Blender interface change

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

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VanHeber
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Post by VanHeber » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:09 pm

Ok, I will start again... I think something like this: (sorry for a lot of images)
then I can work with a big 3d view, because essential tools are on dock. Some operators are today in another places, like modifiers, lights and particles.
Image

For create tools something like:
Image

For Curves something like:
Image

For Nurbs something like:
Image

For Array, boolean, metaball simetry and other especial tools something like:
Image

For Lights and cameras:
Image

For modifiers something like:
Image

For Particles something like:
Image

All properties for each tool can be displayed in a popup windows.

pinhead_66
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Location: Belgium

Post by pinhead_66 » Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:48 pm

interesting.

now instead of having a pop-up, which would slow down action and is not in line with the one window-philosophy, how about showing the properties in the button window below (isn't that the case anyway? I may be wrong).

Critic
For this a lot of extra icons are needed, wasn't the icon file almost full?

How is this faster then space-bar in the middle of the 3d window and selecting from the menu?
In order to use this, I have to go all the way down to the header. This way you will make more mileage using your mouse, this means loss of time and less productivity.

thanks you for your idea

joeri
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Post by joeri » Thu Mar 15, 2007 11:27 am

Very cool stuff!
Nice addition to existing hotkeys.

The advantage of hotkeys is that your mouse pointer is there where you need it as a creation tool, the disadvantage of your system is that you are using your mouse pointer as a tools selection device. The keyboard can do that, but the keyboard cannot be the creation tool. Thus meaning that this system needs lots of (unnessesary) mouse movements = stress on arm & slowdown of workflow.

Ofcourse it looks great, and gives visual a better idea to new users what the words mean. Still... adding these icons under the spacebar (that pops-up under the mouse pointer where you need it as a creation device) would be better in my opinion, that is already implemented in blender, it just does not have the fancy icons.

VanHeber
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Post by VanHeber » Thu Mar 15, 2007 2:45 pm

Another way is to put menu tool in a float window, (space key on keyboard). Like:
Image

Image

So I believe that is important this menu have some operations that are in another place, like distortions, booleans, modifiers, array, symetry, particles. If possible!

Gustav Göransson
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Post by Gustav Göransson » Thu Mar 15, 2007 9:07 pm

Ooo a UI thread with something constructive for once, I wonder how long it will last =).

In my opinion a quick menu, (like the one you get when hit space in blender) should have "one level" or at least have a place for for favorite/recent used tools at the top level.
quote: "I could probably name a 100 things that I want to change in Blender UI"
Interesting..., or is it? No not really, any reason why somebody should, as a hobby, spend 100 hours on a sentence you've typed down in 5 seconds?
Not surprised that you don't agree with me =), but you missed my whole point, what I meant that no application is perfect, there's always thing to improve, whether we talking maya or blender.

because blender is so lightning fast

Compared to what? =)

In general all 3d applications are very similar, they have a extrude tool, a XYZ-gizmo and so on, and the modeling techniques are the same an all applications have hot keys. So I'dont think you can say that there's a huge time difference between different application, at least that my personal experience.

My point, the application of use have very little influence on the time it takes to do something compared to the skills of the man or woman sitting in front of the computer.

It's almost like comparing which application you write fastest in Word or OpenOffice (okey, now I'm exaggerating =)

joeri
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Post by joeri » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:18 am

Long post.
Gustav Göransson wrote:Ooo a UI thread with something constructive for once, I wonder how long it will last.
This ofcourse also depends on you. :D
Gustav Göransson wrote:In my opinion a quick menu, (like the one you get when hit space in blender) should have "one level" or at least have a place for for favorite/recent used tools at the top level.
Nothing new, discussed 100 times. Blender needs event refactoring to make this possible, is worked on. Matt showed action history demo a year ago. I think most 3d developers seen maya and the maya Gkey. Posing this on a developers forum as a feature request without any ideas on how to implement this in the current code does not make much sense.
quote: "I could probably name a 100 things that I want to change in Blender UI"
Interesting..., or is it? No not really, any reason why somebody should, as a hobby, spend 100 hours on a sentence you've typed down in 5 seconds?

Not surprised that you don't agree with me =), but you missed my whole point, what I meant that no application is perfect, there's always thing to improve, whether we talking maya or blender.
Really? Is that why there is photoshop elements, because photoshop is not perfect? Is Photoshop CS3 going to be as big a leap as Photoshop4 ?
What suggestions do you have for word? More clipart?
Most suggested changes have nothing to do with perfectness but personal fit. What lots of people don't understand is that for personal fit you need a lot of knowledge of what makes things fit. Knowledge that is not common amongst blender users. Have you've got any idea how much people at my office have changed their word toolbar? Close to zero. 100% customizable word and outlook means nothing to them.
But I love interesting ideas on improvement. I just don't see them very often. They are mostly about interface without knowing where it should interface with.
because blender is so lightning fast

Compared to what? =)
All other 3d apps. See elephants dream production schema.
In general all 3d applications are very similar, they have a extrude tool, a XYZ-gizmo and so on, and the modeling techniques are the same an all applications have hot keys. So I'dont think you can say that there's a huge time difference between different application, at least that my personal experience.
In general, all cars are the same... but racing cars... etc.

Using mouse as tool selector and creation device slows you down.
Learning hotkeys is a must. Working in modes slows you down.
Working in sequencial workflow (first model, then texture, then rig, then animate, then light, then set, then render, then composite) slows you down, blender (hence the name) tries to give a mixed workflow, and gives you speed.
My point, the application of use have very little influence on the time it takes to do something compared to the skills of the man or woman sitting in front of the computer.
Not completely true. The tool used needs to fit the job to be done.
You can't harvest a 1000ha cornfield with a handplaw. And it's silly to harvest your 1 square feet garden with a combiner.

