Meeting Notes: 13 & 14 January 2021

Two meetings in fact: January 13 and 14.
First one only covered the 2.92 and 2.93 topics. Second one was more “meta-level”.

Present: Dalai Felinto (Jan 13 meeting only), Hans Goudey, Julian Eisel, Nathan Craddock (Jan 14 meeting only), Pablo Vazquez

Announcements

  • Julian worked on an article for UI module planning for 2021 and on.
    • The team went through it in the meeting. No immediate objections it seems, but needs more review and work before publishing.
    • All this is high level planning, not a specific feature roadmap.
  • Julian also worked on a “Blender Design Manifesto”.
    • Tries to explain key values of the UI module team with regards to user experience and usability.
    • Wasn’t covered in the meeting, but shared with the team afterwards.
    • Also needs more review and work before publishing.
  • In future we might do the meetings a bit different.
    • Keep the weekly UI meetings general, do topic specific ones as needed (e.g. Asset Browser).
    • Invite regular contributors to meetings. (We want to give them more responsibilities and include them better.)

2.92 Release

  • Node socket colors
    • Yellow float sockets will be changed back to grey for the release.
  • Data-block selector design changes
    • We have a design (and most code) ready to bring user count and fake user back.
    • However, some new ideas were proposed and a different design proposal prepared. (T84669)
      Screenshot 2021-01-08 at 02.26.25
    • It’s too late to do this in 2.92 and we shouldn’t change design twice in consecutive releases.
    • Decision: Revert to old design for the release, work on the newest one for 2.93.
  • Ctrl+G behavior (D10042: Change operators to add new “group” collections to the scene)
    • Currently creates a collection but doesn’t link it to the scene. This is confusing, it looks like nothing happened.
    • Blender doesn’t have a grouping system similar to other apps. 2.8 design is to use collections for that (objects can be in multiple collections).
    • Longer term, real grouping would be a good goal.
    • For now we can try to meet user expectations as close as possible, but there will still be issues.
  • Asset Browser
    • Was disabled for the 2.92 release. Reasons: Not enough time to polish, design decisions need re-evaluation.
    • Master will have it as experimental feature still.
    • Feature complete milestone 1 is now a 2.93 target.

2.93 Release

  • Asset Browser
    • Important 2.93 target: Built-in asset library (T55239: Built-In Assets)
    • UI team thinks being able to add an asset to an external library is important to support.
      • Some people involved with the Asset Browser project didn’t want to make this part of the design. For understandable reasons - but these can be addressed.
    • Needs reevaluation: What is our definition of an asset?
      • Currently, data-blocks have to be explicitly marked as asset. Isn’t that mixing the definition of what an asset is with the action of making it public to other Asset Browsers?
      • The latter should still be an explicit action so users have control over which data-blocks are available for simple browsing.
      • Users may be confused by “Mark Asset”. For them all data-blocks or other data may be considered an asset.
      • Should “Mark Asset” be something like “Publish”, or “Promote”?
      • Another proposal: Only consider data-blocks as public assets if they are part of an asset library. “Mark Asset” would then become “Add to Asset Library” with a choice between available libraries, including the “Current File” one.
      • To be discussed further.
    • Categories need reevaluation
      • Some categories don’t make much sense. They were simply taken from the existing filter options for link/append.
      • A suggestion was made to remove categories and have a good filtering system instead.
      • But a better filtering system is planned anyway, that can work well together with the categories. Especially for big asset libraries, a top-level categorization will be important.
      • Node trees are an issue: We need a way to differentiate the types of node trees, currently they all show up under “Shading”.
    • Some remaining tasks can be picked up by contributors.
      • For example: Adding drag & drop for assets all over Blender (e.g. dragging image into compositor, dragging sound into VSE, …)

Next meeting: 2020-01-20, 3PM CET.

13 Likes

Is custom sorting of objects via drag/drop in the outliner going to be committed any time soon? I know it was worked on for the GSOC, and we currently have sorting of collections and modifiers, but sadly still no object sorting.

3 Likes

The way custom object sorting was implemented was by using - kind of abusing - an implementation detail. This worked well in tests, but may have some hard to foresee consequences and may break in future. For other types displayed in the Outliner, like bones and child objects it wouldn’t work at all. Nathan and I agreed on putting this on hold. There were ideas for better solutions, but they aren’t simple to implement.
Also see Nathan’s comment in the patch: https://developer.blender.org/D8646#218522

Looking up public records on this, I notice it wasn’t communicated well. The only (brief) mention I found is in these meeting notes.

5 Likes

work on the newest one for 2.93*

1 Like

Thanks for the info Julian. I hope that this remains on the UI teams’s radar, as it is a fundamental missing feature in the current outliner.

I have to push this again here:

  • one click option monochrome colors for Properties Tab Icons (like the original design)
  • separate color customization between Properties Tab Icons and Outliner
    The two above go hand-in-hand: If one doesn’t want or like the multi coloring for the icons in the Properties Panel he needs to : 1) Eyeball the grey value used by other UI icons; 2) he needs to do it for each data type icons; 3) he will be losing coloring in the Outliner as well which is a no-no.

A bit more on this topic: the original Blender 2.8 Ui coloring and style (mostly due to general monochrome icon usage except Outliner) had a kind of perfection in appearance that was giving Blender a pretty professional look not seen in many software. That was quickly lost with the introduction of multicolored icons in the main UI for the Property Tabs. I would only argue in the favor of multi coloring only for the Outliner content where is indeed a more necessity for that. For other parts kike the Property Tabs there should definitely be an easier and more convenient way to revert back to Monchrome in the forum of one click option.

  • separate the 3d Orientation axis from the other navigation buttons (Pan, zoom etc) in the Viewport Header controls so for example to be able to display or hide them separately (for those who like to have the gizmo as visual indicator or are not distracted too much of it but dont want and dont use the other buttons)
1 Like

separate the 3d navigation gizmo from the other navigation buttons

It’s already separate. The gizmo is Viewport -> 3D Viewport Axis, when the other controls are Interface -> Navigation Controls.

2 Likes

When that happen and was any reasoning for that? I’m talking about top Viewport options not Prefferences :slightly_smiling_face: So now I can turn on Orientation axis (it’s name slip me for a moment) in the viewport and hide the buttons for Pan, Zoom etc? From the viewport options?

:thinking:
It was like that since 2.80 :shushing_face:

You are talking about this, right?
image

…otherwise I’m confoosed.

1 Like

Yup can you show the options for the viewport pls :blush:

Both are in User Preferences.

Hmmm I mean their visibility controls on the Viewport header. I think I celebrated too early. They might still be tied to eachother