What about a new GUI?

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

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Zingam
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What about a new GUI?

Post by Zingam » Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:35 am

I think that Blender needs a radical redesign of its GUI. Here is why: I've compared Lightwave 3D and Blender. Blender's buttons etc. eat up much more space than those of Lightwave 3D, so we have much less drawing space to work on. Second not always I'm able to see the full text on the buttons also in Layout.
A good addition would be if there are title bars of some sort in each view to let us know in a more clear way if it is a top view, etc. and ability to predefine different GUI layouts.

Thank you for reading!

(this is just my oppinion)

PolygoneUK
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Post by PolygoneUK » Sat Oct 15, 2005 1:28 pm

Now I've been *cough* criticised for comparing blender to other 3d apps, and it doesn't usually go too well in here.

However,

"...ability to predefine different GUI layouts."

You can predefine different layouts, and windows, and even multiple screen arrangements.

You could have one SCR (screen) for animating, with a timeline, 3D viewport, actions window and the IPO curves. Just pressing CTRL + Left/Right arrow keys will switch between default SCR layouts.

Then you could have another SCR for modelling, which has the buttons window, a couple of 3D viewports and that's all.

Once folk get their head around blender's steep learning curve regarding the GUI, I think most actually find that it's GUI is very much more powerful and intuitive than other apps.

I agree that blender's buttons 'can' tie up space sometimes. Of particular note is the particles area. That's just one big grid of buttons with shortened text which tries to tell you what the particle settings do. It's cluttered, messy and time consuming.

Just my views on the topic :wink:

(oh, and I absolutely HATED Blender when I first tried it over 6 months ago, but after spending an intimate weekend with it, we've become quite good friends :D)

Zingam
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Post by Zingam » Mon Oct 17, 2005 3:13 pm

PolygoneUK wrote:Now I've been *cough* criticised for comparing blender to other 3d apps, and it doesn't usually go too well in here.

Once folk get their head around blender's steep learning curve regarding the GUI, I think most actually find that it's GUI is very much more powerful and intuitive than other apps.

I agree that blender's buttons 'can' tie up space sometimes. Of particular note is the particles area. That's just one big grid of buttons with shortened text which tries to tell you what the particle settings do. It's cluttered, messy and time consuming.
Two things I hate about Blender are radio buttons do not look like radio buttons and layers suck! I think that layers need a little bit improvement.
Oh, I forgot about scrollbars, they also are not very good.

Why not comparing with other programs? For instance Photoshop and Autocad have excellent layer management! I think that Blender would benefit of AutoCAD like layer management.

And I really wish that Blender uses less space for its buttons and presents them in more readable way.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:44 pm

PolygoneUK wrote:Now I've been *cough* criticised for comparing blender to other 3d apps...
:) Again, Sorry 'bout that.

MrMunkily
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Post by MrMunkily » Mon Oct 17, 2005 4:45 pm

Two things I hate about Blender are radio buttons do not look like radio buttons
This will be fixed in 2.40 I believe.
layers suck
there are many ways that blender's layers suck. which way are you referring to?

scrollbars, they also are not very good.
I'm not really sure where you see scrollbars, except in the fileselector and in the text window.
And I really wish that Blender uses less space for its buttons and presents them in more readable way.
Me too. This will also be improved for 2.40 but it's really hard to change this overnight.

PolygoneUK
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Post by PolygoneUK » Mon Oct 17, 2005 6:03 pm

joeri wrote:
PolygoneUK wrote:Now I've been *cough* criticised for comparing blender to other 3d apps...
:) Again, Sorry 'bout that.
hehe, don't sweat it. I was being humourously sarcastic in the hope I'd spare Zingam the same fate :lol:

bmud
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Post by bmud » Mon Oct 17, 2005 7:57 pm

[ramble]
I wouldn't mind seeing some fresh ideas, proposals, or whatever. I've been locked up in my own little world making my own things, and after a while the GUI -- even now that I'm used to it -- seems stale after all this time. It's good to know that there's other people that aren't satisfied yet.

Blender is all about the GUI. Without the best GUI ever, we're just chumps against the "industry standards". 2.3's GUI is very pretty. With the right colors, I feel cozy. The 3d view at this point is astounding to work in. The button panel however is awful to deal with sometimes. I often wonder if a chinese version of blender would be a lot less cluttered.
[/ramble]

Anywho.. I'm up for come colaboration with anyone who would like to make a mock blender "redesign".

