Re-designing Blender's UI

Blender’s UI seems to be a bit unorganized. In my custom design, I put the properties template on the header, including many other changes. It’s best to have the popups for easy access, leading to having a bigger 3d view window.

Let me know what you guys think.

Properties Header(popups):

Editor Tabs:

what do you think?

Current UI:

My UI design:

Outliner/Properties on right side:

It looks closer to more traditional packages, and may be better for new Blender users. For those who have spent more than a couple of months and have setup their UI their way, however, I fear it won’t hit the popular vote. Having said that, keep it up. Anything that helps new users is a bonus.

At first i thought this is gonna suck, but then i saw you use it right up there and looked actually pretty cool, since properties panel usually you go tweak something then do something else, then so on and so forth… is it an addon to try ?, maybe it’s actually not too bad of a configuration.
The buttons should feel tighter tho.

Is this a mock up or a working prototype? Did you change something in the UI code? I am curious about how you made those button menus as pop ups.


This seems very interesting. I keep the right quarter of my screen occupied only for the reason of accessing properties panel, if this is possible it is worth a shot.

Indeed, python or C?

Sorry, but I dislike this idea. Here is why:
You have a tiny outliner in your mockup. With complex scenes I need the outliner to be as large as possible. With tab key I can switch the outliner to properties editor and back - this is faster than your workflow and it reduces the mouse clicks (as someone who spends up to 8 hours per day using blender I quite care about it). If I want to hide the properties, I just press Shift + spacebar.
What about multi monitor usage? You can easily move the buttons to another monitor with current Blender. Your proposal does not allow this.

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On a standard monitor, you don’t have all this place on the header.

The choice of the render engine can go in the render menu since we don’t use it all the time.

More something like that.

The properties on the header looks good. I feel like most of the properties menu can be hidden in popup windows because we don’t need them there all the time.

I don’t really like the horizontal menus though. With widescreen monitors there is already a lot of horizontal space available and it leaves too little space for the menus at the bottom.

Also I agree that the render engine can probably be hidden away in the render settings.

Calling those windows with a Pie Menu and having themon the place of the n-panel instead of floating windows would be better IMHO.

bump the questions

I like the control centre on the top.

Very interesting approach, I like it! :slight_smile:

I agree with the comments that the Properties as popup menus on the top bar look great! Also that the Render Engine really doesn’t need to be such a prominent and permanently visible setting, and can just be put into the Preferences or Render Settings.

And yeah, the Outliner most definitely needs to be taller for most projects I think. Maybe it could also come in as a side bar that can be quickly toggled on and off?

I agree with @Chris about the outliner being a on/off side bar. And, as I said before, all those floating windows should have the same behaviour, an on/off side bar. Switching between all of them of course, not adding.

I will repeat myself again the umpteenth time.
Properties is showing active object porperties until you pin the context.
By creating an editor dedicated to a force field and an other one dedicated to particles, I don’t have to change selection each time, I want to tweak a setting influencing my simultation.

Properties editor does not only contain the Render Button.
There is already a shortcut for one step operation allowed by this editor like choosing a parent, adding a modifier, etc…

But having Properties as an editor make sense for lots of things that will take several steps to set-up and need a 3Dview inspection.

Your design make no sense the way blender is actually working. You have a bigger 3DView but it is unused.
You want to set-up a material through material properties tab -> The tab is overlaping the 3DView where you are supposed to look impact of these changes.
You want to set-up particles through properties tab -> same problem.
You want to set-up a freestyle Linestyle -> same problem.
You want to mix Shapekeys of your mesh -> same problem.
You want to set-up Cycles Geometry or Sampling panels settings -> you will have to open/close Render tab at each test.
I stop here.

For particles, freestyle, blender 2.8 will give ability to tweak things through nodes.
Making an UI for node-editor would make sense. It will preserve the ability to create several node editor to inspect nodetrees of several objects at the same moment.

But this idea that when you are pushing a factor in properties, you are not looking at 3D View, at same time : it is not the reality.
Think about it. You don’t work this way.

I would live an on/of sidebar yes, but not sure it’s possible with the current behavior of the blender windows.

That’s a good point. While the popover Properties look cool, they may get in the way of seeing how your change in Properties affect the content of your 3D viewport.

How about moving all those buttons to the very right of the top bar and then, upon clicking one of them, having their respective Properties open up as a sidebar on the right?

good idea and if we press one more time the icon, that hide the menu.

It has some nice ideas, thats for sure.
I actually would like to have a function, like a key press or something, to switch between different editors. Lets say for instance the timeline, it’s barely needed for most of us except ur animating stuff. I would rather get that editor away for maybe the node editor or object properties panel when a object is selected. That would make it more useful for everyone and wouldnt stand in the way, taking away screen space.

It would be also neat if a person would be switched to the needed editors when cycling through different functions e.g. the node editor for cycles if u press on the Material panel or something. Would take away the pain of opening/reopening those panels ten thousend hundred times while modeling, texturing, uv unwrapping etc.

Could also be done for other editors like the UV unwrapping, if someone is unwrapping a object, a little hintbox is showing up and asking for opening the UV unwrap editor as a side panel (if it hasnt happened already)

The list could go endless … :smiley:

Please don’t touch what works!!! Blender interface is good enough!!!
Please if you have time - focus on cloth simulation, add final gather and photon mapping to BI, make BGE shader system with realtime screenspace reflections and realtime screenspace GI (like in UE4) - there is much things to do. Don’t touch UI!