interface

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

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Azrael
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Post by Azrael » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:56 am

kAinStein wrote: If you transfer the virtual buttons for actions to real life buttons on your keyboard and restrict visual feedback to what is happening instead of showing that a button is selected then you don't need virtual buttons that take space from your working area. This means less clutter, better visibility on your work and more space for your workspace. As a human in the first place you are used to work with your hands - and it not only feels more natural to hit a button with your hand - it's also a lot of faster! And if you are practiced your body memorizes where to hit a key and you don't have to think about it anymore. That is much more natural.
I try to get my wife on shortcuts because they are "faster" but she doesn't care. Trying to teach her is pointless, she wants to click the icons because they offer immediate feedback and communicate very clearly what she needs. She see's the button then touches it, with her hand (fingers.) She finds it easier to get into it with icons which are "pictograms" and let's face it, a picture says a thousand words.

kAinStein wrote: Especially if you are using tabbed toolbars you lose a lot of time switching between tools. So you should restrict tabbing only to procedures that you actually don't need constantly.
Except for the fact that most tabbed toolbars have what you need for that task. For example, in photoshop I wouldnt want one window sharing my color swatches and then in the same window my layers. So these tabs are placed properly for usability. If you always look at the worst case scenario then you'll never grow.

"Fyling a plane is dangerous, when you fall out of the sky you'll die. Therefore we should never fly." Sound like anyone you know?
kAinStein wrote: Because documentation is the key to every single piece of software on earth
If everyone had to read the windows manual before getting started we'd all be using macs. :-\
kAinStein wrote: That's ok! I again would recommend Matt's way instead of plastering half of the screen with tabs and meaningless icons like other applications do.
Yeah because plastering the screen with meaningless icons is exactly what hugely successfull applications like Max, Maya, Photoshop, Windows and OSX do.
kAinStein wrote: Only icons are a bad thing. Most icons are simply not self-explaining and tooltips don't make anything better
What applications have you been using? they have obviously left a bad taste in your mouth. I use blender's tooltips to learn it. So do a lot of people.
kAinStein wrote: Probably you should get the basics first! You can't drive a 40 tons truck without knowing what a steering wheel is - though the truck might have an automatic drive. Learn the basics.
Agreed
lukep wrote: [...]grunt work on usability
I find it rewarding. :-)

Let me say this: this UI I designed is a 1st draft with a definite lack of user feedback. Help me make it better. KainStein's rants have even given me ideas. I think I have something up my sleeve that even he will like.

But let's say someone paves a real clear roadmap for you, it would be easier and perhaps even fun to code.
kAinStein wrote: Many of those people don't get what kind of tool Blender actually is. It's not intended for occasional use.
No one in this thread is an "occasional" user.

Sabrina is talking about shifting a whole team of people fulltime to it. In production... She wants to be dedicated, however before she can be seduced she is telling you what you're missing.
kAinStein wrote: Do you know any group consisting of a few guys that made an 11 minutes short in that quality that Elephants Dream is, including storywriting and even extending the software they are using in just a couple of weeks?
Neither do they, extending those tools took months. And it was great, the effects in that movie were amazing. The renders were amazing, the whole thing was a visual feast.
kAinStein wrote: not intending to spend some money so the foundation can raise funds and just want a cheap replacement to save license fees?
I hope you aren't right. Sabrina, if this is truly the reason you want to switch to blender it is the wrong reason. You should switch because you want to, not because it's cheaper.
kAinStein wrote: though K3D is kind of a Maya clone.
Try Aztec... ;-)

Sabrina it is good that you are learning the software. Blender is a great piece of software. :-)

