New icons for Blender 2.8

At the risk of kicking a hornet’s nest that has finally calmed down…

I am fine with the monochrome icons but there are just six of them that I would love to see colored.


I’m wondering about the possibility of breaking these six (and only these six) into two parts, one for the background and another for the foreground. Then we show these by simply drawing the icon twice. Obviously in the case of the component selection icons we draw the background in white and the foreground in the theme’s “Vertex Select” color.


For the top three warning and error symbols, colors are helpful. But a single color here, via the method we already have of coloring the icons via the theme, should go most of the way to solving that.

Perhaps you could, if you like, take a look at the code already used in the Outliner to drive the icons via theme colors?

For just these warning icons, changing the one color just doesn’t seem to have the same effect. They just need a bit more contrast. It is okay that the other icons aren’t “in your face” but warnings should be.


And the component selection icons really need to better highlight the parts that are selected.


Yes, I’ve seen that and was thinking the thing we need is to add an “icon_color” member to PropertyRNA (and probably uiBut). But while doing that it just seems to make some sense to also add a “overlay_icon” and “overlay_icon_color” as well, which could make the above possible too.


Sorry for slightly OT but I am interested in modifying this type of stuff and don’t know how. I really want to change the mouse cursor in the viewport away from that crosshair and into something more usable for me.

I see all these .dat files in the icon directory and can’t open them. There is one called ops.generic.cursor.dat and I figure it might change the mouse cursor. If all it does is change an icon for the cursor in the toolbar or whatever that’s cool I would love to play around with toolbar icons as well, but changing mouse cursor is higher priority for me.

Thanks and I am looking forward to checking out all the work you guys have done and maybe contributing my own who knows.

When you are … uhhhh … “fifty-something” … :roll_eyes: … judicious use of color makes a difference when your eye is scanning what is otherwise just a row of similar-looking small icons. Very simply, placing arbitrary colors on them and then choosing the distribution of those colors from top-to-bottom (also paying attention to things like red/green color blindness), makes the whole thing much easier to “scan.”

And, please remember that it is “red/green color blindness!” I’ve never understood why ‘red’ means stop and ‘green’ means go, when so many people on Earth can’t distinguish those colors at a traffic light. The shape as well as the color of the icon must be distinct if you intend to leverage those particular colors. Also, if the icon uses multiple color (such as “stop, info, alert” in the post just-above), the adjacent colors should be distinct and contrasty. (The grey-backed “info” icon above, for instance, virtually disappears against the gray background to many folks, since the intensity of the two colors is similar. My eyes really can’t see the colored regions of the three boxes when their color is not white.)

There is, by the way, a very pragmatic reason for the “three-dimensional button” icon: the consistent border. The border is the same for every button and helps to draw the eye to focus on that button’s icon. Seemingly-tiny detaisl like a one-pixel black line separating two adjacent colors can make a huge difference in “scan” -ability.

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If you know how to compile blender, then you’ll find all the cursors defined in wm_cursors.c. There are comments in there describing the format that you need to use to edit or replace them.

Do you have something particular in mind to replace that crosshair cursor? Keep in mind that they can’t be very complex. In a nutshell all those custom cursors are a grid of 16x16 pixels, each of which can be transparent, black, or white. There is an option in Preferences to show large cursors (32x32) but most people would use the small ones.

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Is there a way to change the crosshair cursor that appears when you are in edit mode, to something like the regular mouse cursor that appears in object mode. That is literally the thing I hate the most in Blender’s edit mode, it feels too unprecise and gets in the way.

I was searchng for a solution for this and I found this. It seems like someone found the code to change that.
Now, is it possible to somehow turn this into an option in the preferences? I would love to have the precision of the standard mouse cursor in edit mode.

That link only tells part of the story. In a nutshell, when in Edit mode the cursor is deliberately set to a “crosshair” cursor. However, the default operating system versions of that cursor can look too thin to see easily. So someone made a thicker version and we use that instead.

I realize that you are just asking for that cursor to be the default “pointing arrow” cursor. But can you instead explain what it is about the current one you don’t like, and/or how that one could be improved? Of if you could make a perfect one, what would it look like? And finally, is there a need for different cursors while doing different things? It could be that you might want a different cursor because a different shape works better, or that the change in shape might signal some change in state.

PS: I’ve been making custom Blender cursors lately for some patches that are in the approval process.

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Awesome thanks, don’t know about compiling but I have an idea what it is and plenty of motivation to fill in the gaps of my vast inexperience. Curiosity, and developing a useful skill is enough for me besides the improved cursor for myself and anyone who wants it. Also would make a guide showing how to do the necessary tasks for anyone interested in doing it themselves.

Any pointers in the right direction before I just go to looking around would be great.

