Discuss: Industry Standard Compatible Keymap(and functionality) for the VSE

Get it here: Industry Standard Keymap for the VSE - based on the 3.5.1 keymap · GitHub


Industry standard shortcuts differ between 3D apps and video editing apps, and we try to keep Blender keymaps internally consistent across editors.

What is the approach to deal with those conflicting goals here? To have a separate keymap for video editing that changes shortcuts across all Blender editors? To use these shortcuts only in the video editing template? To use different shortcuts for the e.g. playback in different parts of Blender? To only add some shortcuts for the video editor where space is available, without replacing existing shortcuts?

Those are good questions. I guess the first questions is why have an Industry Standard keymap in the first place? And who should it target?

Is the Industry Standard keymap only for allowing 3D people to transition from another 3D app to Blender? What about sculpting, drawing(GP), tracking, animating etc.? These questions are not for me to answer.

This writeup is based on the quite tedious and time-consuming process of trying to compare what are considered “Industry Standard” keys in NLEs with the keys used in the VSE.

Why you may ask? Well, some people meet Blender first as a video editor. Should these people be forced into a steep learning curve, or should we try to meet them half way? And what if we’re actually able to do that without much compromising of the existing keymap paradigms of Blender?

Ex. in the first section is it only the pick linked L key in the default keymap which is affected for the VSE. I bet no one knows about this key, and it has not been prioritized being exposed in the menu, even after the wait-for-input patch was implemented: Blender Archive - developer.blender.org And the K for split, which has become Ctrl+K.

The changes in the attached keymap are only affecting the Sequencer and no other editor. The additional keys/operator adjustments/tiny macors/python operators suggested here are really up to you people at the BF, how far you’re prepared to go in order to welcome new users of the VSE in the non-default industry standard keymap.

The industry compatible keymap is currently designed for users coming from 3D apps, mostly generalist apps but more specialized apps tend to follow similar shortcuts.

I understand the motivation of wanting to ease the transition for video editing apps as well. Though without the design (and possibly implementation changes) for how this would integrate into Blender as a whole this is an incomplete contribution. That then you or another developer would need to complete, before it can be reviewed.

A few ways to approach this:

  • Make a patch for a limited set of changes for sequencer specific shortcuts that do not conflict with editor consistency.
  • Make the case that it is worth breaking consistency in the sequencer editors, with an idea of how far that would go.
  • Propose a design for how a dedicated keymap for video editing would work, when it would be applicable (in templates, workspaces), how it would be selected and edited by users, etc.

Some more key aspects of the IC keymap I’d like to mention:

  • Extremely minimalistic overall. A heavy reliance of context menus and open to customization
  • It’s mimicking other industry apps without compromising on Blenders paradigms (this one is typically very difficult)

I didn’t look much into the VSE keymap but I’d say important for the design is to:

  • Pick one primary reference app if it’s not clear which industry conventions to follow. (For other editors it was Maya and Zbrush)
  • Also keep a level of consistency across the entire keymap (That effort also went into syncing painting, sculpting and modeling for 4.0)

A lot of grey area here. Hard to sometimes choose how faithful to be to Blender or other apps.

Knowing that any keymap change in Blender will end up as a never ending screamfest between BF devs, and devs being generally annoyed by the existence of the VSE, I’ll leave this as my contribution and waste no further time on trying to contribute to this matter. Thank you for your time.