PDA

View Full Version : Blender 2.40 released


Pages : [1] 2

Samo
12-22-2005, 07:55 PM
http://blender.org/_gfx/homepage/splash_front.jpg

Blender has had another long development cycle resulting in a release
packed with rewrites, new features and improvements. The major additions this release are the Character Animation rewrite, the added Fluid Dynamics system, improved editing and rendering of Particle Based Hair, and the Modifier Stack.

More info at:
http://blender.org/cms/Home.2.0.html

Release notes:
http://blender.org/cms/Blender_2_40.598.0.html

Bsmith
12-22-2005, 08:00 PM
sweet Jesus!

CupOWonton
12-22-2005, 08:05 PM
As a max user, I am actualy jealous of how clean a lot of blender plugins look.

Autodesk had better for out a TON of compeditive upgrades in the next Max 8.5 update for subscribers. It already makes me ill to see how awsome other hair creation tools are, along with other integrated modeling and animation tools.

Thankfully I got a huge discount on my Max 8, but still, I want more :O

Gwot
12-22-2005, 08:06 PM
HOLY CRAP! This is looking pretty sweet! I've been waiting on this release above all others. Time to play I guess. =]

pnoland
12-22-2005, 08:12 PM
HOLY CRAP! This is looking pretty sweet! I've been waiting on this release above all others. Time to play I guess. =]

Ya, James said it. :D I've been waiting for this one...I love it, I can save money on upgrades now and just use Blender! :)

Bellorum
12-22-2005, 08:13 PM
It's like christmas before christmas. :) And to think that a lot of things were postponed for the next release - like material layers (done), node editor for materials and sequencer (being worked on). Then there are the SOC projects that didn't make it in in time, like PyTextures, Improved Nurbs and everything else. I'm forgetting stuff of course, but the future of Blender is looking good. :thumbsup:

And that's the kewlest splash so far! :applause:

ColinCohen
12-22-2005, 08:16 PM
Congrats -- keep up the great work. :thumbsup:

SketchPad
12-22-2005, 08:22 PM
Yes - and Blenderīs better than EVER. ;)

A x-mas gift for the artistic masses.
have HEAPS of fun - I know I will.

ESRB
12-22-2005, 09:13 PM
:bounce: :bounce: Busy donwloading it now! :bounce: :bounce:
This is the release we've all been waiting for...physics, hair, fluid, animation overhaul...bliss.
Good job developers! :thumbsup:

Schwinnz
12-22-2005, 10:15 PM
I'm always amazed by the small number of hits that every Blender release gets on CGTalk...

Gratz to the Blender Team. :)

TraceR
12-22-2005, 10:20 PM
Darn you beat me to posting the news! I just downloaded it now. Can't wait to see what new stuff I get to play with. :thumbsup:

SylvanMist
12-22-2005, 10:29 PM
w00t! It's about time!

Great job Blender devs! :)

Apollux
12-22-2005, 10:31 PM
Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy !:love:

Did you notice? Blender now imports and exports to the COLLADA file format !

Wintermute
12-22-2005, 10:47 PM
SWEET! I have a nice long train ride to play with this on tomorrow! :bounce:

Beamtracer
12-23-2005, 01:35 AM
Wow. Free 3D software.

I had a look at their website, but can't find any detailed Blender specifications. Like, what kind of 3D file types can you use... .3ds? .obj? .lwo?

Apollux
12-23-2005, 01:37 AM
Wow. Free 3D software.

I had a look at their website, but can't find any detailed Blender specifications. Like, what kind of 3D file types can you use... .3ds? .obj? .lwo?

Who's website are you refering to?

pnoland
12-23-2005, 01:54 AM
Wow. Free 3D software.

I had a look at their website, but can't find any detailed Blender specifications. Like, what kind of 3D file types can you use... .3ds? .obj? .lwo?

You're able to import and export .lwo and .obj files with Blender.
http://www.blender3d.com/cms/Import___Export.5.0.html These are import/export scripts but the most popular ones are build into Blenders UI now so you don't need to fuss with python scripts for the formats you are used to.

LetterRip
12-23-2005, 02:27 AM
Beamtracer,

3ds, obj, lwo, collada import and export are built in

direct x and xsi export are also built in

animation support is the major lack though - I think direct x and cal3d are the only animation capable formats currently but not positive.

The Animation API was fixed only a short time before release (the complete animation rewrite required the API be rewritten) and thus exporters haven't had time to catch up quite yet.

LetterRip

Beamtracer
12-23-2005, 03:24 AM
Thanks pnoland and Tom for that information about file types (I couldn't easily find it on the Blender.org website)

I've already got modo for modeling, but now I know that Blender can import .lwo files, I'll be able to give it a go and see how it renders objects modeled in modo. It'll give me something to do over the holiday break.

It's still hard to believe that this is open source free software. It's brilliant.

digital_me
12-23-2005, 04:33 AM
Absolutely loving this new release. Everything we've seen in the cvs & alpha builds comes together perfectly. The only thing I felt was lacking was the interface overhaul from tuhopuu.

JA-forreal
12-23-2005, 06:49 AM
Sweet! The Blender code team rolls out another great release. Much thanks to the Blender coders and the folks on the Project Orange team.

Loy
12-23-2005, 10:24 AM
This is SO nice: Blender is developping at the same pace I do. When I think: "That would be really usefull" it's in the next release!

Thank you coders, merry christmas!

jeaninmontreal
12-23-2005, 10:41 AM
The development of Blender just keeps going on and on and more !
While the CVS was frozen for the last pre-release debugging effort new features just kept pouring in anyway in the Orange branch and not small stuff either.
Nobody can tell how far Blender can go but we all can tell how far it has gone in the last 2 years or so.

Heartfelt congratulations to everybody coding, documenting, helping, or servicing the Community in any capacity.

Jean

wclaes
12-23-2005, 11:06 AM
Congrats and thank you to all the great developers of Blender!

It's an excellent piece of software!

Hazdaz
12-23-2005, 12:18 PM
Wow - you guys must be just killing their bandwidth, cuz I can't get it to open up. I would to see what all the fuss is all about. :(

<--- is a MAX user that is getting more frustrated by their lack of development, so windowshopping now.

paintbox
12-23-2005, 12:50 PM
While its true you have to get used to the UI -icons-, once you get to know the shortcuts, Blender can be lightning fast when modelling. Looking forward trying this out. I already have used Blender once or twice in projects.

johnnygizmo
12-23-2005, 01:17 PM
As one of the 'middle tier' developers I have to say thank you to the folks who have posted in this thread. After reading through as much of the trashtalking posts on /. It feels refreshing to hear from people who actually DO 3d and not just people who feel like spewing garbage at an easy target. So, enjoy the new release, a lot of people (including several Google Summer of Code entries) have poured a lot of time into this release and will continue on into 2006.

Merry Christmas!

Opelfruits
12-23-2005, 01:39 PM
Are the fuilds in blender meshes? are they exportable?

thanks

brkn
12-23-2005, 01:45 PM
Apparently, yes. There's a post in the Blender forum here at CGTalk by someone who's successfully exported them to Lightwave:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=303734

Hazdaz
12-23-2005, 02:37 PM
Surprisingly, I still can't get onto the website...

Can anyone tell me if Blender is a "full-featured" 3D prgram??
I just remember reading about it many years ago as it being a free modeller (with a lot of people using it for low-poly game mods), but does it also actually render and animate and stuff like that? Is it actually usable for hi-poly scenes?

You guys are mentioning fluids and hair and I'm like 'WOAH', this sounds much more powerful than what I was led to believe.

johnnygizmo
12-23-2005, 02:43 PM
Try googling Blender and look at the cached pages. The server is being hit REALLY hard right now and probably will be for a while.

To answer you question, Blender is full featured. Once the server is responding again, check http://orange.blender.org for a full blown project being done mostly with Blender.

NeptuneImaging
12-23-2005, 03:05 PM
this is fantastic....I have been playing with the RC beta of this before, and I am glad it is now out. Something to hold me over until I get my hands on XSI :)

SketchPad
12-23-2005, 04:08 PM
Surprisingly, I still can't get onto the website...

Can anyone tell me if Blender is a "full-featured" 3D prgram??
I just remember reading about it many years ago as it being a free modeller (with a lot of people using it for low-poly game mods), but does it also actually render and animate and stuff like that? Is it actually usable for hi-poly scenes?

You guys are mentioning fluids and hair and I'm like 'WOAH', this sounds much more powerful than what I was led to believe.

Blender is by now as full-featured as you can ever wish for a 3d-package to be - of
course - we can always think of MORE stuff being the greedy users we are :)

Seriously - Blender is a 3D-suite, itīs a complete production tool with:

- Full set of Character Rigging tools, now growing to be some of the fastest around.
- Character movement baking + action editor so you can reuse animations
- Driven keys! Baking shapes, morphing and much more.
- Auto IK, Three IK, Pose-to-Pose bones + on-the-fly switchable auto-ik.
- Paint On "Hair/Fur". Yes you can PAINT hair & particles directly onto the characters!
- Video-editing suite... you can produce the whole movie inside of Blender!
- You can even "draw directly on textures" if you have last-minute details to add! (The MiniGimp)
- LSCM Live on-the-fly UV-mapping for easy and fast mapping of complex characters.
- Improved scanline renderer with loads of filters
- High quality external and (free) renderers like Yafray etc.
- Draw geometry "on-the-fly".. Yes...you extrude details with the mouse on the fly almost
like drawing.
- Export / Import of .3ds and collada formats + much more!
- Supersmall and operating virtually on "any" platform out there so you can have your
work in your USB-Keychain and keep working "anywhere".

Yes - itīs almost too good to be true, Iīve been using Blender in an production environment
producing poster-ads, packaging-designs, animations for web and much more for over a
year now - so can You do it with Blender? Ya betcha!

...of course ...thereīs still no "Make Art" button so everyone have to learn the "hard" way
most of us went trough any 3d software.

Trident_2K5
12-23-2005, 04:35 PM
- Paint On "Hair/Fur". Yes you can PAINT hair & particles directly onto the characters!
Is that really working? IIRC UV textures do not work for emmitters (yet)...

Opelfruits
12-23-2005, 04:38 PM
i have just tried it out, and it is the most horrible thing i have ever used.

Nichod
12-23-2005, 04:48 PM
You guys are mentioning fluids and hair and I'm like 'WOAH', this sounds much more powerful than what I was led to believe.

Fluids have some way to go. The next release should have interaction between moving objects and fluid. I think the next step will be optimization, etc.

Hair is a hack mostly, works well enough for simple hair effects but it needs much more to be truely useful.

Nichod
12-23-2005, 04:52 PM
i have just tried it out, and it is the most horrible thing i have ever used.

Yes, the five minutes you gave it was just enough time to determine its value.:buttrock: Really I think you just decided to bash the program to attempt to start a silly childish arguement.

If you'd like to post some serious and actual observations about the program, then perhaps we'd respect your opinion.

I am amazed how much blender has advanced over the past year or two.

gabio
12-23-2005, 04:53 PM
He meant painting to create hair.

You can Download Blender here:

http://download.blender.org/release/Blender2.40/

For release note... wait.

Duhast
12-23-2005, 04:57 PM
i have just tried it out, and it is the most horrible thing i have ever used.

WOW... What a powerful argument http://www.lacueva.cl/style_emoticons/default/noweon.gif

CupOWonton
12-23-2005, 05:00 PM
Yes, the five minutes you gave it was just enough time to determine its value.:buttrock: Really I think you just decided to bash the program to attempt to start a silly childish arguement.

If you'd like to post some serious and actual observations about the program, then perhaps we'd respect your opinion.

I am amazed how much blender has advanced over the past year or two.

I hated 3dsmax after 5 minutes too... 2 years later, I bought my own copy of 3dsmax 8. *huggs his 3dsmax case*

eek
12-23-2005, 05:00 PM
hmm.. just about to give it a whirl. Im primarily a max user, but can pretty much do the same things in any package. Might wait a bit to see if this is a serious contender.


Btw what was horrid about it, (if its anything like bryce im gunna run like hell!)

eek

Opelfruits
12-23-2005, 05:09 PM
sorry i didnt blender, the feature list is certainly impressive, but it really is not very nice to use.

eek
12-23-2005, 05:14 PM
ahh shhucks...

looks like im gunna buy a copy of max 8 in the new year.

eek

Bellorum
12-23-2005, 05:22 PM
Um, let's see now.

07:00
just about to give it a whirl
07:14
ahh shhucks...

looks like im gunna buy a copy of max 8 in the new year.

You gave it a good 14 minutes. I bet you had a lot of time to actually go through the documentation in that time, right? :rolleyes:

jeaninmontreal
12-23-2005, 05:30 PM
sorry i didnt blender, the feature list is certainly impressive, but it really is not very nice to use.

It is extremely nice to use, on the contrary !
I did open and shut it back in a hurry at least 3 times in a year's time before taking the plunge. I understand exactly how you feel but I was wrong.
Anyway, Blender is as it is and it is a growing success story no matter who loves it and who hates it.

Jean

SketchPad
12-23-2005, 05:31 PM
Why not? I mean - if he wants to buy 3dstudio max or any other 3d package
itīs entirely up to him.

Blender is a "community" based effort made by passionate 3d artists and coders
that want to take the software in their own direction and is not a "contender" to
3dstudio max, Maya, XSI or any other package out there - really. Itīs totally free
to use for virtually any purpose

So rather than make these threads into a "My-favourite-app versus the-other-apps" thread
why not enjoy this free gift to the world as an additional bonus? If you find something in
the package you might like to take advantage of - go ahead...if youīre perfectly happy
with your current package... good for you! True artists never limit themselves to a
"single tool" - Have a ball and have fun with "everything"! :)

eek
12-23-2005, 05:33 PM
Um, let's see now.

07:00

07:14

You gave it a good 14 minutes. I bet you had a lot of time to actually go through the documentation in that time, right? :rolleyes:

well im waiting for any pro max or maya users who have changed over to it to post. Most of my stuff uses expression or custom fns, so i dont care about documentation - features look nice but user base is most important and especially max users for me anyway.

So im waiting...

eek

Samo
12-23-2005, 05:33 PM
In a note aside for Blender developers, seems that many people are interested in particular Blender features to use them and export the result to their app, which I think is very possitive aspect of Blender, working as part of a pipeline.

Opelfruits
12-23-2005, 05:33 PM
i apologise if i have offended anyone, i think i will cut my losses and exit this thread now, cya

eek
12-23-2005, 05:36 PM
i apologise if i have offended anyone, i think i will cut my losses and exit this thread now, cya

got a spare bullet hehe

Why not? I mean - if he wants to buy 3dstudio max or any other 3d package
itīs entirely up to him.

Blender is a "community" based effort made by passionate 3d artists and coders
that want to take the software in their own direction and is not a "contender" to
3dstudio max, Maya, XSI or any other package out there - really. Itīs totally free
to use for virtually any purpose

So rather than make these threads into a "My-favourite-app versus the-other-apps" thread
why not enjoy this free gift to the world as an additional bonus? If you find something in
the package you might like to take advantage of - go ahead...if youīre perfectly happy
with your current package... good for you! True artists never limit themselves to a
"single tool" - Have a ball and have fun with "everything"! :)

hehe thx bud. Well i got a basic viao thingy here, wtih sketchbook and art rage (v nice) always nice to try stuff out, just wanted to here from other max/maya guys/riggers/animators thats all.

eek

Samo
12-23-2005, 05:37 PM
We don't need to justify Blender use. Bad or good, Blender speaks for itself.

jeaninmontreal
12-23-2005, 05:40 PM
i apologise if i have offended anyone, i think i will cut my losses and exit this thread now, cya

Contrary to the common 'wisdom', cutting losses is the surest way to lose, nothing else. I tell you that I understand you perfectly so take your time, have fun. You'll see that you'll never stop hearing about Blender and how great it is becoming and... you'll be drawn back, there's no escaping...
Se ya 2.
Wahahahahaha !
Jean

P.S. Merry Christmas to you all : me leaving for family.

Jean

Vladius
12-23-2005, 05:48 PM
i have just tried it out, and it is the most horrible thing i have ever used.
Unfortunately I can not totally disagree with Opelfruits. Blender is packed with some nice features, however it is almost totally user-unfriendly. Missing object picking possibilities in some tools is a big misfeature. Blender's selection and trivial object manipulation is unatractive, however "object manipulators" are step forward better experience. Mesh editing is a horror. No "N-gons". Sounds like verdict to ruin blender's mesh editing experience. Wings3D is a lot better free solution for mesh modelling(actually, I think it is almost very good =) ).
The good point in today's blender is animation. Blender's IK and armatures are ok(except the lack of object picking for IK chain definitions). Ipo curve editor is a bit tedious, but usable.
Blender's python API is an excellent feature for scripters and plugin programmers.
The entire "feeling" of blender sometimes is poor. Strangely arranged buttons, two-colored cursors, strange(in the sense of the way adjustments are performed) value-edit-boxes.
My advise to blender's foundation and Ton himself is to stop adding tools like fluid dynamics(I know it is SoC project, I'm saying in general), and start something like "usability" project.
I would also like to see blender licensed under LesserGPL, to design strong API and to become a good solution for general object manipulation and graphics creation to be used in other projects as a library, however it is not so important as the user experience improvements.
Anyway, blender is making progress. I hope it will become "top of the pop" open-source software like Firefox, GCC, Linux(as workstation solution), Python, etc. I would like to thank all those kind people who have developed the new version. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Hazdaz
12-23-2005, 05:53 PM
Blender users, we don't need to justify Blender use. Bad or good, Blender speaks for itself.
I disagree.
Now I am not a Blender user (but I am getting more interested in it), but honestly if someone isn't willing to "justify" the use of this product, then really how do you expect others to join them?? (cuz after all, the more users, the more possibility of it growing even better).
I am just trying to learn more about it, and seeing as how their site is down there were quite a few kind people willing to "justify" why they use it or why it is so popular. Without those kind of people, I would have no more interest in it than I did years ago when I was under the impression that it was mostly a simple low-poly modeller for game mods.

Nando
12-23-2005, 06:02 PM
being a curious person, I decided to look at 2.40, and I was thrown of by the interface yes within less than five minutes.
But, I found out that the mouse can be switched over to be more like a windows box, and the rounded interface with pop ups, suited me best. I think most 5 minute haters realy need to change the mouse settings to be like windows.
Also new folks should see the introductory videos.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=176480

For a community project this is pretty cool, and i will reserve my judgement until after I have spent the Xmass holidays throughly... realy thourghly testing it out..

brkn
12-23-2005, 06:06 PM
well im waiting for any pro max or maya users who have changed over to it to post. Most of my stuff uses expression or custom fns, so i dont care about documentation - features look nice but user base is most important and especially max users for me anyway.

As someone who's quite involved in Blender right now, I don't know if I'd recommend anyone who already owns an app like Max or Maya completely switch over to Blender, unless they really really like the way it works (like I do!). While they are disappearing extremely rapidly, Blender still has its share of limitations, and may of the big apps have a lot more total functionality.

Having said that, Blender does have a lot of good things going for it - and for people working on smaller, very time-crucial projects that don't need all the extra esoteric features it can be just the ticket. And there are isolated parts of Blender that I'd say are quite superior compared to many of their commercial counterparts such as UV unwrapping and now fluid simulation (compared to apps that don't have it at all!) where Blender can fit very well in a pipeline. Both of these areas are also currently in development and will be improved a lot in the next release, too.

Anyway, it's free, so take it or leave it. :) Hopefully though these days it's providing utility for more and more people, which is great.

johnnygizmo
12-23-2005, 06:07 PM
Vladius, as far as usability, there is a project underway to address the UI and layout. Hopefully this will show up in the next release. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised when it is done :)

I'm not a mod, but thanks to all for keeping this thread about the release and not turning it into an app comparison thread. The core dev team knows that Blender is not yet on par with Maya, Max, XSI, etc, but we are working hard to give you an opensource tool that can sit in your toolkit alongside other industry standards :)

ZanQdo
12-23-2005, 06:09 PM
eek, just wanted to say that I found Blender some years ago, just months before I entered animation school, I was really exited becouse I was going to learn Maya, high end stuff, well I must say that I reallize that I really liked Blender a lot more :D, Sometime the profesor told me to do something in Maya I know I could do faster and better in Blender, I was allways thinking "why canīt I work in Blender, it would be better!" anyway Iīm glad I learn a bit about maya. Now Iīm working in an animation studio, were we use lots of different software like LW, Maya, Max and Blender, :argh: yeah, scary, but itīs is not dificult at all to work with diferent softs, itīs better I think becouse we got the best things of all those progs and everybody is happy using hes favorite software (me=blender)

So I know a bit about Ligthwave (love hes progresive render engine, fprime), Maya (like hes powerfull node editor, currently being implemented in Blender) and Max, and I prefer to use Blender becouse Itīs so damm fast and organized, etc.

I hope this is helpfull to you and I will see your work at the forums and galleries :-)

Daniel Salazar

Samo
12-23-2005, 06:26 PM
I disagree.
Now I am not a Blender user (but I am getting more interested in it), but honestly if someone isn't willing to "justify" the use of this product, then really how do you expect others to join them?? (cuz after all, the more users, the more possibility of it growing even better).
I am just trying to learn more about it, and seeing as how their site is down there were quite a few kind people willing to "justify" why they use it or why it is so popular. Without those kind of people, I would have no more interest in it than I did years ago when I was under the impression that it was mostly a simple low-poly modeller for game mods.

Well, if you are really interested in Blender, if your are willing to take your time investigating its capabilities, if you want to consider it as a serious option, then I'm willing to justify, not why you should use blender but why I use Blender.

People involved in its development deserve at least respect.:buttrock:
It is not that they are going to buy theirselves a Maserati with blender profits

There are also some positive criticism is this thread. We welcome that.

Bellorum
12-23-2005, 06:41 PM
I found out that the mouse can be switched over to be more like a windows box,
Yes. I never liked having to select with RMB, so it was a blessing when they made LMB select a customizable option. There are plans to further expand on customizability, liked customized keybindings. That will probably be a much welcomed addition. As for N-gons, there was work done on half-edge mesh structure in Tuhopuu, which was the experimental fork of Blender. That project seems more or less dead now, though - but I'm still hoping.

Furthermore I second the recommendation to watch the video-tutorials - especially if you're a visual learner, like me. I hated the interface at first, but watching what others were able to achieve was a big incentive to actually take the time to read the manual. I'm glad I did. There still are things I find weird. Ton follows this theory of "Human Interface" or something - I guess I'm not human:shrug:

All in all, though - the benefits outweigh the negative by far.

JA-forreal
12-23-2005, 06:45 PM
I have used most of the “high end” 3d apps out there. I had used 3d software for years and was still intimidated by some of the complex 3d software features on first use. With Blender you don't have to approach a first time 3d project with a zillion features in your face. Blender is one of the simplest 3d software apps that I used for the first time. Once you get a Blender book, try out a few of Blenders features. Check the Blender.org features and post your questions to a Blender forum. You'll be ok. Blender is not that hard to use in comparison to anything else out there with this approach.

Honestly, if you really want to use something, you will use it. If you are already happy with your current 3d software setup, you are probably wasting your time worrying about Blender.

In any case, Blender is a great 3d open source app. This also means that it's our 3d software as a 3d Artist community. Our suggestions and additions to it's code can determine the quality and quantity of features.

Often insanely complex 3d operations require a skill beyond just modeling or animating objects with the softwares basic features. You have to put a lot of work into most 3d software apps to create anything amazing.

Here's to your Blender beginnings. Have fun!

Samo
12-23-2005, 06:50 PM
You have to put a lot of work into most 3d software apps to create anything amazing.

In Blender, well, just a bit more. :p

ZanQdo
12-23-2005, 06:52 PM
ok, now letīs destroy each other arguing about what sotware is the best! :twisted: :twisted:

Just kidding

eek
12-23-2005, 07:04 PM
Right, wow! lots of replies. Better go throw them one by one.

Firstly, i use max 8 at work. So i can either got out buy it 3,495$ which i dont mind too much - will have to save a little. Really i just model,rig, and animate thats it. As long as im getting good with them i dont care. Most reels are 90% personal when you dont start working, then it becomes 90% work 10% personal. And my reels are all work stuff. I just want some thing to play with in the evening etc. I just download gmax (dont laugh), its very cool, slim down version of max but its got everything i need. Right on with the replies. Im gunna give blender a go to i think.

Vladius,
Thx for the info.

Hazdaz,
Exactly, a software package has to prove itself.

Bkrn,
Thx for the info again. Nice to be open mind. God i hate software 'elitists'!

ZanQdo,
Well personal, unless you have a mind blowing reel. Most jobs in the industry are max/maya/soft/lw/houdini. It seems a great tool to learn on. But eventually your'll need to have a main stream tool under your belt.

Samo,
cool (hehe thats all i can say, oh and a Merry Christmas to you)

JA,

True, open source is a good point. I wish it was built on an open source sdk like c sharp, and that was completely accessable. Maybe it is. I heard messiahs script language is c++ eek!!

cheers all, ill give it a go.

eek

JA-forreal
12-23-2005, 07:23 PM
As someone who's quite involved in Blender right now, I don't know if I'd recommend anyone who already owns an app like Max or Maya completely switch over to Blender, unless they really really like the way it works (like I do!). While they are disappearing extremely rapidly, Blender still has its share of limitations, and may of the big apps have a lot more total functionality.

..........................................

Honestly, who isn't learning about or at least looking into 3d apps like Maya, or Softimage if they are coming from a more consumer based 3d software app? I don't think that apps like Lightwave and Max can match to total functionality of apps like Maya and Softimage. But do we use our 3d app just for the sake of perfect functionality? Most of us use our 3d software within our own range of reasons. None of these reasons are based knowing that our app is the best app on the planet.

We use our chosen apps because we know our apps and they help us get our work done. They work with our computer hardware setups. Our clients are happy with our work outputs.

Often it's the utility of a the app in one area that makes it useful to us.

Some people use one app for modeling and another for animation. If you model in Wings3d you can render and animate your models in Blender/Yafray. You may want learn to use Blender so that you can take advantage of it's great LSCM UV unwrapping features. Your main 3d app may bog down your laptops functionality while your on the road doing architectural presentations. So you can export your scenes to Blender for simple flyby animations and realtime presentations.

Blender is built to be used in any computer environment. The Knoppix Linux LiveDVD comes packed with a fully functional Blender and Yafray Installation that works on many PC's. With this type of setup you can use Blender to test out a PC's 3d hardware capabilities before you purchase. Oh yeah, Linux Livecd coders need to update with this latest release of Blender 2.4.

I love using Blender to create web designs of just about anything I can imagine. If you learn to use Blender you will find your own reason to keep using it in some way or another.

Have fun!

eek
12-23-2005, 07:34 PM
Also the blatent fact that we like the apps we use. Its pretty fundemental, but people seem to forget this. I like using max, i make it do what i want. Im not a user of a system.

eek

Samo
12-23-2005, 07:41 PM
The Knoppix Linux LiveDVD comes packed with a fully functional Blender and Yafray Installation that works on many PC's

offtopic
I tried one of these from an spanish university (UPC (http://www.upc.es/)) quite usseles, because there was only software, no docs, no exciting examples... and the Blender GUI is quite frightening for a begginer, we should admit that

a architectural design student once said me "with so many little buttons it seems a airliner cockpit"

KangarooMan
12-23-2005, 07:47 PM
Also the blatent fact that we like the apps we use. Its pretty fundemental, but people seem to forget this. I like using max, i make it do what i want. Im not a user of a system.

eek

Well, and think that's the main reason for people disliking Blender's UI, since you are expecting Blender to be like Max or your application of choice. :) I spent some time learning Blender's interface, and I like it alot. Whenever you learn a new app you have to take the time to learn its basics until you can adapt it to your personal workflow.

Matt :)

eek
12-23-2005, 07:59 PM
Well, and think that's the main reason for people disliking Blender's UI, since you are expecting Blender to be like Max or your application of choice. :) I spent some time learning Blender's interface, and I like it alot. Whenever you learn a new app you have to take the time to learn its basics until you can adapt it to your personal workflow.

Matt :)

Wow an early politian i see in you. Hey dont construde my words. Im not expecting anything, all im saying is i like max, ive used soft and i like that, ive used nendo,wings,silo,maya, and i like them too heck ive worked with custom mocap solutions and cyber scanning. I dont expect anything to be like anything else, and ffs most companies have propiertary tools you have to learn. Sounds like your the one with the chip on your shoulder. Saying you have to adapt sounds like your not open to new tools in the first place.
I havent even installed blender yet!

Hey wow, i should run for govement.

eek

MartyD
12-23-2005, 08:08 PM
Blender's user interface has made astounding strides in the last two years. If you dislike blender now you would have experienced brain damage a few versions ago. Undo, transform tools, face selection: all missing. I wanted to use a feature that was discontinued a while back and nearly couldn't remember how. That much has been improved since the application went open source.

And the Orange branch has already more. Groups, for one, will let you manage hair styles much more easily.

efbie
12-23-2005, 08:15 PM
For those who think blender's interface is terrible, i have a small analogy.

Using mainstream software (Max, maya, etc...) is like driving cars and trucks.
Now we are giving you a free motorbike, so you take it, try it, and fall, and conclude
: motorbikes sucks.
The next logic point is then evident ! blender's interface sucks, unless we add a third wheel !

- wrong.

Blender's interface doesn't suck, it's just very different. You might like it, or you might not, but you can't be sure just by trying it 2min. I've seen nobody picking blender and saying 5min later "OMG awesome". You really need to spend some time (a day or two) to understand how it works, and then you'll understand why many blender users just love it.

I've seen 12years kids using blender, so no , it's not complicated or broken it's just different. (very, very, very different)

Vladius
12-23-2005, 08:36 PM
Why do I have interest in blender? I think that it's price(0$) is not the only reason. I can see open-source projects are becoming real alternative to commercial (I won't enumerate them one more time). I think that main benefits from the community "engine" are innovation and direct dialog between developer and 3D content creator - that is very important. Blender needs some functionality, blender needs some UI improvements and I'm sure blender will get them sooner or later. I think that everyone from blender's community can help. Designers improve their skills and show better results each year, coders innovate and revise sources. It is all about people and their moral qualities that can make community strong enough to create "threat" for commercial software. All blender-heads have to admit weak points of blender. This will help to improve it. I think that blender's elite (those who use blender to create real artwork) have to create some kind of group and share ideas and their art in a better way then elysiun forum. Perhaps some portal for blender professionals should be created. I think that this can raise blender's prestige. Blender.org's gallery is ok(sometimes) but it is not very serious. Blender is defined as app for 3D newbies most times. I think that it is because of both newbie and experienced works placed in the same context and on the same webpages.

cara-rj
12-23-2005, 11:08 PM
I think that blender's elite (those who use blender to create real artwork) have to create some kind of group and share ideas and their art in a better way then elysiun forum. Perhaps some portal for blender professionals should be created. I think that this can raise blender's prestige.

Elysiun will become BlenderArtists (http://www.blenderartists.org/), a more serious place (I hope) for Blender users.
And right now, some of the Blender's elite artists are working on Orange Project (http://orange.blender.org/).

I'm really excited about this version (been using the CVSs for too long :D).
Let's see what the future brings to us. :buttrock:

kursad_pileksuz
12-23-2005, 11:35 PM
I think you are dead wrong about it, I started using blender right away, and it never looked ugly to me. Infact because one app does not come with outstanding examples does not mean that it cannot produce outstanding results, thumbrule is that it is the artist. That is the way Apple likes to sell, because it looks cool does not mean it is cool. Blender is great for what it is, has a sensible interface, it works great with tablets, it is improving constantly, it is free (free as in free beer), it is open source, it runs on alot of platforms, It provides decent tools, it supports python, it can plug into many renderers, it has builtin game engine, it has noble purposes.
Please do not be prejudgemental.

Free does not mean cheap.







offtopic
I tried one of these from an spanish university (UPC (http://www.upc.es/)) quite usseles, because there was only software, no docs, no exciting examples... and the Blender GUI is quite frightening for a begginer, we should admit that

a architectural design student once said me "with so many little buttons it seems a airliner cockpit"

wolfmanyoda
12-24-2005, 12:48 AM
I've been using Blender since v1.8 and love it, but it took me a few tries before I jumped in with both feet to learn the UI.
For new users I have just two tips that really helped me:
1) Middle-click on any border to split a window or combine two windows into one view. This lets you chop-up and re-arrange everything on the screen to fit your needs.
2) When hovering over a view, the spacebar is your friend. I hardly ever mess with the menu at the top.

Tripdragon
12-24-2005, 01:00 AM
Ya know what sets Blender apart from the Pay for programs ..?? It's not features, or Ui or power or this and that....

It's hype.. For better or worse. Blender does not sit around and hypeing their features, it just gets them started and working and available for testing as soon as a deveoloper submits them to the CVS code.

While other companys hype the big next version and strive to get it working and super clean, they offer nothing else but hype on the next big feature to anyone untill it's done bug testing and building the marketing blitz to promote it.

For better or worse blender shows features on the spot fresh off of the code presses.....

ColinCohen
12-24-2005, 01:07 AM
Wow, this must be the longest Blender thread I've ever seen here. :)

By the way, I've read a number of threads in different forums about LW users importing Blender's new fluid sims. I'm gonna try it next week.

ZanQdo
12-24-2005, 01:31 AM
I have made this small and simple demo videos about some new features, hope you like them:
(hit the HTMLs)
http://www.3developer.com/blender_demos/


Also if in the future you want to get the latest cvs Blender version, you could use this page:
www.graphicall.org (http://www.graphicall.org)

See you guys

digital_me
12-24-2005, 02:37 AM
Ya know what sets Blender apart from the Pay for programs ..?? It's not features, or Ui or power or this and that....

It's hype.. For better or worse. Blender does not sit around and hypeing their features, it just gets them started and working and available for testing as soon as a deveoloper submits them to the CVS code.

While other companys hype the big next version and strive to get it working and super clean, they offer nothing else but hype on the next big feature to anyone untill it's done bug testing and building the marketing blitz to promote it.

For better or worse blender shows features on the spot fresh off of the code presses.....
Great Scott! I think he's on to something! That's exactly what I've been thinking as I've looked at the "big" packages, that they just hyped stuff over and over again.
On the other hand, it may be that blender can just be DLed and tried out out, unlike the big pacages (well, not legally anyway ;))

Ollarin
12-24-2005, 03:37 AM
Wow. Blender looks pretty cool now. It seems to be getting real powerful! :D

I spent some time yesterday trying it out. Looks kinda cool. But i'm just too used to Maya, so i'm really, really slow with even navigating. It's all so alien! :p

Great stuff though, the new hair thingy is sweet! :thumbsup:

Apollux
12-24-2005, 04:19 AM
Since Blenderīs interface seems to be the hot topic of the day, Iīll trow in some general pointers to those willing to give Blender a first try.


Every hotkey press goes to whatever window the mouse is hovering over at that moment.
By default you select with a Right click and place the 3D cursor with a Left click.
There are two main work modes: Edit and Object mode. TAB swichs you back and forth.
The more usefull menus are hidden in your keyboard SPACEBAR.
The more usefull edit commands are hidden on the W key (while in Edit mode, of course)
Some usefull commands: E = Extrude, S = Scale, R = Rotate, G = Grab/Translate.
90% of Blender' s tools work like this:

Selectect whatever you want to affect with the command.
Use the commandīs hotkey or call it from a menu.
Move your mouse to start the action. A Left click confirms, a Right click (or ESC) cancels the command.
While moving the mouse, pressing Z, X or Y limits the effect of the command to that direction only.
While moving the mouse, you can type-in the measures if you need precise control.

While not using any command, Z swichts back and forth between wire frame and solid shaded view.
All windows syncronise their content on the fly, so what you see is always context dependant on what you have currently selected.
Any window of any type can be converted on the fly to any other type of window.
Any window can be subdivided or merged with itīs neighbor.
For 3D space navigation, your keyboard's NUMPAD is your greatest ally, specially the numbered keys.
Ctrl-Z is for UNDO, Ctrl-Shit-Z for REDO.
F12 renders the camera's view, F3 saves the last rendered image to disk.

JA-forreal
12-24-2005, 06:42 AM
Wow. Blender looks pretty cool now. It seems to be getting real powerful! :D

I spent some time yesterday trying it out. Looks kinda cool. But i'm just too used to Maya, so i'm really, really slow with even navigating. It's all so alien! :p

Great stuff though, the new hair thingy is sweet! :thumbsup:

3d software is so alien at times.

Blenders usefulness really didn't kick in for me until I needed access to some kind of 3d software on a remote computer. I just downloaded a .zip of Blender, unpacked it. I modeled a few objects on the computer right in front of me and rendered them out. This was back when most of us had only modem connections. I saved my work to a floppy. Oh, I left the copy of Blender on the machine. Maybe someone else used it.

Now I never leave home without an archived copy Blender. You could have any full featured 3d app in the world. You can only run Blender from a cdrom anytime you need to knock out a model, setup a scene and render it out. No licensing or dongle needed. This is amazing.

And now it has 3d hair! Wow.

I could never figure out why more 3d artist didn't have a copy of Blender on a harddrive. It really extends our 3d toolsets beyond a main app like Maya, Lightwave or Max. as 3d artist, Blender is our software, we determine what we want to do with it or whatever.

Have fun learning Blender. You have it way easy now. All of the new Blender users now have the best Blender release ever.

Cageman
12-24-2005, 08:14 AM
I noticed that Blender is avaliable on the MorphOS platform. That is really cool, because MorphOS is a tiny, small fraction of the total mass of Windows, Linux and MacOS. I've never used Blender, but every time I hear about it I get more tempted to try it out. Maybe I should try it on my MorphOS machine? :)

Anyways.. great work guys!

Beamtracer
12-24-2005, 08:20 AM
Is the rate of Blender development getting faster? It seems to be gaining features very rapidly. If it keeps going at this rate, some of the other proprietary 3D apps will have to watch out.

I really like the idea of software that is made for passion rather than profit!

Vladius
12-24-2005, 09:05 AM
I think that correct image of blender has to be created in the eyes of strangers. If we do say that blender's interface is convenient but very different, this thesis has to be mentioned somewhere on blender.org on a regular basis, I think.
Saying that blender is good but only not at first site and it is ok is wrong. Blender's learning grows too slow at start - that has to be corrected. I was told here that "usability" project is allready maintained, hope we'll see some improvements in this area.

Cheers
12-24-2005, 09:22 AM
I think the power of Blender is unquestionable for its price...of that I have no doubt. The theme of of every discussion I see in the 3D community concerning Blender seems to always point to it's GUI. I totally agree with those people who say that reading the documentation can go a long way to helping people figure it out, but the argument still stands that it's weakest feature is it's GUI.
Personally, I feel that it is that feature that holds Blender back...it must do, or more people would use it. Blender has enough dedicated users, so you can't alienate them, so the question is, how do you attract users that are or will be put off by the current GUI? How about customisation? This is where apps like Modo and Silo to a certain extent really do start to set a standard. Now if Blender could offer GUI customisation so a user could customise (or select a preset) that configured the GUI so it was more like the app they was use to and/or offer powerful key remapping then that would go a long way to pushing Blender to the forefront.
I have a great respect for Blender, but the GUI is too convoluted...I want to worry about what I create, not if I can remember where the command or keyboard shortcut is to create it.

