So, when you are bored then:
joetainment wrote:Blender should adopt industry user interface standards:
What industry user interface standards? The Apple, Adobe or Microsoft ones?
joetainment wrote:Blender is .. non-standard, .. terminology that .. standardized across .. 3D packages,
Ideally,... Blender UI .. reflect industry standards more closely.
-Users will learn to use Blender, because interface elements will look and behave the way they are used to.
You are confusing me.
Industry standard 3d applications like Maya, Xsi and Max also have (os / other app) non-standard gui.
-Novice and advanced users will be able work more quickly, because the interface will be intuitive. Even features that users have no experience with will be more self explanatory.
I don't believe this to be true, Workflow will not be intuitive because a button looks like the os.
-By having strong user interface guidelines, new UI components can be designed by referencing guidelines, resulting in more consistent design for new interfaces.
As far as I know there are already strong user interface guidelines.
-The UI will have an look that is self consistent, and similar to the rest of the 3D application community.
GUI has a look, UI does not. Again, did you have a look at the rest of the 3D apps?
-Users of other 3D software, especially high end software, and major studio professionals, will take Blender more seriously, because its interface will reflect the fact that it has been designed in accordance with common industry workflows and standards.
Major studio professionals take online support serious, they don't care much about the package used as long as there problems can get fixed.
Currently this means asking questions at elysiun (I rest my case).
What major studio is this anyway? Pixar et al? They need transparent connection to their render farm (ever seen screenshots of the marionette software they use?)
What follows are several suggestions for improvements, and the beginning of a proposal to make Blender more user friendly, and more similar to other standardized ways of working.
Still assuming standardized is better, although you did not bring a single proof for that.
Obviously, Blender does some things better than other packages, and nothing here is meant to imply that Blender should become a carbon copy of anything else. However, we should search for useful standards, and professional ways of working, and when we discover useful trends, we should make Blender fit with those trends.
Other software consulted for these proposals includes: -3dsmax -Maya -Softimage 3.9 -XSI -Wings 3D -K3D -Modo
? Strange, I see lot's of different GUI when I open each of those apps, and lot's of different UI. All different from O.S. and other apps like Word, Dreamweaver, Flash and Photoshop.
Every other 3D app uses Blenders "turntable" viewport navigation as the default setting. Blender's View Rotation > Turntable should be active by default.
Maya does not have a blender camera, if they did I'm sure that would be their default.
The default mouse button for selection should be changed to being LMB. The fact that it hasn't already been changed is a sign that consistency for older users is being prioritized over good, consistent, intuitive, interface design.
Almost every program, 3d or not, uses the LMB to select things.
Forcing a brand new user, who doesn't even know where to find the preferences, to use RMB to select things is a bad plan. Experienced users who like using RMB to select will know where to go to change the preferences.
This is dogma over intellect. The action used most should be the easiest to access. If that means selection I'm all for it, but more likely it should be context sensitive (as in modo). Other software does not do much more then selection with the mouse (Apple even thought one button would be enough) so obviously thats under the first mouse button.
In general, a change in philosophy is needed for the Blender User Interface. In order to fix it, from feeling "weird" compared to other software, the defaults should be changed, so that Blender, out of the box, feels normal to someone who has never used it.
How does this compare to other 3d apps. Does Xsi not feel weird or Maya?
I know some friends who saw me using modo and said: "wauw, cool, can I try?" Only to be trowing away the mouse after a few moments.
This is more important than. If you want to maintain setting for old Blender users, have some sort of preference to set everything to the old method, perhaps even an option included in the installer.
So what changes are you talking about then? If it's still possible to keep the "old" settings. Does this involve even more work just to maintain two interfaces? Or are the changes only cosmetic?
In default, you don't want the old bizarre way of doing things to remain the default just because people are used to it. Inconsistent user interface design should be considered a bug. Just because people are used to a bug, that doesn't make it any less of a bug.
It doesn't make it a bug by using the word twice in one sentence.
Just because something is weird does not mean it's a bug.
