Mesh to Volume steps are not intuitive

In order to obtain a volume from a mesh, currently you need to:

  1. Add an empty volume
  2. Add the “Mesh to Volume” modifier
  3. Select the object

The steps above feel totally non intuitive to me because:
a) The user expects to apply a modifier to the selected mesh as the process is called “Mesh to Volume” and not “Volume from Mesh”. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
b) When a mesh is selected, the list of modifiers shows the “Volume to Mesh” modifier, so the user’s expectancy is to find in the same place also the “Mesh to Volume” modifier.
c) The Blender Manual is listing the “Mesh to Volume” modifier between the Mask Modifier and Mirror Modifier, so the users are confused why the GUI is not showing it.

To me, it feels more natural and intuitive to:

  1. Select the mesh
  2. Add the “Mesh to Volume” modifier. This step would tell Blender to add automatically, behind the scene, the required empty volume and then generate the volume from the already selected mesh.

I feel exactly the same, Always thought the naming should change, “Volume from mesh” would already make it clearer. Both conversion processes (Mesh to Volume & Volume to Mesh) feel quite unintuitive, and it’s a shame considering how powerful they are!

I’d love to see implemented your suggestion, Blender needs these kind of automatic processes.

Agreed it slightly confusing.I do like that it’s a modifier though, and not a one-time conversion. ‘Volume from Mesh’ would be a more logical name.

Although I agree with the general idea and I also thought it was confusing when I tried it, one problem I see with this proposal is that the modifier would ultimately be added to a different object other than the one you had selected and from which the operator “add modifier” has been called.
So in the end it would also be confusing if the user is unaware that the process creates a new volume object with its modifier, and not a modifier in the actual mesh the user were working with.

I think it could be clearer to add it in the same way as the add quick smoke operator works ( add quick volume?), because it communicates better that there is something more going on than just adding a modifier to the object.

The modifier is still displaying the Object selector so the object can be changed anytime. Hence, I don’t see a big problem regarding this issue.

Strictly from the user interaction point of view (and not from the underlying process) this is a “conversion” process applied to a selected object rather than adding a new object/effect (as it is the case with Quick Smoke). Therefore, I fell like it is more suited to look for it in the same place where the Volume to Mesh modifier is placed.
Anyway, thanks for you input; in the end, the developers will decide where is better to place it.

a) The user expects to apply a modifier to the selected mesh as the process is called “Mesh to Volume” and not “Volume from Mesh”.

I agree that use of “from” is more intuitive than the use of “to”.
But that is not satisfying to set a “Volume from Mesh” modifier on a mesh object.

Like @txo said, an automated switching of active object would be disorienting.
If you make an exception to produce a volume from mesh without using a volume object.
All settings relative to Volume Viewport Display, specific to Volume Object would have to be added to Mesh Viewport Display properties.
And you are introducing a weird use of Mesh modifiers list :

  • none could be added after that one because they are thought for meshes, not volumes.
  • new Volume modifiers like Volume Displace would not present or would be added the list to only be usable in rare cases.

If the idea is to easily convert meshes into volumes, I prefer a Mesh to Volume operator in Convert to me and right click menu. There is no reason to mess-up modifier’s list for that.