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:32 pm

Azrael wrote:She finds it easier to get into it with icons which are "pictograms" and let's face it, a picture says a thousand words.
Really? Take a look at Maya and 3D Studio Max. Do those icons say a thousand words? Take your wife for example: If she had never used one of those programs - would she be able to tell which icon means what? Or can you? Icons are meaningless in most cases: Either because the user can't actually see a meaning or because the icon could mean a thousand things. So saying a thousand words - yes - but not how you meant it....
Except for the fact that most tabbed toolbars have what you need for that task. For example, in photoshop I wouldnt want one window sharing my color swatches and then in the same window my layers. So these tabs are placed properly for usability. If you always look at the worst case scenario then you'll never grow.
You've taken my sentence totally out of context...
"Fyling a plane is dangerous, when you fall out of the sky you'll die. Therefore we should never fly." Sound like anyone you know?
Would you fly if your wife without any instruction was the pilot ?
If everyone had to read the windows manual before getting started we'd all be using macs. :-\
My experience showed me that most people can't do much with their computer. That would be different if they actually would have read the manual. And even Mac OS is far away from fool-proof!
Yeah because plastering the screen with meaningless icons is exactly what hugely successfull applications like Max, Maya, Photoshop, Windows and OSX do.
Well, a decent 3D application like 3D Studio Max and Maya does have around 40 to 70 icons on the screen - depending on user settings and context. How would you call it?
What applications have you been using? they have obviously left a bad taste in your mouth. I use blender's tooltips to learn it. So do a lot of people.
Again: You've taken the sentence out of context. I was referring to the fact that icons don't express themselves well - but text does. So instead making the user to hover over an icon to know what's behind, putting an icon with text would make much more sense.
Let me say this: this UI I designed is a 1st draft with a definite lack of user feedback. Help me make it better. KainStein's rants have even given me ideas. I think I have something up my sleeve that even he will like.
Well, it's not only lacking user feedback - it just doesn't integrate well (For example: Where are your coloful icons when you maximize a viewport? I could go on and tear it all apart piece by piece if you want that...). And I hope that you've got new ideas. But keep in mind: It's not so easy to create a consistent and functional UI... ;)
No one in this thread is an "occasional" user.
I don't know. I can only know what people are telling me and if they think they are occasional users I've got to believe that... :roll:
Sabrina is talking about shifting a whole team of people fulltime to it. In production...
You did have organised software migrations a lot recently, haven't you? Something like that needs a lot of preparation and instruction (or dedication of the workers in their sparetime) before it can come into a productive phase. And trust me: If her boss would decide to migrate everyone would follow...
She wants to be dedicated, however before she can be seduced she is telling you what you're missing.
And I lowered her expectations to some more realistic point of view. Might be that she gets surprised - everything is possible.
I hope you aren't right. Sabrina, if this is truly the reason you want to switch to blender it is the wrong reason. You should switch because you want to, not because it's cheaper.
My words. It's not only the aspect of usability or use in general - it's also about support and stuff like that. Especially big companies need someone's ass to kick if something goes wrong with software... ;)
Try Aztec... ;-)
When I last tried it - it was crap! ;) But I will... I will...

Azrael
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Post by Azrael » Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:50 am