Cheers

Apollux
12-24-2005, 09:51 AM
... Now if Blender could offer GUI customisation so a user could customise (or select a preset) that configured the GUI so it was more like the app they was use to and/or offer powerful key remapping then that would go a long way to pushing Blender to the forefront...


If you download any version before the 2.30 release youīll see how much the GUI has improved, much thanks to the Usability group. Right now Blender's GUI is fully themeable, customizable hotkeys are been worked on and so is a customizable context sensitive toolbar.

If you find the interface convulted, you should now that many options come nested withing others by default, but that is as easy to solve as dragging a tab out of it' s context. Add in the fact that all the windows can be customized and you got endless hours of GUI customization to make Blender look and work just like you want it.

There even is a Blender GUI Themes Repository online somewhere.

I have personally tested the customizable toolbar and I can say that it works great! (needs more visual polishing, but thatīs why is a beta feature).

Phrenzy84
12-24-2005, 10:00 AM
Is the rate of Blender development getting faster? It seems to be gaining features very rapidly. If it keeps going at this rate, some of the other proprietary 3D apps will have to watch out.

I really like the idea of software that is made for passion rather than profit!

well... what might happen is your nex 3d app will be able to grab some of the features for their next version. I mean they have the source code for it (dont they? ).

SketchPad
12-24-2005, 10:38 AM
but the argument still stands that it's weakest feature is it's GUI.
Personally, I feel that it is that feature that holds Blender back...it must do, or more people would use it. Blender has enough dedicated users, so you can't alienate them, so the question is, how do you attract users that are or will be put off by the current GUI?
Cheers

Actually - youīve got it all backwards :) (politely of course)

If anything - Blenderīs GUI is one of itīs strengths. Blender isnīt made to sell to the masses
itīs made to be USED and ENJOYED for a very long time - therefor we prefer long-term
useability instead of "newbie-friendliness" - itīs all a very tricky balance in chosing between
WORKFLOW or beginner-friendliness - the developers choose to "skimp" on newbie
friendliness in favor of long-time userfriendliness.

The thing that makes many of the other applications "newbie" friendly ...and thus easier to
"learn" and again...remembered as an "easier" and "better" gui - is that you can almost
work straight away without as much as opening the manuals. To me - a long time 3d software
user - this seem like an achillesheel. Iīd prefer workflow over "newbie-guis" any day because
it makes me able to finish my characters and models faster than in a "cluttered gui".

The Blender gui was way ahead of itīs time - itīs fast and thereīs no overlapping windows
and you can get to what you want - really fast! That opens up for a speedy and efficient
workflow - and if youīve worked with this over some time you would not want it to be any
other way, all other ways seems clumsy and unlogical after youīve experienced the Blender
workflow. Of course - you wonīt see big AD-campaigns about this...because we wonīt have
to "Sell" Blender. You either use it and enjoy it - or donīt - itīs entirely up to you. Blenderīs
GUI and everything else is a huge composition of voluntary programmers, designers and
3d-animators all over the world - and they have only ONE GOAL in common - making the
application the best it can be.

I must say Iīm laughing at the ignorance I read in this thread - most of the "negative" comments
about Blender comes from people who have tried it by "opening it" and thatīs it. Let me
tell you a little about "ignorance". Most of you guys are 3d-professionals and work with 3d
for a living - right? You know when a "little lad" comes along and is a newbie to 3d and he
wantīs to "show-off" to you his skills...and claims this and that... and you will probably
laugh "inside" and because of your extensive 3d-experience with lets say...Maya or Max
knows that he is a "newbie". The reason you "automatically know" that the guy doesnīt know
what heīs talking about - is - because itīs obvious to YOU. And again - the reason itīs
obvious to YOU...is because you have YEARS behind yourself working professionally with
these applications. Believe it or not - there are also small-studios that have worked and
published professionally with Blender...and they can also (like you guys) instantly recognize
when people "just-talk-without really knowing" ;) Catch my drift yet?

Before "accusing" Blender of anything - remember this.

1) Let your words have weight! In other words...try the NEW Blender out for more than a couple
of weeks, if you canīt afford that time. Shut up - you donīt have the experience to back up
your claims.

2) You remember version 1.8 - 2.2 Blender? And it was a nightmare to you at the time?
Think Mc.fly - think - maybe you too where a newbie back then and everything was difficult.
I cannot number the amount of people Iīve encountered that just where experiencing
3D-newbie-woes..and would complain just about any 3d software...simply because itīs
what everyone had to go trough. 3D is NOT easy for anyone in the beginning - and certainly
Blenderīs no exception. But itīs free - so itīs available to the masses quite easily therefor
you will hear the opinions of newbies - far more often.

3) Thereīs no need to "ditch" your favorite commercial application. Blender isnīt made
to compete with these - if to YOU - Blender CAN compete..well then...use it and enjoy it
and participate in the community if you want "insert-your-idea-here" tool. Thatīs the
power of Blender - itīs the artist tool BUILT BY ARTISTS. (yeah..I consider programmers
artists too ) ;)

And remember - itīs not that Blender is "free". Moneyīs got nothing to do with it.
Blender is made by passionate artists for artists. This is OUR (thats you!) software.
But it takes community effort - and there would be no point in just "cloning" the current
3d-software out there for features when we can innovate together.

MartyD
12-24-2005, 10:45 AM
well... what might happen is your nex 3d app will be able to grab some of the features for their next version. I mean they have the source code for it (dont they? ).
The free version of the DarkTree shaders were made available to blender users via a Python plugin recently. The whole process was accompanied by much debate over whether or not the the commercially developed toolset could be used legally in a public forum since the shaders are proprietary and their sources aren't made available. It was crazy because the shaders are free, the plug was free and there was this strong possiblity that the developer wouldn't be allowed to post the libraries because they weren't open source. If you use open source you have to make the code open to all developers. Most of the big houses will more than likely hesitate to follow that path.

As blender grows the number of people developing features grows too. There are a large number of academically oriented inidividuals around the globe writing code and the level of interest is growing as younger people are getting their start with the freely available open source software so it's likely the growth is still following an upward curve.

Frank Lake
12-24-2005, 11:22 AM
If anything - Blenderīs GUI is one of itīs strengths. Blender isnīt made to sell to the masses
itīs made to be USED and ENJOYED for a very long time - therefor we prefer long-term
useability instead of "newbie-friendliness" - itīs all a very tricky balance in chosing between
WORKFLOW or beginner-friendliness - the developers choose to "skimp" on newbie
friendliness in favor of long-time userfriendliness.

User friendliness has little to do with a 'newbie' and to use it to explain away someone viewpoint is fairly immature given how it's used in the context.

SILO handly disproves your implication of long term useability VS. new user friendliness. Frankly I've gotten the opinion that the GUI has gotten such a cult following that it would be a near suicidial to make it more different then it is now.

----------

The GUI has always prevented me from even attempting to do more then glance at Blender as an option. The GUI, imo, looks like something you would find for the more technical user(PovRay) instead of the visual user. Tool naming is a large problem child that really needs to be addressed and mainstreamed(face it alot of those tool names are meant to sound neat and innovative, but are not and just damned annoying). The GUI needs further reduction to the point where the tools don't visually prevent people from even wanting to try it out regardless of how well the tools work.

Right now Blender is in 'Gimmick Tool' mode(much like TrueSpace is) and needs to take a serious long term long at it's GUI, and not just an 'Oh, lets change some icons around!" type of change either. But a wholesale rethinking on how to make it more transparent for the user.

BTW 2.40 IS a good update and surpasses Caligari's TS 6.6.

Inktvlek
12-24-2005, 11:22 AM
Since Blenderīs interface seems to be the hot topic of the day, Iīll trow in some general pointers to those willing to give Blender a first try.

[long list snipped]
Why not show them the illustrated QuickStart (http://mediawiki.blender.org/uploads/1/17/Blender_2.40_QuickStart.pdf) chart instead? :o)

knellotron
12-24-2005, 11:58 AM
I think the power of Blender is unquestionable for its price...of that I have no doubt. The theme of of every discussion I see in the 3D community concerning Blender seems to always point to it's GUI. I totally agree with those people who say that reading the documentation can go a long way to helping people figure it out, but the argument still stands that it's weakest feature is it's GUI.

Speaking of open-source UIs, recently Jahshaka had a poll / competition for a new UI, and the one that won was the one that was the most Blender like. There's a lot of people who love the UI, (I for one like it more than Maya's) and so there's really no chance that it's going to change... unless it forks.

http://www.jahshaka.org/content/view/78/46/

knellotron
12-24-2005, 11:59 AM
Why not show them the illustrated QuickStart (http://mediawiki.blender.org/uploads/1/17/Blender_2.40_QuickStart.pdf) chart instead? :o)
I noticed that that was actually included with 2.40 on Windows... nice touch.

Inktvlek
12-24-2005, 12:02 PM
I noticed that that was actually included with 2.40 on Windows... nice touch.
Hrm yeah that's an old version which has been a lot of discussion about since it was basically not finished... The one I showed (which is a link to the wiki) is much better/more up-to-date

Robertt
12-24-2005, 01:13 PM
Blender's GUI is extremely versatile and work-flow oriented. Blender allows you to virtually rewrite the entire interface according to whatever you want to do at the moment. You can split windows, zoom in and out of menus, and stack them and their individual panels freely or vertically or horizontally.

This is one realization of many that can only arrive after using Blender seriously over a substantial period of time, as over a month or two.

I also own Zbrush. Like Blender, Zbrush has a decidedly atypical GUI, and, like Blender, that GUI was wisely developed, streamlined, and contextualized to the functions and strengths and ultimate role of that program in your pipeline.

The uniquity of the interface, while distancing at first, was appreciated only after seriously using that program over several weeks.

In the past I tried the Learning Edition of Silo, and I found that interesting but neither nearly as optimized for intense 3D tasks as Blender nor as flexible. This is just my opinion, and everyone will have theirs. The more meaningful opinions come from actual extended experience with any given program, not prima facie sensations.

I also tried the Maya PLE, and we all know the strengths of that software, but they are not immediately apparent to a new user of that program like me. Since Blender, then and still now, did everything I needed it to do, I had no real reason to delve further into Maya PLE at the time.

Blender does not have, nor is necessarily meant to compare with all of Maya's features. Blender is not, as I see it, in competition with Maya or any other 3D software: Blender is free for any to use for whatever reason, including to work in conjunction with Maya, especially once Maya users experience the stability, flexibility, and pure modeling speed Blender offers. Blender complements other 3D software well, particularly Zbrush.

Wings3D is another fine example of a uniquely developed interface that favors workflow over initial user friendliness. Wings3D is a powerful program that has been used by many 3D professionals, and it is not necessarily an easy program to learn.

Out of all of these examples, Blender, to me, was the easiest to learn and the most versatile. Part of these GUI concerns relate to our expectations of any given program. Like any good 3D program, Blender will let you create almost anything you can imagine, and, as is true of any other program, you will have to travel a unique path to get the results you want. The path will be longer or shorter, program to program, depending on how capable the software is, and how proficient and creative you are with that software.

As for expectations, they will always vary person to person, depending on what 3D software they have used in the past, if any, and how they are used to doing things. Blender's interface will not seem prohibitive in that respect, once you realize it has been created to allow you to do the most in the least amount of steps. New 3D software users may be intimidated by anything they see, because many of the concepts, methods, and terms are completely alien to them.

Proficiency only comes after serious use of a program. Once you attain proficiency, you can execute creative solutions and make the software do things not even its creators envisioned. This is certainly true of Maya, Zbrush, and Blender, and this will always be the case.

All of these programs will continue to develop in their respective ways, refining methods while establishing new functionality, preferably not at the cost of usability. Initial perceptions of any software are best withheld until you make an honest and thorough effort to assimilate its fundamentals.

If still in doubt, consider the case of Linux, the difficulties and unfamiliarities any one of its distributions can present to even the most knowledgeable of computer users, yet the powers and freedoms it can bestow once you successfully navigate the rough and often unchartered waters preceding its shores. Only once you are ashore and take a while to look around and explore the grounds can you begin to see for yourself what the big deal was about. Until that moment, you will be functioning according to whatever you may have heard, residual expectations founded upon past experiences, early, incomplete, and uninformed empirical experience.

The fact that Linux is free, like Blender, in this day of dropping prices, is not nearly enough: we need to know it is stable, supports what we want it to do and does it well and quickly, that it is extensible and more conducive to our efforts than other closed and more proprietary software, that it can complement existing software we use. If that is indeed the case, we may stay; if not, we may move on. Blender will always be there and getting better in your absence.

Licensing costs and upgrades are a major consideration, and in that area very few programs can best Blender. Blender does not have as its primary motivation the need to sell more copies of its program. Its developers are motivated by the tasks that need to be done.

This has never been more evident than what has been happening in the past few months with respect to Project Orange, where Blender's code and future functionality is being revised directly within an actual production environment. Through these recent intense efforts, Blender has achieved a quantum leap rarely witnessed in any major 3D software package, especially in the area of animation. Work is ongoing, daily, and, once again, motivated purely by task, not by profit.

What's also encouraging about Blender, like Linux, is that you can actively participate in its development: the code is available, and the door is open. If you chose to walk through that door, you will understand Blender is not just software: it is a community, and any of you are free and most welcome to join it, ask questions, and be part of something big and exciting.

In saying this, I hope some of you will give Blender more of than merely a passing chance. Certainly, after thousands of hours of work just within the past few months on this program, the software and its developers deserve at least that.

We often get out of things what we put into them, so if you put very little effort into learning a program, chances are you will get very little, perhaps nothing, as a result of those minimal and insincere attempts. This should never come as a surprise.

Only through sincere and focused efforts can one possibly tap the true power of Maya, Zbrush, and Blender. There will always be a learning curve no matter what program you choose. If your interest is genuine and you are determined, your successive results in any of these programs will be impressive eventually, just not instantly.

Once you understand that and act on that understanding, you can begin to make excellent progress. This is true not just of 3D software, but of life ;)

RobertT

ZanQdo
12-24-2005, 01:28 PM
Something funny is that my friends at job, profecional Maya, Ligthwave and Max users allways come to my place and ask "what is this softwware you are using now?" and I got to answer "Itīs Blender as allways", thatīs becouse I never use the same GUI layout, itīs allways so configured to be the best layout for my current work that they donīt recognize it. I can also store multiple GUI configs and change betwen them with just a keypress, I have one to animate, to UV map, to make materials and for dual monitor and single monitor displays. Also my theme looks diferent everyweek becouse Iīm allways using new color themes and all :D

Iīm thinking in grabing the source and deleting lots of complex stuff pannels to make a "Light Blender", Iīm sure that could help the new user to learn Blender without the "so many buttons!" effect, Iīll start that as soon as they finish the new interface port from tuhopuu (experimental branch)

See you

MartyD
12-24-2005, 01:46 PM
hey, there he is. Congratulations Robertt on your 2.40 splash screen! Nice image. For anyone interested the scene was originally posted here
http://www.elysiun.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=48530&highlight=robertt
as the result of a weekend challenge? I can only hope, one of these days, to be as prolific. :)

Apollux
12-24-2005, 01:52 PM
Iīm thinking in grabing the source and deleting lots of complex stuff pannels to make a "Light Blender", Iīm sure that could help the new user to learn Blender without the "so many buttons!" effect, Iīll start that as soon as they finish the new interface port from tuhopuu (experimental branch)

See you

Iīm sure you are aware that with the customization options you donīt have to actually DELETE any panel, just hide them and create a new default configuration. It would be very unconfortable been on this situation:

"Ok, so when do I end been a newbei, so I can drop the watered-down version and go for the real thing?"

I would rather see Blender comming with 2 built in interface layouts, one very similar to the current one for the PRO and SEASONED users, and one for the LIGHT users.

private
12-24-2005, 01:58 PM
Vladius, as far as usability, there is a project underway to address the UI and layout. Hopefully this will show up in the next release. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised when it is done :)


I think this is the best way to "convert" people. If the next release can have a plain interface, with a couple of different options, BUT be flexible and easy to customize, Blender will have a winner. If you look at how Lux built the modo interface, it's hard to lose, because everyone can configure it like they want. This is definately the next generation of interfaces. If Blender will incorporate something like that (I would be surprised and very happy) then you will see people in masses come over. Until then....

Good job on the new stuff.

R10k
12-24-2005, 02:12 PM
Blender's interface could use some work- everyone knows it. You can use it, and at times the workflow can be quite nice... but, it's still a patch job on a bad design. Just because you can use it doesn't make it a good design, and I think listening to the CG pros around here, who actually know what good workflow is, would be a very wise idea. (I'm talking to the people involved with the Blender community) Most, and I stress most, Blender users don't seem to have the experience to know what a good UI, or good workflow really is.

Also, Blender's docs should be updated all the time. Blender isn't a hard program to learn by simply clicking on buttons and trying things out (yay for well written tooltips!), but a proper manual would be just as good as a redesigned UI. Blender's docs are the usual open source affair, and every time the program changes, learning Blender from the old resources becomes a bit of a task. I'm hopeful the wiki will change that... but...

Anyway, it's a nice program, and I enjoy using it :)

RCAS
12-24-2005, 03:31 PM
Blender's interface could use some work- everyone knows it. You can use it, and at times the workflow can be quite nice... but, it's still a patch job on a bad design. Just because you can use it doesn't make it a good design, and I think listening to the CG pros around here, who actually know what good workflow is, would be a very wise idea. (I'm talking to the people involved with the Blender community) Most, and I stress most, Blender users don't seem to have the experience to know what a good UI, or good workflow really is.

Blender's interface needs just some minor work, just get things more related and have panels changed a bit, nothing more then that. And the Tuhopuu interface achieves most of this.

I actually used Max for sometime before using Blender and the first time I used Blender I couldn't figure out anything except for the Render button. I closed it and said it wasn't good. But then a new version came out and I decided to give it some more time and appreciate it, guess what, I ditched Max. Blender's workflow is much faster and works more intuitively then Max, I know because I used both.

There are still some things that need to be addressed, like having things work the same way in several panela, but in this respect I have already proposed the creation of a "Design Team" that only does design for the Blender Interface and is responsible for maintaining some standards. But don't expect the interface to change radically, it is very good as it is, just need some minor improvements and some standards to keep everything as intuitive as possible.


Also, Blender's docs should be updated all the time. Blender isn't a hard program to learn by simply clicking on buttons and trying things out (yay for well written tooltips!), but a proper manual would be just as good as a redesigned UI. Blender's docs are the usual open source affair, and every time the program changes, learning Blender from the old resources becomes a bit of a task. I'm hopeful the wiki will change that... but...

I am addressing this with several other people, hopefully the next version will show this effort. We are building a pipeline that will be able to deliver Documentation as soon as features are coded and declared finished. Just hang tight, it is comming, just give us some time, we actually have to work for a living, so it can't be done in one month.


Cheerz,

-- Rui --

efbie
12-24-2005, 03:57 PM
Blender's interface could use some work- everyone knows it. You can use it, and at times the workflow can be quite nice... but, it's still a patch job on a bad design. Just because you can use it doesn't make it a good design, and I think listening to the CG pros around here, who actually know what good workflow is, would be a very wise idea. (I'm talking to the people involved with the Blender community) Most, and I stress most, Blender users don't seem to have the experience to know what a good UI, or good workflow really is. You don't help us very much just by saying "workflow is bad". If you could indicate what slows you down, maybe the issues can be solved.