Can blender be everything? And easy to learn by looking at the interface and lightning fast in the hands of a blenderhead? And what is this blenderhead doing? Games modeling, Still rendering, Character animation or Realtime dynamic fluids simulation?

This is what modern gui guru call "context sensitive" interface or "task sensitive" gui. Interface oriented on the task forehand.

But,... there is the difficulty, there are no descriptions of those tasks, and the tools needed specific for that task. Ideas, Improvements, Suggestions and Requests come in form of directions, not as problems or issues.
Hobbiest developers don't need directions, they want to solve problems.
It's almost like comparing which application you write fastest in Word or OpenOffice (okey, now I'm exaggerating =)
I will use 100% of my hardware resources so also 100% of my software using this resources. I can notice a 10% slowdown of my gfx board. The more wireframes my application can handle to more detail my model will have. The faster I get a rendering result the more options I'll try in my materials... Not really issues with a modern wordprocessor. Although, funny you mention this, lots of people still use vi; they don't want to wait 15 seconds on their 3Gh dual core for their notepad to start or their output to be as cluthered
I'm sorry, you are talking about a hobbiest, not a professional. Just think about mechanical typewriters and secretaries, and tell me again it's all about the man (woman). This only goes up for the 2 finger system typers, not the profesional 76keys p/s persons. Same goes with todays 3d app. It's still not an easy task within the machine to get all the 3d done. The interface towards that machine therefore is not as important as ideas about improving that machine.

My thoughts on the subject.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:20 am

VanHeber wrote:
So I believe that is important this menu have some operations that are in another place, like distortions, booleans, modifiers, array, symetry, particles. If possible!
As far as I know blender has all the actions (not tools) in the spacebar.
If the spacebar popup would be under rmb it would be pretty simular to other apps.

LetterRip
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Post by LetterRip » Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:13 pm

Joeri,

I'd suggest that Blenders workflow for certain subareas compared to the most optimized applications, Blender is behind - for instance modo or silo for modeling. Some areas we are somewhat behind most 3D apps that support such tools - ie texture painting. Other areas we are ahead most other applications that support such functionality - ie UV mapping.

LetterRip

joeri
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Post by joeri » Wed Mar 21, 2007 10:38 am

LetterRip,

O yes, I agree blender is far from "finished".
That's why I'm so disappointed that all suggestions go towards the interface.

Gustav Göransson
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Post by Gustav Göransson » Thu Mar 22, 2007 1:31 am

I agree with LetterRip.

...and to Joeri

Do you really have to write so long replies ;). Instead of me writing a long answer and futher distroy this thread, I'd just put it this way: I don't agree (with most of what your saying). =)

Bellorum
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Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:27 pm

Post by Bellorum » Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:31 pm

pinhead_66 wrote:interesting.

now instead of having a pop-up, which would slow down action
Explain to me now, in detail how this example:
Image
would slow down workflow :? I'm not saying it's a better solution than the regular space-menu, but it certainly would not be slower, just a different approach.

Example of adding a mesh in Blender

Example 1:
Click 'Add' menu > highlight 'mesh' >click on 'plane' (for example

Example 2:
Push SPACE > highlight 'add' > highlight 'mesh' >click on plane

New proposal:
Click the 'mesh'-icon > click on 'plane'-icon

So no, not slower. It does however take up more space on the main bar, which is problematic - in fullscreen mode, less so.

I swear that some of you guys probably chant "pop-ups are bad!' and whip yourselves on the back 50 times before you go to sleep :roll:
There's no such thing as democracy. There's only the tyranny of one, and the tyranny of many.

teppic
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Post by teppic » Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:36 pm

Bellorum:
It does slow down workflow by cluttering the ui with a lot of icons. There is actually some thought put into the interface as it is. The header area is mainly used for switches that represents different modes. By looking at the header you can see exactly what editing modes are active and so on.

There is already a lot of information in the header, which you will notice if you split your screen into smaller views. I would prefer not to have to scroll the header to be able to see everything.

The spacebar menu are reserved for features that are not used that often, i.e. creating new objects, and more frequently used functions have their own shortcut or tool-menu. So just adding buttons here and there doesn't really make blender easier to use IMO.

Though I think it might be a good idea to add icons similar to those in the mockup to the spacebar-menu.

Bellorum
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Post by Bellorum » Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:35 am

teppic wrote:Bellorum:
It does slow down workflow by cluttering the ui with a lot of icons.
If you had read my post through properly, you'd see that I don't disagree with you. Pinhead's claim, however, that the popup in this case would slow down workflow is just plain wrong - and that was what my reply was about.
There's no such thing as democracy. There's only the tyranny of one, and the tyranny of many.

teppic
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Post by teppic » Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:59 am

Bellorum wrote:
teppic wrote:Bellorum:
It does slow down workflow by cluttering the ui with a lot of icons.
If you had read my post through properly, you'd see that I don't disagree with you. Pinhead's claim, however, that the popup in this case would slow down workflow is just plain wrong - and that was what my reply was about.
Ok. now i'm confused.
Bellorum wrote:Explain to me now, in detail how this example: ... would slow down workflow
That is exactly what i did. I'm saying that it is a bad idea to use visible workspace for buttons you don't really use that often. If you think about it, how much of your time in blender do you spend creating new cubes and spheres?

Edit: Ok, your statement in the bottom of the post says esentially what i'm saying, but thats not how I interpret the rest of it. So we might agree, but I just wanted to make my point clear :P

pinhead_66
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Post by pinhead_66 » Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:24 pm

Bellorum,

I stand corrected :)

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