[Bf-funboard] Keys

Thorsten Wilms bf-funboard@blender.org
Sat, 30 Aug 2003 11:43:23 +0200

On Sat, Aug 30, 2003 at 01:24:35AM +0200, Roel Spruit wrote:
> ...
> any suggestions about how this would work? key-modifiers are kinda running
> out, so
> we'll have to go with a mode or something....
> ... 


There is so much functionality that could be added to blender (and so much 
alrready exists). But only a limited set of keys. And the average user can 
only memorize some keystrokes.

Problems I see:
- Modes using the same keys for different things.
- The number of different modes.
- Lack of visibilty: you have to know about much functionality waiting 
behind some keystrokes with no visual hint.
- Menu-bar and Space-Menu require mouse-action. Or have I missed some 

I would like to suggest the creation of a table, showing all modes and 
shortcuts with the asociated functionality. Is there a possibility of 
generating a rough version of it out of the sourcecode? Or could such 
a table be created wiki-style?

The table should help to clean up keyboard-functionality. Removing 
redundancy and making things more consistent by making shure compareable 
actions in different modes use the same keys.

One thing that could be eliminated right away is Shift-Leftclick for 
buttons. A simple click would be sufficient. For the increase/decrease 
functionality buttons would have to have three clickzones. But because 
you don't know if you increase or decrease clicking in the middle right 
now, this should't be a problem. One step further: change value-buttons
to be like this:

|       | + |
| 100    ----
|       | - |

Think of plus and minus as arrows up and down.
If you than increase or decrease and click once to often, the correction
doesn't require a mouse move to the other side of the button, but instead 
only a short move up or down. For the same reason good scrollbars have 
two arrow-buttons on at least one side (like with KDE).
By the way: End and Pos1 keys should work while editing button-values!

The minimalistic aproach: numerical input for value-buttons works on 


It would be of great value for learning (and relearning after some time of 
abstinence) if you could see which buttons/functionality is accesible at 
some point. For exanple G, R and S if an object is selected. Hints like 
"[G]rab for moving" or something like that could be shown right at the 
point of action and foucus of attention: On the actual 3d-window.
Hard to miss and great for the newbie, but maybe to distracting.
Therefore, another possibility would be statusba / new window-type for 
displaying short help messages. In Photoshop ypu can read about modifier-
keys for the actualy selected tool in the statusbar.

_Space-menu keyboard-access:_

The menu could be enhanced with mnemonics like in standard menus with 
underlined letters. So you would press"A" for "Add". Because of the 
two times "Object" the menu would have to be restructered.

Another approach would be auto-completion (inspired by Houdini):
Press Space for the menu. At the top of the menu you can see your 
keyboard input. A soon as you start entering letters, the menu changes 
to show possible completions. I there are several possible completions 
you can type on or select one of them with mouse or cursor-keys. The 
great thing about this is, that the completions can be taken out of 
all levels of the menu. So for "A" you would see "Add" and "Armature" 
"Append" and so on.