Blender should adopt industry user interface standards

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

Moderators: jesterKing, stiv

fearandloathing
Posts: 0
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2005 2:00 pm

Post by fearandloathing » Sat Jul 01, 2006 5:45 pm

The people who are defending Blender's user interface to the death may do this out of loyalty towards Blender and the developers.
However, they are only hurting Blender in the long run by doing so.
Don't try to fight improvement.
The other reason might be that these people are afraid that giving Blender a sane and intuitive user interface may sacrifice the workflow speed.
The interface can be made more intuitive without sacrificing anything.


The user interface is still the main reason why people get frustrated and give up on blender and dismiss it as a pile of crap and then go on and trash it in cgtalk.com and similar forums before they have even gotten a chance to explore it in depth.

Most users who has already come from a 3d-modeling/animating/whatever background and has chosen to stick with Blender has usually done so after several frustrating, failed attempts.

This is a clear indicator that something is wrong with the interface.

The most common complaint I've heard is that the 3d-cursor concept is flawed and is huge waste of a mouse button wich could have been used for a case-sensitive menu instead, where selection is performed on the left mouse button and the menu pops up on the second.
The 3d-cursor is not important enough to occupy a mouse button.
the 3d cursor tends to be primary reason for panic for new users aswell.

aoe2bug
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 2:31 am
Contact:

Post by aoe2bug » Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:31 pm

The people who are defending Blender's user interface to the death may do this out of loyalty towards Blender and the developers.
Perhaps, but the only reason I've ever defended the UI is because I think the suggested improvements don't go far enough to solve the problem/ aren't well thought out. I support interface changes, but if you want to contribute, then I say make a website/wiki page with your complete proposal*, and accept feedback (and a handful of users have done this)
The other reason might be that these people are afraid that giving Blender a sane and intuitive user interface may sacrifice the workflow speed. The interface can be made more intuitive without sacrificing anything.
A very important point, and I don't disagree; but many of these "must change this UI" feature requests don't show how they are accomplishing this (without sacrifice that is).
Most users who has already come from a 3d-modeling/animating/whatever background and has chosen to stick with Blender has usually done so after several frustrating, failed attempts.
I think I was lucky, I had no 3d graphics experience what-so-ever when I picked up blender, so I never saw it as daunting or unintuitive.
The 3d-cursor is not important enough to occupy a mouse button.
the 3d cursor tends to be primary reason for panic for new users aswell.
The 3d curser is very useful, but I agree I always find it gets in the way when I'm not using it (maybe if we could turn it off when we weren't using it...) but I don't think there needs to be a menu there. (space is good enough)

*complete proposal = screenshots, description of how it should work, why its better, the whole nine yards.

also: I apologize I haven't been following this post all the way, I'm going to go back and read it now; I hope I haven't stepped on anyone's toes.

elander
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:30 pm

Post by elander » Sat Jul 01, 2006 11:34 pm

fearandloathing wrote:The user interface is still the main reason why people get frustrated and give up on blender and dismiss it as a pile of crap and then go on and trash it in cgtalk.com and similar forums before they have even gotten a chance to explore it in depth.
I bet that if we look more carefuly we would see that most people jump into the app without ever reading the basic documentation. The purpose of a graphical gui is not for people to learn how to work with that app just by looking at the menus. It's for people to easly use the app without having to memorize commands and shortcuts. For productivity reasons the fastest way to work is for people to use keyboard shortcuts but when they don't remenber a shortcut they can browse the menus and remenber what they have forgoten.
fearandloathing wrote:The most common complaint I've heard is that the 3d-cursor concept is flawed and is huge waste of a mouse button wich could have been used for a case-sensitive menu instead, where selection is performed on the left mouse button and the menu pops up on the second.
The 3d-cursor is not important enough to occupy a mouse button.
the 3d cursor tends to be primary reason for panic for new users aswell.
The 3d cursor is an helping tool. It's probably an abuse to have the 3d cursor permanetly attached to a mouse button when it's just an helping tool among other possible helping tools that could be there like 3dsmax tape tool. It's a very helpful tool that let us do many things like align objects together or define a free pivot point for certain operations.

