It looks like you're using an ad blocker! I really need the income to keep this site running.
If you enjoy BlenderNation and you think it’s a valuable resource to the Blender community, please take a moment to read how you can support BlenderNation.

New Blender UI Proposal

490

Following analyses and discussion on the Blender UI, BlenderGuru's Andrew Price now presents his thoughts on an improved interface. For reference, here are the previous articles on this topic:

Update: please keep in mind that this is a discussion piece by Andrew, meant to get the discussion in the Blender community started.

Andrew Price writes:

After weeks of dancing around the idea of a "new blender interface", I've finally put together a proposal.

The concept was created over the course of about about a month. I based it off usability research, talking with developers, listening to people who quit and talking to advanced and beginner users.

So here it is!

Thanks :)

Share.
  • DcVertice

    I knowed that all this "littles" ideas had only one target... change all the interface to a MAX/Photoshop copy for idiots because one guy want this and have a lot of free time to make this proposal.

    http://images.wikia.com/dragonball/images/a/a7/Facepalm_227785.jpg

    • daminatorus

      this is not about MAX/Photoshop
      this is about comfort work in blender
      and if you are just a MAX-hater, just turn on your head

      • DcVertice

        Yeahhhhh... You want to destroy the best GUI in all 3D softwares, that work with one, two or ten screens, that every people can change,.. Yes, I must turn on my head, shut up, don't give my opinion... Only to see happy at the people that don't like Blender now.

        • DaedalJS

          i like blender now and it does have some nice UI features but overall it's got a horrible UI.

          also, this kind of interface is more similar to autodesk inventor or revit with a bit of blender thrown in than a mix of Max/photoshop. i also see no reason why the awesome people who made blender couldn't keep the multi or single monitor greatness going with this kind of UI too.

          but that said if this kind of UI is for idiots then surely you'd be able to open up inventor and make a model of a toy car no problem.

          • http://www.cresshead.com cresshead

            if blender foundation want to increase the number of active users working with blender then they need to address the non standard areas of the u.i.

        • strat

          You can post your opinion but don't be surprised when challenges it with their own and it has far more substance. Many Blender users feel these UI proposed changes would benefit the community with simplifying the UI to task related functionality instead of littering it with a lot of unnecessary or unrelated functions to the task. This would attract potential users who have overwhelmingly stated in countless forums they the UI in it's current form is overwhelming and intimidating. Blender gains nothing by being branded software package that has a reputation of being Byzantine for no reason save elitism.

        • Marouane Er-rouhi

          in the video, he did not say anything about getting rid of any feature, he only proposed that blender ui should change to more user-friendly interface, and make it focus on the most important parts, A.K.A, he basicly proposed a re-skin of the program.

      • Clemens

        You don't have to be a Max/Photoshop hater to not want blender to copy them.

        • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

          I'm not sure if you guys realize, but the UI designs of Max, Photoshop and others have been based on the general design principles. Meaning if Blender would have a UI like this it would just mean that it follows the gereal design principles which is good, no matter how you look at it. In my opinion having a ridiculusly different UI just because you can is elitism, and it has no place in the CG industry.

          • akovac

            Hi contmike, I disagree. Both Max and Photoshop (add AutoCAD here, too) have been designed according to some user interface design principles in mind in their early days, but since then they have been distorted horribly way beyond the point when a GUI redesign from practical standpoint is due. The reason why they decide to bloat their GUIs is purely financial. They are afraid to lose professionals who have been using those tools for ages and who hate to see their tool reshuffled (think: Final Cut, with their redesign) Just because they are big companies does not make them more skilled or special or better. There is a LOT of sloppy design in there.

          • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

            Big companies only employ people who are good or the best at what they do, this makes big comapnies better. However I aggree with the financial reasons. But I think the UI of PS is actually very well done, and since 3ds max introduced the Graohite modeling tools, I am quite happy with the modeling part of the UI too. Others yeah...not so much, but those weren't even suggested by Andrew here fortunately. Still, you can see the sings of these principles when looking at the UI. In Blender not so much. Now that I am familiar with it, it is obvious, and quick, but when I first started using it I felt like using Zbrush. But even in Zbrush, you can find every tool in the palettes, and can't really screw up stuff just by clicking randomly. Undos are tool based, and allows you to go back as far as you want, and popups warn you if you are about to do something stupid. Anyway, I think that big companies will always be better, and more skilled, just because of the professional workforce they hire.

          • http://www.aldeaglobal.net/enpipes enpipes

            "Big companies only employ people who are good or the best at what they do, this makes big comapnies better."

            It's totally false: they are only better for make money! And by this they contract his employees. Is strange: people with this point of view discussing here how to transform an open source software for achieve it look as an expensive software from a monopoly (Autodesk).

          • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

            @enpipes I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "they are only better for make money! And by this they contract his employees." You mean they hire people who know how to make more money for the company?

          • donluco

            please dont be naive contmike. companies are mainly interested in making profit. they hire people who

            - are willed to work for less then there skills and effort are worth

            - adapt the company´s (sometimes very inefficient) workflows

            - do not complain more than they improve.

            Photoshop´s interface origins from the 1980ies. Same with 3DS max. So if you are able to redesign your interface (Autodesk and Adobe are not because they dont want to loose customers) you really should look at different examples.

          • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

            @donluco What you are saying is not generally true, it is a generalization based on companies that do this. Unless you work for Autodesk or Adobe, or have a friend who works there, and knows it goes like that than I fine, I accept.
            I never said 3ds max has a good UI but at least it is consistent and the Graphite modelling tools work well. The UI Andrew proposed has nothing to do with 3ds max.
            Just because a UI is old it doesn't mean it can't work, because the people's needs considering a good UI haven't changed that much since the 80ies.
            PS has a good UI for what you need to use it. The priciples it applies for the UI's design is worth to consider.

      • BeeDoublejou

        totally agree with DcVertice: Blender is the secret treasure for shortcut and workaround experts; we'd like to keep it that way !!!

        back to the command line !

        • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

          :D lol nice :DD

        • PGTART

          i guess your still using WP 5.1 too ??
          Shift F7 etc etc it got displaced by modern software.
          Macintosh was a great thing because they invented the graphical GUI and since then software got easier to use and adapted to more people. These days anyone can write an email.. without having to use telnet commands.. its called progress.

          Times have changed, software got improved, we should stop the progress, a better gui will atract more people more and with that more interest into blender, more developers. Blender itself will still be blender.

          • donluco

            WordPerfect 5.1 was very consistent, did not try to change your formatting without asking and did not distract you from writing. Later word processing software ignored all that.

            so in an abstract manner blender should rather look at WP 5.1 than Word 2007.

    • Colleyd

      You obviously have no idea what you're talking about.

      3dsMax doesn't use the top bar. It has about exact same command panel on the right as Blender. This would actually make Blender more different from Max than similar.

      If the addition of a toolbar is the photo/max copy, that's equally ridiculous. Every program except Blender uses toolbars, and that's because toolbars work.

      Furthermore, it takes very little imagination to consider how these UI redesigns could work with Blender's panel system. As long as the new UI uses that in some function, it doesn't break Blender's Interface.

      Finally, I believe the goal of the Blender Foundation is something akin to making a great 3d tool for artists. A lot of great artists aren't rocket scientists. If you actually want to cater to artists, you do need to make the basics of using the program easier. You can make the program as deep as you like, but you can't have it as obscure and weird as it is now and expect the average artist to use it. Right now Blender is more a tool for extreme hobbyists and low revenue developers that can't afford another tool, rather than an actual tool for artists.

      • http://mathieu-auvray.tumblr.com matray

        I totally agree !

        • Gnuren

          Zbrush is 'different' and hard to learn.
          Yet a lot of very skilled artists use it.
          I my opinion because they have seen others produce stunning work with it, and want to do so themselves.
          But Blenders UI can be improved, but the main goal shouldn't be to recruit new users, but to make it even more efficient than it is allready.
          Just my opinion offcourse.

          • Colleyd

            ZBrush is terrible with most of its interface. What it does right is creating the best sculpting feel of any program out there. If that aspect of Zbrush wasn't well worked out, there wouldn't have been good art made in it to begin with, and the tool would have never taken off. People have to see the potential in the tool, or they'll never practice at it to become good.

            Blender is almost to that point, I think. Cycles, sculpting, ability to draw to surfaces for retopo.. It has some great tools. The program as it works just isn't enticing enough to the larger field of artists. If they make it easier to use, I think more artists will discover it, and once that happens, the program will get over the threshold. Artists will be able to talk about the tool for its capabilities, and not get stuck in conversations about its usability.

          • Marouane Er-rouhi

            i don't think the Zbrush interface is that bad, maybe hard to learn , but not bad

          • BigPilot

            Andrew's proposal does BOTH, that's the beauty of it! I'm disappointed that you didn't see that.

          • MuhammedTAN

            I Totally Agree With That!
            It's very nice we have some changes in UI.
            "But it's goal shouldn't be to recruit new users."
            I have only one thing to say about people who doesn't like changes: " In history of humanity, any change, any revolution had the exact same problem; the people those are scary of changes. " Get Over It Man! Get Over and Get Used To!