M@dcow
12-24-2005, 04:44 PM
I think this is the best way to "convert" people. If the next release can have a plain interface, with a couple of different options, BUT be flexible and easy to customize, Blender will have a winner. If you look at how Lux built the modo interface, it's hard to lose, because everyone can configure it like they want. This is definately the next generation of interfaces. If Blender will incorporate something like that (I would be surprised and very happy) then you will see people in masses come over. Until then....

Good job on the new stuff.

Good news....if you want a modo style interface, then blender is about to come pretty close. Im fairly sure that a lot of elements of the upcoming 2.41 interface are inspired by modo, but we can forgive the developers for that, after all, the whole logic behind modo's non overlapping windows was pretty much ripped directly out of blender anywayhttp://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon13.gif I've got a screencap from tuhopuu (the experimental branch of blender). Notice the modo similarities:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v27/M@dcow/gui4.jpg

Button layout will become clearer and more logical....and the sometimes obscure naming conventions that blender uses will be changed to suit the wider CG world better. Most of you should now be able to look at those material settings and instinctively know what they do.

There is also another feature in that screenshot that should appease the GUI haters. The customisable toolbar. This dramatically speed ups workflow, which was already lightning fast before. Better news still, it will be context sensitive, so you can access different tools depending on the editing mode you are in. Matt Ebb is doing sterling work on this, but his involvement in Project Orange has delayed this slightly.

The core coding team are paying attention to the concerns of the wider cg world, which is a great thing...just give them time....

ColinCohen
12-24-2005, 04:46 PM
I, too, would like to see a better UI. But the UI wouldn't prevent me from using it. For me, more important issues are as follows:

* Advance file support (RLA, OpenEXR, etc) along with their associated buffers;
* Multipass rendering;
* Network and/or command-line rendering;
* More NPR features.

Still, you've come a long way, baby. :)

johnnygizmo
12-24-2005, 04:52 PM
* Advance file support (RLA, OpenEXR, etc) along with their associated buffers;

OpenEXR support is now available

* Multipass rendering;

I think this is a target for the orange project, so hang in there...

* Network and/or command-line rendering;

There are several solutions for this already and I think you can render from the command line. ( I would have to look it up to be sure )

* More NPR features.

Yeah, I'd like that too :)

SketchPad
12-24-2005, 04:59 PM
I, too, would like to see a better UI. But the UI wouldn't prevent me from using it. For me, more important issues are as follows:

* Advance file support (RLA, OpenEXR, etc) along with their associated buffers;
* Multipass rendering;
* Network and/or command-line rendering;
* More NPR features.

Still, you've come a long way, baby. :)

1) Weīve got beginning Collada support in the latest version of Blender.


2) The developers are currently working on a Node editor / Node based composition
so itīs closer than you may think. :)

3) There are already rendering scripts that lets you do network rendering, there are
even several render-farms on the net supporting Blender this way.

Regarding networks - Verse is in progress - some of it has already been made but
not ready for publication yet. Verse means that a huge amount of animators, editors
compositors, modelers etc. can collaborate live together - and yes..that means model
real-time on the same scene together while viewing all the updates realtime. This is very
exciting - but security issues must be ironed out before that can take place for real.
As of now it works - but is disabled due to more work.

LetterRip
12-24-2005, 05:25 PM
Blender has enough dedicated users, so you can't alienate them, so the question is, how do you attract users that are or will be put off by the current GUI?

Hotkey binding configuration should come probably shortly before siggraph 2006.

[QUOTE]* Advance file support (RLA, OpenEXR, etc) along with their associated buffers;
probably the next major release

* Multipass rendering;
probably the next major release

* Network and/or command-line rendering;
both can be done now

* More NPR features.
probably need to better describe what you want

Sketchpad,

node based compositing and multipass rendering can be done completely independently of each other - while both should be in the next major, you have things confused.

LetterRip

Vladius
12-24-2005, 05:28 PM
I think that one of the major disabilities of blender is the lack of N-gon polygons. Half-edge project seems to be dead now. I think that N-gons must be included in 2.4x's roadmap.

SketchPad
12-24-2005, 05:31 PM
Sketchpad,

node based compositing and multipass rendering can be done completely independently of each other - while both should be in the next major, you have things confused.

LetterRip

Actually - The node editor is just a skeleton, you can use the node editor to whatever
you decide (as a coder). Itīs my impression that it will also be used for shaders as well.

LetterRip
12-24-2005, 05:47 PM
noodles is a flexible skeleton that will probably be usable for both node based compositing and possibly node textures eventually, but again - is unrelated to the multipass rendering option except in the case that both will be useful for compositing.


LetterRip

pnoland
12-24-2005, 05:54 PM
Oooh, I hope node based shaders are added in the next release. That's one thing I find kinda odd in Blender is the material editor...I guess that's just the C4D/XSI side of me talking. :P

Apollux
12-24-2005, 06:06 PM
noodles is a flexible skeleton that will probably be usable for both node based compositing and possibly node textures eventually, but again - is unrelated to the multipass rendering option except in the case that both will be useful for compositing.


LetterRip

So they actually call "Noodles" that part of the code? :sad:
Sounds a lot like Spagetti, or Spagetti Programming... :cry:

ColinCohen
12-24-2005, 06:08 PM
probably need to better describe what you want

LetterRip

I'm thinking something similar to Tomcat or Sketch & Toon, or even something like Poser's Sketch Designer.

Great news about the other stuff.

ColinCohen
12-24-2005, 06:14 PM
By the way, Merry Christmas to all the wonderful people involved in 2.4's release, and thanks for the great gift. :thumbsup:

Frank Lake
12-24-2005, 07:30 PM
[quote]Initial perceptions of any software are best withheld until you make an honest and thorough effort to assimilate its fundamentals. Robertt[/i]

Cute, but nothing more then a "If you don't spend weeks-months RE-learning what you already know then STFU and stay away!". Which is a shame because the response was well written.

Inital Perceptions are exactly what they are. If the GUI looks unusable and tool names sound trendy(trendy equals attracting and keeping existing users happy) instead of servicable or common place, then of course people will disregard any program on the intial impression only.

I come from a TrueSpace background, though I did use LW 5.6 at one time, and have had my fill of wasteful and visually interferring interfaces.

And just to point out something. You DON'T need to dumb down anything in order for it to look more appealing to the intial impression and you don't have to candy coat it either!

Apollux
12-24-2005, 07:38 PM
This was just posted, but somehow ended in the middle of the thread.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=2934001&postcount=104

A preview of Blender's Next Interface
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v27/M@dcow/gui4.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v27/M@dcow/gui4.jpg

I think that most of the GUI concerns will be addressed in the short term.

Schwinnz
12-24-2005, 07:45 PM
That's not Tuhopuu's default interface afaik!

Bellorum
12-24-2005, 07:49 PM
That's not Tuhopuu's default interface afaik!
Well, of course MadCow has a customized theme, but the elements are the same. Unfortunately, the customizable toolbar (sooo kewl!), seen in the rightmost 3d-window, will probably not be transferred within the scope of the orange-project, since the code has to be rewritten.

Apollux
12-24-2005, 07:51 PM
That's not Tuhopuu's default interface afaik!

AFAIK the next "official" interface will be BASED ON, but not copied from Tuhopuu.

There are some Tuhopuu elements already in there. The transparent blue buttons on the right seems like Tuhopuuīs customizable toolbar.

Samo
12-24-2005, 08:47 PM
Blenderīs GUI is one of itīs strength
I believe that I'm a real blender enthusiast, I use blender at work professionally, I use blender at home as hobby. Sometimes I could spend 50 hours a week with Blender, doing real stuff.

I still believe that Blender GUI is a bit intimidating, those screenshots you show about new releases doesn't solve anything IMO. And I'm not that worried about pros but about begginers.

RCAS
12-24-2005, 08:57 PM
Hopefully the next version will go even further, if the Design team gets assembled right and the pipeline works as it should, you can expect major improvements on the interface.
It is a matter of time now, these next few weeks won't bring much, but in January hopefully things will get into shape.

And by the way, people commenting about the usefullness of Blender Interface on its current state, should really spend a week with it and wonder around Elysiun (http://www.elysiun.com) forums, you should really try it, not just look at it for 5 minutes.
I wonder how many of you opened up ZBrush and couldn't tell what was what, but insisted on going a bit further.

And if after really using it you still think something must be changed, please do so at the Dev Forums (http://www.blender.org/forum/), or join one of the mailing lists (http://www.blender.org/cms/Get_Involved.233.0.html), we are always open to sugestions as long as they have a solid base.

Think of it this way, you can also get involved in the growth of this application, you can make a difference in it. Can you do this with any of the other applications ? As stated previously, this is done by Artists to Artists and you can help out.


Cheerz,

-- Rui --

RCAS
12-24-2005, 09:09 PM
I believe that I'm a real blender enthusiast, I use blender at work professionally, I use blender at home as hobby. Sometimes I could spend 50 hours a week with Blender, doing real stuff.

I still believe that Blender GUI is a bit intimidating, those screenshots you show about new releases doesn't solve anything IMO. And I'm not that worried about pros but about begginers.
In the Begginers issue, it is true it is intimidating and this is a thing we are tring to fix with proper Documentation and Tutorials/ Video Tutorials.
Sadly this will only show up in the next release.

I don't believe the interface to be wrong (although it needs a couple polishing), but the lack of proper Documentation with every release. And this is currently being worked on.


Cheerz,

-- Rui --

brkn
12-24-2005, 09:56 PM
strange(in the sense of the way adjustments are performed) value-edit-boxes.

Yes, so strange that Apple seemingly took inspiration (http://mke3.net/archives/2004/12/ideas_in_motion.html) from it when they made Motion (http://www.apple.com/motion/) ;)

RCAS
12-24-2005, 10:38 PM
Yes, so strange that Apple seemingly took inspiration (http://mke3.net/archives/2004/12/ideas_in_motion.html) from it when they made Motion (http://www.apple.com/motion/) ;)
Hey Matt.

I find that people tend to dislike any interface that doesn't follow the way MS Windows interface works. I personally dislike it, but people tend to see it as the "it has to be this way else it isn't good".

It is hard to convince people that something is better, they usually can only understand it once they really try it for some time.


Cheerz,

-- Rui --

Trident_2K5
12-24-2005, 10:55 PM
Blender's interface could use some work- everyone knows it. You can use it, and at times the workflow can be quite nice... but, it's still a patch job on a bad design. Just because you can use it doesn't make it a good design, and I think listening to the CG pros around here, who actually know what good workflow is, would be a very wise idea. (I'm talking to the people involved with the Blender community) Most, and I stress most, Blender users don't seem to have the experience to know what a good UI, or good workflow really is.

Well, ok. I confess that I never used Maya and only occasionally Max (also tried Silo quite seriously). But I'm very interested in UI design and usability. read numerous books on subject and participated in UI and websites design. And I say that there's nothing wrong with Blender UI high-level design.
1)Windows system, - works like it should be in OS in the first place. Microsoft tried to dump MDI in late 90's for reason and numerous usability gurus (Jeff Raskin for instance, and I could find more reference) say that overlapped windows are overused and modal dialogs should not exist at all, especially those of OK-only sort. That's almost exsactly the way Blender works.

2) Keyboard-mostly approach - again, most expirienced users use shortcuts intensevily. Making them configurable would be very desirable, of course.

3) Numeric-input sliders, - good idea, poor (IMO) implementation, - Mouse does not allow fine enough control, and numeric input is a bit awkward (but they're working on it).

4)Mouse behaviour, - the only point wich is somewhat broken-by-design, - the one hand "no click to activate window" is ok, but it still adds "hidden modality" (Q: Why this ####ed shortcut does not work? A: Because cursor is over wrong window.) But other GUIs are even worse in this regard.

That's not all, but, I suppose this is enough to show that basic ideas behind UI are mostly sound and good designs.

Mid- and Low-level issues of UI layout can be solved within existing framework, and many of them would be with .41.

As for features, that are not strictly UI but affect mostly workflow, current Undo+modifier stack system is almost-state-of-the-art, the only thing superior would be mesh history.

Hazdaz
12-25-2005, 01:49 AM
Hey Matt.

I find that people tend to dislike any interface that doesn't follow the way MS Windows interface works. I personally dislike it, but people tend to see it as the "it has to be this way else it isn't good".

It is hard to convince people that something is better, they usually can only understand it once they really try it for some time.


Cheerz,

-- Rui --
People can bitch and moan about MS all day long, but when it comes to UI, MS's "standard" UI is very good, and there is no good reason to go against that just to be different.

Let's put it this way... there is no technical reason that a car maker can't put the gas pedal on the left, the clutch in the middle, and the brake pedal on the right. And then make you shift gears with 1st being back to the right, and R up and to the left. But there is no logical reason to change something that is essentially instinctive to 90% of the people out there.

When a program follows the usual MS UI standards, you usually can atleast get started using it's basic features within 5 minutes. If it has some funky odd-ball UI, it might take 5 minutes just to get your bearings... and that by point many people might have given up and already started uninstalling it.

Apollux
12-25-2005, 02:07 AM
Come on!! thatīs an unfair comparison.

We all know that MS has defined/imposed what is now considered "the standard way" for GUIs, but do you want to hold time still and keep using the standard GUI forever?

I know for a fact that the MS standard GUI, for whatever 3D app, isnīt the fastest around. Time evolves and so should your visions about GUIs.

Note that Iīm not even hinting that Blenderīs GUI is better or worse than MS style GUIs. Iīm just saying that there are more options out there... and above all they are OPTIONAL.

If you really hate Blender's GUI, then just unistall it and keep on with your life. But you might want to consider that Blender has MILLIONS of users and they are all more than happy with itīs GUI.

If those millions of users found something worthy in that GUI maybe, only maybe, so could you. But if you donīt, then just keep moving on with your live.

Blender designers made a series of choices, and they where not rushed choices... That GUI you see today is the result of 10 years of usage experience and consulting with the actual users as well with profession GUI designers.

The developers already made their GUI choice, now is your turn. IT IS A CHOICE !!

Hazdaz
12-25-2005, 02:42 AM
Come on!! thatīs an unfair comparison.
How is that an unfair comparison - I actually think it's dead-on.

We all know that MS has defined/imposed what is now considered "the standard way" for GUIs, but do you want to hold time still and keep using the standard GUI forever?
I am ALL FOR new if it is also BETTER, but change, just for change's sake is silly. It's like those people that waste $200 on a PDA to scribble down notes only to give up in frustration at it's slow speed and limitations, when a $1 paper notepad would do the trick.
If it works, and if 90% of the people already know it, why change?

Now I am not saying that MS's UI is the holygrail, and people should definitly NOT stop trying to improve it, but different does not equal better.

I know for a fact that the MS standard GUI, for whatever 3D app, isnīt the fastest around.
Oh realy? So please show me the proof, since you say that you "know for a fact"... that implies that you have facts to back it up. If it's your opinion, then that is a different story all together. Some people prefer things that I don't, but opinions are way different than facts.

Now I thhink you have to understand, that I wasn't specifically talking about Blender here, I was talking about any program really.

private
12-25-2005, 02:47 AM
1. What's the most active Blender board where you have a question and you can get an answer quickly?

2. Are there any quick start information from someone coming from Lightwave or Maya? Maya and XSI have this where someone from another package comes over and it says what is their package's equivalent. Where is this information for Blender? Thanks.

Apollux
12-25-2005, 02:57 AM
1. What's the most active Blender board where you have a question and you can get an answer quickly? That would be http://www.blenderartist.org/ (also known as ElYsiun).

Second to that, Iīd recomend the Blender forum here on CGTalk, and if you are felling multilingual, then check this list of international Blender forums http://www.blender.org/cms/Websites.7.0.html

2. Are there any quick start information from someone coming from Lightwave or Maya? Maya and XSI have this where someone from another package comes over and it says what is their package's equivalent. Where is this information for Blender? Thanks.
The closer to that would be http://mediawiki.blender.org/uploads/1/17/Blender_2.40_QuickStart.pdf

LetterRip
12-25-2005, 02:59 AM
1. What's the most active Blender board where you have a question and you can get an answer quickly?

elysiun.com is most active and answers are given quickly, cgtalk blender forum is also fairly quick.

you can also visit #blenderchat or #blenderqa for user questions and #blendercoders for coding and compiling questions on irc.freenode.net


2. Are there any quick start information from someone coming from Lightwave or Maya? Maya and XSI have this where someone from another package comes over and it says what is their package's equivalent. Where is this information for Blender? Thanks.

Unfortuantely while migration guides are something I think we should and probably will do, we don't have any written yet. We do have some quickstart guides but those alas only cover the basics thus far.

LetterRip

Robertt
12-25-2005, 03:11 AM
Hi Frank. Thanks for commenting. Considering my comment in its original context, I will clarify: I only meant that I personally consider it best not to jump on a forum and publicly denounce a program prematurely -- before giving it an honest and considerable chance over days/weeks (not minutes). It is not too much to ask, I think, for any program.

We should not judge people or books by outer appearances, and this thinking could be applied to programs, I think. I own and work with many different 2D programs and versions of those programs, and some GUIs and corresponding interface changes, version to version, make sense. Other alterations, I imagine, could be construed by some people as counter-intuitive, if not disruptive. If we want to work effectively in any program, we have to learn its methods and work through its peculiarities to achieve desired results. Every program has its share of idiosyncrasies. If a given GUI permits customization, then that can help us greatly.

Hardware differences can also enter into consideration. For example, I have a widescreen laptop and a regular flat panel monitor for my desktop computer. I have Blender individually customized on both systems to make respective use of the aspect ratios of both monitors. For the laptop, which has an NVIDIA 6800 card, I also use it to drive a dual display setup via the DVI input on my desktop monitor. When I'm using the laptop in dual screen mode in Windows, I have it so Blender can stretch across both monitors and make most use of the extra wide screen space. This helped me speed up my workflow considerably since, instead of flipping between menus, I can now display shaders, render window, multiple 3D angle views, IPO curves, Python script window, and other settings almost all at once in panels that can be retracted or expanded or independently made full screen on demand if I need more workspace in any given area. This is the type of customization with Blender that is available right now.

My initial reactions to Zbrush and Wings3D was what many people describe when they first encounter Blender, and I'm glad I didn't let those initial perceptions overwhelm and discourage me from eventually realizing how well developed these programs actually were. Wings3D still eludes me because I do not have time to try it these days, but I am feeling more comfortable with Zbrush after using it for a couple of months. I still have much to learn and try with it.

It's all subjective though: there will never be a universally satisfactory interface by default in a complex program like Blender, considering how many things for which it can be used. Efforts to simplify will please some new users but annoy power users. Show too much functionality at once, and it can overwhelm. This is where the ability to abstract and customize the interface is essential, so the user can create the environment best suited to the tasks. Again, this is where Blender, above all 3D programs I have looked at, tends to excel.

Another strength rarely mentioned is that Blender's interface is consistent across all platforms. In not incorporating native OS GUI elements, Blender frees itself of the limitations of the user's OS and provides a consistent environment that can be accessible and enjoyed by Mac, Linux, and Windows users equally. A user in this situation can migrate projects seamlessly from platform to platform and not encounter any interface inconsistencies.

Also, as Blender's preferences are stored in a .blend file, those preferences can virtually accompany you wherever you take Blender: just open the preference file and start your project and save under a new file name. Very few programs of any kind out there can provide such interoperability, customizability, and extensibility.

