Blender interface change

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

Moderators: jesterKing, stiv

BeBraw
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2006 4:14 pm

Post by BeBraw » Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:48 am

What if objects were designed to be more procedural?

Let me explain what I mean by this. In a procedural system the user would first add the base object just like now. Consider that the user adds a UVSphere mesh object to the scene. After this a new modifier that represent the object would appear on the modifier stack of the object. This modifier allows the user to change the type of the object, its attributes and basic orientation (global space/view space (original. Same behaviour as now)). There may be other possibilities as well. In case of UVSphere there would be Type:UVSphere, Segments:32, Rings:32, Orientation:Original.

Of course not all objects, such as cube, have attributes to alter. This sort of system would give more power to the user. He doesn't need to know the exact attributes of the base object at first. The bad side of this sort of system is that one cannot access the edit mode till the modifier has been applied. The reason for this stems from the procedural approach. But I think its a small price to pay for more versatile system. It is possible to tweak the shape of the object by using other modifiers after all. And perhaps the modifier stack shall become animatable someday...

Aelfwald
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:19 am
Location: Catalonia, Iberian Federation

Post by Aelfwald » Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:27 pm

Hi!

First of all I'm new here, so please forgive my lack-of-knowledge errors.

In my opinion (and not having a clue of how difficult/easy something like this would be to program), the ideal solution to all this would be to simply make the UI as customizable as possible.
The old UI could be kept, and new ones could be created and distributed on the Internet. How about a Max-ish one? or Maya-ish? or even Sketchup-ish? (why not?). Every group of users coming from certain proprietary applications could make their own "skin",to start using Blender.
As soon as they'd got their grip on how Blender works, and having read that "the original Blender UI is XX% faster to use than XX program-mimic's" they could then switch to it, without having to learn everything at once. This would greatly improve new user accessibility, making Blender even more interesting to switchers. A bigger user base would probably mean more people interested in coding “plugins” for Blender, for their particular necessities. And this brings us to another interesting point: greater customizability could also benefit users interested in particular parts of Blender: a group of users might want an Animation-centered-UI, whilst others might prefer to center on NURBS editing (or whatever).
Of coure, official tutorials could refer to the old UI,whilst every other UI option could come with its own.
So, why not make Blender go one step beyond one more time? Why not give it the most customizable UI (that is, to non-programming users) in the market?

As I said before, I'm new here... I haven't got round to really learning Blender yet, although I have started and it doesn't seem specially difficult, provided you've got a good tutorial/manual with you.
What I do know is that allowing me to change AutoCAD and Rhino's UIs to make them more similar, and changing the commands to make xtr be Extrude on both of them, or xx be XX on both of them, has largely increased my speed while working on both of them. And the same can be said of Cinema 4D which I also managed to customize to access what I wanted to faster..... so... why not Blender?

(thanks for listening, and thanks to the Blender community for all the effort put into this program, I hope I can join you soon)
Customizability is FREEDOM

joeri
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 6:41 pm
Contact:

Post by joeri » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:11 pm

"First of all I'm new here, so please forgive my lack-of-knowledge errors. "
Well, hmm, actualy; no. It's very rude to mix into a discussion without reading into the material needed to be knolledgeble about the subject. So:
http://www.blender.org/development/curr ... since-243/

joeri
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 6:41 pm
Contact:

Post by joeri » Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:21 pm

BeBraw wrote:What if objects were designed to be more procedural?
Matt showed Modo at the conference 2006. Modo has settings that can be set before adding and are still active after adding. This means people who know how many rings they want have a nice preset and people who want to alter this can see this interactively changed after adding the object. Pretty much the same thing as in Maya with history on. Animating these settings in a history stack can lead to pretty much unwanted animations. Manual alterations of verteces for example go on vertex index number, changing the number of verteces (by adding rings) means the wrong verteces will get moved. Another mis and hard to follow thing with construction history and animation is transfor alterations: Rotating an object with a created loft will rotate the loft twice; once because the object is rotated and once because the edges that parent the loft are rotated. Handling this in settings is pain staking and results in lots of "delete history".

Aelfwald
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:19 am
Location: Catalonia, Iberian Federation

Post by Aelfwald » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:52 pm

Well, in that case, Joeri, sorry for my unwilling rudeness. Thanks for the link!

Aelfwald
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 4:19 am
Location: Catalonia, Iberian Federation

Post by Aelfwald » Fri Apr 06, 2007 10:56 pm

Oh... and sorry, but I had actually read this before.. of course, I didn't remember the details, but I don't think what I said is so out of place... What I meant as lack of knowledge was programmer-wise and... what is being done now doesn't mean I can't post my (probably stupid, by the way) opinion.

I don't want to mess things up... :(

matt_e
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:32 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Post by matt_e » Sun Apr 08, 2007 10:51 am

BeBraw wrote:What if objects were designed to be more procedural?
Here's a thought :)

http://mke3.net/weblog/simple-parametric-objects/

kAinStein
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:08 pm

Post by kAinStein » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:59 pm

I also took a look at the customizable toolbar you made. I had a similiar idea, but your proposal is certainly better. For me it would be a good way to go because it allows to create palettes what could be a big help to those that are always complaining about the interface - so it's not a must. Quite consequent and elegant! I also like the idea with the separators. Perhaps it also should be configurable in the way it is displayed: Text only, text and icons or icons only - and - that parts can probably be ripped off at the separators in a way that you could rearrange the palettes on the screen.

