2023-09-26 User Interface Meeting

User Interface Module Meeting

Regular User Interface module meeting for planning and coordination.
Next meeting on October 10th, 2023.


  • Dalai Felinto
  • Hans Goudey
  • Harley Acheson
  • Leon Schittek
  • Pablo Vazquez
  • Thomas Dinges

Merged Since Last Meeting

4.0 issues

  • Search Menu / UI: Hint about “Type to Search” in add menus
    • A “Type to Search” item in some menus for clarity is problematic.
    • Use accelerator (“Type to Search …”) only in the Add menus that are called from a shortcut.
    • The search works better than accelerator keys for most menus that are larger than a few items.
    • It may be better to add an option to user preferences for type to search in all menus or not at all.
    • Agreement
      • Add the enum preference (accelerator keys or type to search) in the “Menus” panel of the interface settings.
      • The preference applies to all menus.
      • Remove the “SEARCH_ON_KEY_PRESS” configuration for specific menu types
      • By default, the value is “type to search”
  • Node tools
    • Unassigned Menu: The current proposal mixes local data-blocks (modifiers) and assets that have no catalogs.
      • This seems like a good compromise.
      • This is also unrelated to node-tools since even Modifiers would benefit from it.
    • As far as the UI meeting is concerned this can go into 4.0.
    • For the release it would need a demo file with node-based tools.
  • Splash screen re-design
    • Mostly discussion about icons and arrangement of buttons, choosing between some mockups in the PR comments.
    • Pablo will remake the design.
  • UI Input Placeholders
    • There is agreement on the design, but needs final technical review.
    • Hans will review it, and leave optimization for after bcon3.
  • Inter Font Tweaking #112748
    • There are issues with some characters, to be addressed.
    • Pablo wants to have a larger size for default as part of the theme tweaks.
    • He will work on the details and have it in main.
  • UI: Change Overlay Text Size with Label Text Style #112875
    • Great patch but to change every text it is too big of a change this close to a release.
    • For now the patch will only tackle Overlay text.
  • UI: Highlight Selected Item in View3D Mode Menu
    • Agree, although it is not pretty.
    • It can go in bcon3 since it is a fix.
  • UI: Improve Mesh Edge Highlighting #111431
    • There are still a few too many open questions to get this into 4.0.
    • We can move forward with this in 4.1, since Pablo has some other planned changes to the edit mode theme for that release anyway.
  • Snap icons
    • The overall feedback from devtalk was non-conclusive.
    • In this case, Dalai argues that better to stick the original proposal (so called “industry standard”). He also acknowledges that he is biased since he likes those icons.
    • For the records, some issues with the current solution:
      • Icons are rotated (to follow normals).
      • Their size is not consistent (the face icons are much larger than the others).
    • Three options
      • Tweak the current minimal set
        • Face is quite large, and the line often doesn’t show up
      • Revert to 3.6 state
      • Change to “industry standard” icons
      • Use icons from “Snap To” menu in snapping popover
    • Dalai will talk to Germano to propose bring back the “industry standard” design.
      • Dalai is fully aware that this is not an all-hands on board design, but he is willing to own that decision.
      • He was also (self-)appointed as the commissioner of the Snapping & precision modelling improvement task as part of the Base Snap design. As such he is comfortable making this call (and hope people respect the role for a decision that will not be unanimous anyways).

4.1 and Beyond


One thing I would like to suggest is that when you’re adding properties from overlays to quick favourites, it is mode-based. For example if you want to add Wireframe to quick favourites and do it in the object mode, it only appears in object mode quick favourites. If you want it in every mode, you have to add to quick favourites in every mode.

Since now overlays are split into general and mode-specific, It would make sense and my life easier, if for the overlay options that are general, adding quick favourites made them appear in every mode.

This is not a good change.
While it did reduce the huge overlay menu, this separation is not intuitive, and the icon makes no sense. It does not look as if both of these buttons are related, for overlays.

