What about a new GUI?

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

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Joe Cool
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Post by Joe Cool »

I agree that it may take a while before this happens, I am just trying to bring attention to the problems and ask for them to be fixed. In an open source program if no on says anything then nothing will get done. I have learned that after sitting around and waiting for features that had been "asked for before" It wasn't here and I wont mention where it has happened because I don't believe it is anyones fault I just know that the more people that ask the more likely it will be done.

That said I think that the problem with blender is as you said.

For the file browser I recommend something like the way Apple does it (no I am not just advocating an Apple redesign I just haven't seen one I liked more.)

When you open/save/place file management dialogue looks like the screenshot below. It could also follow the windows style if people were more comfortable and in reality they aren't that different.

Image

As far as the other windows that is what I was recommending an Aperture like GUI for. If you look at the pictures on Apple's website you can see how the content is fit to each pane tightly so as not to allow covering.

I would be happy to help in any way I can. However I cannot code. If someone wanted to work with me I could design a UI and talk with them and others to get the most widely helpful UI. The point is not to take coders away from making great work the point is to make them able to do more in less time.
Joe Cool
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elander
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Post by elander »

Joe Cool wrote:I agree that it may take a while before this happens, I am just trying to bring attention to the problems and ask for them to be fixed. In an open source program if no on says anything then nothing will get done. I have learned that after sitting around and waiting for features that had been "asked for before" It wasn't here and I wont mention where it has happened because I don't believe it is anyones fault I just know that the more people that ask the more likely it will be done.
There is a feature request log in the Blender site. I think your requests will be posted in there if they arent already. If this is the case you can email the person in charge. Try this link:

http://www.blender3d.com/cms/Feature_Re ... 500.0.html

If you don't see anything in the log or you think the request there is does not exactly explain what you wish i sugest you make a clean thread in these forums called "Feature Request: something" and explain your requests there with lots of screenshots and examples.
Joe Cool wrote: When you open/save/place file management dialogue looks like the screenshot below. It could also follow the windows style if people were more comfortable and in reality they aren't that different.

Image
I wouldn't mind having a file dialogue like that. But there should be an option in the preferences to let the user select if he wants the dialog window to use one of the views or to float in front of all windows.
Joe Cool wrote: As far as the other windows that is what I was recommending an Aperture like GUI for. If you look at the pictures on Apple's website you can see how the content is fit to each pane tightly so as not to allow covering.
Making Blender button panels fit tightly in the window is a good thing. You can already do this by hand if you move the cursor on top of the buttons window and use Ctrl+Alt-MMB and drag to zoom the buttons in or out. This way you can make the panel borders tighly fit in window space. The Home key already does this but it leaves some empty border that may not be desirable.

Ignore what i said in the previous post about the panels no scrolling to fill empty space correctly when in a vertical window. You use the RMB inside the buttons window to bring up a menu that will let you set the panels alignment to vertical and they will work correctly this way. The only problem is the buttons in the window title bar that were aligned for an horizontal window.

You can also drag panels out of a panel group into another panel group or to the outside. You can shrink them and the rest of them will move to left to fill the empty space. But since there is no minimum window space or a minimum resolution like in the Apples when you shrink them too much they simply hide the buttons text.

If you think that buttons still use too much space you can create a new theme where you can remove the empty extra space from around the buttons. Just go to the preferences buttons click Theme and press Add and edit your new theme.

http://www.blender.org/docs/2.30_releas ... _2.30.html

http://www.blender.org/docs/UI/ui_redesign2.html
Joe Cool wrote: I would be happy to help in any way I can. However I cannot code. If someone wanted to work with me I could design a UI and talk with them and others to get the most widely helpful UI. The point is not to take coders away from making great work the point is to make them able to do more in less time.
For that you have to send a email to someone in charge of recruiting new menbers or request to join the mailing lists.

Im not a Blender developer but i have used Blender for years to make all kind of stuff like game movies, levels, maps. Its gui has evolved a lot and should continue to evolve of course.

Joe Cool
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Post by Joe Cool »

Thank you for letting me know how to work on this stuff. I will try to get that added. Also thanks for the tips. I haven't used blender long enough to know all of the little tricks specific to it. I figured out how to make a new theme but I can only change the colors not the sizes and orientations. Is there a way to do that?
Joe Cool
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Joe Cool
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Post by Joe Cool »

So I looked around for a long time and I finally found a dl for Tohupuu 3 for Mac OS X. I dled it and loaded it. Much nicer. The buttons are smooth and it is not so wearing on my eyes. So then I went and made an aquaesque theme to work with it. Still looks good. Only one problem that still bothers me. If you look at the screenshot below you can see on each side of the panels in the bottom pane you can see the huge wasted space. This is my biggest problem with blender so far. As you can see I have plenty of room for buttons but instead they have to be really tiny and hard to see. If there was some way to fix this so that I could see the buttons that would be really nice. I don't have any solutions right now except maybe tabs or connecting the panels to the header but if anyone does have a solution it would be greatly appreciated.