RobertT

Apollux
12-25-2005, 03:51 AM
Oh realy? So please show me the proof, since you say that you "know for a fact"... that implies that you have facts to back it up. If it's your opinion, then that is a different story all together. Some people prefer things that I don't, but opinions are way different than facts.

We are now way way of topic. The inicial post was to anounce the relase of a new Blender version and it has turned into a philosofical GUI debate, but Iīll go with the flow this time.

All I can comment comes from my personal experience. In the 10 or so years that Iīve been working with 3D I have tested quite a few apps, but only ended REALLY using 4 of them: TrueSpace, VectorWorks, AutoCAD and Blender. Each one of those I have used for years to produce real work. Each one of them have itīs own vision of what an interface should be.

TrueSpace uses a very visual approach. Almost all is icon and toolbar based. That interface was by far the more "new user friendly" and easier to learn, but hands down is the slowest for day-to-day work.

AutoCAD.. well, letīs just say that itīs interface is more suited for command promp lovers than for visual artist. It may be extremly precise, but the interface really gets in the way between you and your vision.

VectorWorks... the more "MS Like" GUI of the pack. Not bad but certainly not the best one. The interface isnīt as "in your face" as AutoCAD's and is very user costumizable, but it still lags you down after some time.

Blender... the less "new user friendly" and the harder to learn of the pack. Lot of hotkeys to memorize, but all the tools use the same basic principle. When they said that the GUI was designed for sheer working speed they are no kidding. If I need something done "by yesterday", Blender is my nobrain choice.

Hazdaz
12-25-2005, 04:11 AM
We are now way way of topic. The inicial post was to anounce the relase of a new Blender version and it has turned into a philosofical GUI debate, but Iīll go with the flow this time.
I agree, this has gotten off topic, but in all honestly a post about the new BLENDER release does kind of link into the topic of UI just for the simple reason that the UI is the first thing that a new user seens when using a new app. If the UI (of any program) is clunky or whatever, it would definitly play a part in the applications growing user-base.

AutoCAD.. well, letīs just say that itīs interface is more suited for command promp lovers than for visual artist. It may be extremly precise, but the interface really gets in the way between you and your vision.
I am not gonna comment on the other 2 apps, since I only know them in passing, but AutoCAD I know like the back of my hand - been using it for over a decade. It's UI is quite different (used to be even more so), but it's UI evolved many years before Windows was even invented. Also, I totaly disagree with your comment about it's UI "getting in the way". Being an old-school command-prompt user myself, I turn almost all the silly buttons/icons off and reply about 90% on keyboard input.

This is probably why I don't have a problem with the Windows UI for other programs - it works and works good... same deal with the AutoCAD UI (specically keyboard input) - it works and is way the hell faster than using buttons/icons. For that particular program keyboard input is the way to go, but admittedly that UI wouldn't work for other programs.

Apollux
12-25-2005, 04:31 AM
Then we both agree. The type of interface that AutoCAD uses is better suited for technical drawings and/or command prompt lovers.. I'm one of those cp lovers myself (used to know every single option for almost every single command back on the MS-DOS 3.x days, go figure). AutoCAD isnīt the best choice for someone with artistist pursuits, but it never meant to be for artistic stuff, right?

I just brought it into the conversation because AutoCAD reprensents one extreme of the GUI paradigm. Believe or not, back when I started with 3D they were applications aimed to the artist marked that used that type of interface. Needless to say, they are all gone or heavily transmutated now.

effstops
12-25-2005, 06:01 AM
About two years ago I downloaded Blender for the first time. Within 10 minutes I deleted it from my desktop.

A couple months later I decided to try again. I tried some tutorials, but was so frustrated by Blender's interface that again I decided to trash it.

Now, I'm in love with Blender's interface. The heavy reliance on keyboard commands is, I've learned, an incredible advantage. It makes all aspects of 3D work efficient. And with efficiency comes ease. Blender's unintuitive interface actually makes things easier.

To those who are interested in Blender I really really suggest devoting at least a solid weekend into learning it. I'm annoyed with myself for giving up so easily the first two times I cracked it open.

And, I totally agree with Robert. Great posts, man. :)

In other news, I'm absolutely loving this release!! Thanks to all the coders!

--Colin

Beamtracer
12-25-2005, 06:42 AM
To those who are interested in Blender I really really suggest devoting at least a solid weekend into learning it. I'm annoyed with myself for giving up so easily the first two times I cracked it open.
That's good advice, effstops. I'm a newbie to Blender, having only recently downloaded it. I must spend some learning time with it.

Do you think Blender is reaching the stage where it will become a threat to some of the paid/proprietary 3D programs?

Ollarin
12-25-2005, 06:44 AM
Just spent a few hours playing with Blender (Especially the fluids.)
And i must say, the interface is not as daunting as the first time i tried it. Pretty sweet, the fluids are really easy to use too, fun to play with!

Still can't get used to the navigation and selection. It's the total opposite of Maya. :p

Really cool app though, great job to all the developers, and since it's open source. This could turn into something really, really big soon.

Para
12-25-2005, 08:09 AM
Do you think Blender is reaching the stage where it will become a threat to some of the paid/proprietary 3D programs?

I know this wasn't directed to me but I can still answer, right? :)

At the moment I don't see Blender as a threat but a valuable add for those low-cost and low-budget semi-professional productions which need something like fluid simulation but can't afford RealFlow or any other professional app for that kind of thing. I've also heard that Blender can import/export meshes etc. quite easily so there's no problem to get your simulation to another software and then do your surfacing&rendering there.

Personally I still get the urge to throw my monitor a couple of times around when I try to use Blender...we just don't mix :)

Zarf
12-25-2005, 09:41 AM
The free version of the DarkTree shaders were made available to blender users via a Python plugin recently. The whole process was accompanied by much debate over whether or not the the commercially developed toolset could be used legally in a public forum since the shaders are proprietary and their sources aren't made available. It was crazy because the shaders are free, the plug was free and there was this strong possiblity that the developer wouldn't be allowed to post the libraries because they weren't open source. If you use open source you have to make the code open to all developers. Most of the big houses will more than likely hesitate to follow that path.


Oh lordy, bringing up this whole mess again, but what the heck, I cant sleep.

This is a bit of a missrepresentation of facts. Not all Open Source licenses are 'viral' in the same way that the GPL is, nor do all Open Source licenses require that you share changes you make to the code (the BSD license being the most signifigant example).

For the record I was the one who originally made a stink about the darktree plugins on elysiun. Your assertation that the whole situation was 'crazy' is rather amazing to me, considering the fact that the Darktree plugin needed to use parts of blenders source code (the header files exposing the texture plugin API). As the end user you are not free to do with the source code of blender whatever you wish, you are governed by a license as with all software. Or put another way, Blender is still the intellectual property of someone, and they have a right to say how it can be used.

(as it turns out its all a moot point anyway since the source code that the darktree plugin made use of WASNT actually GPL'd with the rest of blender, but released under a much different 'license)

a link to the thread for anyone who may be interested.
http://www.elysiun.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=44974&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=darktree&start=0

Cheers,
Xarf

Zarf
12-25-2005, 10:19 AM
Blender's interface could use some work- everyone knows it. You can use it, and at times the workflow can be quite nice... but, it's still a patch job on a bad design.


I'm sorry but even though I tend to be one of blenders harshest critics (as well as one of its longer users), I'm not sure I understand your comment. What part about the UI is 'bad design'?

The Blender design at its most BASIC is rather good, the division is logical.

Blender Window -> Screens -> Screen Areas (windows) -> spaces.

The main blender window displays the current screen. A screen is divided into non-overlapping rectangular areas. These 'windows' display a 'space'. A 'space' is a special type of editor. An example of a 'space' would be a 3d view, or an IPO (fcurve) editor. In total there are 16 types of spaces availible in blender, and any 'window' can display any type of space. As a matter of fact if you switch the type of space a window displays it will retain the state of any spaces previously associated with that window in memory and the file. I personally have 7 screens in my blender configuration, each setup with specific window layouts + spaces to perform different types of tasks (one screen is for general modelling, the other is for uvmapping, the other is for lighting/texturing/materials ect).

Thats the blender interface from 'the top down'. What part of it is 'bad design' in your opinion?

The part I WILL agree with you about is that there has been a lot of decisions made about what goes on in the individual 'spaces' (or editors if it helps you) that is pretty rubbish. This is the part that needs to be cleaned up in my opinion.


Just because you can use it doesn't make it a good design, and I think listening to the CG pros around here, who actually know what good workflow is, would be a very wise idea. (I'm talking to the people involved with the Blender community) Most, and I stress most, Blender users don't seem to have the experience to know what a good UI, or good workflow really is.


There is certainly a lot to be learned from the CG world at large, the problem though is that so far I havnt seen much of anyone make a *focused* critique of blenders UI. I havnt even seen anyone demonstrating a good understanding of how things *currently work* before flying off the handle about how 'it sucks'. Until some usefull dialogue is started its hard for the developers to know what is wrong.

Also, Blender's docs should be updated all the time. Blender isn't a hard program to learn by simply clicking on buttons and trying things out (yay for well written tooltips!), but a proper manual would be just as good as a redesigned UI. Blender's docs are the usual open source affair, and every time the program changes, learning Blender from the old resources becomes a bit of a task. I'm hopeful the wiki will change that... but...


There were full printed manuals for both 2.0 and 2.3. Both have free online versions. (follow the link for 'documentation' on www.blender.org)

Anyway, it's a nice program, and I enjoy using it :)

Yeah its pretty neat.

Cheers,
Xarf

RCAS
12-25-2005, 12:18 PM
How is that an unfair comparison - I actually think it's dead-on.

I am ALL FOR new if it is also BETTER, but change, just for change's sake is silly.

If it works, and if 90% of the people already know it, why change?

Now I am not saying that MS's UI is the holygrail, and people should definitly NOT stop trying to improve it, but different does not equal better.


Just to point out.

It's not change for the sake of changing or if it works for 90% of the people, why change!

Its to build something that is intuitive after you understand it, building something that doesn't get in the way (non-overlapping), something that actually follows some Interface standards (you can't say that about MS Windows) and do something that is amazingly fast to use once you understand the paradigm behind it.

And please don't say that Interface Standards don't mean nothing, because most of them were defined after doing lots of testing and seeing people actually using it. And you only saw Microsoft get into to Interface Standards and really thinking about Interface design for Vista and the new Office. And guess what, the Office interface actually looks like an Apple Application, using Apples Interface Design.
And guess from where did Blender get much of its design qualities and Standards.

People that actually used Blender and tried to understand the interface already added it to their tools of choice.

I will accept a reply from you once you really tried Blender's Interface and state specific points where it can be changed or improved.



Cheerz,

-- Rui --

MartyD
12-25-2005, 12:51 PM
3) Numeric-input sliders, - good idea, poor (IMO) implementation, - Mouse does not allow fine enough control, and numeric input is a bit awkward (but they're working on it).
Another one of those quirky, undocumented blender featurers Open Source / Academia style softs are so well known for. Just about everything moused in blender can be fine tuned by holding the shift key down while dragging. Cuts the mouse dpi ratio by an order of magnitude and gives the cursor a very fine control. The feature is most helpful.

Funny thing about using an independently developed UI, I've grown so used to the various features available in blender that I keep trying to use them in all the other applications and OS tools here at my work station. Can be very frustrating trying to hover a mouse over a window and expecting the wheel to scroll a page even though the window is still residing in the background. X-windows anyone? There's a certain amount of flexibility required to maintain the multiple mindsets of all the popular interfaces.

That reminds me, is Apple still only using a two button mouse? How can anyone operate without a scrolling wheel? :) Welcome to the 21st century already. And I hesitate to mention anything Microsoft, they are persona non grata here and usually tend to bring out the worst in everything I say, but, anyone ever having experienced any of their mid level applications will certainly have had a questionable experience or two. For one, simply requesting a help document will often resize the work window or even worse bring up a dancing icon that barks or squeaks or conjures or something along those lines. Personally I don't find their idea of GUI all that appealling.

TroutMaskReplica
12-25-2005, 01:47 PM
there is more to an interface than how easy it is for a new user to learn.

a violin is difficult to learn. does that mean it has a poor interface?

xtrudethis
12-25-2005, 07:28 PM
Well, I am able to model, texture, and render with the apps I have already chosen for such... So it isn't me missing Blender... but rather the other way around stll...

Each time there is a new super feature filled release of blender, I downloads with anticipation, and each time I am dissappointed...

don't get me wrong, this app is leaping to new heights each day for sure, but still the UI really does require a ton of work IMHO... read that IMHO again :)

Looking forward

Zarf
12-25-2005, 09:06 PM
That reminds me, is Apple still only using a two button mouse? How can anyone operate without a scrolling wheel? :) Welcome to the 21st century already.

Going slightly off topic, but I have always had a 3 button mouse hooked up to my mac (its actually a microsoft 3 button optical mouse with scroll wheel). It works exactly as you would expect it to, just plug it in and go. As a matter of fact 3 button mice have always worked on APPLES as you would expect them to. The mouse that came with my wacom has *five* buttons and it works just fine with my mac. Its a good thing too ,since blender was designed for a mouse with 3 buttons to begin with (scroll wheel support was added later after open sourcing.)

Apparently Macs are just as misunderstood as blender by some people.


Cheers,
Xarf

efbie
12-25-2005, 09:10 PM
don't get me wrong, this app is leaping to new heights each day for sure, but still the UI really does require a ton of work IMHO... read that IMHO again :)


Zarf said it way better than me :)

Zarf
12-25-2005, 09:10 PM
don't get me wrong, this app is leaping to new heights each day for sure, but still the UI really does require a ton of work IMHO... read that IMHO again :)

Looking forward

Your perfectly entitled to your opinion and as a potential user it is certainly valuable. But unless you can articulate exactly what is *wrong* with the current interface (whilst demonstrating a genuine understanding of how things currently actually work) its not going to help anything. The developers and community are always open to suggestions, but no one is a mind reader.

Cheers,
Xarf

kaiser_pro
12-25-2005, 09:11 PM
there is one word for the people who talk about "good" GUI's

"maya"

I have to say, even though i have been using linux for a good 5 years now, i have to say, that its (maya's) wonderfully dense menu system to a new user is a huge pain in the arse.

i realise you can script your way to simplisity, but thats not the point. Any programme that needs a search function specifically just for the menu system, has a problem.


the main problem with blender is that its Diffrent, but shares some similarties with other 3D programmes for a maya user, you can move the viewport, edit the object etc. but then you go to change the angle of something and it askes you what you'd like to extrude.


so in conclusion, blender doesnt have a bad GUI, its just diffrent. more to the point its deffinatly no worse than the competition.

Vladius
12-26-2005, 09:49 AM
Some people say that blender's GUI is not bad but different. So tell me, what does blender do to make U feel it is convenient? I am pretty sure that almost nothing. I did not have any headache when I started using 3ds. It was almost my first app on the PC, and had no discomfort to get used to it. GUI design is an art. It does have to follow some rules. Blender feels like a mad scientist - he knows where to get every particular item on his table, but when someone else looks for a pen, for example, all he sees is just a garbage hill. So stop these girlish "everyone is different" talks, be good community and say "yes, we got used to blender's interface, but we must admit - it is lame".

Ollarin
12-26-2005, 10:03 AM
Oooh...This thread is getting a bit heated.

Come on everyone, cool off. This was meant for the release of a Blender version. Not how good or bad it was. This is just going to get nasty if it continues on it's current path.

Vladius
12-26-2005, 10:20 AM
Oooh...This thread is getting a bit heated.

Come on everyone, cool off. This was meant for the release of a Blender version. Not how good or bad it was. This is just going to get nasty if it continues on it's current path.

This thread just shows that when we talk about blender, first of all we argue about GUI, even because of this, it(GUI) has to be changed.

Trident_2K5
12-26-2005, 10:29 AM
be good community and say "yes, we got used to blender's interface, but we must admit - it is lame".

I'm glad that you had such a great expirience witx MAX but unfortunately, I can say exsactly the opposite :) Max (Gmax, to be precise) was the first 3D app I tried, and i had lots of discomfort using it, and it felt like mad scientist's desktop... So, should I say now "be good community and say "yes, we got used to 3DS interface, but we must admit - it is lame"."? :)

Any complex enough application has it's share of "5-minute-haters" and instant loyal fans.


Of course, there are geniune problems with Blender's UI too, but I doubt any of those who did not like it really saw them. (Material indices, for instance, or top-secret function of 8th texture (this one is fixed now,btw), or scripts).

MartyD
12-26-2005, 10:34 AM
Blender also has a lot of new character animation tools that were either redesigned or added since the last build. The old system was clunky and difficult to edit after skining. The new system has mucho editabililty and is very beginer friendly. The entire rig will try to auto skin your mesh and has several different visualation tools, some designed to be easy on older hardware. And also a new fully visualized envelope approach. The envelopes are particularly easy to use as there is no need for weight painting, although they are of course not as accurate a per vertex weight. New painting tools too.

I haven't had a chance to use the system much yet so I really don't have a handle on all the features. One of the big reasons I hesitated to learn the old system was because it was so clunky and difficult to edit. But I'm looking forward now to getting very much more involved with character rigging since the developers have put together a production level environment.

There also many improvements to the system that I haven't had a chance to explore, like footsteps (or something. . :) ). Not Max's footstep driven motion I think, but footsteps that don't slide when a motion is keyed. A lot more that I don't remember right now.

I'm a big fan of easy. I don't like having to do a ton of work that has to be done over and over simply to fix one little aspect that isn't quite up to par. The new skining tools are a big step in the right direction. !

Vladius
12-26-2005, 10:37 AM
Any complex enough application has it's share of "5-minute-haters" and instant loyal fans.

Believe me, I am not one of them. Anyway, I agree that GUI discussions have to be finished here. Blender's programmers are solving this problem and I think that correct decisions have allready been made.

RCAS
12-26-2005, 10:51 AM
Some people say that blender's GUI is not bad but different. So tell me, what does blender do to make U feel it is convenient? I am pretty sure that almost nothing.
If you try it for two or three days you will understand, but if you just shout out without any real usage of it you won't be able to understand why so many people use it and moved from Max to it.

I did not have any headache when I started using 3ds. It was almost my first app on the PC, and had no discomfort to get used to it. GUI design is an art. It does have to follow some rules. Blender feels like a mad scientist - he knows where to get every particular item on his table, but when someone else looks for a pen, for example, all he sees is just a garbage hill.
It was your first app on PC, that really helps alot. This is like saying, I like it because it was the only app I used so far.
If your first app was Blender then Max would be an alien thing right, the same with Maya and other applications.

So stop these girlish "everyone is different" talks, be good community and say "yes, we got used to blender's interface, but we must admit - it is lame".
No we don't think it's lame, we do think it is one of the best and will continue to use it as such.

This just points out that you are a long user of Max and haven't tried anything else. For you Modo or ZBrush or any other application that doesn't look like a Windows interface or Max's interface is bad. I can only say one thing to this, wake up to real life.
Try reading some about User Interface Design and try to understand why something is bad or good and then I will listen to your comments.

The interface is done this way because it is the best way to achieve things faster and more efficient. While doing it is also intuitive.
It isn't perfect and needs some polishing, but it isn't wrong, nor it is as bad as some other applications you probably use.
And to point out, all people that used Max and now use Blender say that their time spent to finish something reduced drastically, due to Blender's interface paradigm and workflow.


Please do TRY things before saying it is Bad, or it is Wrong.


