My two cents on some user feedback for Blender.
After a two and half years of my last serious project using Blender, I am ready to dive into it again.
I am interested in creating content using procedural methods rather than directly through the modeling
or layout editors. Same goes with procedural textures and materials.
Now that I have discovered the addons of animation nodes, Sverchok, and Sorcar, they are just the tools
I have been wanting to use in addition to the procedural shader node editor that comes with Blender on
which to create art and animations experiments and projects. Hearing about the everything nodes project,
all the more reason I want to get back into using Blender now that I have finished a prototype voxel
project I have been working on.
I am not a highly experienced user of Blender of late, but when I go to use it I find there are bugbears that
still exist in Blender that make it frustrating to use, and seem so obvious that need addressing, yet are
seemingly ignored, and have been for years.
The frustrating issues I immediately find and have are these.
1: One can create a node tree but cannot delete it when it is no longer required. I have not found one google search that explains how this can be done.
2: One can create a material, but cannot intuitily delete it when no longer required from the materials panel. It seems, one has to go to the outliner and select orphaned data to delete the unwanted material(s)
3: One cannot export/import a material that one has created as an individual material file that is outside the .blend file. Thus one cannot create a repository of materials to be easily accessed and used in any blender project.
4: One cannot export/import node trees that one has created as a node tree file that is outside the
.blend file so to create a repository of node trees to be easily accessed and used in any blender
project that has the same node editor installed.
A solution to 1: exits within the Animation Nodes editor where there is a remove button to remove an existingnode tree. I have looked at the code to do this and it does not look too difficult to implement.
Why is this feature not included as standard in at least the shader procedural node editor ?
A solution to 4 is demonstrated in the Sverchok addon where one can export and import Sverchok node trees as a .json file.If this developer can find a solution for his addon, why does not a similar solution exist for the default blender application?
I have read and watched many videos over the past 12 months that have got me exited in using Blender once again. But these issues above can be a deal breaker as I do not want to spend many hours learning how to use these tools, and then after spending more hours creating node trees or materials that I want to save and use in multiple projects to only find that there is no easy method to do so, or none at all to save my work.
I have seen some posts that this kind of thing is “the blender way” of doing things. Well, perhaps “the blender way” of doing things is tolerated by many of its users as it is free and gives excellent results, but in the world of professional 3D graphics where time is money, it may not be. For Blender to be taken more seriously in the 3D industry, issues like this need to be addressed and should not exist.
Why do these kind of things exist? Is it something to do with the design of blender, and its code making it not possible to rectify? Or is it that this is not considered as an issue and one just has to accept that this is the “blender way”?