Header Information Area with Triangle Count

This is probably something that is too little to comment on, or could be classified as “dumbing down” Blender, but I thought I’d see if anyone else agrees with me.

Blender displays statistics of the scene up in the header. In his UI Overhaul proposal, William Reynish described it as “gibberish data text”. It looks something this in Object Mode:

Ve:53 | Fa:49 | Ob:1-3 | La:1 | Mem:6.74M(0.55M) | Cube

or like this in Edit Mode:

Ve:10-53 | Ed:12-100 | Fa:1-49 | Cube

The most obvious thing that makes this look like gibberish is the abbreviations. It really doesn’t save a lot of space to abbreviate short words like this, but makes it much harder to read quickly. Many people don’t realize that “La” is the number of lights (lamps). I would replace the “Ve, Fa, Ob, La, Bo” with the full words “Vertices, Faces, Objects, Lamps, Bones”.

The second part that screwed me up when starting out was the dashes in the pairs of numbers. It is not obvious that this is the selected amount followed by the total amount. That dash makes it look like a RANGE of numbers. For a little while I thought Blender was just incapable of showing me an accurate number of edges or faces and was just giving me a guess instead. I would change the separator to a “/” because this not only makes it look like two numbers, but properly shows the relationship which is a fraction or the word “of”. So if 8 vertices are selected out of 64, instead of showing “Ve:8-64” we’d see “Vertices:8/64”

So object mode would look like this:

Vertices:53 | Faces:49 | Objects:1/3 | Lamps:0/1 | Mem:6.74M(0.55M) | Cube

or like this in Edit Mode:

Vertices:10/53 | Edges:12/100 | Faces:1/49 | Cube

This seems much more readable to me. Although it is longer I think we could make up for that by not showing the name of the active object, since that it is not quickly changeable information and it is duplicated at the bottom-left of the same window. We could also remove the “blender.org” that does nothing but take up space.

I made a patch for this if you want to see if makes any difference to you.

http://projects.blender.org/tracker/download.php/9/127/30681/20404/HeaderInfoWithTriangles.png
Edit: I updated the patch on the patch tracker to reflect some feedback I received, like showing triangle count.

Out of curiosity how difficult would it be to add triangles to the edit mode? I mainly work in low-poly Game stuff and tri-count is more useful than face count.

How about changing those letters with available icons?

@xrg: Triangle count shouldn’t be too tough. I"m not sure if that is something that bmesh keeps track of all the time or whether it would have to be calculated. I think I just iterate through the faces and count how many vertices are in each one. If 3 that is one triangle, 4 makes two triangles, 5 for 3, 6 for 4, etc.

@Light Bwk: Yes, that would look nice, be much less cluttered, and would read quickly. We could just add some tooltip hints so that it says “number of faces”, etc when you hover over. I made a mockup that looks nice, but then realized I can’t directly add images in this forum.

See BKE_tessmesh.h, BMEditMesh.tottri should provide the triangle count if you are interested in trying this.

Thanks Nicholas. I’m now quite interested in seeing this working with icons instead. So I might try to get that and the display of triangles in a new patch. I don’t get a lot of time to do this kind of thing though. I program full-time but do so from a home office, so I like to get out when the work day is done.

Those changes sounds good. For those of us working on a smaller display, having a +/- button like with the menu would be nice too.

And I always wondered why the fullscreen button was all the way at the end (or there at all.)

Are you going to send this patch upstream?

This. This needs to be done!

Wouldn’t it be even more useful if it was user- configurable through strings and publicly accessibly variables (including not only mesh data, but possibly additional data such as current time, etc), a bit like it’s possible on GIMP with the image title bar?

s12a has the right idea, long term at least. However, the OP definitely has it right in that the dashes should be replaced by slashes. It just makes more sense.

@monsterdog:

> And I always wondered why the fullscreen button was all the way at the end (or there at all.)

I think the plan is to have a “window” menu that will include the full-screen option, amongst others. I’m not certain what other things would be on there though.

> Are you going to send this patch upstream?

The patch is on the official patch tracker. The only comment I got on it was against removing the blender version number as people like to see the version in tutorials. I’ll make a new version that shows the tris (saw that working tonight!) in a day or two, resubmit it and see if anyone likes it. fingers crossed.

Harley

I made another patch and put it at the same location in the patch tracker with a name of “InfoWithVerts.diff”. This is much the same as the last one but shows the number of Triangles in the object (only while in edit mode though). Yes, the patch has a funny name as I meant to call it “InfoWithTris” but had a brain fart…

If you compile your own Blender from trunk, give it a try and let me know what you think.

Harley

I just checked it out and its exactly what I need/want. Your cosmetic changes are much more clear too I think. So much better than temporarily converting to tris, or using a temp decimate modifier to check my tri-counts!

Nice work, I’d definitely like to see this in trunk, so hope you can get it in.

3ds Max has a pretty nice solution for this, the stats are hidden by default but if you press “7” on the keyboard it displays all the information nicely in the viewport.
http://flylib.com/books/4/68/1/html/2/images/fig2-23.jpg

That’d be handy to tally up the totals for multiple objects at once (like a character with a weapon). Probably too much information for the little Blender header though. I’m sure someone will create an add-on to do that though (assuming it’s possible).

@xrg: Thanks! Glad you like it. Does it matter much that I couldn’t get the tri count in object mode?

> Nice work, I’d definitely like to see this in trunk, so hope you can get it in.

Actually it might help a bit for you to add a comment of what you like (or didn’t like, etc) on its patch tracker page. It certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Harley

I placed an updated version of the patch on the tracker. This image shows before and after,
in Object Mode and Edit Mode:

http://projects.blender.org/tracker/download.php/9/127/30681/20404/HeaderInfoWithTriangles.png

I like it.

The “/” instead of the dash is much more intuitive.

Harley would it be possible to change the Cycles render header information?

It could include
Frame
Memory
BVH Build time(time from render start to when the first sample starts)

Path Trace time(Sample render-time only, this would be a nice way to discount BVH build time for benchmark purposes)

Total Time

+1 The use of “-” is weird