interface

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

Moderators: jesterKing, stiv

LetterRip
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Post by LetterRip » Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:03 pm

Stiv,

that is hilarious and far too true :)

To the rest of the readers and discussers (is that a word?) enhanced customization is coming for 2.50 so in some respects you will likely be able to remold Blender into your 'ideal interface' more easily.

LetterRIp

BlackBoe
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Post by BlackBoe » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:11 am

Kainstein: No, though I did work through some of it, I'll admit I didn't read all of your pamphlet-sized dissertation. I'm really mostly saying that there's probably a much, much more concise way of putting whatever you may have been trying to get at.

Azrael
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Interface

Post by Azrael » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:17 am

lets say this,

in your render window wouldn't it be intuitve for you to have a right click menu popup that has a "save as" option?

People want the interface changed, people don't want the interface changed.

But here's the thing, it is something that constantly comes up. It's been years and years and you can still find this post. Again and again.

This is going to sound dramatic but: Hell is repeating the same mistake over and over again.

I am sure this post is like hell to some people, gets you irritated.

Instead of hostility and irritation, you scratch the itch; it goes away. If you ignore it and the cause of it, it will happen again.

So, ask the question: "How can we make this better?"

Or better yet, ask this question: "How can we make this the best?"

How can we be even happier with the interface?

Answering these questions is how you scratch the itch. I know for a fact that most of you who say the interface shouldn't "change" have ideas on how to make it better.

Let's not fight, let's communicate and move forward at a speed that is not hindered by friction.

Dani
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Post by Dani » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:30 pm

Eh, Off Topic but never ever scratch an itch! It's dangerous and can get you serious infections (leading to amputation) even in non tropical countries!

However, this is not a reason not to take note of some points that may have stated in the discussion :)

Ciao
Dani

GDP_Sabrina
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Post by GDP_Sabrina » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:48 pm

First of all, I am working at a real huge company with ten thousands of employess and hundreds of designers, which buy all those expensive 3d modeler product and their updates several times a year. It would be very simple to tell people here to tryout and switch to a free product, because the monetary advantage can be calculated easily (free versus expensive). But the main problem - as far as I got as feedback from some of them towards blender - is, that most of the users reject to use blender, since it does not meet their common usage expectations: Windows, Mac and OS products offer some fundamental things like toolbars, menues etc. which they simply miss.

I think that blender is a great product with overwhelming functionality and an enthusiastic community behind. But I am convinced that blender is selling itself very poor to occasional or professional users: If you use blender only as part of a produtction queue, you have a usage problem in your process. I really appreciate all those shortcuts, but many artists at our company switch between products hourly. And it makes a big difference if an application places a universal "cut & paste" function at the menu bar (where everyone expects it), while another application expects the user to use a different usage philosophy with the hint "it is better and faster this way".

Personally I don't want blender to look like ApplicationX or ApplicationY, but I would like the user to define an own Perspective (Eclipse allows you for example to define your personal views). This way, every user could choose between a classical blender view and self defined visual toolbar views. I guess most of the functionality is there in blender. And it is only a question to sell it to a new line of stakeholders.

IMHO it is a question of selling the functionality to the user and seduce them to switch.

Regards
Sabrina

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:24 pm

BlackBoe wrote:Kainstein: No, though I did work through some of it, I'll admit I didn't read all of your pamphlet-sized dissertation. I'm really mostly saying that there's probably a much, much more concise way of putting whatever you may have been trying to get at.
Well then! It was a detailed answer to Sabrina's posting which wasn't any shorter. I would suggest that you stop with random machine-generated postings if you don't have anything to say at all just because you don't like the answer!

kAinStein
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Re: Interface

Post by kAinStein » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:12 pm

Azrael wrote: in your render window wouldn't it be intuitve for you to have a right click menu popup that has a "save as" option?
Wouldn't it be way more intuitive to simply have a save button? What's intuitive with a right click menu?! Nothing?
But here's the thing, it is something that constantly comes up. It's been years and years and you can still find this post. Again and again.

This is going to sound dramatic but: Hell is repeating the same mistake over and over again.