As for panicing new users well it's obvious that when we have a gui that looks like an airplane control room it doesn't help. Blender has the possibility to save a screen layout but not to modify menus, view toolbars, button layouts or keyboard shortcuts and this would help a lot. We can't have a gui that pleases all but we could let the user choose the gui that pleases him best. I think this is the future of application guis.

Eternl_Knight
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:22 am

Post by Eternl_Knight » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:05 am

OK, I was going to leave this thread alone as the subject has come up several times before and each time the result was the same (the developers & some forum regulars would deny there was a problem, usually also pointing at me as a "trouble maker").

Well, there was a blog post recently by a developer (of open source software) I respect about the issue, and another well respected open source developer commented on the article agreeing. Given that they're opinions were pretty much exactly those I had, and have had expressed to me by the artists I have convinced to give Blender a try, I thought I'd see if I could bring the issues to the foreground again.

Firstly, I (and others) find the whole "Blender is fast when you get used to it" argument to be unconvincing. I find the command line in Linux to be an incredibly fast tool to use compared to the GUI interfaces available for alot of tasks. I find vi & LaTeX (as in the text/file format) to be quick when creating documents involving mathematical expressions. And so on.

However, if I tried convincing others to use them saying "they are fast when you get used to them", and dismiss the more intuitive / user-friendly applications off-hand because *I* happen to like my tools; I think most would find me arrogant.

Like it or not there are some "defacto" standards both in the 3D application world & in the GUI interface world in general that I (& others in this thread & outside it) feel would make Blender MUCH more useful.

For example, I have seen no other application that "'hides" the user preferences in the same manner as Blender. In fact, nigh on every application gives the user access to the preferences through a "primary menu". This includes everything from text & image editing applications through to games & miscellaneous utilities.

Another example that comes to mind is the selection & context menu dichotomy previously mentioned in this thread. Nigh on every application has the left mouse button (within the editing window) used for selection (be it a file, text / image selection, or an object in a 3D scene). Due to this fact, I can pick up pretty much any application with an editing area an know that I can (by default) select with the left mouse button.

Same with the right mouse button and context menus. Almost every other GUI application the world over uses the right mouse button for a context menu (i.e. depending on the selection, window, etc - a context-sensitive "pop-up menu" will be displayed). This is (in my experience) more universal than the left button 'de facto' standard. I understand that (for some developers) the 3D tool is a great helper. However, I believe (if looked at objectively) that most people will find it is not so central to Blender operations that it deserves to be the default "right mouse button" operation. It is only useful in the 3D views. In the image, uv layout, and IPO views - it has no meaning. Whereas a context menu can be used pretty much everywhere.

There are many other examples relating to the "cockpit view" comments and key mappings. Key mappings, I understand, is going to be looked at soon (and so needs no mention). This is a Good Thing(tm) that I fully applaude and appreciate. The "cockpit view" feel I don't think is going to go away until such time as there is a fully configurable GUI. The reason being that there is ALOT of (mostly boring) work needed to streamline the interface in this regard. Also, from comments expressed by developers & regulars - even if someone were to change this (without the full "configurability" functionality), it would not likely be accepted into the main distro as the most vocal members of the Blender community LIKE the current interface. Full configurability will be needed to allow the "old guns" to keep what they like, while allowing others to improve the interface as they see fit.

My (tentative) idea would be to have the bpython project have EVERY GUI accessible function/property of Blender exposed and then insert a configurable layer between GHOST & the "Blender engine". The interface could then be stored in some set of data files with details on the GUI/menu layout, the Python code to call when the a property is changed / button pushed / menu item selected, and the key mappings. For this end - I would be willing to help out. I have almost a month off "day job" stuff come September (as my forth son is being born) and if desired - I would be more than willing to lend "mental muscle" to the exercise.

--EK

kAinStein
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:08 pm

Post by kAinStein » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:27 am

elander wrote:
Blender is not "standards" compliant
There are no standards in user interfaces. Just look at the latest microsoft office suit. It changed to be much more similar to Blender gui. No more menus and toolboxes.

