What is wrong, and what should stay?

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

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Mohij
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More unified interface

Post by Mohij » Thu May 19, 2005 3:17 pm

The thing that bugs me in Blender most is, that the interface is NOT unified, means that all functions are spread over shortcuts, dropdown menus, button window, spacebar menu, and so on. The functions are sorted to be most effective and don't destroy the workflow, but this would also be possible with a more unified layout. Means that they are sorted better. Now it isn't always possible to say why the functions is where it is. The buttons window is grouped into submenus for editing, rendering, and so on, but not all functions are accesable from there, even when they would perfectly fit in there. I would suggest one place (the buttons window) where ALL functions are accessable from and the other places (for example the spacebar menu) only have a chosen set of funcions (like now) to keep the workflow so damn fast as it is now, but these other menus should be customizable, means that there should the possibility to insert and delete functions from there. Also the shortcuts should be customizable to give the single user the possiblity to improve the workflow for him even more. For example lefthanded persons would like to do so. When these points are accieved a more modularized architecture of the code layout should be realized, what makes plugins and changes much more easy (the philosophy of K-3D, another free Modeller). This point was already mentioned by dreamerv3 but it is a good point so I mentioned it again.
So in short these points are:
-get all functions nicely grouped to one place (Buttons Window)
-make Blenders interface configurable for the user
-get the codelayout modularized (like K-3D)

This would in my opinion be the perfect code and interface layout.
Hopefully everything was understandable.
Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue. Proverbs 17,28

scyguo
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Post by scyguo » Thu May 19, 2005 5:41 pm

IMHO Blender has good GUI, not perfect and not bad. It's fast to working, very fast and for me it is most important. There is no reason to dramaticly change it becouse someone feel dizzy when run Blender first time. One thing will be pleasant - the buton/hotkey "convert current mapping to UV" (current= otho,object,global etc) :)

SamAdam
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Post by SamAdam » Thu May 19, 2005 6:09 pm

i think that implementing a global events handler would be great, and therefor allow us to implement macros and group assignment.
For example, why, if I have 50 objects, do i have to assign a material to each one individually?

ModelCitizen
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User Interface

Post by ModelCitizen » Thu May 19, 2005 6:43 pm

sofort99 wrote:I guess I am one of the "others" from elysiun! :P Sorry, my company sent me to Dallas TX. for school the same day the sources were released, so I am a little behind in my "GUI advocacy" along with about everything else, but I have to argue with "blenders greatness lies in it's interface". :D


:idea: Please notice at no point in this presentation did I say "get rid of the hot keys". :idea:

Blenders greatness was that it was free, and it had good animation tools. Its interface is something that you have to learn how to work around. If I took a hammer and drove a nail in your head, eventually you would get used to it, but that doesn't mean everyone should have one.(" No... really, once you get used to it, it's pretty handy! And it helps keep your hat on in the wind!") :twisted:

Some of this is just cut and paste from elysiun because I can't figure out how to explain it better that I had there , and I want to get this idea over into this forum....so onto Blenders "perfect" ui ( ton, I really do know the diff :o , so in this post at least, I am useing ui and gui as the user interactive widgets, and not includeing the 3d windows and tools :wink: )

Blender has a GREAT GUI CONCEPT but it is far from being perfectly implemented.


:idea: Please notice at no point in this presentation did I say "get rid of the hot keys". :idea:

When you start C4D, the interface has about 89 buttons and menus, all clearly marked, big enough to be easy to read/see, and fairly easy to navigate.

When you start NOW3D, the interface has about 41 buttons and menus, all clearly marked, big enough to be easy to read/see, and fairly easy to navigate. To be fair though, they are still trying to impliment modeling tools.

When you start Wings3D, the interface has about 21 buttons and menus, all clearly marked, big enough to be easy to read/see, and fairly easy to navigate.

So if you gave NOW3D every tool available in Wings3D you would have about 62 things you could interact with, all clearly marked, big enough to be easy to read/see, and fairly easy to navigate.

Of course you must realize that these are the default setting, and they can be changed to suit you.