          • knowles2

            Zbrush did something unique when it was first release and thus attracted artist who wanted to use this new capability. Blender isn't.

          • NJ Boyd

            I know it's a month late but I have to agree with Colleyd's poins on ZBrush, I've used it, hell, we were trained in it at Uni and I love it's feature set, but it's finicky file handling, frustrating and generally overcrowded UI drive me insane. It's the same trouble that I have with the Blender UI, except to a greater extent, the difficulty in migrating from pretty much anything from UDK to Unity editor to Blender is frankly ludicrous. Different can be a blessing, but when it makes even simple tasks a wholly different procedure to whatever other program you may happen to be using, all it does is drive potential users away and for those that stick with it, slow down their productivity until they've memorised: "Workflow X for Blender, Workflow Y for everything else!"

      • DcVertice

        "You obviously have no idea" and do you tell that to copy the graphite toolbar of 3DsMax is "make blender more different"?? of course... xD

        Graphite toolbar, similar to ribbon toolbar, that nobody uses...

        • Colleyd

          Graphite was introduced in 2010. No one uses it, because it's an afterthought by the developers. I don't even really consider it 3dsMax, but if that's your point, sure.. I guess this afterthought redundant toolbar that was wedged into the UI 3 years ago is similar in placement to the proposed bar.
          I add, though, that placement isn't really the big concept I see in this video. It's about streamlining the user experience. I'm not exactly a fan of the horizontal bar (vertical space is the most limited on monitors), but I appreciate the concepts behind it.

          • DcVertice

            I don't know why dev make this, but three years after all people think that this bar is useless. And this toolbar is similar to the proposal.

      • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

        I aggree. Although if we want to see Blender take off like Zbrush, the UI isn't the main problem. It is stability.
        At first I didn't even want to learn Zbrush because I just hate how the interface is. I constantly click on wrong buttons, and the sliders are a nightmare to adjust precisely. But then I realized that it gives amazing artistic freedom, and since then I don't even care about the interface problems.

      • PhysicsGuy

        I strongly disagree with the statement that toolbars work. What a toolbar does is make you move you mouse far to achieve something and to look away from what you are doing. This is a direct violation that the ui shouldn't make the user switch contexts to often. That is why one should not have a toolbar: if there is a toolbar, newbies will use it and never learn the shortkeys. And the shortkeys are what makes the workflow work in blender.

        • Colleyd

          So you expect new users to memorize hotkeys before they get to using the program?
          How about.. you create tiny graphics that link to program functions, so that it doesn't take up much screen space. When the user mouses over these graphics, it displays the name of the tool and their hotkey. The new user can then learn what it is and don't have to keep going back to the graphic, gaining that skill you describe.
          But then.. that is a toolbar!

          • BeeDoublejou

            the classic Blender user has learned those shortcuts over months or years; workarounds have been discovered error by error; and you guys want to throw this over board, just to get some young facebook people using your software occasionally ?

          • multiart

            I agree with both hot keys are a special part of blenders. but people should have the option to choose which they prefer. like me for example most buttons i'm always looking for the hot keys but sometimes just click the button. but once I got the hot key I never touch that button again.

          • PhysicsGuy

            No need to be sarcastic. I indeed expect people to learn hotkeys. I did too. What is the problem? I learned to use VI and am much more productive for it.

        • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

          Actually, if that would be the case, then people working with Maya or Photoshop would have never learned the shortcuts for their repective software. So you're wrong there.
          Plus, making good CG stuff takes time, but it does matter, what you spend time with. You spend time with playing around with the features of the software to get te results you need, or you spend time learning how to use it. Larger userbase, means better chances to Blender to take off.

          • multiart

            I don't understand what people mean about blender taking off. In my opinion blender is above all the other softwares. to me let blender file exchange more easy from blender to maya or 3dmax, let them interact with each other like bringing your work from 2.66 to 2.8 then see if maya or 3dmax not gonna want to buy out blender because 80% of their customers would switch to blender. the reason the top softwares are at the top is because they charge an arm and a leg to afford them there fore they have the resource to top programmer. to blenders programmers are better because they help out their fellow man.just like the bible back then only the rich was able to read it but because of some good hearted people similar to what blender is doing now the bible is the #####1 book in the world so keep it up blender your almost there. eventhough you're already there.

          • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

            multiart, the autodesk softwares are not widely used because they are pricy. They are far more stable then Blender currently, and on top of that all the established companies have working pipelines built on them. You should read the thread Andrew opened on CGSociety here: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&t=1127034
            You will realize that Blender has a lot to prove before becoming the no 1. tool for the things it can do. Just because Blender is open source, and free, doesn't make it instantly better then the professional packages. This is a biased opinion, and it hurts the reputation of the software.