I think more than anything else, this frame of thinking has to be adopted for Blender to make more sense to ordinary people,
joetainment wrote: and especially users of other industry standard software.
Software like blender needs to be conceived from a vision, a vision on how a workflow should look like and that vision needs to be implemented. If that means breaking "industry standard software" then so be it. If "ordinary people" don't understand it, so be it. I don't think they will be creating an Elephants Dream soon anyway, with or without a "weird" interface.
Most creative and successful (professional) people create their own tools anyway. Most of those tools are result driven, not "ordinary people" compatible.
Relocate the preferences
Put the preferences somewhere sensible where a beginner can find them:
The preferences in Blender are in the strangest place I can imagine... above the menu bar.
Sure. That's where Maya has it.... Hmmm.... So much for
They should be relocated, maybe under file (or edit) > preferences,
So? What is the industry standard? File or Edit?
or even a preferences section in the buttons window.
It's getting silly. What do you think the Preference option in the header popup of the button window stands for?
If it is important to maintain a "panel" for the preferences, I suggest having an option in the menu that switches to a screen layout which shows the preferences, and in addition, an obvious button to get back to the previous screen layout.
Blender is based around the "as much areas as you want" and the "the area can be anything you want" system. Sure this is non-standard and gives to much freedom for people who are used to their industry standard apps. More and more apps are coming to this system. Flash, dreamweaver etc now have detachable functional areas that one can put where one wants. Still no more then one of each them, so if I want two views on my lib then to bad, but maybe soon they will adopt this as well.
Maya can change any area into one of the functions, but only the views can hold multiple instances. Pity. Blender is far better with letting all the areas give me any view (in any zoom) I want.
No dumb, "Let the computer control the input flow" issues.
"First give me the bla, then the bla then the bla, thank you" might be very "easy to understand" but dumb down the user.
Right now its nearly impossible for someone who has never used blender before to guess where the preferences are. Most people aren't familiar with paneled applications, and even in many paneled applications, preferences are not shown in such a panel.
So what? Now it nearly impossible for someone who has never used a car to drive in traffic. Make all cars easier dumber is not the solution.
This is made even more serious by the fact that preferences in Blender need a lot of changing for the software to become usable/intuitive for beginners or users familiar with other 3D apps.
Selection should be the default tool.
One major source of frustration in Blender is the bizarre method of selecting things. The "b" hotkey needs to be pressed to draw a selection marquee. And to draw lots of marquees, the user has to keep pushing "b". This is very frustrating.
At least it's a non-modifier. Meaning I don't need to hold it as long as I'm doing a selection. Less stress on my hand. Other apps should adapt this system.
Mostly, this stems from the fact that select is not the default tool.
If no other tool is being used. The selection tool should be active, it should be possible to click to select an object, and drag to draw a selection marquee.
I like the placement of the 3d cursor.
This means I can add objects in the 3d space it needs to sit, and not being moved from origin to it's correct spot.
I think the 3d cursor could do more.
As a good example of how standardized this is, it even works in firefox (selecting text). It works in open office, it works in GIMP. It should work in Blender.
As far as I know the LMB places the cursor somewhere, (you can try it in your reply, that thing that looks like |, click any where in your response box and see that you've move the cursor. Just as in blender. Selecting is activated ones you start to drag.
As another example, other software also follows this pattern. In most 3D programs, when no other tool is active, the selection tool is active. See the following applications:
-Maya -XSI -3dsmax -Wings3D -K3D
Almost true. In maya selecting is a tool. (if you set your preferences to "everything is a tool") just as move, scale and rotate. On startup this tool is default selected. But after choosing a rot, scale, move tool you need to set Maya in selection mode yourself, while in blender selection is always possible, no matter what. Let's keep it that way, it's a far superior system.
joetainment wrote:Hard and Soft Edges
This might be more of a feature request than an interface thing, but it is a place where Blender diviates from standardized methods of working.