When you start Blender, you have about 114 buttons and menus, if you consolidate some so you only count things like all the layer buttons as one button. Some are hard to read, some don't have tips, and some give you no clue at all. By default, you start in the mode that you set your render settings (what you need last ) and when you select the edit button, if you have it set to open with no objects so you don't have to delete everything first, the button window opens empty, instead of at least with a button ( an additional button to the 74 that are already just there in the edit window won't hurt anything IMO ) to create a new object. The edit button is in the middle instead of on the far left, where reading left to right it would be the first function you would (usually) use, but the render settings function is on the far right, makeing it the last function you would use (usually correct).

So you see, what I would like to do, at least for the "friendly version", would consolidate function groups, actually make the work flow a little more intuitive and logical, and get rid of some of the "bulk and hard to use".

:idea: Please notice at no point in this presentation did I say "get rid of the hot keys". :idea:

Menus and icons:

If I ran a graphics company, and all I cared about was production time, and time is money, I would have no trouble at all with an inhouse training program to teach my artists for 3-4 weeks how to use some archane hot key system that optimises speed. And if you don't believe my time scale, look around the internet for graphic art classes and read where instructers say they would like to use blender (free, good animation) but can't teach 3d ART and the blender interface in the same semester so they use some other program (C4D, MAYA, etc) where they CAN!

:idea: Please notice at no point in this presentation did I say "get rid of the hot keys". :idea:

There is no reason at all to intentionally place this kind of burdon upon casual users and hobbiests. Doing this intentionally excludes these people. The only reason I can think of for this kind of thinking is if you were a professional graphic artist and you were afraid that easy to use cgi programs was the challenge to your job instead of artistic ability. I just can't see how a system that uses menus and icons in a logical way, and makes the program easier to use, in addition to the current system, hurts either the program or the users. Of course, I also don't buy into forceing the people useing the program into useing it the way I want them to either. So I completely discount the idea of don't make it easy to force them to use the hot keys. I don't care how someone wants to use it. I only care about whether or not they can make it translate their ideas into art. :shock:


:idea: Please notice at no point in this presentation did I say "get rid of the hot keys". :idea:
This is the best thought out comment on the subject of Blender's interface that I have read. For another comparison, compare Wordstar and Word. Wordstar was a popular word processing program many years ago. It relied on hot keys that experienced users learned to optimize workflow. Experienced users loved it, and they could do things very quickly. It was eclipsed by WordPerfect and Word, which were much easier for people to use intuitively, without first plowing through manuals and tutorials, and memorizing keystrokes. Blender is a very capable program, very well written. It should be much more popular than it is. The user interface is a major stumbling block. Sure, if you are willing to learn the interface, it is wonderful. Blender is for artists. It should be intuitive. Read the post by sofort99. I agree that nothing should be done to change the existing hot key method and assignments. But the interface that greets the user should be intuitive. Windows users (I know I am taking a risk by writing this) have grown to expect a certain menu style and "standard" workflow methods. Why frustrate the majority of the potential users?

gabio
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Post by gabio » Fri May 20, 2005 2:03 am

As I see it now: The main problem about the current interface is what we all like it for. The non overlapping windows. It's a great feature to see everything. But If you start using blender, you would want stuff to be logically placed. by that I mean grouping stuff together. This is more than rearranging buttons more logically. This come to a level where the non overlapping feature is involved. I user will logically, in a shading context, look for the "add texture" button no so far away. The problem is, it's complety on an other window. accesible by one (1) button or one hotkey in the entire interface. and is it clearly mentionned where it is? No. Now you could always rtfm, but if the interface hide stuff from you, it's generally not a good start.
In short, the non overlapping windows kill the usability by forcing you to see all windows at once(!). Though it's at the same time his best side. It result in a dispersion of feature, it's all of nothing. Some example?
-The buttons to enable sequencer in render button.
-The way mesh tools are organised in the button windows.
-The ugly hack of asking in what 3dview you want to screw your mesh!!!
Did you ever noticed how ugly this actually is? This last example is the most blatant example of the cons of the current interace. By working with non overlapping windows. You constraint yourselft to work in only one window. So a easy fix for all the mesh tools would be to get incorporated in the 3dview. But this bring an other problem: space is now missing.
I could go on and on.
But this is how I see it now.

Good day.

ModelCitizen
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The good, the bad, and the ugly

Post by ModelCitizen » Fri May 20, 2005 9:08 pm

The good, the bad, and the ugly...