Image
Joe Cool
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elander
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Post by elander »

Joe Cool wrote:Is there a way to do that?
You can change the form of the buttons but not the spacing between buttons or the orientations.
Joe Cool wrote:Only one problem that still bothers me. If you look at the screenshot below you can see on each side of the panels in the bottom pane you can see the huge wasted space.
You could subdivide that window and use the space for something else. And those panels in the button window are not zoomed to the max available space. The advantage of Blender is that it lets you arrange your windows in whatever way you want and save it with a name.

If we are considering space optimizations the tool and menu bar consume and waste a lot of interface space. They could be more compact have half the height and still be readable. Long menus in horizontal windows often waste a lot of space. Perhaps something can be done about this.

Cinema4d an interface similar to blender:
http://maxon.net/pages/products/c4d/ima ... shot_e.jpg

And it still suffers from similar problems. Look at how much space is wasted in title and menu bars.

Joe Cool
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Post by Joe Cool »

I did think about the menu bars. If you look at my screenshot all of the menus I can turn off are off. I think that the rounded corners on them are pointless because the window covers up the area between the rounding anyways. On the menubar of the window I like the rounding because it is aesthetically pleasing but here it serves no purpose. I also think that as you said they could be half as tall and be just as usable. Another thing is that the buttons could be built to fill the whole menubar. There is no reason for them not to. If you look at the GUI for Aperture you can see this for example in the '+' button in the albums window.

http://www.apple.com/aperture/gallery/

There are small things like that that I had mentioned before to save space.
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celeriac
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Post by celeriac »

"I don't like apples. Why can't apples taste like strawberries ? I like strawberries. Or nuts - I like nuts, especially peanuts - why can't apples taste and look like peanuts ? Why can't apples taste, look and smell like peanuts ?"

Joe Cool
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Post by Joe Cool »

As I said I am not advocating the apple GUI. I want a cleaner more space wise interface that is easier to use. Personally I like apples peanuts and strawberries. All organic of course though. To me it doesn't matter what it looks like exactly so long as it is easy to use and the GUI doesn't get in my way. I also however don't want the GUI burning my eyes out because of pixelation before I can do anything.
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pasmoi
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Post by pasmoi »

PolygoneUK wrote:
joeri wrote:O, don't click on the little buttons! (crazy people), use 1 to 9 keys and with shift to append selection.
Okay then. Since you've admitted to being a bit of an old-timer, perhaps you can explain then why 20 little buttons exist IN blender if we 'crazy' user-type folk aren't supposed to click them?
How that's easy to explain !

At first a coder in the blender original team wanted layers, and added them, without even the little buttons, then he find out that it was a bit confusing and that the layers state needed to be shown in a non fashion way, so at first he made 20 huge realtime raytraced arithmetic chrome spheres reflecting the interface, he found out imediatly that this was taking to much place on the screen and waaaaaaaaayyyy to much time to render ( remember that this was all before the Y2K bug ).

So instead he added little non-clickable OpenGL squares, though the spheres were great ...

Foreseing the future ( this coder was a former Amigan I think ) he did think that end user would want to click on them like "crazy people" (©joeri) and thus the layers button were born !

Anyway, there's so much points of views about interfaces, how can blender unite them all ?

maybe we should seriously think to make 2 version of blender, one for girls, one for boys ... Can my cat have one too ?

I didn't set topic on this post, I hope it will end up were it should be ... I'm a newbie on this forum, so please forgive my mistake, but I did have to test it anyway ...

Have a nice day !
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pasmoi
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Post by pasmoi »

PolygoneUK wrote:As for your brain activity. I couldn't care less. You are older (but not necessarily wiser) than I, obviously had your prime years long ago, and are aged and stuck in your ways now.
I'm not sure that he is old and stuck in his ways, he got HIS point of view, and you may just not understand it.
PolygoneUK wrote:Any people in here REALLY interested in contributing towards making blender better?
Me, but in the matter of layers I may just end up saying the same as Joeri : It's good enough for me now, need no more about that ... Been using the layers this way for years, so why change ?

Labeling layers ?
Why not use your memory to remembers what's in the layers ? I'll do that all the time ( this may explain why I put everything in one layer ... )

So MY point here is, how do you have a blender that fit 'oldschool' needs and 'newschool' needs ?

How to have blender to fit radically different approach, different way of working in 3D CG ?

What is good with blender, for me, is the ability to customize the interface, which was a great deal back at the pre 2.X blender time.

Any good GUI inovation must NOT wipe out the older way of doing it, if possible.

