Tear-Off Panels

I’m sure this has been asked before, but is it possible in Blender’s architecture to incorporate tear-off panels? I have a dual monitor setup which I would love to make use of when working in Blender. I hope this is a possibility, hopefully in a future release.

I just saw the new version update and things are looking up great for Blender. I’ve been concentrating lately on Maya (which also has lousy multi-monitor sup[port) and have been getting very frustrated with it, and it looks like it may be prime time to give Blender a deeper look.

Hopefully I’ll have a better time of it with Blender. I’m picking up a copy of the (relatively) new Blender book today at Barnes & Noble.

blender’s interface doesn’t like that kind of stuff

[I have no idea why the n key panel is persistent now, that annoys me]

blender’s inteface is supposed to be non-overlapping, tear-off panels don’t work well with that

you can stretch blender’s window across both monitors, and create your own default scene with the buttons windows on your second display if you like

>>you can stretch blender’s window across both monitors, and create your own default scene with the buttons windows on your second display if you like<<

I tried that once with an earlier version of Blender (2.2-something), and it didn’t seem to like that all that much. Everything seemed to be REALLY slow, and felt like it was going to crash any second. I’ll try it again with this latest version and see if things improved.

>>blender’s inteface is supposed to be non-overlapping, tear-off panels don’t work well with that <<

I’m not a programmer, so I can’t really say, but is there no way to revemp the code so it is possible? It seems to me this is an important concept to consider in taking Blender forwards and onwards.

Just my $.02.

The interesting thing is that Blender started with a non-overlapping interface as a pre-eminent UI feature. This was (and to some extent, still is) in sharp contrast to the Adobe-esque tear-away menus/panels/windows. I personally prefer it this way (non-overlapping) because it retains flexibility without hiding anything. You might notice that many other 3D applications have (or are moving toward) this kind of interface for that very reason.

This is one of those instances when I think that Blender is actually ahead of the curve.

>>This is one of those instances when I think that Blender is actually ahead of the curve.<<

I suppose that’s a matter of opinion. Personally I like making use of multiple monitors, and I don’t see a straighforward approach to this in Blender. I like having a large work area in front and all subsequent menus and controls on a second (or even third) monitor.

Not that big a deal now as I start to learn Blender, but I see it as a real crunch down the road.

create your own default scene

I think Ctrl-U saves your setup…

also, don’t forget that you have a few “virtual desktops” right within blender… Ctrl-<left arrow/right arrow> moves between them, I think… As to multiple monitors, I don’t know… I just wish I had 'em! :slight_smile:

Using extra monitors is nice but really not necessary in Blender due to the flexible nature of the interface. As you get used to Blender’s interface you will see that it is pretty efficient on one monitor. If you want to have full screen workspace and still have quick access to your buttons, etc. try ctrl up arrow and ctrl down arrow (with cursor over 3d window). Simple keystroke toggle in and out of full screen. :slight_smile:

I run blender with dual-head all the time. I span the entire thing across both and put my 3D view in one monitor and my buttons and other views in the other monitor. I don’t see what the problem is. What kind of video card are you running?

Non-overlapping UI and tear-offs are not really incompatible, you simply need to move the secondary panels out of the way. On the mac, some apps have panels that cannot overlap the main window (but they can overlap between them)

This is certainly possible to add. Is it a good thing, i’m not sure, but if spanning a single screen on a 2 identicals heads is possible and confortable, it’s not it the 2 are different as in my setup.

In any case, this is not for all kinds of window types, and consequences will need to be very carefully evaluated before doing so. The non-overlapping UI is one of the strong points of blender.

However, i generally use 1 screen for modelling and the second for other apps and render windows. I dont really feel that necessary

Note that in current code support for dual heads is not present. This means that if the same card control 2 monitors, you are fine, if you have 2 identical cards it should work on some platforms (Os X in any case) but at the risk at slowing seriously things. If 2 different cards, it should crash.

>>I span the entire thing across both and put my 3D view in one monitor and my buttons and other views in the other monitor. I don’t see what the problem is. What kind of video card are you running?<<

I don’t remember what I was running the first time I tried this with version 2.2x, but it was very slow and sluggish and looked like it was going to crash. I spread 2.34 across two monitors last night using an NVidia GeForce FX 5200 with 256 megs of ram, and it seemed OK, although I didn’t really do anything while set up like that.

Perhaps it may have been the original graphics card and I wasn’t aware of it because all my other apps ran fine on it. I know Blender runs in OpenGL and perhaps the older card didn’t have sufficient OpenGL support. I guess I’ll see once I actually start using 2.34 with my present system(s).

I actually just built another system which has an ATI FireGL T2 card with 128 megs of ram. I’m not sure if this will offer better performance for Blender than the '5200 gamer card with 256 megs of ram. Any thoughts? The NVidia system is an Older Athlon 2600 with 1 gig of 133 meg ram, while the ATI system is a 3.2 gig P4 with 2 gigs of dual channel 400 meg ram. Both systems have 2-drive RAID 0 secondary drives. I’ll have to check the Blender docs to see if I can optimize Blender around the RAIDs.

>>I think Ctrl-U saves your setup…<<
Would that include dual monitor arrangements?

>>also, don’t forget that you have a few “virtual desktops” right within blender…<<

Yes, they’re nice, but still single-based setups. Some of them spread across two monitors would be nice.

Regarding your systems’ comparative speeds, I’m not sure. You’d probably have to load complex scene and benchmark it yourself. However, my guess is that you’ll have a better work experience on the machine with the nvidia board, but better rendering experiences on the machine with the faster processor.