New icons for Blender 2.8x

@Constantina32 @Debuk The default draw sharp is a somewhat failed attempt to replicate zbrush’s dam standard brush.
A proper draw sharp brush was in the works, but for some unknown reason it was never committed, and yes, subtract is the primary state for this kind of brushes. So the icon should reflect that.

Still, tbh, I wish all those icons could be replaced with icons similar to zbrush’s, they are far easier to read.

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Hi @ThinkingPolygons,

yes the dam brush indents the mesh, but the word dam is rather a pun intended by Damien Canderle and not a fitting description.And Draw brush is as unfitting to describe the current brush. And yes it would be nice to have such a dam/crease brush. But what I mean is, could we embed this as a copy please.

The word draw brush, the icon are currently geared towards an material adding brush.
We have no alternative to get this done as sharp as with this draw brush.

I find these first two brushes somehow comparable to photoshops “hard round” and “soft round” brushes. These are basic unrealistic but very practical default brushes in photoshop. I find them placed well at the top of the list. And it’s the same way in blender sculpting tools currently. Having Pablo working on a dam brush based on this is nice yes, but we simply should not kill the current draw sharp. As I said. Make a copy.

When it’s a about the icon design. There are quite some points that could be said here. First I did these to fit into the existing design. And to be honest it’s not the most practical idea to have this shadeless design approach for brushes. Allowing shades would ease that a lot. 3DCoat and Zbrush both go down that road.

But there are more cases where we need icons here than just for “normal” brushes, they can be categorized into, basic draw brushes, clay brushes, and other common effects like inflating, pinching, smearing/shifting, cutting, bending, kitbashing,transforming and what not. All these need icons could very well be displayed in this design.

The mightier the tools become in terms of how you can tweak them the more the results will differ.Then stored variants will be needed. That’s the point where captured example spheremodel previews (screencaptures) should kick in.
I think at that point it will be more similar to what you hope for. We could still have sort of basic icons in the top left corner of these brush previews showing the tweaked source brush. And then it would be a rather cool feature that the current previews are not looking as realistic.

One last thing, I also think these screencapture previews should already be included in the tooltips right now.


Yes would indeed be nice to have these in the toolbar, but with the way they are currently working this makes no sense. The mouse position when you trigger that function has an influence on what will be selected/ from where the selection grows. It’s usage will have to be adapted.

Inverse Draw Sharp


I think the cobbly aspect of this icon looks great and suggests clay more than anything, you have my vote. However, this color palette is very limiting… why don’t you guys use regular shading instead of toon shading ? It really makes those shapes unnecessarily ambiguous.

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@ThinkingPolygons I was hoping too that we could have a similar brush to Dam Standard in Blender. I am not very fond of the current Draw Sharp brush, because its inability to generate geometry, with the Dynamic Topology toggle, can create jagged edges.

Also, for anybody interested, here is a very good topic about Brushes: The Tools/Brush Workflow.

That’s no limitation that has to stay for very long. Yes you need a reference that doesn’t get updated during the brushstroke, but that could also be treated like this:

Just interesting to see how good or bad the perfomance of such a solution would be.

Yes indeed nice discussion, good thoughts by quite some people. Just seems a while til we’re anywhere near.

Personally I just adapted to what the current style is, I made these because some of the sculpt workspace icons should really get an update. Technically these are flat 2d meshes with colored faces. Simple materials,no uvs used, so maybe that’s the initial cause. I read something that SVG support was discussed but the idea was dropped. Icons like these typically work well on small scale, but I could also agree having more shades at hand or use rendered images like other apps. But for now I hope they accept the updated ones.

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Kept the main idea of the multiplanescrape overall, but tweaked the appearance and added the editing winged gizmo as it’s the unique feature of this brush.


This breaks a bit with the established style, but I would be interested in seeing more literal interpretations of these icons:


That makes sense and that’s awesome you also like the idea of adding them to the toolbar. I was originally just adding the image as a visual reference, I’m not sure if it would be helpful to share an updated vector file, but I would be very happy to help this process in any way I can. By the way, great work if you are general UI designer!

@ThinkingPolygons, Zbrush’s tools are functionally amazing but there UI, inconsistent naming convention, and aimless organization could be done way better. Zbrush’s brush icons are often randomly scattered replicas, for examplePolish’s icon is reused for Flatten, and Deco is Weave, extra. Their most recent tool is using flat vectors so I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the direction they keep going in the future.

