving or translating things, but again, it's not intuitive (sorry I'm not a native english speaker, so please someone tells me if I'm wrong on that point).
It's true that it is less intuitive than moving or translating. But after knowing what it is G and not M, you definitely won't forget it... ;) Keep in mind that keys on a keyboard are not unlimited in number... And if you're explaining something to someone in colloquial speech you'd probably say something like "now grab that part and put it there" - so it's not that away from the action. Not as far as CTRL-V for pasting or CTRL-Z for undo...
Okay, let's continue to learn how to use Blender! :wink:
Have fun!

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:07 am
by Gorgo13
Well, kAinStein, I understand your point of view, though I still disagree on some points.

I'm sorry, but who do you think I am? :shock: The only CG forum I've been posting in (and not so much) is CGTalk. And about my spelling, it's probably because I'm French (sorry, I can't improve that much right now :P).

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 1:23 am
by oktodindon
Gorgo13, thank you for agreeing and saying things more subtly than I do.

But as I'm French too, I sadly note that we will keep here our reputation of grumbling and never happy people ! Too bad, I always thought it was a cliché.

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:48 am
by kaeru
I'm French too , and i'm really happy with blender !!!
So it's a cliché :wink:.

Peace :) .

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 2:50 am
by oktodindon
Whew!

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:31 am
by Gorgo13
:D Did I say that I was unhappy with Blender? :wink:

I'd like to emphasis (but oktodindon also said so) that we are not here to criticize Blender the bad way as it may appear, but on the contrary, we try to criticize it in the constructive way (and please don't say we are not contructive... I said "try" :) ). The best proof being that we installed it, used it up to the point where we could make our own judgement on it, and finally register on that forum. If I'd thought Blender was shit, you'd certainly never know about me (us) 8).

And as kaeru said: peace!

PS: I'm trying to compile blender to see what I can try to do in coding... :P

PS2: here's a French saying: "Qui aime bien chatie bien" (Spare the rod and spoil the child, translation found on the web)

A new noob viewpoint

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 11:53 am
by Sir Reel
I have been trying to penetrate Blender's interface for a couple weeks now, and have a mixed reaction to it. On one hand, I don't remember ever spending so much time trying to learn something since DOS was overthrown. On the other hand, I know that when I get it, I'll have my hands on the throttle of a fast interface.

I have not understood all that has been discussed here, but appreciate the debate, & general respect in the dialog.

Another thing that runs thru my thoughts is that getting a bigger community isn't always a good thing. Not only is there a potential snob appeal (not really, but I couldn't think of a better way to say it), but by filtering out all those noobs that do not have the patience, you have a filtered result,... and that may be a good thing. The shallow hot-heads that ruin some things have moved on before they can create a problem.

I don't expect to be able to get creative with this stuff for several months, and don't expect to get good at it for many more months, but that's all OK with me, because I'm an old guy that is just here to enjoy the ride.

BTW - I had wondered, and thank you for identifying your nationalities. To return the favor: I am American (and must immediately beg your forgiveness for our President - I didn't vote for him).

In closing: THANK YOU to everyone that has worked on this software, I hope a long lost wealthy uncle leaves you riches to allow you to continue.

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 3:51 pm
by stiv
Moderator Note: just a gentle reminder that this is a Blender development forum. If you want to talk politics, go somewhere else.

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2007 4:20 pm
by kAinStein
Gorgo13 wrote:Well, kAinStein, I understand your point of view, though I still disagree on some points.
Nothing wrong with that. Diversity (of opinions) is a good thing.
I'm sorry, but who do you think I am? :shock: The only CG forum I've been posting in (and not so much) is CGTalk. And about my spelling, it's probably because I'm French (sorry, I can't improve that much right now :P).
No problem with your spelling in general or you being french. I'm no native speaker either and my spelling needs some improvement, too. But it reminds me someone else posting in this thread. Maybe just a coincidence...

But back to the topic! I don't remember who made that proposal, but after thinking about it, it probably would make some sense and would be a compromise to the way people like to work: The proposal was to being able to rip off parts of the (header) toolbar (and probably rip off menus) and having them as floating semi transparent panels in the window - similiar to the background image or numerical input panels. Would that help out in some way? Who likes to have panels with lots of buttons and the like could then have them. Some scripts also do have a floating UI. I wouldn't use it probably or if I would then only on very rare occasions.

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:47 am
by Gorgo13
kAinStein wrote:But back to the topic! I don't remember who made that proposal, but after thinking about it, it probably would make some sense and would be a compromise to the way people like to work: The proposal was to being able to rip off parts of the (header) toolbar (and probably rip off menus) and having them as floating semi transparent panels in the window - similiar to the background image or numerical input panels. Would that help out in some way? Who likes to have panels with lots of buttons and the like could then have them. Some scripts also do have a floating UI. I wouldn't use it probably or if I would then only on very rare occasions.
I guess it would help for those who do not want (or can) remember all the shortcuts, or those who find that pressing R,X,X is slower than clicking on a button. Also, having floating "palettes" would maybe become a bit messy for some people, and it could be useful to be able to dock these palettes in dedicated panels (a bit like ZBrush does I guess).

By the way, just a question: do all the transformation controls (R,S,G...) have numeric inputs possible? (for example Rotate-Local axis) - Sorry for that I should go to the noobs section ;)

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:28 am
by lguillaume
Gorgo13 wrote:
By the way, just a question: do all the transformation controls (R,S,G...) have numeric inputs possible? (for example Rotate-Local axis) - Sorry for that I should go to the noobs section ;)
Yes if you press G, and after a number, it will change the X direction, for changing Y press Tab, ...
You can also use the transform properties panel called by NKey or in object menu, you have all Loc Scale Rot and Size where size is the size of the boundbox of the object.

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:04 pm
by kitsu
g-x-25 Moves the selected object 25 units along the global x axis.
g-x-x-25 Moves the selected object 25 units along the object's x axis.
by filtering out all those noobs that do not have the patience, you have a filtered result,... and that may be a good thing. The shallow hot-heads that ruin some things have moved on before they can create a problem.
I just wanted to mention that Sir Reel's point is a good one. Blender isn't meant to be some toy that people can pickup and learn in a week. The difficulty threshold of the interface weeds out people who want point and click wizards do everything for you 3d graphics.

I actually like Blender's current UI and the direction it is going. I think most people who use it on a regular basis do too. Since the last couple of releases the UI has become a non-issue for me. It looks nice, is unobtrusive, and has lots of nice features. There are a few rough edges left, but those are being reduced every day. Personally I hope the UI stays as it is, with only minor usability fixes per release. There are better things to work on :roll:

Posted: Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:21 pm
by oktodindon
It's funny to see how Blender lovers talk about it as it has the best UI and the best functionalities ever.

Do you mean XSI, Maya, 3DS, Modo etc are "point and click wizards" ? Blender does nothing MORE than others, so why your only arguments are "use it very long time and you will see it's perfect". Well, use every other softwares a long time you can do so. Difference : even if you don't use it a long time, you still can do some stuff !

So ok, I'm saying the same thing for 5 pages. I understand some people can like the interface if they only use shortcuts and worked on it for 10 years. But I don't understand why you don't admit that it's the most unintuitive 3D software.

To compare, in video editors programs, Avid is very powerful and have plenty of cool features. I can use it very well but... I admit it has nothing to do with the UI of Edius or FCP. Avid has a shitty interface which should be changed. That's it.