[Bf-funboard] Axiomatic definition of Blender: or "Back to Basics"

Matt Ebb bf-funboard@blender.org
Fri, 4 Jul 2003 00:18:01 +1000

Could be an interesting project!

I'd suggest that if you're not very familiar with Blender, that you take
some time and try to get to know it quite well. The 'philosophies' and
workflow of Blender is quite different to most apps, including other 3D
apps. I think this could be why people generally really like Blender, or
really hate it - you have to have the right mindset (or understand it

I think what you're talking about sounds interesting, because in my
experience, Blender seems to be made up of smaller ideas joined together -
more like a tool box than a room full of complex bandsaws, grinders, etc.
Rather than have a button that performs some high-level function, the same
thing in Blender is usually acheived by combining other tools together. For
example rather than having a 'loft surface' or 'birail extrude' or whatever
button that does that one function only, the Blender way of doing the same
thing involves using dupliframes, which combine the modelling tools with the
animation tools (IPO window etc.). This makes it a bit harder for newcomers
to instantly figure out things, but it is much more flexible for those who
are aware of Blender's capabilities and can think of ways to use them
together. From my experience, to get the most out of Blender, it seems one
needs to be able to think laterally about a problem.

Anyway, there is a brief article that wavk wrote up here, after a session at
the 2002 Blender Conference. It may be interesting:

Otherwise I'd suggest that you can learn a lot about the 'Blender way' by
looking at the sorts of questions that people ask in the Q&A forum at
elysiun.com, and the responses from the more experienced Blender users. I've
personally been using Blender for a reasonable amount of time, but I still
get moments where I'll read the responses to the simplest questions there
and think "ah! I'd never thought about the problem that way!", which can
lead to new ideas. The forum is here: http://www.elysiun.com/forum/index.php

Personally, I think the main thing in improving Blender's interface is not
making it more like other 'click here once to render a beautiful picture'
programs, but by taking the ideas that are already there, and improving the
communication to and from the user. There are a number of things which can
be improved, such as more consistency in UI control usage, better visual
communication of their functions, better language (such as in describing
button labels), better information design and organisation/layout of
controls according to their functions, importance, visual heirarchies, etc.

Anyway, that's just my $0.02 :)



----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karim Nassar" <karim@karimnassar.com>
To: <bf-funboard@blender.org>
Sent: Thursday, July 03, 2003 11:47 PM
Subject: [Bf-funboard] Axiomatic definition of Blender: or "Back to Basics"

> Hi all,
> Sorry if this is too theoretical for this forum, but...
> I'm relatively new to blender, but not to 3d apps or to multi-developer
> (open-authorship) projects, nor to product and user interface design (my
> degree). I've worked on enough of these to know that a powerful tool for
> the author-community is a comprehensive and detailed "bible" that
> constructs the totality of the project from basic elements.
> In response to something I believe "Thorax" posted on the forum, I'd
> like to suggest constructing an axiomatic formal definition of Blender.
> It would start with obvious "duh" concepts and progress to more
> complicated concepts, and would cover everything from 3D modeling theory
> to interface layout.
> Since complex concepts are axioms of simpler ones, this creates an
> evolving definition of all things in or added to Blender while ensuring
> that all concepts and features are internally consistent, and provide a
> living reference for developers as well as potentially forming the basis
> for comprehensive user documentation.
> --Karim
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