[Bf-committers] Sum up the long outside viewers post
Thu, 13 May 2004 14:07:40 +0200
Uhh... I don't know if I can add anything useful to the discussion. But
-> Trip: thanks for the effort, but as others said already, what would
better help us is extracting the relevant parts from such forum threads
and turn that into a summary that would help us while working at
-> Intrr: you point to known problems (the cleaning up makes work for
experienced user harder). But you seem not to accept that we can't
represent each and every option anymore as a quick hotkey or icon in
the GUI. And I don't mean we should accept each new option people come
with... It was always part of the redesign to find a solution for that.
With as rule that even *you* should be able to work efficiently, with a
minumum of clicks/moves/etc to create work. That work isn't finished,
and something we need your intellect (and open mind!) too to come with
Here's my general take on Blender criticism:
1. A lot of ignorance and contempt.
Which stems from Blender's turbulent (bankrupt company) past, the fact
its free, or runs on Linux, or is open source, whatever. Can be solved
with good PR, marketing, communication, documentation, etc.
2. But what is Blender?
A major issue here is not knowing what Blender stands for, or should
be. That's a complex issue, because this isn't clearly sorted out
within blender.org either. A lot of slashdot criticism for example
comes from non-artists, who consider Blender to be obliged to be an
accessible tool for the masses (of linux users :). Maya and XSI suffer
much less from such confusion, these apps are OK to be hard to learn,
have complex interfaces, and are meant for people seriously interested
3. Consumer psychology
A common psychologic effect you see is the famous 'cognitive dissonance
reduction'. Artists who spend lotsof money on a 3D app make up reasons
to justify the investment. Same goes for zealot Blender supporters
though, who spend a lot of time learning the program, and unconciously
protect that effort. Worst in this category is the vast amount of
illegal users of cracked copies of 3d suites who pay off their debt...
4. The "Experience Experts".
A lot of criticists consider themselves experts on GUI and tools just
because they use it. Not having or showing interest in analyzing
issues, not separating conventions from desired methods, or show
insight in the design issues related to a 3D tool and its underlying
technical structure (and limitations).
A lot of 'obvious' requests (ranging from undo to customizable hotkeys)
are not so much conscious design decisions for Blender, but stem from
limitations of the early implementation of Blender.
Another lot of obvious requests come from demands to adapt Blender into
what's "common", where you can fill in "3D Studio" or "Maya" or any
other package. I think that each of the larger 3d packages is proud to
have their own conventions and UI design. There's not 1 single truth or
method, but you *can* stick to a consistant and predictable design.
5. The "Professionals"
What people in popular forums like Cgtalk show, is typically the
amazing results from hard working artists/hobbyists with too much free
(unpaid) time on hand. And everyone 'oohs' and 'aahs' seeing the latest
SFX by the Hollywood wizzards. That's great stuff, but it mainly
illustrates the result what a lot of money, and/or a lot of competent
people, and/or a lot time can do.
Being a "professional" has nothing to do with that. Over 99% of CG
artists and developers you'll never hear of. They just get paid for
their work, and contribute to useful products. But it doesn't show off
so nicely eh? Even on our forums (or elysiun) such professionals won't
show up easily just for that reason. Someone like Intrr (sorry buddy!)
might not show off to be a great CG artist, but he's making a daily
living using Blender... something that makes him the real Pro!
I consider that as much an honour to contribute to, as for the greatest
artwork published by the Endre's and @ndy's in our user community.
On the other hand though:
Blender just *is* not as good as Maya, 3DS, LW, XSI, Houdini, Cinema4d,
etc! Such comparisions don't work well... there's nothing wrong seeing
things in a humble perspective.
But let's be very proud of the achievements of the past 1.5 year.
Compared to "no free 3d application at all" and "having Blender" we are
doing an incredible job! :-)
Also: for me the actual process of turning the Blender code into
something that works for development in open source is an interesting
So, yes, we can all still learn a lot, and should be as open minded as
possible for anyone who's interested to point to improvements, to
better methods to model, animate, or render. But such efforts go from
inside out... meaning getting good developers involved, getting user
feedback & proposals into structured design, getting companies
interested, getting more artists using Blender... all nice challenges I
look forward to and don't mind to make a humble contribution for. :)
Ton Roosendaal Blender Foundation email@example.com