--snip--

Anyway all this could be solved by users themselves if there was an easy for them (by editing xml files for example) to create their own guis for Blender.
Errr... Have you read my posting? ;)

kAinStein
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:08 pm

Post by kAinStein » Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:55 am

fearandloathing wrote:Don't try to fight improvement.
No one's fighting improvement. Just fighting doing mistakes that have been done in the past.
The other reason might be that these people are afraid that giving Blender a sane and intuitive user interface may sacrifice the workflow speed.
The interface can be made more intuitive without sacrificing anything.
No one has proven yet that the way *some* people want to have the interface is more intuitive. Actually it has been proven that it isn't in most of the parts. And having something unintuitive because others did it that way and you got used to it doesn't seem to be a reason good enough to do those changes!
The user interface is still the main reason why people get frustrated and give up on blender and dismiss it as a pile of crap and then go on and trash it in cgtalk.com and similar forums before they have even gotten a chance to explore it in depth.
So what? I think Emacs is crap but there are loads of ppl thinking it's the best editor/ide/toy/pet/friend. Also I would never again switch to Max because it is crappy in my opinion. Others love it. Does everything have to be the same so it seems to please everybody but everybody complains that's too much irritating information, a menu structure too deep, etc.
Most users who has already come from a 3d-modeling/animating/whatever background and has chosen to stick with Blender has usually done so after several frustrating, failed attempts.

This is a clear indicator that something is wrong with the interface.
It's a clear indicator that people are not used to something different and fear it for that reason.
The most common complaint I've heard is that the 3d-cursor concept is flawed and is huge waste of a mouse button wich could have been used for a case-sensitive menu instead, where selection is performed on the left mouse button and the menu pops up on the second.
What would you put in that popup menu? The content of the SPACE menu? The content of the W menus (case-sensitive: edit mode, object mode)? The content of the M menu? The content of the S menu? Or all together so you definitely would kill all efficiency of the way things are done now in an obscure labyrinth of useless deep menus? If not all together? What's the use of it at all?
The 3d-cursor is not important enough to occupy a mouse button.
the 3d cursor tends to be primary reason for panic for new users aswell.
Says who? IMHO the cursor is a very important tool.

To shorten it: It just seems that this whole thread is not about "improving" Blender but just to produce a cheap Max/Maya/Whatever-you-use replacement... And everyone is pushing in his own direction so he can save his money for the next whatever release... Sorry! That's no improvement at all! Realize that there is a totally different philosophy behind Blender and try to improve the program according to that philosophy in a reasonable way.

Rui

grafixsuz
Posts: 0
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:20 am

Post by grafixsuz » Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:19 am

This topic is never going to go away is it? I mean, yes it is true that blender needs some modifications in this area, but I have not yet seen anyone who is able to design interfaces offer any options that they have come up with. And I am sure most people asking for these changes cannot even know where to begin in redesigning the GUI for blender. I was aware there was an attemp on one of the Tahoppu3 (?) projects a while ago, but had been discontinued after the orange project began. Maybe it has gone one the back burner.

Personally I do get lost around the interface occasionally, but that happens on most apps I have used, and I use XSI and Carrara and recently because it was cheap Hexagon, and they are all very different because quite frankly there is no one set standard GUI for applications.
Although a more professional appearance will appease most new comers, but, personally I prefer blenders workflow as apposed to some other apps out there. And the 3D curser is an invaluable tool once one has wrapped head around what it is there for.

Ton and the team do need to reorganize things better so that it doesn't end up a huge mess in the later versions, but as has already been stated by LetterRip, they are already working on some areas in this regard, so I think we just need to wait and see what is in the works. I am hoping though that a help file system will be added some time in the future so that users who don't have internet access 24/7 can find answers to their problems, this will help out more people to get used the interface as it is vital to any application.

But if you are looking for a better interface, than why don't you get the code, design a better interface than submit your proposals for CC, and see if your version of the interface will be more readily accepted, then you will see how easy a job it is what you guys are asking for.

I am all for better, and more appealing, but I am not a designer or programmer so I cannot personally add any help in this area and since I am using this software at the grace of the blender foundation for free, I suppose I will have to just use what they offer to the community and learn to use it as it is. Blender is a great program, as you all agree, but if you can make it better, why not help out, not just complain and expect others to do all the hard work.

