It has been a bit harder than I supposed to put everything together, redo illustrations, create new ones and come up with a few new ideas but here is the final second proposal for the manipulator and modelling interface.
(this thread is a continuation of the one titled New transformation manipulator (second proposal preview) )
- The proposed tools would not replace the actual Hotkeys. People that prefer Hotkeys would keep working the same way as they do right now.
- The tools are completely modular, so developers and the community decide if one, two, all or none of the tools are implemented.
- If any of these tools gets in the way or is not of much use for a user, it can be turned off (or never turned on).(After seeing the proposals please take a minute to vote in the poll so it will be possible to see how much interest there is on these tools for future implementation in Blender).
Here is a .BLEND file with the manipulator (feel free to improve tools and propose them in this thread):
Previous proposal (“Proposal A” in the poll):
Blend file for proposal A:
Some advantages of Proposal B (some apply to proposal A too):
- Faster workflow having most tools used when modelling one click away, always present and in one place (mostly with “interface B” of proposal B).
- All tools are graphical. For some artists feels more natural, is useful for tablets users, and easier to learn for newcomers.
- The possibility of using fullscreen 3D view most of the time when modelling since all the tools would be on the 3D view.
- Extrude reorientation speeds up successive extrusions that bend, simplifying the move-rotate steps that would be needed for the same task.
- With extrusion + inset/outset combined in one tool less steps are needed.
- Normal move tool makes always available the most used movement in organic modelling no matter what orientation the manipulator has.
- Normal move (per-vertex) tool speeds up the normal movement workflow not requiring vertex selection before moving.
- Trackball rotation.
- Orientation tool lets save a custom orientation for the manipulator with great level of control, to use at any time and change it whenever is necessary, and lets have a quicker access to the standard orientations.
- Default manipulator for bones improves workflow when posing, letting the user associate a bone with a manipulator and an orientation for that manipulator. Some bones are always used in the same way, so using this tool it’s not needed to change manually the manipulator and set the orientation, it appears the best manipulator (chosen by user) for a bone just clicking the bone.
- Toggle subdivision on/off, gives a quick access to disable subdivision view for the object which gives faster response when posing or modelling, and then turning it on again.
- Preselection highlighting, helps avoiding mistakes when selecting on areas with many vertexes/edges/faces, and helps visualize edge loops/rings and face rings.
- Loop/Ring selection tools, improve workflow when selecting many edge rings/loops.
- Vertex sliding tool, allows vertexes to be slided over the edges they belong to.
- Saving custom manipulator combinations for quicker access (“Interface A” of proposal B).
- Modular implementation of tools let the users decide which they want to use.
- No conflicts with Hotkeys allows the combined use of manipulator and Hotkeys.(If anyone would like the original SVG version (Inkscape) of the proposal that has much more resolution I can post a ZIP file with it and all the images)