          • multiart

            your right contmike but like I said their programers are well paid. so its no competition.

          • knowles2

            I know people who earn a descent wage using Photoshop and in-design, they never use short cuts on te keyboard. An yes making CG takes time, which is why we should have people wasting time learning a new UI that don't follow even basic standards.

        • http://www.cresshead.com cresshead

          the shortcut keys are the ONLY way to be productive which means only hardcore blender users will stick with 1 3d app, unlike studios that use many apps...this will result in poor take up by studios and new users...if you want to keep blender a quirky 3d app used by a handful of users then don't change a thing.

    • Triskelion

      Dismissing this suggestion as by someone with too much free time, Is disingenuous. If you had watched his previous videos you would see he has conscientiously researched UI design, not merely tried to clone some other package.
      It deserves a proper thought out response not a baseless attack. Shame on you.

      • DcVertice

        Yeah, he has researched about UI design and the other days the ideas was good, but he have not reasearched about the GUI that need a user that work 10-12 hours all days. Users that need to save time, because the time is money, because the deadlines don't know nothing about "I have changed the gui to something better for the new people"...

        • Colleyd

          I don't see how this proposal slows down production. I think you're making an assumption that easier to use means slower. I didn't hear anything about destroying the existing hotkeys.

          Streamlining the interface and organizing common tools will probably help many people be more productive, and will make it faster to learn for new employees learning Blender. In my production environment, where we may pick up a new animator twice a year, it would save a hell of a lot of time to have a more accessible UI.

          • timmyelliot

            I agree. I think don't think this will slow production.

            I'm assuming someone with experience will start to hide UI elements and make heavy use of short-cuts.

        • Triskelion

          Other than your assertion, that the current interface is faster, you aren't making any concrete points on why this suggestion is slower?

          The re-organized sculpt panel would definitely be a great help to me.The settings are currently spread over 3 disparate areas. Gathering them together is a great suggestion. I don`t see how that could possibly be a bad thing.

          You should apologize for your previous first comment, and ask the mods to remove it. Then we will be able to take your comments more seriously, and we can focus our energy on having a respectful and inclusive debate.

          • DcVertice

            I will not apologize for my first comment.

            And if you don't see the problem of change of a modular GUI to a single tab... well, I think that I don't need tell nothing more.

            -Now I can edit UVs at same time that I edit the mesh. In differents monitors. With the proposal I will lost that. I only can do ONE THING because this is "task orientated".
            - Now I can edit nodes at same time that I see a fullscreen result.
            - Now I can configure the views like I want.
            - Now I can put a outliner out of my window, in other, and put differents outliners with differents views.
            - Now I can do whatever I want with the GUI.
            - Now I can put differents views in differents monitors.
            - Now I can select ALL the tools with the actual tools bars in few seconds. In the proposal we lost 90% of that in a ribbon toolbar.
            - The GUI is for single monitor...

            Sorry, but I cannot tell all the things that we will lost only to make more friendly the interface.

          • Triskelion

            Now, it would have been much better if that had been your first post! Then we could actually talk about the matter in hand. Not just slinging insults.

            Good, they are concrete reasons. Clearly described. That is useful information, I hope the devs will take it into account.

            But I don't see why any of them are mutually exclusive with improving the blender interface. Andrews video is just about suggestions. I trust the devs 100% to take any suggestions, and decide to implement them or not. They will integrate it in a way that will be a add to blender without removing previous functions.

            I mentioned before, a dedicated sculpt panel with all the options grouped together would be fantastic! I think it could turn out to be blenders killer-app.

        • salvis

          Very true. The ribbon is horrible for people who actually know how to use a program. I have seen too many types of software "dumbed down" for new users (or those who shouldn't be using it) and it takes MORE clicks to do the same task. Autocad, Office, and Mathcad are three examples. Mathcad used to let you have floating toolbars where you could do a single click for your favorite functions, now you have to go through a ribbon an click at least twice (not to mention waiting for the pallet to appear between each click). It takes 10x longer than having the function already visible and just clicking it. You can feel the stupidity oozing from the ribbon UI. Ribbon may be ok for new users or people who don't know how to use computers. Most of the time Ribbon was used to attract more new customers to a previously saturated user base while slowing down power customers. I'm glad Photoshop doesn't use the ribbon.

          • Triskelion

            "(or those who shouldn’t be using it)"
            Come on! Opensource is about making the software available for everybody.

