UI Discussion

Naah, there’s been some fun meanwhile =) Got buried with the usual stuff though.

Sorry, as one of the participating sides. Can’t keep myself, too much fun in these for the troll inside of me.

It seems that most part of the community thinks otherwise. Many people here would like Blender to compete with the commercial programs, and, unless you start developing Blender for this, you won’t get it.
My point was that with customizable UI, at least in that field, you kill two birds with one stone.

But yeah, I don’t like the thought of it too. To become like Android, eeeew bleh get it off me.

Look at this the sunny side up:
OpenOffice was really happy that this happened :smiley: And LibreOffice later on.

I think so as well. It may need a few rearrangements, and they’re different depending on whom you ask.
Would be fun if I could do these to my copy without getting distracted from my work/fun, and not imposing them on others.
And would be fun if I could share them around. And see yours. And everyone’s. People get a lot of awesome ideas if you give them the right environment.

Yeah, but that’s not where Blender came from, I argue pointlessly. Why have something totally different compete in a field it’s not in?

Blender doesn’t need to take part of the market share from 3DS or Maya. It’s free and open! Meaning anyone can use it for anything they like, anytime. Basically, what I’m getting at is that I see a number of Maya and Max users on these forums enjoying Blender despite the fact that they have a ‘pro’ suite within easy access. Maybe handle some workflow issues, or make a mod for a team-based Blender, but overall, for its purpose and in its place, it functions well, and continues to function better as our saintly devs work their Python voodoo over it.

Remember Durian? That whole project was to bring Blender up to a pro suite level, and they made leaps and bounds! Maybe more leaps and bounds are needed, but what the hey? I’m sure someone else has a movie floating around in their head they’d like to produce (that’s a joke - EVERYONE has a movie in their head they want to produce).

Also, my experience with Max (never touched Maya), is that it suffers from problems and idiosyncracies as well. It’s just part of a computer program. I also really don’t like the interface. That’s half superstitious bullshit and half I really just don’t like it.

Here’s a good one: be a Windows/Linux person, and switch over onto Mac. Mac OSX is INFURIATING. But Mac users will tell you they like it, and I see and hear plenty of good work coming out of those sleek little things, while on the other hand, I want to snap my iPhone in half in front of my job’s printshop Mac as a threat anytime I have to print anything.

One thing I hope everyone can agree on: May Blender not go the way of the Pastel Chunk.

Pastel Chunk is Windows 8, or IOS7 for the iPhone. I won’t ever leave my Windows 7 and am reluctant to upgrade from IOS6 because the upgrades look like I need an electric crayon (helmet optional) to interface. Wtf happened to sleek in place of monkey-poo simple?

My phone, not so bad. It’s a phone, that plays movies and does other things I have no right in asking a phone to do, but the icons and buttons look ingratiatingly inoffensive. Please Blender, you’re beautiful just the way you are.

Yeah. I don’t read walls of texts. My head spins. As if there’s anything new. But these guys think we have that kind of focus.

Guys, if you want long walls of texts to whoever you are replying to, please just email each other. Spare us wading through useless repetitions.

Remember the brief period when left click was the default? Ah, those were the days.

Hi, my name is Grimm, I started using Blender at around version 2.40 or thereabouts. I’m a hobby user so I don’t spend a lot of time learning and using Blender as I probably should. I have to say that I have never had as much trouble “getting into” a 3D program as I have with Blender. And I have used other 3D programs starting with Sculpt 3D and on to Sculpt 4D and Aladdin 4D, then PovRay, Brice, etc. etc. I can’t justify spending the money for the other “professional” programs although I have purchased Octane to use.

The 2.5 version work has been just wonderful and I have found my productivity with Blender expand, but as Andrew said it’s just didn’t go far enough. I find most of my problems are with the defaults. If they were more geared towards the new user I think that would be a big help. One of the things I like about Blender is the layout pull down. More UI elements like this would be really nice.

One thing that really bothers me about Blender is the reliance on the keyboard shortcuts. As a hobby user I don’t use Blender enough to remember them and I don’t really like them in general anyway. I’m more of a visual person I guess. The one thing that really gets my goat is the tool buttons on the left hand menu. When you click them they instantly start the operation even though the mouse is in the completely wrong position for the operation. The is true in object or edit mode. Why even have the buttons when they are not very usable? They should wait for a second click to start the operation (more of a mode than operation I guess). And just where is the bevel button for that matter?

Whenever I want to do some thing, that I think might be simple to do in Blender, ends up taking several hours when I have to look up a bunch of keyboard shortcuts when I would just like to have a mouse interface instead. Just for comparison I don’t use any shortcuts in Octane and don’t have any problems at all getting things done.

