2.81 development; UI/UX

2.80 is out, but UI/usability is still an active subject that has just seen its first new commits to master.

First up is an improvement of the gradient UI for sculpting/painting brushes.

This was immediately followed by making the UI of the Text editor more like the rest of 2.8 (as it was generally unfinished).

This will be a thread that follows the continuation of the philosophy of 2.8 being “the workflow release” as we are starting to see.


Ping me when they fix the sculpt mode. :sleeping:

It’d be great to have workflow dependent addon groups, easily switch sets of addons on and off or bind them to workspaces.

Also, somewhat related to that, that N panel clutter is getting out of hand.

You can bind add-ons to workspaces in 2.80.

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Thanks, this is awesome! Why haven’t I tried this yet? :smiley: Works like a charm. Would be worth putting that into the documentation.


William’s 2.81 plans :slight_smile:



Glad they are still on it. I hope the sidebar gets some love, its a disaster at the moment if you have more than a few addons. We need to be able to rename the tabs and specify the size of the tabs. We also need to have multiple sidebars as well.

Well, it was pretty close. :smile:

We’ll get there :wink:


What do you mean by that? Do you mean having the ability to stack multiple editors into one frame? That should be easy, by default each frame can be switched to any editor. It’s like having every editor stacked into the same spot at once:

So all we would need is something that can add “shortcut” buttons next to that button inside the header. Maybe holding ctrl while selecting an editor type could add a button for the last editor as well as a button for the new editor there:

I proposed this idea in the old blender 2.8 UI discussion mega thread. This is probably something that can be done right now in python since the interface is defined in it. I’d be surprised if someone doesn’t make an addon for this.

I just used pie menu editor to edit the Pie menu, but I can’t share my pie menu with others like a blender theme , so I wonder if there could be a function that we could share our pie menu just like share a theme.

A true tab-based UI has a lot more implications, for things like how you re-arrange the layout, how you create a new editor, and may other things.

There are some tradeoffs: You pay a small price in some lost vertical space for the tab region, which you could then potentially win back by keeping more editors docked, rather than always open.

It’s a different approach to making a non-overlapping subdivision-based UI, which in general is a lot easier to use, and would make it a lot easier to re-arrange things.

But to implement this well, it’s more work than a quick Python-based hack.


actually u can.
just export the whole thing. I believe it returns a json file which anybody with the addon could import and would have ur stuff.

I’d like to see editor tabs as well, even though right now I have my switch shortcuts to circumvent that (tab in outliner switches to properties, tab in graph switches to dopesheet, etc).

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addons organziner is quite urgent …
at the moment when you start adding more than 5-6 addons it starts to become a nightmare … even if there is a semi-sorting tool among the workspaces …


on dev talk I proposed instead of the real tabs a sort of “bookmarks” that activate “immediate scrolling” at various points “on the scrolling page”

it’s just a draft of an idea that should be deepened and studied … but so “tabs” could be added without upsetting the current scrolling structure

Finally. I’ve been banging that drum for a while now on this forum. Blender’s current implementation of a non-overlapping interface is severely limited without any kind of layout management tools like the ability to easily minimize and maximize tiles etc.

I saw that there are plans for more drag and drop for the UI. Is it planned to extend this to be able to drag textures from the shader editor to the image editor for viewing? From my tests it’s possible to drag the icon next to the image name, but it does nothing.


Does 2.81 really drops 32-bit support for all platforms?

addons organziner is quite urgent …
at the moment when you start adding more than 5-6 addons it starts to become a nightmare … even if there is a semi-sorting tool among the workspaces …

Especially the addon creators themselves have to become more active. With little programming they could provide the possibility to change the name of the tabs. Some addons have already solved this in an exemplary way. This should be common practice.


At 90% of the addons I have to search the .py for ‘bl_category’ and adjust it.
Then it’s a little more bearable.