Eternl_Knight
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:22 am

Post by Eternl_Knight » Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:10 am

Well, into the fray I go :)
Actually it has been proven that it isn't in most of the parts
I disagree. What has been proven is that some people prefer Blender the way it is. There doesn't seem to be any "proof" per se either way.

There is some "empirical evidence" that Blender is not more intuitive than other applications. Blender has now been reviewed by alot of people involved in the graphics industry and, to date, I have yet to see anyone OUTSIDE the Blender community praise the Blender interface. I know the "absence of evidence" vs "evidence of absence" argument is going to pop-up, but that is not the point. I am simply refuting the quoted text above.

When you want an honest opinion about something that is based on general opinion (such as "Is this intuitive?"), you need to consult outside your immediate neighbourhood. If I were to only consider the opinions I read on "Flat Earth Society" forums - I too would have to consider that the earth is flat. It's only by asking people outside the "self supporting" environment that one can begin to see the bigger picture.
Says who? IMHO the cursor is a very important tool.
Well, says alot of people. Myself included. If it were such an important tool, one would reasonably assume that at least half the commercial variants would have used the idea (after all, it's not patented). However, aside from initial placement / creation of meshes/objects - there is not much else I have seen it used for.

Let's say I start box modelling something (an incredibly common methodology for creating 3D meshes). Aside from the initial box, how often will you be using the 3D control? Compare that to plausible uses of a context menu.

Let's say I am rigging a skeleton. Aside from initial placement of bones, how often will you be using the 3D control? Again, compare that to plausible uses of a context menu.

Then there are the actions that have absolutely no need for the 3D tool (cutting a mesh for UV layout, UV/texture editing, IPO views, Material/Shader creation, etc.) Because the right mouse button has been dedicated to the 3D tool it becomes counter-intuitive to use it for something else in other views/actions.

Remember that "intuition" is not affected by whether or not one has read the manual by definition, and the term "user friendly" is a superset of "intuitive interface", layout, ergonomic/speedy workflow, etc. As such, not having read the manual does not dismiss the claim of Blender being non-intuitive.
To shorten it: It just seems that this whole thread is not about "improving" Blender but just to produce a cheap Max/Maya/Whatever-you-use replacement
Again, I would have to disagree. People are suggesting the more intuitive / user-friendly options they have experienced in other applications. Sure enough, not everything they suggest is the best option for Blender, but the opposition (i.e. those in this thread stating change is NOT necessary) tend to be ignoring all suggestions because they don't like SOME of them. In fact, near the beginning of this thread - LetterRip pointed out that it appeared joeri was "being contrary for the sake of being contrary". Whenever someone mentions changing the interface - it is that kind of opposition that the person encounters.

--EK

joeri
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jan 10, 2003 6:41 pm
Contact:

Post by joeri » Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:49 am

"Whenever someone mentions changing the interface - it is that kind of opposition that the person encounters. "

That's to simple.
Years people complaint about the blender way of not having overlapping windows, and today all applications pretty much abandomed that as being a good idea.

"If it were such an important tool, one would reasonably assume that at least half the commercial variants would have used the idea".
Not true. Driving on petrol is one of the worst ideas. Still most people do.
It's the industry standard. Much money is being made. Even the president of the united stated has interests in oil. So changing all cars to drive on something better than petrol is not easy, even if everybody knows it would be better.
And that's not how things work in developement anyway. Most things are copied from others. Only a few applications are build from the ground up. Blender being one of them.
And most applications are OS specific. Companies don't want to first write a window system before writting an application. But if they did then I'm sure they would make better applications. Sometimes it's just more handy to use the buttons the develope tool gives you, but in some cases they are not the best for your application.

True, I like to be contrary for the sake of being contrary. It's a way to get grey matter working. If somebody can point out where my argumentation is wrong then that makes the case stated stronger. But history tells that rarely happens.