kAinStein wrote:
Azrael wrote:She finds it easier to get into it with icons which are "pictograms" and let's face it, a picture says a thousand words.
Really? Take a look at Maya and 3D Studio Max. Do those icons say a thousand words? Take your wife for example: If she had never used one of those programs - would she be able to tell which icon means what? Or can you? Icons are meaningless in most cases: Either because the user can't actually see a meaning or because the icon could mean a thousand things. So saying a thousand words - yes - but not how you meant it....
Except for the fact that most tabbed toolbars have what you need for that task. For example, in photoshop I wouldnt want one window sharing my color swatches and then in the same window my layers. So these tabs are placed properly for usability. If you always look at the worst case scenario then you'll never grow.
You've taken my sentence totally out of context...
"Fyling a plane is dangerous, when you fall out of the sky you'll die. Therefore we should never fly." Sound like anyone you know?
Would you fly if your wife without any instruction was the pilot ?
If everyone had to read the windows manual before getting started we'd all be using macs. :-\
My experience showed me that most people can't do much with their computer. That would be different if they actually would have read the manual. And even Mac OS is far away from fool-proof!
Yeah because plastering the screen with meaningless icons is exactly what hugely successfull applications like Max, Maya, Photoshop, Windows and OSX do.
Well, a decent 3D application like 3D Studio Max and Maya does have around 40 to 70 icons on the screen - depending on user settings and context. How would you call it?
What applications have you been using? they have obviously left a bad taste in your mouth. I use blender's tooltips to learn it. So do a lot of people.
Again: You've taken the sentence out of context. I was referring to the fact that icons don't express themselves well - but text does. So instead making the user to hover over an icon to know what's behind, putting an icon with text would make much more sense.
Let me say this: this UI I designed is a 1st draft with a definite lack of user feedback. Help me make it better. KainStein's rants have even given me ideas. I think I have something up my sleeve that even he will like.
Well, it's not only lacking user feedback - it just doesn't integrate well (For example: Where are your coloful icons when you maximize a viewport? I could go on and tear it all apart piece by piece if you want that...). And I hope that you've got new ideas. But keep in mind: It's not so easy to create a consistent and functional UI... ;)
No one in this thread is an "occasional" user.
I don't know. I can only know what people are telling me and if they think they are occasional users I've got to believe that... :roll:
Sabrina is talking about shifting a whole team of people fulltime to it. In production...
You did have organised software migrations a lot recently, haven't you? Something like that needs a lot of preparation and instruction (or dedication of the workers in their sparetime) before it can come into a productive phase. And trust me: If her boss would decide to migrate everyone would follow...
She wants to be dedicated, however before she can be seduced she is telling you what you're missing.
And I lowered her expectations to some more realistic point of view. Might be that she gets surprised - everything is possible.
I hope you aren't right. Sabrina, if this is truly the reason you want to switch to blender it is the wrong reason. You should switch because you want to, not because it's cheaper.
My words. It's not only the aspect of usability or use in general - it's also about support and stuff like that. Especially big companies need someone's ass to kick if something goes wrong with software... ;)
Try Aztec... ;-)
When I last tried it - it was crap! ;) But I will... I will...
kAinStein, I like you.

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Fri Aug 17, 2007 5:24 pm

Azrael wrote:kAinStein, I like you.
Really?! :? How comes that you like anti-social people? ;)

joeri
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Post by joeri » Sat Aug 18, 2007 2:08 am

Its all about workflow.
Icon / no icon / text with icon / icon with text / text / nothing but hotkeys...
thats all detail. Most modern apps and os let the user decide on size of icon and font, placement and size of text. 98% leave them where the get them because they have no idea they can change it (I have people at work asking them where the windows bar went after they typed some hotkey to make it auto dissapear)
But... its all about workflow...
A low poly modeler wants their tools on a row and a puppet rigger wants his tools on a row and the 3d animator wants his tools on a row and the material composer wants her tools on a row...
Now if blender could do that we created a major (or mayor) leap.

Stop designing icons and placements for icons... first get the needed tools per usergroup defined.

my 2 cents.

(o, and please stop comparing a 2d-8-icon program with a 3d-408-tools program.)

Antlab
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Post by Antlab » Sat Aug 18, 2007 11:47 am

joeri wrote:Its all about workflow.
Icon / no icon / text with icon / icon with text / text / nothing but hotkeys...
thats all detail. Most modern apps and os let the user decide on size of icon and font, placement and size of text. 98% leave them where the get them because they have no idea they can change it (I have people at work asking them where the windows bar went after they typed some hotkey to make it auto dissapear)
But... its all about workflow...
A low poly modeler wants their tools on a row and a puppet rigger wants his tools on a row and the 3d animator wants his tools on a row and the material composer wants her tools on a row...
Now if blender could do that we created a major (or mayor) leap.

Stop designing icons and placements for icons... first get the needed tools per usergroup defined.

my 2 cents.