          • DaedalJS

            now hold on a minute... the ribbon isn't that bad in autoCAD or Inventor or Revit.
            i learned autoCAD before it got a ribbon and my workflow remained virtually unchanged once it got the ribbon.
            i still used the same shortcuts like someone who knows how to use the software would do... you know... instead of clicking like a noob.
            i work just as fast or faster with a ribbon than without one.
            a well designed ribbon puts the most common tools easily at your disposal (in a single click if you really want to click) while also putting lesser used secondary tools/functions in quick access without having to clutter everything up with a million buttons at once.
            it's faster once you adjust to it instead of just complaining like everyone else who's also adjusting to it.

    • fatsnacker

      Man, the eejuts just come out of the wood work don't they?

      He offered up his opinion for DISCUSSION.

      You have evidently forgotten that this is normal behavior for adults wishing to see potential improvements in Blender.

      Its nice you are obviously using Blender in Nursery, but please come back when you have grown up a bit more.

      11 years onward should be around the right age to be able to enter into an adult conversation.

      • DcVertice

        I have a adult conversation, the problem is that for some people to tell "make a GUI for idiots" is a really affront... but you can tell that I use blender in a nursery and it's not a problem.

        • fatsnacker

          You started your version of an Adult conversation with

          I knowed that all this “littles” ideas had only one target… change all the interface to a MAX/Photoshop copy for idiots because one guy want this and have a lot of free time to make this proposal.

          http://images.wikia.com/dragonball/images/a/a7/Facepalm_227785.jpg

          GTFU

          • DcVertice

            Problem???

            I have seen the rest of the days little proposals and now I see the real goal, change all the GUI to a photoshop-max look. If you want propose this GUI do it the first day, because the rest of videos are not necessary for this changes

          • BeeDoublejou

            totally agree with DrVertex:
            we shouldn't change Blender:
            2.69 should be the final release, it is perfect and final and can not get any better

    • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

      I'm sure that the absolute majority of users are not experts in python, math or complex labyrinths of nodes in the node editor.

      The common user want just focus on his work and not on "what the hell is the shortcut for this?". Blender cannot carry on being an encripted world. Otherwise it will be back in the race to win new users. And for a software that would be death.

      Although this, I'm sure that Blender team will keep the option of the old interface side by side of the new interface, so the minority will also be take on account.

      • DcVertice

        Do you have used sometime maya, houdini, lighwave,....???

        • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

          Hi, DcVertice.

          Beside Blender, I use Vue. And it's not perfect (no software is perfect) but it is a practical tool. An artist can use Vue almost immediately, cause it is very intuitive.

    • oocaballerom

      This will do that the Blender Community grow up, more users, more improvements, more addons and new technology, Blender is for everyone not only for the old users. Is awesome that someone in the world proposed to make this big change.

      Although it still Uncooked...

    • http://www.behance.net/hperticarati/frame/all Henrique Perticarati

      Oh my God! You are so mean!

      No no, wait! You're not mean! I guess you are a 12 year old boy trying to get some attention.

      People are afraid of/hate what they not understand or what is different than what they are used with. And obviously you match both options.

      Andrew is not seeking change for the change. He does Blender for living. Why would he put in risk his career, followers and customers, just for fun?

      Blender is an awesome software, and being Open Source or not, there are many complains from inside and outside the community about the interface.

      I guess all these discussions happened in a similar way on the 2.49 -> 2.5 interface revamp. And guess what? I got better!

      Shame on you for being so mind closed. Congratulations Andrew! As part of an Open Source community, it is all duty as users, designers and developers to seek what is the best for the software and for the people that use it.

      And DcVertice: most of all, if the Blender Foundation decides to change everything, you are also able to take your precious money (as a hard worker I guess you are, talking about other's free time), and pay a developer to keep a Blender branch just for your personal use.

      Keep that in mind: Blender is Open Source software, it is mantained by the Blender Foundation (wich makes a wonderful job, I really admire Ton), but it is powered and kept living by the community and user base. Andrew Price is a Blender user for almost 10 years now. I guess he knows something about it.

      • Dr. Caballo

        +1

      • riemenschneider

        I agree completely. Current Blender's interface is in my opinion a very smart and very logical, once you know it. I suspect that for new users is very difficult to comprehend. Similarly, for users of other applications. I used the 4 maybe 5 years Softimage XSI and Maya. It took me a long time to learn how to use Blender in an efficient and fast way. If no tutorials from BlenderGuru , CgCookie and now PolskiKursBlendera, I would leave the program.

    • http://www.behance.net/MasterMason Mason
    • ff777

      As Andrew mentioned several times, this is a proposal for discussion. I am afraid that the words that you wrote does not correspond to constructive discussion. Andrew has made a great work to explain his ideas and also his proposals.
      We can listen to your comments or arguments if you have valid ones.
      But please do not make us loose our time with insults.

