Call for Content: Themes



@billrey the XSI proposal originally had 60+ votes. I based the designed off the original software UI colors which was concealed with a whole army of design experts in their field back in the day.

This XSI theme extensively shows the areas where this was improved (not only on 3D viewport but in many other workspace areas as well). Not only did it serve other users to think about what is really important when viewing vertex on UV layouts or tracks on NLA, but it also is easy on the eyes. First time users find it easy locating important things and experienced users quickly fly through color coded ui by muscle memory (they associate what comes first and what comes after on every step of their 3D tasks).

Please re-consider including the theme. I don´t understand how @Rawalanche comes and states that “it´s a 90’s interface” but doesn´t clearly states why it doesn´t work -regarding UIX-. Because I can post lots of people (including Blender presentations) where it was CRUCIAL for first-time-users to identify things on the UI the way it is on the XSI theme.

From a UIX design point and many other design reasons, the XSI theme has stood the test of time being LEGIBLE in colors as well as long exposed hours in the monitor, identifying crucial elements quickly.

XSI MOD theme was the first one posting this SHADE OF GRAY for the UI way before all the other themes were posted. How can it be removed as -redundant-? The theme was posted, meeting the community guidelines, and was legitimately voted as desired theme to be included.


Agree with David, having the Xsi theme really helps me get a usefull overview and interaction with the Gui.
For us Xsi users having taken away the Xsi Theme is really a blow : /


XSI Mod theme is by far NOT low quality. I personally think you’d be throwing out good effort put into a quality theme, throwing out a target market of developers and 3D power user nomads, throwing out a light grey solution that works with good contrast, good color coding (all light grey themes will inherently look like early 20’s/90’s) - and if you remove all colour coding from the XSI Mod, then you will get a non functional grey “minimal” theme struggling on contrast and ease of use.

The argument on the sentiment of nostalgia and “low quality” is not strong enough. Function over form. End benefit over method. XSI Mod theme ticks those boxes.


The only problem with the XSI theme was its name which draws attention to its inspiration and makes it sound like a nostalgic attempt to re-create a favorite piece of software.

There’s probably a bit of that in it, but overall I think it’s better to consider it as a modern theme based on inspiration from the original software but not specifically an attempt to reproduce it.

Hence a name like “Montreal” might be better, something that is also inspired by the source but says it has evolved beyond that into something new and better which is now completely oriented around making it a good Blender specific theme.


Wait, are you talking about the same theme? I am talking about this one:

This is certainly not a theme that is on par with all the others selected, quality wise. If you say otherwise, then you are either lying to yourself or are blinded by nostalgia. I stand behind that. Just take a close look at that. That’s just not how any modern software should look.

This is further reinforced by the fact that Softimage XSI 1.0 first shipped in 2000 with the very same theme, not even slightly changed. That’s 18 years ago.

That’s not to say I am against including some soft light gray theme with Blender, I’ve made one myself after all. I just think that official themes shipped with Blender should look professional, and high quality, to not repeat same mistake Blender 2.79 and earlier did with its bundled themes.

And if you really want an ugly theme, nothing prevents you from downloading it using it yourself. What’s being talked about here is just stock, bundled themes. Ability to load and use custom themes is not affected at all.


That’s because XSI had concept of modes/workspaces which were color coded. Blender has no such concept, so the XSI theme uses the very same color set more or less randomly.


I never minded the 1234 colors for anime render and Hairs.
you dearest Rawalanche know much it is not the question at stakes.


Clearly biased against ex-softimage users. There is no trouble using “maya, modo, lightwave” shortcut keys or theme mention or presenting their “standards”, but everything comes to a brick wall halt when we mention “XSI” which is a name isn´t even trademarked anymore…so what gives?
If the original name is problem (I don´t see how that affects UIX color coding which is the CENTER of this conversation), then at least mention to change it. Don´t arbitrarly outcast the voting on people. I checked the theme downloads and “likes”: it surpassed the 70 count. Now lowered its voted count?
Blender everyday is looking more like MODO (even tab and upper bar) No one says anything, but as soon as “Softimage” is mentioned, votes on the theme are not important.


It’s a nice theme. I even picked it initially. But other members of the UI team pointed out that it was the only app-emulating theme picked, and so it stuck out.

If we pick the XSI theme, we should then probably also include themes for Maya, Modo and others.

On the one hand, look-alike themes are a fun way to welcome new users from other apps, but on the other hand it creates expectations that Blender can truly emulate specific apps, which it cannot. Blender’s UI it quite different from XSI, even if the colors are the same.

I don’t mind particularly strongly if we include these sorts of themes or not, but with only 6-8 themes set to be included by default, a lot of those slots would be filled with look-alikes.

Also, when picking the final list, we have to look at the picks together, as a whole, so we don’t pick lots of themes with too much overlap that look too similar.

As for your main accusation, I have never seen or heard anything about a bias against XSI or any users of it, so I wouldn’t worry about that.


So full “white” theme is ergonomic. I didn´t see much votes there. The XSI theme was most voted.


At least is unique. I’m not a fan of Blender shipping themes emulating other apps.


why? could you develop your idea i don’t understand


I have just noticed that it is no longer possible to set the background to white in the 3D view. It’s rather a light gray. Anyone else having the same issue? MacOS build.


Okay,I made modern light gray theme.

Light_Gray_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)

My themes

Super_Bright_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Fresh_Snow_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Natural_Aquamarine_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Flat_Dark_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
True_Black_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Fresh_Strawberry_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Fresh_Orange_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Fresh_Lime_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Fresh_Blueberry_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Fresh_Grape_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Fresh_Peach_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)
Fresh_Coffee_4.2.xml (42.1 KB)


I upload my updated theme and I forget about it unless I have a general interest.
When playing with light and dark panels, it is difficult to keep the elements of the UI balanced, this is the best that has been left.
AL.xml (41.4 KB)


I think this papercut is theme relatable, something that the theme creators should be aware of:


Looks amazing! I personally use the Framer UI and Syntax themes on Atom because it looks really cool.


So funny. XSI MOD theme is the most voted and most downloaded, yet it still not picked or reviewed. If it´s the name we need to switch @billrey let´s change it to “Montreal Legacy” as you suggested, I don´t have a problem with it. I didn´t quite finished this theme, foreseeing all of these issues back in the day. So, again, being the most voted and the most downloaded theme, users HAVE their attention taken, consistently. I can prepare Version 03 (pre-candy release) now that Blender has stabilized itself on the GUI aspects and color names.
Even when you record training material, tutorials, hangovers, skypes and most other video streams, makes it very convenient for Blender to show GUI fast -compression savvy-. (Now I know other users will want to capitalize on these tips, but again, I´ve left this thread ease out to give everyone else the chance to write about it, but no one did.)
So, another one reason to like the MONTREAL LEGACY theme.
Enough said.


Can we not just name the XSI theme something else a little more vague like suggested? It’s a great theme. I’ve barely used XSI, so I don’t know exactly how close the Blender’s interface looks once the theme is loaded, but it’s not like Blender is magically transformed into XSI and I don’t think users of 3ds Max or Modo are going to feel left out especially with a name change.

I think it would be a great nod to one of the most influential pieces of software made by one of the most influential companies in the industry…both dishonorably dissolved by a greedy giant. It’s also just a great looking theme.


I love the V01Tech Maya skin, it’s so nice to see the familiar color palette w Blender coming from Maya! Should be included with blender! :slight_smile: