GSoC 2020: Outliner Discussion and Suggestions

@natecraddock There’s a little thing that has been bothering me for some time in the outliner. I mentioned it in this thread somewhere above, could you maybe take a look at it?
Pressing “Numpad ,” jumps to the selected object in the outliner, which is great. Except if the object has a parent in another collection, and the parent’s collection is above the object’s collection in the outliner. Then “Numpad ,” jumps to the greyed out instance of the object. You however can’t do anything with this greyed out instance. It should jump to the real instance of the object.

This is actually so annoying, that I often have to switch off “show children” to be able to find objects in the outliner. But then I need to switch it back on, to properly see the parent/child relationships.

1 Like

visually this looks like a total mess. :smile:


Probably some one already pointed this out but,

When you scroll in the outliner with the ↑ and ↓ arrows, the objects get highlighted but not actualyl selected, which is a bit of paper cut.


I’ve not looked to deeply, but this might be tricky to determine if an object is a child but not in a collection. I’m going to try, but what if . jumped to the next instance in the outliner? That way you could press . repeatedly to find all instances in the outliner? I think that may be a more useful behavior.

This is already solved and will be in 2.90 :slight_smile: The objects were selected, but not activated. Now they will be selected and activated.



Hi Nate, I’ll keep haunting you with this one, but is there any chance on getting visual font differences in the outliner, in addition to toplevel link icons, like discussed in post 161 on the 18th of June?

Cheers, and I hope you get all the desired things in before the code lockdown at the end of August :slight_smile:

I think that’s a great way to solve it, and it’s also intuitive behaviour (from Windows file explorer etc) :slight_smile:


While doing this tutorial, which includes the outliner, I realized dragging from the File Browser into the Outliner scenes, also could be useful(as well as the other things we have been corresponding about: drag from outliner into sequencer(movie, image, sound, cameras) and a scenes+medias-view).


This would be really fantastic if it happens :smiley:

Turns out there was a solid collection icon (unused) already. So I today I learned how to generate the icon and include it with Blender… had to fix some changed Inkscape args :slight_smile:


There is still room for improvement, but it’s already better than the old line icon.

I’ve fixed a few bugs too. The daily builds stopped for a while, they are back now.


Not sure if there is room for anything, but I found something of interest. When you click on an armature then shift click on the mesh, you can enter into weight paint mode and see the influence of the bones. Specifically, you can ctrl+click on bones to see the influence of that particular bone. In the outliner, however, if you click on different bones in this state, they don’t update the corresponding vertex group. That might be pretty neat to have because in areas like hands it can get hairy clicking on the right bone.


Just a heads up to say this works when clicking on the vertex groups themselves (in properties editor), but I agree with your idea.

@natecraddock, I am forwarding a suggestion somebody made on the facebook Blender group. I felt that was not a bad idea. This would work from edit mode selection, I imagine.


I think this is a bug:
When parsing through bones, clicking on a constraint icon from an opened hierarchy goes to the constraint tab of the last active bone, not the bone having the constraint you clicked. You have to purposely click the bone with the constraint, then the constraint icon for it to go to the proper constraint tab

1 Like

This is because the bone must be active for the properties editor to show the tab. You are right, this is a bug. I’ve just fixed it and it will be in the next build.


Yes, pressing . to cycles through instances would in itself be helpful, if the other thing is too tricky to solve.
(Also, just got acquainted with the “kbd” tag from your post, thanks :slight_smile: )

I have noticed that when you try deselecting everything with ALT + A it doesn’t really deselect the last active object, you can still see it in the properties editor, is this a blender bug or is this an issue with the outliner?

@natecraddock is there any chance for this to be fixed in your project?
GSoC 2020: Outliner Discussion and Suggestions

Properties editor always reflect the active object so this is normal. Deselecting does not deactivate the active object as far as I know.

Is it feasible to make the outliner sync between workspaces?

1 Like

I realize this is the last month for GSoC, but just thinking of some other things along the lines of restriction toggles:

  1. Pressing Shift Select on a restriction toggle effects all children in the hierarchy, however for bones this does not work.
  2. Since we have auto-scroll in the outliner now, it might be nice if when you click-drag on restriction toggles all the way to the bottom of the outliner, it auto-scrolls to keep the selection going.

    This one is more of a consistency thing, but why not.

As @Hadriscus mentioned, this is because deselecting doesn’t deactivate the active object.

Do you mean object selection or filter/display settings?


  1. I just looked into this. Turns out that you can toggle the bone restrict buttons for all children! The shortcut key is ctrl. Of course, that inconsistency is bad, so I’ll fix it and change it to shift for future versions. Edit: committed and it will be in the next build. Perhaps this could be in 2.90 as well.
  2. I’m not sure on autoscroll with buttons. I agree this would be great, but I’m not familiar with the code here to say if it is possible.