Blender userinterface.... I'm completely stunned (positive)

This might interest anyone new to Blender…

I came to this forum not so long ago as I just picked up Blender as my tool to get back into 3D modelling. And like so many newbies (to Blender), the userinterface was a major hurdle and I did agree with the common sentiment that the userinterface is hard to get into.

Well, as I didn’t want to go at it the wrong way I decided to study Blender instead of just ‘trying to use it’. So I ordered the manual (which is awesome by the way) just to get a good starting point. And here I am, didn’t do any modelling yet, but just finished reading about (and learning) all the ins and outs of the userinterface. And now there is something I really need to say:

The Blender userinterface is one of the most flexible and thought-out userinterfaces I have ever seen !!!

The userinterface is one of the most heard critiques about Blender and in most cases such postst get answered like ‘when you get used to it it’s very usefull’ or ‘the userinterface gives a very good workflow’. However, these answers don’t help new users to come to grips with the power of the userinterface right away. So I like to mention some things that I have not seen mentioned here but that actually show how powerfull the userinterface is in comparisson to ‘other’ apps:

  • You can create as many windows in your workspace and any window can show any part of the userinterface, so you can show any part of the userinterface at any time on any place of your screen as you like.

  • You can even zoom and pan the button-windows, actually making it possible to resize button-windows to your window-size.

  • When a button-panel has tabs, you can drag-out a tab to become a separated button-panel. It also works the other way around: when you have little screen-space you can drop panels on to eachother and they become tabs.

So it is actually one of the most flexible userinterfaces I’ve ever seen. I whish more apps had such an interface. The fact that it is hard to learn is not because of how the interface looks but much more because there is so much functionality stored into all these windows, views and panels. The way that Blender handles these large amounts of functions and settings is actually very elegant.

I hope this gives some people new to Blender a better feel about the userinterface (as I am still new to Blender myself). I also recommend to anyone serious about learning Blender to get the Blender Manual. As Blender is available without cost, the price of the book is small when you think that for that price you have a powerfull 3D program WITH a great user-manual 8)

Thanks for the help.

The manual sounds like a good idea.

How much did it cost, including shipping.

And can it be downloaded instead of shipped?

I think it cost about 46 Euro’s or around that figure.

Most of the manual is available online but having the book besides my keyboard while Blender sits on my screen is better then switching between a browser-window and Blender all the time. Besides, with such a large amount of information (the manual is around 770 pages) a printed version is actually faster to find things in then the web-version.

I also like to have stuff on paper because you can read it away from the computer. I’m creating paper versions of online tutorials for that exact same reason (among other reasons).

Whoa, 46 Euros = $80AUD.

Thats a lot for me.

I go to school . . . still, so I don’t have that much money. But I got a job. :o

And your right. It is a free program, so I could at least buy the manual, and I agree, it is heaps easy reading off paper than at a screen. Gives your eyes a rest. lol

So I will probably buy it after I get a new graphics card ($240).

But in the mean time, where can I find the online version?

Thanks

I actually meant that when you put the (free) program together with the paid manual, you get a very complete package for just that price.

The usermanual:
http://www.blender.org/modules/documentation/htmlI/

and the reference guide:
http://www.blender.org/modules/documentation/htmlII/

This information is also available in the special discussions here on the forum: If you look into each forum area there are special discusions (sticky) that have loads of information like links to documentation, tutorials, etc.

Maybe others can add to this thread what they actually like about the userinterface :wink:

you should have seen the old interface,…download 2.25 or 2.28a some time. :stuck_out_tongue: ( actually, i kind of liked the old interface, but it was kind of weird )

good topic
Bleder has the BEST GUI I ever seen

I’ve seen the old interface :wink: But as it has matured into where it is now, it is clear that the design of the old interface, leading up to the current one, was already good in many aspects.

Yep. I thought it was time to tell it 8)

Great run down of why the blender gui is so good.

I havent bought the manual because parts of it are already outdated.

What I liked most about the UI is that a lot of the functions are mapped to the keyboard and mouse. I like it far better than going through 5 menus to get something done.

I can’t imagine there’s much outdated information in the last manual. It is written for 2.31 and has a separate chapter on changes for 2.32. As the latest release is 2.33 I don’t remember reading anywhere that there where very big changes from 2.32 -> 2.33. So yes there are some things currently in Blender (2.33) that are not being mentioned in the manual, but I don’t think that what actually IS in the manual is outdated in any way. That would mean that stuff that was in 2.32 has been removed or changed significantly with 2.33… I don’t think so. Besides, software manuals get outdated eventually but that never stopped me from reaping the benefits of a good manual :wink:

Hi, new to the boards and it was nice to read something about how others view the interface. I’m having a LOT of problems getting the hang of it myself.