    • thednx

      Where to start on this comment?
      1. Calling starters / switchers / pros from other software suites "idiots" is arrogant, narrow-minded and short-sighted. What does a software suite need for popularity? New users. What drives development in the first place? Old and...guess what? New Users. If only people with too much time on their hands doing a lot of guesswork learn and use the product, its not going to grow very well long-term, is it?
      2. Second, i owe a -lot- to Andrew and his tutorials. He covers tons of various aspects, and am sure he spent days / weeks coming up with this proposal to make Blender even better. Photoshop wouldnt be Photoshop if it didnt a) have an intuitive interface and b) yes, cater to its users. Have a look at Microsoft Office and compare it with open source versions. Functionality is mostly there: using and understanding it is the problem.

      A great writer will walk away from an office suite if it is too much hassle to learn and use in the first place, a great artist will shrug his shoulders and move on to other mainstream products if the GUI interface (NOT the program itself!) is too much of a hassle to learn.

      -And more artists is what Blender needs-.

      Peace out.

    • basroil2

      I've been trying to get others at my lab to use blender for their presentations instead of cropped, resized, and recolored ansys screenshots or grainy camera shots for years now. All of them loved the idea until they tried it, and not a single user has bothered to spend more than 30 min because the UI is absolute garbage.

      Even I have issues with the UI, and I've been using blender since the pre-2 days. In fact, the new UI is simply a streamlined and modern version of the old version 1 designs, and how all programs are being made nowadays. Everything from MS Office (one of the first to implement tabbed ribbon interface) to Autocad (which used to have a blender like interface) have changed their UIs, and after initial complaints from people with zero UI creation knowledge (like you), people got used to it and eventually found it much easier to use.

      And no, photoshop has absolutely none of the UI features discussed in the video, other than progress bars, cancel button, and ability to see what layer you're working on (all of which are undeniably necessary). Max only recently implemented ribbon UI elements, but it's still mostly old UI and the ribbon sections just feel tacked on. Blender has a chance to one up Max by actually taking usability to the next level. And if you really don't like it you can always make your own skins thanks to blender's very modular design.

    • Phil2.0

      The target? It seems to make it easy for early beginners. But until when are you a beginner? CGI is serious work, with a lot of time dedication. You can't simplify everything and keep it powerful. People making stuff are able to pass this "learning curve".
      I'm not saying Blender's UI is perfect but Andrew's proposition is just way off.

    • seanwaller

      Left for select, Right for menus... How very Amiga, feels right , is right..

    • jackienp

      Why Photoshop UI not good?

    • timmyelliot

      "I knowed that all this “littles” ideas had only one target… change all the interface to a MAX/Photoshop copy for idiots because one guy want this and have a lot of free time to make this proposal."

      The idea is for users of Max or Photoshop or Maya or even MS Word -- any any other application that follows a general UI convention. -- can get up an running right away. If you know MS Word, you can work your way around blender.

      I like the idea of making it for "idiots." It follows a similar reasoning as the seminal UI book, "Don't Make Me Think."

    • artpen

      Andrew,

      Thanks for your work and I know it is just an idea, BUT PLEASE don't make 3ds Max / Microsoft office UI !!!
      Let's look to Modo UI style it is looks more like blender.

      Cheers

    • robstawithlove

      I use Blender professionally, because it is an amazing tool, but I agree that the interface could and should be overhauled for the reasons that Andrew gives. Forget Photoshop or MAX or whatever, and think rather of the noob that gives up in frustration because the workflow requires too much research while trying to do the simplest of things. DcVertice, your comment is purely divisive. Firstly nobody really has that much free unpaid time to go to the lengths that Andrew has to analyse and think about this topic, and if you have seen the work that Andrew has done to teach people skills you would value the effort. Secondly, you come from an "us vs them" mentality and calling people "idiots" underscores the attitude - please realise that UI design is a science and there may well be a convergence of features, because humans tend to work in a certain way for optimum effect. I personally welcome a new UI as it would help me in my efforts to set up an effective Open Source studio without training, training, training just to find the buttons. According the GNU GPL License, Andrew is within his rights to execute this and sell it and make money, but instead he is handing it back to the community so that all may benefit. That is the philosophy we should all aspire to.

