Geometry Nodes modifier UI widgets

Si since the beginning of GN we’ve been stuck with a pretty basic UI for the modifier.

There was some development during 3.0 for this but it was postponed, now it seems there no my hung about this for 3.1, I would say that there are only two main things absolutely required to create organized modifiers:

  • Separatos
  • Boolean checkbox

Could be possible to slip these two within 3.1?

This would make modifiers WAAAAY more readable and not just a bunch of text and numbers.

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Collapsable panels would be nice too. And basic layouts (parameters shown side-by-side or grouped together…) But now it amounts to allow creating interfaces… through the interface. Sounds like a project in its own right…

(…that so many areas beside geonodes could benefit from : rig interfaces, addons, etc.)

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I think this is a much needed feature, even more if you consider all the plans for shareability and asset browser.

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Yes, there are many parts that are needed, but I was trying to keep it as contained as possible, I agree that panels are very much needed, I tried to keep it as low profile as possible with as minimum impact as possible.

Basically a separator and a Boolean checkbox (that I know it was already nearly ready) :slight_smile:

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I’m not sure this is much more than a feature request thread honestly. Agreed these things are necessary, but they’re not trivial to add. Especially for panels and separators, how are users supposed to be able to build those in the UI? That needs a proper design.

3.1 has been in bug-fixing mode since the 28th, these definitely won’t be in it. Checkboxes / boolean custom properties are probably reasonable to prioritize for 3.2 though.

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To be honest separators would just be a string input without an actual input.
And the Boolean checkbox is what I know was already under advanced development

That’s why I limited the scope of this, and while it can be seen as a feature request, I posted it more like an claim to prioritize some things that are already planned, not something new or not in the plan, so not a feature request per-se I think, but on the other hand something that is very important for GN evolution, even before of adding more features, because more features are great, but it’s very hard to make something actually usable for the end user with a good UX

Yeah, fair enough.

I think the “string without an input” idea is a bit of a hack. Ideally there would be some “interface builder” where you could select from a node group’s inputs and organize them into different subpanels, add separators, control the options for the “field status” buttons, etc. That would be the way to do it right anyway, IMO. Though it sounds quite complex.

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Yea, of course, that would the the IDEAL situation, but we can stay without some basic widgets for the GN UI Modifier for ages.

So I would bet for implementing smaller and non-disruptive solution that can solve the problem for the user, at least the BIGGER ones, and that at the same time are not that complex to remove later on, without trying to cover the full scope of the UI, but solving important things.

Think about it like using a band aid while the body is actually restoring the skin, what you want is to stop the bleed and close the hole, and slowly generate the proper system for the skin to be restored, but meanwhile you have that little band aid that is easy to remove, don’t cover the whole functionality, neither tries to, and it’s clear that it will be removed when the skin is there, but meanwhile it solves a big problem with a smal, non-disruptive tool.

If it’s crystal clear from the beginning that it’s just temporary, and later on can be replaced by the proper system, so it maintains backwards compatibility, then it should not be a problem.

IMHO it would be a 2 steps task:

  • Define and implement quick solutions that are really important and basic at the same time (IMO the two mentioned can do the job for what we are talking and solve the absolute chaos we have right now, you can add a separator with text too, to be able to create titles for parts, but no input as I said)

  • Define the proper and correct solution to be implemented in the medium/long term

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Apologies I realize now that I feature-crept your proposal @JuanGea. But I think that this project should be started as soon as possible, albeit only to define deliverables.

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Don’t worry @Hadriscus , I get that the intention was good :slight_smile:

So, this is just my pie in the sky dream:
Eventually what I would love to see is to right click on any animatable parameter in the UI and click “Add to N panel” then it just shows up along side all over custom parameters. Then, in the N panel, there is an Edit layout button at the top where you can rearrange and add separators. It’s basically just a custom parameter ‘quick create’ action.

That seems like easiest way to work. However, I’m sure it’s not easy to program. :wink: hopefully

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Once nodes become very versatile and multipurpose (animation nodes, physics nodes, etc) there will be a need for new widgets. Mostly when it comes to animation, which is very important to use them as input nodes. Such as a 2D axis, is one of my favorites, currently I simulate it with scene empties, but having it as a widget can be far better.

However I don’t know if actually the geometry nodes widgets would be the same for all other parts of Blender.