Solution: Either Tabs or panels within the overlay settings drop-down: “General / Edit mode”.
Since there are so many settings, maybe moving all the overlay settings to the N-Shelf, and just leaving the On/off button on the header, could be considered.

1 Like

to me it is a great change. I don’t want to be clicking through tabs inside panels to get to the edit overlay panel. You can say its not intuitive, not because it’s bad, just because it’s different. But you only have to learn it once.


I highly disagree with this. Such things that are already in the Npanel (Lock View to Camera, Affect Origin Only for example) are massively inconvenient.

And on that note:

Please approve?


I agree that affect origin only and lock camera to view are very misplaced.
But that’s not quite related to overlay settings, which wouldn’t be completely misplaced there.
Sure, ideally you’d want them on the header. They’re at the right spot.
I am just encouraging it to be considered, not to implement it necessarily (Just think whether it makes sense).

There are a lot of overlay settings, and they are somewhat in the same theme as “View” settings, which are also in the N-Shelf. Makes me wonder why the settings in the view tab aren’t on the header too.
Overlay settings, just like view settings, are “set and forget” for most work tasks, so top-layer accessibility is not necessarily required, as the user does not need to constantly tweak them when working.

Speaking about the misplaced affect origin only and lock camera to view:
The affect origins only should probably be a toggle icon to the left of transform orientation, on the header, and/or called with a hotkey when transforming.
The camera lock should be a checkbox within the “View” drop-down menu, and a UI Gizmo button (as proposed in your link).

For me, they’re settings I might be changing on a constant basis when I’m moving between related tasks; definitely not setting and forgetting.

Example image:

Having the Settings in the toolbar (header) means that i can keep particular Tools (nPanel) persistent in the interface as I’m doing multiple actions - I might be painting weights, or dealing with other poly actions in Edit mode. I don’t want to have to leave my Tools that I’m using - and use a different nPanel (and then go back to my Tools)- as I jump between modes to change whether or not I see Creases or Sharps.

You don’t need to go to the N-panel for affect only origins.


I always forget that menu even exists - thanks for correcting me (and reminding me.)

(Why can’t I remember that menu is there!!??)


The problem is, that “Affect only origins” is not an active tool setting. This is not where it should be.
How is it related to the “Place cursor” active tool, or “Select” active tool? It isn’t.

Fair to say that “Options” doesn’t communicate what you can find there…


Honestly, I’d rather it just be a dedicated toggle button to the left of the Global/Local/Normal menu in the header bar. (But not trying to move off-topic with that.)

Also Ctrl-. (dot) to toggle Origins only

Yeah, no chance I’m going to remember that. :wink:

Solution: When transforming, the info bar below shows what hotkeys you can press and what they do. While transforming, a hotkey for origins only transforms could work and be displayed too. The same goes for proportional editing maybe?

Good luck with that… :wink:

Have now read that thread, and the referred design task.




Change in space_view3d.py:

Around line 595, find this code:

        # Orientation
        if object_mode in {'OBJECT', 'EDIT', 'EDIT_GPENCIL'} or has_pose_mode:
            orient_slot = scene.transform_orientation_slots[0]
            row = layout.row(align=True)

Change to:

        # Orientation
        if object_mode in {'OBJECT', 'EDIT', 'EDIT_GPENCIL'} or has_pose_mode:
            row = layout.row(align=True)
            row.prop(tool_settings, "use_transform_data_origin", text="", icon='PIVOT_BOUNDBOX')
            orient_slot = scene.transform_orientation_slots[0]
            row = layout.row(align=True)

Note: the copy/paste is indeed pasting 3 unchanged lines of code. I’ve listed it this way, so that the position of the additional code is obvious.

1 Like

Just lacks the drop-down menu to display the “Origins” “Locations” and “Parents” checkboxes.

I didn’t want to duplicate the drop down. I just want that one button function, right there.

1 Like