For instance, I don't comment on Maya, although it gets me confused everytime I open it up to try something, but since I haven't actually tried it much I don't do any comments about it.
I used Max first and compared to Blender it is counter productive, the interface and how things work just gets in the way, I can do things in Blender much much faster.
I admit that the first time I used Blender I didn't understand the interface (much as Maya), but after trying for less then a week I understood the workflow and the interface, everything from then on was just faster.

I use Max once in a while with Blender, I don't say that Max Sucks, like most of you say about Blender, but I do say that Max's workflow isn't that good when compared to Blender, but Max has it's good things too.


To any of you really wanting to say anything about Blender's Interface, please try it for a while and then comment, don't just say it is bad because you are used to another 3D application interface.


-- Rui --

RCAS
12-26-2005, 10:58 AM
And yes, I will finish my comments on User Interface here.

Enjoy this version and hopefully the next version will be even bigger in new features and with lots of improvements.


Thanks to all the Dev team and other people involved for making this version available.


Cheerz,

-- Rui --

Apollux
12-26-2005, 11:08 AM
And yes, I will finish my comments on User Interface here.
Iīm with you there.

efbie
12-26-2005, 11:18 AM
So tell me, what does blender do to make U feel it is convenient? I am pretty sure that almost nothing.
well, things i like in blender's UI (that may be in other UIs as well)
- unlimited virtual screens
- you can set up the window layout in any way you want
- every action can be done precisely with SHIFT, or by steps with CTRL
- you can copy/paste anything by pressing ctrl-c or ctrl-v with mouse over
- all buttons are in one window, so they are easy to find.
- constraining transformation with mouse gesture. (move in a direction, press MMB, and it's constrained to the closest axis, huge time saver)
- you need to click on geometry only for selection, using the other tools doesn't depend of your mouse location (huge time saver as well)
- very logical interface, once you understand it, you don't need the manual anymore.

xtrudethis
12-26-2005, 11:59 AM
Things I like about Wings3D...

It's very intuitive, just plain feels right...

It has quite the toolset...

No widgits required ;)

and that last one brings up the next point...

If Blender's UI was as useable, as Wings3D is without widgits (work with me here ;) ) more people would take the plunge no doubt, but this simply is not the case...

Bellorum
12-26-2005, 12:25 PM
If Blender's UI was as useable, as Wings3D is without widgits (work with me here ;) ) more people would take the plunge no doubt, but this simply is not the case...
Wings3D is a modeller only. The comparison to a fullfledged 3D application and the complexity it presents is ludicrous.
I did not have any headache when I started using 3ds. It was almost my first app on the PC, and had no discomfort to get used to it.
Did you try 3dsMAX without tutorials the first time? I did, and I was completely lost. It took some time for me to get used to the interface, just as it took me to understand Blender's. The key in both cases was taking the time to actually do the tutorials, read the manual, and start simple.

Duhast
12-26-2005, 01:01 PM
Trust me on this, Blender haters talk now about Blender's EVIL GUI. Well, when that issue is "solved" (BTW I love it's GUI), they will start bashing it because it lacks this "super-cool-minor-microdisplacement widget" or the "atomic sublevel-subsubsubpoly-editing thingy"

The neverending story...

Tripdragon
12-26-2005, 01:25 PM
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

go gripe about the gui at blenders own forums... THAT way the devlopers MIGHT see the posts and think about it somemore.. Otherwise they wont bother checking here ....

Para
12-26-2005, 02:57 PM
:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

go gripe about the gui at blenders own forums... THAT way the devlopers MIGHT see the posts and think about it somemore.. Otherwise they wont bother checking here ....

One of the Blender threads couple of years ago was started by a Blender dev (can't remember the name and it's irrelevant at this point), back then the discussion started to heat up quite fastly and the issue was same: the UI. After some crap-throwing the dev declared that he would never visit this site again because people don't understand the advancements of Blender's UI.

That was of course back then, I have no idea if that has changed or not or was that just an empty threat.

VirgilioVasconcelos
12-26-2005, 03:55 PM
Hey guys.
Hours has been spent on arguing about Blender's GUI or "put-your-favorite-3d-app-here" feature.
Love Max? USE MAX!
Love Maya? Go for it!
Love Blender? USE IT!

MAKE YOUR WORK SPEAK FOR ITSELF

I love and use Blender (and it's GUI hehe) for about two years. I have indeed spent some time learning it, but it's the least someone could expect from a guy who wants to work with CG (and everything else): Ability and love for LEARNING.

Just remeber: It's not an app, it's YOU who makes the difference.

I believe that Pixar's or Dreamworks' crew would certainly make astounding work, no matter if they use Blender or "put-your-favorite-3d-app-here".

By the way: why blame something that's made from the effort from people like you, that just want a better 3d app and work for it in their spare time? Want a feature? Go for the dev forum and request it. =D

Cheers and Merry Christmas to all =D

*sorry for any English mistakes

VirgilioVasconcelos
12-26-2005, 04:00 PM
---sorry for the duplicate post---

efbie
12-26-2005, 04:04 PM
developpers do read cgtalk and are interested in constructive feedback. But there is little they can do with comments like "Your UI is bad"

Hazdaz
12-26-2005, 04:22 PM
Well I just hope that developers realize that programmers make god awful UI designers.

And unfortuntaly from all the complaints here, it sure as hell sounds like BLENDER was originally started as a programming "extersize" by programmers that grew and grew into the powerful package that it is today. But powerful does not equal user-friendly. Programmers are technically-minded, but the users tend to be more artistically-minded... and somewhere in the middle is where a UI has to be to be both useful, user-friendly and powerful.

This is the exact same problem that LINUX faces - a bunch of brilliant guys are programming that OS, but these guys are technically-minded individuals, and for the most part have no clue how to "dumb it down" for just an average user to use. (and there is no insult meant by the term "dumb it down" - it is a very common engineering term use when you try taking a technical thing and make it usable by someone that has zero experience with it)
Now I know LINUX is getting way better with different GUIs, so you can save your flaming.

DizzyJ
12-26-2005, 04:50 PM
I started trying to learn 3D in Blender and it didn't work out for me, but I won't blame Blender, per se: it was the manual/tutorial. I'd urge the Blender community to put more time and resources into training guides. Of course, the Maya/Max/Lightwave/etc. communities benefit from installed bases and customers who paid so much for their apps that buying training manuals/DVDs is a minor expense. Thus, there is a lot more training materials out there for competing programs. From what I could tell when I was looking into Blender (early autum 2005), there are only a few introductory tutorials. While the manual (which is what I was using) isn't bad, it didn't suit my learning style. A greater diversity of tutorials would address that and help grow the Blender community (and challenge the Blender GUI sucks argument).

I'm not sure if I'd like the GUI now--I've gotten used to Maya and the Hotbox, and get upset when I switch to another application that doesn't work like it does (I even get frustrated at Photoshop and Illustrator for not zooming "properly" now:D).

I am very happy that Blender is cruising along, however. No matter what happens to Maya and Max, Autodesk can't buy Blender. So congrats to the Blender dev team for continuing to improve Blender. I might give it another shot if Autodesk messes up Maya.

efbie
12-26-2005, 04:53 PM
Well I just hope that developers realize that programmers make god awful UI designers.

And unfortuntaly from all the complaints here, it sure as hell sounds like BLENDER was originally started as a programming "extersize" by programmers that grew and grew into the powerful package that it is today. But powerful does not equal user-friendly. Programmers are technically-minded, but the users tend to be more artistically-minded... and somewhere in the middle is where a UI has to be to be both useful, user-friendly and powerful.

Blender was originally started as an inhouse tool for the Dutch "NeoGeo" animation studio. It was created with speed and workflow in mind, not to be easily learned. Then, in 1998 they created NotANumber to sell blender, but it went bankrupt in 2002 So the blender community raised 100 000€ to get the right to release it in open source. The interface has hugely improved since then, but they never sacrified speed or workflow to newbie-friendlyness.

There is people who are actually not "true" programmers, but artists that are working to further improve blender's interface. Here is a screenshot of some early results.

gruvsyco
12-26-2005, 04:59 PM
developpers do read cgtalk and are interested in constructive feedback. But there is little they can do with comments like "Your UI is bad"
Been playing with it a couple of days and here are my comments so far:

I don't get the purpose of the little LMB cursor thingy, blender is the only app I've seen with this and it seems completely pointless and a waste of a mouse button.
Hotkeys should be programmable. Most apps have this. It's great that it works for some users but would be great to assign them yourself to make it work with your own personal workflow.
Would be great if panel contents were configurable... I do like that their placement and size is adjustable but their contents don't seem to work for me.
Some more standardized terminology on toolset.
This one gets me... rotate around your scene and add a cube.. it aligns the object somehow to the view by default. This would generally be an option and rightly so IMO. Object should default to being aligned to world not view.
Numerics should allow for data entry.
Object/Edit button on viewport should be moved or functionality changed... example: If I make a 4 3Dviewport display like is default in LW, if I change modes in one it changes in the others as well... being that it's on each viewport, I feel it should either allow independent modes per viewport or be moved somewhere that is more global.
Would like to be able change the axis of the grid. Most apps seen to place the grid x-z, blender is x-y, should at least have an option to change it.
If there are better selection methods, I would love to know about them. the shift click thing to add to my selection is definitely a slow down. I'm use to painting my selection, in Blender, attempting this gets me one face selected and started dragging. Need loop selections too.
Zoom/Scroll (wheel) does not work on my Wacom mouse, zooms out regardless of direction I go.

One thing I wish that it and every 3D app had is the mouse behavior of Wings 3D at least in terms of the pan/zoom/rotate. Silo gives you the option at least :).

Alot of this stuff is stuff that could be implemented so that users that like the way it is now could keep the old look but it would make it easier to adapt to for users coming from other apps. I'm quite sure that some krafty users would even develop Max/Maya/XSI/C4D/LW templates for it.

MartyD
12-26-2005, 05:02 PM
[ah efbie beat me to it]

Actually you're right Hazdaz. The program was thrown together, well thrown may not be the right word, for in-house studio projects. A very long time ago. Let's see, at that time SoftImage was about as state of the art as you could get, and if anyone rembers that programers haven then they know just how un-graphical it was. Those were days when one was lucky to have an interface so blender was concieved out of an environment that had no standards at all. By very clever programers. A look under the hood will quickly reveal the finer points of the philosophy.

Like a new language the learning process takes dedication and patience. A few words here and there, a lot of practice in the native environment, and sooner than you think you're conversant with a fresh point of view. Or, yah, wait a couple of weeks 'cause they're going full guns at project Orange and around the rest of the scene.

RCAS
12-26-2005, 05:50 PM
I don't get the purpose of the little LMB cursor thingy, blender is the only app I've seen with this and it seems completely pointless and a waste of a mouse button.


You can change this behaviour on the preferences.



Hotkeys should be programmable. Most apps have this. It's great that it works for some users but would be great to assign them yourself to make it work with your own personal workflow.


True, it has a project started, but it isn't finished yet, so Working on it.



Would be great if panel contents were configurable... I do like that their placement and size is adjustable but their contents don't seem to work for me.

That isn't scheduled for anytime soon, it would require alot of changes in order for you to build your own theme. But a nice bar that can contain any configured button or option is being worked on.



Some more standardized terminology on toolset.


The terminology will get a review with the new Buttons layout coming on the next version, so, it is being Worked on.



This one gets me... rotate around your scene and add a cube.. it aligns the object somehow to the view by default. This would generally be an option and rightly so IMO. Object should default to being aligned to world not view.


Yes, it should be an option, will propose to put this option at the preferences, shouldn't be too hard I believe.



Numerics should allow for data entry.

If you press on the center of the numeric you will be able to edit it, but it must be on the center.



Object/Edit button on viewport should be moved or functionality changed... example: If I make a 4 3Dviewport display like is default in LW, if I change modes in one it changes in the others as well... being that it's on each viewport, I feel it should either allow independent modes per viewport or be moved somewhere that is more global.

This was already talked and it still remained a global usage, but will be an option in next version or two, needs some changes to the window handlers, thus needs some effort not able to be done while Orange project isn't finished.



Would like to be able change the axis of the grid. Most apps seen to place the grid x-z, blender is x-y, should at least have an option to change it.

Yes, it should have it on the preferences. But you still have the ability to do this at the Object level, in the Object Panel in Anim and Settings.



If there are better selection methods, I would love to know about them. the shift click thing to add to my selection is definitely a slow down. I'm use to painting my selection, in Blender, attempting this gets me one face selected and started dragging. Need loop selections too.


You can use CTRL + LMB to draw a lasso around the object to select.
CTRL + SHIFT + LMB to use lasso and remove from selection.
B key to get a square selection.
B key hit twice and you get a Brush selection, size increase / decrease with the Scroll wheel.

One thing I wish that it and every 3D app had is the mouse behavior of Wings 3D at least in terms of the pan/zoom/rotate. Silo gives you the option at least :).


Once the keyboard keys get a configuration you will also see these configurable, it is planned, but eventually will only be seen in two versions from this one.
If things work nicelly maybe in the next version.


Cheerz,

-- Rui --

ZanQdo
12-26-2005, 05:51 PM
I don't get the purpose of the little LMB cursor thingy, blender is the only app I've seen with this and it seems completely pointless and a waste of a mouse button.




Yes, It is the only app that has a 3d Cursor, try Shft+S to get th snap menu and changing the transformation pivot in the 3D window header to see itīs power, also press the "Move Objects centers only" button located at the rigth of the transformation pivot menu and scale/rotate some objects, you would like that for sure.





Hotkeys should be programmable. Most apps have this. It's great that it works for some users but would be great to assign them yourself to make it work with your own personal workflow.


Yeah, should be programable.





Would be great if panel contents were configurable... I do like that their placement and size is adjustable but their contents don't seem to work for me.
Sure, being worked on, also there would be the ability to place scripts GUIīs in panels like maya shelf





Some more standardized terminology on toolset.


Yeah, next version UI is goin g to be better, one of the reasons itīs not included in this release itīs that there was too much new things and that could disorient regular blender users ;) So cool being able to say that, no one grows up us fast as Blender





This one gets me... rotate around your scene and add a cube.. it aligns the object somehow to the view by default. This would generally be an option and rightly so IMO. Object should default to being aligned to world not view.

- TAB to go out to object mode
- Alt+R to clear object rotation (Alt+G clears location, Alt+S clears size, Alt+P clears parent, etc)

That could be done in half a second so thatīs not really a problem :)





Numerics should allow for data entry.

Sorry donīt get your question :blush:


Ups got to go for a moment, Iīll be back to finish the answers in a moment

RCAS
12-26-2005, 05:57 PM
Zoom/Scroll (wheel) does not work on my Wacom mouse, zooms out regardless of direction I go.


There maybe two reasons for that, either your driver isn't configured using a standard port or Blender has some problem with it.

I also have a Wacom and works fine for me, I have a Graphire 3.



-- Rui --

brkn
12-26-2005, 06:02 PM
Yeah, next version UI is goin g to be better, one of the reasons itīs not included in this release itīs that there was too much new things and that could disorient regular blender users ;)

No it's not at all, it's postponed to the next release because the two people working on it are very busy (http://orange.blender.org) at the moment and wanted to take the necessary time to make sure it's properly polished, rather than rushing things.

efbie
12-26-2005, 06:03 PM
Been playing with it a couple of days and here are my comments so far:



I don't get the purpose of the little LMB cursor thingy, blender is the only app I've seen with this and it seems completely pointless and a waste of a mouse button
It can be used as a reference point for various operations like center for scales, rotations, etc... It can be quite usefull.




Hotkeys should be programmable. Most apps have this. It's great that it works for some users but would be great to assign them yourself to make it work with your own personal workflow.

This is on the roadmap, it's the "event refactoring", it will allow much more interactivity in the UI, but it won't happen before the end of the orange project. Hotkeys are currently hardcoded, so it's not possible to change them without recompiling blender.



Numerics should allow for data entry.

Shift-LMB on any button, or just type numbers while transform. (or maybe i didn't understand your request)





If there are better selection methods, I would love to know about them. the shift click thing to add to my selection is definitely a slow down. I'm use to painting my selection, in Blender, attempting this gets me one face selected and started dragging. Need loop selections too.

Ctrl-Lmb : lasso
B : border select
BB : paint select
Alt-RMB : loop select
Ctrl-Alt-RMB : ring select




Zoom/Scroll (wheel) does not work on my Wacom mouse, zooms out regardless of direction I go.

you should file a bug for that one.

LetterRip
12-26-2005, 06:08 PM
Customized keybindings, customized menus, customized panel bindings, etc. all will need to wait till the event system refactor - that will occur after Orange finishes but probably before Siggraph. Customized panel layout - while I think python panels are planned I'm not sure if more generic panel flexibility is planned - although with python panels the other panels could be rewritten to do it.

The object creation needs a rewrite - a lot more flexibility in that area would be welcome.

RCAS - the rest of the UI changes were not done this release due to Ton and Matt not having the time for it (prefering a UI team to take over the code review etc) and deciding that it wasn't worth holding back the release for, not out of concern for our users :)

Regarding 'Numerics' - is possibly the original poster refering to NKEY or typing numbers during a grab, etc? Ie functionalitiy that already exists. Or possibly a desire for dimensioning based tools ala autocad - in which case we don't have that :)

LetterRip

Trident_2K5
12-26-2005, 06:08 PM
EDIT: Most of the post Deleted, - Efbie and ZanQdoq explained it better. :)

Some more standardized terminology on toolset.

Like hypermesh/turboNURBS, or whatever. ;)


Would like to be able change the axis of the grid. Most apps seen to place the grid x-z, blender is x-y, should at least have an option to change it.

Correct me on this but isn't MAX one of those few apps that do it "wrong"? :)


If there are better selection methods, I would love to know about them. the shift click thing to add to my selection is definitely a slow down. I'm use to painting my selection, in Blender, attempting this gets me one face selected and started dragging. Need loop selections too.
Sorry, do not quite understand you. Do you say that there's no paint selection or that it does not work? If former, then try to press B key twice.

There are loop selections (but I do not like how they work in 2.4 They used to work in all modes, now you have to switch to face selection and ctrl-alt-leftclick on the edge :( Give me old loop select!)

RCAS
12-26-2005, 06:09 PM
Hehe, three post and all with the same thing.
This is to show how well things are defined and how people really know Blender well.

And Matt, you will probably have to hold your horses with the new Layout, I am building one that I want you guys to review before starting to change things ;) .


-- Rui --

ZanQdo
12-26-2005, 06:15 PM
Damm, that was unfair I jusīt go for a few minuts :curious:

If somebody uses msn messenger and want to ask question directly to me my msn mail is zanqdot@hotmail.com :)

SketchPad
12-26-2005, 06:56 PM
Hehe, three post and all with the same thing.
This is to show how well things are defined and how people really know Blender well.
-- Rui --

It also shows the community i action. Thereīs no community that I know of like the
Blender community - where else would you have a lot of people rush towards you
and help you out so fast? Itīs passion and dedication.

Lack a feature? Work on it together with us - and weīll make this the best tool we all
want - this is OUR tool (yours -everyone!) made by artists for artists!

Think of this as the biggest chance in your life to make an influence on how your favourite
tool should be like - but as everything else it comes at a price...no...the price isnīt the money
but your WORK and EFFORT.

:)

gruvsyco
12-26-2005, 06:59 PM
There maybe two reasons for that, either your driver isn't configured using a standard port or Blender has some problem with it.

I also have a Wacom and works fine for me, I have a Graphire 3.



