Tool settings are on too many places

I agree, Rawalanche, the first principles of property panels need unified.
Below I’ve drawn a concept today specifically as a response to this thread, that would make Blender friendly, powerful, out of the way, and unified!

Add tools shortcuts on the left,
Add tabs of property panels on the right; overlays, outliner and all the other popups all in one place. Plus add your own custom property tab, or use a tool feed tab which pressed down panels chronologically based on the latest tool which summoned them.
Add shortcuts to specific property values on the bottom.

Scale and split windows like normal, but the T and N keymaps slideouts, instead of a tacked on ui, toggles a split screen for quick access and dismissal. Any area editor type could be assigned to quick split like this.

george.mitev replied to my concept above with this interactive demo


Checked out the prototype George did, and there are two things I like that would be nice to have in Blender:

  1. The buttons when the shelves are minimized. The current buttons are very small and can be easy to miss. I like that they are named and larger so you as a newcomer know there is something there and what it does.

  2. Being able to pop-up the properties window tab on the side. Would be very useful while working in fullscreen mode where that panel is completely hidden.

As for the rest, it can either already be done with Blender (i.e. fullscreen mode), or is a bit of a regression from what Blender can already do. This is my current version of the Blender UI while using fullscreen mode (sculpt mode), and it honestly has better placement of the tools than in the prototype (i.e. shaders, symmetry, snapping, etc. are in two rows that still look clean while not being as spread out as in the prototype).

Same could be said about your own UI prototype, which has the opposite problem of putting everything in two side rows (why are vertex, edge, and face mode cramped up with with the regular tools?), making it a lot harder to add new tools and tabs down the line without easily filling up the two sidebars. The interface also doesn’t seem very flexible, which is the direct opposite of the current design, which is very flexible, and that customizability allows more advanced users to tailor his or her own workflow more. That said, if you made a separate addon for it, maybe some will jump on board for that kind of a design, kind of like that Blender Pro extension of Blender.

Please ignore which tool icons are where I just randomly filled them up as an example. This is based on my window sill ui which is scalible so you could easily stretch out the sill to add more rows. Plus these sills would be available for every split screen. You could also ctrl scroll while hovering over a sill to enlarge ui content as desired.

“This is based on my window sill ui which is scalible so you could easily stretch out the sill to add more rows.”

I already had that in mind when I critiqued your design. Even with scaling and multiple rows, it will still be a very crowded place. There is a lot of design space left open where you could put some of those tools around or inside the 3D viewport. I don’t think you can really simplify the UI to the extent you did without losing something in the process, at least not when it comes to a fully fledged 3D program like Blender, Maya, or the like, which can be more complex than most other software.

Edit: If you are hard set on having two side bars on each side of the screen and nothing else, my suggestion to you would be to find a way to divide up the tools so they don’t get piled up too easily and are easily distinguishable from other tools.

I.e., instead of having separate buttons on the toolbar for different types of meshes, you instead have one, and you can then open up an extended floating menu with all the mesh types, as well as other options involving meshes like normals, the tools for editing the normals, and more. That way you can use all that massive design space in the 3D viewport by utilizing floating boxes that can be moved around and show the more complex features of Blender. That way you can avoid bloating at least the left side bar, since you could do the same thing with most other tools by having each box open up more and more complex features within Blender.

I think putting ui over the top of your content is normally detrimental to immersion, however unmounting is an option for any tool or panel allowing you to make your own overlays. Instead of cluttering your content viewport and getting in the way, we should make popups a thing of the past. By default nothing gets in your way but in special use cases you can bring a tool panel close to your work so for example you don’t have to keep moving all the way accross the screen to switch tools every couple seconds.

I suggested an idea to another thread. Maybe this might be the solution to unifying tool settings.
It solves many other UI clutters as well.

1 Like

No. It is last operation called. You may have confirmed a mouse movement and freed influence of mouse pointer by pressing enter or left click.
In practice, the fact that panel is present means that action can be modified until you start another one.
So, it is not definitely done until you start another one and panel shows other settings.

Of course, it can be undone. What you proposed is exactly the same.
Rethink about Subdivide example or any operator that does not ask for a confirmation to be effective.
It would be ridiculous to wait for an useless confirmation to be able to undo it.

I needed 10 years inside blender community to see change the Left Click and 5 things in the interface. And you ask to rewrite all the interface…

I don’t see it possible. Also that the concept itself have a lot of problems and limitations… (But that it’s normal). The concept from Mitev is better, but basically is a cleanup of the theme.

1 Like

I would be drastic … but many beat me to this proposal …
delete the general window spaces property pannels

or better … transfer it to the sidebar, because it is a sidebar of the 3d view … that’s why it’s all a mess …

and every windows space would have its local “property buttons sidebar” …
and who will want the old combination, just keep a “3d view” that only displays the list of propery buttons…

and voila, problem solved no more multiplications, no more problems between full screen and not full screen …

in reality it is less dramatic than it seems … it’s just a logical order …
try to think about how it could be (I refer especially to the proposal of george.mitev)

actually from this operation, the next step, with the proposal to create “buttons-icons” for the compartments addons, you would have a unification between the property pannels and the sidebar addons in a single sidebar …

and here I take the opportunity to link the proposal that came to my mind just before reading this thread.
a proposal that creates even more order and clarity


I don’t see it, think that for blender2.8 we had few changes in the UI elements. For example, problematic buttons like the scene or viewlayer buttons didn’t change, when it are the main problem for new users. Devs didn’t implement in a good way the Active-Tools bar, they only change the T-shelf theme instead of a new panel type (floating or customizable y any side of the viewport)

The first mockups are a big-big-big change in the interface and only think in viewport-centric interface. The second is more a theme change, I think that it’s good. But for example put out of the viewport basic controls for modeling, don’t consider the tool-setting bar, addons, actual limitations of the theme… I think that it could work with some changes… but are that changes possible in few time? And if that is possible ¿Devs will allow that changes? Because we have learn from 2.80 that changes in UI design are really hard.

I think that if developer are open for this type of changes… blender 2.80 UI and development were be different, more risky since first moment… when blender2.8 was more like “we have this type of elements, how we do a different UX without touch that”

what are you afraid of, look at these empty spaces in the middle, it is so obvious that it recalls a unification between sidebar and property buttons pannels … … ^ __________ ^

( george.mitev mokup)

I don’t think there would be difficulties in acceptance, because visually it would change little if the apparent structure of the old proprery pannels would remain the same …

Except that instead of the old space window property pannels it would be a “space window 3d view” that has the hidden 3d view and shows a corner of the window that is the sidebar (with some help or option to make it easier to transform it into a pseudo property pannels space window,)

this happens already now …

The unification is the less important part. You know that I propose that icons in all Sidebars long time ago. And we didn’t see it. Also that not all editor can use that layout (text, animation, preferences, file browser,…)

The idea of that was give also months ago, but it is possible to have floating panels? that generates when you collapse an area…

I like part of the idea, but if we needs months to obtain a few changes in the middle of the 2.80 codequest I don’t think that developers will change all the interface after that.

well, meanwhile ideas and refinements emerge …
the rest remains to be hoped to be taken into consideration

If that minimized panel can be used like in Mitev’s prototype by creating pop-up screens when clicking on the small icons, it would make it very useful in fullscreen mode. I think that would be the ideal compromise between keeping the UI simplistic for newcomers while allowing the more traditional interface to stay consistent with previous Blender versions. This is the kind of flexibility I like. :slight_smile:

honestly I don’t see any use to have popups, I prefer the classic display, click and the list of panels appears, as it is now in the sidebar

maybe taht could more possible, that show only the list of icons and if you click in some icon the areas expand and when you move the mouse areas go back to same point.

To summarize, the problem is that Blender’s tool system is too duplicated. A lot.

There are mainly two issues:

These adjust last operation(redo last) discussions are also because of tool duplication. This wouldn’t be the problem if the edit actions(such as bevel, extrude, inset, etc)were properly implemented to the 2.80 tool system. They(hotkey actions such as B, E) still use the operator, not the new tool system. If the action needs adjustments and sliders, it should use the tool system, not the operator and adjust last operation. Some tasks(such as save all images) are better suited for operators, but many others(which needs options and sliders) are better suited for the new tool system. I agree that adjust last operation is not the right thing to exist in Blender. It’s a funny thing.

On the other hand, the tool system has too much settings duplicated over the UI. A good program shoud provide one elegant way to get the job done, not many confusing ways asking the user to choose one of them on every task. (This is also the motto of Python, which makes it a beloved programming language)


That consideration is something subjective for each person, right?
What happens if you do not agree with what the UI team considers is the only one elegant way to do it, and then you have no other alternatives?

That consideration is something subjective for each person, right?

No, it is one, carefully thought-out design, suitable for all users, as in all other programs.

What happens if you do not agree…

Nothing, like in all other programs, you just work and don’t worry.

Actually, just like everything else in Blender works in some way and has no other alternatives.

1 Like