Using Blender's GUI in other projects

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

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Using Blender's GUI in other projects

Post by starless »

Hello, sorry if this is a somehow off-topic question.

I like Blender's GUI quite a lot. I mean, I like the fact that it can be zoomed, moved around and rearranged easily just like a 3D view, that its look can be customized, and that it looks the same on all platforms.

I wondered if the GUI code could be used in other applications (from a technical point of view; legal stuff is a different matter and of course the license for Blender's code would be respected), or if it is too strictly tied to the whole application for this to happen.

I'm not quite a programmer (yet?), but when thinking to some projects for the future it came to my mind that having a GUI like the Blender one would be very nice, especially for GUIs where you have lots of buttons/items at your disposal and you might be interested in taking a glance of them all at once, by zooming out.

Thanks in advance for any info or pointers in this regard.

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Post by Duoas »

I haven't played much with the interface code, but it looks like it's designed with Blender in mind.

I won't speak to its applicability to any given program, but what you want to do would probably require some heavy coding. "Windowed" GUI systems are generally designed around the current paradeigm; you'll have to jump through a few hoops to make it work.

That said, it could be done. Assuming your target application is more general-purpose than a pure OpenGL interface, I'd probably start with the TK (as in Tcl/Tk) graphic toolkit. It is designed to embed in C/C++ programs, and comes standard with many other scripted programming languages (like Python, Ruby, Pearl, etc.). TK has a very powerful mechanism for arranging widgets that might be put to use. If I remember right, you can also set a TK window to be an OpenGL portal... if I remember right.

Whatever the case, some core event/windowing programming will be needed, and it's not a walk in the park for an experienced programmer, let alone a beginner.

As for legality, I don't think there's anything stopping you from using the concept. Blender has no copyright on it (it's been used before in other, pre-blender applications, with varying degrees of commonality). If you scavenge Blender's sources for the code to do it though, you'll have to abide by the GPL license.

Hope this helps.

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Post by kakapo »

of course blender has a copyright on it. gpl without copyright isn't possible. without copyright blender would be in the public domain.
...or if it is too strictly tied to the whole application for this to happen.
yes, i think so!

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Post by LetterRip »

I think he meant there was no design patent on the interface.


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Post by elander »

Is there any design doc for Blender user interface ? I too would like to build a similar interface and if there was a detailed design doc it would save me a lot of time building one.

Edit: I think i have found what i was looking for already

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