-- Rui --
Wacom Intuos with 4D Mouse (http://wacomdirect.wacom.com/wacomdirect/product.asp?dept%5Fid=220&sku=GC500). It's funky and it looks like they have replaced it with a more traditional looking mouse *shrugs*

RCAS
12-26-2005, 07:05 PM
Wacom Intuos with 4D Mouse (http://wacomdirect.wacom.com/wacomdirect/product.asp?dept%5Fid=220&sku=GC500). It's funky and it looks like they have replaced it with a more traditional looking mouse *shrugs*
I would point to the driver :( .

But you can always fill a bug report (http://projects.blender.org/tracker/?atid=125&group_id=9&func=browse).


-- Rui --

gruvsyco
12-26-2005, 07:19 PM
I would point to the driver :( .

But you can always fill a bug report (http://projects.blender.org/tracker/?atid=125&group_id=9&func=browse).


-- Rui --

went ahead and did a per app config in the wacom driver for it using the num + -. works as expected now.

the clear rotation (alt + r) doesn't do anything near what I would have expected. Someone suggested a method for aligning the grid... tried that and it didn't work either.

RCAS
12-26-2005, 07:36 PM
went ahead and did a per app config in the wacom driver for it using the num + -. works as expected now.

the clear rotation (alt + r) doesn't do anything near what I would have expected. Someone suggested a method for aligning the grid... tried that and it didn't work either.
In order to insert an object aligned to the grid, press 1 and if you are still in perpective view press 5 to turn to orthographic view.
Insert the object and go back to the perspective view.

Hope it help and glad to see that the scroll now works fine :) .


-- Rui --

RCAS
12-26-2005, 07:38 PM
And, you might want to try "Auto-Perpective" on in the preferences, so when you press 1, 3, 7 and 9 you go automatically to ortographic view and once you rotate the view will switch to perspective mode again.


-- Rui --

gruvsyco
12-26-2005, 08:01 PM
actually, I think I'm about done with playing with blender for right now. I would really like an alternative to LW and a free alternative would be smokin but for right now, blender and I just aren't a match. I'll definitely keep checking back, I've downloaded every major release for quite some time now and was even playing with some of the CVS stuff leading up to 2.40. There are definitely some things that I'm really looking forward to with it (like RIB compliance) and will definitely give it a go again some day.

I mainly wanted to respond with some (I hope) positive feedback on why I feel the UI doesn't work for me since most people were just saying "the ui sucks".

Back to the original topic... congrats to the Blender Devs on adding a whole lot of cool features to an already feature rich and *free* app!

ZanQdo
12-26-2005, 08:28 PM
the clear rotation (alt + r) doesn't do anything near what I would have expected. Someone suggested a method for aligning the grid... tried that and it didn't work either.

need to be in object mode as I said, so first TAB to go out to object mode and then Alt+R

Thanks for tring it and giving your opinion, see you!

LetterRip
12-26-2005, 08:39 PM
gruvsyco,

thank you for the constructive feedback, very much appreciated.

LetterRip

gruvsyco
12-26-2005, 09:07 PM
gruvsyco,

thank you for the constructive feedback, very much appreciated.

LetterRip
No problem Tom...

I'll add this too:
It would be nice to be able to set the default selection as well. The painting selections works better for me personally... would be nice if MMB rotation worked in that mode too. What would be even better is some kind of smart selection like... default mode = painting, clicking on a surface that is already highlighted starts deselection and clicking where there is no active geometry activates window selection... could have drag window one way is select, drag the other is deselect or one is enclosed selection and the other is touching selection. Just some thoughts.

LetterRip
12-26-2005, 09:20 PM
gruvsyco - all of that should be possible once the event refactor happens - significant changes in how selection is done by default etc. can all be done then - I'm sure people will add all of the many methods that exist in numerous animation packages once an easy way to configure the method you want is available.

LetterRip

Zarf
12-26-2005, 09:24 PM
Some people say that blender's GUI is not bad but different. So tell me, what does blender do to make U feel it is convenient? I am pretty sure that almost nothing. I did not have any headache when I started using 3ds. It was almost my first app on the PC, and had no discomfort to get used to it. GUI design is an art. It does have to follow some rules. Blender feels like a mad scientist - he knows where to get every particular item on his table, but when someone else looks for a pen, for example, all he sees is just a garbage hill. So stop these girlish "everyone is different" talks, be good community and say "yes, we got used to blender's interface, but we must admit - it is lame".

Be a good critic and show an understanding of how things currently work and point out what is actually wrong in your opinion. Otherwise your accusations about blenders UI cannot possibly be taken seriously and nothing will ever change. Out of all the posts on this thread I have seen only *one* person actually make an attempt to *point out* specific things he thought was wrong with the UI (thanks btw!). Everyone else has just said 'its lame, I'm not going to tell you why its lame, I'm not even going to demonstrate that I understand it in its current form. Nevertheless you should take my unqualified criticism as an indicator that things need drastic changes. Now be good developers and read my mind because I sure as hell am not going to waste me time TELLING you what needs improvment. Do it now!'

What is wrong with you people? Do you really think that the developers are going to drop everything, throw out all the concepts that they feel work and start over from scratch based upon such input? I remember that in art school input like that was never particularly appreciated at critiques, and spoke more about the person making the comments than the work being commented on itself. I thought that a community of artists would understand this principle better.

Regards,
Xarf

lukep
12-26-2005, 10:05 PM
Be a good critic and show an understanding of how things currently work and point out what is actually wrong in your opinion. Otherwise your accusations about blenders UI cannot possibly be taken seriously and nothing will ever change. Out of all the posts on this thread I have seen only *one* person actually make an attempt to *point out* specific things he thought was wrong with the UI (thanks btw!). Everyone else has just said 'its lame, I'm not going to tell you why its lame, I'm not even going to demonstrate that I understand it in its current form.

As one of the devs, i would add some comments :

- original design of the UI is very well thought and consistent
- unfortunately in the last period of NaN and the beginning of the Open Source era, some principles were a bit lost. thing changes as features are reworked, and in the good direction imho.
- there is actually some limitations due to the event system (both low and high level) which is antique design and show its age. this will be reworked too.
- the GUI is not fancy, and still a bit ugly in some places. (but much better than it was)

main problem is that many of the paragdims it uses are efficient but different from any other 3D package. A good example is the 3D cursor which is actually one of the strong point of blender not the reverse. Another is that all action buttons are immediate. A third is the lib and scene system, that i'm sure even experienced users dont realise it is so powerfull.

Those are design choices, and good ones because they are efficient for the experienced user. the non-overlaping interface is heavily advertised by Modo, this was present in Blender since the first version.

Now what really lack is good quickstart document presenting the how and why of the interface. The 2.40 has such a document for the first time, we need to expand from there and add more, as well as reworking the bad parts.

This will take time, as blender source is old and complex, few coders really master it (i don't yet). But even in this area things evolve well.

A last strong point of blender, it has almost full backward and forward compatibility of its own files, which means a blender 2.25 can read a 2.40 file (only limitation is unknown spaces), simply ignoring stuff it dont understand but usually able to interpret at least the mesh and materials. do you know many softs that can do that ?

Apollux
12-27-2005, 12:38 AM
A third is the lib and scene system, that i'm sure even experienced users dont realise it is so powerfull.
You are right, I TOTALLY LOVE it !!

BTW, are they any plans to make the library changes update in real time, not only on file reload?

I know that VERSE is supposed to handle the real time updates, but imagine a heavy scene where 1/2 of the objects come from a library.. verse-subscribing all that data everytime I open the file... Me doesnīt like it :sad:

sirap
12-27-2005, 01:29 AM
I remember the first versions of Blender, saw it way back on tv and decided to give it a go. The UI was god awful back then, but I have to say it has improved alot :thumbsup:

R10k
12-27-2005, 02:21 AM
I haven't had time to drop by this thread and point out a few things in Blender's UI which I feel could use some tweaking, so... here's one of the main ones that drives me bonkers :)

-I feel the panel's layout is quite illogical in many places. For example, it's odd that the settings for lights are under the shaders sub-heading. When I think about it, I can agree that that's one place it could go, but a light is as much an object as any other, and logically (according to me, anyway) it's settings should be found in the same place as other objects (because like any other object, you select it like one in the 3D view). A lot of the time I'm confused by the whole selection process as well, because depending on which panel I'm under, things can change contextually without my noticing, and other times not at all. In short, what I'm trying to say is that the whole thing seems confusing at times... and I generally know where things are located. For the beginner I'm sure, things appear much more confusing than they need to be.

Do you guys agree, or disagree?

RCAS
12-27-2005, 10:10 AM
I haven't had time to drop by this thread and point out a few things in Blender's UI which I feel could use some tweaking, so... here's one of the main ones that drives me bonkers :)

-I feel the panel's layout is quite illogical in many places. For example, it's odd that the settings for lights are under the shaders sub-heading. When I think about it, I can agree that that's one place it could go, but a light is as much an object as any other, and logically (according to me, anyway) it's settings should be found in the same place as other objects (because like any other object, you select it like one in the 3D view). A lot of the time I'm confused by the whole selection process as well, because depending on which panel I'm under, things can change contextually without my noticing, and other times not at all. In short, what I'm trying to say is that the whole thing seems confusing at times... and I generally know where things are located. For the beginner I'm sure, things appear much more confusing than they need to be.

Do you guys agree, or disagree?
Agreed and I believe that it is adressed already with the proposal of the Buttons Layout change.


-- Rui --

sirap
12-27-2005, 12:26 PM
The only thing I think that should be improved is the bevel tool.

Tripdragon
12-27-2005, 02:20 PM
HA Ha ,, al of this talk about how users love the interface and how great it is ,, yet as soon as next year a new interface is coming no matter..

weird :D

Vladius
12-27-2005, 03:12 PM
HA Ha ,, al of this talk about how users love the interface and how great it is ,, yet as soon as next year a new interface is coming no matter..

Ha ha ha yeah .. right so fahnnyy yee .. .. ill-formness is cool, ehg? ahg? w00t w00t

MartyD
12-27-2005, 03:26 PM
Ah, well. I took the money I saved by sticking with blender and passing on a commercial upgrade and bought my Mom a new computer. Time well spent. That investment and all.

RCAS
12-27-2005, 03:29 PM
HA Ha ,, al of this talk about how users love the interface and how great it is ,, yet as soon as next year a new interface is coming no matter..

weird :D

You're one of those that only reads the BOLD areas of the Newspapers and such, right ?

If you actually read it you will see that what is it meant is a REVISION to the "Buttons Area" layout and eventually some REVISION to the global layout.

The philosophy will remain the same and as well as the paradigm behind it. What will happen is that the "Buttons Area" will get a more logical approach on the layout and eventually have some name changes to better match CG World.


So, try not to FLAME this with child talk and get some sense in that head.



-- Rui --

tikal26
12-27-2005, 04:14 PM
I am amazed to see the pace that blender is improving. I also have some issue with the interface but i must say that the idea behind makes sence just look at the modo interface it took the ideas and polished them. I am exited to know that there is some work beign done (where can I fnd more info?) I am sure the next version with the nurbs, interface, and extras from the orange project added would be as amazing as this one. I just wish they upgrade the manual. Are there any plans to upgade the manual?

RCAS
12-27-2005, 04:38 PM
I am exited to know that there is some work beign done (where can I fnd more info?)
Documentation for the proposed Custom Toolbar (http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BlenderDev/CustomToolbar).
Documentation for the proposed Buttons Area layout changes (http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BlenderDev/ButtonsInformationArchitecture).
Documentation for the proposed Material Node Editor (http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/BlenderDev/NodeBasedMaterials).

I am sure the next version with the nurbs, interface, and extras from the orange project added would be as amazing as this one.
You can check this Forum (http://blender.org/forum/viewforum.php?f=18), I usually post a build of Orange and Development sources once a week for Windows and Linux. So you can Today try out the Future.

I just wish they upgrade the manual. Are there any plans to upgade the manual?
I'm working on this with several other people. I'm currently trying to merge too teams and define things so we can have full documentation ready once the next version comes out.

But you may try out this (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro) as a starting point, it isn't complete, but helps alot, this until we finish things.


-- Rui --

RCAS
12-27-2005, 04:52 PM
So you can get a taste of what will be the node editor.
It is still at Development stage, the final version may differ alot from this.
You can see it is already there and being developed. And what you see here already work.

It is still lacking several features and the interface isn't final, but it is something to expect on the next version.


-- Rui --

Tripdragon
12-27-2005, 05:20 PM
So you can get a taste of what will be the node editor.
It is still at Development stage, the final version may differ alot from this.
You can see it is already there and being developed. And what you see here already work.

It is still lacking several features and the interface isn't final, but it is something to expect on the next version.


-- Rui --

Dude! I dont care about the gui.. used worse..
now for those images.. nice.. now can we get that in the 3d view on meshes....? just as a shader on a ball is not enough,, on the mesh is the real dealll..

bassaminator
12-27-2005, 06:04 PM
This thread just shows that when we talk about blender, first of all we argue about GUI, even because of this, it(GUI) has to be changed.
Hehe! that's really funny.. becuase every time I talk with people about max, it devolves into an argument about max's gui- perhaps 3DS should just rewrite their gui everytime this happens? :rolleyes:

from this users perspective, blender's gui rocks, I'm sorry. And I've used max (before blender)... and.. max's gui's O.K. too- but I'd be severly pissed if either app became a dumb clone of the other.

cara-rj
12-27-2005, 06:13 PM
The only thing I think that should be improved is the bevel tool.

You should try the Bevel Center Script (Edit mode > Mesh > Scripts > Bevel Center).

now for those images.. nice.. now can we get that in the 3d view on meshes....? just as a shader on a ball is not enough,, on the mesh is the real dealll..

I guess we only get the shader in the 3D view, IMO, when the OpenGL code get updated (OpenGL 2.0).

RCAS
12-27-2005, 06:17 PM
I guess we only get the shader in the 3D view, IMO, when the OpenGL code get updated (OpenGL 2.0).

ANY OPENGL CODER here that cares to help out in migrating to OGL 2.0 ?

It would surely be appreciated.


-- Rui --

cara-rj
12-27-2005, 06:49 PM
I guess OGL 2.0 is on Ton's plans, but there are other things to care about right now.;)

OGL 2 will be much appreciated, to improve shaders visualization; but with it come problems with video drivers (on-board videos....).

tikal26
12-27-2005, 07:23 PM
So you can get a taste of what will be the node editor.
It is still at Development stage, the final version may differ alot from this.
You can see it is already there and being developed. And what you see here already work.

It is still lacking several features and the interface isn't final, but it is something to expect on the next version.


-- Rui --

Rui:
Thanks for you replies. Looking foward to it

JA-forreal
12-27-2005, 08:48 PM
For those of you who new users who have "survived" hehe, the Blender interface over the last few days check out some of these sample .blend files-

http://www.blender3d.org/cms/Blender.31.0.html

Look down near the bottom of the Blender download links for the "Regression files". They should help in your efforts to learn more about Blender.

I couldn't find the link to the YafRay demo scene files. Maybe someone can post it here.

Have fun!

As we say, Blend on!

Apollux
12-27-2005, 09:56 PM
This has to be the longest lived thread about Blender that I have ever seen on CGTalk :eek:

schuubars
12-27-2005, 10:58 PM
yep, but thats a good sign!

grats to the devs of blender, nice release!

Schwinnz
12-27-2005, 11:41 PM
I guess we only get the shader in the 3D view, IMO, when the OpenGL code get updated (OpenGL 2.0).
I'm sure you can make shaders (not all) work on the current GL version.
(normals and bump don't need GL2.0 afaik).

scorpion007
12-28-2005, 12:03 AM
Here's one thing that's quite a pain for me: Saving preferences. Preferences should be saved independently from the scene's contents. When you hit Ctrl-U (IIRC) it saves your preferences along with whatever contents you had currently in your scene. Which to me is a major nuisance. Not only that, but after tweaking the prefs for a while and quitting the program, you reopen it to find that they have all reset to default, which has happened to me a few times when I first tried the program. Preferences should save themselves just like any other program.

scorpion007
12-28-2005, 12:40 AM
And here's what you should do about the 3D cursor: Get rid of it. :)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but all the 3D cursor is for is making transformations based on a reference point, right?
Make the program more generic, instead of making a feature for such a narrow use, and making users learn how to adjust the 3D cursor in space (using various snaps, clicking in 3d space), why dont you use standard features? Like null helper objects. You already have an "Empty" object in blender, so why dont you expand its use? Parent a cube to a null (Empty), then transform it using the null as a reference point.
The reason I say this is because unlike all other objects in blender that can be transformed using standard procedure (i.e. g, r, s), you cannot do this to a 3D cursor, because it is "special". You cannot (to my limited knowledge) translate the 3D cursor along the X axis 5 units. Or if u can, you can't just hit G, X, 5, click. Having 'special' single use features adds to the confusion. Create consistency in your program.

In the header panel of the 3D view, there is a drop down for the "Pivot", including 3D cursor. There is no option for "Parent" or "Custom object".
My main rant is that the 3D cursor cannot be manipulated in standard ways, thus is not generic.

Thanks for reading :thumbsup:

@ce
12-28-2005, 01:24 AM
the 3d cursor can be a reference point for objects, vertices..not just for transformations..but modelling..positioning, etc.

sirap
12-28-2005, 01:28 AM
You should try the Bevel Center Script (Edit mode > Mesh > Scripts > Bevel Center).

Tried it, too messy

LetterRip
12-28-2005, 02:08 AM
The wiki.blender.org manual is fairly up to date, I think by 2.41 (or the release after that...) we should have the manual update pretty well synchronized with the releases. I'll likely be doing changes to release preperation to streamline this.

Regarding shaders - the shader preview is rendered, not opengl based. If using opengl or other shaders is desired the best route is probably some sort of integration of Ogre3D to optionally handle the view and materials. I'm almost positive that Ton isn't considering opengl or other gpu shaders for previews and rendering. Also he hasn't to my knowledge given any strong consideration to GPGPU based rendering (ie using the GPU as a general purpose processor) - however he has expressed that he would be willing to accept patches for such as long as nonGPU based paths were still available.

There are some GPGPU projects that allow a fallback path to C, so that might be the best approach.

LetterRip

ZanQdo
12-28-2005, 02:32 AM
And here's what you should do about the 3D cursor: Get rid of it. :)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but all the 3D cursor is for is making transformations based on a reference point, right?
Make the program more generic, instead of making a feature for such a narrow use, and making users learn how to adjust the 3D cursor in space (using various snaps, clicking in 3d space), why dont you use standard features? Like null helper objects.

the thing is the 3d cursor works in edit mode and also allows us to place new objects, bones, and whatever, just in the place I want, for example I can place the 3d cursor on a boneīs tip and next bone I add will be created with its root rigth there. The 3D cursor is a link betwen diferent modes: object, mesh edit, armature edit, armature pose, curve edit... also If I have both, the View properties and the Transform properties panels side by side on the 3D view I can copy and paste very easily betwen 3D cursor and object/vertex/bone/cv atributes.

I want MORE 3d cursors :D

But better and faster snap tools would be cool inded...

JA-forreal
12-28-2005, 03:24 AM
Here's one thing that's quite a pain for me: Saving preferences. Preferences should be saved independently from the scene's contents. When you hit Ctrl-U (IIRC) it saves your preferences along with whatever contents you had currently in your scene. Which to me is a major nuisance. Not only that, but after tweaking the prefs for a while and quitting the program, you reopen it to find that they have all reset to default, which has happened to me a few times when I first tried the program. Preferences should save themselves just like any other program.