I have been comparing the various free, or almost free, 3D modeling and rendering options. Blender is definitely one of the most complete, highly developed choices available. It should be the undisputed leader in users, but it is not. In my opinion, it is because of a non-standard interface, and non-standard workflow. Of course, experienced users consider the interface and workflow method to be superior.

Also in my opinion, Wings 3D has the most intuitive interface and workflow method. It has Context Sensitive menus, available with the RMB (which matches the Windows method). In other words, you only see the choices that are possible after you select a vertex, or a face, etc. Wings does not have animation yet, so you have to send it to another application for that. When they do incorporate animation, watch out. Don't bet against them.

Another contender is Art of Illusion. It has been developing fast, has integral rendering and animation options, and also has an intuitive, non-cluttered interface. It is written in Java, so it is poised for multi-platform use. The installation process is not easy yet.

Then there are various hodgepodge solutions such as POV-Ray, Moray, Anim8tor, etc. that work, but they are probably destined to remain "small potatos", or used with other applications.

IMHO, Blender is being held back from overwhelming acceptance and use because most people try it, but can't immediately get some satisfaction in creating, editing, and rendering a quick project. They do get that satisfaction from some of the other choices. I understand that the next decision is not easy. Blender can keep the existing interface and workflow method, change it to conform to current standard expectations for user-friendly interface, muddle around in the middle somewhere by tinkering with color schemes and so on, or start release of two versions (traditional and new) and see which one gets the most users.

I do not intend to ruffle any feathers by writing this, but that is what the competition looks like to me.

-efbie-
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Post by -efbie- » Fri May 20, 2005 10:22 pm

I personnaly think that totally changing the interface to a more windows like solution is like adding a third wheel to a bicycle. It is surely easier to start on a trcycle but you'll never get used to what makes a bycicle great. I had a lot of difficulties to understand blender's interface at first but now i'm so thankfull to the developpers to have developped what is for me the best GUI, if they added more windows like things i would never get used to this wonderfull workflow.

There is little things that can of course be made to make blender easier to learn like interactive tutorials. I think that the work should be more focused on good methods to learn the interface, good documentations, etc... than changing it so that the user has nothing to learn to use it.

ModelCitizen
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The Reformation

Post by ModelCitizen » Sat May 21, 2005 1:15 am

IF THE MOUNTAIN WILL NOT COME TO MOHAMMED, MOHAMMED WILL GO TO THE MOUNTAIN

I have read many well-reasoned explanations of the difficulties that new users face when trying to learn blender. I have even written a few myself. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that this will not produce the intended change in the interface.

The GNU Public License for blender states...
Can I change Blender and give it to my co-workers or employees?
Yes, but if you make modifications you must comply with the GPL and if they request the source code you have to distribute that to them as well. You can charge for the version of blender you give to your friends even, but it must be licensed under the GPL, and you may not charge an unreasonable fee for the source code.
And this looks more and more the way to go. Has this been attempted before? The online, resource-sharing tools are now available. Based on the feedback that I get, I may initiate such a project.

Will probably move to a new thread soon, and then eventually...

blackpage
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Post by blackpage » Sun May 22, 2005 8:55 am

Last things first: I'm into 3D stuff for many years now (even programmed a sucky Bezier-Patch modeller for POVRay half a decade ago), I work with various 3D-apps as it is a vital part of my job, and - most important of it all - I really, really like Blender, cause else I'd hardly undertake the effort of registering at this forum and spew out my 2cts.

The reason why I post today is the overboarding level of frustration and the dismaying fact that _THIS_ thread originates in 2002, and as of today, almost 3 years later, we - the blender community - are still going in circles. To fully appreciate my upcoming lamento, lemme approach the thing by emphasizing a couple of points from this very thread that could not possibly be more true ...

ModelCitizen wrote on 05/20/2005
It (note: Blender) should be the undisputed leader in users, but it is not
It is not really possible to pin down the sideeffects of the "supreme Blender interface and shortcut-approach" than what the above statement denotes:

The main reason why Blender isn't as successful as it deserves is Blender itself, its interface dogma and the total lack of customization abilities. Before you pull out your "double barrel 12gauge arguments" :), lemme ask a favour from you Blender-interface purists: 'Hold yer horses, and allow me to explain in detail!'.

I, and all the folks in this little company I run, and all the freelancers I occasionally hire ain't non-native English speakers. We just don't "grab" (G) things or vertices, believe it or not, we have a completely different word for that. While we're lucky with shortcuts like (R) for "rotation" (as this is the same word as in German), moving bits and pieces of geometry around can get hairy.

