Hide Collections keymaps are an example of poor UX

How many times have you accidentally hit the 1 or 2 key in object mode and watched as your collections disappeared? And then you start clicking through things trying to figure out which collection it was and which objects were visible in that collection and which ones you had hidden?
This interface is a holdover from the pre 2.8 version of Blender. Not many people still use it yet it occupies a very prominent place in Blender’s user experience. And, it creates all sorts of problems as we also use the 1, 2 and 3 keys to toggle between vertex edge and face mode when in edit mode.

Perhaps the original keymapping, with the “layers” checkbox interface, may have been a good idea (debatable), but the current model, without the limited “layers” and most importantly with the new keymapping of 1,2 and 3 in Edit mode, is a UX nightmare and should really be addressed. It’s a huge point of confusion and frustration not only for new users, but also existing users.

I know the Shift + 1,2,3 etc will bring them back. 1) That is unintuitive and mostly unknown; 2) Instead of just toggling (and inverting) the original press of 1, it instead SHOWS collection 1 (which is already displayed). Again, most unintuitive. This means for 9 collections, when you accidently press 1, you need to press Shift+2, Shift+3,Shift+4,Shift+5, Shift+6, Shift+7, Shift+8 and Shift+9. Really?

And I know you can also UNDO, but if you forgot to undo and did something else next, then wanted to get back to the original collection display, it’s all but impossible.

Please FIX!

SOLUTION
I posted a video to my Patreon showing how to disable this.

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I also like how 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 keys in “Industry Compatible” keymap done. Where you can from Object mode quickly switch to Vertex (1), Edge (2) or Face (3) Mode and then back to the Object (4) mode again.

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You might find this interesting then: T88071: Keymap: use number keys for mode switching (2nd Iteration)

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Proper explanation of this system.
In short: it is needed for modeling complex things.

Not sure pointing to a 22 minute theory video helps to explain an obviously poor and disruptive user interface and why it’s a good idea for everyone.

In fact it’s a good example of taking a single obscure use case, that of complex production scene setup, and forcing it’s interface on all users because one group found it helpful. I think we can do better in user experience design.

There are more than a couple obvious fixes for this. A good place to start is by doing some research to see how many people are affected by this poor interface design.

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Collections was added because of complex production scene setup requirements.

Moderators didn’t merge topics the last time this happened, so I guess it won’t happen this time either…

November 2019:

September 2020:

No it’s not. Majority of users who model complex things don’t use shortcuts to manage object visibility. Blender is not the only modeling software that exists out there. If you spend so much time with your object visibility management when modeling complex objects that shorcuts for 10+ individual visibility groups are worth if for you, then you are most likely not very efficient modeler, as you spend way more time managing the models than actually modeling them.

I agree with this thread, but it’s not just Collections. Blender’s default keymap in general is example of poor UX, and is the #1 reason people still consider Blender unintuitive, hard to learn and difficult to use despite all the UI improvements since 2.79 onwards.

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As far as I know, multifer modeling is not solved anywhere, so this system is used mostly to outperform other software.

And if I asked you for a video example of such a workflow, I am sure you would not be able to provide one.

I don’t mean some short snippet, or some tutorial, but a longer video of you making something from scratch to finish in an acceptable amount of time. Something like what masterxeon does with Hops/BC example videos:

You always talk as if you are some pro specialist who’s workflow is so refined you basically just glance and the screen and a final model pops up, yet you have no body of work to back it up.

I find your comments insulting, thinking that your way of modeling is the only efficient way. As if modeling with hardops (or other way) was incompatible with hide collections… When they are complementary to any workflow.

Until 2.79 I used hide collections constantly. I don’t have any video but I assure you that it is an efficient way to work. And to this day I still use the same functionality, hide or unhide collections, but without the hotkeys (because they have already been explained why they are dysfunctional) in practically all my scenes.

And no, not everybody makes booleans nor their projects are for kitbashing assets. I’m actually modeling levels and hiding collections allows me to work much more efficiently. The same when I make props for collisions, for retopo, for references, sockets…

Go back to the crap discussion about the UX of blender when blender has eaten the modeling market is already a joke.

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Sorry to interfere in such a hot conversation
but what about Alt+1, Alt+2,…Alt+0 for collections?
and leave 1,2,3…to whatever will be proposed

Alts are already binded for that purpose.
Also it is not that convenient to modify layout via Alt+Shift combination all the time)

I usually just press ctrl z to bring it straight back. I agree though, mapping the visibility of collections to the number keys should be scrapped, not much point when you have unlimited collections.

