new interface

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

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joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:43 am

Image

Surely it's obviuos on what side it's more clear where the lamp is.

malCanDo
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Post by malCanDo » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:54 am

Some good points were made with that image...

Here are a few cents worth of my thoughts...

Image

Mal

joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Jan 11, 2005 1:59 am

The color material updated in my version. I didn't tell you that, but it draws the interface perfect, while 2.36 makes a mess. Laptop ATI M7.

-efbie-
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Post by -efbie- » Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:03 am

I personally find useful the lamp 'lines' in orthographic mode because you can't see the distance with the lamp size. But, the current BF implementation is too disturbing. A transparent continuous line would be less disturbing (for me...).

For the list icon i find it's squared shape logical : all the lists have sharp corners and it make them noticeable.

matt_e
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Post by matt_e » Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:05 am

bertram wrote: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?
I'm not offended, no worries. At the conf, one of the main points was "what are the criteria for using metaphors? When should they be used and when shouldn't they be used?" My case was along the lines that metaphors are good for raw, spatial, manipulation, interaction, but for symbolic things, it can be better to use symbolic visualisation ('visual formalisms'). I'd argue that the buttons are much more on the side of symbolic than presentational and manipulatable.

Anyway, I do see where you're coming from. The problem is though, how to distinguish them from push buttons or row (radio) buttons? All of these get pressed in in the real world. The idea of using a check box to indicate toggling something is really wide spread, so that's why it was chosen. As for the idea of wasted space, well they're fitting in ok so far. Of course I'm open to new ideas of anyone has any, but I don't think the 'depressed button like all the others' is a good solution.

Re. the skin: hah! never seen that before. Cool :)

ilac
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Post by ilac » Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:06 am

-efbie- wrote:
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.
What sort of an argument is that? :?
Yes, there are situations where you need some panels to be on screen while you are using them. So, what's wrong with the panels overlaying your work space in such a case? Whether you allocate space for the tools or they overlap your workspace you still have 4/5 of your screen as workspace & 1/5 as tool space. In that respect no difference whatsoever especially if you keep your panels organised. Such situations are also one-offs and make up a small part of your work flow. They come in, they do their job, they go away. You don't allocate permanent screen estate for such temporary tools - you tab them in, you tab them out and you still have the same amount of workspace that you would if they had specific space allocated - actually more, because dedicated space comes with all its borders and useless 'white space'. Plus the added advantage that your work-space doesn't keep re-sizing itself according to available screen-estate.

I love Blender's interface - especially it's non-overlapping concept - but this is a valuble concept when dealing with multiple workspaces. Having windowed NLA, action window, sequencer etc overlapping each other or the 3D viewport is ridiculous and non-practical. Each of these is a work-space in it's own right and is one of blender's greatest UI strengths - but we're talking about tools which influence the specific workspace (eg, the paint tools in the UV window, the transform in the 3D viewport etc). In these situations it's access to non-constantly required tools within the workspace.

BTW. You might want to switch to Corel Photopaint. Most panels dock themselves and shift the workspace accordingly. How many people do you know that prefer working with Corel photopaint over Adobe photoshop?

theeth
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Post by theeth » Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:08 am

I actually agree with Joeri about the lamp's dashed height line (or whatever you call them). Maybe as a theme option...

Loved the smily sun. Maybe with animated shinings rays pulsing around. Sure Money_Yay would love that. :twisted:

Regarding tearable panel to put floating over the 3D window, I find floating panel in the 3D window painful for the eye anyway (why I like intr's button bar idea better). If you're going to put panels everywhere over the 3D window, why not just have a bar at the bottom or on the side with the panels you want?

Off topic, but where can I find that Blender winamp skin?

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

matt_e
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Post by matt_e » Tue Jan 11, 2005 2:34 am

joeri wrote: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".
What do you mean by the V? Mat index is there because, well, it's the best we could think of. One of the underlying ideas in these windows is that 'dependency' should always flow top to bottom, left to right. That is, a button that changes another button, or that data that those other buttons are acting upon, is placed before the dependent buttons.

For example, the 'Unified Renderer' button in 2.36 is a perfect example of breaking this guideline. You click the button in the bottom corner, then suddenly, way over on the left side of the screen, new things appear - it's really unpredictable, and you get a feeling that by pressing a button, you never know what's going to happen or what options will appear in places you don't expect. So structuring these button dependencies better will help to make things seem more stable and predictable. Since the material index decides what material is being edited (i.e. the contents of all those panels), it makes sense to put it on the far left.
"the questions posted online have changed"
More intelligent then this one?
http://www.blender.org/modules.php?op=m ... pic&t=5391
Hah, touché. That was a generalisation of course and just my own observation, nothing scientific. :)
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.
The grid is off only because it interferes with the video compression and makes everything look like mush. People are finding the inner circle of the spotlight very useful, as a way to preview how the blurred edge will look when rendered. It will also provide a nice way to manipulate the SpotBl value in the 3D View, with theeth's code.
that funny picture of lamps
Hah, lovely. I do concede that the vertical line can be useful, though I'm sceptical of just how useful it really is. If it's that necessary in order to see where a lamp is in 3D space, then why not add it to other objects too? We get by ok without the line for camera, empties, geometry, etc. Other apps get by fine without lines on lamps. I don't think it's a worthwhile tradeoff.
"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 thought that's what you were talking about! :P Ohm, it's still there, just hidden, because it had become unstable.