Hard and Soft edges - most programs use hard or soft properties per edge to determine object smoothing. Blenders set Smooth and Set Solid buttons seems to affect the whole object. I think this is a very important part of functionality missing from Blender. Its one of the most fundamental aspects of modeling, and something people just assume is present in evey 3d package. (3dsmax uses perface smoothing groups instead, an inferior method, but giving the same kind of control.) Perhaps this exists in Blender somewhere with a name I don't understand? Just thought I'd mention it anyway.
I'm all for buttons cutting up the model for you, but let's not pretend smooth/hard is much more then a copy of the vertices of hard edges. Very easy to do in blender. And more to the point ass well. Just cut the faces you need to be hard.
Maya's interface towards normal treatment is hardly industry standard.
It's by far silly. I suggest you all ( game programmers and 3d low poly model makers) move away from this way of working. Stop saving a face normal of all connected faces in a vertex... It's a waiste of memory space.
joetainment wrote:Terminology Changes
Below, the Blender word comes first, suggested change and explaination follow.
Edit mode - Component mode. "Edit" itself isn't very meaningful, since in Blender were's always editing things. Universally, verticies, edges and faces are known as components of objects. Some people also call them subobjects, but I think component is clearer and more standardized. Also, its useful as a noun because I can say, "scale that objects components to be larger" but it sounds stupid to say, "scale that objects edits to be larger". Component is an easy way to refer to verts, edges, and faces collectively.
Except it now applies to all areas of blender, not only the 3d objects.
Edit is very meaningful, it's an action. It just does not fit the other mode words.
"Rem Double". - Weld verticies. Every other package calls this function "Weld Verticies" or "Merge Verticies". Either name would be fine. Now, I did notice that "Merge" was present in the actual menu, which is good, but it hasn't been fixed in the button window. Remove doubles should probably be renamed "Merge verticies by distance", "Merge by threshold" or something similar.
I think maya should change "Merge vertices by distance" to "remove doubles". It's intended to remove vertexes that sit on the same 3d space.
Merge vertices is for user selected vertexes where ever they are.
lamp - should definitely be renamed to light light types - the regular type should get a name such as "omni" or "point" In most software, standard light types are usually omni/point, spot, directional/infinite and hemilight/skylight.
Lamp is the object, light is the action.
Camera is the object, picture is the action.
Frankly, other 3d apps should adapt to blender to be more consistent.
Relative Vert Keys - two possible terminologies... Morph animaton, morph targets, etc, or Blend Shapes, Blend shape target etc... Morphing or Shape animation are the common words used to discuss these types of effects.
What's your point here, there is no industry standard is there?
Common used? Nonsense, Maya uses one, Max uses another, Xsi has yet a third. Relative vertex keys is just fine. You made vertex poses, you have keys that uses the poses relatively. As apposed to Absolute vertex keys who move from key to key.
Why does Maya call absolute object keys 'keys' and relative object keys
'Parent weighted'? How is that intuitive and why should blender comply to that?
IPO - this has to be one of the worst names in Blender. I don't even know what it stands for. Animation Curve, or Function Curve are both fairly standard names. I prefer animation curve.
Now I get it, it's the worst because *you* don't know what it stands for.
Are you aware that computer animation in contrast to handmade animation lives by the graze of keyframe interpolation?
Location - should be position (or translation, but in general, I reccoment position because its a bit more user friendly. Most other software packages use position or translation, not location. Even Blender itself is inconsistent in this regard, since many python commands exist like getPosition(). In general, when something has a name, the interface should attempt to always call it the same thing.
Size - Scale. This needs to be changed badly.... because scale is so much more correct in describing what this does. Every other pakages uses the word scale.
Center - Some software uses the word center... but it can be inconsistent and unclear, since it can refer to either the physical center, or a user specified pivot. I would personnally suggest changing this to "pivot" which has a very clear meaning in most software, being the user defined pivot point, and not just the geometric center of an object. Also, the Centre, Centre New and Centre Cursor button shoud be relabled and made more clear. "Pivot to Object Center". Also, there is a pivot menu already in Blender, two buttons to the right of the "object mode" button. To be more specific, we might want to specify between object pivot point, and important property of an object, and the tools pivot point, which is generally a temporary thing used for editing.
