View Selection Gizmo Ideas

Giving the view selection gizmo some thought. Excuse the fugly mockups, but I’m hoping it will show the idea…

The thought is to start with sphere. Add the three axes, along with six locations for each major view labeled “FBLRUD”. You can drag the sphere around like a trackball or you can click anywhere on it to change views. Preselection highlighting will show hotspots on the sphere before you click. Selecting a labeled area obviously takes you to that major face view, but selecting different areas between them will take you to a view that is in between.

When you select one of the six major face views the ball will shrink a bit and an outer ring fades into view. Clicking the top, bottom, right, left sections of that ring will take you to the other major views. Clicking on diagonal sections will take you out of major face view mode (removing the ring) and take you to a 3/4 view. Clicking on the face that is selected (so the “F” when already in Front view) will toggle between Orthographic and Perspective. You can also rotate the ring to roll the view.

By default it would be faded out in the corner, and probably smaller than this:

Disabled

Hovering over it then becomes active and the buttons around it become visible:

Enabled

The button shown at the top-left takes you to your default (customizable) “home” view. A long press of it brings up a list of important and saved views. The button on the top-right shows the status of, and allows you to switch between, Ortho and Persp. The button at the bottom-right brings up a menu for configuration and customization of the gizmo.

Patents

This may seem similar to Autodesk’s Viewcube. But reading that patent document they are very explicit about it only applying to a cube in particular.

https://patents.google.com/patent/US20130332889A1/en

You’re basically suggesting to swap out axes in favor of letters short for “front”, “back”, etc. ? The rest of your proposal seems to be exactly how the gizmo behaves currently, unless I missed something ?

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rest of your proposal seems to be exactly how the gizmo behaves currently

I’m not sure what you mean. The gizmo now, on the left, proposed on the right…

newold

Just FYI, it was changed recently and looks like this now:

nav_gizmo

In your proposal, is it possible to select the backside. I.E. if you have it facing Front, can you immediately select Back?

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Ah apologies I didn’t remember the buttons for panning etc had been moved in a line. I don’t have a strong preference for either layouts (in line or around the gizmo), as long as the icons convey their functions well.

However I must say axes may be preferable over letters, especially for beginners who are in the process of familiarizing themselves with the cartesian coordinate system (…since I see this gizmo as mostly aimed at beginners).

@xrg Having an additional button to switch to the opposite view would be nice actually !

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In your proposal, is it possible to select the backside. I.E. if you have it facing Front, can you immediately select Back?

No, not directly by clicking, although you could definitely drag to rotate the ball front to back in one sweep. I was basically trying to cover all the features of the Autodesk viewcube in ways that do not infringe their patent, as it was at the time of this video:

https://www.autodeskresearch.com/publications/viewcube

Looks nice, but keep in mind that blender is an international program, abbreviating english words and embedding that into the gizmo could prove difficult to resolve in translation.

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In case it isn’t clear, the following show different hot areas that, when clicked, each go to different views…

Looks nice, but keep in mind that blender is an international program, abbreviating english words and embedding that into the gizmo could prove difficult to resolve in translation.

Very good point. I was mostly just trying for a drop-in replacement for autodesk’s “Front”, “Top”, etc text. I suppose these could be “+X”, “-X”, etc

Having an additional button to switch to the opposite view would be nice actually !

Now that you mention it…

While viewing a major face view (like when viewing in Front view as shown at the right in the first sample) clicking the face again should switch to the opposite view. So from front to back, left to right, etc. I had thought about using that for Ortho/Persp switching, but there is a button for that.

Hey, just checked yesterday’s build and it’s in there already !

no offence to anyone but I think the whole new selection gizmo looks awful.
whats wrong with a simple cube like every other 3d app?

my suggestion

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As Harvey mentioned, there are potential legal issues related to patents (that thing that encourages creativity and protects intellectual property hum). I dig your proposal : it’s clean, everyone with a bit of film culture can relate to it, and you know instantly what’s front and what’s back, without the need for labels or axes.

they have copyright on that thing? damn.
cant we just use the monkey then?lol

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That’s a good idea !

In all seriousness, the use of the real “Gizmo” above would work better than the current design. You would always instantly know his orientation.

The following illustrates the major problem, as I see it, with the current one. The axes are representing something in 3D space, but is trying to do so without the usual visual clues that help us navigate in 3D space:

BadGizmo

Look carefully at the top two. In one the “Z” is tilted toward the viewer and we are therefore looking at the top of the model, while in the other the “Z” is tilted away from us and we are looking at the bottom of the model. Can you tell which is which?

On the bottom two, which one has the “Y” closer to us than the “X”?

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The Gizmo is too flat shaded. It needs a bit of 3d shading.

Wondering if it would make sense to add some 3d depth cues to it, and so have closer things larger, etc. Keep the axes only on the positive directions but only label the closest ones. I find the one on the right slightly easier to tell what is going on.

Giz2

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f37c967ac9d5f919353ea7fe4d5eb5f5cc6214e1

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hahah this is getting better!!!

Too bad we cannot use the cube
what I like with it like in my Autodesk apps is the ability to click on corner and rotate to that view too