2021-01-20 - User Interface

Present: Hans Goudey, Julian Eisel, Nathan Craddock, Pablo Vazquez

Organization

  • Next week’s meeting will be later in the day to accomodate Australia and US time zones. This isn’t a permantent change, and can be considered flexible.
  • The changed meeting time might also allow contributors to join.
  • There was more discussion about better involving contributors in roadmap projects.
  • Some further discussion and review for the “Blender Design Manifesto” Julian proposed. Can be sent to Ton for feedback soon.

2.92 Release

  • Add-object tool
    • Feedback is that the plane that appears below the mouse is distracting.
    • Campbell already made it scale based on depth.
    • Pablo will check if further tweaks are needed.

2.93 Release

  • Asset Browser
    • How should hierarchy be represented in the asset browser?
      • The file system folder layout will probably have to be displayable. This has UI design implications (needs navigation buttons, path needs to be displayed, etc.).
      • There may be needs for a hierarchical way to group assets, not tied to the file layout on disk, e.g. for pose libraries. Can be investigated further, but not prioritized.
    • Adjusting settings for drag and drop from the asset browser:
      • There should (at some point) be a bar at the bottom with basic settings like Link vs Append, “Replace Data vs Add”, and maybe a couple others.
      • Modifier keys could also change the action (e.g. link vs. append) while dragging, providing visual feedback like in the outliner.
      • Asset Browser mockups already include this. They also include an “Add Asset” button which could be problematic: “Add Asset” would have to guess what to do with the asset, e.g. how to apply an image asset when there is a sequencer and a node editor open. When dragging in assets, the editors can decide much better what happens on drop.
      • Less general settings should be placed in the “Adjust Last Operation” panel for tweaking after the drag and drop.

General Design Review and Tasks

  • Pose Libraries
    • This project represents a clear use case for the asset browser and is being worked on now.
    • Because of that it would make sense to treat it as a “squad” project and use it to finalize some of the basic design of the asset browser.
    • The current design proposal by Sybren uses tags for hierarchical grouping/filtering, with a rather unusual UI. Something to look at.
    • The settings for applying the pose can go in the bottom bar as discussed above.
  • Node editor error messages
    • The WIP changes have it just like the modifier error messages
    • Changes agreed on in the meeting will move the icon to the header and display the message in a tooltip, which will allow space for longer messages and address problems with multi-line labels.

Next meeting: 2020-01-27, 9PM CET.

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These notes come a week late, sorry about this (my fault).

Also, thanks to Hans for writing most of the notes.

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I kind of agree about that small grid ; tbh I haven’t really understood its purpose.

That being said, I hope that you will consider to allow to display a grid that the user could use to snap shapes or objects onto it. This grid (which would fit the face dimensions but which could also be expanded outside the face) could be used (with snaping enabled) to create shapes or place new primitives.

Basically, what the Grid Modeler add-on allows:

Its purpose is to highlight plane and orientation used to define basis of created primitive.
By default, it is XY plane tangent to surface, perpendicular to Z axis corresponding to surface normal.

User can choose to orient primitive creation, differently. In that case, grid is showing a different plane.

It is possible to snap according increment and corner of faces.

By default, tool is using a Geometry snapping that is corresponding to a snap on vertices and faces.
You can change this snap method to Default.
At that moment, general settings for snapping are used.
In theory, you can make a mix between Increment and Vertices snapping to obtain such result.
In practice, it looks like there is currently a bug with rotated objects, messing up dimensions.

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Grid is distracting because it’s too cool😜. For those who detest anything about fancy UI, this might be the ultimate fuss. Kidding, I like where Blender is going with the UI and with all these helpers visual indicators you can see in the sculpting mode as well.

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