    • rafa11

      Hi. Sorry but I don't agree with you completely. It's not "one guy", it's Andrew Prize (The Blender Guru), and he is not proposing it because he has a lot of time, it is because he studied a lot of books and we have at least to show some respect to his hard work. I like the interface, and he is right in various aspects he comments. But also he explained why. The only thing I don't like is that the new interface would become more rigid. Let me explain. I did not see a button in the tabs to change it to another editor type. I did not see that you can change it to vertical or horizontal, neither an option to divide it or conbine it with other, like all in blender had. The greatest thing about blender interface was that you could change it however you want, and this feature would loose with this new interface. The side bar, the 3d view, the toolbar, everything is fixed and you cannot change it. So I think that this interface would need this feature and then, for me is perfect, eye catching, intuitive and functional, but also, the user can decide if he leave it like this or if he change something to his comfort. That's my "humilde" opinion. Sorry for my bad english and I hope this can help to the brainstorm.
      Greets,
      Rafa11

  • JoolsMcFly

    These suggestions make sense. What would be nice is to have the choice between Blender's legacy UI and a new, more industry standard one. It would please all ( ? ) audiences.
    Granted new features would need to be ported to the new UI but they could still be available the old way.

    • http://blendernerd.com Greg Zaal

      That'd be a nightmare to code.

      • Andreas_Walsh

        This would be easy to code. All menu items and icons just point to common entry points in the code base. It's just a matter of arranging those menus and icons. A lot of software allow the possibility of arranging UI and saving it as you want - that's become a common practice.

        • Phil2.0

          > I think Andrew has a great background, and knowledge about design.

          Which is? Where's his short? his movie? Is he a CGI professional? No, he makes a lot of talk, youtube video (clicks pays) and tutorials pretending to make a guru-from-a-noob of you.
          But I won't deny his talent to entertain people and capture the attention but it's proportional to time he doesn't spend on creation.

          > Maybe you get more professional colleagues and having Blender on your CV will finally be seen as something more serious..

          Stop with this FUD if you want to be recognized by your peers (CGI professionals), make "industry grade" artworks, the tool, they simply don't care about.

    • Triskelion

      Yes, agree with Greg.
      It would double the work on adding any new features/changes in the interface.
      It could probably lead a situation where new features would only be available in "interface Classic".

      • BeeDoublejou

        so, kill the old UI and keep the short cuts

  • http://mathieu-auvray.tumblr.com matray

    Very nice and clever ideas, as usual ! If you can manage to simplify all the complicated things I've spend 7 years to learn on this software, and make it easier for me and new users, you have my 100% support ! (PS : to the DcVertice troll : If you think Max and photoshop users are stupid fools, you should take a look (and then remove your palm from your face for once) at what they can achieve and imagine how great it would be to have them playing with Blender more easily...)

    • DcVertice

      I have used Max the last fifteen years and I use this software all the days, you don't need tell me nothing about max... But the GUI of max is a shit. A shit from 1996.

      Also, blender have great jobs with the actual GUI.

      • martineschoyez

        agreed 100% with max interface.

      • http://mathieu-auvray.tumblr.com matray

        Do you complain to Autodesk (people you must have give thousands of dollars to, right' ?) like you do here ? Did they listen to you ? hmmmm, I'm wondering why...
        Speaking of background, I'm working for ten years in Film and TV industry and simplifying and making easily accessible UI's (even though it's having common elements from other softwares) is what can happen the best to Blender, to my opinion. I do really like the actual interface, like you, and I don't want to loose it. But those improvement, if they lead to simplify my workflow and have more people working with me on this software, definitively needs more enthousiasm and ideas than simply say : MAX is shit, this looks like MAX, so this is shit.
        Why do you think 3DSMax have a bad UI ?
        Can you make a proposal based on your experience ? Or even explain what bothers you in it ? I don't know 3DSMax but I don't hear anything explaining why it's bad from your comment...
        I've worked with After Effects for 6 years as a professionnal and I totally hate it especially when it starts to looks like an Ipad. But still. It's simple, clear, accessible and easy to learn. And what bothers me with this software isn't UI related. The inner code didn't changed as years go by (still no decent tracker integrated for exemple, so many plugins to make something good out of it...) so I hated it.
        But this is a great UI that is cleverly think.

        • DcVertice

          Why I think that Max have a bad UI??? because you can not do nothing in the 3dsmax UI.

          - You need a new window to make the UVW
          - You need a special program to paint the model, because the max tools is really bad.
          - You need a new windows to make scripts
          - you need a new windows to see the material nodes
          - you cannot add a outliner in a moment in a side.
          - you cannot hide all the bars.
          - you cannot access to every tool easily (in blender is really better)
          - you cannot configure the viewports like you want.
          - you cannot work easily in two monitors
          ....
          ...
          ..

          I don't know who somebody can tell that the UI of 3dsmax is good, because is a shit. And all my partners tell that 3dsmax is a shit, everyone. Because 3dsmax is a really bad program that need a lot of third party software, plugins, addons,... to make the same that blender makes in the same GUI. But 3dsmax is a "standard" with a lots of limitations.