Pressing (T) for "Translation" brings me into "Texture Space" whereas (B) for "bewegen" (german for "move") happily initiates box-selection. Even if my staff would think and dream in English and therefore assume that pressing (M) would "move" something, the disappointment would be unsurpassed as they find themselves mirroring some axis around or watch a funny layer-assignment-dialog pop up.

Multiply the above short example with every possible Blender-shortkey and multiply with every known language and you'll find yourself on a road that - in the end - will answer a major part of the question why Blender isn't the top-notch single-most-popular 3D app in the known universe.

Keynote: I'm not saying Blender's shortcuts are illogically assigned. But, Jeezus Herbert Christ, gimme a configuration dialog where I can assign my own shortcuts, ones that fit my native language.

The Blender programmers are fantastic ppl, implementing stuff that is so far beyond my scope that I don't even want to think about it, but hey: A method for customizing shortcuts is impossible? There is really no way to have a user-interface keyboard-setup-dialog as 3DS Max has? There honestly is no space for even a keyboard config-file? Gimme a break! You Blender programmers probably compute the matrix representation of a trimmed NURBS surface by mental arithmetics, but you can't give me a listbox and an input field where it would read "Translate Object => T"?

The Blender documentation and some tutorials do stress the fact how convenient shortcuts in Blender are. True, but only true if you happen to push your mouse around with your right hand and happen to think and dream in English. _THAT_ is dismaying, and that is one major reason why Blender is far behind the success it deserves. Noone wants to be patronized by an application, no matter how logical the shortcuts are supposed to be (from the view of the respective application's programmers).

The GUI dogma
I probably was away on the day when the skies unfolded and some 3D-deity postulated its commandments:

1: Thy windows shalt not overlap!
2: Thou shalt squeeze everything into one main window!
3: Thou shalt dismiss any form of detachable windows or dialogs!

For anybody whos more into obeying dogmas than offering enhanced usability this certainly can be a nice paradigm. Before I get on with my whining: I haven't worked with puters with less than 2 monitors in ages now. Some of my workstations even have 3 or 4 screens attached, and with the increasingly popular technique of SLI this is going to be the "standard", as you just can't have enough screen space when dealing with 3D apps.

Here's what I have to deal with due to commandment 1: I could indeed start blender in window-mode and span it across my CRTs. Unfortunately this doesn't work in Windows 2000 with my gfx-card and the current Nvidia drivers. The secondary screen is never updated and everything within this space stays either grey or black. Not funny.

Interestingly enough, spanning works perfectly in Linux. The bad thing: I need several apps for my daily work and not all are to be found for Linux. In a nutshell: What is postulated as a major advantage, UI in OpenGL, turns out to be backfiring big time and everything under the sun is down again to one CRT, even in Linux as it's no fun at all to navigate a button window that spans 2 CRTs, which is 80% empty and yet steals valuable view-space on my primary (modelling) monitor.

In another thread a user has posted a screenshot of a "3DS Max-like-quad-view-plus-side-panel"-setup. Nice, but I refer to have the icon-bar in the button window not truncated. Also I prefer to have a fixed "appearance" of an application as I want to model and animate and not switch between scenes. Don't get me wrong, I consider the scene-switching feature of Blender truly great, alas, I would love to skip it as I have the screen-space that would allow me to skip it, unfortunately Blender doesn't let me utilize it. Give it a thought: Undoubtedly Blender - due to its overwhelming number of spiffy features - could aim at the professionals. But let me emphasize: Professionals don't work with single TFT/CRT setups. They have all the resolutions and as many screens they need.

I personally don't care about the appearance of any interface as long as it stringently functional. I would click on buttons that are polygonal and skinned beyond recognition if only I could neatly arrange their parent windows _WHERE_ I WANT. I don't see any reason why a keyframe window, or a material dialog should take the space of a modelling window when - to the left - a whole CRT screams "1600x1200 pixels unused!!!".

As with the keyboard shortcuts: "Please, gimme customization! Many have waited for that feature for so long now!". No matter how perfectly the interface components within Blender work together, the fact remains: The OpenGL-UI is utterly limited where it should be most customizable.

In the end ...
the very feeling that I had when I worked with Blender for the fist time years ago still remains: "I have to adapt to Blender, and I can't adapt Blender to my needs". Everybody, of course, is allowed to say that the "Blender-way" is optimal. Just consider that with this you imply that Blender knows better what's good for me, for you, what's good for anybody. And that, above all, is the fatal crux and misconception.

Thx for reading that littany

have a nice day

joeri
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Post by joeri » Mon May 23, 2005 9:47 am

blackpage wrote:have a nice day
Thank you, But I think that will be a bit hard. Not due to any software but customers demand and crappy management, but that's a total different issue.

I could not disagree more with alot of statements is this threat.
But I guess that is what one does expect from me.

The whole GRS hotkey discussion is nonsens. In Maya it's WER with Q for none and the R is scale. In photoshop it's V & M with the V for move. And Photoshop has no assigneble keys.
Still it's the best drawing software effer. But hee, that's not so hard, it's got 1001 ways to change a pixels color, there must be one method that suits you. 3d is a bit of a different coockie.

The window dogma's work out fine. Alot of modern software are taking the non overlapping windows very seriously. Dreamweaver, flash even Word move more and more towards the non overlapping system. Windows are evil anyway. They where ment to show files in a folder on a desktop (amiga was one of the first with windows as far as I remember). Not show documents and floating button panels (crazy mac people).
Windows made it even worse by having floating documents within the application... crazyness. All I ever heard from people using photoshop is that they want a second display to put there Gui panels on, preferably next to each other... anyway.

Squeezing everything into one little window is easely solved with a bigger window. A, but blender is freeware, this means lowend users (budget wise), to bad, on windows button display seems to work perfect on most tools and machines. Airplane cockpits have them, car dashboards have them, coffee makers have them to. Only software developers seem to have the need to 'group' things and then can't stand the complains that the buttons are not ordened 'logicly' so they start programming it all so the user can 'rearrange' them. As if they are the experts on the software and Gui design. I think that's a rather bad idea.

But I understand that the ever growing functionality of blender (?really) is in need of a second keyboard and that all those buttons pile up and are cramped into excisting overfull windows. As far as I know this issue is currently being adressed with panels. They are fun to toy with, but lack the feature a user would want and that's drag them to another window.

And on dialogs: Look if I need a chat I'll talk to my wife or use IRC. The tool I'm using should stay away from wanting to discuss things with me, It should know what I want by a single press of a button. If that's the dogma, then I'm perfectly happy with that. "Are you sure you want to save this file?" Well that's why I pressed the save button you fr* moron! (me shouting at computer, not you).

matt_e
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Post by matt_e » Mon May 23, 2005 11:30 am

joeri wrote:The whole GRS hotkey discussion is nonsens. In Maya it's WER with Q for none and the R is scale. In photoshop it's V & M with the V for move. And Photoshop has no assigneble keys.
Just a small correction, because I see you saying this a lot. Photoshop has had assignable keys for the last few years (this feature arrived in CS). I personally find them incredibly useful, and I use my custom shortcuts almost every day.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Mon May 23, 2005 1:06 pm

broken wrote:
joeri wrote:The whole GRS hotkey discussion is nonsens. In Maya it's WER with Q for none and the R is scale. In photoshop it's V & M with the V for move. And Photoshop has no assigneble keys.
Just a small correction, because I see you saying this a lot. Photoshop has had assignable keys for the last few years (this feature arrived in CS). I personally find them incredibly useful, and I use my custom shortcuts almost every day.
I stand corrected. I still use 7.0.
So well, okay :) If blender 9.0 gets assignable hotkeys then it would be right on schedule ;) (I thought I said it twice, right?)

Then again, what else are they going to put in photoshop? I personaly thought it was finished with version 5.5

blackpage
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Post by blackpage » Mon May 23, 2005 2:35 pm

howdy joeri

I toally agree with you: Photoshop was finished with version 5.5. Everything that came after 5.5 was pure and utter nonsense, with the exception of custmizable keys.

On everything else I, certainly, do strictly object :) My point was not to exchange "G" for "W". I want to set the hotkey to what _I_ want. Even if that means "L_CTRL+R_SHIFT+ALT+MIDDLE_MOUSE_BTN => grab".

