Page 3 of 4

Changing the User Interface

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 7:54 pm
by merlin
I'm a newbee but I think there are 2 things to consider:

The interface could be changed to be more like one of the major more popular 3D programs such as 3D Max or something. Because face it we all need jobs. If the skills that we develop using Blender could be applied to the workforce then it would give everyone an extra hand on the financial security. The arts are close enoff to the edge as it is. This is why so many people use expensive softwares like Windows ect. because when it comes time to get a job, they have the skills.

It would also help for people who use other 3D softwares either by necessity or choice. It"s real easy to get confused between two different drawing or 3D applications.

If industries would recognize the skills developed using Blender that would be great.

If we didn't need food and shelter this wouldn't be a problem. But then where would we put our computers?

It would be great if the change could be set up so experienced users could change one set of buttons every month or so, or at their own pace. That way they don't start all over again from scratch. Kind of like if people wanted to change the layout of the keyboard letters to a more useful/productive layout, do it a few keys at a time. Learning to type isn't no cake-walk into town, and peoples livelyhoods depend on it.

Also being a newbie, intuitive is good, easy to figure out is good. People don't have excessive amouts of time to speng learning somthing just to figure out if they can or want to use it.

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2002 9:06 pm
by hannibar
skinable interface

if I'm not mistaken NGB will be skinable.

Posted: Thu Nov 21, 2002 1:14 am
by gimp_child
Maybe not just skinable in the way i understand skins, but rather a configurable interface with presets that groups your buttons / functions and even re-map keys so they mimic that of leading comercial 3d software. That would be a great way to introduce more professionals to blender at the same time keep expert blender users happy.

Merlin, on the other hand, if you are looking for a job, you could learn free but proprietor software software like gmax or maya ple. You will gain exactly what you need to know to use maya or max respectivly for a professional environment.

But the point is you wont actually be able to have the whole feature list of the sold program as you can with the now opensourced blender.

What i had suggested about blender having a customizable interface is is not mainly for people to learn it and get a job using other software, as ive said, there are free programs for that. Rather, what i am saying is that make blender look familiar so more people using other 3d packages will be able to use blender faster. When enough people are using it, it could become an industry standard like max or maya. Then, hopefully when that time comes, you get a job. As for now appreciate the publicly owned(am i right with this term?) blender.

Merlin, i fully agree with you that moving from another 3d program is very hard. Making blender sort of "blend" with other 3d software's "work flow" at the same time keep a lot of experienced blender users sane, in the sense that they dont have to really re-learn everything would do a great deal of good. A customizable interface is my proposed solution.

Speaking of easy software migration, someone could write a tute on how to model a specific object in one package, and how it could be done exactly in blender for comparison maybe? Like maybe how they extrude a face in maya and then in blender?

Keep the effeciency

Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 10:59 pm
by Noorah
I voted no, but I of course do think that there is room for improvement. However, I love the general approach to the UI. I love the one hand on mouse other hand on keyboard. I also like that I just have to use hotkeys, I want a ton of those. I would however, like to know if there is a list of these hot keys. I think just working on making the interface even more effecient would satisfy me, because I am after speed and effeciency, I think that people who are having troubles should be helped by getting good tutorials and good documentation.

Posted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 11:06 pm
by Pablosbrain
The voting is too specific... not enough choices... there is a lot of room for improvments in blenders interface... especially in the area of consistency. Somethings are done with multiple buttons while others are drop downs or text entry... Refinment should be the name of the game until v3 is closer at hand.

Posted: Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:17 am
by matt_e
Pablosbrain wrote:The voting is too specific... not enough choices... there is a lot of room for improvments in blenders interface... especially in the area of consistency. Somethings are done with multiple buttons while others are drop downs or text entry... Refinment should be the name of the game until v3 is closer at hand.
I'm actually in the middle of writing an article on Blender's use of UI controls and how it can be improved. Hopefully it shouldn't take tooooo much longer, though there's a lot to cover (and properly research and justify).

