new interface

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

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matt_e
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Post by matt_e » Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:48 pm

Eternl_Knight wrote:I'm wondering why the idea of a "customizable GUI" is not being developed.
The sort of thing that he keeps harping on about would be an immense amount of work and restructuring for negligible gains for a tiny amount of people. Not to mention a bug-tracking and support nightmare. Very few other applications have or should have this kind of configurability, for that kind of reason, and because it's generally not necessary if the UI layout has been thought through to a minimal extent.

malCanDo
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Post by malCanDo » Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:52 pm

I think that the new interface rocks.

BTW Rocks = it is a more visually appealing environment to work within ( better use of whitespace ), more intuitive ( better grouping of similar items ) etc.

With a flexible enough interface, the default user should be presented with the new interface by default, with the new easier to use layout.

For any long-term users of the interface, the option to change back to the scheme should be hidden in an obsure, difficuly to find place, only accessible by someone who has worked with the package since day dot, and who would then boast about the benefits of the old UI, and enjoy being one of the vew elite who can ( and want to ) actually find the button. :)


As a user of Blender from a long time ago ( when at NaN, although I didn't use the really early versions ), and as an advocate for making Blender accessible to new students, I really enjoy using the new UI and keeping up to date with the great new work on the new UI!

Mal

Bellorum
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Post by Bellorum » Mon Jan 10, 2005 3:52 pm

I for one love the new UI, and I sincerely hope it will be incorporated into BF-blender. I especially applaude the clean-up of the material-buttons. New sliders rock to! Keep up the good work :)
There's no such thing as democracy. There's only the tyranny of one, and the tyranny of many.

Crafty
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Post by Crafty » Mon Jan 10, 2005 5:08 pm

I also like the new UI very much. Not only are the items grouped better, but it also looks a lot better, which is definately a good thing. :)

Money_YaY!
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Post by Money_YaY! » Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:27 pm

broken wrote:
Eternl_Knight wrote:I'm wondering why the idea of a "customizable GUI" is not being developed.
The sort of thing that he keeps harping on about would be an immense amount of work and restructuring for negligible gains for a tiny amount of people. Not to mention a bug-tracking and support nightmare. Very few other applications have or should have this kind of configurability, for that kind of reason, and because it's generally not necessary if the UI layout has been thought through to a minimal extent.
As usual from my first posts maybe I am not clear.

For example take any tab-tool window that has the buttons divided by groups in little other tab-tool windows, you can drag them around in there own window and even group them into new stacks, but you can not make them float on the 3d view. That is all I want from this. It would allow you to have a very very streamlined modeling interface. As you could have all of the buttons right there in that floating window and still have a full screen 3d view to work in.

Is there anything wrong with haveing a nice huge window to work in instead of split windows of smaller views ? Of course the old short cuts to chage theviews would still be usefull but I likelarge huge clean windows instead.

Now the current Floating window should have more in it for each mode that your in, but it seems to be ignorred more than it should for gui button placement design..

-efbie-
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Post by -efbie- » Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:45 pm

If you have a floating panel it will hide things in your 3DView, it will get in your way, and at a moment or another you will want to hide it or minimise it. This will take you time. If you use photoshop or gimp you know that it takes lot of time to move all those floating windows to work on a part of the image. Even worse, the fact that you can move /hide the floating window mean that you don't know where it is. and looking for something takes times too.

with the current system you always know where the tool is. And most of the tools are available via shortcuts. You don't access the panels really often for modelling tools.

What would be really cool is an auto display of the buttons panels if you move your mouse to the edge of the window. I find the current shortcut to go into full screen quite unpractial.

Money_YaY!
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Post by Money_YaY! » Mon Jan 10, 2005 8:38 pm

-efbie- wrote:If you have a floating panel it will hide things in your 3DView, it will get in your way, and at a moment or another you will want to hide it or minimise it. This will take you time. If you use photoshop or gimp you know that it takes lot of time to move all those floating windows to work on a part of the image. Even worse, the fact that you can move /hide the floating window mean that you don't know where it is. and looking for something takes times too.

with the current system you always know where the tool is. And most of the tools are available via shortcuts. You don't access the panels really often for modelling tools.

What would be really cool is an auto display of the buttons panels if you move your mouse to the edge of the window. I find the current shortcut to go into full screen quite unpractial.
No I feel the compleate opposite, and I would hate it if the menus auto opened with a rollover , I use photoshop all of the time and have it full window with just two floating windows open it is perfect for me...

