Animation workflow VS Blender's current UI (modes)

Hello All,

I must mention that I’m originally a professional 2D Animator but in 3D I’m still a noob so please be gentle.

While I practice animating in Blender using an audio I found it very easy to see the Waveform on the bottom just like I usually animate in 2D (I use Toon Boom Harmony which the Waveform appears on the Timeline, just like any video editing software, nothing special.

The way I setup the UI before I start animate in Blender is: (from top to bottom)

  • 4x viewports (not the default quad just manually, more dynamic for me).
  • Dopesheet so I can edit the keyframes (my favorite mode to animate).
  • Timeline (use it only because of the play, forward, backward, keyframe modes etc…
  • Video Sequence Editor so I can see the Waveform while animating.


This is so weird for me as an animator because all I need is the Dopesheet and see the wave form with full control.
But the dopesheet doesn’t have the: play, forward, backward, keyframe buttons (Yeah, I know I can use shortcuts…)
and it won’t show the Waveform on the background from what I know.

What I’m wondering or maybe missing:
Is there a nice addon or Blender special built to get the combination in ONE PANNEL?
Dope Sheet (for keyframes) + Timeline (for playing controls) + Video Sequence Editor (for showing the Waveform)

All in one as the main feature is the Dope Sheet!

It looks like lots of messed up UI right now, while it could be put all the features in one advanced Dope Sheet.

I would like to know if anybody know about a solution as addon, special built or… a hope for Blender 2.8 new features that will make the UI more convenient for animating ?

Please share your knowledge if you know anything, I would like to animate in a better UI instead of so many different views
I’m using 4 monitors so it’s comfortable, but sometimes I only have 1 monitor on my other work area so I have to put all in one screen, not so user-friendly or inviting if you ask me.

Thanks ahead for any information, opinions, and sorry about my bad English.
Have a wonderful day! :slight_smile:

I attached a sample screenshot for my suggestion, it’s very basic but hopfully one of the Blender Developers will see this one day and make a nice new Animation-Mode UI.

One Monitor examples:

My Suggesion (if there is no such thing already)

It wouldn’t be difficult to write a Python script/add-on that adds play controls to the header of the Dope Sheet (or any other editor, for that matter). However, getting a visible waveform in anything other than the VSE is going to be difficult.

I’m not a programmer so I believe these are complicated things to do behind the scenes, but I had to put my opinion here because I do have years of animation experience (in 2D not in 3D) and I used many softwares before, this thing can only speed up things and be more inviting for animators.

I hope that someone will find a way to make a new Mode if combine these features are not possible. :yes: