New Further Interface Improvement Proposal -Updated!

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

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Monkeyboi
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New Further Interface Improvement Proposal -Updated!

Post by Monkeyboi »

I posted this on the funboard shotly ago, but I would like to share it with the rest of the community. I have updated it today (november 10).

I have collected a number of proposals for improving
Blenders interface further. We have come a long way
with the current version og Blender 2.30, but there
are still plenty of things that can be done to improve
the interface. Ton once said that he prefered
proposals in html format with mockups, instead of lots
of loose posts on the Blender funboard. Well, here it
is:

http://www.shadeless.dk/ui/



please read it carefully before commenting, and
remember that this is meant as a help to the
programmers, not as an attack on Blender.

Edit:

A whole new section, as well as many small updates and inclusions have crept into the proposal. Below is a link to the new Texture buttons redesign proposal:
http://www.shadeless.dk/ui/texturebuttons.htm

Also, a new section on changing the UV Editor has been added as well as more on how to redo some popups.

-William Reynish (Monkeyboi)
Last edited by Monkeyboi on Sun Nov 23, 2003 4:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Caronte
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Location: Valencia-Spain-Europe

Post by Caronte »

Very good ideas!

I love your RVK way :D
Caronte.
"Some Day, All Will Be Digital"
http://www.nicodigital.com

levon
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Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2003 6:06 am
Location: adelaide

Post by levon »

hey monkeyboi, i got the same mouse as you :D

alot of what you said there makes alot of sense. i think that in trying to make the ui look better and 'more organised' some useability has bee lost.

the stuff you have said about the ipo window would greatly improve the usability of it.

lets hope some of this stuff can be implimented

lesly
Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 14, 2002 4:45 am

Post by lesly »

I was thinking there would only be some very basic ideas, but looks like a very comprehensive take on what should be done to further improve Blender. Looks like a lot of effort went to making this proposal. How long did you take to write this out? What do you mainly do with blender? Got a website?

Mine is at http://lesly.0catch.com Didn't update it for a long time though.

GusM
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 2:16 pm

Post by GusM »

Really good proposal, great work monkeyboi.

I can see Blender updated this way, and with the game engine to become a standar for a lot of people. Keep up the wonderfull work everybody ;D

Gustavo Muñoz

Carnivore
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Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 6:27 pm

Post by Carnivore »

I must say that I love all of your ideas and I do hope that your efforts will pay off (already in Blender 2.32 perhaps? ;)), but:

1. I quite like the dissapearing dialog boxes that you mentioned in the end. At least there should be the option of removing the dialogbox my clicking anywhere outside it.

2. Your RVK mockup and concept were an inspiration. I never thought of improving it, although the current system has often had me really frustrated. My suggestions: for better visual grouping of RVK's , perhaps put the button groups on separated backgrounds (lighter or darker). I'm sure that would make work faster for me. And for the current toggle buttons: I would replace the toggle button [Morph target] with a name field [KB:Morph target] that could be edited or simply a name tag (the name could then be edited in the "further options" window. Also I would add a checkbox (look at the new "textures" panel ;)) toggle the visual lines.
Oh, and no arrowheads in tiny circles. Blender has its own style and I love it :). ">>" is just fine ;)

I'll try making a mockup of my own :D, I hope it'll help.

Nice ideas overall. I really hope that your hard work will pay off.

[edit]
www.hot.ee/tere343/rvk_new.jpg
This is my very first mockup image ever so it may have some glitches, but it represents my idea. Tiny collapsible panels or at least even clearer definition of button groups. The layout includes a name insert field, a slider, buttons for toggling lines within the RVK view, that eye thingy Monkeyboi briefly talked about and the ">>" more options button.

Hope this helps.
Oh, and Monkeyboi, I used your pic as a base, I hope you don't mind ;)
Last edited by Carnivore on Wed Nov 12, 2003 9:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

koxinga
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Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 6:47 pm
Location: France

Post by koxinga »

I agree with you, particularly with the remapping of mouse buttons

good text

wglwill
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Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:32 am

Post by wglwill »

I agree with everything said in that proposal and I very much hope it is implemented in some form. Especially the change to blender's "morph targets". I've always found blender's morph target system to be a bit odd compared to other apps.

Mats78
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2002 5:06 pm
Location: Vantaa, Finland

Post by Mats78 »

1. I quite like the dissapearing dialog boxes that you mentioned in the end. At least there should be the option of removing the dialogbox my clicking anywhere outside it.
In a way it's ok.. but I agree with Monkeyboi on that it's a source of unwanted aggression. The bigger problem is that when your mouse slips and the dialog disappears, Blender STILL creates an object! It just shows as an object without vertices. This sould be corrected.

Another point is I dislike the term "morph target" (even more so than RVK). What the heck is morph target? Doesn't really tell one anything if one hasn't used 3DSMax (yuck! =oP) or the like. RVK, I feel, bears more of a meaning - it's not perfect but better than the proposed one =)

thanks for the nice ideas Monkeyboi!