Re. Panels in 3D View It's an interesting idea, but I still side with theeth on this. Though I did have some weird ideas in 2003 when this was all just being talked about.
joeri wrote:Man you type to fast.
Yeah, this thread's spiralling out of control. Not good for the fingers.

slikdigit
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Post by slikdigit » Tue Jan 11, 2005 3:15 am

Just from the thread, it seems like a lot of discussion is around how things look, and where they are placed (buttons panels, tabs etc...) But I wonder sometime about intangible aspects of interface.
For instance: Say I am circle selecting ( b b ( I won't talk about the hotkey itself here)) and I want to do another operation, say merge tris, or..... whatever ( It's obvious I'm talking about mesh edit, but this is just an example)

i need to 'cancel' my circle select to do anything. Then I need to b b again to circle select so ( hotkeys)

b b, select stuf, right click to cancel, j, b b, select more stuff
instead off:
b b select j , select j , etc, etc.

am I making sense? it seems like there is interface that you can see, helps a new user along, looks good in screenshots, etc. and there's another interface for when you are really using the program. My fingers are starting to cramp (not just from typing) and I've become sensitve to extra clicks and presses.

This is only an example. but since broken and Joeri are our interface champions, please consider also some of these issues as you use blender and plan some changes.
(I don't have any solutions, btw. I don't even propose changing anything about circle select- but doing this and other operations provokes the thought, doesn't it? )

theeth
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Post by theeth » Tue Jan 11, 2005 3:18 am

broken wrote:Re. Panels in 3D View It's an interesting idea, but I still side with theeth on this. Though I did have some weird ideas in 2003 when this was all just being talked about.
Ugh!

While we're talking about menus, you know what would be neat? Making the Toolbox a real pie menu. Not only is pie good for your tummy, using them as menu is proven to be more efficient. That and it's already practicly one (the first level at least).

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

matt_e
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Post by matt_e » Tue Jan 11, 2005 3:23 am

theeth wrote:While we're talking about menus, you know what would be neat? Making the Toolbox a real pie menu.
Yeah I know, I've been wanting to, and have plenty of my own gripes about the toolbox... But one thing at a time *sigh*

Money_YaY!
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Post by Money_YaY! » Tue Jan 11, 2005 4:32 am

joeri wrote:
Image
aaaaaah *sound of angels singing*
Sweet, wish it was real.

Anyway this thread has to much to quote now. The first topic was to increase the glamor looks and button placement for yet another sexy intellegent layout. But the fact is there are way to many buttons and way to many sub tabs it is just adding up way to fast.

I think it is time for advanced and Simple layouts. Advanced would be what we have happening here in this thread of new designs. And Simple would just be the bare essential for makeing designs animations and whatnot. Who knows it might be more helpful for pros. Clean and fast access. Works for apple and Adobe Photoshop elements.

My beef is with thefloating windows is mostly just this still, I need faster access to the buttons, and I hate to sacrifce 3d view or whatever view is open at full screen. Haveing a side bar works somewhat but is just buggy and plus you can not mix and match the panels without spliting the view and adjusting the buttons in there. Plus it is looks and speed. I can see right through the floating panel of N key. It leads to a moveing toolbar and a see through tool that does not distract and it convently jumps to the bottom of the screen when the arrow is pressed....

Blahh.. For feedback on the stuff Broken has now. The color changer does takeup a lot of room with all three sliders, but most of all the 'color box' color changer is still square, it breaks the flow of all of the pill buttons.

I like the sun face :P I would have a little animateing strobe with it if I had the power of code :( But oh well it is a good idea to have something that has 3dspace to see where the hell it is.

The 3d widget thing I am sure will become as usefull as others have seen before so I have no comments on that yet.

Now while we are on interface design and buttons poping out of nowhere (great details from J)
Image
What is the deal with this group of menu selectors ? If I want to render a scene I have to select a button then other buttons apear then I have to swap that to get to others. And Materials, you still have to select a different menu set to asign an image texture to the object when they are both two things that for 99% of work are used together constantly.

:D ^v^

Eternl_Knight
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Post by Eternl_Knight » Tue Jan 11, 2005 6:23 am

Blender never was commercial, that was the only rule Frank and I gave Ton for taking Blender out of NeoGeo.
Can I get a clarification on effects of this and the "proposed" BL license, please?

joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:37 am

Eternl_Knight wrote:
Blender never was commercial, that was the only rule Frank and I gave Ton for taking Blender out of NeoGeo.
Can I get a clarification on effects of this and the "proposed" BL license, please?
The catch was a time/developement limit. After 5 years continous coding the clause would drop.
And there is another issue. The game engine NaN made was a new standalone player. Not a Number ( later NaN ) owned that. Now the foundation is the owner. With the blender code, Ton also released other NeoGeo code in the spirit of what Blender should have been in the first place; a gift to the cg community.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Jan 11, 2005 10:07 am

(My boss is going to kill me)
broken wrote:For example, the 'Unified Renderer' button in 2.36 is a perfect example of breaking this guideline.
You'll get a 100 points for that: you found "the worst button effah!" Ha.
I totally agree. Maybe the tab names should be looked at. I don't expect to assign things in a preview window.
broken wrote:People are finding the inner circle of the spotlight very useful
Me to. 10 points for that.
I was trying to prove that you use as many (cluttering) lines as the current system.
Traces had lines for the camera. And it's not very important where a camera is if you look at it.
Maya has no lines on the light, the light does not even change size. I guess you are right on that one that you don't need it. But I don't agree that it's better without. You don't need your left arm (if you are right handed)...
Maybe the anker can be drawn when selected, instead of these big colorfull axis that assume I don't know what way I want to move my object?
broken wrote:Other apps
Don't go there :)
broken wrote:become unstable
That's what happens if you don't stick around and kick his butt.
theeth wrote:Making the Toolbox a real pie menu.
That would be an improvement in my pov.

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