Blender on Slashdot Today

References an article that has a comparison between some major 3D suites.

The Slashdotters are definitely less than impressed with the UI.

Anyway, the sensible people start appearing about 1/3 down the page in the comments - like this comment, and this one.

Sigh, just more Blender UI flaming. Every UI has people that dislike it, I think the only reason Blender has such strong debates about it is because it’s free, people seem to be more critical of open-source projects because they expect them to replace their commercial software, and by replace I mean clone it so they don’t have to pay money anymore.

I love Blender’s non-overlapping-windows-keyboard-driven-tiny-out-of-the-way-buttons-layout-customizable-tooltip-documented-open-sourceness-fast-efficient interface.

Anyone that doesn’t like it can go use 3DsMax until it hurts, literally. Because I can model a CUBE faster than they can.

Who’s with me!!?! :smiley:


these endless UI-complaints SUCK so much!
i love blender’s UI. it never ever made me curse, cry, shout or whatever. well, of course, sometimes it’s difficult to find something when you forgot the shortcut, or even worse, if you didn’t now that a special funtion even exists, BUT: blender is free and open-source, so everything’s forgiven. blender is the most reliable, fastest and pleasant program i ever worked with. that doesn’t mean that you can’t make something good even better.
but why are there no wars about photoshop’s silly UI?! or even worse, Director MX? THAT are UIs that are completey f****d up and can make you mad. and that are no free programs. these companies are getting rich by squeezing the money out of the users by making doubtful upgrades, a UI that is surely nothing special and far from mature and that have by far not that amount of goodies that you could expect for such a ridiculous pricing. rant end.:mad:

I actually much prefer Blender’s UI to anything else, And I learned with a 4 angle gui originally.

But whatever, thats their issue, they can hate on it all they want. I certainly understand how they’d rather have other GUI’s, but I dont think its nearly as bad as they all act.

But anyway, thats how it goes.

You do know one thing, after the UI and event recode for 2.5 they can re-arrange and customize it to look more 3DS Max-ish. Tell that to them after 2.5 is out.

Not fussed, they’re always be guys who much prefer to piss and moan on the internet about gear wank, which is better, why, why it isn’t etc, and there’ll always be people who aren’t wasting their time and are using it for what they want to.

in my Opinion it all has to do in which direction blender should evolve - professional or hobbyist. -if blender wants to become a widely professionally used tool, it’s ui has to become more standards-oriented and customizationable.
artists have to use a wide range of programms, and if those programms follow the same ui conventions, the artist can work more fluently and thus faster.
another point is the degree of experience of the user - i often read pro-blender-ui-posts from the more experienced blender users - but if blender will gain new ground it must also focus on the new, probably ex-max or -maya users. (maybe a modern and a classic ui concept, bit like in xsi, where you can choose between si|3d or xsi behaviour in some places)

here where i work (as a programmer) we did a small project using blender for some graphics a couple of years ago - and it took ages for the artist to get around the blender ui. After that project we swiched to xsi, which the artist understood really well.

btw: in some places, i find floating windows really useful :stuck_out_tongue:

…just my 2 cents…

Yeah I actually like Blender’s interface most with the exceptions of not being able to do everything with a fullscreen 3D window and not having scrollbar-based button panels.

I find Blender to be much faster. I work beside someone who is at uni learning Maya and I watched him doing some stuff and I remembered why I stopped using it.

Things like mirroring and smoothing and even just deleting faces and edges. Maya throws up errors like could not delete face due to complex edge attachment. How the hell is a noob supposed to know what that means? Using NURBs was a complete joke, even minute changes with certain tools destroys the surface and the undo doesn’t restore it.

I reached the point where I just said, download Blender and you’ll see the difference. He absolutely loved it and he saw immediately how bad the model was that came out of Maya, normals all wrong, multiple faces overlapping. I cleaned it up in 5 minutes and added subdiv smoothing and mirroring.

It wasn’t all fun and games though, his version of Blender kept crashing after a certain amount of time. It would crash doing anything like save//export etc. The same version worked on my machine. I never figured out what caused it - I’ve never had that happen to me using Blender.

So he loved it though and acknowledged it was much faster to get things done but he had to go back to Maya as that’s what the course taught. I really think that uni courses need to try teaching techniques rather than packages or this vendor lock-in will never go away.

Once the interface refactor happens and the export features, there shouldn’t be much left for people to complain about.

i’ll admit that i found blender’s interface difficult to get used to, but now i’m familiar with it i understand the logic behind it. the keyboard shortcuts are second nature now and i can model really quickly now, without rummaging through too many menus.

So say we all!

