[Bf-funboard] UI talk + session at bconf

Bassam Kurdali bassam at urchn.org
Tue Sep 24 05:21:55 CEST 2013

I think this is an exhausting way to have a discussion. There are a lot
of good points here but they should have seperate threads, not a grab
bag of 'some thoughts, not thought through'.
Some of these are great, some are probably getting lost in the noise. My
comments below mark when I got too tired to read ;)
On Mon, 2013-09-23 at 12:33 +0200, Paweł Łyczkowski wrote:
> Some of my thoughts and ideas, not necessarily thought through:
>  >Where do the toolbar, redo/tool panel, scene statistics, job progress 
> and warning messages, .. fit?
> I think the scene statistics, job progress and warning messages fit well 
> at the top of the window, and that undo and redo should go there as 
> well, as it is there in other applications. I like the way how Blender 
> handles it's UI space by splitting it. It's unique, but that's ok. But 
> there is no reason to be unique without a valid reason, and that's why I 
> think some standards should apply, like the top bar with undo, redo and 
> other global stuff.
> And, since Add is not a global command, but affects the 3d view, it 
> should go in the 3d view bar.
A hundred times yes!!!!!! this has given some confusion to new users
with multiple 3d views and differing layer/cursor settings. i.e. "where
did my object go"
> Also, I don't think there is a valid reason for the top bar to be a 
> window - I saw my students being easily confused by that. It should be a 
> genuine bar.
It is a nifty place to tuck the python outputs, which most people don't
want to see.
> Speaking of standards - LMB to select, LMB + shift to add to selection, 
> LMB + alt to remove from selection, and RMB for menu would be nice. But 
> that's a bit off-topic.
You're going to provoke holy wars :)
>  >How can we communicate better which data is being edited in each editor?
> How about a big button on top of the toolbar in the texture paint mode, 
> where you choose which texture you paint on?
> How about the image editor working a bit like a mini-app? So no 
> automatic image opening when you click a face, or click an object etc, 
> but you manually double click an image a texture uses, or press a button 
> that's on the right side of it, and the image editor opens it, or you 
> click Open from the image editor, and you open an image that is already 
> loaded into Blender, or from disc?
> I also find that this "fake user", and not used data vanishing when 
> closing Blender, is not very intuitive. More intuitive would be if the 
> data, along with unlink (the X at the moment), would have a delete data 
> option (with a "Are you sure?" confirmation).
I think if pop-ups are the answer, you're asking the wrong question ;)

> The fact that a texture and image and image file are separate entities, 
> and all can have different names, is also a bit daunting... Simplifying 
> this would be nice - for instance - auto-naming:
> When you create a new image in a texture that is named Wall, instead of 
> the name that is automatically proposed - Untitled, or Untitled.001 etc 
> - you could have Wall or Wall.001.
>  >Do we keep the Object > Action > Setting workflow for all tools, or 
> should we deviate in some cases?
> I don't think that a single global toolbar is a good idea - the way the 
> tools work now is very efficient. Except an undo - a global undo that 
> records everything, even with view changes (see Mari) would be great.
>  > Should material, texture and modifier tools exist, or do we keep that 
> out of the toolbar?
> I would keep it out of the toolbar, it's quite cluttered as it is now 
> anyway, especially when you add plugins - my own toolbar with all the 
> sections open is a mile long.
> Which brings me to my next point - visual toolbar with icons for 
> conserving space. It's a standard in UI design, and it works. Here is a 
> mockup:
> http://db.tt/WlnZWSKJ (top-left)
> I also love customizable UI's. Adding more customizability to the 
> toolbar would be great, because all commands/tools are used by someone, 
> but a single user uses probably a fraction of all commands/tools.
> So ideas: Hiding never-used commands from the toolbar with H and 
> mouseover, unhiding all with alt-H (with icon that states - "some of the 
> commands here are hidden")? Adding some buttons as favourites to the 3d 
> view, maybe as floating icons? - 
> http://www.lion-gv.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/silo.jpg Or as a 
> non movable (that ignores scrolling) quick bar at the top of the 
> toolbar. It would also contain vital buttons for the modes, like the 
> brush, color and brush properties for the texture paint mode, and brush 
> and brush properties for the sculpt mode.
> Or even a full customize mode, where you organize the toolbar as you want.
> I know you can rearrange the sections, and open and close them, but I 
> feel that it's not an optimal solution. I never really do that, because 
> it gets reshuffled again in the end, for instance by turning plugins on 
> and off, or updating them.
>  >Discoverability
> Again, global toolbar is not a good idea IMO.
> +1 for better tooltips. More instructions shown in the 3d window while 
> using tools would be also good. For instance - when using circle select 
> etc, some text explaining what the keys do when using this tool - mouse 
> wheel for range and MMB for deselect (what's up with that anyway? should 
> be LMB to select, LMB + shift to add to selection, LMB + alt to remove 
> from selection. Using up MMB button means that you can't orbit while 
> selecting).
>  >In general, how can we make it easier for users to find the 
> appropriate tool or editor to perform some task?
> Good, not too small icons with good tooltips would help. Also, more 
> visual attention to some menus. Mode change menu looks the same as pivot 
> center menu? It should be more prominent. And maybe not in form of a 
> menu, but a switcher with big icons, with the active menu lit up, like 
> that - https://db.tt/pG4D7aUf
> Other than that, commands in menus are enough IMO.
>  >Do we add buttons for viewport navigation without shortcut keys?
> Would be good IMO, some small icons on the 3d view, for the ones showing 
> something in Blender without proper mouse, or for those learning that 
> want to check what are the shortcuts via the tooltip.
>  > Mockups
> I'll see if I'll have time.
>  > Which UI elements should be added to top level of the UI?
>  > Which UI elements should be removed from the top level and where 
> should they move to?
> How about a simple plugin that records time and used commands/button 
> presses? Volunteers could use it during their normal workflow and submit 
> statistics.
> Regards
> Paweł Łyczkowski
> plyczkowski.com
> On 22-09-2013 15:57, Brecht Van Lommel wrote:
> > Hi all,
> >
> > I will be doing a UI talk + session at the Blender Conference. There
> > has been a lot of discussion about this topic, people proposing ideas
> > and making mockups, so it seemed like a good idea to do something
> > related to that.
> >
> > The plan is to do two things. First I'll talk about the current
> > Blender UI design. There's a wiki page about that here, trying to look
> > at the big picture, hidden trade-offs and issues that aren't discussed
> > as much. It may be interesting in general for people who like to think
> > about Blender UI design and make mockups:
> >
> > http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/User:Brecht/UI
> >
> > After that we can do an open session to connect developers and
> > designers interested in working on the UI. I think we'll try to do
> > this on friday, so that further discussion can happen during the next
> > days of the conference too.
> >
> > One thing I would love to see from designers is a mockup or sketch of
> > what the full Blender UI should look like, addressing some of the
> > questions raised in the page linked above. It doesn't have to look
> > great, but it's interesting to see where everything fits, what is
> > removed, what is added, etc. Such mockups can be presented or
> > discussed in the session.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Brecht.
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> >
> >
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