UI proposal: Improving Blender's Video Output Workflow

Blender’s UI for setting video output parameters has always bugged me. The menu items are badly organized, the presets are not helpful, and it’s way too easy to export an unplayable video file. Here’s the exisitng interface:


Here’s what a better interface might look like:

The main improvements here:

  • Division of Image, Video, and Frameserver output into distinct sections
  • Better, Customizable export presets
  • Containers are called containers, and they go in the container menu where they belong
  • Incompatible codecs should be greyed out
  • Option for constant-quality compression
  • Separation and improved layout of audio compression parameters

For more details, please read my wiki proposal here:
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/User:Rocketman/Encoding_ui_proposal
Note: The wiki proposal evolves beyond my control. My polemic in the original draft has been neutered by other editors, but I am nothing if not dogmatic about the open-source process, so maybe it’s all for the best.

I am now ready for all questions/comments/criticism! I’m also hoping to catch the attention of a few contributors that can make this proposal a reality. Would these be welcome changes? Please let me know what you think.

Wouaw nice proposal ! I definitly prefer your UI that’s clear :slight_smile:

Does an image sequence fall under Image or Movie?

An image sequence would fall under “Image”. Choosing “Image” would reveal Blender’s existing interface for image exporting and would behave as it currently does. The only difference is that the formats menu would only contain image formats.


Seems very well organized. Like it!

Now I had a closer look at it. I like the fact that you have focused on a specific area and took time to thought through on how to improve it. Perhaps the Mux rate part is a bit advanced but still useful to expose. Having more presets would be great as well, it will save time and grayed out features will help out. Personally I like the word “Format” better than container and preferably “File Format”. The reason being it is more common used and easier to understand. Are you part of the UI team? If not you should be these are definitely welcome changes :slight_smile:

Thanks, SoulVector! I would be okay with having containers called “File Formats” as long as they still come first and are organized separately from codecs. I’m not on the UI team but I do wish to contribute in this small area.

I´m quoting here. "Even if you are not listed above, you can consider yourself as a UI designer part of the UI team, all it takes is to get involved in existing design tasks or to create proposals on the wiki. " from https://developer.blender.org/tag/user_interface/ so you could mail anyone or make some noise in IRC. There have been quite a few that have seen this thread and not many have given feedback. That might be an indicator that people like it… or not… who knows if no one gives criticism but there are no guarantee that anyone in the developer team have seen it. I think your proposal is more clear and it seems to go 100% along with current Blender design guidelines.

Really nice proposal, totally agree with (almost) everything.

  1. Would be nice to show ‘kb/s’ next to the video bit-rates as well just to be consistent.
  2. I don’t quite understand why you’ve made the preset system as a sort of file datablock. I agree that our current preset system is rather strange, but to change it here would mean we’d need to change it everywhere. IMO it’s almost fine how it was, it just needs the ‘+/-’ buttons to add and remove them, and to have more useful built-in presets.

I certainly like this proposal and would like to see it happen. It’s another area where the UI isn’t quite helpful to the workflow that you need … leading, as you have said, to unplayable files without an obvious reason why.

Anyone can come up with a great UI-idea. :slight_smile:

I love it, so much easier to understand than the current implementation… as you said it’s quite easy to make incompatible files with the current workflow.

  1. I don’t quite understand why you’ve made the preset system as a sort of file datablock. I agree that our current preset system is rather strange, but to change it here would mean we’d need to change it everywhere. IMO it’s almost fine how it was, it just needs the ‘+/-’ buttons to add and remove them, and to have more useful built-in presets.

You’re right; the way I’ve represented it here is the most advanced possibility. Perhaps it’s more advanced than necessary. Some simple “+/-” functionality would be 99.9% as useful.

This looks great, I’ve been using blender to convert some videos lately, but I’ve wasted a lot of time making broken, unplayable files, which wouldn’t have happened with this lovely proposed interface. +1

As to container vs format, container seems more accurate since file extensions can be different too - e.g. mp4, m4v.

Have you approached some of the UI team about this?

I feel like if there is a tick box for Audio encoding, that there should be a tick box for Video Encoding… This way we can mux down the audio in a nice UI instead of having the weird ‘audio’ button which sits next to render/animation/audio

The container should also sit outside of the video encoding, as it is independent to video encoding.

Exporting audio out of the sequencer is a function which is used heavily by us :slight_smile: