Better Camera Orbiting Suggestion for how to

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joetainment
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Better Camera Orbiting Suggestion for how to

Post by joetainment » Tue Feb 10, 2004 5:15 am

This idea would make the blender interface much more user friendly, and more industry standard.

Blender's interface could be vastly improved by a simple change in how the camera moves/rotates when using the middle mouse button.

The camera up vector should not change when you orbit the camera. Its too easy to accidentally roll the camera so its like you're looking at the side with your head flopped over.

The way the camera rotates when you press the number pad buttons is fine. It never accidentally rolls into awkward positions/rotations. The keyboard works great, the mouse just needs to move the camera the same way.

3dsmax/Maya/XSI/Softimage/Lightwave/Wings3D all do what I am describing. (The turntable option in blender does not do what I am describing.)

This is very hard to make someone understand through writing, so here is a very technical description:

It is as if the center of interest in an Empty "A" at (0,0,0). Parented to "A" is empty "B", in exactly the same place. Parented to "B" is an empty "C" at (0,-1,0). Both object's rotations are all 0. This represents a camera at eye level looking staight at the center, like the front view. The camera is parented to "C" at exactly the same place as "C" with local rotation (90,0,0).

Here's the important part! When the user rotates around the view, the degrees of freedom are "A"'s local Z rotation, and "B"'s local X rotation.

To add the ability to roll the camera, (which should be a seperate keyboard/mouse combo would be to rotate "C" on its local Z axis.

Every other program works like this. Its better, and blender should do it this way too.

Check examples:

http://www.joetainment.com/blendercamera.blend
http://www.joetainment.com/blendercamera-rotated.blend

I really, really, think this would improve blender a lot.

Thanks,

Joe

Monkeyboi
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Post by Monkeyboi » Tue Feb 10, 2004 1:51 pm

Agreed. This is something new users struggle with alot, and I can remember being very frustrated about this myself. I hardly ever find a need to roll the camera on it's local Z axis. Over time, I have gotten used to always placing the cursor in the middle of the 3D view when translating the view, and when it starts to roll I roll it back manually without thinking about it. If it worked like you discribe, it would mean I could work faster because I wouldn't need to roll the camera back all the time, and I could place the cursor wherever I would want to when orbiting.

Actually I think this is how 'Turntable' is supposed to work, but for some reson it is broken. Hope it gets fixed and set ON by default. Old users who are too used to the current way it works, could just turn turntable off.

bmud
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Post by bmud » Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:16 pm

I totally agree.
Straight up word from a brand new user. I cracked open blender last week and the orbiting is craaazy. makes no sense to someone who uses 3ds max for 4 years. However, the numpad is a nice alternative, but when i actually start making scenes and such, more intelligent orbiting would be nice.

joetainment
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Post by joetainment » Tue Feb 10, 2004 10:07 pm

Thanks for the feedback. The new user comment is especially important. As a teacher, when I show Blender to my students in class the first thing they notice is the odd camera. A real barrier to new users.

I really think it would involve minimal programming to actually implement this. Way less than say, adding yafray support, or making a new shader for a material.

IoN_PuLse
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Post by IoN_PuLse » Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:16 pm

Strange, I've never found myself using the mouse to orbit, just used the keypad...

joetainment
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Post by joetainment » Tue Feb 10, 2004 11:26 pm

IoN_PuLse wrote:

>>>Strange, I've never found myself
>>> using the mouse to orbit,
>>> just used the keypad...


Probably the reason you never use the mouse is becuase it works so badly in it current form.

The keyboard orbiting isn't as precise, since it does it in steps, and not as quick, since you have to kee tapping the button to spin.

Almost all other 3d apps have proper mouse based orbiting. I like having the keyboard method also, but its not an adequete replacement for the mouse.