(o, and please stop comparing a 2d-8-icon program with a 3d-408-tools program.)
Hi Joeri.
I would like to politely disagree with some of your points.
I don't think that the use of suitable icons instead than buttons with text or simply hotkeys is a marginal detail. It is instead, IMO, a crucial factor of a well designed GUI.
It is also difficult (if useful) to pretend defining "a priori" the needed tools per usergroup. It is much better to let each user the freedom to adapt the interface following its own needs (and this seems also the present philosophy of Blender, icons apart).
Sincerely I am appreciating the efforts of Azrael in proposing icons and their possible layout. It is an area where many users feel Blender is remaining behind the modern standards.
If, as we already discussed with Kainstein, it would be possibile to improve the graphical appearance of Blender interface without loosing its present functionalities, THAT would be a major leap.

Ciao

Antonino
Last edited by Antlab on Sat Aug 18, 2007 8:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:44 pm

Yep. I also disagree in some parts. Of course workflow is actually the most important. But it's not all! If it was then we could leave all the way it is. I can fully understand people that want Blender better accessible. But as I pointed out: It's not about putting icons somewhere. It should be about having the possibility to (re-)arrange parts of the GUI and making them visible and easily accessible to the user. But without clutter and without taking too much space away (It's not nessessary to have 70 icons on the screen - especially not for an absolute beginner.).

Having the possibility to put panels on a viewport where you can have icons, describing text and so on (and give basic arrangements along with Blender, so a beginner could use them) - that would be a beginning.

Further: Rearranging the menus would be another step - this would allow you to put most used functions up and less used down - meaning that statistically more often used functions would come first, minimizing mouse movement and making them better accessible via HOTKEY-NUMKEY.

Then rearranging headers (and possibly tearing part of them off into the viewport as floating panels) would be the next step minimizing the need to have to scroll the header on specific screens where some headers are extremly short.

Another thing would be to integrate scripts better into the UI and making access transparent for the user (assigning them hotkeys, icons, menus - and that scripts can register themselves anywhere in the UI where it needs to). Why should a user need to choose an importer first if the loading procedure is exactly the same as loading a normal Blender file - the only difference: The importer would probably need extra instruction by the user after loading the file.

The latter might bring a security issue with it - but so do any .blends you've got downloaded with you.

lukep
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Post by lukep » Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:45 pm

kAinStein wrote:Yep. I also disagree in some parts. Of course workflow is actually the most important. But it's not all! If it was then we could leave all the way it is. I can fully understand people that want Blender better accessible. But as I pointed out: It's not about putting icons somewhere. It should be about having the possibility to (re-)arrange parts of the GUI and making them visible and easily accessible to the user. But without clutter and without taking too much space away (It's not nessessary to have 70 icons on the screen - especially not for an absolute beginner.).
Where Joeri is perfectly right is that, the tight workflow, and only that, is what make blender UI so useful and powerfull for the experienced user. So whatever we do, workflow must be preserverd and/or enhanced.

As I showed before, icons palettes are fundamentaly tool-mode inclined whereas blender is action-oriented. So great care must be observed here, as both are not really compatible.

Not to say it is impossible to do so, but the choices must be clear and not conflict with other methods.

He is also mostly right about grouping of common button. the current b. windows has some interesting problems, like the textures panels not directly accessible in a material.

Tool grouping in the mesh panels is also quite a mess.
Having the possibility to put panels on a viewport where you can have icons, describing text and so on (and give basic arrangements along with Blender, so a beginner could use them) - that would be a beginning.
That is a sure way to cluttering, and again conflict with the basic philosophy in blender (each view is independant, limited views in views).

Again, all is possible and can be put on the table, but great care is needed.
Further: Rearranging the menus would be another step - this would allow you to put most used functions up and less used down - meaning that statistically more often used functions would come first, minimizing mouse movement and making them better accessible via HOTKEY-NUMKEY.
that yes. A feature users expect now in all software is contextual menus.
We need that. That reduce also the need of key driven
menus.

