I’ve learned Blender, and I’m MUCH faster in Blender than I was in Lightwave or Maya, as far as modeling is concerned.
Blender is BOOFOO fast and I respect it. I love the interface now that I’ve figured it out.
However, given how much functionality blender has in modeling, I agree that it should have customizable keys. Preferably with an easily accessible theme manager for keys.
What I’m talking about is owning market share. Do you have any idea how many people would switch if they could hop into blender with minimal qualms about how to work it? Especially companies that have designated modelers that send stuff out in .3ds/.obj formats. They could make the switch rather quickly.
Of course, a few things would make blender dominate in marketshare if only we had souls out there with the time to make it happen.
Making verse for say, Maya, which has a horrendous rendering license setup, or 3D Studio Max, could get companies to render in yafray in farms and would be a powerful gateway to blender usage.
A few speedups, and making sound sync the default in the compositor, along with more compiled plugins by default, could make for a powerful competitor to most video editors.
However, I have no idea what kind of undertaking it’d involve. If it’s a massive code rewrite (e.g. making a shortcut key abstraction management system, and then replacing ALL key-catching code with links to that system) it’d be a headache; if not, or if someone can manage patching it in a transparent way, and it got accepted by the main repository, Blender could overtake other 3D apps little by little.
Like I said, I loves me the Blender UI, and I can’t say enough about it’s glorious fix-it tools, and its no-BS-get-work-done approach, but I could only imagine how many people I could talk into switching if the re-learning needed to be minimal.
While different shortcuts would be annoying when people ask for help, most of the time the point of themeable shortcuts would be that people already know all they need to about their application, and for that intended audience you could actually SAVE time. e.g. no more getting questions about how a certain function is handled in Blender.
Whatmore, those themes could be extended by adding shortcuts to otherwise unused keys in the app’s theme for functions that are handled in that app by menus only. Could you imagine someone walking over from Lightwave to Blender, finding out that “bandsaw” (ctrl+R in Blender) is a shortcut key they otherwise never used, going back to Lightwave, seeing that such a commonly used tool wasn’t originally that shortcut? They’d probably STICK to Blender, and that’s FAR more important than their initial switch.
Just a thought.