I find it very unimportant that the blender interface would be intuitive to people outside of the 3d guild. Specialy if that is going to cost speed in workflow.
For example, one of the changes I face in blender today is for example a line drawn in the direction an object is moving if fixed in one direction. This is a new implemented feature to make things easier for none 3d people. The line is drawn OVER the object I'm moving, or even over a vertex I'm moving so I can no longer see the vertex I'm moving. This is implemented as an "improvement". Why? because it makes things easier for people who can't remember which way they locked their movement to... Improvements for amatures, professionals know what they are doing and don't need a line drawn over their vertex.

And that's where it always boils down to in these discussions.
Steep learning curve vs Workspeed.

As to the world being flat... History tells us it's the small group of non conformists that stated the world was round. Not the large "industry standard" group, they all claimed the earth was flat. But bootsman, people who sailed alot, they had another ideas. And true burned for it at first.

"People are suggesting the more intuitive / user-friendly options they have experienced in other applications."
I'm all for that. But I need proof of the suggestion being an improvement to objective standards, not because they are used to the experience in other applications. And there are no objective standards in 3d applications. And I'm not going to adopt text editors standards, or video edit standards without an argument.

But I love that all objects are created on the 3d cursor. That I can snap things to it. And that I can revolve around any point in 3d space by putting the 3d cursor there as a working point.
Most other applications do not not have that because it's a bad idea, it's because most other 3d applications are CAD for plastic. And blender always has been an video animation tool.

Currently I'm creating a Soyuz-Apollo docking scene in Blender and Maya.
I have no troubles with both applications having a different approach in workflow. That's even why I use both. Even if blender did have keybinding I'm not going to change any of them. Just as I'm not changing keybindings of Firefox, Word, Photoshop or AfterEffects. They are all different tools I learned and use just the way they are. Exactly as the *creators* thought would be the best way of using it.

good to have you in the fray :)

elander
Posts: 0
Joined: Sun Dec 19, 2004 4:30 pm

Post by elander » Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:23 pm

Eternl_Knight wrote: My (tentative) idea would be to have the bpython project have EVERY GUI accessible function/property of Blender exposed and then insert a configurable layer between GHOST & the "Blender engine". The interface could then be stored in some set of data files with details on the GUI/menu layout, the Python code to call when the a property is changed / button pushed / menu item selected, and the key mappings. For this end - I would be willing to help out. I have almost a month off "day job" stuff come September (as my forth son is being born) and if desired - I would be more than willing to lend "mental muscle" to the exercise.

--EK
That would be the best solution for Blender. A fully configurable gui trough python is just what Blender needs. I bet that the Blender executable size would be even smaller with an abstract gui api like this and it would benefit everyone. I would like to help but my c programming capabilities are very bad. I sugest you start another thread on the developers section and start doing the modifications yourself if you know how to program in c. Or make an elaborated design doc for the python api changes and then ask for an experienced c programmer familiar with Blender to help.

However i doubt this project will be an easy one. Blender gui code is a mess of old hardcoded guis (see the preferences window for an example) mixed with new gui code.

Blender is also missing some basic functionality for the gui api like lack of vertical orientation for text and buttons, more localization options, multi-line window toolbars with docking properties (drag and drop is cool), more options to customize menu and button borders, font styles, button margins and spacing, a dictionary for key bindings, etc...


Now that we all come to the conclusion that everyone likes/dislikes Blender their own way perhaps we could move forward with this discussion. I also think gui standards are cool when they are cool. I find the left mouse button a bit wasted in Blender but don't miss the contextual menu and because of Blenders complexity this menu would not be very useful. I don't know of any complex modeler that has a useful contextual menu IMO.

A gui is cool when we are used to it and it works well for us better than any standard. A bad gui is a gui that doesn't work well after we read the manual and understand how to work with it. It's naive to think that everything can be made 100% intuitive and that we don't need manuals and tutorials. Blender is not a bad gui it's just unique and requires a couple of tweaks. It requires a bigger effort to learn because of it's alieness and that's why a fully configurable gui can help without alienating anyone for the various reasons presented here.

kAinStein
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:08 pm

Post by kAinStein » Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:33 pm

Eternl_Knight wrote: --snip--
If you've read a previous posting of mine then you would have already know that I have pointed out what intuition is. But people are just mixing it all up!

