Blender’s interface has always been a hot topic of debate and as you can see in the new development roadmap for version 2.50, an overhaul is being planned. New features will be, among other things, customizable hotkeys and toolbars, icon redesign and redesign of the button windows. Still, this is not as radical as some people might wish for. Time to try something else!
A group of coders has been quietly working on a complete rewrite of the Blender interface and it’s hidden in the current 2.43 release. I spoke to one of these coders, who would like to remain anonymous. He says:
Ton is notoriously difficult when it comes to changing the interface; he doesn’t always approve of our experiments so we had to fly this in under the radar. Many of us have long felt that the current Blender interface is no longer sufficient. We can spend years on improving on the current code-base, but let’s face it: it’s time to step away from the current implementation and start from scratch..
Hanging on to the current interface system despite all the problems it causes for new users is arrogant; even after ten years the basic system hasn’t really changed! Other packages, such as 3DS Max, have proven to be much easier to learn. Companies like Autodesk spend millions on their interface design and we can learn a lot from them!
It’s interesting that they were able to bypass the commit control on the sourcetree which makes me wonder: how easy would it be to slip less benevolent code into an open source project?
To access the new mode, go to the Anim panel in the Scene Buttons window (F10) and find the ‘RT’ widget. Determine your external IP address; you can use this site if you don’t know how. Add up the four numbers in the address and enter this value into the ‘RT’ field. Next, hit CTRL+SHIFT+F and you’ll be in for a surprise!