NLA Editor Behaviour - a Suggestion

The new star icon adds a much-needed bit of behaviour by allowing animators to mute all other actions except the one with the highlighted star. However, a couple of things could be changed to make it more useful and more intuitive.

  1. change the name. In a discussion earlier today, I saw this icon called something like, “Mute all other action channels except this one” which is a bit wordy if you ask me.

Why not call it: Solo

DAW software uses this expression for a button that does exactly the same thing (except for a channel of music, of course). It’s a good, concise word for what this button does.

  1. Rather than the mutually-exclusive functionality this button has now, why not allow animators to turn on as many or few of these as they want in a multi-track situation? That way, actions can be added and subtracted from the ‘whole’ and act as a debug tool if something is going wonky and doesn’t show up when tracks are played by themselves.

Yeah, yeah. I know. I’m starting another argument. :slight_smile:

You may actually be surprised to know a few things about this:

  1. Internally, that’s what it’s actually called. We currently use the long description simply so that people don’t go - “‘Solo’… hmm what does that mean… doesn’t matter to me I guess”. There’s no reason why we don’t make the tooltip - “Solo - Mute all other tracks except this one” though

  2. That’s what the muting toggles are for!

Oh. Okay.

Yup, but in DAW software they have both a Solo and a Mute on each track. There are times when it actually comes in handy.

And, yes. I was surprised. :slight_smile:

Another thing I noticed:

Let’s say you have an action strip and you:

  • make a copy of it (Shift-D), and
  • make an instance (Alt-D).

There’s no visible way to tell the difference between the three types of action–original, instance and copy. How about using an icon or a colored outline or even a color change to show that a instance is linked to the original? I realize this is something that’s going to have to be more thought out. But something along this line would make it easier to tell at a glance what’s what in the NLA.

Even putting something in Properties–a drop-down for example, that can switch between copy and instance–might do the job.