Modron wrote:
you should have seen the old interface,…download 2.25 or 2.28a some time. ( actually, i kind of liked the old interface, but it was kind of weird )

It still looks a LOT like the interfaces in the older versions. I just never was able to get the hang of the functionality of it though. I’m sure I’ll find it a good interface once I firgure it out. Saying that, can anyone direct me to a good/easy-to-follow guide to the interface? ^_^;
I’ve read the old tutorials, but they really didn’t go into things as much as I would’ve liked.

I was playing around with blender yesterday and something changed in the interface. I started out with a… I think it was a UVsphere, and I found the area to change the color and stuff. I clicked on a few buttons, I remember something about halos and stuff… Anyway, it had a cool effect on the sphere, but then the texture selections disappeared.
I saved a jpeg of it, as well as the .blend file.

http://www.sharemation.com/brianb012/glowingorb.jpeg

and also one after I found how to change the background coloring in the rendered screen.

http://www.sharemation.com/brianb012/glowingorbstarBG.jpeg

I found how to change the background but haven’t been able to find how I got the orb to look like that. That’s part of the problem I’ve had with the interface, things seeming to disappear and then not being able to find them again.

Anything advice for working with the interface and aligning objects would be greatly appreciated. ^_^;

Thanks,
Brian

That’s why I decided not to jump right into Blender but take the more educational road. Instead of just trying out things I just study the different parts of the app and interface and see what each function does, where it is in the userinterface, etc. Because of this I bought the manual, as a study guide :wink: The great thing about the manual is that it is actually laid out that way, with loads of small tutorials.

nods I read through the tutorials at the time on getting started but I still had/have trouble with it. BTW, where are the old tutorials anyway? I printed them out, but that was about a year ago and couldn’t find them today.

Unfortunately I can’t afford the manual or the other books in the E-shop. Not yet anyway. So if you or anyone knows of some good online tutorials and could direct me to them that would be great.

Brian

Hi,

I’m also new to the Blender but I’ve been learning very fast. The user guide below has been a great help for me. Especially the “Your first animation in 30+30 minutes” was very helpful. At first I thought I’d never learn the interface because there were so many buttons but it has been really easy learning everything.

http://www.blender.org/modules/documentation/htmlI/

Katja

Oh come on, Modron. It hasn’t changed THAT much… :slight_smile:

Also useful in the Blender interface is the use of short-cut keys. Once you get the main ones memorized you can model pretty fast.

I haven’t tried that many 3D apps and I’m certainly no expert.
However, I did try to get the hang of Truespace and Realsoft 3D.
I liked both apps - but in the end when I came back to Blender, exactly what I thought was so inferior about it was it’s strength.

I’m not a great modeller, but with only a bit of knowledge of Blender you can model quite quickly without obstruction.

Realsoft 3D has some nicer direct manipulation controls for extruding, scaling and translating. However, it seemed to fail my test when it came to low level modelling with vertices.

There’s things I don’t like about Blender:- its implementation of booleans for one, its conversion into mesh of objects like fonts for another. However, over all I’m really impressed not with its power features as I’m quite there’s some better out there is the higher price brackets, but rather with its useability at a low level.

When I read articles about creating complicated models like humans etc… I really get the impression that great modelling is a combination of basic modelling tools used well. How wonderful that not only does Blender have those tools (particularly since the addition of loop cuts and knife), but it has a streamlined easy-to-use workflow that most often does not require the accessing of a menu.

I have to admit applications like Realsoft are just as flexible in terms of configuring your environment and allocating functions to keys. However, I think the advantage of Blender is that it almost forces you into learning the short-cut keys. Therefore, you don’t depend on menus a lot of the time. This gives you the impression that Blender has something going for it in terms of workflow that other programs don’t have. It may not be entirely true - but as a user it feels true enough.

Anyway - enough to say that everytime I bounce away, I end up bouncing right back.

Regards
Caleb

I’m brand new to Blender – and this is my first ever post on the forums.

I am extremely impressed by how cool the interface is. This is definitely not the kind of application that you can sit down and use without some research. There’s a lot more to 3D modelling than your average Joe thinks, and Blender seems to provide tunza functionality.

I’m also happy to see that there is such a thriving user community, and the online documentation is nice.

My only beef with the UI is the heavy use of the num-pad. I’m trying to use it from a laptop. The “emulate numpad” option is not so intuitive, and my [Fn] key seems to be quirky.

Homr Zodyssey