Money_YaY!
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Post by Money_YaY! » Mon Oct 17, 2005 9:22 pm

mock or no mock, if ya cant code it 99.99999999 chance it wont be created. No one seems to have the time to expunge a gui builder system, which is sad cause it would go a long ways towards helping out the useful ness of hours of blender useage.

Either way stick to it and see what can come of a new mockup design. :D

That said I could help a little in the photoshoping buttons and stuff

nemyax
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Post by nemyax » Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:56 am

Is it possible to add a drawtype that uses familiar intuitive controls, like those found in OS GUI libraries (Win32 or Motif)?

joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Oct 18, 2005 10:07 am

Blender will get a new gui. But it will be based on the underlaying blender system.
Btw. New Gui is different from new workflow.

Since blender is not build on MEL or Python or Blabla it will keep a static workflow. (untill zuster comes up with yet another smart new idea).

The way buttons (and windows etc) will be drawn is in the hands of a pro, and will be subject of taste. Multiple tastes will enter the blender world.

The possitions where buttons are drawn will change, but pretty fixed, because of the underlying system. Buttons control the functions directly, there is no intermediate language converting the keypress to the system, this makes dynamic button possitioning hard (read impossible). Same goes for hotkeys. That will change, but takes alot of time to get that converted into a dynamic system. (Hurry up! My Maya hand gets stuck in blender!)

I hope this gives you some background on the why and what of the current gui and evolution into the next.

MrMunkily
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Post by MrMunkily » Tue Oct 18, 2005 5:33 pm

Is it possible to add a drawtype that uses familiar intuitive controls, like those found in OS GUI libraries (Win32 or Motif)?
I'd say that this opens up a can of worms. Even if we replaced everything with controls that look more native, they certainly don't feel native, and that creates unnecesary expectations for the behavior of blender's nonstandard buttons/sliders.

That's not to say that blender's GUI has to be ugly, or unstreamlined, or cartoony. But until/unless blender's entire display and event system is completely ripped out and replaced with 3 different versions (Win32, OS X, and X11) I think that it makes sense to keep all the UI controls sensible vis a vis their behaviors. This means that blender's going to stay "different" at least for the forseeable future.

Again, that dosen't mean it can't be fixed up (a lot) but I strongly doubt people are going to want to "go native." As you mentioned, blender dosen't just look out of place on Windows and Mac; it looks out of place on essentially every OS today. Was there ever a GUI on which blender looked native? (Joeri might know the answer to this one)

Enough with the rambling...

joeri
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Post by joeri » Tue Oct 18, 2005 6:44 pm

MrMunkily wrote:Was there ever a GUI on which blender looked native?
Not really, the Sgi windows where all white with red buttons. like this:

Image

cekuhnen
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Post by cekuhnen » Wed Oct 19, 2005 4:26 am

i dont know whats wrong with blenders interface / GUI?

well, the buttons window GUI was nicely redesign, but still thats true
ueses up quite some space or wasts some empty screen space.

to split up the material section with texture section is bad in my opinion
but even in mata you have scroll a lot to get all the infos you need.

on the other hand it also makes sense to sperate them cause there would be to many options for one window.

however what i think is hurting blender or new users more is the
fact that blender has hard coded key bindings.

and not everybody loves x instead of bacjsoace to delete something.


i realy like the flexebility the GUI gives with spliting screens and having
differnt view layouts.

joeri
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Post by joeri » Wed Oct 19, 2005 10:01 am

cekuhnen wrote: however what i think is hurting blender or new users more is the
fact that blender has hard coded key bindings.
I think it's the fact that people can't understand 3d by looking at the interface, and blaim the interface for their lack of motivation to self study.

PolygoneUK
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Post by PolygoneUK » Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:05 pm

joeri wrote:
cekuhnen wrote: however what i think is hurting blender or new users more is the
fact that blender has hard coded key bindings.
I think it's the fact that people can't understand 3d by looking at the interface, and blaim the interface for their lack of motivation to self study.
Oh no, you're at it again, blaming users for any failings in a system's GUI. :roll:

It is certainly not a 'fact' (maybe it's your fact, but that's a highly subjective statement you've used), that users lack motivation to self study because a gui looks or interacts in a difficult manner.

Some people have different approaches to learning. Some read manuals, some need to see features in video tutorials, some need to be shown in person, some like trial & error. No single approach is better than the other.

What should be consistent is the level of documentation available to anyone starting blender.

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