Now tell me what is more intuitive for the basic manipulations (that's the given example here in this thread): QWERT or SGR etc.?

So that special request was not about a more intuitive interface but just about having a cheap Maya replacement!

Same goes with icons: Does having meaningless icons in favour of clearly named shortkeys make an application more intuitive?

That request isn't about improvement either. It's just about a cheap Max replacement!

Other requests just demand losing a better workflow and ergonomics to make Blender more like any other application (menu structures vs. shortkeys, more visual feedback like icons/buttons/etc vs. a clean interface).

Again: "How can we make Blender more like XYZ?" And that's all people think about improvement! Mostly from people who are not into Blender! Clearly: Reading a documentation is not intuitive! But hell! Do you know *any* 3D package you can do serious work with where you can just jump in and do stuff? You can't do shit in Maya, Max or XSI without reading the documentation, doing (video-) tutorials! That's the weakest point you can bring in favor of those requests that don't demand a more intuitive interface at all !

And as I've already said: I'm not opposed to some changes (e.g. the place of the user preferences or making the shortkeys configurable) - if they're reasonable. But as it sounds most people don't want to work with Blender because it's Blender and it fits best their needs, but more that Blender doesn't need pay! Otherwise you would stay with whatever works for you... If you just need a club you wouldn't grab a hammer, would you?

p.s.: In CAD cursors are quite common and not everyone is doing organics...

Eternl_Knight
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:22 am

Post by Eternl_Knight » Fri Jul 07, 2006 2:52 am

Several replies here, let me sort through them one by one :)

joeri
I often take up the part of Devil's Advocate for the same reason you claim. The thing is that to EFFECTIVELY take up that part of a discussion, you still have to make "reasonable" arguments. That is, a good Devil's Advocate (according to my old english teacher) is one who is not seen as such. His/her arguments are all reasonable enough to have been made by someone NOT being "contrary for contrary's sake".

The reason being - once people start thinking of youor actions as contrary for no reason, they start to ignore you. It's actually why my english teacher gave me said piece of advice. I was alienating those I was trying to influence. *shrug* Just a piece of advice I had yet to pass on to someone, feel free to ignore me on it :)

Onto the actual points made:
Not true. Driving on petrol is one of the worst ideas...
Sorry, your arguing two different things here. The loss of petrol use would disadvantage alot of people in power. As such, they use their power to keep said advantage. Commercial 3D applications have nothing to lose by adopting the 3D tool if it were really an advantage. In fact, if the 3D tool were such an advantage - it would be incredibly stupid not to. As one would assume the smaller / more nimble competitors would adopt anything to give them a leg up (& as yet haven't adopted the 3D tool) - this is emprical evidence against it being a "central function" of Blender. Note I have not said it is useless or that it should be removed - my arguments are for freeing up the right mouse button for something more commonly used.
Steep learning curve vs Workspeed.
Ah, but steep learning curve is EXACTLY the opposite of "intuitive". As such, one cannot argue that Blender is more intuitive than the other applications AND make the above quoted argument at the same time. Most people will (initially) favour inituition over work speed. Why? Because they will become more familiar with the application and become productive sooner. It doesn't matter that when I have a months effort invested I'll be faster - it matters that I cannot do something NOW.
I find it very unimportant that the blender interface would be intuitive to people outside of the 3d guild.
OK, I tried looking at the above statement from every angle and it only comes out (to me) as extremely arrogant. Blender is not the sum total of the "3D guild". Those other applications people say are more "intuitive" & "user-friendly", believe it or not, make up THE MAJORITY of said '3D guild'. As such, if it is not intuitive to them - it's not intuitive to the segment of users you claim to wish targetted.
And I'm not going to adopt text editors standards, or video edit standards without an argument.
Well, you won't accept de facto standards from 3D applications either - so this point is moot. By your own words - there are no "objective standards" for anything. *shrug* As such, there is no way anyone can convince you making this a pointless exercise. It's comments like "most other 3d applications are CAD for plastic" that destroy the benefits one gets from you statements.

elander
Good to see that we agree on some things, eh? :) I 100% agree with everything you said.

kAinStein
Firstly, the argument seems to be mixing "intuitive" & "user-friendly" a little too often. That is something I agree with you on. "QWERTY" is not "intuitive" but it is "user-friendly" due to it's clean ergonomics (kinda like my "WASD" addiction *grin*).