I am sure this post is like hell to some people, gets you irritated.
Let's set things straight: The Blender user base was about 350,000 people before Blender went free software. I don't know how big it is today. Most people are very happy with it and like the way it works. They surely have ideas how to improve Blender but it's surely not "Let's put icons everywhere and copy another 3D app!". I for my part want to have more consistency in the shortcuts - in a way that a "HOTKEY NUMKEY" sequence works everywhere. Let's say: To add a cube a simple "SPACE 1 1 2" would create the cube. In addition to that I would like to reorder my menus so that I can put more commonly used items first.

The only times when this topic comes up is from people who haven't used Blender and even admit that they didn't have read the manual but want Blender act the way their applications do? Now what?! Do we take Maya? 3D Studio Max? Softimage? Cinema 4D? Mojo? Silo? You can't expect people to sacrifice the application some people that they have chosen to work with because they want explicitly that way of doing things to create something that doesn't please anyone at all.

The most irritating part is that those very few people actually come without experience with Blender, haven't even read the documentation, are speaking about (non-existing) industry standards and intuitivity without any proof for what they are preaching - or sometimes even without knowing what they are actually talking about. In nearly 100% of those cases it's just a matter of "I want it to look and behave like [XYZ] because I don't want to read the manual!" and all the points they are able to bring up can basicly be applied to any tool on earth!
Instead of hostility and irritation, you scratch the itch; it goes away. If you ignore it and the cause of it, it will happen again.
There is no hostility.
So, ask the question: "How can we make this better?"

Or better yet, ask this question: "How can we make this the best?"

How can we be even happier with the interface?
Who is "we"? Is "we" the Blender user base that actually has the tool they want to have or is "we" people that want a cheap replacement for whatever they used before? Hope you get the point.
Answering these questions is how you scratch the itch. I know for a fact that most of you who say the interface shouldn't "change" have ideas on how to make it better.

Let's not fight, let's communicate and move forward at a speed that is not hindered by friction.
Well, then I would recommend that you first listen to experienced Blender users what they've got to say about that topic - don't forget: You are talking about the development of Blender! And most people here don't only rely on using Blender... Otherwise you will be ignored - that's for sure! Or how many developers did actually reply to your images on the other thread? Think about it...

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Wed Aug 08, 2007 4:56 pm

GDP_Sabrina wrote:First of all, I am working at a real huge company with ten thousands of employess and hundreds of designers, which buy all those expensive 3d modeler product and their updates several times a year. It would be very simple to tell people here to tryout and switch to a free product, because the monetary advantage can be calculated easily (free versus expensive). But the main problem - as far as I got as feedback from some of them towards blender - is, that most of the users reject to use blender, since it does not meet their common usage expectations: Windows, Mac and OS products offer some fundamental things like toolbars, menues etc. which they simply miss.
Let me tell you a little story about a nice experience I've made: In another huge company there was the idea to switch from Windows PCs to linux-based machines. First the servers, no one actually took any notice at all. Then the idea came up to switch also the client computers from Windows to Linux. People went crazy! There were people shouting: "Impossible to work with!", "Again learning something new!", "No way!" and they even started collecting signatures against the plans. I tell you: A big, big mess!

Shall I tell you what happened? The management simply decided to migrate! And now everybody is happy, some don't notice any difference - other even think it's better. The only Windows applications are special applications running on an application server because they weren't ported yet. For short: People made an elephant out of a moskito, but after migrating they just obeyed, learned the usage of the new software and work normally as if nothing has happened at all. Even most Word macros have been redone on OpenOffice...
Personally I don't want blender to look like ApplicationX or ApplicationY, but I would like the user to define an own Perspective (Eclipse allows you for example to define your personal views). This way, every user could choose between a classical blender view and self defined visual toolbar views. I guess most of the functionality is there in blender. And it is only a question to sell it to a new line of stakeholders.
LetterRip already mentioned: The event system refactoring will provide some help to achieve something in that direction. Take a look at Matt Ebb's (broken) proposals:
http://mke3.net/weblog/tools-for-tools-to-tool-with/
http://mke3.net/weblog/blender-toolbar/
http://mke3.net/weblog/simple-parametric-objects/

(You could have found them if you would have searched similiar threads... ;) )

But as stiv and I said: Don't expect Blender to work like Cinema 4D. There are reasons why Blender does work this way - if the developers and the user base wanted it in another way - it surely had already been done so...