I like to work with various "base" or "Starting Point" scene files from time to time. I find that you can work faster this way. I use the Ctrl-U to save each of these perfect "base" scene files. I can add everything that I need to these scene files for a environment scene, a modeling scene, a lighting scene, etc. While I work on my project I know that I can startup Blender with my "base" scene ready. I can start modeling, arranging, tweaking, etc. my work immediately just the way I like it. Sometimes I get a good layout setup going, lighting scene or Yafray "base" scene going that is just perfect for saving for a multitude of other projects. I hit Ctrl-U and save that scene as a startup scene.

That's the way I use Ctrl-U. Other Blender users may have their own ideas about it. But it is a feature most Blender users love.

The little “.B.blend” file in your Blender program directory /.blend/ or /home/user/ stores this “starter” scene file. You can share them with others or transfer your favorite Blender starter scene to any operating sys that Blender runs on. Powerful stuff once you see this in action.

A base or starter file, Hummm. It's kinda like yeast in bread making or beer brewing. Who starts 3d work from a blank window grid every time they sit down to do production work? Not me.

Have fun!

JA-forreal
12-28-2005, 03:40 AM
the thing is the 3d cursor works in edit mode and also allows us to place new objects, bones, and whatever, just in the place I want, for example I can place the 3d cursor on a boneīs tip and next bone I add will be created with its root rigth there. The 3D cursor is a link betwen diferent modes: object, mesh edit, armature edit, armature pose, curve edit... also If I have both, the View properties and the Transform properties panels side by side on the 3D view I can copy and paste very easily betwen 3D cursor and object/vertex/bone/cv atributes.

I want MORE 3d cursors :D

But better and faster snap tools would be cool inded...

I want to send 3d cursors all over the place in mulitples. Then Shift-S loads of objects over to them. I sometimes wish that I could treat 3d cursors like 3d objects. Or it would be nice to draw them over the surface of a landscape and send trees, people, whatever to those spots.

Maybe one day we will see a Blender build with extra 3d cursor features, who knows.

scorpion007
12-28-2005, 03:47 AM
JA-forreal, I agree with you that having a startup file is a great idea. Max has this too (maxstart.max) and others probably have a similar mechanism (not very familiar with maya, xsi, etc), but I think that the devs should reconsider what that .blend file stores. IMO I think that the .blend file should NOT store user preferences, and only scene content, and use a separate file for storing preferences. This way it will keep it more modular and nicer to use. (In a future release) what it you want to load a separate hotkey configuration for your scene? You dont want to replace its contents, just change some hotkeys.. or perhaps just change the layout.. or the general preferences.. You should be able to back them up separately and load them in independantly from each other.

Get what I'm saying?

There's nothing wrong with having a startup file or a starting point scene for various projects, I do this all the time. But nothing's stopping you from saving out that 'starting scene' in its own blender file and loading it in when needed.

JA-forreal
12-28-2005, 03:47 AM
Tried it, too messy

I'm looking forward to the upgrades to the Blender modeling features. I never use the Bevel script that often for most work as it is now. But it comes in handy when you need it.

scorpion007
12-28-2005, 03:50 AM
I want to send 3d cursors all over the place in mulitples. Then Shift-S loads of objects over to them. I sometimes wish that I could treat 3d cursors like 3d objects. Or it would be nice to draw them over the surface of a landscape and send trees, people, whatever to those spots.

Maybe one day we will see a Blender build with extra 3d cursor features, who knows.


That is one excellent use for proxy objects or nulls. For example you could write a Python script that would go thru the nulls and replace them with the real objects.. kind of like a find and replace for 3d objects. Such a tool exists in Max for example. No need to introduce special 3D cursors for such things..

EDIT:
Expanding on the generic-ness of things, you could go further and treat 'armatures' as standard objects too. No need for a special type. Armatures could be any object, so you could model your own shape, not just the standard one. Maybe this has already been implemented with the new release? I dunno. Max's 'bones' are just a convenient way of making a chain of standard shaped bones with the heirachy and pivots already set up for you. But you could always set them up manually, and model or edit their shapes. You see, they dont have any special requirements or workflows you need to memorise, they are consistent with every other object.

JA-forreal
12-28-2005, 03:56 AM
........

Get what I'm saying?

There's nothing wrong with having a startup file or a starting point scene for various projects, I do this all the time. But nothing's stopping you from saving out that 'starting scene' in its own blender file and loading it in when needed.

I get you. It would be nice if you could save out these startup files with your own naming preference. This would be a good feature to request from the coders.

gruvsyco
12-28-2005, 04:39 AM
I thought I would record a little example, using wink, of workflow comparisons... not meant as a rip on blender but, this is another simple example of why people complain about workflow.

Test was, weld a point to another point in it's location, repeat... each frame = each keystroke and/or mouseclick required to accomplish task.

Lightwave = 7 frames

http://www.whogivesfx.com/images/weld_lw.gif

Blender = 27 frames

http://www.whogivesfx.com/images/weld_blender.gif

NOTE: This is not a test designed solely to make blender look bad, this is a common process for me (like stitching hands to wrists or head to body) and, for testing purposes done using default tools/hotkeys in both apps (there are stitching scripts avaialble to simplify this in LW)

That said, Blender is kinda fun to noodle in but, alot of stuff just requires too many steps.

sirap
12-28-2005, 04:43 AM
That said, Blender is kinda fun to noodle in but, alot of stuff just requires too many steps.

Agreed, and target weild is soo much faster. I'll probably check in on Blender after a few months though.

Schwinnz
12-28-2005, 05:24 AM
There is a merge patch that adds a few cool things to merging (collapsing edges, collapsing faces, merge to last which is a target merge), although I don't recall why it was not included in the 2.40 release.

The page used to be there but I get 404 at the moment.
ttp://www.umsl.edu/~gcbq44/MergeTools/mergetools.html

Zarf
12-28-2005, 05:42 AM
I thought I would record a little example, using wink, of workflow comparisons... not meant as a rip on blender but, this is another simple example of why people complain about workflow.

Test was, weld a point to another point in it's location, repeat... each frame = each keystroke and/or mouseclick required to accomplish task.

Lightwave = 7 frames

http://www.whogivesfx.com/images/weld_lw.gif

Blender = 27 frames

http://www.whogivesfx.com/images/weld_blender.gif

NOTE: This is not a test designed solely to make blender look bad, this is a common process for me (like stitching hands to wrists or head to body) and, for testing purposes done using default tools/hotkeys in both apps (there are stitching scripts avaialble to simplify this in LW)

That said, Blender is kinda fun to noodle in but, alot of stuff just requires too many steps.

Several months ago I wrote a patch that adds several capabilities to the merge tools in blender. 'merge at first selected, merge at last selected', 'collapse edges' and 'collapse faces'. This is only availible in the form of a patch however and not in the official blender build.


There is a merge patch that adds a few cool things to merging (collapsing edges, collapsing faces, merge to last which is a target merge), although I don't recall why it was not included in the 2.40 release.

The page used to be there but I get 404 at the moment.
ttp://www.umsl.edu/~gcbq44/MergeTools/mergetools.html


You would have to ask an actual developer as to why it wasnt included. Its been ignored on the patch tracker since it was posted, so I personally dont expect it to be included in blender. I dont have CVS commit rights. Personally I use it almost everytime I do modelling (which is why I wrote it).

Thanks for heads up on 404, my university mustve finally suspended my web account. If anyone really wants it I will post the merge tools patch somewhere else.

Cheers,
Xarf

Apollux
12-28-2005, 05:56 AM
If anyone really wants it I will post the merge tools patch somewhere else.

Cheers,
Xarf
Apollux raises his hand !!

Zarf
12-28-2005, 06:23 AM
And here's what you should do about the 3D cursor: Get rid of it. :)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but all the 3D cursor is for is making transformations based on a reference point, right?
Make the program more generic, instead of making a feature for such a narrow use, and making users learn how to adjust the 3D cursor in space (using various snaps, clicking in 3d space), why dont you use standard features? Like null helper objects. You already have an "Empty" object in blender, so why dont you expand its use? Parent a cube to a null (Empty), then transform it using the null as a reference point.
The reason I say this is because unlike all other objects in blender that can be transformed using standard procedure (i.e. g, r, s), you cannot do this to a 3D cursor, because it is "special". You cannot (to my limited knowledge) translate the 3D cursor along the X axis 5 units. Or if u can, you can't just hit G, X, 5, click. Having 'special' single use features adds to the confusion. Create consistency in your program.

In the header panel of the 3D view, there is a drop down for the "Pivot", including 3D cursor. There is no option for "Parent" or "Custom object".
My main rant is that the 3D cursor cannot be manipulated in standard ways, thus is not generic.

Thanks for reading :thumbsup:

It is for this reason that I have been suggesting for a long time that the 3d cursor actually be turned into an auxiallry transform widget. Currently the 3d cursor only stores a point in space, but in reality we need to store a whole coordinate system in space. Silo has a similar funcionality in that you can 'freeze' the manipulator. This wouldnt be as good as having a completely independant 'auxillary' manipulator however, which is what the 3d cursor system ALMOST is. Finally if the 3d cursor were changed into an auxillary manipulator it should be able to manipulate it via the standard transform tools (just like Silo's 'manipulator edit mode'). Saving 'lists' of orientations for the secondary manipulator should be implemented as well.

I actually believe functionality along these lines has been implemented by the author of the transform code (he showed me some stuff he had running in his private build during an IRC conversation.) Whether or not this is 'ready' or will make it into blender remains to be seen.

As far as the current system goes, placing the 3d cursor in space should be more robust I agree. Currently if you want to change its absolute position in space you can either: snapmenu, left-click in space, or enter the coordinates manually using the view properties floating panel in the 3d view. One possible extension to the current system is to allow number input fields to do simple math, ie: if the current position is 3.45 and you append to it '+, -, +, *, or ^ 4' it will calculate the new value and plug it in. Furthermore some snapping commands should be plugged into mouse input. Since LMB places the 3d cursor in space via projection, shift-LMB could snap 3d cursor to selected elements and ctrl-shift-click could snap it to the vert/edge/face/object closest to the mouse cursor, regardless of said elements current selection status. These last two features have been meaning to add personally for a while now (they would be trivial to code). Perhaps I will do it when I wake up tommorow.

Good to see people actually discussing the issues instead of just offering the useless and empty criticism that has been dogging this thread and others like it for too long :thumbsup:

Cheers,
Xarf

time and space
12-28-2005, 06:31 AM
i just downloaded blender and i can see that this software really has future; compared to maya and xsi- blender is at par with them.

Apollux
12-28-2005, 06:34 AM
the 3d cursor in space should be more robust I agree ... One possible extension to the current system is to allow number input fields to do simple math, ie: if the current position is 3.45 and you append to it '+, -, +, *, or ^ 4' it will calculate the new value and plug it in...
Xarf
Now we are talking!

That's one of the things that I love about VectorWorks. Whenever you can input a numeric value you can also input a math expresion and it is evaluated on the fly, just like you described. That holds true not just for dimensions... it is available for every single numeric value.

Imagine been able to set the enerygy of a lamp like " * 2 " and it would automatically double itīs energy setting, likewise for the rendering frame size, etc. etc. etc.

nvvm
12-28-2005, 06:46 AM
Blender's user interface has made astounding strides in the last two years. If you dislike blender now you would have experienced brain damage a few versions ago. Undo, transform tools, face selection: all missing. I wanted to use a feature that was discontinued a while back and nearly couldn't remember how. That much has been improved since the application went open source.

And the Orange branch has already more. Groups, for one, will let you manage hair styles much more easily.

And that was exactly when I tried it, though I admire it, and hope to get some min usage out of it(fluids) it is definately not the app for me. But maybe that will change in time.

Frank Lake
12-28-2005, 07:36 AM
Downloaded Blender, again(it's like my 3rd download over 5 builds).

Well the interface is ALOT better from my previous experiences.

(Got a question though! Is the writing on the buttons supposed to be nearly unreadable on a 15inch LCD screen?)

But from what I've seen so far the problems have merely shifted around. Simple commands seem to be hidden(I've found some of them in a second or 3rd tier selection) or shifted to other non-standard areas. I like the sticky pallets that drop down, but if I'm holding the button to open the pallet it should also open/execute the selection I made(rmb will open the pallet but won't select, bummer). Overall it's a 90 degree turn from most of the programs I've experienced and would take a manual just to get up to 'basics' speed for me. And I've used LW, MAX, Wings, SILO, & TS so I'm not exactly a n00Be when it comes to tools or programs.

Great strides forward though I'd 'love' to see a standard interface pop-up as an option!

Apollux
12-28-2005, 07:57 AM
(Got a question though! Is the writing on the buttons supposed to be nearly unreadable on a 15inch LCD screen?) Seems like you got "Full Screen Antialiasing" turned on in your video drivers setting and/or are using an outdated ATI driver.

If you meaned like the text size is to small, all Blender's screens can be zoomed with the mousewhell or the +/- buttons on the NumPad. The Buttons panel are just another type of screen.

LetterRip
12-28-2005, 08:36 AM
You would have to ask an actual developer as to why it wasnt included. Its been ignored on the patch tracker since it was posted, so I personally dont expect it to be included in blender

It wasn't included because we had hit feature freeze shortly after it was submitted, and the developer who owned the module the patch was submitted for didn't have time to review before the freeze. I'm pretty sure I mentioned that to you on IRC? In a couple of weeks or so CVS will thaw and then patches will be reviewed for inclusion.

LetterRip

LetterRip
12-28-2005, 09:10 AM
Frank,

Simple commands seem to be hidden(I've found some of them in a second or 3rd tier selection) or shifted to other non-standard areas.

Could you give examples?

I like the sticky pallets that drop down, but if I'm holding the button to open the pallet it should also open/execute the selection I made(rmb will open the pallet but won't select, bummer).

Could you give a screen shot - I'm not sure what you are refering to as 'sticky pallets'.

Overall it's a 90 degree turn from most of the programs I've experienced and would take a manual just to get up to 'basics' speed for me.

Did you have a look at the quick start guide or the hotkey guides?

LetterRip

Frank Lake
12-28-2005, 09:19 AM
Seems like you got "Full Screen Antialiasing" turned on in your video drivers setting and/or are using an outdated ATI driver.

If you meaned like the text size is to small, all Blender's screens can be zoomed with the mousewhell or the +/- buttons on the NumPad. The Buttons panel are just another type of screen.
You forgot the other one. Older video card. In this case it's intergrated and lacking performance. But that's an interesting item none-the-less.


Tom, give me until Friday because I won't have any time over the next 2 days(work sch.). Obvious stuff really and been heard before most likely. Oh and answer your one question, it's the dropdown panels that come open when you hold down the L or Rmb's in Modeler view.

But to be honest I get the vibe that the programmers like the interface and that the user's who like Blender don't want to scare away the 'free' work being done to improve it. I've heard they do have an interface designer in the mix, which will help. It's much the opposite for the medium-pro level packages in not scaring away the customer base.

mystery00
12-28-2005, 10:47 AM
sorry i didnt blender, the feature list is certainly impressive, but it really is not very nice to use.

Hard to use? You must be joking, if you can't use Blender you must of been dropped on the head when you were a baby.

It's like the most simplest to use 3D program out there, everything is in the right place and easy to find, have you tried pressing Spacebar in the 3D window yet?

-------

Huge thankyou to the developers, this is the best release ever and will probably be remembered as just that for a long time :applause:

Mystery

LetterRip
12-28-2005, 10:58 AM
mystery00,

please do not engage in unconstructtive criticism or insults, it is entirely unneccessary and very counter-productive.

Easy to use is frequently a matter of personal taste - although there can definitely be specific criticisms that can show aspects of a program to lack 'ease of use'. Also a program that has a different interface approach from that which someone is used to will almost certainly not be 'easy to use' when they first start with the new interface since it often violates their expetations.

When I first played with ZBrush I found some interface design issues to be horrendously difficult to use and not intuitive at all (ie the 'dropping to canvas', everythings a tool, etc). After a bit more playing around thinks do make more sense (though some things that bug me I still consider 'bad design') - and in many respects ZBrush has some very cool interface improvements over other 3d software.

LetterRip

MartyD
12-28-2005, 11:05 AM
And that was exactly when I tried it, though I admire it, and hope to get some min usage out of it(fluids) it is definately not the app for me. But maybe that will change in time.
Another nice feature that's been implemented recently is the Outliner. With 2.37 I think. Selecting objects from the list makes a big difference in workflow since you don't have to work through 3D space just to edit some tiny little engine assembly burried behind the massively giant starship you've been composing for a couple of weeks. Just click the part in the list, Tab to edity mode, Numeric Pad "." to center the view and zoom the mouse. In a 4 panel display you have all the views.

I'd like to see a lot more funtionality in the Outliner though. Firstly would be the ability to rename objects directly in the list. Having to go to edit panel just to update a simple name is cumbersome. I'd also like to be able to right click the object and bing up a properties view or, if that isn't really possible, maybe right click and get the edit panel in play. And double click the object in the panel to enter edit mode. Save a couple of steps and leave my hand on the mouse which will save even more time.

Much improvement though since 2.3 and with the user's button bar I think a lot of the little quirks that everyone has or wants will probably be addressed. Add customized keyboard shortcuts and even better custom mouse clicks and you'll give the artists and the end users some real muscle.

RCAS
12-28-2005, 11:15 AM
Another nice feature that's been implemented recently is the Outliner. With 2.37 I think. Selecting objects from the list makes a big difference in workflow since you don't have to work through 3D space just to edit some tiny little engine assembly burried behind the massively giant starship you've been composing for a couple of weeks. Just click the part in the list, Tab to edity mode, Numeric Pad "." to center the view and zoom the mouse. In a 4 panel display you have all the views.

I'd like to see a lot more funtionality in the Outliner though. Firstly would be the ability to rename objects directly in the list. Having to go to edit panel just to update a simple name is cumbersome. I'd also like to be able to right click the object and bing up a properties view or, if that isn't really possible, maybe right click and get the edit panel in play. And double click the object in the panel to enter edit mode. Save a couple of steps and leave my hand on the mouse which will save even more time.

Much improvement though since 2.3 and with the user's button bar I think a lot of the little quirks that everyone has or wants will probably be addressed. Add customized keyboard shortcuts and even better custom mouse clicks and you'll give the artists and the end users some real muscle.

CTRL + LMB Click will let you rename any node in the Outliner, but yes, it still needs more features.

Vladius
12-28-2005, 11:45 AM
This thread has turned into "blender's feedback" and has nothing in common with "CG News"(excluding title and the first page). This just shows that blender's "culture" is a mess. Two or three people answear troubleshooting questions by writing 100kb posts. This is not solid and just spoils blender's image(again).

MartyD
12-28-2005, 11:48 AM
re: the Outliner, Sweet. :D . . .
Vladius, how many congrats can you post. Subject is 2.4 is released. We are discusing 2.4, how it affects the uninitiated, and the path the soft is following. We are on topic and focused.

MartyD
12-28-2005, 01:09 PM
All right, Samo. Here's talking to you. :) I guess I'll sign off on this thread. Congratulations to all the Blender developers who've contributed to a fine release. Thank you for all the hard work and the many hours you've contributed out of the goodness of your heart. It is much appreciated. The program has matured nicely and would seem to have a very bright future. I'm hopeful.

In case anyone wasn't aware you can pre-purchase the Orange DVD from the blender site which will include the working files and various resources used in the making of along with the actual Elephant's Dream video to support the Blender Foundation. The DVD is a proving ground for blender and the Open Source concept and will demonstrate the ability to operate a real world studio with only Open Source software.

One more thought. Blender is open source so anyone who is interested can download and build binaries for their various platforms. No more waiting for the updated files to be released, purchased, licensed and shippped. Get that new stuff fix every day. :)

_____
[did I do a spell check, wait. gramer check? ah whatever]