Arbitrary Animation Features for Blenders Future

I was thinking about the future of Blenders animation features as the alternative to other contemporary animation systems. How can we as Blender users influence the progress of Blenders 3d animation system in ways that will be really intuitive to the end user? I have tried other 3d animation software. Most of the apps are designed for 3d animators. I think that we need a 3d animation system that is designed for creative people who have the task of bringing their artistic creations to life with 3d animation.

I have heard so many people talk about Blenders features and what not as hard to grasp. Blender lets you do everything that you want to do in a 3d app in a few mouse and keyboard clicks.

Now that we are focusing on animation for this phase of the Blender development we need to keep in mind Blenders current workflow and thick about how this workflow really adds to our power to create 3d art quickly. As Blenders animation system takes on new features we have to adhere to features that aid the current Blender workflow.

3d software is not generally artist friendly. We often describe 3d software functions in very technical terms that may mean a lot to some experienced 3d artist who specialize in one area of 3d such as modeling, animation or lighting. But even some seasoned 3d pros may not grasp the finer points of some of these areas.

It’s hard to be all things to everybody but some areas of 3d may not be the strong point of some 3d pros. A pro may even find themselves hitting the “books” just to get into those features that although used in one capacity or level they find that for a new task that level is not good enough.

I like the term workflow which alludes to flowing or fluid non-stop motion.
As a Blender artist move from one part of a project to another, all of the tools should share the same methodology. As a Blender artist finishes the modeling part of their work and moves to the animation part the transformation principles should remain similar, the scaling, the skinning to other aspects of Blenders features. Even if you have never done a complex animation task in Blender the animation features in Blender should allow the user to apply their ideas without any major stops in their Blender workflow.

We could sit around comparing Blenders feature sets to other as many feel “more advanced” 3d features. But we are in the Blender world now and we work with Blender and know how it feels to work with Blender style of 3d workflow. We have a natural experience with Blender enough to know what we would like to be able to a far a applied animation motion in Blender even if we don’t have the most experienced background with powerful 3d software systems.

I think that our present approach to features for Blender have been based on this natural “gut” feeling of working with Blender and also a good healthy exposure to other contemporary 3d software.

We could get side tracked by one popular viewpoint of 3d features over another and miss the point of keeping our 3d artist viewpoint of 3d features on the top shelf. In any case as we see where things are headed we have to keep in mind what brought us to Blender in the first place and go from there.

What do you think?

Wow I had no idea that the animation features would be focussed on now. And lemme tell you that’s good news!

I think it should all be tightened up a little. basicly the nla, ipo & action editor combined can be confusing. And especially the IPO where mesh deformation is concerned. With all the blue lines for “shapes” it can get really confusing. Putting those blue lines into a little side menu would help.

But mostly I think the bone system needs help. It’s just too random. It really shouldn’t be nessecary to create huge nrs of extra bones to keep a characters legs going wobbly. Perhaps constraints could be used but even better: why not create a little settings bit for the selected bone where you can set around which local/global/object axis it’s allowed to move and to what degree. It would make a huge difference in efficiency.

Perhaps constraints could be used but even better: why not create a little settings bit for the selected bone where you can set around which local/global/object axis it’s allowed to move and to what degree. It would make a huge difference in efficiency.

Select bone in pose mode —> add constraint —> track to —> select X,Y,Z’s and set influence. Only seems to work on world co-ordinates though. Local and object co-ordinates would be nice. If that is already possible could someone let me know?

Heh. I didn’t notice this thread until after I’d posted mine. Check out my thoughts on this over in:

I like your thread. You hit it off good by giving us a look at a great model for a new Blender character animation system. Your ideas are so 3d artist friendly.

My intension with this thread here is to get Blenderheads to express their deep “gut” feelings about what they think Blender needs to be as an animation system driven by an artist whims and impulses. I think that a Blender coder can interpret our mad wanderings and wild unethical desires for animation features in Blender. Hehehe.

All around, more power to us.

Blend on!