Transform informations of Tools made coherent and more usable

Hi there !

I am writing this post to help design and gather feedback from the community on the present issue of how the Transform informations of Tools in Edit and Object Mode are displayed. At the moment, there is quite a few usability issues and above all a real inconsistency between Tools in that regard. As the next release is 2.83 LTS, improving on the current situation will greatly help users for modeling, specially those who rely on precision modeling, such as designers, engineers and architects.

The starting task in the tracker is T57712. Please read the entire task and comments as the description alone is not explicit and only related to the blinking header. The overall usability could be separated in several tasks and patches when the implementation goes on.

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 with the help of a few benevolent developers :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 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/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 will allow it.

  3. The panel to display transform infos must be interactive and updated live (see the Bisect and Spin Tools for that).

  4. The panel to display transform infos must be open as soon as the operator is called or the transformation begins (to see how doable it is).

  5. TO BE COMPLETED

Variants:

  1. One first variant of usability that comes to mind is simply to reuse the logic of the Bisect and the 2 Spin Tools to all other tools, while keeping the Orientation and viewport gizmos displayed. That is: do not hide the header and instead use the Redo panel to show 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.

  2. TO BE COMPLETED

Tasks for implementation:

TO BE COMPLETED

See also discussions related:


Thanks all ! Have a great day ! :blush:

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