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That’s a great icon, though I have always thought the name was a bit of a mouthful and for something that has a strong edge over other software, I would think its better not to advertise the secret sauce directly in the name. Maybe something more like Smart Sharpen or Dynamic Sharpen, something that describes the characteristics of the results (a Stylized Edge) rather than how it technically works.

@eobet Both are visually pleasing. Yes they break with the style a bit, but I like the idea. The pose key is also rather a literal interpretation. Such an approach might fit for some icons. If it fits in stylewise and transports the message clearly, I am with you. With reducing it to arrows there is a bit of a general risk that they are interpreted as something different as arrows fit so wonderfully to every kind of motion.

@NathanWondrak: Thanks Nathan. As it involves some programmatic changes, you could create a thread here asking if such an adaption is already planned and you might also create a topic at rightclickselect. These selection features are quite new so I’d judge that part as being under active development. With blender being an open source project contributions are always welcome, but there are people maintaining that process. I think these two icons would fit very well to the current design, but as I said it’s just a step too early for them.
Generally blender is organized in modules for development.
See for Module owners/developers.

I also think both selection tools deserve to be more easily reachable, I already talked with @billrey about integrating the missing shortcuts for these tools to the IC keymap as it’s currently missing there completely.

I still asking the reason why blender 2.8 doesn’t use classic brushes icons where we can see the brush perfectly and the “fight” about how to make icons doesn’t exist

Hi @Alberto, I really don’t know the exact reason and don’t want to turn this thread into a discussion thread, but in short both methods have advantages.

Stylized icons advantages:

  • easier to read on small scale.
    • Look at Zbrush and the icon size they chose to visualize.
  • some tools are easier described with abtract icons, like the move tool or the pose tool.
  • some effects are hard to visualize rendered strokes, like a brush that also pinches.
  • blenders ui elements are not just brush icons. And keeping one style for all has also benefits

Even if many ends concerning brush management are quite rough / not present right now in blender. Personally I somehow like the idea of having both styles at once. Stylized icons that represent categories or used features of a brush AND have shaded / rendered previews that can be used in the tooltips in big lists with variants and so on.

And if once all brushes become variants of a single uberbrush and we have a designer sort of comparable to photoshops brush designer, where we can turn features of a brush on and off and where we would definitely be in need of a more graphical representations then we could still use these icons as feature indicators in a row below the rendered brush preview in whatever form of library.

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It is very debatable that these icons are clear because they are abstract. I, after months of work, confuse most of them. I suppose that’s why you’re proposing to change almost half of them.

If the problem is the size I see no reason not to increase it slightly, because the difference between zbrush and blender is just over 20-30%. And it is already out of any screen 1080p, so the two columns must be a default. And above all because it is delaying the inevitable, that what you have in that toolbar is not the user’s custom brushes that will need custom icons.

I was talking of a design type not of the current ones used. And yes indeed I find quite some confusing too, other ones like the snake hook read perfectly. And your argument is equally true for bad designs with rendered previews or automatically rendered brush previews.

In the following example one is the draw brush and one is the blob.
Can you tell me which one is which. So if we had these on two icons as autogenerated preview, would that be better?

I could start arguing that we have multiple rows available for icons and that the amount of space needed grows in a squared order,but I also really see why you are arguing for the rendered brushes and to some extent fully agree, but I think they will be an integral part of the brush managing solution that will come.

And technically it currently is as it is and it has also advantages I mentioned above, so :man_shrugging:

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I didnt talk about a automatic generated icon. You can do exact same examples with any brush…

That’s ok that you didn’t. I just said neither an automatic solution nor a bad manual design helps get rid of this. So with the current stylized ones being confusing it’s exactly the same.
I just mentioned automatic as it would also be benefitial. We’d always have the same lighting, the same crop and no additonal manual work with custom variants. And displaying some good stylized icons next to an rendered auto brush preview with the features being used like pinch, inverse draw, smooth and a custom name would really be a nice automatism.

New iteration, more in line with the established style:

All suggestions I’ve seen so far have a similarly high complexity level in their depictions, so I tried to distill it down.

(Still needs to be redrawn in whatever the originals are made in, because I just sketched these quickly in Procreate.)