My Biggest Issues with Blender [the latest version]

Hi, my name is udi. iv been using blender for the past 2 years and more intensively for the past 6 months. in this post i will skip how cycles should be improved because i think the developers are doing a great job in improving cycles.
i know there are plenty of experts that give their 2 cents on how to improve blender but i think my advice could be useful to the blender and possibly some modders that browse here.

not in ANY WAY im coming here to weep or for people to agree with me. i can overcome most blender shortcomings when im working.

  1. move smoothing groups options to the side panel (T). there are many game developers that use blender and this feature (which is very important) is pretty hard to find if you don’t know what “Auto-Smooth” means.

  2. make the baking process more friendly. i know there is an organized way to bake your maps in internal and cycles but THERE IS A REASON why most if not all baking programs out there use a simple menu system that lets you select the different elements you want to choose such as the highpoly mesh, the lowpoly mesh,the cage, the ray distance, and most importantly have the texture automatically generated for baking like it does in xnormal. i think fixing this hurdle will improve blender tremendously.
    speaking of baking, make a guide for baking procedurals from blender. i haven’t seen a single tutorial about it yet and its always buried deep somewhere around these forums.

  3. have an option that lets you apply rotation and scale when using modifiers such as solidify,bevel and wireframe. i didn’t know this was important up until someone else told me about it

4.let us set the bleeding option in texture painting mode more than 8px. i don’t know how much of an issue it will cause but i know that in 2 more pixels couldn’t do wrong.

  1. have an option to set grid snapping scale just like in the unreal engine (to more than an increment). i looked for that option and i can’t find it.

  2. allow for matcaps to work with vertex painting. (similar to how it is on zbrush)

  3. bring back the the key capture plugin to the official release (if possible)

if i was wrong about something please feel free to correct me.
i want to give a special thanks to the blender community and the development team as well.

  1. The reason why the Auto-smooth is in the property panels is because it’s an object property (while the T-panel is for tools), I don’t know if it’s worth moving things out of their categories to shave off a click or two.

  2. This a lot of people will agree with (and there are addons out there that fix the workflow). The argument was that the cumbersome workflow was intentionally done in the name of ‘design’ but in this case it does get in the way.

  3. This would duplicate UI access points for certain tools, and I don’t think the devs. are willing to bloat out the individual modifier UI’s with convenience settings (you duplicate the apply transform features, now what else should we add).

  4. Many values can be increased by clicking on the value box and manually typing in a number.

  5. Snapping is a weak point in Blender at the moment, there is a developer who came in with an interest in improving the system (but it didn’t go very far).

  6. You might want to mention this to the team working on the new viewport for Blender 2.8 (they are overhauling just about everything).

  7. Care to explain what the key capture plugin is?

I think that’s fair.

  1. I think I understand why it’s lumped in with the other mesh data dropdowns, but I agree, it’s a lot of clicking even when you do know where it is. And it can be a pain to find that first time.

  2. I agree. I’m still not sure why the Blender baking paradigm works the way it does. It’s a very scattered way to work, and even after using it for years, I still get stumped by some baking problems or errors. So yes, I would also prefer a dialog based system for baking inputs/outputs, just to simplify.

  3. This could be said of any 3D package. When non-uniform scales and rotations are applied to an object, secondary properties, history, modifiers, etc can become warped. I would be weary of adding extraneous buttons to solve a problem every 3D user should avoiding via best practices anyway.

  4. This one is tricky and has been a point of contention within Blender for years, in many different places in the UI. In short, you can set the bleed to whatever value you want, but you must enter the value numerically. The slider only goes up to 8 px, from the default value. A bit of a silly thing for such an arbitrary cap, but this is an issue seen elsewhere too.

I think there’s reason to be hopeful about many of these things being improved in the 2.8 series. If you’re serious about any particular feature request, put some time and effort into documenting how a new feature would work and put it up on rightclickselect.

screencasting for your keyboard keys

This behavior was introduced in 2.5x as part of a UI concept concerning soft and hard limits on values.

The soft limits mean you can enter a higher value than the initial limit, that will cause the total sliding range to expand to include all values between 0 and a higher soft limit (perhaps so if you need to use only small values, you can then get more precision when sliding). The hard limit meanwhile cannot be topped (hence why it’s ‘hard’).

Ace, yeah I know what it does, and I understand why. My personal issue is that some of the caps seem rather arbitrary, for instance, why 8 px instead of 16px? And that’s not to mention some strange default input values accessible by pressing backspace over the field. But more than that, there is no indication from Blender that these soft caps can be exceeded. Instead, the new user must ask someone more knowledgeable or experiment on their own. Anecdotally, I’ve had two separate cases where coworkers with an aversion to Blender cited these soft caps (thinking they were hard caps) as reasons why the program was unusable. E.g. “Only 10 edge subdivisons at a time? Rediculous!”

To be clear, I actually like the system. But I’m sympathetic to the many folks who have bad tastes left in their mouths after wrestling with it.

I do agree that there could be a visual indicator on fields when it’s possible for the value to go higher than the max. As for defaults, someone actually created a patch that would’ve brought sensible values, but the developer walked away in frustration amid disagreement with the core team (which appeared as a clear case of software ideology winning over usability).

The Blender UI team though appears to be a bit more open about changes going into 2.8 (part of the issue was the whole idea that Blender 2.6x and 2.7x should not break documentation and/or compatibility, which for now no longer applies.

mazedev, screencast keys addon is alive & well here:

Regarding ‘hard limits’, is there any way to request an increase in the hard limits that are imposed in some areas of the software? I am particularly miffed by the 8 UV limit, 64 point lattice limit, and 64 point curve limit (when creating a bezier or NURBS curve).