What is wrong, and what should stay?

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

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What is wrong, and what should stay?

Post by z3r0_d »

I would imagine that most of you know that many people complain about the user-interface of blender (if you don't, search for blender on slashdot), but what is really wrong with it, and what would be the best method to improve it?

Personally I think it is good, once learned, and it needs better documentation (all those keyboard shortcuts...)

would an additional interface be required?
Should the current one be trashed? (or become optional)
What should the new interface resemble?

How will a balance be created between an intutive interface*, and an efficient (fast, for the user, and program) one?

*relatively easy to learn after possibly a few simple concepts are explained

Oh, I think it would be a good idea to mention what program you are judging blender from the point of view from. Please avoid posts like "Blender should be as easy as Lightwave"...

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Post by jeotero »

i guess the first would be creating a document describing the blender interface. no key shortcuts but all the philosophy ...

something like in the blender 2.0 book

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Post by jncassity »

In my opinion the interface is great; it's the one I've gotten used to, but I think that it can be a little daunting to new users (it was for me).

Getting rid of the current interface alltogether would not be a solution that I could agree with, while, on the other hand, having the option of reconfiguring it to others, possibly resembling other programs' interface would seem to work.

Just some ideas.

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translating the ui in other languages

Post by _florian_ »

i think translating the ui in other languages is important.
there are enough people who can't deal with english software.

a localisation system is needed. but don't ask me how to do that.


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Post by dreamerv3 »

I know what I'm going to do as soon as I learn enough about the program to change it.
And this is probably going to be a fork since the interface will be so radically changed.

For the vanilla tree, I would propose the interface be merely a skin which an interface plugin would handle. I would envision blender turning into a fully modularized architecture, so that every major function of the program is perfromed by a separate plugin piece of code.

The most important thing would be the contral kernel, and then the rendering subsystem, with render plugins to output to rib and pov, but internally I think the program should run on a clean OpenGL 2.0 rendering subsystem and use the programmable shading for the display and be geared towards using the faculties of OpenGL 2 to achive its visual output, for anything else a rendering output plugin can be written.

I think every toolor small groups of tools should be a separate module which plugs into the kernel.

The interface would be a set of widgetsselectable or authorable by a user licked as desktop icons are to a function target. This would force users to refer to a certain feature or functionality by ITS NAME rather than a hotkey sequence. However since I've been known to use hotkeys in some apps as my choice for optimization, I would propose additional functionality to the interface layer which would allowkeys and mouse gestures to be used as a "skin" of sorts call it hotkey mode or just a skin which uses hotkeys and has a minimum of buttons on the screen. I think the numerical keypad holds much promise for mapping numbers on the keypad to certain feature s or tool groups based on number range.


All sorts of things can be done in a plug in architecture which makes a coder's life easy, and thus speeds development.

For my own version of a 3D app based on blender though everything except the plugin architecture would go, it its place a new type of goal based interface and program interaction would come about, buts the topic of many papers and hours of coding I do not wish to begin here on this thread.

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Post by daftkid »

I've actually never heard any vcomplaints about the interface apart form here... but i guess thats cool, since u peeps are the ones that actually use it for something :P

But... about how we spend/use our resources; as far as i know there are several papers on keyboard shortcuts out there, have a look at the belnderbase site
http://vrotvrot.com/support/index.php?k ... &show=both
or go straight to the string http://vrotvrot.com/support/index.php?k ... &show=both

BUT, i think its important to focus on the program itself, as it is now opensource people can change the look ad feel to wichever prefs. they might have. I for one like the look, and i rally think the fact that it will look 100% the same on osX, Win, Linux - this enabling easier help for other people, as the reference points are the same.

In comparison, other 3d software (apart from beeing eFFing expensive!!!) blender is kinda innovative, i mean when i got my maya learning edition(wich by the way costs money,even though its a demo and all renders is messed up with watermarjs)- they bragged alot about the extensive scripting capabillities the software had, well it may be bigger and designed for renderfarms and such, but in the end, its not THAT different from blender.

I think we should focus on making blenders excisting features better and inplementing new features, not bugging with looks.


p.s. and theres this little software thingie at the bottom, wich is really cool!!http://www.csnmedia.nl/software.htm

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Post by jasper »

It would be great to have a help system, or shortcut list directly in blender. (maybe a python script window blender.draw thingie?)