See I hate this kind of talk as the users have no say in this. I want something oneway and you want it another. And the final outcome will be however the one coder wants it. No vote no way to add both or even one. I bet I will still be asking for this and you will still be asking for that for months, but hey "dats open source!"

-efbie-
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Post by -efbie- » Mon Jan 10, 2005 9:29 pm

the fact that it is open source allow you to implement yourself if you want it. I am currently perfectioning my C++ skills to add some features that i would like. You could do the same ! I've seen that someone has tried to implement what you want but failed because it is too complex. I think it is already great that someone tried to implement it !

ilac
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Post by ilac » Mon Jan 10, 2005 10:23 pm

-efbie- wrote: If you use photoshop or gimp you know that it takes lot of time to move all those floating windows to work on a part of the image. Even worse, the fact that you can move /hide the floating window mean that you don't know where it is. and looking for something takes times too.
:!: Sorry, but that's rubbish. You place the panels in a place that is convenient for you and rarely need to move them again. The experienced user simply TABKEYs them in and out to view them/remove them as necessary. If the user doesn't know where to find the tool needed (or better still, the short-cut to it if there is one) then said user still has a long way to go in terms of experience... Moving a panel to see what's underneath is a very, very bad habit!

Hence I do agree though that panels in the 3D view clutter the view - but only because there isn't a ONE key to 'hide/show all' like the TAB key in photoshop or F12 in Freehand. Managing lots of panels individually is definetly a waste of time and bad workflow!

joeri
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Post by joeri » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:07 pm

broken wrote: If we can make things more intuitive, easy to find, streamlined workflow, so that people don't need to read such tutorials to understand it, I think that's a very positive thing.
Yes, but that's a big IF, and you are still far away from that. Meanwhile every change you make means alot of re-work for other volunteers: Document writers, Tutorial makers, Website maintainers.
broken wrote:"Learning the interface all over again" - oh come on, don't be melodramatic. It's not a different application, it's just growing.
It's not growing, it's moving around. The new lamp does not add any new features. Still can't adjust settings in 3d space. It's just a gimmic. A look.
Only now I can't see where it is in 3d space any more.
The amount of interface redesign is not justified by the added features in my point of view. Specialy because it's seems focussed on the button window. Meanwhile the python scripts and the popup menus have their own life.
broken wrote:...suddenly reduced to newbie status and has to start from scratch...
I even asked for a "no backface culling" feature because it was suddenly default. Don't underestimate the dumbness of users like me who don't read all the changelogs. So thats a "I think you have trouble seeing this from other people's perspectives" right back at you :)
broken wrote:...just go and use a different app that doesn't suffer from these problems...
Like wordpad? I'm using Maya now and it's far worse than blender, but it allows me to be creative. In the next release the buttons will all stay put on their unlogic ugly place and alias will add something in the calibre of paint effects or fluid effects. Probably something that allows me to make lipsync characters in a day or two.
broken wrote:the lack of consideration (interface-wise) for other types of people than those in the 'inner circle' was one of the major factors in Blender's past commercial failures.
Maybe, but I think that flying an excecutive from london to new york for 10.000,= pond had something todo with that as well. Blender never was commercial, that was the only rule Frank and I gave Ton for taking Blender out of NeoGeo. So that made it very hard for him to start a bussiness with Blender.
Anyway, I don't want a flamewar with you, I think you are a nice guy.
And I understand I'm the anomalie. Just pick out interesting bits of what I say, ignore the rumble. I fully understand the things you write (except the
idiosyncrasies and obtuseness ) but that puts me in a difficult spot to comment. (I bet that's the purpose of your response)
broken wrote:Well, that's fine, you're entitled to your opinion or taste, and because of themes, nobody's forcing you to use it. And if that choice isn't good enough for you, the source is there. You can teach yourself to code C from scratch, change Blender yourself, and let other people agree with you and then include those changes. That's what I did.
I don't want to spend time on themes and source. I guess you know that by now.
And I know C well enough to be responsable for the image select and the .Bpib file format.
Let's hope Ton does not allow me to remove features you use.
broken wrote:In my opinion the older taste is ugly and distracting.
And I hope that in another 10 years we are able to speak to each other and see what the future matt will call this design. And we will know if the changes where improvements.
-efbie- wrote:with the current system you always know where the tool is.
Really? Untill someone decides to move it for the next release. :)

Image

-efbie- wrote: the fact that it is open source allow you to implement yourself if you want it. I am currently perfectioning my C++ skills to add some features that i would like. You could do the same !
Not quite, you need to be accepted by the relm of the gods.
ilac wrote:Sorry, but that's rubbish.
I always liked that there are many ways to do the same thing in ps.
But icons pretty much stay put. Even after abode tried to merge ai and ps workflow.
I think the question (of Money_YaY?) is pretty valid, if I understand it correctly.