But then it the preference panel that grows out of control ...
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pasmoi
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Post by pasmoi »

joeri wrote:
Zingam wrote:If all computer scientist, computer programmers and computer users thought that nothing needs innovation and improvement and further development and experimenting new ideas, we would have still be stitting in front of green displays just like we did 20 years ago or even there would be 5-6 computers in existance in some creepy government institutions and nobody would could have imagined that 3D graphics could be possible.
Without innovation there would have been no computers.
no wheels either, and of course, no atomic bomb ...

but I'm a bit off topic here ...
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pasmoi
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Post by pasmoi »

Joe Cool wrote:I for one am also very glad that this is getting some attention. I have since the beginning had trouble with Blender's GUI. It isn't clean and it doesn't match anything. One thought that I had is that we could built a "theme" for each platform. The GUI would be the same except that we would have a folder of images that would be used that would be different on each platform. If one wanted to use the GUI for a platform other than what they were using now they could change it in prefs. I would be happy to draw the images for the Mac platform if someone would work with me to code it. I also saw a GUI that reminded me of blender but that was much cleaner and not so space wasting, Aperture from Apple. Go check it out. I think that this would make a really cool GUI for blender. The other reason for themes is that anyone could make a theme for it and use there own.
I personnaly like the fact that blender has the same interface on all plateform, and I'd like to get rid of bitmap and get a full vector based interface, it's OpenGL after all, zooming zooming zoooooooming, just like these damn good SGI icon in the 4Dwm window manager !!!

Why can't I make a 640x480 icon on my Bi G4 1,25 Gzh Mac ?
I was able to do that on my 7Mzh Amiga 500 ...
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pasmoi
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Post by pasmoi »

Joe Cool wrote:I would be happy to help in any way I can. However I cannot code. If someone wanted to work with me I could design a UI and talk with them and others to get the most widely helpful UI. The point is not to take coders away from making great work the point is to make them able to do more in less time.
You know I was thinking about making a fake blender interface to show concepts and the like, interested ?

I mean it's far better than typping endless post to try to explain oneself point.
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AndyD
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Post by AndyD »

Many "problems" could be solved if Blender used double-clicks. Then you could have your buttons window at the bottom (where most seem to have it) and have it open open or close when you double-click its header bar. This could be carried through to all windows above it and below the 3D window So in your screenshot example, you'd double-click the timeline header bar and it would collapse both it and the butons window to the very bottom. Double click the header again to expand the TL window or D-Click the 3D header to expand it.

But Blender doesn't use double-clicks for anything - not even opening files :(

I don't think there'll ever be a perfect design. Adobe used to boast about their "Award-Winning Schema" which involved almost everything being accessed through a floating palette - but my God there were a lot of floating palettes and it often felt like they were all open at once. Sure, they docked with each other and the collapsed if you double-clicked them but it seemed like you were always opening and closing individual paletted to achive simple tasks.

The new Adobe side-dock system (Adobe InDesign) is a vast improvement and you can choose to have your most-used palettes stick as defaults - but you still end up going from palette to palette to palette to make a few adjustments.

After years of trying to find "where I moved that palette to" in Adobe softwares, I'm beginning to find the versatility of Blender's default windows setups unusually appealing. Maybe we could have a "favourites" window where we could put our most-used palettes all together?
Andy D

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pasmoi
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Post by pasmoi »

AndyD wrote:Many "problems" could be solved if Blender used double-clicks. Then you could have your buttons window at the bottom (where most seem to have it) and have it open open or close when you double-click its header bar. This could be carried through to all windows above it and below the 3D window So in your screenshot example, you'd double-click the timeline header bar and it would collapse both it and the butons window to the very bottom. Double click the header again to expand the TL window or D-Click the 3D header to expand it.
Then you have to learn which buttons are double-clickable and which are not, you end up in the "get used to it" (©joeri) category.

Is there really a logic behind the double-click mechanism ?
It seems obvious for most people that get easily used to it, but not for other, which are of course minorities, like old peoples, this brings philosophic question that I found interresting.

Going a step further in the double-click way, you can then add triple-click and then mix multiple click with multiple buttons, these are for advanced "dance dance revolution" elite, I admit it :-)

But then again, where is the limit for who ?
AndyD wrote:But Blender doesn't use double-clicks for anything - not even opening files :(
It use third button single-click, which double the productivity !!!
AndyD wrote:I don't think there'll ever be a perfect design. Adobe used to boast about their "Award-Winning Schema" which involved almost everything being accessed through a floating palette - but my God there were a lot of floating palettes and it often felt like they were all open at once. Sure, they docked with each other and the collapsed if you double-clicked them but it seemed like you were always opening and closing individual paletted to achive simple tasks.

The new Adobe side-dock system (Adobe InDesign) is a vast improvement and you can choose to have your most-used palettes stick as defaults - but you still end up going from palette to palette to palette to make a few adjustments.

After years of trying to find "where I moved that palette to" in Adobe softwares, I'm beginning to find the versatility of Blender's default windows setups unusually appealing. Maybe we could have a "favourites" window where we could put our most-used palettes all together?
Blender could keep record of the use of the palette and have a special panel with a list of the most used one or the last used one.

it can also sort the last two list within a context, so that for exemple the list would be different if we are in edit mode or not ...

blender could even learn our way of using itself, and 'guess' what panel we are going to need in the work flow ?

sound like a bit of sci-fi now but then blender was total sci-fi 15 years ago.

What about a zooming stuff like that Apple dock ? so you don't even have to click on it ? with a user setting time delay so that the whole interface don't jump around at the slightest mouse movement ?
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