I know perfectly well that one can work extremely smoothly with Blender, as I do it often. But I also rember the time span it took me to reach that level of workflow. The main point in my previous post was that I am extremely disappointed by Blender's commercial success, and it was not my intention to have Blender being compared to other apps. But then again, and while you still stand corrected, let me take advantage of such circumstances ...
The window dogma's work out fine. Alot of modern software are taking the non overlapping windows very seriously. Dreamweaver, flash even Word move more and more towards the non overlapping system.
It's interesting, that you mention Dreamweaver and Flash. Both apps don't have "non-overlapping" windows. They have "dockable panels", that's a major difference, cause I can drag every single panel "out" of the application's window and place it where I want (and even save the position as "workspace"/"Panel Set"). And exactly that is what I would want, no, what I demand from a contemporary application (such as Blender).

What else is to say about Macromedia apps and their UIs ...

A) Way too little fonts that you can't change (unless you poke your own "System" font into the Windows-font folder)

B) forcing the "." (dot) for float-numbers where OS-settings clearly state "comma" and thusly negating all attempts of internationalization (here in Austria we write "1,4" and not "1.4")

C) the "miracle" of constantly converting "hard pixels" to float "width: 400.01 px => what the f***?)

The above - and a flock of other cute little flaws - should make one thing perfectly clear: Thank whatever deity that Blender doesn't have a GUI like any Macromedia blockbuster.
Squeezing everything into one little window is easely solved with a bigger window" ...
As laid out, a bigger window (spanning multiple CRTs) doesn't work in Windows (which seems to be an nVidia-specific problem, even though: NO-GO).
As if they are the experts on the software and Gui design. I think that's a rather bad idea.
Guess what? They ARE! If there's one thing no programmer would ever grasp then it's the needs of a user. And I should know as I'm programming ever since 1985, and it was back then when the first users declared me a moron for my approach of a MIDI-application for the Atari ST :) But I have learned ever since.

The pity is: programmers always see things sooooo clear, they always know how a user should work. Pity again: no decent user gives a sh** about that patronizing attitude, and with full right, as it's the user who has to work with the app, not the programmer. The user IS the customer and therefore ALWAYS right (as long as it goes for commercial apps, that is). Blender is a free package and therefore things like that obviously never have been taken into consideration seriously. That is also legit, but it saddens me to no end, as I know what Blender has to offer under the hood.

Finally ...
I see no point in comparing Blender to any non-3d application. I'm comparing it to the 3d-apps I know by heart: 3DS Max, Cinema 4D and Lightwave. And these apps let me customize shortkeys. These apps let me arrange dialogs and windows where you want across the screens. With Blender, being extremely Lightwave-ish, I just don't understand why this should not be possible too. But I concurr, it's a free package, and the developers have done great deeds, and they certainly can't be forced to make their "baby" more contemporary.

and ultimatively ...
Blender has usability issues. That is a super-hard fact and only a yoghurt would deny it (nope, I'm not calling you a fermented milk-product; just quoting Red Dwarf :). Maybe not in your eyes, and not even in my eyes, but nevertheless, these issues are to be taken as granted as at least 8 out of 10 Blender newcomers (even 3d pros) will definitely ask you "geez! and you honestly can work with that program?".

Just one final question: is this constantly asked question, this constantly postulated opinion the proper salary for the developers and all their efforts?

It is not, if you allow me to answer me own question. But I'm not in position to decide to what level the Blender-crew should be content with this real-life scenario. If they are happy with the niche-status of Blender as it is, I'm game.

Maybe a fork would be the right way. Something like kickin the OpenGL UI for the sake of some platform independant UI lib (wx,GTK ... or whatever's possible). It would be the right way as I see not much space in the current Blender development for ppl who prefer customization over "patronization".

Anyway

have another nice day :)

joeri
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Post by joeri » Mon May 23, 2005 4:30 pm

blackpage wrote:howdy joeri
:)

Look, I'm not saying there is no room for improvement.
And it's nonsens to say 3d Max is far better, because it's also far more expensive.
For the price you pay for blender you get a pretty good piece of software. It hardly crashes, much less then my official copy of Maya.
It has a good polygon modeler, with much faster workflow then Maya.
And a nifty fast renderer, now I'm not even going to say the M word.

But saying that your skills will improve by having custom keys is just yoghurt :) So it still boils down on learning the skills, and frankly, the Gui then becomes the least of your problems.

