Custom GUI

Despite the fact that no one will help me with my Bounty site. :stuck_out_tongue:
I am going to try and ssee if I can round up enough code to fix the GUI to have some sort of customisable power to it.

As if you check some posts you will find that out siders tend to stay far away from Blender because of it’s GUI. So if we can have it have custom menus and button layouts, then it will be alsorts of eaiser for everyone to get to those features to use to make stuff do stuff faster!.

So , please make up some mock ups if you can so I can get some ideas and make a doc pdf whatever ! Theeth and coders please help with any areas I should look in source to edit the menus and other items needed.

yes hotkey swap hase to be integrated.

in all apps you select with left mouse button, blender uses the right.

i find it silly they dont get used to it but there is a reason why to use design standarts as well to prefent thos things.


Custom hotkeys would be nice, but complete custom GUI is not worth it IMHO. Hardly any serious apps have this - it is too much trouble to maintain etc. Anyway, if a good GUI can be settled on, what’s the point?

I hope that before you do the coding, that you give serious consideration to the effects (on blender and the community) that would result from attracting a bunch of people so stuckup that they ignore an app because of the GUI.


Lol !!! What I said above was before I read (all four pages) of your thread over there:

Almost everyone who complained about the GUI was complaining that it didn’t work as they expected it to. And what they said about how hard they had tried made me laugh (the same way they would laugh if I told them I had tried Max/Maya for 1/2 hour but gave up)


i think custom hotkeys and to follow modern interface desing guidelines will help not only getting more users attracted but also coders!!!

i understand blender gui pretty good but most of the people who did not catch up with blender mentioned that the GUI and the non standarts like right mouse button to select was just the reason to drop blender again!


Oh please !

Put your energy into making Blender do top 3D and they’ll come ; as a premium we will keep the best GUI there is, which happens to be the most modern of all 3D apps, not some old and crappy imitation of Windows all plastered and patched up.

(BTW, I am primarily a Windows user)



well ah the GUI of blender is the most reason why people drop it after few minutes!


Tough luck


Well said.

EVERY complex 3D app has an incredibly difficult interface to get used to initially. You want to harness its power? Learn it. Granted, Blender has parts that need improvement, but the means of selecting objects is NOT one of them (I actually consider it a strength). The difference between Blender and these other 3D apps is that Blender has been said to be “new feeling” to users who have never seen 3D as well as people experienced in 3D (although, I consider myself pretty experienced and I don’t think I ever had the problems that some other experienced people proclaim to have). I guarantee, though, that if you sit a MAX user at an XSI machine or a Maya user at a Houdini box, you’ll see the same general befuddlement as any n00b trying to mess with Blender for the first time. The only difference that these experienced people have is the fact that they’re familiar with basic 3D concepts and terminology… so their problems tend to be “how do I do X” whereas newbie’s problems tend to be “how do I do anything”.

Complex apps require time and documentation. If you’re not willing to put in the time or read documentation, then you shouldn’t complain when the app doesn’t work the way you think it does, IMHO.

Whoa. Didn’t mean to rant on. Today’s been a long day.

I like that blender has a unique interface. It’s like a breath of freash air compared to other modelers that all have the same baisc interface. But yea customizible hotkeys would be nice. Except maybe for noobs when trying to follow a tut and all the keys are different.

I love Blender’s GUI! Don’t like the colors? …change 'em. Can’t read the buttons? …zoom in on them. They’re in the way? … move them. Full screen 3d window? …why not. I could go on.

Blender’s ability to offer a huge number of choices and editing environments which are easy to get at but not in your face when you need to concentrate on one thing is one of it’s greatest strengths. Try running 3ds Max on a 15 inch display sometime… :-? All those fixed size unmovable buttons (and lots of them) cram your 3d workspace down to a postage stamp. (I know… who uses Max on a 15 " monitor? I had to once) Blender on the other hand has to be the most flexible interface I’ve ever seen.

As for odd key assignments and right clicking driving new users away, I disagree. Laziness drives them away. They see what is being done in 3D and think it would be cool to play around with. They don’t realize that it takes work. They’re looking for the “maketotallycoolcharacterandanimation” button. When they don’t find it they give up. I doubt they’d have the drive to learn Maya or Max or anything else for that matter either.

A good friend of mine started playing around with Blender after seeing what I was doing with it. He’s a competent computer user but has no background in CG whatsoever. He uses menus for everything. I warned him that Blender would require him to learn a bunch of hotkeys. He caught on to it in about five minutes. He had no pre-conceived notion of what keys should do what and for an english speaking user anyway, Blender’s key assignments actually make a lot more sense than the “standard” ones. U for undo, S for size, G for grab, K for knife, F for face, etc. (What does “ctrl v” have to do with paste anyway? :))

As far as experienced CG people go. Many are locked into using one tool because they know it well, can work efficiently with it and don’t have time to learn new software (which does the same thing). They have bills to pay. Many Max users don’t go out of their way to become Maya experts either, and vice versa. Max user about Maya: “hey that looks prentty cool! I’ll have to play around with it in six months or so when I get some time” (and they never do). It takes all of an hour or so of using Blender to get used to it’s differences. I somehow don’t think that’s holding anyone who wants to learn back. The part that takes time to learn is the tools and that’s true of any complex piece of software.