IoN_PuLse
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Post by IoN_PuLse » Wed Feb 11, 2004 1:50 am

I'm not fond of the mouse orbiting (even in apps like maya) because I find they increase inaccuracies (alignment issues) but I suppose if it could be incremental to a point it would be a good improvement.

peterpeter
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Post by peterpeter » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:13 am

yes, yes, i lift up my both hands for this feature. please, add it. (by repairing the turntable switch?)
and please as you're doing that add manipulators as well... (like in eg maya - grab one of the arrows pointing towards x/y/z direction and drag object only along that axis; similar with rotate and scale)
thanks a lot!

makeshiftwings
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Post by makeshiftwings » Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:48 am

I've been begging for turntable to be fixed since I first started using blender, and even offered to attempt to patch it myself if someone would help, but generally I just get responses saying "use the numpad to rotate" or "Try clicking on turntable." Let's hope someone out there who understands the code will some day read one of these posts and fix it. I'd have to say the broken camera orbit is the number one thing stopping me from using blender.

Analogy
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Post by Analogy » Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:10 pm

I've never had a problem with it. I hope if someone does fix it, they leave trackball mode alone and just put it in turntable mode.

solmax
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Post by solmax » Mon Mar 01, 2004 11:23 pm

turntable mode works perfect, it's just sensitive to where in the viewport you start dragging.

middle of viewport - works practically like maya/max/xsi/lw -> no change of up-vector/camera "tilt"

if you start dragging away from the viewport center, you have the ability to change the upvector like in trackball mode.

i think it's a thing you could get used too - for me it was never a reason for not being able to do something in blender.

Monkeyboi
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Post by Monkeyboi » Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:08 am

turntable mode works perfect, it's just sensitive to where in the viewport you start dragging.

middle of viewport - works practically like maya/max/xsi/lw -> no change of up-vector/camera "tilt"

if you start dragging away from the viewport center, you have the ability to change the upvector like in trackball mode.

i think it's a thing you could get used too - for me it was never a reason for not being able to do something in blender.
Honestly with all respect I think you missed the point of this feature. One, it is impossible to hit the exact middle pixel every time you are orbitting, and two, it's not about not being able to do things, its about doing things more effeciently and with less hastle.

solmax
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Post by solmax » Tue Mar 02, 2004 12:37 am

i didn't miss anything - i just have my opinion and my experience.

i fully understand ppl coming from different applications and trying to learn blender - they are confused. was the same with me. but honestly - i don't have any productivity problems using either the trackball or turntable orbit mode. as i said - i got used to it. in certain situations the trackball mode is superior to the classical turntable method - e.g. quick setup for interesting camera angles or tweaking irregular organic meshes..

i use blender more and more for professional/commercial projects where efficiency is a top priority, so i really know what i'm talking about.

my posts should only provide a different point of view, not tell anyone what he is supposed to do/use/whatever.

makeshiftwings
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Post by makeshiftwings » Tue Mar 02, 2004 2:09 am

solmax wrote:turntable mode works perfect, it's just sensitive to where in the viewport you start dragging.

middle of viewport - works practically like maya/max/xsi/lw -> no change of up-vector/camera "tilt"

if you start dragging away from the viewport center, you have the ability to change the upvector like in trackball mode.

i think it's a thing you could get used too - for me it was never a reason for not being able to do something in blender.
For one thing, clicking turntable does NOTHING, it's exactly the same as trackball. So saying that it's "perfect" is really a stretch. Second, the name "Turntable" implies something that works vaguley like a turntable, and in all my experience with record players, I've never seen one that orbited around on its z axis. Third, the point of "Turntable" as it was originally implemented was to mimic the interface of Max/Maya/every other 3d app out there. An interface should not require "getting used to" if the annoying part you're trying to get around serves no purpose. Maybe some people find it useful, but I can see no point for it. If I wanted an interesting camera angle for a render, I would use a camera and roll it on the Z-axis; I don't see a need to have the modelling view roll as well. And even if some people do find it useful, that's what trackball mode is for. So please, for the love of god, fix Turntable mode and give all the people who've used any other 3d app out there (and there are a lot of them) an interface they can use.

theeth
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Post by theeth » Tue Mar 02, 2004 4:23 am

makeshiftwings wrote:For one thing, clicking turntable does NOTHING, it's exactly the same as trackball.
No, it's definitly NOT.

Martin
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans.
- John Lennon

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