Transform informations of Tools consistency and usability

Hi there !

This post aims to help design and gather feedback from the community on how the Transform informations of Tools in Edit and Object Mode are displayed. It targets modelers, specially those who rely on precision modeling, such as designers, engineers and architects.

At the moment, these are the issues :

  • inconsistency between Tools
  • user experience with precise dimensions or modifier parameters of Tools
  • visual feedback of transform informations of the active Tool and the previous Tool (redo)
  • blinking user interface hiding editor header and useful navigate gizmos

The idea here is to analyze the current situation, see what should be improved, propose a few design variants and then implement the agreed one :wink:
Please write below your thoughts and proposals to help this task going ! :smiley:

Present situation :

Most Tools regarding transform information usability work as follow: on activation of the operator (Shortcut or via the Toolbar) the amount of transformation is displayed in the header of the 3D View, replacing the Object Interaction Mode list, the menus, the viewport options (shading, overlays, etc) and the orientation/viewpoint gizmos on the top right. The Redo panel is displayed after the transformation is performed and does not update live during the transformation.

This applies in Object Mode to Set the 3D Cursor, Move, Rotate, Scale, Scale Cage and Transform (move, rotate and scale together).
This applies in Edit Mode to Set the 3D Cursor, Mode, Rotate, Scale, Scale Cage, Transform, all 4 Extrude Tools, Inset Faces, 2 Loop Cut Tools, Poly Build, Smooth, Randomize, Edge and Vertex Slide, Shrink Fatten, Pull Push, Shear, To Sphere, Rip Region and Edge.
This also applies in the UV Editor.

See here the Rotate Tool with in red the Transformation infos hiding the header and the orientation /viewpoint gizmos in yellow, and in green the Redo panel not displayed during transformation

There are a few exceptions:
The Bevel Tool uses the Status Bar and hides the Viewport gizmos when the transformation is performed. The Redo panel is also not updated live.
The Bisect and the 2 Spin Tools use the Redo Panel to display the Transform informations directly during action and update live. They also do not hide the header, except for the orientation/viewpoint gizmos on the top right.

See here the Bisect Tool with in red the normal Header, in the yellow the orientation/viewpoint gizmos hidden and in green the Redo panel displayed during transformation with live updated infos

To be improved:

  1. The header of the 3D view editor must stay readable and display its icons, options and menus at all time. The orientation/navigation/viewpoint gizmos must stay readable at all time.

  2. The transform infos of Tools must move into the viewport. When using Toogle Maximize Area (Ctrl Alt Spacebar with Hide Panels as default) the transform infos are useful to have. It is impossible when using the header as now, using the viewport space will allow it. The panel must be interactive, opened at the operator call and updated live during transformation (see the Bisect and Spin Tools for that) at all time.

  3. To be completed

Variants for displaying the transform infos into the viewport:

  1. Redo panel overhaul: like the Bisect and the 2 Spin Tools we have now, applied to all other tools, while keeping the Orientation and viewport gizmos of the header of the 3d View displayed. The Redo panel shows live the Transform infos as soon as the Transformation begins after calling the operator. Some more fancy stuff (colored axes, using TAB to access other transformations settings, etc.) could be added later on. This way, the redo panel becomes more of a transformation info panel that is used to display and modify transformation “amounts” during and after the operation of transformation. Its position in the 3d view editor is to be discussed: like now in the bottom left of the viewport or somewhere else maybe ?

  2. Popup following the cursor: the transformation information could be displayed next to the cursor when doing the transformation. Allowing for direct input of the chosen transformation options like now using TAB should be conserved and made more accessible. Using a relative or absolute transformation amount when it makes sense could also be included.

An example for reference:

  1. To be completed

Tasks for implementation:

  1. To be completed

See also discussions related:

See also tasks related in the tracker:
Move the transform info away from the header, into the viewport.
Make the “redo” panel also appear in the tool settings tab
Make the “redo” panel use the horizontal strip-design
Show gizmo while transforming

Thanks all ! Have a great day ! :blush:


Personally I don’t want to see all the time the adjust last operation panel. I don’t like the place where it sit and I want to use it only when I want to do something specific. I activate it with a pie button (F9 by default).

Regarding the tools informations I agree that it must move to a better place. I always search them looking on each corner of the 3d view. To me the best place would be near the mouse cursor so you have direct information under eyes and keep the focus on what you are doing.


1 Like

Hi there !

Small update on this topic:
As now ⚙ D9054 Pose Sliding tools improvements landed in master, could this be the time to rethink and design a bit for Blender’s future how Tools display their informations /transform values to the user ?

The main questions here are:

  1. What is the aim ? To have a clearer and easier way to show the Tools informations and transform values to the user ? Or to enhance usability and visual interaction (such as input of numerical values by the user, the use of TAB to change settings, etc.) ? Or maybe both ?

  2. What is the scope ? Should this “new design” apply to some specific Tools in some editors, or to all Tools in all editors (3D view but also NLA, VSE, image or node editors) ?

  3. How flexible and changeable could the “new implementation” be ? Will there be options or settings in the Preferences to adapt it to individual needs ? Will it be exposed to the API and will addons be able to take advantage of it ?

  4. Lastly, how could it look like ? Will it be a popup box like the Redo panel is now, will it be an overlay, like the new slider in the patch above, or something else ? Let’s do mockups !

Would appreciate @julianeisel and @HooglyBoogly thoughts :wink:

Thanks !