When I see Blender’s GUI, I see two things: the implementation, riding on OGL, with zoomable controls, sliders and the absolutely delightful lack of overlaps. Then I see the usability approach, which is how menus, dialogs and logical grouping of commands and options is arranged. Discussions of the GUI need to separate the one from the other.

The implementation is the part I hear less complains about, and I personally love it. My co-workers see me zoom into the panels to better edit a gradient and pronounce, “this is the interface of tomorrow”. Where we’re divided, and this is what’s more often criticized, is the usability part. Blender’s interface and workflow are designed around its logical components, not the tasks the user wants to perform. An interface created with usability in mind translates into a layer of abstraction modeled after your thought processes more than the workings of the engine. You want to steer a car and stop it or change speeds; you don’t specify a rate of fuel injection, regulate the pressure of the braking plates or choose the gears you want to involve in transmission.

Let’s say you’re a newcomer to Blender, even if an experienced 3D artist. You see the “Add” menu up there and add a cube, or just use the one from the default .B.blend. You want to try materials. How to get to the materials editor? No obvious button or menu option. Icons are only good once you’ve been there, and by then you’re learning the key shortcut.

Ok, you found the materials editor and want an alpha texture. Admittedly, not so hard to find the texture channels, but don’t worry, further challenges are coming. Once you add a material, but surprise, no editing tools or linking “edit” buttons appear. You have to find F6 in the key guide or the panel menus, again not knowing what you’re looking for, or accidentally click the weird spotted square button.

The texture types panel give you yet another respite, if the alpha buttons don’t fool you for too long. Then it’s back to the materials panel. You’ll probably take quite long to discover what the “Var” slider does in regard to alpha, and scratch your scalp while wondering why each of the texture variables (alpha, ref, spec) don’t just have their own influence slider and inverter like color and normal (a violation of the 0-1-Infinity rule). If you’re using the “Mix” blending mode, you’ll be butting your head against the wall until you figure out that it actually behaves like “Add” for alpha (asymmetrical behavior) and that you have to set the alpha constant to zero for it to work. Either that or setting the blending mode to “Multiply”; nevertheless, you’re still pretty weirded out.

You render, satisfied with your alpha-mapped object at last – that is, if you haven’t given up by now. Then you add a second object behind. Surprise: the other object doesn’t show through. You have to guess again, and then you discover that you have to turn on Z-Transparency. Hmm, cool, but this doesn’t look like glass; you remember having seen a slider with “IOR”, which you understand.

You check again and discover the Mirror Transp tab quickly enough, and there’s a toggle Ray Transp button. You click on it and begin playing with the sliders only to realize that the Z-Transp button unchecked itself. You’re not dumb, but you wonder why the interface bothers you with those under-the-hood type of details. You expect transparent objects to show what’s behind them by default, and > 1 refraction implies Ray-tracing. Those buttons shouldn’t be there! Let them reside in an “expert/advanced options” panel. Finally, you’re not aware that the Fresnel buttons work with Z-transp too, thanks to the button grouping.

And you know what? That’s nothing. Wait 'til you try to use ray transparency with material nodes.

Make no mistake, this is the criticism of a man who does love Blender, but while the implementation is fantastic, it’s no secret to us that the usability side could use some beefing up. Consider me sold to the interface refactoring effort, and while I don’t expect Blender to become “intuitive”. Let’s get real: this is a full 3D suite/game creation tool. It’s too complex to be “intuitive”, but when I was a new user, I would have settled for “task-oriented”.

Call me adaptive, but I first hated Blender GUI and then it simply opened up to me and now I’m in love with it(of course being an FPS gamer I’ve gotten used to the left-hand-on-the-keyboard-and-right-on-the-mouse-thing). I can’t think of any program that would have faster interface.

It’s fast and clean and you really can’t skip through the learning part with anything. :smiley:

hasn’t slashdot done more blender bashing in the past?
answer, yes it has.
Who cares man. not worth your time.

Examples like that could be showed for any other application, that’s the reason documentation exists.


I personally love blender’s UI. Everything is just awesome and quite logical.

@Calvin, those tags don’t work here, you don’t have

the mighty oogsnoepje abilities

to use them, sorry.

Documentation is for wussies. Real men learn Blender the hard way :ba:
(1.x-style, not 2.x, 2.x is not a good version to learn Blender if you’re a man)

Seriously though, are you one of those who reads documentation before starting a new and unknown program?

I dont think the people who commented on that news, even used blender.

[quote=th-busch;957629but if blender will gain new ground it must also focus on the new, probably ex-max or -maya users.[/quote]

Blender is already gaining a lot of ground even without major UI changes.


Perception is as important as reality.

Well said mate …

but I was focusing on functionality,
The UI is functional, and its very efficient. I don’t think people there appreciated that.