Azrael
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Post by Azrael » Thu Aug 09, 2007 5:30 am

kAinStein wrote: Let's set things straight: The Blender user base was about 350,000 people before Blender went free software. I don't know how big it is today. Most people are very happy with it and like the way it works. They surely have ideas how to improve Blender but it's surely not "Let's put icons everywhere and copy another 3D app!".
I agree with you here whole heartedly, personally when I look at cinema 4d vs maya's interface it makes me want to cringe at how similar they are. I don't want to make blender like another app. If you look at my post for the blender UI you'll see I keep blender looking like blender (although the theme is applied to my color theme.)
kAinStein wrote: Wouldn't it be way more intuitive to simply have a save button? What's intuitive with a right click menu?! Nothing?
It's intuitive because it's what people are used to. Sure a save button would be even better, maybe if you hover over the image the option appears in the top or bottom corner.
kAinStein wrote: "I want it to look and behave like [XYZ] because I don't want to read the manual!" and all the points they are able to bring up can basicly be applied to any tool on earth!
You know what, I see where you are coming from and I can feel your point of view. I don't want blender to behave like [XYZ] app -- There is a reason I feel uncontrollably attracted to it. :-)
kAinStein wrote: Who is "we"? Is "we" the Blender user base that actually has the tool they want to have or is "we" people that want a cheap replacement for whatever they used before? Hope you get the point.
I do get the point. And understand, that I am not coming from the part of the zone that wants a clone of some app. Check out my posts and you wont see my UI design looking like anything else but blender.
kAinStein wrote: Well, then I would recommend that you first listen to experienced Blender users
I am experienced, still WIP.
Image
kAinStein wrote: Or how many developers did actually reply to your images on the other thread? Think about it...
That stings, I'm not your enemy. Did you see the thread on CGtalk or BlenderArtists? ;-) I'll admit that there aren't a lot of dev's comment on it. But there was positive reactions. I want to share my ideas and be part of blender. I am being really open here. I am open to criticism and change. If there is something you would like to see done to my design's just ask. I want blender to be better. Honestly, I do.

jesterKing
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Post by jesterKing » Thu Aug 09, 2007 7:23 am

Milk (lactose-free if you need) and cookies for everyone, before you continue on this thread.

/Nathan, the friendly site admin

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:49 pm

jesterKing wrote:Milk (lactose-free if you need) and cookies for everyone, before you continue on this thread.

/Nathan, the friendly site admin
Thanks for the cookies but I would like to stay with my cup of coffee... ;)

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Thu Aug 09, 2007 4:21 pm

Azrael wrote: I agree with you here whole heartedly, personally when I look at cinema 4d vs maya's interface it makes me want to cringe at how similar they are. I don't want to make blender like another app. If you look at my post for the blender UI you'll see I keep blender looking like blender (although the theme is applied to my color theme.)
It's not about the look by itself. It's also about the behaviour. It's all about how it integrates on different layouts, it's about how it fits in the workflow, it's about consistency of the UI, etc. I haven't commented it because I don't see any improvement in it. So sorry I am.
It's intuitive because it's what people are used to.
That's not intuitive by definition. It actually does not have anything to do with intuitivity. So I would suggest not to use that word. We've got that discussion too often...
You know what, I see where you are coming from and I can feel your point of view. I don't want blender to behave like [XYZ] app -- There is a reason I feel uncontrollably attracted to it. :-)
Well, I used 3D Studio (without Max) before Blender and then Maya. And I hated Blender first. But it sounds very familiar to me that someone somehow feels attracted to it. Actually I asked myself exactly the same question as Sabrina did: "How the heck can someone create anything like that with such a crap programm?" (I know, Sabrina, you didn't say anything about crap - but I once did.) I was refering to the blacksmith demo scene and the mine ride.

Do you want to know when I last used Maya? ;) It's nearly 7 years ago. And I don't want to switch back.
I do get the point. And understand, that I am not coming from the part of the zone that wants a clone of some app. Check out my posts and you wont see my UI design looking like anything else but blender.
Oh, I've seen your images - but I don't see how it fits in there. And there are many examples of functionality in Blender where the UI doesn't fit - but people demanded it (similar to what some people are demanding now) and so it had been done - without really searching a good way to integrate it (take for example the modifier stack: The UI is only usuable in a good way if your window layout is vertical - but then the window buttons are only partially visible - it's all nothing real). Your proposals are just one step further in the same wrong direction: A real improvement is not about putting colorful icons somewhere (I guess everyone knows how other apps look like and how you use them - so there's no need for that - I don't think that you intended to declare people for stupid, but you actually did...). Setting up such a UI (desired by you) needs that the rest of the program follows the same UI concepts consequently and they are not compatible with the Blender philosophy in many cases. It's quite a naive approach to this topic that certainls creates more inconsistencies than already exist!