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Sat Aug 18, 2007 10:49 pm

lukep wrote: Where Joeri is perfectly right is that, the tight workflow, and only that, is what make blender UI so useful and powerfull for the experienced user. So whatever we do, workflow must be preserverd and/or enhanced.
That is my point of view, too.
As I showed before, icons palettes are fundamentaly tool-mode inclined whereas blender is action-oriented. So great care must be observed here, as both are not really compatible.
No need to tell me that. I mentioned that even before you did. This can work the same way as it does from a menu right now (again with centering the mouse cursor).
Not to say it is impossible to do so, but the choices must be clear and not conflict with other methods.
Fully agreed. That's why I've said several times that it's not a matter of putting colorful icons - errr.... somewhere...
He is also mostly right about grouping of common button. the current b. windows has some interesting problems, like the textures panels not directly accessible in a material.

Tool grouping in the mesh panels is also quite a mess.
Yes. There are even more parts of Blender that have become a mess.
That is a sure way to cluttering, and again conflict with the basic philosophy in blender (each view is independant, limited views in views).
Oh, I don't meant that Blender should be plastered with icons or stuff like that. But having the possibility to have customizable icon or button panels could be used to create a very slim, very basic setup that beginners could use. This should happen in a way that those panels are stored in the context of a view and in the context of a screen. Use Matt's vision as a base for it. Then think what a beginner would need to start and create a few setups for the different screens as presets. It's not that much what a beginner needs - and if he grows up (literally spoken) he could exchange or extend the panels (Or remove them all). This could then happen context-driven that someone could put the items in place he/ she actually needs them. Need a script? Start it from there. Created a macro? Run it from there. And so on...
Again, all is possible and can be put on the table, but great care is needed.
True.
that yes. A feature users expect now in all software is contextual menus.
We need that. That reduce also the need of key driven
menus.
I don't know what you mean by contextual menus, but if you mean a right click context menu - those are mostly bad. In most cases they are not very clear and can only be organised in quite deep structures which both not only reduce productivity a lot but also distracts the user's attention from what he actually wanted to do (into "where is that crap menu item?" - not good). In addition they need a lot of mouse movement. They way Blender handles that is surely better (and Blender popup menus are contextual).

And I wasn't talking about that either! Now the menus are hardcoded. Take for example the W menu in edit mode: How often are you using "Subdivide smooth" compared to "Merge" or "Remove doubles"? Are the positions of those menu items justified (though they are thematically organised)? You would need to type W-5 to access the merge operation - which is still in rage of W. But you've got already to type W-6 for removing the doubles - which is not more as fast even you use that operation quite more often than something with W-2 to W-4 (subdivide mulit, subdivide multi fractal, subdivide smooth). So having the possibility to rearrange your menus would make sense: It allows you to reduce mouse movement either by putting items up or by putting the hotkeys more in the range of your fingers depending on their use.

lukep
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Post by lukep » Sun Aug 19, 2007 3:52 pm

kAinStein wrote:I don't know what you mean by contextual menus, but if you mean a right click context menu - those are mostly bad. In most cases they are not very clear and can only be organised in quite deep structures which both not only reduce productivity a lot but also distracts the user's attention from what he actually wanted to do (into "where is that crap menu item?" - not good). In addition they need a lot of mouse movement. They way Blender handles that is surely better (and Blender popup menus are contextual).
bad or not, they are now more or less taken for granted by users. and it can be done intelligently (see solidworks UI for example)
And I wasn't talking about that either! Now the menus are hardcoded. Take for example the W menu in edit mode: How often are you using "Subdivide smooth" compared to "Merge" or "Remove doubles"? Are the positions of those menu items justified (though they are thematically organised)? You would need to type W-5 to access the merge operation - which is still in rage of W. But you've got already to type W-6 for removing the doubles - which is not more as fast even you use that operation quite more often than something with W-2 to W-4 (subdivide mulit, subdivide multi fractal, subdivide smooth). So having the possibility to rearrange your menus would make sense: It allows you to reduce mouse movement either by putting items up or by putting the hotkeys more in the range of your fingers depending on their use.
yes, the hardcoding is the first thing the recoding will allow to drop

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:23 pm

lukep wrote:bad or not, they are now more or less taken for granted by users. and it can be done intelligently (see solidworks UI for example)
I've never used Solidworks, so I can't say how it is done there. But in my opinion it doesn't make sense to use a pointing device for popping up a menu. The mouse buttons should be used for something that needs a pointing device - well, at least in the 3D views on the rest you've got right-click menus which make sense because they are only for setup. Regarding the vast functionality all the menus offer it wouldn't be a good idea either. Not everything people got used to is actually good...

