Default view is confusing to new users (Feature Request)

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fobsta
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Default view is confusing to new users (Feature Request)

Post by fobsta »

Default view is confusing to new users - first impressions count!

When Blender is installed and run the default view is unnecessarily confusing for the
first time user. It's intimidating even for 3d veterans! It's not because blender has a
different way of doing things, it's just unnecessarily unwelcoming. I have inserted the start
up view below.

Image

Instead of a top down view of a plane I would have a simple 3d scene populated with a
few objects. The scene would have auto perspective turned on because a 3d
orthographic mode is alien to the human brain. All objects would have their names
displayed and an expanded Outliner would explain the scene heirachy. Here is a mock up
of my suggestion.

Image

It welcomes the user with open friendly arms. It presents them with information they can
actually read. Or am I just confused easily? :wink:
Last edited by fobsta on Sun Jan 16, 2005 3:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Eternl_Knight
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Post by Eternl_Knight »

No - I actually think your "start-up" interface is nicer for the new user. As experienced users can already set-up Blender to default t their desired views, this is a sensibel change IMHO.

halibut
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Post by halibut »

I think, include the outliner on the right hand side, but still include the buttons at the bottom.

I also think on first run a splash type window should come up saying

"our user forums can be found here"
"the official ebook can be bought here or freely viewed here"
"see the help menu for more information"
"Right click on any button to get a context sensitive help menu" (yeh, well not yet ;)

etc etc

If a user completely new to 3d, is dumped in the interface, they may mess around for 10 minutes, get bored and confused, then not open it again.
If they have the tutorials in their face the first time they open it maybe they will be more likely to stick with it?

I don't really see how this is overdoing it considering it will only be displayed the first time. If not this, then at least a "new to blender?" item under the help menu wouldn't go a miss.

Wait, I just looked under the help menu, brilliant!
Although, I think the "getting started" menu doesn't actually link to very helpful stuff (ok, maybe this is incorrect, it's just the first 2 items on that page seem so out of date to be almost useless). How about teachtechs little starter PDF files, they were brilliant.

I also loved the "tip of the day" feature incorporated in to the splash screen. This idea was posted in the forums a while back.

- halibut

matt_e
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Post by matt_e »

Eternl_Knight wrote:No - I actually think your "start-up" interface is nicer for the new user.
So do I, I actually have my own startup screen quite similar (the cube in perspective mode). It's definitely much clearer about what's going on than that tiny square - it could be anything on first glances.

I don't think the object names in the 3D View is good though, and the buttons would of course need to be showing. I think showing the object buttons on startup would give a much better initial understanding of Blender's whole concept of active, selected, Objects, obData, since when people start clicking around, they can see how the screen actively updates to show the new data. You don't get this hint with the Render buttons.

It would be great to somehow do some research to find out what sort of information is most relevant and helpful to a new user that's starting Blender for the first time.

fobsta
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Post by fobsta »

I also loved the "tip of the day" feature incorporated in to the splash screen. This idea was posted in the forums a while back.
Halibut - I also like the idea 'tip of the day'. Or 'Cool things you may not know about Blender'. As it would be just text it shouldn't be too hard to code and it wouldn't add a significant amount to the download size.

Ok I take the point about the Buttons window being really important. But I still think it's off putting for the beginner. Way too much information.

Instead of the buttons window, what about the Python script window in it's place? It could have a small list of useful commands

Right Mouse Button (Select)
G to Grab (move selected)
R to rotate selected
Tab enter edit mode
SpaceBar for more menus
**Check out help menu at top of screen**

There could even be a new Screen type called 'Beginner' that is on by default?
I don't think the object names in the 3D View is good though
Broken - Is this because of the non english speaking users?

