Hard critique on 2.5 Interface

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

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Critics for the criticals

Post by acestudio » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:20 pm

I'm not sure that the majority of the critics here posted were substantiated.
In the terrain of the usability, the great thing is the facilitation of the workflow. I don't care if the interface seems more or less easy or dificulty. for me the great implementation of the blender 2.5 was that usability.
This makes the blender aligned with the pay 3d apps, and make for my work a great diferencial. Now i could sincerily start to using blender in my professional work because he makes sense for me.
I'm sure that when the people finally conclude the inserction of the new features the blender will function properly.

For me the Blender is a great program and like everything in life, he need to evolve.
Jesus is the Love

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Post by RonProctor » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:12 pm

It's 2.56a now -- looks like the interface is pretty much set. I won't complain much about the space hogging 'N' and 'T' boxes -- they're easily shown/hidden (and I have a 30" cinema display). :D

My serious concerns:

1. The render preview window is missing (used to be Shift-P in 2.49). This is a critical part of my workflow because I don't use a standard camera.

2. The darkness of the main display. This destroys contrast in wireframe mode (something I use a lot in complex scenes). This also makes screenshots difficult, especially for printing purposes. Tutorial and book authors are torn between printing a dark gray square and changing the view to something that doesn't match the default.

Very nice work, overall. I am really impressed with the new raytrace render speed.

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Post by Doc_Holiday » Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:49 am

The N & T Menu are still space hogging. The Operator Menu is misplaced there completely. Special the IPO ... sorry ... the Curve Editor. I would like to close the Space wasting Name Bar completely. But selecting Curves and Handels does still not work proper. (Tab-Key also.) The half transparent and dotted Lines are nearly invisible, and no possibillity to change that.

Deleting Links in Logic Bricks, by connecting them again is nonsense. That was much better in 2.4X!

And that's only what i've found. The new GUI looks to me like: "we must do it different, at any cost"! More thinking would be nice.

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Post by tempguy » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:15 am

the purpose of the program IS to simplify complicated stuff,not to be complicated itself requiring us to spend weeks on learning its own set of rules.it should look easy,simple yet do powerfull stuff,that is the purpose of software and the user interface itself.cause we are humans not machines and our objective is creating stuff not braking our heads adapting to every new program we install in the future,programs should be adapted to us as they do stuff for us and not we for them.everything should be simple and straight forward providing user a pleasent place to work and full control over the product,that is what the program should be.the nature of machines might be binaries and hex codes but that doesn't mean we need to learn that nature as using a program doesn't require us to know to reproduce its source code,right? so a simple program isn't something to learn and live,it is something that you can or don't have to use to do the stuff you need a program in the first place. programs such as blender should be used by anyone with a vission,regardless of the technical skill.
there is no spoon. there is no signature

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Choice is Good

Post by peony3000 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:40 am

2.5 is moving towards being brilliant.
You might say that I stand for about 50 students in Edinburgh learning Product Design and various other subjects.
I'm also a member of Product Scotland representing a further 400 students interested in 3d modeling and its various uses.
I'm also friends with many other Department Heads across the UK and some in Europe and the USA. Another 1000 students?
Our need is for Blender to allow a variety of switchable interfaces!
It would save us all teaching/learning a unique interface which students perceive as something that they would have to abandon when entering the world of work.
I really don't see why some want to exclude thousands of students (and business start ups) who could expand and enliven your community.
Blender could become a massive application with the simple ability to switch interfaces.
What I'm pushing for is the ability to create macros and assign them to buttons, menus and panels. Also assign them to panel elements such as interactive graphs, sliders, colour wheels, layer control etc etc
There are many possible analogies here.
Early AutoCAD had hotkeys and a command line for everything. 20 years later you can still use it like that but you can also use a GUI.
Also creating an action in Photoshop, assigning a macro to a button in word, customising a toolbar in AutoCAD.
I'm also wanting the ability to transform the working space (including these new buttons, menus and panels).
Then save them, exchange them etc.
What you are beginning to see is a 3DS Max emulation, a MAYA emulation, a Macromedia Director emulation, a MAX MSP emulation
Thousands of new users. My students, Scottish students, UK students international students, start-ups, amateurs.
The 'small' changes in 2.5 are securing that destiny by opening it up to many new models of use.
Also you might consider something that it is very important from my students point of view. At Art Colleges there is a large number of people with Dyslexic learning profiles (computer science has it own profile I’m sure!). This means that they can't remember words and numbers in a 'normal' way but have a visual based memory. They can tell a word is misspelled by the way it looks, so they have to write it first.
What I am suggesting is that Blender acknowledges the existence of this visual based culture and allows it to flourish.
Don’t panic it will be switchable, they have introduced choice. So if you want what might be considered to be an ‘impenetrable elitist’ interface you should be able to switch back to it.
Blender is very close to being the best 3D program on the planet.
Don’t miss that opportunity!
Cheers, Andy Law

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Post by OldNick » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:38 am

This post is not one of those "give me back the old interface" but rather a friendly critique/proposal to the fantastic people that make this product what it is.

I had some expiriencees with different 3D programs and ended up falling in love with Blender in the time of version 2.42 only real work I've done in 3d was done in Blender 2.49. What I loved about Blender was its interface it was simple and fast and most of all it somehow had the just the right amount of learning effort that you had to give and the payback which was very fast basic workflow. I think that basic actions should be as simple as possible using the same (small) amount of work, for ma Blender 2,4x had just that it looked simple so it was fast to work with so for me that meant faster/more results.

