What happened with pie menus?

As the title say,i just wanna know what happened with pie menus.They were a candidate target for 2-3 release if i recall correctly,and also,where is the code for this?

When it become “low priority”? Sigh the usual.

I never thought of pie menus as something high priority. Dude, there are more important things to do, that actually stops you from being productive, like no SSS or volumetric on GPU…

Psy-fi will handle this AFAIK.




“dude”, it was implied previously and something I argued for, that anything usability related is or should be considered high priority. But lets assume its not, theres still a priority level inbetween high and low. You say whats stopping people from being productive? SSS is already in with CPU, is not having it with GPU stopping you? Its not really a good example since its achievable now, just like what pie menus are doing is achievable with hotkeys. Usability is key in my opinion, and pie menus are a boon to those who work on tablets/cintiqs.

Anyways, It comes back to whether or not they were serious about usability features and the “low hanging fruit”. Did anyone else forget about that? This kind of inconsistency, the promoting of roadmaps/features for 2.X that get pushed back, then back again and again and then it dissapears as though it was never there to begin with… does not instil confidence in the development process. Needless to say, if its really been swept under the rug and bad habits are back in full swing, then I am deeply disappointed as a result. I hope thats not the case though.

I’m using it constantly on 2.70 without any issue.
For some task are very useful.

SSS is already in with CPU, is not having it with GPU stopping you?

I am avoiding non GPU features, because my renders will take days, not hours.
If it’s rendering for days, then yes - it stopping me from being productive.

Actually the menu toolbar property panel workflow is a mess and inconsistent in Blender.

A cleaned up focused on fast modeling tool access based PIE menu will be extremely helpful.

Also for teaching the software to new users!

Thing is, most of the GUI issues could easily be solved with the addition of a customizable T, N, and property panel and having the option to customize those on a per screen layout and 3d view layout basis. And create our own setups. Add-ons menus and GUIs should be customizable on a per layout basis as well. Menus should be convertable to (customizable) floating panels.

Then we could hide/remove the properties not required in the animation layout, render layout, modeling layout, and so on, and so forth. Add in customizable floating panels in the views, and things would look ten times less cluttered, while improving the overall usability ten fold.

We should be able to re-arrange an customize things as we see fit per layout. This is a very basic GUI affordance that is unavailable in Blender, and with the addition of more and more functionality it is starting to become problematic.

A very basic GUI tenet is: hide what is not needed for the task at hand, and show what is needed to complete the task. This is only partly implemented in Blender’s GUI (on the other hand, this is also true for most other 3d apps).

The T and N panels have become dumping grounds for add-ons, and trying to solve that with tabbed panels is not going to solve that.

Simple example: when I switch to the UV Editing layout, the right 3d view T and N panels show the same cluttered and over-flowing tool sets and tabs as when I work in a modeling layout, or in an animation layout. I am not interested in all those mesh tools - I wish to focus on UV creation. I do not need all those hundreds of buttons - merely the ones necessary or even remotely related to the task at hand.

Allow different and custom T and N panel setups per layout!

And for the love of the Gods, please allow the user to customize the content of the T, N, property panel content. And create our own custom tool panels. Many addons do not respect the tab system at all, and the answer I got was: “the respective add-on developer should fix that”.

NO! A hundred times NO! ALLOW THE USER TO CUSTOMIZE THE LAYOUT. We have this lovely panel system in Blender, and it works extremely well, and is very customizable. We can wreak havoc by adding as many panels in whatever order in Blender’s GUI.

Then WHY OH WHY can we not create new property panels, customize the T and N panels and property panel’s content depending on the layout we are in?

Why have F6 which creates a finicky floating panel that disappears the instant you mouse-out? Why not have the option to keep it around, and create our own floating panels with custom functionality? Why not allow the user to drag and drop and remove any GUI item in the interface if we want to do that?


I’ve tackled these exact issues in my GUI proposal right here:

Problem is though… This is quite a heavy proposal. And heavy proposals don’t usually get implemented.
I tried to be as detailed as possible, and avoid any potential loopholes/problems, hence the amount of text.
Not only is it not just a quick fix to implement, but it’s hard to understand by reading it once. Many that read it, understand half of it and then ask questions, that are explained in detail in the paper. Perhaps I am just not a good communicator.
I doubt that the proposed features will ever be implemented unless the proposal itself gets a lot of traffic and support.

