GSoC 2019: Outliner Improvements Ideas

Ctrl or shift click for selecting all the way from A to B like in any file explorer

Using b actually selecting the object and not just the outliner, why do we have this phase of semi selection tho ? It’s just annoying

Use 1234567890 shift and alt 1234567890 for hiding collection just like in the viewport

Making a more distinct visual difference between collections and objects

Having some memory info, how much vram the object take ? The mesh ? The texture ?

Having some mesh info, how many faces ? Poly ? Tris ?

Arrange in order of how much vram/poly the object, to quickly see who are the non-optimized assets


Make the toggles (visibility, selectability, renderability, etc.) operate on all selected items, rather than toggling a single one.


Hi. Some users think that visual numbering order for collections and sub collections independent of collection names, could serve for faster visual feedback and ordering. For example to quickly move elements between collections only with M + Numpad collection/subcollection number + Enter.


Hi! I made this proposal a while back on how to handle unlinked collections. Please check it out!


Can we have option to assign color to collection and this would make tint whole segment of outliner to such color. and also in viewport objects would be tinted a bit to that color.


+1 for “Arrow key navigation”. Feature I hoped to see for years :slight_smile:

This may sound extremely naive, but has proven to be very useful in practice (in Maya):
It would be great to be able to do “arrow” navigation (modified hotkey, or have an option to assign such) in Outliner hierarchy but from the 3D view. This is very useful for navigating bone/parent hierarchies, when it becomes almost impractical/impossible by clicking. It saves a lot of time and concentration compared to moving mouse to/from Outliner.

I get that it’s not a hotkey needed for every kind of user, but maybe some obscure key combination?


Sooo nice that the outliner gets even more love now!

I have some suggestions

-Propper drag and drop for all items, (parent child dependencies) should be changeable with drag and drop of multiple objects

-sort objects with drag and drop and without alphabetic order

-change colors of collections for better overview

Good luck!


Possibility to allow collections to behave like groups in Maya (so they exist and can have their own transforms, etc)? Probably beyond the scope of the project though. But my recommendation is to look at Maya’s outliner and to just copy it :stuck_out_tongue:


I would love to be able to freely rearrange objects in a hierarchy. By default Blender arranges the objects in a hierarchy in alphabetical order. You can turn it off, but you can’t rearrange them in the order you need them to be. I love this feature of Cinema 4D and would be happy to have it in Blender for better scene organization.


It would be nice to easier see your selection…

It is such a small difference today, I would like to be able to change color of the selection background. Orange on a orange icon is really hard to see :confused:


Devs are workin’ on this.

Hi, and thanks for all the effort!

Put in short (Outliner improvements)

  1. loose multiple styles of highlighting of items (there are like 3 types now!! >>confusing) use just one!
  2. what you select in Outliner should match whats selected in 3dview and viceversa!
  3. use principles for selecting/deselecting like in standard OS file explorer (shift selection row of objects etc) never had issue in WIN and Linux like in b3d :slight_smile:
    4)just one interaction tool in Outliner (standard mouse clicking, region selecting, dragging)…why to use more tools (box select) when mouse interaction is capable of all of them!!

Thats all and I will be most satisfied person in the universe! :slight_smile:



Padlock icon on top of each column of Restriction/Visibility to lock in case you want to avoid accidental changes:


Look for an alternative so that when you select Exclude/Disable from View layer, the contents of the collection will not disappear from Outliner. For better organization of the work, it is possible that the user needs to be able to continue seeing the contents of the collection in outliner and working on it, even if the user has configured to exclude it for View Layer. I think the most convenient thing is that grayed out text is reserved only for View Layer exclusion, and not for any of the other Restriction Toggles options. For the others they already have an icon that shows the status, and if necessary an even better status visualization for them, other kinds of indicators could be added, such as changing color in text or indicator marks.

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outliner need tools in headline, like maya when selecting object click on tools and make collection with object
and have option to add selected objects to collection

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Please read carefully Nathan’s proposal, the circle highlight is going to disappear anyway (mixing the 2 types of selection highlight into only one).

Everybody here is probably going to want to string me up for just suggesting it- but I would like to see Folders in the outliner… just a way to visually organize things, nothing more. A folder that you can name something- it doesn’t need a transform or the ability to put modifiers on it. or any custom data- this is just a visual organization thing. If you’re familiar with folders in UE4 it’s basically the same concept. Behind the scenes, UE4 keeps all of its objects in a flat heirarchy for speed- folders (and nested folders) are just a UI ‘trick’ to help people keep their scenes managed.

collections, groups, and layers are great- but putting something in one of those things has implications. Sometimes you just want to clean up the mess.


Wow! Thanks so much for all the feedback everyone, I hope more keeps on coming! Although I haven’t replied to everything, I am reading every post! I am compiling a list on the wiki with every suggestion I have received here and on Twitter. You can find that list here.

A few things I want to mention:
I have seen Aqib’s patches. He was another student applying for this project. It’s great that he put so much work into it already! I will be looking through his code and buliding off it. Though, as you all can see, there are many other improvements to add over the summer :grinning:

@Blendo I had never considered syncing selection with the properties editor! :sweat_smile: There are lots of variables (lots of possibilities for how things could go) but I would love at least a partial implementation. I think the synced selection with the 3D view is of the highest priority, but this is a great suggestion.

@justastatue I totally agree, the behavior when adding an object to hidden collections needs to be improved. Thanks for the ideas, I really like the idea to add the object to the collection that the active object is in (maybe the “active collection”)

Thanks again for all the input everyone!


Hi all,
Would it be possible to add a “real” scroll bar?. Currently the scroll bar is kind of hidden and becomes visible when the cursor is on the left border which is not in harmony with the rest of the places that uses scroll bar.
Hope it make sense.


Highlight the collections of the other elements, since their properties affect the content of this.