The difference between Blender & Maya on this is the fact that Maya has a set of intuitive icons down the left hand side of the window to enable the user to do those operations before they know the keyboard shortcuts. In Maya there is the choice between an "intuitive" and a "speedy" workflow. In Blender, there isn't. When there is no choice, most people (not all) will choose the intuitive one. I mean, how many people do you know use vi/LaTeX over Word or OpenOffice? I find vi/LaTeX to be the faster combination, but I bet (even if educated on both of them) - most would choose the intuitive option rather than the speedy one.

--EK

kAinStein
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:08 pm

Post by kAinStein » Fri Jul 07, 2006 7:22 pm

Eternl_Knight wrote: joeri
I often take up the part of Devil's Advocate for the same reason you claim. The thing is that to EFFECTIVELY take up that part of a discussion, you still have to make "reasonable" arguments. That is, a good Devil's Advocate (according to my old english teacher) is one who is not seen as such. His/her arguments are all reasonable enough to have been made by someone NOT being "contrary for contrary's sake".
Actually you can convince joeri with good arguments.
The reason being - once people start thinking of youor actions as contrary for no reason, they start to ignore you.
I doubt that this would happen to joeri! ;)
Sorry, your arguing two different things here. The loss of petrol use would disadvantage alot of people in power. As such, they use their power to keep said advantage. Commercial 3D applications have nothing to lose by adopting the 3D tool if it were really an advantage. In fact, if the 3D tool were such an advantage - it would be incredibly stupid not to. As one would assume the smaller / more nimble competitors would adopt anything to give them a leg up (& as yet haven't adopted the 3D tool) - this is emprical evidence against it being a "central function" of Blender. Note I have not said it is useless or that it should be removed - my arguments are for freeing up the right mouse button for something more commonly used.
Well... As I mentioned earlier: 3D cursors are quite common in CAD. It's not a Blender invention!
Ah, but steep learning curve is EXACTLY the opposite of "intuitive". As such, one cannot argue that Blender is more intuitive than the other applications AND make the above quoted argument at the same time. Most people will (initially) favour inituition over work speed. Why? Because they will become more familiar with the application and become productive sooner. It doesn't matter that when I have a months effort invested I'll be faster - it matters that I cannot do something NOW.
The learning curve for Blender is not steeper than for any other full-blown 3D package! This lies in the nature of 3D modelling...
OK, I tried looking at the above statement from every angle and it only comes out (to me) as extremely arrogant. Blender is not the sum total of the "3D guild". Those other applications people say are more "intuitive" & "user-friendly", believe it or not, make up THE MAJORITY of said '3D guild'. As such, if it is not intuitive to them - it's not intuitive to the segment of users you claim to wish targetted.
Did they say that *before* they started using it or after? The people complaining the most are those who are die-hard users of another package that dloaded Blender, started it, looked at it and closed it because it doesn't look like Maya/Max/whatever. (And honestly: Max for example isn't user-friendly at all!) And why? Because they are attracted by Blender because it's free (like beer in this case) and have seen that it can do an extremly good job! Now they are demanding that Blender has to inherit all dumb mistakes done that the package they use have to cripple also Blender! Sorry! That's not only stupid - That actually is arrogant! If they don't like Blender: Stay with Maya!
Well, you won't accept de facto standards from 3D applications either - so this point is moot. By your own words - there are no "objective standards" for anything. *shrug* As such, there is no way anyone can convince you making this a pointless exercise. It's comments like "most other 3d applications are CAD for plastic" that destroy the benefits one gets from you statements.
There are no standards as Jester (I think it was him) demonstrated... This standards discussion isn't about standards but about personal preferences... So this "standards" discussion is total bullshit!
kAinStein
Firstly, the argument seems to be mixing "intuitive" & "user-friendly" a little too often. That is something I agree with you on. "QWERTY" is not "intuitive" but it is "user-friendly" due to it's clean ergonomics (kinda like my "WASD" addiction *grin*).
I don't think that it is really ergonomic because the keys are too close and after a while the left hand seem to get a cramp - and I have small hands! It might be slightly faster than the Blender keys - but I also doubt that one. In my opinion this is just one preference people have. This can be changed with configurable keys which has been announced. So no reason to argue about this one, I think.
The difference between Blender & Maya on this is the fact that Maya has a set of intuitive icons down the left hand side of the window to enable the user to do those operations before they know the keyboard shortcuts.
Maya and intuitive icons?! "s/intuitive/meaningless/"!! The only icons that really are comprehensive are the translation/rotation icons - the rest doesn't mean anything when you look at it! S for scaling, R for rotating, G for grab are also easy to learn and to memorize. But for the rest?