For those who haven't read it:
http://mke3.net/weblog/tools-for-tools-to-tool-with/
http://mke3.net/weblog/blender-toolbar/

As I said: I like your work and a big thumb up!

joeri
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 6:41 pm
Contact:

Post by joeri » Tue Apr 10, 2007 8:42 am

I also like the toolbar idea (personal shelf) as a macro constructor. Photoshop has some extra foldout stuff attached to the actions, blender would need that to. And the toolbar could show (and alter) the shortcut.
What I like about matt's UI ideas is that they go beyond ideas, we see them working in a blender. Shows effort, and possibilities. Next to that; they are mostly all very elegant, but that's taste.

kAinStein
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:08 pm

Post by kAinStein » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:54 am

joeri wrote:What I like about matt's UI ideas is that they go beyond ideas, we see them working in a blender.
True in all ways of meaning.

A small addition from my part:
I'd like to see a possibility not only to add a menu item into the tool bar, but rearrange the menus itself - meaning setting menu items up and down - and this should also affect the number shortcuts to access those items. This would help a lot because different people do different stuff in different ways - so they use actions in different amounts. Rearranging the menu items makes more used actions easier accessible if they are at the first 4 - max. 5 places (keys 1-5) - this is just an observation I made here while blendering and being aware of what I was doing and how.

kaeru
Posts: 0
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:09 pm
Location: france

Post by kaeru » Tue Apr 17, 2007 12:43 pm

I'm really curious of what will be done in the refactoring ...

Here's a thing that i found recently , in each 3D window there's some function that when done in one window , change also in every other 3D window ...
So they take space while not necessary .

_changing mode (edit , object ,sculpt ...)
_changing selection mode from verts to faces or edges
_changing pivot mode
_activating proportional editing tool

So i was thinking that if adding a new window type "Tools" with these function would freed some space in the header of 3D window ...
It can also freed some space from the edit panel 'mesh tools' in edit mode .

Image Image

Peace :) .

Azrael
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:46 am
Location: Stouffville, Ontario -- Canada
Contact:

Here is something i did

Post by Azrael » Sun Apr 29, 2007 6:00 pm

I did these icons and outliner and thought it was simple and intuitive. The outliner a bit like the photoshop layer editor.

Image

Alex Edwin
Posts: 0
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:55 am
Location: Queensland, Australia

Post by Alex Edwin » Thu May 17, 2007 12:28 pm

Customize it! (Like Skinning)
Then everyone can have their it way or they can just use the default settings.

Dani
Posts: 143
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2002 8:35 pm

Post by Dani » Fri May 18, 2007 10:14 pm

edit: oh my, I think I'm off topic, I thought it was a general UI discussion, but after re-reading, it's more tool-oriented. Sorry for the inconvenience!


Hello,

First thing, I know that what will follow will rise the hairs on some people's skin, but I'm just tossing in some thoughts, nothing more, so don't take this as a threat!

There is a low level refactor about to happen, it's about handling events better and so... Next to this I've been using Code::Blocks and I see that its interface, like that of most IDEs, is designed in a partitionned screen manner, pretty much like Blender no? Of course, the looks on windows mimics windows' L&F.

C::B using wxwidgets, and I suppose (though haven't looked into it) that this framework has already all that is needed to handle events and such, and allow opengl contexts where needed.

edit: I browsed a small bit and here are the features of wxwidgets:
http://www.wxwidgets.org/about/feature2.htm.
Note: the toolkit is coded in C++ and one of the languages it's interfaced with is naturally C++. I haven't found information about a C wrapper. Is this a major problem?
edit: of course, the whole interface would have to be recreated... that's a lot!

So instead of investing a tremendous amount of thoughts and hours of coding in recreating such a system, could another system that already exists fit the needs of the Blender UI?
If there is no serious alternative, then yes, I guess it's worth the pain of diving down into that code.

I hope you understand this point of view.
Dani

lukep
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2004 1:39 pm

Post by lukep » Sat May 19, 2007 11:19 pm

Dani wrote:edit: oh my, I think I'm off topic, I thought it was a general UI discussion, but after re-reading, it's more tool-oriented. Sorry for the inconvenience!


Hello,

First thing, I know that what will follow will rise the hairs on some people's skin, but I'm just tossing in some thoughts, nothing more, so don't take this as a threat!

There is a low level refactor about to happen, it's about handling events better and so... Next to this I've been using Code::Blocks and I see that its interface, like that of most IDEs, is designed in a partitionned screen manner, pretty much like Blender no? Of course, the looks on windows mimics windows' L&F.

...

So instead of investing a tremendous amount of thoughts and hours of coding in recreating such a system, could another system that already exists fit the needs of the Blender UI?
If there is no serious alternative, then yes, I guess it's worth the pain of diving down into that code.

I hope you understand this point of view.
Dani
Blender needs are in that case very specific (all is done in OpenGL) and changing that is not really an option.

Even if the low-level backend can be C++ (GHOST is) we need a C interface for the main stuff.

Post Reply