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Help fix Blender's Userability!


Medhue Simoni
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Andrew Price, of Blenderguru.com, is starting a project to get changes made to Blender to make it more user friendly. I've only this year gotten into Blender, so it's glaring differences to other programs are quite obvious to me. Yes, you can customize things, but this doesn't help if you make tutorials for people, as you should use the defaults in tutorials, as to not confuse the watcher of the tutorial even more. Plus, the needed changes are more about getting more people to use Blender, rather than improving things for old users. For me tho, as I jump from program to program, it will keep my brain from exploding. lol

 

 

There is also a short survey in the about section of the video. Please take the survey to help show what Blender users think.

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I think Andrew points to a lot of important issues with Blender. I also mostly agree with his conclusions. However i have the impression that the holy grale of Blender is "right click to select" and i doubt that putting this upfront into the debate was a good start into the debate. This already polarizes...

I personaly believe in baby steps :) So removing (reducing) inconsistencies for the begin sounds to me much easier to do and much easier to agree upon.

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Well, although I'm still somewhat new to Blender and would probably not be looked at as part of the community, I have been a big supporter of Blender and followed it's progress. I've seen some of the debates around right/left clicking and I have to say that it seems more nastalgic than anything else.

My user case is that I use about 7 different programs on a regular basis, and it generally takes me a good half hour before I stop left clicking on things in Blender, and another half hour to stop right clicking in Daz or Photoshop or whatever. With all the different programs that I do use, I'm not really sure I'm ever going to get used to right clicking to select, especially if it isn't second nature after almost 8 months of using it regularly. Maybe if all I used was 1 or 2 other programs that worked differently, and Blender was my primary program, it would be less of an issue.

What we are really talking about here is what the default should be. Any1 can go change it, if that is what they prefer. By defaulting the select to right click, Blender is only detering it's use by more users. Defaulting to left click would not even be an inconvenience to older users, as they already know they can change it. I don't think older Blender users totally understand what this confusion does to the brain. It makes everything else in the software seem even more confusing because the new user is constantly trying to remember to right click. It's only now that I'm more comfortable with Blender that I can override the confusing aspect of right clicking and see how much of Blender is pretty comparable to using Max or Maya, and how many aspects are much easier.

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I haven't used Blender in about 6 or 7 years so I can't really speak about how the Blender UI is today.  Blender was the first 3D graphics program I tried to learn.  After a week or two I gave up on it.  The UI was just so confusing and not intuitive to me at all.

Mind you I am no late comer to computers and graphics.  I been working with computer since the mid 1980's and as a graphic designer for over 15 years.  Mind you primarily in 2D graphic programs such as Photoshop, Quark, Illustrator, Corel Draw and Pagemaker.  So I am no novice when it comes to UI's for serious professional programs.  

I actually gave up on Blender and learned the basics on Sketchup.  About six years ago I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase Maya and I have never looked back.

If the UI for Blender could be improved enough I would give it a try again.  Right now I can't afford to upgrade my Maya anymore so a more user friendly Blender would be a good option.

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Well, I'll give you my experience Cathy. Probably 8 years ago, I got 3ds Max, but knew nothing about 3d creation. I fumbled around in there a few time. Eventually, a few years ago, SL announced mesh was coming, so I decided to really sitdown and learn 3ds Max. It was remarkably simply, but I think it is just cause I'd been creating 3d stuff for awhile and was more familiar with terminology and how things work. I tried blender at that time, but it was akin to me opening 3ds Max for the first time.

Since I've done mostly animations for some 7 years now, I'm pretty knowledgable with avatars. I've always kept my eye on Blender, because of how powerful it is and cause it is free. Dealing with how 3ds Max and Maya do things with licensing is just not the kind of crap any creator wants to deal with. When I got a peak at Avastar, and how they integrated all the SL avatar stuff into Blender, I knew this was a good time for me to sit down and learn Blender. It was easy, probably because I already knew 3ds Max.

IMHO, Blender is not complicated at all, unless you know nothing about creating in 3D. Plus, in the preference, you can pretty much make Blender work alot like Max or Maya. I just changed my rightclick and leftclick the other day. I'm more comfortable now in Blender so why not just make it work like I want it. Of course, if I do more tutorials, I'll have to switch back for that. All that said, I think Andrew makes great points, especially because I jump around programs so much, I only learn the must know shortcut keys. A tool bar would be much appreciated.

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Coby Foden wrote:

Wow. I like the new UI ideas presented in the video.

Lately, I've been deep into a 3d animated video I'm creating in Blender, which means I'm using many functions in Blender. I'm fricken amazed at how easy everything is to implement, like fire, water, cell fracturing and  especially compared to other 3D programs. With a UI like what is being proposed, it would truely make Blender a joy to use. I'm still pretty new in Blender, and I always have this feeling that there are all kinds of things I don't know about because I don't know the shortcut keys. The W key is becoming my new friend. I amazed at Blender almost daily.

 

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Andrew basically gets beaten up pretty bad, but he still comes out with some good ideas and people talking about the UI. It was very interesting to hear every1 speak about all things Blender. For me, it was interesting to hear about how and why the animation interface is the way it is. That is easily the 1 are and set up that I love. Everything in the animation interface is how I need it to be. Yes, I have to resize windows alot when I move from working in the Dopesheet to working in the curve editor, but at least it's right there when I need it. Tho, it would be cool to have a shortcut key that allows you to cycle thru UI's, instead of opening more windows.

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Medhue Simoni wrote:

it would be cool to have a shortcut key that allows you to cycle thru UI's, instead of opening more windows.

Ctrl-Up is your friend there... it toggles the subwindow that currently encloses the pointer fullscreen... So there I am in the 3d view fullscreen tweaking seams [ctrl-up] toggle back to my personal default view where I can see properties and an image editor as well, U to unwrap, slide the mouse into the (small) image editor, [Ctrl-Up] to set that fullscreen and tweeak the UV layout, [Ctrl-Up] back to my default view... you get the point :) Its at the stage where my right middle finger and thumb pretty much do the combo as a single keystroke.

 

Particularly when frequently switching between watching the anim play out in the 3d view and making fine edits in other windows you might find a little of the same might fit your workflow too

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Are you aware of Blender's ability to open multiple blender screens in parallel (Window -> Duplicate window) ?

Well, this is in particular very useful when you have 2 or more displays at work. However even on one display it would allow you to have the animation window and the default screen open at the same time.

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Da5id Weatherwax wrote:


Medhue Simoni wrote:

it would be cool to have a shortcut key that allows you to cycle thru UI's, instead of opening more windows.

Ctrl-Up is your friend there... it toggles the subwindow that currently encloses the pointer fullscreen... So there I am in the 3d view fullscreen tweaking seams [ctrl-up] toggle back to my personal default view where I can see properties and an image editor as well, U to unwrap, slide the mouse into the (small) image editor, [Ctrl-Up] to set that fullscreen and tweeak the UV layout, [Ctrl-Up] back to my default view... you get the point
:)
Its at the stage where my right middle finger and thumb pretty much do the combo as a single keystroke.

 

Particularly when frequently switching between watching the anim play out in the 3d view and making fine edits in other windows you might find a little of the same might fit your workflow too

Yes, that is very cool. Now no more hunting for that sweet spot to change my window size.

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