Hey folks, I was having a discussion in another thread about single column vs two column layout of the main properties panel.

Suddenly I realized that it didn’t really have much to do with the current thread so I moved it here. It’ll probebly get lost in the heap but what better place for it then an actual UI discussion thread. :slight_smile:

This is what started it:

Then Ace said:

Yeah, I can see how that could be kind of disorienting. You know where things are when they are in 2 column view but it gets reshuffled when it gets compressed into a single column. I’m actually hoping that they switch over to a single column view or at least offer it as an option.

A long time ago during the 2.5 phase, Ton talked about a properties panel that would auto configure and show you perimeters that were based on what was selected. This was based on the RNA viewer that you can currently get to by switching the ‘Outliner’ to ‘Datablocks’ view. I’m pretty sure he was suggesting that the current properties panel was just meant as an interim solution. This is essentially how it works in Maya. The programer just defines the properties that can be edited and the order, the panel figures out how they should be represented. I think it would actually make it a lot less work for us to make custom panels too.

Yeah, it would be tough to do if you were really worried about scrolling. I don’t see that as such a big issue as long as all the properties you use most are at the top.

Also, I think a lot of the panels could get broken up into sub-panels that are accessed through tabs as the top of the main tab. For instance, Particals (which is one of the longest panels) could get broken up into an ‘Emitter’ tab which holds all the transformation, children and emission settings, a ‘Physics’ tab (or nodes when they become available) which contains all the physics and cacheing settings, and a ‘Render’ tab which holds all the view and render settings. This is something from Modo that I really love.

One great thing about Blender, the UI is very customizable with some Python knowledge. You could, in essence, switch around all of your panels if you so choose. I personally got rid of A TON of buttons on my tools panel since I hotkey most of that stuff. Best practice to do, save a copy of the .py file that comes with blender that you will be customizing, and go in and start tweaking it. If you screw it up completely, just put the original back where it goes and you can get it back in blender.

Gonna try this. I only use two buttons (shade smooth and the other one), and everything else is hotkeys.

Heard someone naysaying hotkeys earlier: Negatory humpty-dory, hotkeys are IT. I have reprogrammed, or had reprogrammed, apps I use at work because they were mouse-reliant, or developed custom UIs for them. Mice are good for fine-tuning things like verts, but having to drag away from what you’re doing, click a button, then go back, click, then drag away - nay! It’s like substituting one needle to work with when you’ve got ten fingers.

Stupid question: This?


I’m partway through. Wow.

Yeah, like Gilligan’s Island, it is a three hour tour. I finished, still thinking on how to constructively respond to all that.

+1 for hotkeys. The idea for no hotkeys stems from the idea that we will all move to tablets and other touch screen media and won’t have keyboard input. I actually see these devices as consumption portals, and not really content creation stuff.

Firstly, I’ll say that it is clear that Blender has some issues not unlike any other software, especially within the realm of complex CG software. It’s also pretty apparent that there are a few highly vocal Blender users who don’t have much/any experience with this comparable software- Maya, 3DS Max, Softimage, Modo, Lightwave, Zbrush, Mudbox etc, etc. but they seem to like to offer comparative opinions anyway. I have looked at and used most of these products and guess what? They all have on going issues!

If anyone can be bothered to take the time to look they will find that the users of other CG software are regularly up in arms about the current approach of companies like Adobe and Autodesk. Complaints of bloated software, stalled development, unfixed bugs and most recently cloud based subscriptions are pretty common around the main CG forums. Check for example http://3dsmaxfeedback.autodesk.com/forums/80695-general-feature-requests/suggestions/4249552-tom-hudson-for-3dsmax-development-leadership

Ultimately, Blender is not broken and it is disingenuous and quite a sensationalist, hysterical tabloid like headline to come out with. Although, I can understand that a headline stating ‘Blender has a few UI issues!!’ is not going grab the same amount of attention. Over the past couple of years, Blender has come on leaps and bounds starting with the ground work laid down during the 2.5 series, we now have a new render engine progressing nicely, a complete reworking and improvement of the modelling toolset, retopology, a fully usable camera tracking system! The list goes on and on, people have noticed and Blender along with its development team have correctly received praise and awards because of it.

Pros don’t use Blender! Who Cares!!
‘Pros use Autodesk, Blender must be rubbish’. I don’t think anyone agrees with this statement any more, it’s pretty clear that pros use Autodesk because it’s a major corporation that got in on the act early. Through an aggressive business approach including buying out any competition, Autodesk more or less monopolised the CG industry over a period of a number of years and if someone wants to get a job in CG they need to learn what the companies hiring ask for. Yet in recent times a shift has begun to occur, companies like The Foundry and Pixologic have started to make a major dent into Autodesk. I think it fair to say that Blender is playing a part to, perhaps not in major Hollywood movies but we must realise that they account for a very small percentage of the worlds CG application.