If you can do this:
Image

why not this? :
Image


Peace. Joeri.

-efbie-
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Post by -efbie- » Mon Jan 10, 2005 11:48 pm

ilac wrote: :!: Sorry, but that's rubbish. You place the panels in a place that is convenient for you and rarely need to move them again. The experienced user simply TABKEYs them in and out to view them/remove them as necessary. If the user doesn't know where to find the tool needed (or better still, the short-cut to it if there is one) then said user still has a long way to go in terms of experience... Moving a panel to see what's underneath is a very, very bad habit!

Hence I do agree though that panels in the 3D view clutter the view - but only because there isn't a ONE key to 'hide/show all' like the TAB key in photoshop or F12 in Freehand. Managing lots of panels individually is definetly a waste of time and bad workflow!
Assume that you are working on a 300Mo file with hundreds of layers. So your layer panel must be extended to the maximum to give an overal view. In this situations, the layer pane takes 1/5 of the screen. that's huge ! the only way to see the part it hides without removing ALL the tabs is to move it. and there is a lot of situation when you can't hide all the panels :
- working with layer panel
(want to add a layer effect and tune it's properties ? you must have the panel activated !)
- working with precise selection (you need the info panel)
- working with text
In all these situations, the panels get in your way. This is particulary frustrating since your file weigth 300Mo and it's a pain to zoom and to pan all the time.

The solution is obvious : reserve a place for the panels that don't overlap with the work. This is exactly what blender does.

matt_e
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Post by matt_e » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:04 am

joeri wrote:
broken wrote: If we can make things more intuitive, easy to find, streamlined workflow, so that people don't need to read such tutorials to understand it, I think that's a very positive thing.
Yes, but that's a big IF, and you are still far away from that.
Well, I guess that's hard to judge objectively. But at least from what I've seen, in the last year many of the questions posted online have changed from "what is the hotkey for X" or "where do I find X tool" to more intelligent things about technique and workflow.
Meanwhile every change you make means alot of re-work for other volunteers: Document writers, Tutorial makers, Website maintainers.
Yes, and that's true for other changes, too. I've been through this already. Besides, William and Jason have both expressed interest in helping doing work for the doc project like taking new screenshots and making a nice doc of the changes.
It's not growing, it's moving around. The new lamp does not add any new features. Still can't adjust settings in 3d space.
Actually, thanks to theeth's groundwork on the transform, you'll be able to soon. It's not just a gimmic, there's better visualisation of what lamp is what, and of other info too, like the spot blur.

To use a similar, contrived example to yours, can you tell where these lamps are in 3D space? Which are above the Z axis and which are below? The dots don't change size with perspective, so you can't see that way. Or maybe they're actually sun lamps? Or hemi lamps? It's difficult to tell. The dashed lines provide little benefit for the extra clutter. Do you propose putting dashed lines from empties along the Z axis to tell where they are in 3D space? Or maybe for cameras? Or why not all objects?
broken wrote:...suddenly reduced to newbie status and has to start from scratch...
I even asked for a "no backface culling" feature because it was suddenly default. Don't underestimate the dumbness of users like me who don't read all the changelogs. So thats a "I think you have trouble seeing this from other people's perspectives" right back at you :)
Heh, well I don't think that button is all that great either - it wasn't me that added that or put it there, or made a 'cube' icon to represent it :) Though I can take the blame for it not being in the Select menu (yet)...
broken wrote:...just go and use a different app that doesn't suffer from these problems...
Like wordpad? I'm using Maya now and it's far worse than blender, but it allows me to be creative.
Heh, Maya's probably not the best comparison to make. Perhaps like Cinema 4d, or XSI. And many of the 'independent' modellers or animation apps like Silo, Modo, Motionbuilder, Animanium seem quite easy to get started with quickly. In the next release the buttons will all stay put on their unlogic ugly place and alias will add something in the calibre of paint effects or fluid effects. Probably something that allows me to make lipsync characters in a day or two.
broken wrote:And I know C well enough to be responsable for the image select and the .Bpib file format.
Let's hope Ton does not allow me to remove features you use.
I didn't remove the image browser, if that's what you're saying. It was Ton, and he wrote about it in the Blender 2.31 release log.
-efbie- wrote:with the current system you always know where the tool is.
Really? Untill someone decides to move it for the next release. :)