However, this discussion has also created large threads on elysiun.com, and there (some) people thought it was a good idea of having everything in blender reachable through a menu system.

This would let beginning users learn blender more easily, while experienced users can continue working.

however, one of the greatest things about blender is it's speed, it's a very fast modeler because of the shortcuts etc.

If you create an additional menu based system, new users will start using this, learning blender. But they will then never experience blender, how it was ment to be.

I think there are lots of small improvements we can do to the gui. For example i would like to see one standard color chooser widget, which can handle more modes than RGB only (this would be great to replace RGB slider in vertcol/face menu.)

I would like to see some improvements in the text editor (auto-tabbing would be nice, since we use python ;) )

But I think there's much more usefull stuff to do, than changing stuff in blender's ui (for example integrating ODE physics, so we have a working gameEngine again)


- What is this blender people are talking about? - :mrgreen:

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Post by xand »

the first thing to add is a new shortcut (ctrl+space) to pop up a list of all the shortcut available for the window selected (like the menu with space).
it isn't difficult to implement and will be very useful to newbies end thoses with no memory.

as i seen in the sources, they will be only one file to corrected (space.c)


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Post by jini »

The interface at the moment is a little strange but once you get used to it the interface is fine. Do all games have the same interface, ... NO. My only problem when using the interface was that it was not easy to find out how to access features so a little help on command set would help.

As for trying to modularise the interface code so that it can be changed, if it is not broken don't fix it, all that will happen is that the code will get bloated and slower.. If that interface changes to much then all the users that are wizards at the current interface will be back to basics again. Do you really want to see buttons for all the command options, a complete popup menu is fine.

When I use Visual in windows I operate in Full screen mode as when you know the short cuts you dont need all those buttons besides in the drawing real-estate in a program such a blender is the main winner with the current interface.


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the philosophy of UI

Post by hawksmoor »

First of all, I really like the interface as it is now it's one of the better interfaces out there, it's all in opening one's mind and in following the one rule at the base of it all: use both your hands.
What's wrong with this I don't know - the uniqueness of the UI is its strenght: I could use every platform and it remains the same: unix, linux, osX, Beos, even windows.
You could make minor adjustments on the way, but i think it's better if it remains as it is.
And as for a tutorial on this subject look at: http://www.ingiebee.com/tutorials/Blend ... erface.htm
you'll find all the philosophy under Blender interface.

Good reading and Happy blending to ya all


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Post by rabt3D »

What about enhanced tooltips over all controls in Blender?.

It would be a great idea that you could select whatever type of tooltip you like for your controls: expanded, short or simple (for advanced users), detailed, etc.

For example, if you select a detailed configuration for the tooltip, it could have a link to a popup window explaining all thew features and properties of the control (including an example of course :) ). On this point I agree with the idea of making a good internal help system using all the scripting capabilities of Python. The use of enhanced tooltips would be great for newbies who like to explore interfaces and don't like reading full, hierarchical help systems just to know what a button does.

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Post by Friday13 »

Blender's interface is just great. If they ever change it, i'd start looking for other Blender-like apps ;)

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Post by Tex3D »

IMO, the interface is a bit daunting at first since a lot of us are used to graphical "toolboxes". Maybe some pre built toolboxes would help the avg/new user get accustomed. A mouse over tooltip could show the keyboard command as well as a description.

Just a thought :)

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Post by hanzo »

I like blender as a 3d suit, but the UI is dull. It should be changed (similar
but better-- even a skin system maybe, I'm not new to blender.
but I still wish it looked better.

fall down the stairs and busted my nee back! OUCHHH!

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Location: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida USA

Post by Ringo7 »

I find that the current UI is an absolute success. Yes, at first site - it'll flip your wig - but as you begin using it, it becomes extremely intuitive. I've been in the graphics industry over 20 years now and have used just about every graphics app out there. Even today while using these other apps, I find myself wishing for a Blender-type UI just to get things done more quickly. For example, I'm so spoiled by Blender that in Freehand and Illustrator, I'm pressing Blender keyboard commands (and hoping they'll do something as quicky as Blender does).

Anyway, that's my humble opinion... : roll:

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