Azrael
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Post by Azrael » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:35 am

You know what, you converted me. I now look at my toolbar and think, you know what this isnt right for blender. Especially since it's definitely redundant. A button for this and then the possibility to have a toolbar. It's a bit like "what for?"

I think we should just tighten up on the button window itself.

And maybe lots of icons aren't right for this application... yet.

So! Scrap the buttons and toolbar idea. But the theme editor with color picker, I think is an improvement on the current system.
kAinStein wrote: Oh, I don't meant that Blender should be plastered with icons or stuff like that. But having the possibility to have customizable icon or button panels could be used to create a very slim, very basic setup that beginners could use. This should happen in a way that those panels are stored in the context of a view and in the context of a screen. Use Matt's vision as a base for it. Then think what a beginner would need to start and create a few setups for the different screens as presets. It's not that much what a beginner needs - and if he grows up (literally spoken) he could exchange or extend the panels (Or remove them all). This could then happen context-driven that someone could put the items in place he/ she actually needs them. Need a script? Start it from there. Created a macro? Run it from there. And so on...
Something minimalistic would be awesome. Matt's idea pretty much addresses most of these concerns. Being able to create a toolbar or toolbars and dragging and dropping from the existing menu's into that menu. It would be good to be able to right click on that menu and have the option to save it.

You *could* have the option as stated above to make it text driven or icon driven, or both (internet exporer)

This would make both people happy. Everyone would like to able to streamline their creative process.
kAinStein wrote: I've never used Solidworks, so I can't say how it is done there. But in my opinion it doesn't make sense to use a pointing device for popping up a menu. The mouse buttons should be used for something that needs a pointing device - well, at least in the 3D views on the rest you've got right-click menus which make sense because they are only for setup. Regarding the vast functionality all the menus offer it wouldn't be a good idea either. Not everything people got used to is actually good...
I've gotta agree here, I like right click menu's in certain contexts, but having the left and right mouse buttons in a window is good. Left click could be primary function and right click *inside* a menu would offer maybe an edit box to input numbers.

Antlab
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Post by Antlab » Mon Aug 20, 2007 4:41 pm

Azrael wrote:You know what, you converted me. I now look at my toolbar and think, you know what this isnt right for blender. Especially since it's definitely redundant. A button for this and then the possibility to have a toolbar. It's a bit like "what for?"

I think we should just tighten up on the button window itself.

And maybe lots of icons aren't right for this application... yet.

So! Scrap the buttons and toolbar idea. But the theme editor with color picker, I think is an improvement on the current system.
Hi Azrael, please, don't scrap the buttons and toolbar idea (in particular the icons are very nice :-)).
I sincerely don't agree with the fear that here many seem to have about the use of icons. I continue to repeat that, IMO, Blender interface risks to remain too behind the modern concepts regarding GUIs. I can understand the willing to have an option to maintain the present layout for the already expert users, but for the others I think that icons and tooltips are much better that an enourmous matrix of text buttons.
Azrael wrote: Something minimalistic would be awesome. Matt's idea pretty much addresses most of these concerns. Being able to create a toolbar or toolbars and dragging and dropping from the existing menu's into that menu. It would be good to be able to right click on that menu and have the option to save it.
Maybe I will seem an heretic (as in the case of Raskin's ideas), but sincerely I don't think that Matt's proposal about toolbars really addresses the problem we are talking in this thread. I think it presents the same old problem: it can be nice for power users, but doesn't simplify the tasks for normal and beginner users.
I am starting to fear that the excessive concerns of some developers regarding graphical elements in the interface could be a big problem, because I suspect that with more advanced features available, a textual interface will not able to manage the increasing complexity of the program.
Ok, 2.50 release should be quite close, we will wait and hope :-)

