Turntable: let's see the proof and then take this forward

I see Richard locked the original turntable vs trackball thread. While I respect the decision I don’t think the topic needs to end there, perhaps a new angle is needed.

I’m particularly intrigued by what Michael W said: “Trackball allows easier access to some viewpoints FACT. How often you need those views is up to you, but it suits sculpting and texture painting more than “standard” modelling.”

If I may, I wish to challenge Michael, or someone who agrees with his assertion, to post two screenshots of the same view, one on trackball, another on turntable, to support the claim. I don’t agree with the claim, but I’m open to being convinced.

Once that is done, and the superiority of the trackball is demonstrated in certain circumstances, then we can take this forward, I have some ideas.

Good God I think it needs to end there this has already been discussed to death, the old thread has been locked but there is about six pages of it must all that pointless noise be repeated in yet another thread.

That’s my two cents, now let me follow my own advice and steer clear of this thread.

I agree with tyrant it’s all been said…

Just to sum up though,
I just mean the “gimble lock” you get in turntable when you rotate to look straight down on a model can make it hard to manipulate when doing fine work like painting or sculpting. Of course you can get the same views using either method.

trackball never has gimbal lock,whereas with turntable “up” is always “up”… which is “best” is a futile argument as a lot is personal preference… some people’s brains don’t click in 3d in the same way…

I’m equally comfortable either way… I have different branches of blender on my machine and they’re all set to use different defaults… If I’m painting a lot I might switch to trackball for that session though… if I’m doing worlds/environments in a build defaulting to trackball I might switch it to turntable…

It’s just an option, it’s easy to set to what you prefer…much software uses one as the default, much software uses the other… there’s no need for a holy war. just set it to what YOU prefer and save as default! Beginners find this stuff out quickly enough, there’s no need to patronise them, let them try the default, make up there own mind and change it to what works for them!

Any further discussion… Pm me!T he other thread was closed for a reason!

Arguing defaults is pointless if there is a way to change them, and to all the “but what about new users argument”, get off it. New users need to learn the program, no matter what the defaults happen to be, and if something like clicking a radio button or check box to change a default is so hard for them that they will be soured by their experience in the program and not use it, then they aren’t going to be learning the rest of the program anyway in 99.999% of cases. Seriously, with all the complexity of this hobby/profession, and all the new tools you need to learn, in addition to learning the “artists eye”, if this checkbox is such a challenge…you need to think of something else to do.

Personally I HATE, as in, DESPISE trackball, it is always the first thing I change, and I refuse to use programs (unless I have to) that ONLY offer trackball, but that doesn’t mean I think the default desperately needs changing.

The argument you SHOULD be making, if this is such an issue for newbies, is that there should be some sort of wizard that leads you through setting defaults when you start the program for the very first time, however, changing the default arbitrarily just says “my opinion is of more value than someone elses”.

Stop making up fake issues for people to discuss endlessly.

Perhaps I should have been clearer, I’m not discussing defaults in Blender, but the supposed advantage of trackball in certain situations. Different subject, please respect that.

Have I got this right then, you’re saying that it helps to paint or sculpt with the bank of the view an arbitrary way that you can set? I want to be sure I’m not missing something. If the angle on the object, as you admit, is the same, then the only difference is banking, plus how you got to the view.

I don’t want to say much more, not wanting to prejudge the response, but I must I add I don’t get the “gimbal lock” argument. Looking down the model on a turntable is easy, where’s the problem?

I still would appreciate visual proof. Could you post two screenshots, one on trackball that you find comfortable, one on turntable, that you don’t find so good.

Problem rotating using Turntable when compared to Trackball. The framerate is pretty low but in this situation trackball rotates how I want and turntable can’t. Go to a top view and see who turntable can’t rotate the view.
As has been stated many times the option is there for the user to use whichever method they see fit given the job they want to do.

Ok, I’ll bite, the one area where trackball has some merits is when sculpting (this is what zbrush does, although zbrush doesn’t have cameras, it rotates the model with trackball rotation instead). Trackball makes the model more of the “center of attention” because it’s quicker to tilt and zoom in to tight spots underneath the mesh in this mode. This is also why it’s a poor choice for me when working on most things as it’s too easy to get the whole scene “tragically askew”.
Richards video makes a good point as well, although I seldom perform that type of maneuver. I guess I could see doing it that way when making an odd cut around the periphery of the model, but given Blenders inferior cut/knife tool, I typically delete polygons at each end of the cut and use the loop tool instead.
To each is own.

I’m not going to prove anything to you. , You seem genuine in your request though so I’ll try and explain again…
I’ve always maintained that each has its advantages, I’ve never ever stated superiority of one over the other, just tried to highlight where trackball is useful as some people just don’t get it.