Just today I started to get familiar with Blender 2.56 prepairing for a new project and found some details in the new interface to be redesigned in a way that I cannot see as helpful.

My greatest concern is not renaming few features changing this or that shortcut (all of which can now be adjusted manualy) My greatest GUI concern is a SUBTLE BUT PAINFUL LOSS OF BASIC VISUAL HIEARCHY in comparison to the old GUI. Here are some examples together with suggestions.

1. Panels lost their rounded corners, as arbitrary this may seem it is actually much harder now to quickly gain an overview of the general layout; borders between panels are simply lost between all the other "dividing" lines. Although it is possible to change the colour of every kind of panel this is only a partial remedy. My opinion is that GUI should be as obvious and ergonomical as possible right out of the box.

2. On the similar lines goes another complaint/suggestion. I dig the effort to uniform the access to different menus and options through the new folding menus but properties/buttons panel got much less usable and fast although being more uniformed, actually in horizontal mode it is to me simply unusable. Here is my theory why this happened. In the old GUI we had subpanels (I'm not shure if thats their propper name) that were of different colour than their background (and also had rounded corners), so although they were in a panel, visual hierarchy was much more intuitive. It said "here is a box where you adjust settings" now we have only this small triangle for unfolding and a title for the set of options. No subpanel surface of different colour thus no indicator where we are on the general layout = more time tryng to visually find the desired option/tool/feature because now you have to read everything verbaly and not visualy.

3. Why are folding menus better than rearangeable tabbed subpanels? Tabs used to keep certain option sets visualy apparent and present without the need to read every title, as opposed to semi folded/unfolded menus on the same backgroud that simply blend into one huge unintuitive mass of letters, numbers and similar looking buttons, that is a visual labyrinth. Those lines supposed to separete different folding menus simply are not enough in visual terms to keep them separated and easy to comprehend. I don't suggest that tabs are way to go but I would be much happier if every folding menu in properties panel for example could at least have its on "subpanel" or some kind of bordering (for instance via customisable background colour differnt from the general panel background) I experimented with customising visual theme (title colour etc.) but could not solve the problem of unclarty, time/concentration consumption that comes with the new properties panel layout.

4. as I said earlier properties panel is unusable in horizontal mode. because, folding menus have all the problems as in vertical mode, you have to scroll-scroll-scroll because we don't have tabs no more, that aside, folded menus can only be indentified by their title which in horizontal mode becomes rotated by 90 degrees. sheesh someone shure loves to play with typography instead of making things fast and easy. And what is that first, unadjustable, unmovable set of buttons and info (that pinpoint icon + indicator what object we are editing) it works ok in vertical mode but in horizontal mode it is simply using up valuable screen space because it uses up the whole width and hight for a option set but actualy contains only few icons and a title... completely wrong. (it could have been on the panel header, maybe?)

5. at least the left one of the two new (sub)panels that use up the 3d panel space could or should have been less intrusive by not having its own subpanel and scroller and actualy being just buttons directly on the 3d viewport. The way it is done now furher breaks up basic visual hierarchy, misleading us on the most basic visual level that it is a separate and important panel, while it is actualy only a small help for those who still haven't learned or setup their basic shortcuts.. nothing wrong with putting the buttons there but its done in such a way to furher make the GUI complicated, cluttered, claustrophobic and less comprehandable.

As you can see I have concentrated on some things that are probably used the most that I find less ergonomical than before. I think that something should be done to make new GUI more visualy comprehandable as opposed to the new concept of verbal/textual/(clumsy)typographical separation of various features/feature sets.

Here's a test:
open blender 2.4x and 2.5x and randomly look at some button, do you instantly know which panel (important section of the software) are you in?
Find some panel header; now tell me is it on top of the lower panel or on bottom of the upper panel?
these things should and could easily be visualy taken care of eliminating the need to read every little thing. Some things should and could be more apparent than others like where we are in the sense of software features as opposed to which value we are tweaking inside of those features, this distinction is in the new GUI much worse than in the old one.

To me everything else seems to have gone in the right direction (in the new version), and that is making Blender better and more competative.

Hope you don't mind the lenght of my post and the fact that English is not my native language.

Hope to hear your thoughts, soon.

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Post by Bonteburg » Tue Jun 07, 2011 3:38 pm

Is this the place where you get to nag about 2.57?

1. The Vertex Selection Mode in the UV-Window is crippled. You can't move more than 1 vertex at a time (or else switch into edge mode) which is super frustrating. I hope it's only a bug because if it's a feature (as I have reason to believe) it's a design flaw and devoid of any logic.

2. The Camera Fly Mode makes navigating larger models hard because it's very sluggish compared to 2.4X.

3. I can't seem to be able scroll through windows using the scrollwheel of my mouse any longer? This one may be ignorance on my part.

I have been adressing the Fly Mode and UV issues over at blenderartist.org ever since the very first 2.5X alphas were out but I seem to be alone on that one.

To be fair, the Fly Mode thing is a matter of preference. I could get used to in in time but the Vertex issue is a real killjoy.

I'm just really really glad I can still use 2.49b on a recent Mac. But eventually I may have to go 2.5 for OS reasons and chances are I'm going to at least look into alternatives then.

Obviously Blender is free and a community project and all, so it doesn't make any sense to play the angry customer drama (does it make any sense with payware?), it would just be personally sad for me to eventually ditch this program for something more ergonomical.

Marco :?

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