Posted: Mon Dec 16, 2002 5:50 am
by Pablosbrain
I look forward to reading it. The interface has some wonderful ideas... but I think they were randomly and not completely implemented.. which is understandable with NaN going bankrupt and all. Please post a link or the entire article when you are finished.

keep it fast

Posted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 12:18 am
by alt
I too like blender interface, but I think the interface could adapt to the mode used.
Eg. if you a in a specific mode (like mesh editing) you should only have choices that are usable in that situation.

But I would be happy for a quick list of all hotkeys (via space bar menu or so)

[b]Change is unavoidable[/b]

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 7:03 am
by greasyScott
As one who has used Lightwave since '93, Softimage '95, 3DS Max '97, Maya '99 and Blender '00 I think it is impossible to avoid changing the Blender interface. Set aside your nostalgia for what you went through to become accustomed to the current interface and think of all the as yet un-baptized Blender converts.

Usuability is the key to wider acceptance. I work with techies and artists alike. When they first crack it open, Blender confounds 99% of them from the outset. True, with time and determination it can be wrestled to the ground. Moving beyond the hobbyist and into a workplace environment, applications must be somewhat intuitive. Blender is not.

It is possible to make just about anything in all of the 3D apps out there. Ask yourself how hard you want to work to get there.

There is no shame in making it easier to use.

Posted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 8:31 pm
by Gus
All right, 3D Max, Maya and etc are VERY intuitive! I don't need any kind of a book to learn how to work with!
3D CG is very complex and there are no intuitive interface for it yet! On any 3D software you need to look for some meterial to learn about!
Making blander looks like the others, will transform it in another 3D free software! One of the great diference in blender is the interface concept that makes the work be faster and to get to the final result is not necessary so many mouse cliks!

Gustavo C. Mattos

Looks, not the feels

Posted: Thu Dec 26, 2002 11:52 am
I'd vote: Yes! Change the looks not the feels.
This means that the interface (as button looks, new panels, improved menu system) shoot be very much inproved. Think of what would happen if a lot of new features will be developed and everybody would have to remember tons of new key combinations! I would't be able to remember, I have trouble enough with the current shortcuts.

I also would like to be able to handle a window like a toolbar in most windows programs; to be able to put them on top or to intergrate them in the rest of the interface. Then it would still be possible to split and resize windows like the current way, it woul'd also be possible to put a window on a different monitor or desktop (in linux).

The feels should not change. I would't build in the possibillity to change shortcuts, cause this is a fundimental way how blender works and as mentioned before; the tutorials would become worthless.

So yes, change the looks so beginners and new proffesionals can start using blender faster. And no, dont change the feels so blender wil keep it's power.


Posted: Fri Dec 27, 2002 7:18 pm
by muropaketti
I'm a new user, and i really dont know if the interface is good or not, but it sure is ugly and complex! I answer yes. The interface should at least look a lot different.

Blender skin for winamp and xmms

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2003 8:06 pm
by diz
For all the blender GUI lovers, here's again my good old Blender skin for winamp and xmms:


Re: ugly!

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:20 pm
by sten
muropaketti wrote:I'm a new user, and i really dont know if the interface is good or not, but it sure is ugly and complex! I answer yes. The interface should at least look a lot different.
first, learn the interface a long while, then come back and tell us what is not a fact, I thought in beginning it was kind of hard too...but when you learn it, you work fast in is based on production speed !!!

btw, that could go for all newbies in here, sorry for sounding harsh,
but for giving good suggestions and feedback , You Need to Know
what You Talk about !!! sorry, the truth is damn hard...but it is :D

The path to usability

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2003 10:09 pm
by greasyScott
Promoting free access to 3D technology requires that Blender be accessible. Make a text drop-down menu for parenting and grouping. Create an icon based button for it in the Mesh Edit window. Keep the Hot Key for parenting.

Currently there are few options in Blender. Aside from pressing the "N" key, how else am I supposed to call up the numerical values for a selected object? Unless I press "Alt + P" there's no other way to cut a child from a parent object.

Hot Keys are a wonderful timesaver but only if one knows what they are. Having multiple paths to a common end or, put another way, more options for achieving a desired result allows for more people to experience success.

Given multiple options, each person can decide which is their most productive path.