During the huge discussion on changing/customising the UI, I promised I would create some mock-ups of my suggestions. I finally got some time to at least start on this. All I’ve done so far is show how I would implement the ability to create floating windows.
First of all, here is the default Blender layout for a new scene. but with some new buttons:
(It’s running under Ubuntu here).
Now a close-up of the new buttons I added (with an icon stolen from a google image search :P):
If you press one of these buttons, Blender could ask you whether you want to duplicate the window and leave the existing panel behind, or whether you want to erase the panel:
Say I’ve pressed the button on the buttons panel so I want to float it, and I choose to erase the existing panel. This is what I think would happen:
As you can see, the 3D window expands to go full screen. Sure, you can do this easily with the ctrl+arrow short-cut, but the point of being able to do it this way is that you’re not making your 3D window bigger and smaller all the time, it stays one size. You can move the buttons window around on the screen, resize it (the one I made is a bit too big), or you can minimise it, which might look like this:
You should be able to do this with any panel in Blender, and you should also be able to just pop up a new window from a menu and choose what goes in it.
I think it would be useful especially for the UV window, and I’ll mock that one up later. It would be nice to be able to move the UV window around on the screen so you can reveal the area you’re working on, and minimise it to get it out of the way, without the disruptive problem of the 3D window getting bigger and smaller, and without all your other panels vanishing, etc.
I would like the floating window to be able to “dock” back into being a panel, and I’ll mock-up my ideas on that. Also, I would like to introduce the customisable toolbar that has already been created into this idea, and be able to float it too. Then I will mock-up my ideas on the customisable shortcut interface. It’s going to take me a while though!