I believe from what I read and see in a variety of sources around the net that people are looking again at Blender and are liking what they see. The quality of work being produced is climbing steadily, a look at the galleries here and elsewhere confirms this and if there’s anything that is going to draw in new users the artwork being produced puts forward a very compelling argument.

Translate: move from one place or condition to another.
Idiot proofing. I would love to be able to fly an aeroplane or perform a triple bypass but I can’t. I’m a reasonably intelligent person, I think that maybe if I went to the expense and took the time to learn how to fly a plane, I probably could master it after a couple of years. It would be nice but I’m not really that bothered. I am passionate about CG so I have put in some time and effort there, I can operate Blender pretty well and can get it to do what I want in a reasonable amount of time because I have put the effort in. I probably am not clever/disciplined enough to learn how to perform major surgery, likewise there are a lot of people who just aren’t clever/disciplined or interested enough to learn advanced CG programs.

The Blender Foundation has done an admirable job, they are not blind to problems or feedback but with limited resources they have to prioritise. Of course this software is not the be all end all, there’ll always be disagreements about what is actually a problem and which issue should be corrected first, however one thing I’ve learnt from using Blender over the past decade is that the development team are doing a pretty good job! Feedback is good as is positive, progressive change but lets not get too carried away.

Thank you for the rebuttal


@ Craig, same.

Tablets would be cool, but for fiddling around, maybe when you’re away from a computer, pulling up something and doing some titching. Nothing beats the keyboard/mouse interface.

I think it comes from a general over appreciation of the mouse - computers used to be straight keyboard if you really wanted to do anything, then the mouse came out. Witness Ribbon mentioned earlier - totally clickaholic bullshit.

Nothing beats the keyboard/mouse interface.
Except when painting and sculpting with a pen and tablet

“Cloud-based subscriptions” is basically the most uninformed-sounding jargony description of Adobe Creative Cloud I’ve heard. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt on that.

Moving objects in 3D space isn’t heart surgery. It’s something literally 100% of humans know how to do in real life and all children with computers learn how to do in video games at least. The fact is that while much of 3D CGI is specialized, it’s not actually any more technical and abstract to model in 3D than to do the same in clay. Treating it like a feat of engineering sounds to me like a way to pump your ego.

Blender doesn’t necessarily need to be a tool for studios, sure. It’s only supposed to be for the independent artist (including professionals). But if artists decide that spending a couple thousand dollars on a software license is better than investing their time in obscure software with a mixed reputation and a confusing interface, that’s absolutely not the fault of the poor stupid artist who just doesn’t know what’s good for him and doesn’t understand the glory of FOSS. When your livelihood is making 3D art, you don’t want your tools to be in your way, even if nerds think FOSS is worth the pain. A couple grand, or a few dozen bucks a month, is not a crazy maintenance fee to support your livelihood (you spend more if you drive to work). An extra two or three hours out of your day searching for obscure solutions to weird problems is.

Really? CG is innate in all of us? Everyone can do it? Wow i guess all my years of training and experience are virtually worthless then. All this time it was the software slowing me down! Stupid software! Don’t tell my boss anyone could do my job, he’ll probably drop my salary to minimum wage!

Seriously, I dont even know how to respond… You think you can get a random group of adults and kids together and conjure up the Avatar sequel? And if you can’t ; is that the software’s fault?
If you can make a living by “moving around objects”, then that’s awesome and please tell me how. But i’m sure you will agree that CG is a little bit more involved than the child’s play you describe. You can only defer ineptitude onto the software up to a certain point. Some tools and UIs can slow the artist, yes. But when we’re down to “translate is too weird a word for me” then I start to lose my faith in humanity.

(And FYI, most studios have engineers on the payroll. CG is a feat of engineering)

Again with those evil elitist nerds! with their stupid learning and knowledge. How dare they understand things! :rolleyes:
What are you reacting to anyways? No one is calling you stupid if you bought a commercial software licence.

This is where my being left-handed, but right-handed for the mouse has paid off nicely :slight_smile:

That’s what we generally call a straw man argument, where instead of addressing what I actually said, you pretend I said something more convenient and refute it instead.


You do yourself a disservice by seemingly overlooking the amount of technical ability a skilled traditional sculptor has.

It’s also worth noting that 3D computer graphics, as an artistic field, is far more than just modeling.

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