Seems doable to me, we’ll see how long it takes to figure out, again thanks, never even occurred to me that this was a thing

About what I am wanting.

Instead of a crosshair blocking the vertex I want to select, a simple box around the bounds of the selection area, with a transparent interior, is very much an improvement.

This way, my mind gets a visual cue that the vertex is inside of my cursor, it is a completely subliminal event, rather than an active effort to try and get a headshot of the vertex when I am trying to select it.

I figure I will also give it some asymmetry if possible, in one corner, to make it a little more visible without actively searching for it.

My biggest pointer is actually to design the cursor, rather than make it.

Simply use any bitmap editing program you like, make a document that is only 16x16 pixels and then draw out your idea using only three colors: black, white, and some third color to represent transparency, like a middle grey. Generally the Blender cursors are white with a black outline to give extra contrast.

Then share the design on BlenderArtists or DevTalk, get feedback, revise, and improve. And if you get something that most people like better than the current crosshair then someone else can make a patch that proposes that change.

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The problem with the crosshair is that it lacks the precision of the regular arrow cursor, and sometimes you can’t even see the points you’re clicking… Kinda hard to explain but it feels a little weird coming from other apps.

So basically all I want is an option to make the cursor of the edit mode to be the same as the one in object mode.

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Again, no worries if all you want is the regular arrow from object mode and elsewhere. But I’d still love to know if you think there is any way of improving what is there, rather than just throw it away.

For example, if the crosshair cursor had a transparent area in the middle so you can actually see what you clicking on? Or perhaps have it only change into such a cursor when vertex-select is part of the selection modes, but leave it as-is if not?

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I’m not sure if there’s a way to significantly improve the crosshair. Having a tranparent area in the middle would improve things a little bit, but still it would never feel as precise as the regular arrow. It’s easy to test if you switch to it in your operating system. The feeling is just not good.

Also I didn’t said to throw the old one away, it would be optional.

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Another example though. The default “pointer” cursor technically covers the target of what it is pointing at, when that thing is small. That is because the active hotspot pixel is actually under the very tip of that cursor.

That is why many applications will use some cursor where the hotspot is transparent. One solution is move that hotspot so it is one pixel or so beyond the tip, but that doesn’t work in practice because there is no way to communicate the difference. Which is why we quite often end up using a symmetrical cursor with hotspot in the dead center. With Blender though that hotspot is opaque, rather than transparent, which is the general complaint about it.

I can see what you mean.
C4D uses the regular arrow cursor when you are in “edit mode”, and yes, there’s no comparison, the regular arrow cursor is no doubt far more comfortable to use. If there was a way to change that I would definitely do it.

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Licencing update in the first post.

I would like to inform you that from today, the main topics regarding the development of the icon set for Blender 2.8 will be discussed on the forum. Since my private project has been adopted as an official set of icons, the official forum of developers is the right place where news about the icons should appear.
I do not intend to close this tread, but all releases, updates and design decisions will be published in this thread: New icons for Blender 2.8 at


A Safety Pin instead the Pushpin? The Safety Pin is not an easy object to draw, but it has one advantage over the Pushpin - it unambiguously depicts opposed states. You can distinguish “closed / OFF” from “open / ON” at a glance.
Definitely worth considering in my opinion.



It’s definitely unambiguous, but the other one looks better imho. Plus, the hollow/filled paradigm is used all over now (outliner, dopesheet) anyway, so there’s not much ambiguity there either.


ok so I just opened up the new blender 2.8 and after half an hour of use I’ve gotten so frustrated I actually googled how to load old icons into the new UI and I found this thread.

I understand this was a personal project so I don’t fault op because if op wants a flat icon set fair enough. I’m writing this towards whoever forced the rest of us to use this.

these are TERRIBLE. honestly can’t stress how bad these are in actual use.
Icons NEED color. if you can get by without them you’re either a) not that familiar with blender in the first place or b) miopic.
when I need a material I don’t look for the shape I look for the little round purple thing.
snapping settings are little magnet colored thing.
edge/vertex/face selection buttons are orange

stuff like this leaves clicking those buttons up to my hind brain and that in humans has evolved to use color to streamline the process.
It’s SO MUCH HARDER to find the correct little white squiggle among all the other white squiggles. color was and always will be the shortcut to recognisability.

I don’t know where you learned that flat and colorless is easier but I suggest you get a refund for whatever that course was. this is terrible and I’m hoping someone has found a way to bring the old ones back or knows of an alternative set with colors.

Just because adobe programs do it doesn’t make it good practice. I hate still having to consciously put effort into finding the correct tool in those programs despite years of familiarity, something i’ve never had in blender since learning the icons. By all means have custom sets but for the love of all that blender means to the community please give us the old icons back.