FreeMind, I read your proposal, and I like it. Add in customization options to create our own panels, and make it possible to have custom 3d view panel settings per layout - much better. With your proposal the user can decide for him/herself what to display, and what should be hidden. It would keep to what Blender does right, and improves what is awkward at this point.

I would not even mind having the current tabs horizontally at the top in a semi stacked text version - I have to say I dislike the current rigid tab system quite a bit. I am aware this is only a first implementation, but it is a missed opportunity to include drag and drop functionality, allowing the user to drag, drop, remove, and add functionality. The tabs do not work very well on a multi-screen setup, and are too narrow to hit. Add in the issues with reading vertical set text in a black on dark grey background… Urghh. Hardly an improvement.

It’s really becoming an issue for me at times - easily solved if the devs would allow the user to customize the content of panels depending on layout. With a couple of addons activated the panels are overflowing with buttons, sliders, and other GUI elements.

I love Blender - just allow us to customize the panels as we see fit per layout. And add FreeMinds floating panels.

Btw, I had an idea to create a python addon that would change the panel layouts depending on the chosen layout. Unfortunately Blender’s python api does not allow you to check for a layout change event. Too bad.


-First off, Pie Menus were actually a pre 2.70 target when they were first placed as such, it was not an official part of the UI projects slated for that series.

-The targets for 2.71 have not even been hammered out yet (it’s still in Bcon1 while the devs. backport fixes for 2.70a), you can be disappointed if the UI projects make a sudden stop and none actually appear in 2.71 (which I know one new UI feature that’s already in, and that’s the movable overlay elements).

pie menus has one major advantage over tool and property panels

less moving the mouse.

herbert I would not call the current tabs even finale. I think they just put down a frame layout.
Modo’s tabs work pretty well.

I love Blender - just allow us to customize the panels as we see fit per layout.

Actually… Python allows you to do that :slight_smile:

Actually… Python allows you to do that :slight_smile:

You can change the whole Blender with a bit C too. But who does this? Who has the skills for that? And who has the time for that? In theory you can change the UI since Blender exists. Just change the code to your needs. In practice nobody does it. It’s a fork then, even when it’s just a inhouse fork. And a fork needs to be maintained. The next update will most probably already break your customizations again.

When the UI allows official customizations, like placing toolbars around, then everything is fine. But code customizations is no go because of several reasons. Even when you are capable of.

Imho, UI work has to be done by the company, not by the user. This makes sure that every user has the same UI. Which is important for turorials for example.

“low hanging fruit”

In my opinion that one was opium for the masses. The masses are quiet again. Goal achieved. And we are back at business as usual. Means UI has a low priority again. At least the UI development continues now, even when it’s just a crawl towards low hanging fruits. It was stopped before for nearly two years.

Features are traditionally more important in open source software than usability. In commercial software the usability is as important as the feature. Which most of the times leads to a more convenient and so to a faster workflow. So no wonder commercial software feels better, even when it has the same feature set.

The only solution to this dilemma, to get a better graphical UI in Blender, would be a fork i guess. But i don’t see enough people with enough skills and enough will to do that. Guess what happens when for example Campbell would start a fork, and would leave the core team. So practically we have to rely at the good will of the closed* UI team here. Or wait for the next little revolution, in two or three years. This one is already petered out. Everything is back to normal. Chance missed.

*I will never understand why it has to be closed, why feedback has to be blocked. Feedback is essential for development. We have seen in what this closed team resulted already. Half baked tabs with UI no gos again. And i am really in fear of what comes next …

Well, that escalated quickly…

Do you mean the feedback? It doesn’t have to escalate. You can canalize the feedback. It’s of course work. But the benefits outweigts the effort.

Feedback is essential for development. That’s why companies usually do beta testing. Some do even open beta testing to get as much feeedback as possible. Unity for example has a whole feedback system where users can tell what they need and discuss how to improve things. And when a idea or a suggestion gets enough supporters then this feature makes it into the software.

Blender has such a site too. But this site gets ignored by the developers since eons.

That a open source project like Blender builds hurdles to block feedback and does some kind of eat or die development like with the UI team instead is simply odd.

People really need to start learning how to code and stop relying on the main devs to add the features they want especially in the UI department.

Look at what came out of another coder’s ingenuity using Blender’s code:


It’s a completely different UI and workflow.

Its essentially a fork. What happens if core team adds a nice feature that is a pain to merge to fluid designer? What happens if they add 10? How long before its obsolete?