William
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Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2005 3:07 am

Post by William »

This is what my user defaults look like:

Image
screenshot from Tuhopuu 3 with default theme

It's nice like this, because you maximise the window spacing while incorporating more information. The Outliner is an important way to keep track of your scene, and should definitely be visible on start-up. About the view angle, I think the cam view is just fine. The vertical buttons window is just a personal preference, but the header might need to be sorted before we can actually have the vertical buttons window as default.
Last edited by William on Sun Jan 16, 2005 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

joeri
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Post by joeri »

I thought the black thing in the middle was a plane (as you state in your text) and not a cube.
The 3d view is very friendly and would be an improvement i think.

I'm not sure about this but it looks like the current button window makes more sense on the side (I think broken uses the button window on a side).
So if the opening .Blend file is changed I'd prever that 'all' changes are done at once, for easy of documentation etc.
My outlines is also on the left.

Then ideas i don't like:
-"our user forums can be found here" , the bf has no user forum (and don't say elysiun is because that's an independant forum)
-"tip of the day", it's not that I don't like it, it's just that I don't like it. I'd rather see this first on a website before it's put into the splash. Who will the tips address to? New new users? new users? nice to know tips? Will blender keep track of how smart the user is? Is this a setting? I mean what good will a "Use R to rotate an object" text be for me? And what good will a "Texmesh can be used to remap uv" be to new users? Lets get a very very good document about this before it's implemented.

But all hail to the 3d startup view.

SamAdam
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Post by SamAdam »

joeri wrote: Then ideas i don't like:
-"our user forums can be found here" , the bf has no user forum (and don't say elysiun is because that's an independant forum)
actually, elysiun is the official user forum. After the redesign of elysiun, as blenderartists.org it will be even more official. Do you mean to suggest that the sparsly populated blenderuser.org is the official?

joeri
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Post by joeri »

SamAdam wrote:
joeri wrote: Then ideas i don't like:
-"our user forums can be found here" , the bf has no user forum (and don't say elysiun is because that's an independant forum)
actually, elysiun is the official user forum. After the redesign of elysiun, as blenderartists.org it will be even more official. Do you mean to suggest that the sparsly populated blenderuser.org is the official?
Not this discussion again.
The Blender foundation has no OFFICIAL user forum.
Elysiun is an INDEPENDANT website.
You can read more on this topic on http://www.blender3d.com/cms/Websites.7.0.html

fobsta
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Post by fobsta »

joeri wrote:I thought the black thing in the middle was a plane (as you state in your text) and not a cube.
Ha just deleted my .B.blend file to double check to see if it is a plane or a cube.

It's definately a cube (that looks like a plane :D ). Which furthers the argument that the default view is confusing to everyone.

William - nice desktop but I think it is too much information for a beginner?

joeri
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Post by joeri »

fobsta wrote:
joeri wrote:I thought the black thing in the middle was a plane (as you state in your text) and not a cube.
Ha just deleted my .B.blend file to double check to see if it is a plane or a cube.

It's definately a cube (that looks like a plane :D ). Which furthers the argument that the default view is confusing to everyone.
Yes ,I now know it's a cube, but at first sight I thought it was a plane.
I'd go in edit mode, move a vertex and get all confussed.
Maybe because it used to be a plane?

So I total agree with your proposal.

makeshiftwings
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Post by makeshiftwings »

I definitely agree with this. The default blender view scares me every time I see it :)

tommy
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Post by tommy »

Suggestion: How about a four-view setup with top, left, front and camera/3d view? That's what most programs from my experience have, and I think it's a good idea anyway.

halibut
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Post by halibut »

tommy wrote:Suggestion: How about a four-view setup with top, left, front and camera/3d view? That's what most programs from my experience have, and I think it's a good idea anyway.
I have never understood at all why programs use this split four way view? It is supposed to be more accurate? I just end up squinting :?

lukep
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Post by lukep »

halibut wrote:
tommy wrote:Suggestion: How about a four-view setup with top, left, front and camera/3d view? That's what most programs from my experience have, and I think it's a good idea anyway.
I have never understood at all why programs use this split four way view? It is supposed to be more accurate? I just end up squinting :?
history.

early 3D progs allowed only to work in the XY,YZ,ZX planes, and you viewed the result in the fourth.

Also, still standard CAD practice for manufacturing reasons, this time.

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