If you believe or not: Most of the Blender users like that way of working - that's why they chose Blender. The irritating part is that people that come here and start threads like this often demonstrate their ignorance with the first posting they write. And you always can read out of it, that they are just looking for a very cheap replacement for their tools ("Free software is cheap because it's free, isn't it?") without bringing any effort at all (Not reading the documentation, not trying to inform themselves what is possible and what is not, not being willing to create what they want by themselves or donating some money so there can be hired the one or the other fulltime coder for a fork - no nothing like that! The list could be even longer! They expect others to be at their service - now, of course - but that's not how things work!). Those people also tend to use words which meaning they actually don't really know, just to hide that they are used to something and not willing to bring an effort to learn something different - but expect others to change their mind. Sorry, I've got no understanding at all for such a behaviour that only displays disrespect for other people.
I am experienced, still WIP.
I like your Cinema 4D work way better... *runsducksandtakescover*
That stings, I'm not your enemy.
It might. But I hope you understood what I meant. It was not a personal offense directed against you. Just should slow you down a bit, make you look at current development, so you can think about that stuff, reorganize your thoughts and direct your energy in a better and realistic direction. You certainly would be disappointed if 5 new Blender versions would be released and actually noone cared about your ideas, wouldn't you?
I want blender to be better. Honestly, I do.
Remember: What you might think is good, can be total crap for others - and vice versa, of course. I intensionally expressed it a bit exaggerated. And though your intension is surely honorable, I predict that it would create the opposite of better.

teppic
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Post by teppic » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:01 pm

GDP_Sabrina wrote:First of all, I am working at a real huge company with ten thousands of employess and hundreds of designers, which buy all those expensive 3d modeler product and their updates several times a year. It would be very simple to tell people here to tryout and switch to a free product, because the monetary advantage can be calculated easily (free versus expensive). But the main problem - as far as I got as feedback from some of them towards blender - is, that most of the users reject to use blender, since it does not meet their common usage expectations: Windows, Mac and OS products offer some fundamental things like toolbars, menues etc. which they simply miss.
Let's say your company hires a full time developer to work on blender for a year to fix some of these shortcomings.
There are two possibilities here:

A. The task is too huge for one full time developer to do in one year.

Your suggestions are probably unrealistic to begin with, considering that most of blenders developers do this in their spare time (except for Ton, but there is more to blender than the user interface).

B. The improvements/changes mentioned is possible for one full time developer in one year.

This will probably make it possible to drop one or more of the current packages (and might even improve the overall efficiency of the designers). These savings will probably be enough to pay for this developer, considering the size of your company, and the number of licenses you need to pay for.

If B is true this is a win-win situation. You get a tool which you can improve in any way you need, and blender gets another full time developer, which will benefit the entire community.

I am probably overlooking many things here, but it might still be worth thinking about. Not to mention that there is probably a lot of politics involved; both on the blender side as well as in large companies.

Please don't read this as a "do it yourself" kind of post. I'm just playing with the idea.

Azrael
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Post by Azrael » Thu Aug 09, 2007 6:39 pm

kAinStein: Do you develop for blender?

joeri
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Post by joeri » Fri Aug 10, 2007 12:41 pm

GDP_Sabrina wrote:First of all, I am working at a real huge company with ten thousands of employess and hundreds of designers, which buy all those expensive 3d modeler product and their updates several times a year. It would be very simple to tell people here to tryout and switch to a free product, because the monetary advantage can be calculated easily (free versus expensive). But the main problem - as far as I got as feedback from some of them towards blender - is, that most of the users reject to use blender, since it does not meet their common usage expectations: Windows, Mac and OS products offer some fundamental things like toolbars, menues etc. which they simply miss.
Not sure this belongs here in this thread.
What are you hundreds of designers doing?
Movie making? CAD modeling? Game creation?
Blender is a freestyle polymodeler that can render nominal images if your a hardcore blender user. Re-educating hundreds of designers is going to be very very expensive.

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