Using 'slots' in Selection? (basic confusion)

Once you assign a Material to a ‘slot’, the slot name seems to change to the Material name.

I think I’ve got this wrong: the slot must be accessible, for Selection, somewhere. Where is that???

I’m not sure I understand your problem… but with Blender 2.82:

  • switch to edit mode to access the assignment of a material.

It’s probably due to my (continuing) confusion about ‘slots’ and ‘materials’…

OH, I see: the “Select/Deselect” buttons disappear :rage: :rage: :rage: in Object mode. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

I’m >>REALLY<< getting tired of Blender HIDING shit when GHOSTING it would be adequate AND give a more consistent interface – I don’t want my interface changing and hiding buttons all the damn time, just ghost them! Hiding leads to confusion.


Hiding leads to confusion.

No, it leads to an understanding of what we are doing. . . . . . unless you prefer to have extended menus with 50, 100 options :thinking:
. . . and this precisely because of the ignorance of the Blender interface.
This interface is contextual and adapts according to the context in which you are …
Some simple examples:

  • creates a simple “Cube” object and activates the [Modifiers] tab:
    - only the modifiers “applicable” to this object in this context will be present.

  • creates a simple “Curve” and activates the [Modifiers] tab:
    - here again the displayed modifiers apply to a “curve” (different from the Cube object)

In your case, it is normal to display the [Assign] button only when your object is in Edit mode, because in this mode you can select part of your mesh to assign it a second material, or even a third, a fourth … etc

The documentation on this subject is relatively clear:
Material Slots

I was talking to a professional developer today. I started the sentence “Hiding options…” and they completed it with “leads to confusion” before I could.

To heck that “ignorance of the Blender interface” rhetoric: THOUSANDS of people are baffled by the UI, and ONE of the reasons is its hyper modality and constantly altering the visual presentation.

The devs are NOT good UI designers, they violate basic principles all the time. Fanbois may make excuses, but that doesn’t change this. They make it HARD to learn app when they don’t have to, and have for quite a while: that it’s slightly now better just shows how awful it was before.

This is not an uncommon opinion either.
Here’s what a s/w designer said about an old version of Blender on reddit:

  • Being an interface engineer, I have to disagree. There’s an objective measure of a good interface. Two criteria:*

1. Is it easy to learn
2. Is it easy to use once you’ve learned.

1 is about intuiting an interface. 2 is about tripping over the interface design choices. Blender clearly fails in #1. #2 remains to be seen. I would argue the likes of Maya has made interface choices that seem cleaner.

There’s little justification for HIDING buttons, that’s what Ghosting is FOR.
It’s not like I’m alone: more recent criticism, but at least some volunteers have better UI sensibilities:

If you think BforA is a better user experience, feel free to use that. Tiles is doing a decent job with a hard project.

Hiding vs Disabling:

Merryl Gross, Information Architect and User Experience Designer

Answered Mar 18 2017 · Author has 2.7k answers and 1.3m answer views

When is it preferable to hide a disabled button in an interface, instead of showing it in a disabled state?

I’m curious to hear some opinions from a IxD/UX persepctive on when it is best to show an interface element as disabled, vs. removing/hiding it completely. What are the usability considerations you would take into account?

I use this rule:

  • If the control is available sometimes but isn’t available right now, it should be disabled. (Bonus points if you provide a hover bubble explaining why it can’t be used right now.)
  • If the user is not authorized to use the control (therefore, it will never become available to that person ) it should be hidden.

If it is a control that is only active in very rare situations, I would probably go towards hiding it. People get used to ignoring a disabled control, so they will almost certainly miss the state change. They’re much more likely to notice the presence of a button that isn’t usually there.

There’s a whole lot of modes in blender, and a whole lot of tools in each mode.

Should every sculpting brush be ghosted at all times?


Assigning a material slot to element selection is an operation that’s only available in mesh edit mode. That’s 5.5% of Blender’s modes. Just saying.

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That is exactly the case, here.

Buttons to assign material to face is only pertinent when you are allowed to select faces.
In object mode, you don’t select faces of mesh. You can only select object as a whole.
In object mode, you are still able to change material used by a slot.
In object mode, you can drag and drop a material from outliner or file browser to an object in viewport. You can propagate material from active object to the rest of selection.


ANY time a button is disabled, one could argue “the users isn’t allowed etc etc”.

That does NOT mean the button should be Hidden, because Hiding leads to user confusion.

“NEVER” is not “Seldom”. Hiding negatively affects discoverability, because the user doesn’t even see the control.

Hiding is used FAR too often, pointlessly, in the Blender UI. It’s part and parcel of why the UI has a deservedly rubbish reputation.

The user only sees the control when they are meaningful. A button that can do nothing at the time doesn’t help the user to understand what the tool does.

Here I have mocked up all the tools in the toolbar, for every mode:

How will cluttering the UI with buttons that do nothing 90% of the time help the user?

More important than thoughtless ‘discoverability’ is ‘understandability’

I understand that all of the buttons I see right now, I can use right now.

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Don’t conflate ‘I’m confused’ with ‘this is confusing’

One empowers you, one disempowers you

You started off acknowledging your confusion. That’s great! sometimes our understanding of something is incomplete and we need more information to grasp it, then once we grasp it, the confusion dissipates and is replaced with understanding.

However, once people responded to you here and steered you towards how to understand your problem, then you shifted from you being confused to blender being confusing. This is a disempowering mindset because it hinges your ability to understand upon something entirely out of your control. Now the only options you have are to complain about something that you cannot change. sucks right?

I recommend you return to your initial attitude of thinking you might be confused. People have showed you how to get what you want, now you know! Now you are more empowered to use blender to its fullest ability, as it currently is. Yes, blender can certainly be improved, but if your ability to use it depends on someone else improving it, you might have to wait a long, long time.

Learn, grow, improve, level up.

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Not the point: if the UI is constantly shifting around, hiding and unhiding buttons, it’s confusing. Dozens of articles back me up on this. This idea that “you see what you need” is an engineering concept, not a human-factors UI/UX

There’s a reason Ghosting exists: consistency. ABTW, “consistency” is something the blender UI is far short of in the first place.

This is starting to sound like some religious stance: “The Blender UI is perfect and must not be changed!” Funny, the UI has been the constant reason cited as why people don’t want to use Blender. I think the devs are TERRIBLE at UI, and this lack of consistency and foolishly hiding things that don’t need to be hidden is one of the facets of this.

Well, always on the negative side. . . try a little “constructive” side.
But it is true that this is like your many posts which often, if not very often points to the “horrible” side of Blender … :thinking:

At the start, a simple question concerning the use of materials.
To this question, you have been given several answers with explanations on the difference between Edit Mode and Object Mode. . . within the reach of a 10 year old child.
You certainly have the right to “criticize” this fact and bring YOUR own vision to it. . .
. . . only BLENDER is BLENDER, it is neither Maya, nor 3DS Max, nor Cinema 4D, etc …
and as a reminder, it is a free and free program and VERY largely influenced by the choice, constructive proposals, user ideas.

For the record, look at and reread the different stages which preceded the “construction” of version 2.8.
Prolix as you seem to be, I’m sure you must have made many concrete proposals. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

It was a swarm of ideas, proposals, sometimes criticism. . . but which in the end, even if it is still improving, brought to Blender a “new look”. . . and even if in your eyes the DEVs are “horrible people” who know nothing … let me remind you that they are part of a team that has always known how to listen and often follow the choice of its users .

In conclusion, there are many 3D programs. . . if Blender doesn’t suit you, change and use a program that meets your needs.

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