Re: http://www.nonakassenaar.nl/blender/evilinterface.png

Haha, yes I agree! What you're critiquing is the current 2.36 shading buttons that haven't been changed yet - you've found plenty of problems there, exactly proving my point that it needs to be re-worked :) Here is the current not-committed-yet work in progress: http://mke3.net/blender/interface/layou ... lwip03.png I love that comment about vibrators and tampons, that's a classic!

I checked that thing you mentioned about the slider not going to exactly where it's clicked. Thanks for the report - this is not intended behaviour, I'll try and fix it.
I think the question (of Money_YaY?) is pretty valid, if I understand it correctly.
I misinterpreted his question the first time (thinking he was going on about the same old thing as he has been for a while now), but now I understand. He wants to be able to pull panels out from the buttons window and into the 3D View. This would take a lot of work and would go against Blender's tiled window philosophy. The usefulness of it is debatable, I guess, but to answer the original question, no it's not planned by anyone.
joeri wrote:Anyway, I don't want a flamewar with you, I think you are a nice guy. And I understand I'm the anomalie. Just pick out interesting bits of what I say, ignore the rumble. I fully understand the things you write (except the idiosyncrasies and obtuseness ) but that puts me in a difficult spot to comment. (I bet that's the purpose of your response)
Thanks, I think you're a nice guy too, and I understand your concern - it must be weird for you to see your baby changing like this. But it's not just your baby any more. It's "our baby".

bertram
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Post by bertram » Tue Jan 11, 2005 12:54 am

matt, I appreciate your effort very much. so, no offence, but some of the least improvements don't follow your speech at the conference. you've been talking about metaphors to the real world. where in the real world does a button turn into a checkbox if it is pressed? in real world a button that is pressed locks into a "different" position. the perfect metaphor for this is a button that is shaded differently in a way to symbolise a deeper position than others. that is the status quo until 2.36. imho the checkboxes probably are eyecandy but don't improve usability nor are they more self-explanatory than the status quo. believe me, i feel very uncomfortable to chose the expression of them being no more than a little bit of a waste of space.

bertram
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Post by bertram » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:17 am

btw: it's not only the manual, etc.
it also is me who's got to update the blender-skin for winamp!!! :wink:

Image

joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:40 am

Man you type to fast.
It took me all day to make that post.

http://mke3.net/blender/interface/layou ... lwip03.png
is pleasing for the eye.
Still have some concerns about the V left to the TEX and why the Mat index is moved to the preview tab. Isn't this where we assign the material to the object? I also think the color bars need to be less "glued on". Anyway, that's your job.

"the questions posted online have changed"
More intelligent then this one?
http://www.blender.org/modules.php?op=m ... pic&t=5391

"Actually, thanks to theeth's"
Hmmm, I read the blog. But yes, I can tell where thoose lamps are, even with the wire color from the ground grid removed (cheater!) and your demo is (wide) perspective not orthogonal. Anyway, I do like the shapes, and the sizing. Does it matter if I propose putting dashed lines on objects? It seems you've already decided I need to find them cluttering instead of helpfull. You don't find the spotlight beam cluttering do you? And you doubled the wires. Even the hemi looks like a big spider. No worries on clutter there. A lamp with an anker is still less clutterd then a new spot. I'd say put it in as a draw mode, but then I hate that line, so I'm not. If you think it's best for our baby I accept.

I don't understand a single bit of Xsi. I had the 30 days install.
I like the mental ray interactive renderer, but the weird interface is very boring and does not explain a single bit.

"I didn't remove the image browser, if that's what you're saying. It was Ton"
What? It's removed? No way! Hee, I was trying to brag about my C contribution, and then you say it's removed. You are evil! I used the internal Queue system and then Ton complains he doesn't understand my code. Pfff. Zr did some poking at it, but it still works.

The slider glitch might be a zoom problem.

Image

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