How to make easy thing complicated

Have you ever tried to understand the logik behind values in the sliders – well I tried to and this is my report from travelling through an alien world.

Well – lets start with a simple thing. Zero means – its zero, nothing, a singularity in the middle of nowhere. 0 Alpha means – no Alpha. Alpha ist deactivated. Alpha 1 means Alpha is fully activated. You think you understood the logic behind it? Well let`s try to set our gloss values. 1 means no effect (deactivated) and 0 full effect – everything vice versa.

You want to scale a texture 5 times bigger – use 0.2 in the size texture sliders. You want it 10 times smaller – yes, multiplicate with 10. Using reziproce values seems to be very popular among programmers, but it`s frustating users. Scaling in Subsurface Scattering works the same way – everything vice versa.

Look and feel in Blender has to be taken verbaly, because look and understand is not allways possible. For instance the Falloff slider. A chart from 0 to 10. You might think that 0 is nothing and 10 is very much. Almost right. From 0 to 0.99 the value increases in a quadratic way, 1 means linear and 5 maybe E=mCC .

There might be good reasons to make things like they are, but I`am teaching Blender at school and these things drive me crazy. :slight_smile:

Yes it’s tricky… When i’m not too tired and stick with that “logic”, i find out i’ve got (somhow) used to it!
But i agree that this scaling matter was really making me upset, in the beginning…
Though, Blender is (helas) not the only app with its all own “logic”.

this is not a blender thing…

but you can attack blender again and again and again

It is not because others do it, Blender should follow. But I concur I also have a difficult time sometimes to grasp the numerical logic. It becomes especially difficult in some cases because the documentation is sometimes sincerely lacking which makes it more a guessing numbers game.

… and I’m a developer from trade so it isn’t that I can’t have the developers mindset.

Its only a try to make this issue concious. Beside this, I allways try to "look at the bright side of Blender". Funny - isnt it ?

accidently double post

gloss aint vice versa

gloss means shininess so 1 for full gloss/no blurring is actually right.
for falloff sliders, the no.s are powers or exponents. something between zero and one is fractional power, and one (y=x) is linear.
try checking x^n graphs in wolfram alpha for different values of n and soon it will be intuitive.

but yes your other arguements are right.

Well, I’m not sure why it’s called “alpha” but it essentially means “opacity”, which is why alpha 1 equals to full opacity. Same thing in all image editors I know.
It’s also called “glossiness” and not “blurriness” (is that a real word?), and therefore 1 naturally means perfect mirror and 0 means a perfectly matte surface.
You could of course change the names and invert the values, but that wouldn’t make a difference.

The texture size sliders are slightly misnamed. Still, it needs to be that way in order to scale one axis infinitely small. Sometimes you want your texture to have detail only in one direction, so you pull the “size” slider to zero on the other directions. This wouldn’t be possible unless the values were inverted.
Edit: another consequence of not having the values inverted would be that, in order to have your texture repeated 7 times, you’d need to put the slider at 0,142857…

The falloff slider is complicated but so is the maths behind it.

My point is, most people who understand maths get this stuff really quickly, and those who don’t will always just pull the sliders and see what happens.

I don t want to dramatizise the discussion and yes, who understand maths get this stuff really quickly. But math is the programmers perspective and the other is the "plane and simple common sence". If I were a programmer and if I had the alternative to chose, I would chose "comon sence". Try to see it my way - I dont want more than this. :slight_smile:

I’ve been in a grumpy mood lately so allow me to settle this matter in a rude and blunt way. 3D programs and their functions are complicated, if you want to use them you are going to have to use your brain. Any idiot that thinks ‘math is tough’ need not apply.

I agree with OP, it can be a pain sometimes since you have to remember how different sliders work.

To me personally it isn’t a major issue, but I think a little work here and there couldn’t go a miss.

well, they are sometimes confusing… the textures one definitely was weird when I first tried it, but I think that after a while I just accepted it as it was, lol. I’ve never really thought about how the values work the way they do, except when I was dealing with the Radians instead of degrees…now that definitely confused me :stuck_out_tongue:

it’s an interesting subject though, and I’d be interested in knowing how the values work, or their formulae (might help to know them when doing stuff, so that I can calculate the effect I want)

I think the purpose of programming is to engineer solutions (no matter how difficult or ugly it may need to be) ONCE, so the end-user doesn’t have to understand the deeper knowledge of the programmers, REPEATEDLY.

Blender is an artist’s tool, and yes, the endeavor requires learning and thinking, but that’s no excuse for creating confusion. You don’t get points for making things more difficult than they need to be.

This is one of the ancient problems of open source projects because they are so programmer-driven, and there is a lack of internal business structure that acts as a gatekeeper to filter some of these issues before the “product” gets out to the users. Everything is touched by programmers and it often shows.

+1 QFA


Yeah, Blender still has many usability flaws here and there. Starting from the weird default controls and weird ways some things are done…

For textures you’ve got Scale sliders, so if you set 5 you get a five times bigger texture, therefore a smaller portion of it mapped. That’s very straight-through i think.
You can still play with repetitions in the texture properties, setting 5 repetitions lets you have a five times smaller texture. Which is noneless straight-throug. Also Alpha means how much visibility, so 1 is maximum and 0 minimum.
Things get fuzzy with DVar slider.

It is logical when you understand that you don’t scale the texture. It is MAPPING’s size.
The tooltip is not enough precise. It talk about scaling for textures’size instead of texture mapping.

If you have ever use texture space in 2.49 ( T ->size), it is simpler to understand.

But you have to pass through Outliner Datablocks View to change Texture Space in 2.5.

An image map can’t be resize in a 3D software. It is only cropped. You don’t change its resolution.
For Procedural Texture , naming was more obvious in 2.49. BasisSize is NoiseSize.

Learn blender before teach 2.5.
It was explained in the user manual for 2.4X.