Ciao

Antonino

kAinStein
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Post by kAinStein » Wed Aug 22, 2007 11:57 am

Antlab wrote: I sincerely don't agree with the fear that here many seem to have about the use of icons. I continue to repeat that, IMO, Blender interface risks to remain too behind the modern concepts regarding GUIs.
What are modern concepts? I mean: Todays GUIs are still using concepts of the 80's in most parts.
I can understand the willing to have an option to maintain the present layout for the already expert users, but for the others I think that icons and tooltips are much better that an enourmous matrix of text buttons.
It's not about expert users: It's about workflow! I don't know any other package that allows you to do "routine jobs" as quick and relaxed as Blender does.

And no one is talking about huge panels with text buttons. (Btw.: Would you like "an enourmous matrix of icons", which you don't know, better? ;) ) It's about making Blender easier accessible - not putting all functionality into one screen. So instead of putting some stupid pictogram which could mean a thousand things putting a smaller icon with a one- to two-word description of what it does makes more sense if you are talking about the absolute newbie. This is quite a modern concept that can go even further if you take the new MS ribbons.

If someone wishes he/ she could turn the text off (or the icon) and rest with the icons (or text). Though I would recommend to switch ASAP to the hotkeys: Using icons on a mostly action-based program doesn't make too much sense as it only mimics a tool-based program as it slows down your workflow a lot!
Maybe I will seem an heretic (as in the case of Raskin's ideas), but sincerely I don't think that Matt's proposal about toolbars really addresses the problem we are talking in this thread. I think it presents the same old problem: it can be nice for power users, but doesn't simplify the tasks for normal and beginner users.
It's not meant for power users: They wouldn't use it much anyway - like many of the so-called improvements. Why would someone for example use the transformation widget if he can do the job better and faster using the keyboard?
I am starting to fear that the excessive concerns of some developers regarding graphical elements in the interface could be a big problem, because I suspect that with more advanced features available, a textual interface will not able to manage the increasing complexity of the program.
I guess you haven't understood what I was talking about. Text interface? No one is talking about a text interface.

Also: If you take a close look at advanced features (I mean in any package) you'll notice that the more advanced it is the less "graphical elements" (regarding icons) you'll find...
Ok, 2.50 release should be quite close, we will wait and hope :-)


Is it? 2.45 is already "late" - so you've got to wait a little bit longer... ;)

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

Post by kAinStein » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:17 pm

Azrael wrote:You know what, you converted me.
Hu? Really? What are your new plans now? :?
I now look at my toolbar and think, you know what this isnt right for blender. Especially since it's definitely redundant. A button for this and then the possibility to have a toolbar. It's a bit like "what for?"
That's true. I noticed that on one thing: The screen layouts - if you create buttons to make screen layout you could also give those layouts along with the Blender distribution.
I think we should just tighten up on the button window itself.

And maybe lots of icons aren't right for this application... yet.
Well, I think that a tool-based approach to 3D isn't good in general. At least in most parts. I mean: Haven't you watched yourself switching between tools constantly when modelling? If you are doing a painting job on Photoshop normally you don't. So for painting it does make sense. For modelling is does not.
So! Scrap the buttons and toolbar idea. But the theme editor with color picker, I think is an improvement on the current system.
Yes, I think that you are right. Though not perfect: It goes into the right direction and is definitively much, much better! But there is more: For example a new file chooser with modern features like having fast access to different locations/ repositories and a better look (and better behaviour regarding integration of importers/ exporters and plugins). Or having widgets that work more like widgets people are used to (I find it strange that no one complained about that!) and integrating scripts and plugins in a more userfriendly way (a start has been made).
This would make both people happy. Everyone would like to able to streamline their creative process.
True. But beginners are so fixed on learning a new thing that they don't see that point.
I've gotta agree here, I like right click menu's in certain contexts, but having the left and right mouse buttons in a window is good. Left click could be primary function and right click *inside* a menu would offer maybe an edit box to input numbers.
I would stay with the cursor: It allows you on-the-fly pivot points and more...

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