Regards,
Mats

Monkeyboi
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New Further Interface Improvement Proposal

Post by Monkeyboi »

Thank you for your replies!
What do you mainly do with blender? Got a website?
I mostly do 3D images and animations, although I also do some game stuff. At the moment I seem to be doing lots of character animation.
My website is www.shadeless.dk. It will be updated soon, since I only put the images and a few other things online. For the games see www.shadeless.dk/3d (my old site).


Another point is I dislike the term "morph target" (even more so than RVK). What the heck is morph target? Doesn't really tell one anything if one hasn't used 3DSMax (yuck! =oP) or the like. RVK, I feel, bears more of a meaning - it's not perfect but better than the proposed one =)
Well it's OK that you sisagree, but I'll just try to clarify: From the three letters R, V and K, I don't think anybody human can guess what the function is for. You just have to know it,

Alot of people have used 3Ds Max (I'm not one of them though), but even if you haven't I think it would be easier to understand "morph target", because that is a more precise and clear description of of the function. "Morph key" would also be ok, but since "morph target" is alredy used in other programs we might as well use that term, so if people come from 3Ds Max (we shouldn't hate these people. I'm guessing over 50% of Blenders users have tried other software) they wouldn't have to relearn too much. The word "key" is a bit strange. You would think you were adding a mesh keyframe, but you are really adding a target to morph to, hence my proposal "morph target".

Ah well. Don't know if it came out better here than in the proposal. It's alright to disagree, but "RVK" just means nothing to any newbie.

Regards,
William

Pablosbrain
Posts: 254
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 7:39 pm

Post by Pablosbrain »

If you have used any 3D application and several 2D applications... the term Morph is quite easy to understand. I've used 3DStudio (DOS), 3DSMax, Lightwave, Truespace, and a little Maya. RVK or Morph Target or (as in lightwave) EndoMorphs. RVK is more precise and technical. morph target is just as descriptive and more widely understandable... even to newbies.

But newbies need to learn either way. The naming doesn't really matter to me. I wish people would quit worrying about what to name things. I like the functionality that you have described in your proposal Monkeyboi. Although your web site doesn't work well at all in Mozilla Firebird browser.

Pablosbrain
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Post by Pablosbrain »

Just another short comment... on the mouse buttons.. as long as they are configurable... I don't care that they get remapped to a different default... just as long as I can change them to a "classic" mapping to stay consistent with the way I'm working inblender right now until I can get used to the new mapping at my own pace.

Monkeyboi
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Post by Monkeyboi »

Just another short comment... on the mouse buttons.. as long as they are configurable... I don't care that they get remapped to a different default... just as long as I can change them to a "classic" mapping to stay consistent with the way I'm working inblender right now until I can get used to the new mapping at my own pace.
I agree, there should most definately be a way to switch back to the old mouse controls.


We've go to remember that having it completely customizable would be good, but that doesn't mean that the default layout isn't important!


Edit:

Wow Carnivore that looks good! I didn't notice your update until now!Good first mockup! I like how it looks. Maybe the Edit Shape button (could be called "Edit") could be squezed in between your eye and the ">>"? This would remove the need of having to enter a menu to change the shape of the morph target.

What do you think?


Btw, ofcourse you can always use my mockups and stuff as a base. Grab whatever you want!

PS (very off topic)
I assume you made the buttons blue to suit the default Blender colour sheme? I have removed all the colour in menus in my b.blend, so the actiuon buttons are not salmon and toggle are not turquise anymore! Yuk I hate those colours :D! My setup has action buttons brighter than toggle buttons to tell the difference.

Monkeyboi
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Post by Monkeyboi »

I have updated the proposal a little. I the bottom there is a proposal for a new "Object Info" box. Please check it out!

http://www.shadeless.dk/ui/

slikdigit
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Location: Northampton, MA (US)

Post by slikdigit »

I like/agree/am indifferent to most of your suggestions, with the following notes:
-changes to the mousebuttons should (and you mention this, but I stress) definetly be user-definable. Otherwise, its not fair to old users to just remap and force us to become less productive while we relearn.
-hotkeys should be user definable too and come with the following presets:
current: for old users/compatibility
right handed: right hand on mouse, left hand on keyboard.
left handed: the reverse
custom...
tooltips could be used to display hotkey information.
-rvk creation definetly needs overhaul. I'm in favour of two new additions:
if the limit is still 31 it should be increased (I'll check)
this is a want not a need but: selectably hidable/namable 'groups' of RVKS, i.e. "phonemes" "face" -etc.
nice to show the sliders as floating windows in the 3d view (like project:messiah)


last comment I LIKE RVK and IPO!! can we keep these names? it keeps consistency with old documentation, and , to the TOTAL newbie, "morf target" doesn't say much anyway, animation window is innacurate (could also apply to the action window, etc) you need to say function-curve, animation curve, etc...
PS saw your post to the elysiun gallery- great stuff.

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