I have been thinking about writing my thoughts down on the IPO editor for a long time. Please keep in mind though, I may have missed some of its functionality so may in fact rent about something that exists and I haven’t found it yet.
I have been animating for over 20 years starting as a Cel animator, moving to Amigas till today where I have used (or played with) just about every piece of animation software written. I work in Melbourne, Australia in Film and TV.
I work here…
and my site is here…
I also made this…
I’m a huge blender zealot. I love it. I show it ad-nauseum to anyone within earshot and the one thing that always brings my little demonstrations unstuck is the IPO editor.
I understand the paradigm of object mode (tab) edit mode then selecting keys is the mirror workflow of objects in the 3d view with object mode(tab) edit mode then selecting verts, but to anyone using Blender for the first time, the IPO looks
A) frozen, as everyone’s first instinct is to grab a key and move it about, and
B) un filterable (if that’s a word)
What I don’t understand is , if Blender wants to cut through and be taken seriously as a production ready package, it doesn’t follow the paradigms set in just about every other package on the market. Even my copies of Digital Fusion and Vue-Infinite which are a compositing package and terrain generation software respectively, use the same editing methods. It’s not 3d app specific and VERY widely used.
Secondly, as an animator, I can’t believe that I can’t see the IPO curves of more than one object at a time. If I animate two cubes, there isn’t a package on the market that doesn’t let me see the curves of those two objects against each other. (that I know of :))
Thirdly, filtering. Why do I have to see all those blank channels all the time? Why can’t I just see LOC ROT and SCALE or filter to what I want? I constantly see too much info.
I’d like to be able to border select keys without accidentally selecting a tangent of another key and dragging it around too.
And time increments should default to frames.
I’d love some icons for tangent types with additions like plateau keys (if they’re not there already). The trouble is (and this could be levelled at much of Blender’s workflow) that what is there is hidden so to access things, you have to be a hotkey-Zen-master. The point of software is to facilitate ease of use, not to obfuscate the application leaving people to hunt and pick.
I applaud big buck bunny. I think there is some really to notch animation in it. I’m very proud of it even though I had no hand in it. You know what it’s like to feel part of the Blender family. That said, I’m amazed at the work given the tools the guys had to work with.
To sum up, Blender’s IPO is good, but could be great. They don’t lend themselves to a fluid workflow IMOHO and I think that next time there is some SOC money to be had, a real overhaul, looking closely at what works in other apps like XSI or Maya (not max :)) would be well worth your time.
Please understand that I absolutely love this thing and only write this as I believe strongly that Blender can be a player on the world stage.