Standards? Just because something follows a standard doesn’t mean that it’s right. If the underlying standard is flawed then everything that follows it by extension is flawed as well. That can be a problem :slight_smile: Standards in my opinion are a hinderance to innovation. As soon as someone comes along and says “do it this way because everyone else does and it is the standard” people stop thinking for themselves and become implementors instead of developers, artists, designers, engineers, etc. I believe this is true in many industries.

Anyway…rant over. Now if I can just stop right clicking everything in my rather “standard” web browser I’ll be able to submit this post. :smiley:

Trying lightwave, I know how relatively easy blender is to work with.
if people don’t want to take the time to learn it, then they will never have the patience to be a truely good modeler, and its not worth having them in the community. kudos to everyone who trys it and sticks around for the long run.

Woa! :expressionless: :stuck_out_tongue: Strong feelings. Whatever … My number one goal is to get more coders into the fray, and if that means giveing them a little insentive to stay and work at stuff then I shall do what is needed.

Remember, this ‘feature’ is just a feature, and nothing more. if created it will be there at your own choice to use it. You might hate it you might love it, no matter what it is just an option.

You might want to start by getting a coder.


You might want to start by getting a coder.


working on that part :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s the standard Blenderhead comment. Those who who find the interface confusing suck, and they have no right to say that Blenders interface may not be 100% wonderful.

I’m sorry, but however much I love Blender, it’s UI is confusing, and Blender suffers because of it.

Get an utter newbie to download Wings3D and he’ll be modeling wonderful, advanced creation within minutes. Get the same guy to download Blender, and he might be able to find out how to render a yellow cube in a month. Yeah, yeah, he could buy the book, and study every tutorial on the web… or just drop Blender. This may sound harsh, but it’s the reason why Blender isn’t more widely used.

Don’t get me wrong, Blenders UI has many strong points, but there are serious problems with the logic of button placements and names. Also, the non-standard approach to mouse buttons has an effect (when people try to select objects with LMB they get scared as hell when it draws an odd line and starts to move the object afterwards. And that is understandible.)

I think we can learn a lot from those who have downloaded Blender, tried it and had to just forget about it because of the sheer confusion. We Blenderheads have a tendancy to be very arrogant when people point out that the UI is very confusing, and that is a pity. Blenders UI is slowly moving in the right direction, but there’s still quite a long way to go before it can be considered ‘fairly logical’, and especially far before anyone can say ‘easy to get to grips with’.

I really DON’T think making the interface more customisable will help much at all. All that means is that the advanced users can make and play with moving buttons (which they already know what are for) around. Blender should be understandable out of the box, not through custom configuration. Besides, for compatibility purposes with version changes and for the sake of tutorials and help, Blender should have one UI to minimize confusion. Let’s tackle the problems where they are, and make the UI more understandable.

Long-time Blender user JamesMK spells it out very nicely. Read his comment. I think it is a very fair view on the subject.


Customizable keys and mouse buttons may be cool, but Blender isn’t Maya, and there is no way it will be able to mimic Maya completely anyway.

I say go for improving what we have and making the tools and UI easier to handle for users. I’m not necessarily against more customisation, it’s just that the current UI needs to be improved first. It needs to be usable out of the box.

Here lies the difficult line that we, as people who wish to improve Blender, must walk. We have to understand that there is a definite “Blender way” to accomplish certain tasks (just like there’s a MAX way and an XSI way and a Maya way and so on). The Blender approach is both unique and an integral part of the application’s strength. The difficult challenge we face is to make this approach more palatable to newcomers without sacrificing the approach itself. This is no easy task. Successfully achieving it will require an even balance of steadfastness with compromise. Too much steadfastness and progress halts, rife with stubbornness and crippled by argumentation. Too much compromise and Blender is lost, diluted and sterilized with passive complacency.

Changes to the interface can help, but I feel it’s just as important (or even moreso) to stress to new users the need to seek out and obtain documentation. Of course, we need to make sure that documentation is current and available. Every application as complex as Blender has an in-depth manual and a number of third-party references; and not without reason. They are ALL complex. People have a misconception that because as application is small, easily obtained, and easily installed for free, that it must be simple and powerless (because the freeware they’re used to are simple utility apps or cheap games - note that I’m not talking about OSS; it’s the curse of OSS that the “you get what you pay for” mindset exists). Blender and many OSS “killer apps” defy this misconception, and this must be made clear to the user.

I’m in agreement with Monkeyboi regarding customization. I personally would rather have a good, working interface with strong, easily accessible documentation than a nightmare of custimazation (and it does become a nightmare for developers, users, and documentaion creators). As far as mouse selection goes, that’s one of the things that, while unconventional, I think is incredibly intelligent design that users should have to “just get used to.”

That’s just my thoughts, though (much more clear than yesterday’s rant of mine).