Can we have something like this? (navigation)

(• I don't speak English "by default", so... ) #1


I’m talking about this little ‘buttons’ for zoom, pan, and rotate the viewport, found on others apps. See examples:

Cinema 4D example:

MODO example:

Too many people give up on Blender just because they can’t navigate the viewport, believe me, this reason alone is responsible for many users stay away from Blender.

A lot people these days, are working with laptops (and on the go) that only have touchpad, and it’s almost impossible to work with Blender, but with C4D or MODO, I can do almost everything…

So, I think it would be better to be able to fully navigate in the viewport without the keyboard.

What do you think about it?

I don’t know if it is something impossible to do in Blender (maybe some dev may answer that), and if was already discussed, if so, sorry.

I hope you can understand my poor english. :slight_smile:


The ‘dream’:

Blender 2.8 User Interface/Usability
(abc123) #2

we need this

and you write the most important thing of ever:

“So, I think it would be better to be able to fully navigate in the viewport without the keyboard.”

YES!!! amateurs, go!

(xrg) #3

I think there is an add-on that adds buttons to navigate the view, but I can’t seem to find it. :confused:

(• I don't speak English "by default", so... ) #4

Some light in the deep tunnel. :smiley:

But I think it should be part of Blender itself.

(Zalamander) #5

Too many people give up on Blender just because they can’t navigate the viewport, believe me, this reason alone is responsible for many users stay away from Blender.

I actually think that is a good thing. Does Blender really need users that can’t be bothered to figure out the most fundamental things on their own?
Nobody who uses Blender regularly would be productive using these buttons, they’d just add visual noise. Blender being not touchpad friendly is an issue on its own, it isn’t really solved that way.

(ideasman42) #6

Run from the text editor…

import bpy

def menu_draw(self, context):
    row = self.layout.row(align=True)
    row.operator("view3d.move", text="", icon='ARROW_LEFTRIGHT')
    row.operator("view3d.zoom", text="", icon='VIEWZOOM')
    row.operator("view3d.rotate", text="", icon='FILE_REFRESH')


(SaintHaven) #7

Thats not a fair assessment. Dont forget that tablet PCs are becoming more and more popular, many of them feature wacom digitizers and lack any build in keyboard or mouse. Having control schemes that work well with a variety of input devices is not a bad thing, and I know quite a few pros who do work on the go with tablet PCs…including some of those who have worked at blur studios down in Santa Monica. Controls like that are useful depending on the situation and hardware. For example, such buttons exist in zbrush as well and can be toggled on and off. Great for portable devices but not the best for home work stations.



Remove .blend and install it. The master beat me to it :slight_smile:

(• I don't speak English "by default", so... ) #9

Blender is a open source app which means, more users = more everything. So, we need all users possible.

Have you used apps with that feature? Please let me tell you, this is extremely useful, trust me.

And do you think that being able to work with Blender on more devices is not a good thing?


I dont know how to use it (yet), but thank you.

(• I don't speak English "by default", so... ) #10

Thank you.

EDIT: I tried the scripts above and it works, thanks, but the behaviour is a little bit different.
It’s possible for it to work in a ‘click and hold move’ fashion instead of ‘click release move’? if not, that’s fine.

And, anyone knows why Blender doesn’t come with something like this built in?

(Piotr Adamowicz) #11

Adding these buttons, or even many other buttons won’t suddenly make Blender usable without a keyboard. To do that you’d need a massive UI overhaul. It’s not worth it anyway. For the foreseeable future tablets won’t rise above the level of toys in a 3d content creation context. If and when there’s a significant install base of small portable computers that are powerful enough to do serious work, then it will be time to overhaul the ui. We don’t know what the hardware capabilities of those machines will be - will there be cameras? Eye-tracking? OS-level gesture APIs? Voice control? Backside touchpads? Nobody knows until there’s some standardization.

And whether a class of sufficiently powerful keyboardless devices arises is not even a question of when, but very much still a question of if - Blender is not going to stay in place either, like all serious software it will keep getting more and more computing power-hungry.

(SaintHaven) #12

You might be forgetting that these screens are also touch based. Artist are using art docks to assist in pulling up menus and the few keys needed when working without a keyboard. In addition to that, we know Ton is adding in the pie menus which will help quite a bit. So I think its fair to say that something like this is just one simple addition to a larger change which can allow multiple forms of input and workflows. Some people prefer hotkey dancing, others pie menus and on screen buttons. Both have their place.

I dont particularly find something like what the OP suggests “too intrusive” or messy, especially when like many other things it can be toggled on and off.

I would say theres some level of standardization already given the pentablet and touchscreen approach that has been around for awhile now. So much so, Wacom is making their own tablet PCs.

(xrg) #13

Aren’t those buttons in other programs modal though? That is usually the problem with transferring that kind of stuff into Blender.

(larmannjan) #14

doesn’t seem useful enough to devote resources on. It just not that important at all.

(Zalamander) #15

I’m not forgetting that. Blender would be unusable on such a device, with or without navigation buttons. Also: These devices have multi-touch screens, so you would design navigation in a gesture-based/multitouch way, not with with tiny buttons in the corner of the screen.

First of all, I don’t believe that is true. Imagine we had a huge amount of users that are spamming the forums with incomprehensible questions, are dismissive and ignorant towards developers, are filing false bugreports, that would be a terrible thing. It would be bad for Blender. The “quality” of users is much more important than their absolute number. If somebody fails to demonstrate enough dedication to figure out how to rotate the view, Blender absolutely isn’t for them. (Disclaimer: I’m not a Blender developer)

Have you used apps with that feature? Please let me tell you, this is extremely useful, trust me.

Yes, I have. I don’t think they’re useful after figuring out the relevant mouse button combinations. Maya, 3DSmax, Softimage etc. all don’t have these buttons, either. Maybe we should have their viewcube thing, they’re market leaders after all…

(• I don't speak English "by default", so... ) #16

There are people that have just one hand.

(Zalamander) #17

If you have just one hand you probably have experience with having to work around accessibility issues. You probably have a mouse with more buttons, so you could map additional functions to it - which Blender allows.

(kettlefish) #18

Hey everyone.

I agree entirely with Zalamader here. Max has buttons like these in the bottom right, they just clutter the UI up. They don’t help, and nobody uses them. Regnas, you’ll get used to using the standard mouse/keyboard combo very quickly.

I have two fingers that don’t work on my left hand and I still get around blender without any problems including all shortcuts. Besides the code to get them working has been provided above, so problem solved.

(SterlingRoth) #19

if you do end up using the script provided, be sure that zoom to mouse position is off. other than that, nice simple coding

(Siebeneicher) #20


If I put myself in the shoes of someone who never used blender before, some time will pass until I found this. Probably, until someone tells me its there.

On Maya / Max, there is no way to overlook it.