Now once you are a pro, then yes, lots of things start to bug. Ctrl-c ctrl-v, those kind of things. But they are not changed overnight.
Btw. blender is not a contemporary software, it's 10 years old give 'n take some cosmetic changes.
blackpage wrote:...no decent user gives a sh** about that patronizing attitude, and with full right, as it's the user who has to work with the app, not the programmer.
Blender was developed as an inhouse tool. Developer and User where the same person. And sure this is a good situation, and that's still the case on current blender development for most parts.
It's just that there is no way pleasing everybody, and specialy on the given codebase and financial budget.
blackpage wrote:... they certainly can't be forced to make their "baby" more contemporary
Hmmm. I think it's not that "they" don't want to. I think it's that there are more urgent and other things at hand. At some point blender 3.0 will start and many of modern software habits will slip into the new app. One of them will propably be the "click 6 times to alter a property" like Maya currently has, because it just has to many properties to show them all at once.
blackpage wrote:Maybe not in your eyes, and not even in my eyes, but nevertheless, these issues are to be taken as granted as at least 8 out of 10 Blender newcomers (even 3d pros) will definitely ask you "geez! and you honestly can work with that program?".
Sure,... I'm so old, I'm from the age of programming my own tools.
I've seen people renaming 100+ files by hand because they don't even know how to write a script. And then start complaining that the software they use doesn't understand the user.
Modern computer users don't really understand they are handling a very large calculator. They don't want to know they are handling a large calculator.
And if they stumble on something they don't understand then guess who's to blaim? They can give you a big list, but always to my surprice, one of the partys is never on that list: themselfs.
blackpage wrote:Just one final question: is this constantly asked question, this constantly postulated opinion the proper salary for the developers and all their efforts?
I've been around blender for more then 10 years now and if there is one thing constant then it's the 'demand' for things. No matter what's been added or alterd there is always someone who knows it better.
But luckaly blender is open source, so everyone can prove that now. It's a shame that happens so little.

blackpage wrote:have another nice day :)
Same to you! Mine is turning out pretty well.

blackpage
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Post by blackpage » Mon May 23, 2005 8:25 pm

greets again, joeri

At this point our lil convo could really become the sequel to the "Neverending Story" :) But believe it or not: I also understand your point of view (with exceptions). I'm with you when you say shortcuts don't improve skill. That's most obvious. But I was just saying "costumizable shortcuts improve workflow". Let's model something in Max to demonstrate what I mean, shall we? :)

"Create Box => Collapse To Poly => FaceMode => Select Faces => DEL => VertexMode => Select Verts => Drag em => SlicePlane => Slice => SlicePlane Rotate-Gizmo => Slice => Switch to QuadView => Switch To TexturedDisplay => Zoom in => Rotate View => OrthoSnap ON => DragVertex => Weld => DragVertex => Weld => Snap OFF => Rotate Back => ZoomOut => EdgeMode => SelectEdges => Chamfer => Select Edges => Crease To 0.5 =>=>=>=>" and so on and so on ...

All of the above I handle in Max with shortcuts that i have defined according my needs. Top level actions (translate/scale/rotate ... plus restrictions) are assigned to single keys (T,S,R or O=OrthoSnap and X/Y/Z for plane restrictions etc.). All SubObject-related toggles have been assigned to ALT + [key]. All Subobject-related actions (weld, view align etc) are assigned to ALT +SHIFT + [some key]. That's my paradigm: Grouping by object-/action-level.

Workflow is fairly the same in Blender, but I tell you: After years I still have to concentrate to remember Blender's keys, as those ain't mine.

I'm not comparing Blender to Max, though it would be possible, why not, Blender's feature list is more than just impressive and ever since YAFRAY is on board my longings to dive into MentalRay diminished noticably :) As I said above: I'd just love to have Blender as MY tool. A tool that I tailored (in terms of shortcuts e.g.) to my needs.

Anyway, after today's earlier post I d/l the Blender sources and compiled the thingie with MinGW. Then I tracked down a couple of keyboard-relevant modules, and hey! I think I can help myself (goodness! That's K&R C! I guess the codebase is truly old :)

So if there's a way that I can somehow make a Code::Blocks project out of Blender, I could maybe poke in my own keystrokes or even make it customizable in some way (kbdcfg file? dunno). It was unclear anyway what to do over the summer :)

a nice chillin' evening to ya

bp

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