Decoupling x-ray and limit selection to visible

It would be useful to know many people actually like the blender does it. I’m myself not really invested into this discussion one way or another, but this thread probably does suffer a bit from the fact that only annoyed people make the effort to post about it.

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I’ve made that argument a few times already - There’s about 5 other relevant DCCs out there: 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema4D, Modo and Houdini.

I haven’t ever seen users of any other of these relevant DCCs to ever beg their developers to make the mesh selection work the same way it does in Blender. And pretty much all of these 5 DCCs do it nearly the same, consistent way as each other.

On the other hand, I see both existing as well as new Blender users begging Blender developers to have an option to not do the mesh selection the way Blender does it.

It doesn’t give you exact ratio, but it’s a strong implication that these camps aren’t equal.

If these selection approaches were equally good, we would see users of those other major DCCs at least occasionally make requests to add Blender style mesh selection. But they don’t. I haven’t seen any, and I looked. There’s just Maya, which has option to select face centers, which is off default. This feature is so underused, that even many of the Maya expert users don’t remember it exists.


Maybe you’re right. But you need to take into account that there’s probably (at the current point in time) more people moving to blender than from blender. If only because there currently are probably a lot more modelers using those other programs.

People who have never used blender are not going to ask for blender-like behavior in another program.

I’m not saying you’re wrong, just saying you need to take that into account as well. If I look at the total number of blender users posting here and in other locations the number of people complaining about this still is a (vocal) minority of all the people posting, after all.

I’m all for giving people options, by the way. I don’t really like the “I’m right and blender is wrong” attitude, which a lot of people in this thread have, much. But I’m all for supporting multiple ways of doing things, the need is clearly there.


Though you do need to consider that most people don’t take the effort to complain and request a specific feature on the forums. They usually complain offline and may not even know about the forums. So the fact that so many people do complain is also quite telling.


I think the historical aspect should also be taken into account.
Most of the DCCs like Maya, C4D, Houdini that were popularized in the 00’s were developed at a time when 3dsmax was the only available option on the market in the late 90’s, no wonder they cloned the 3dsmax approach the same way 3dsmax cloned AutoCAD in the late 80s.
At the time, industry requirements and capacities were different.

33 posts were split to a new topic: X-Ray selection experiments build

Let’s do the discussion regarding @lcas’ experimental build in another topic, and keep this one about the original design discussion.

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It’s better be named “Select Through and AutoXray selection experiments build”, I guess.

So what do we talk about while we wait for a response, or another side of this mostly 1-sided conversation? I’ll start by trying to recall where we left off a few weeks ago and are waiting to hear further.

What is being considered:

  1. Select by face area in xray
  2. Select by non-enclosed or non-adaptive edge
  3. Auto xray as an alternative convenience

What is not being considered:
4. Turn off xray facedot visibility

What I don’t know for sure 100% but last we heard is basically “no”
5. Select through

Some questions I have:
6. Anything missing/wrong from that list?
7. Is there a way to reconcile these things?
8. How to do that?
9. What does “design” mean specifically in the context of, select through is a design issue?


For me priorities looks something like that:

.5 Select through
.2 Select by non-enclosed or non-adaptive edge
.1 Select by face area in xray
.4 Turn off xray facedot visibility
.3 Auto xray as an alternative convenience

I really wish for select through to be reconsidered. Auto X-Ray is annoying visually to be a serious replacement for proper see-through selection.


@lcas did you manage to get the selection Highlight working in solid mode (so that any selected faces are displayed in front of the model, incl. backfacing ones)?

Select Through
What if we make Select Through completely independent of X-ray? So no fiddling with Touch/ Enclosed/ Facedots? Then have the option for:

  1. Selection Highlight >>> Solid mode shading
  2. Auto-Xray >>> X-ray preview
    Both use the same selection settings as solid mode (so just the way they are in Blender by default).

  1. Add the header button.
  2. Make it a hotkey toggle.
  3. Optionally: Add a keymap checkmark for Auto X-ray (so you could use Modifier + LMB drag to Auto-Xray and configure at will).

It may not cover everything, but this would be the general consensus for now.

Experiments build
Then, we continue with the experiments build and reach a consensus there on all the other options for advanced selection. Get the train rolling on this one and have more people comment on the experiments topic, for which we already know quite a lot by know. Topics to consider are:

  1. Enclosed/ touch/ adaptive/ facedot selection
  2. Facedot visibility
  3. Directional selection
  4. Possibly selection preview? For click selections, see:

Custom build patches that could be submitted independently
Then you could consider to submit a patch for:

  1. Zoom speed (in preferences, expose to keymap)
  2. Frame select distance (in preference)
  3. Frame select/ frame all in single hotkey (frame all with empty selection)


  1. Repeat last command
  2. Gizmo tweak
  3. Select Box/ Lasso toggle
    See: X-Ray selection experiments build for what they entail.

Can we just please keep the discussion about the buttons build in the appropriate thread and keep this thread about the original single toggle design?

Possibly selection preview? For click selections, see:

I think it is important issue in general, that it is not very natural for users to participate software development and system design, so they mostly can ask about things they seen somewhere.
This is one of the way windows, photoshop and autocad/3dsmax formed “industry standards” we know today just being first.
From our experience, proper innovative system design and workflow design that solves real existing production problems takes years.

Selection preview was discussed, it can be useful in object mode instead of constantly glowing outline (part of issue 666 that disallow to work properly with complex structures with tightly placed components, like in architecture or mechanical modelibg), but in practice is not very useful in edit mode, since is quite distractive. In maya it also the reason of a lower performance especially in working with heavy meshes - to achieve such an effect you have to basically recalculate cursor projection on mesh in realtime.
Any realtime calculations are performance costly.

@lcas did you manage to get the selection Highlight working in solid mode (so that any selected faces are displayed in front of the model, incl. backfacing ones)

Also interested

Man, why cant i upvote this 53 times, :sweat_smile:

Seeing loop cuts on end cap gave me a heart attack moment

Are we there yet?
Focus please, Select Through is meant to be just a tool setting checkbox, no more no less. Everything else is irrelevant to this feature.
This needs to land in master asap.

Have you tried the build? Do you have any comments on it? I think we are getting really close now.

I asked around and they said they were just waiting for one more bump of this thread. It was lack of focus holding them back. That and all the awful things I’ve done, I’m sure. Now they’re getting on it as we speak :laughing:


What do you mean? Who is “they”?

Unfocused passengers, who are travelling “there”, I guess.

I’m saying, as a joke, that I asked some devs. That they were just waiting around for someone to bump the thread saying things like “fOcuS” and “ASAP” to get their act in gear.