GSoC 2019: Outliner Improvements Ideas

I’m keeping my fingers crossed you get selected again! Thanks for all the outliner improvements. It’s been a lifesaver.


Thanks for the information nathan. Last summer was such a success, hope you get selected again. Anyways, thanks for all the hard work!




Please get the Outliner a bit more on par with apps like Maya and e.g. Softimage.
Especially regarding selection, duplication and deletion of hierarchies.
This is still driving me crazy sometimes, as sometimes things behave differently as one would expect. :wink:


You have to be more specific if you want an improvement to specific things. What exaclty is driving you crazy and why? Show some captures from Blender so people outside your head can follow.


Hello @natecraddock! Great to have you back this GSOC.

Last year you did an amazing job with the outliner.
You implemented my idea with the hidden feature in the objects filter.
So I have other things that could help the blender outliner to become more useful.

Maybe its amongst the papercuts but it would be great to sort the outliner manually like it is allready possible with the collections.

Onother great feature would be if you select a few objects in the outliner then right click and have the option - “create collection from objects” which creates a new collection with the selected objects within.

I´m working in Blender with CAD-geometries and often I have to import a big nested geometry tree with greater 10000 objects. In lots of tree-branches there are only empties with no geometry inside. It would be great to find this empty branches quick and delete them fast via the outliner!

Color tagging of geometries and collections would also be great! With a color tag search filter.

I hope you can follow my descriptions?
Have a great blender coding time!


Me says the same! would be 100% useful


I have created a list of workflow enhancements, just waiting for the new Outliner “official” topic to be open to share it.

@natecraddock - cool!! I saw that you’ve been selected again, only just now. Really awesome. Congratulations. You’re doing an awesome job. Looking forward to all the upcoming improvements. :smiley:

if it’s a continuation does it make sense to continue this thread?

Yep, it makes sense but…

So not sure.

Yes this would be great.


Since Nathan was approved for another GsoC 2020 on the same topic, they usually ask us to move the conversation to a new thread.

an example from Howard on beveling GsoC 2018.

Coding starts June 1st, so there will be a GsoC 2020 Outliner thread made around then, I assume. To keep things easier for Nathan to manage, instead of wading his way through a huge older thread, probably best to keep the ideas for the 2020 thread. Technically, nothing stopping you from posting here though.


@Bobo_The_Imp, exactly my thoughts. I am not sure yet if I will do a 2020 thread since many of the recent suggestions are repeats of older suggestions. I’ll get my proposal for this summer publicly available soon too which might help reduce the number of duplicate suggestions.

If I do make a new one topic, I’ll probably make it in the next few days.


My idea to improve the outliner.
The toggles in the menu under RMB on the Collection, toggles all objects visibility in viewport in it as bounds, wireframe! In heavy scenes it will be useful i think.
Again thank Yoy very much for Your work #blender natecraddock !


Yesterday I cleaned up a ton of FBX files after importing them into Blender, and ran into the same issues as I mentioned.
The main problem lies in the inability to directly selecting a hierarchy. And with direct selection I mean a one-click selection. Something like middle-click to differentiate it from a normal left-click select of a single object.

Now you have to select a top node first, and go RMB and select the select hierarchy option. Even by adding it to a shortcut it’s still a two click solution.
Like this, it’s hard to select one, or multiple hierarchies this way for duplication or deletion. It trips me up constantly as I still use other 3D apps a lot as well.

Now if you select a top node, and delete it (which not always works with a keyboard command), you will get all the children dumped into the root of the scene.
You select another, delete it, and get even more stuff in the root of the scene.
This behavior is unnecessary, and completely different from other 3D applications.
And this will also trickle down for some of the duplication options.

I cannot imagen this behavior of a single click selection of a hierarchy would be hard to implement, and it would save so much time, clicks and frustration.




Hi. It’s me. The. Outliner’s. Bestest. Friend. In. The. Whole. Wide. World. :slight_smile:

So, the first comment seems to suggest that the developer shouldn’t take older feedback into account, while the second comment maybe implies that it could be done?

I’ve made this mistake before, but I’m still seeking an answer for someone to clarify if feedback is actually processed and documented somewhere, but so far I haven’t found something definitive…

The main thing that must be improved, from my point of view, is that deactivate a collection remove all the visibility states of the inside objects or collections.

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I made a new topic for this year: GSoC 2020: Outliner Discussion and Suggestions. Make sure to read the first post and see what kind of feedback I’m looking for this summer.

@RobWu @eobet take a look at 2.83 and 2.90, some of the context menu operators are fixed. 2.90 has fixes for deleting as well. Some of your other suggestions were a bit old and have been fixed as well.

Also, @eobet, with a small developer to user ratio it is very hard to record and implement all feedback, but I tried really hard last summer:

@jesterKing or @dfelinto I think it might be good to close this topic now, could that be done?