[Bf-committers] Exposing Tool Settings - issue with 2.5x

Campbell Barton ideasman42 at gmail.com
Fri Aug 5 06:13:03 CEST 2011

A problem with blender's UI at the moment is that we don't have a good
way to expose some tool settings.

There are a few ways its currently done, sometimes its works out but not always.

1) User preference - in some cases like "Enter Edit Mode", "Grease
Pencil...". "Inset Keyframe..." I think this is ok, but for options
you may want to change as you work its not great.

2) View3D Toolbar, fine for mode specific tools options eg: paint,
sculpt or edit mesh mirror.

3) Operator Options - don't mean regular operator options, rather
operator options that store the settings used in the
scene->toolsettings, for re-use. This is how LSCM Unwrap options are
exposed, since the settings used apply to live unwrap, not just on
executing the operator.
In 2.4x UV settings were shown in a panel.
Also used for storing transform proportional edit size, which mostly
works out OK but we have had users complain there was no way to edit


Here are some examples where the above cases fail.

# 3: In some ways this is OK, but also quite confusing is someone is
doing a live unwrap in the image view and wants to change the 'Correct
Aspect' option they need to go into the 3D, run unwrap again just to
change the option.
They may not want to re-unwrap what they work on, so they may have to
workaround eg - add a cube, unwrap it, change the setting, then go
back to the live unwrap they were working on.
Imagine you're teaching blender to a class and have to explain this,
*how embarrassing!* :-)

A more general issue with how we expose tool setting, I noticed in the
recent NDof commits.
It exposes user preferenes in the view3d toolbar.
See: space_view3d.py -> layout.prop(input_prefs, "ndof_sensitivity")
The operator to interactively adjust the sensitivity is also modifying
a user preference.
IMHO this should either have the buttons moved to the user preferences
Input UI or move the internal data to scene->toolsettings.
Currently its confusing to adjust some settings in the toolbar and not
save them with the blend.

Pointing these out because I think we should be very careful
confusing:  user-preferences / scene-tool-settings / operator-options.

The most obvious solution I can see is to have a new section in the
properties space type which exposes tool settings, grouped by
This gives redundancy since some settings are already available in the
view3d toolbar but it at least means settings...
* ...don't have to be hidden behind operator options in cases like
unwrap and edge slide UV correct,
* ...don't need to add such specific options into the toolbar where
they will get in the way and make the user scroll more then they do

This way we can add more detailed options which effect multiple
tools/modes in a more obvious way.

Any pinions or better solutions out there?

- Campbell

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