How you get to the view is the only difference. When painting and sculpting hard to reach areas being able to rotate on all 3 axes can be an advantage

I suggest you read what Gimble lock is. If you rotate a view by pitching the camera down 90 degrees then heading and bank become the same thing… which means that you can’t rotate on the cameras new heading… you have to rotate out of gimbal lock possibly re-positioning the view then rotate back in…

So if you’re painting the top of a model you can either fight the gimbal or turn on trackball…

Obviously, having that 3rd axis unlocked means you have to be mindful of where you start to rotate from… If you start from the edges of the screen you rotate around screenspace, if you start in the centre you rotate pitch and yaw… some people find this uncomfortable, others prefer that it’s always the same regardless of how the view is rotated…

You are obviously “turntable” centric, and probably feel out of control when using trackball… All I’m saying is that if you’re comfortable with both then you’ll see the advantages and when best to use either in your workflow.

Open minds!

(and beaten to it by Richard!)

That’s a bad example.
What you are doing in that video is showing that middle clicking and strafing the mouse left/right rotates the view and you can get to the backside of the cube.
Then you do the SAME MOTION with turntable and show that you can’t get to the backside.
Just use turntable properly - up and down, and you’ll get the same thing + sense of up and down.

A better example would be if a chacater was modeled in a way, that his arms are rotated ~45 degrees, instead of being horizontal or vertical (As a normal person would model it) and you want to rotate the camera around his forearm. In that case, using trackball is a little easier.
I do not argue with what Michael said. He is right.

Both ball and table are useful! Neither is better.

@aermartin: Come on man, if you don’t like the discussion can’t you stay out of it, it’s worse wasting people’s time with pointless videos.

@ Richard & Martin: Guys, you have a point. At first glance the point is very minor, how to quickly rotate to the left or right face of the cube, but I accept in production work, the small advantage might pay off: on the turntable, to see the left or right face, you have to rotate the view down somewhat before you can be looking squarely at the face, whereas on the trackball you immediately are rotated to it. Yup, it makes sense.

I’d say this is as much proof as I needed, thank you.

Now to the next part, taking this forward.

If you could have an immediate way of switching from one to the other, what would be the best way? The present preferences method involves too many clicks.

My view is that this should be a two level option. If you’re on a turntable, the first level should be the ability to change the banking only, without otherwise affecting your view. This is most useful for tilting your carefully composed picture. The second level would be a full, but temporary switch to the trackball.

Both levels should be available with a “key pressed down while dragging mouse”.

If you could have an immediate way of switching from one to the other, what would be the best way? The present preferences method involves too many clicks.

few options on my mind:
a) An axis locker button on the header (all three axis xyz are possible to lock and unlock). Very flexible. Probably best. Z axis locked by default, of course.
b) A turntable/trackball switch button with an icon on the header.
c) Use middle mouse for turntable, use something else + middle mouse for trackball.

Somone did make a patch for a checkbox on the header.
But this should be a built in thing.

User prefs trackball/turnable does’nt always switch to setting.

No big deal, this thread is moot point anyway.

I’ll wait until there is futher development on turntables etc before considering to go in that direction.

On second thought, I think your point isn’t as moot as it seems. :slight_smile:

A turntable user won’t want to switch to full trackball just temporarily, for one or two moves. Once you’re free floating, you will want to stay that way until your task is done. Because once you’ve arbitrarily banked your view, the last thing you’d want is for that view to then be your turntable. So for switching to full trackball navigation, all that’s needed is a keyboard shortcut to toggle the preference, saving some clicks. There is something for it in the API, “bpy.types.UserPreferencesInput(bpy_struct)” and “view_rotate_method” with [’TURNTABLE’, ‘TRACKBALL’], but I’m not skilled enough to make it work. If a scripter would care to do it, I’m sure many would appreciate it. :slight_smile:

On the other hand, for just banking a turntable view, a “key down while mousing” would still be useful.

On second thought, I think your point isn’t as moot as it seems. :slight_smile:

Thank you(?)
But it still comes down to mostly personal preference in using trackball over turntable or verse vicea. I don’t fear disorientation on a steep bank roller coaster, or being a virtual passenger on a stunt plane in an Imax (Omnimax in some circles) theatre seat. I believe
some prefer turntable for reasons of preference to keep one’s feet on the ‘ground’.

However, I do agree if someone could, it would be much easier to access both styles from some panel button/checkbox instead of user prefs.

For NOW:
You can have trackball activated in prefs and if you feel the need to quickly turn the tables - start your rotation (still in trackball) and immediately press and hold ALT key.
It is jerky, surely not smooth, but it is a way.

Maybe someone else can suggest an alternative way, though I believe there is a script already in existence for this.

Chip, thanks for the tip, I didn’t know about Alt-rotation.

One more thing I would add is that it would be handy to have a checkbox under the Trackball button in preferences, giving you the option of automatically turning off the grid whenever in trackball mode. I would enjoy the trackball more if the grid wasn’t there. Right now it’s too many clicks switching to trackball and turning the grid off.

As for “personal preference”, yeah whatever. My preference is logic, being efficient in my workflow. I’m happy to have learnt how to improve on that by using the trackball in some cases.

please lock this thread. I find it insulting(directly) to the moderators the way this was resurrected.
regardless of why they did it, we should let them do their job so that we have a place to come and discuss blender…these discussions are pointless, and to think someone had the audacity to reopen this wound…unglaublich!

I see no reason for the first thread to be locked in the first place.
Not going anywhere… so what?
No one’s flaming, just discussion, is there a rule “Don’t discuss without results”?..