LSCM mapping - Pelt Mapping or Unfold mapping. I prefer pelt mapping, popularized by 3dsmax and quickly becoming a word industry people use a lot. I like the fact that Blender mentions the actual scientific name, but it isn't very friendly. I would suggest mentioning the LSCM name in the tooltip or something.
I don't have a real opinion about this. Except apparently it's okay to use a wrong name as long as most people use the wrong name.
joetainment wrote:Hotkey and Interaction Changes
A lot of the hotkeys in Blender seem to be very poorly thought out. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that no individual has ever sat down, and truly, "designed" the hotkeys to work well.
No, we did all our work standing, because in the Netherlands there are no chairs.
joetainment wrote:When new features get created, the hotkeys typically get "tacked on", probably because you don't want to break compatibility with existing hotkeys.
joetainment wrote:At some point in the future, a major hotkey overhaul should occur, probably at the same time that the UI overhaul you mentioned will occur.
It's no use creating another set of hotkeys (other packages call them shortcuts) making everybody who is happy with the set to learn the new set. Better is to wait untill the hotkeys get user definable.
joetainment wrote:Also, if flexible hotkeys are allowed, then you can still keep an option to use the old hotkeys instead, also, anyone that doesn't like the hotkey layout can use the other ones.
For certain things, certain hotkey standards have started to emerge. Whever possible, standardized hotkeys should be used.
joetainment wrote:q,w,e, and r are the most important standard
joetainment wrote:They should be q - select tool w - move tool manipulator e - rotate tool manipulator r - scale tool manipulator
I already stated why I'm against selection as a tool.
joetainment wrote:Other software that has adopted these hotkeys: Maya 3dsmax XSI - not the default setting, but XSI has an easy option that allows users to choose this mode. K3D
Xsi has assignable hotkeys, so a maya setting can be made.
Then again in Maya and Xsi the blender settings can also easely be made.
Modo does not default to qwer, as it defaults to lightwave settings.
And I guess you do not have a french keyboard?
joetainment wrote:The idea behind the qwer hotkeys is that they are all together under one hand, and perform the most frequently used operations, second only to viewport navigation, (which ideally, should require no keyboard use). Also, with fingers on qwer keys, the shift, ctrl and alt keys are readily accessible, as well as tab, spacebar, esc and the function keys f1-f4. The qwer hotkeys are very well thought out and exist for good reason.
So did you find out the T already? I'm not sure how these are intuitive though. Seems like "learning" to me. I would think it makes more sense that R rotates and S scales. Just as O Opens a file and U does an Undo.
So,... if Maya moves away from intuitive than it's okay,... this doesn't gives you a strong case on the 'weird' interface part of your story.
If you think about the Blender hotkeys, q, w, e and r, they don't do anything important.
"q" for example is quit. As a general user interface rule, an unmodified hotkey should never be used to quit an application. Its too easy to accidentally hit. If you accidentally follow a "q" press with an enter press, or even a mouse click, you are screwed, and will loose a bunch of work if you haven't just saved! Q should obviously be changed.
"w" is Boolean. How commonly used is a boolean? Not very. One of the first things you learn in most modeling programs is too avoid using Booleans whenever possible, because of the generally messy geometry produced, and the Subdivision surface unfriendly geometry they create. Boolean isn't important enough to justify an unmodified hotkey.
"e" doesn't appear to do anything by default in object mode, and is extrude in edit/component mode. Extrude is definitely less important than rotate, so the extrude hotkey could be moved elsewhere.
Thus, since all these keys could be easily changed, adopting the standard qwer layout should be easy.
Even more importantly, standardized hotkeys, like ctrl-c and ctrl-v should always be used, instead of strange combinations like alt-c and alt-v.
As "easy" as breaking all current documentation, that most people who really want to learn blender do read.