GSoC 2019: Outliner Improvements Ideas

Oh, I’m still working on the outliner, but it isn’t my high priority like it was during GSoC. So I’m hoping to add lots more in the months to come :slight_smile:

But yes, a topic for outliner would be nice, but it might be nice to start a new one eventually.


Please start a new thread and close this one!


Yes I second that!. That’s usually what the devs want once a GSoC project I finished and people want to discuss more.

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Suggestion: Collect all suggestions in this thread that haven´t been address yet and transfer over to the new thread.

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Hi @natecraddock,

You did a great job improving the Outliner. :ok_hand:

I’d love it if selected objects would automatically become part of a newly created Collection when you press the Outliner’s New Collection button, in stead of having to move the files each time you’ve created a Collection.



I’ve started a new topic specifically on some of the current paper cuts on the outliner in regards to visibility resets of collections and objects when toggling collections on/off - Outliner & objects/collections visibility paper cuts


@natecraddock Had a really interesting discussion with some maya seniors and some useful feedback came out of it regarding how parenting can be smarter

Specially noteworthy is how we can not “drop in” or insert between existing hierarchies in the outliner. For that we need to unparent the existing relationship and parent everything again in the correct order.


did we totally forgot about locking location/rotation/scale ? a all in one lock toggle inrestriction could be really really really useful

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Wasn’t collections one of the options in the new batch rename tool? It’s a pain in the butt having to rename a bunch of collections. Can we have this… pretty please?



there is no way to select a collection by his name in outliner
bpy.ops.outliner.item_activate() works with mouse but no parameter to use a name.
if you do a collection, active one, this is not enough to make work:
it must be already selected
kind of code: (in a class)

    def poll(self, context):
        ar = context.screen.areas
        __class__.area = next(
            (a for a in ar if a.type == 'OUTLINER'), None)
        return __class__.area

    def execute(self, context):
        #'Collection' is not active 
        layer_collection = context.view_layer.layer_collection.children['Collection']
        context.view_layer.active_layer_collection = layer_collection

        #still not enough
        bpy.ops.outliner.item_activate({'area': __class__.area})
        bpy.ops.outliner.collection_duplicate({'area': __class__.area})

        return {'FINISHED'}

I’m not sure I completely understand what you are wanting to do, but this can all be done from which is faster than calling bpy.ops

import bpy

copy =["NAME"].copy()["OTHER"]

Although this links the child objects instead of making copies. But that could be replicated too with


I would like to suggest an idea for the visibility shortcut to be a toggle, same as the “eye” icon.

I personally prefer working with the shortcuts workflow. but unlike the 3d view in the Outliner we can select hidden objects but there is no way to unhide only the selected ones, ‘Alt+H’ unhides everything…so making ‘H’ hides & unhides selected objects/ collections would improve the workflow a lot especially when you want to invert the hidden, select all and hit ‘H’.


I am currently working on a scene with many objects organized in nested collections and I have hard time isolating the part of the scene I am working on.

Is there a way to isolate specific collection, similar to objects local view.
I know I can right click a collection > select Objects and then isolate them, but I find I cumbersome.

Yes like to photoshop.

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Right click on the collection > Visibility > Isolate

Thank you dupoxy, I must have missed this option.
The discoverability could be better, but I am glad it is there.

Ctrl+ clicking on th “Eye” or the “Monitor” icons does that for Collections.

Is drag and drop from the Outliner to the Sequencer planned?

Not that I am aware. Do you mean dragging sequences into the sequencer to duplicate/instance them?

Yes, like it currently is possible with 3d objects. It this would possible the outliner actually could be used for organizing source material. Ex. all footage from one “screenplay-scene” could go into one Blender scene, like it was a folder.

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