For one part you are saying that the cursor isn't needed at all and occupying a whole mouse button but then you are asking for lots of buttons that don't mean anything but occupy half the screen that could be used for more important things like *real* information. Don't you think you are being a little bit contradictory?
In Maya there is the choice between an "intuitive" and a "speedy" workflow. In Blender, there isn't. When there is no choice, most people (not all) will choose the intuitive one.
Honestly: I'm not opposed to a intuitive interface - but the requests made are just total nonsense. And Maya isn't that much intuitive to justify the demanded changes.
I mean, how many people do you know use vi/LaTeX over Word or OpenOffice? I find vi/LaTeX to be the faster combination, but I bet (even if educated on both of them) - most would choose the intuitive option rather than the speedy one.
Well, vi/Tex vs. Word can't be compared to Maya vs. Blender because TeX is a totally different tool than Word is - though you could use it to do the same job. Try to make a Word document with 500 pages and try to write a short letter complaining about a bad tv program with TeX... So this is quite a dumb comparison - those tools just accomplish totally different tasks... But if you compare vi and joe: Both are editors on a console or terminal and both can be used over a telnet/ secure shell connection. But they follow two different philosophies. Vi has probably the more "intuitive" commands but joe is more userfriendly in my opinion. Some people prefer vi - others prefer joe (like me). But I would not demand that the vi developers incorporate the joe shortkeys and workflow because I'm more used to it. But why use joe and not an editor like kate for example? Kate is probably more intuitive and userfriendly in use - but it misses the efficiency that joe has. So most of the time I use joe in a terminal (or even in the console) because I can work faster with it! Same with shell commands vs. graphical file managers. I use both. But mostly I use the shell.

The same with Blender: If you want a fast workflow and total control of what you're doing then Blender is preferable to Maya. Why give up a better and more efficient workflow just to satisfy people that already have the tool they want? Actually I'm getting really pissed because the latter is the real arrogant behaviour! Blender definitely isn't perfect yet. And yes, it can be made more intuitive and userfriendly. But please! Do it according the philosophy behind Blender and not to have a free (like beer) Maya clone! That's such a stupid thing to do!

Marianne
Posts: 0
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:57 am

Post by Marianne » Sat Jul 08, 2006 1:46 am

that debate goes on for pages and pages - there are the die-hard pros, and there are the die-hard cons... and the lets-make-it-look-like-maya people... did it get anywhere? no

instead of continuing with this totally useless debate, don't you think everyone should just agree to go for customization - so that everyone can make it [a bit more] like they want to?

Eternl_Knight
Posts: 0
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2004 2:22 am

Post by Eternl_Knight » Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:30 am

No offence, kAinStein, but I'm going with Marianne on this one. You either ignored or twisted over half my points to fit your world view.

While there are no "official" or ISO standards for modelling / animation applications - there are a few de facto standards that EVERY other application in the genre i have used BUT Blender has. Right-clicks are a context menu is the best and most ubiquitous one to point at.

However, as Marianne said, there are hard-core cons for the change I will never convince (I believe you are one of them). As such, I think basically the "allow Blender's interface to be customisable" method is the way to go. Then the users can choose which one they find is the better one to use.

If we can customise it to what we fell is best - then none of us have anything to argue about right? You can use it as is, I can change it to meet a workflow I feel better with. Everyone is happy.

--EK

Post Reply