A better solution would be the ability to create view states in the outliner (various combinations of collection visibility), and have a single shortcut where the user can then select the viewstate they want from a popup menu. Easy addon to make…Actually, this is what view layers do I suppose. So you could just have multiple viewlayers for the different collections visibility combinations for that scene.

It would be a nice addition to have the option to keep visibility settings when creating a new view layer, so that you could quickly make small amendments to which collections are visible, rather than having to go through everything and turn them back off again, which is troublesome on very large scenes that have many collections.

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Lol, what?

No, I don’t think my way is the only efficient way, but 1D_Inc constantly speaks as if his was, but as soon as he’s asked for some practical example, he usually never has any.

Well, I am not sure what do you expect to see - multiref is a wide range approach, and it’s about the overall endurance of the process.

I have a lot of streamable single-reference workflows exposed, which I made to test workflow approaches, and to relax after multiref modeling work because they was designed to be exposed
(just as masterxeon’s) but I don’t remember any multiref modeling video made by anyone, since it is not streamable.

The only video with sort of an attempt to solve 2 objects combinations I found was this maya trick.

Eh? What? :smiley:

How is this in any way related to need to have 10+ visibility groups accessible directly via keymap? Especially via first level (no modifier key) shortcuts?

I wanted an example of something so complex it requires frequent (sub 1 minute on average) toggling of up to 10 individual visibility groups. Ornaments are not complex models object management wise. Topology wise they are somewhat complex, but that happens on the mesh edit level.

On object level, they are trivial. It’s not an aircraft engine cad model broken down to 1000+ pieces. And even if it was, it still doesn’t justify something like collection shortcuts, as when you have that many collection, seeing the name of the collection before you actually hide/unhide it is important for most of the people, otherwise hiding/unhiding them is more of a trial and error type of thing.

The QCD video just doesn’t make any sense to me, but it’s fine if it does make sense to you as long as it works. In that case, the collection shortcuts should be a part of your Collection Manager addon, but they really need to go away from stock Blender keymap.

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Well, I think at this point we have to clarify what Multiref modeling is about.
It is about solving clutter in the viewport at the top modeling complexity level.
Constructive complexity.

It doesnot depend on model, it can be any - from general plan with TIN surface, a factory, a gamedev character with LODs, states, variations, cloth and equipment to a submarine modeled up to a bolt.

There is a huge industry level question - how to solve such a clutter.

A similar problem can be described with food intake and digestion.
You can’t digest the entire watermelon, because you have a bottleneck - a throat, so you have to split it into digestible parts.
The model is food for the brain, and your perception, which in humans is very limited, is the bottleneck.

At the lowest modeling complexity level you don’t heed to use hierarchical tools to split your model into for digestible / operable parts.
Then hiding objects is used.
Then hiding and viewport isolation are used.
Then hiding, isolation and viewport crossections are used.
Then all above and collection assignemt with outliner control.
Then, at the top of complexity, when outliner control turns exhausting and overwhelming, quick access slots are used to split model into dynamic context for realtime combinatorial control.
This is the best working and versatile solution we have found so far, and reached the next limit.

The problem is that this way we will loose the ability to hire modellers fluent in multiref modeling.
We already replaced 3dsmax and Maya modellers with Blender modellers on the Palmyra temple reconstruction project I handle, and limit Sketchup users with architectural sketching.

The industry has changed. Graphics requirements has changed.
Regardless of the challenge we face last decade - in both creative and constructive workflows, almost everything requires multiref.

You are confusing functionality with user interface. It’s an issue for many technical types (and especially older and more experienced users), and a great reason why professionals should be in charge of user experience. While there may be a need for your unique use case, the solution is not to burden the million other users with your specific functional requirements-- and that’s exactly what those collection shortcut keys do. They are a mistake, and I’m sure one that Blender will resolve at some point.

I know how hard it was for Blender devs to not require folks to learn dozens of keyboard commands just to get Blender to work. But then they hired some UX pros and released a version of Blender with a much softer onboarding experience, where new users could use logically placed buttons and menus to learn Blender. And because of it, Blender has soared in the past few years since the release of 2.8.

Sadly, the numeric shortcut buttons on the top of QWERTY are a relic of the previous time and should be at the minimum hidden behind a prefs checkbox.

I am not sure that systems for complex constructive modeling can be called a “specific functional requirements”.