          In blender we have the BEST GUI that I have seen in any program, a GUI for the real users¿That you can do a lot of things with 3dsmax? Yeah... and I have seen people working with MSpaint and painting a Gioconda.

          The only thing that blender need is a simple tutorial to explain four or five concept to the new people.

          • http://mathieu-auvray.tumblr.com matray

            Is there anything in your list that Andrew has suggested to implement for Blender's new UI ?

          • DcVertice

            You have asked for problems with the max UI and I answer that. Don't change my words.

          • http://mathieu-auvray.tumblr.com matray

            Sorry I don't want to trick you, but what bothers you in MAX isn't in Andrew's proposal. I'm just trying to understand.

          • DcVertice

            Not, I could write a lot of the andrew proposal. But I have answered about other thing.

            If you want my opinion about the andrew proposal you only need read the opinion of other users that use blender for big projects. I don't want the proposal because destroy a perfect workflow to make a worst GUI only to complain the amateurs. Like the stupid proposal of change "normal map" name that the other day we see...

            The people that are happy with this changes are people that need few features of blender, people that don't want blender, want other thing. More easy, because to know four or five concepts of the UI is "complex" and they don't know blender power.

            I can tell that the GUI of blender is the more POWERFULL of all the 3D programs.

          • hankheathen

            Bravo DcVertice!

            Your skill in presenting a thought-provoking argument is matched only by your grasp of the English language, and your ability to lie about your experience.

            You haven't worked with 3DS Max for 15 years, and you don't work 10-12 hours a day.

            You've made these ridiculous claims in a pathetic, desperate bid to give the impression that you have some kind of credibility.

            You've shown respect for neither your fellow commenters, nor the spirit of this discussion.

            I don't think anyone here likes childish angry liars, so maybe you should take it elsewhere.

          • DcVertice

            ¿o_O?

          • DcVertice

            I'm asking me why the "intelligent" people think that my english level is an argument.

          • DaedalJS

            in reply to what you've listed that you lose with this proposal and problems with max's UI

            needing a special program to paint a model because the max tools are really bad is not a UI problem it's a tool functionality problem.

            you basically say a lot of problems with Max's UI is that you can't split viewports and such like you can with blender and that you need a new window for a lot of different things. splitting viewports in blender is basically adding a new window. adding new windows is hardly an issue if you're spreading them across different monitors anyway.

            easy access to blender's tools has more to do with using shortcut keys than how those tools are presented.

            having a UI like this doesn't have anything to do with being able to split viewports and move things to different screens. you should still be able to do that even with a ribbon UI.

          • BeeDoublejou

            "The only thing that blender need is a simple tutorial to explain four or five concept to the new people."

            so just do it .... wait ... didnt certified trainers tried to eplain the usage for years now ... !?

  • endi

    blender has the best ui in the world...
    I am very sad now... I hope developers will not change the ui...

    but I know, all good thing will end

    I am very sad now... thank you Andrew Price... :/

    • http://blendernerd.com Greg Zaal

      I think it's important to remember that the devs aren't retarded monkeys - some of them know a lot about UIs and they're not going to screw it up. Some of Andrew's ideas are good and can be implemented, but in my opinion I don't think that any drastic changes will come from this whole UI debacle.

      Still, whatever happens, the devs obviously have the best intentions for blender's future and we should try to get over our fear of breaking the program we love - just look at the 2.4 - 2.5 switch, a lot of people hated the 2.5 interface and how some features disappeared, but in the end it was a much better program.

      • benjaminad

        Good point Greg. It's not like Blender is going to change with the next version. Blender has always made small steps with each build (with the exception of 2.49 to 2.5 of course) and the developers have done a great job with it. I do hope that the UI does change though. I really liked Andrew's point about having to think too hard about what buttons or sliders to tweak and spend valuable time doing it when I should really be focused on the art itself. By the way, thanks for your tuts! I've learned a lot from them.

      • knowles2

        How is this a debacle, if anything it the devs that have constant debacles with Blender UI.

    • http://contmike.wix.com/contmike3d contmike

      Sorry, but Blender doesn't have the best UI in the world. It isn't bad, but the things Andrew listed would greatly improve it. In my opinion the best UI goes to Maya. I never had any problems with it, and it is really dymanic. If Blender is the best in something it is modeling. I could never work with any other program as fast as with Blender.

  • chimp

    Hey Andrew,
    thank you for all the work.

    Maybe you could do a mock-up of your interface that looks a bit more like blender? The top bar smaller and blender- grey. Making everything more streamlined and task orientated can be a real help but it is also a step away from learning how to handle complex software. For example nuke. If you know blender, chances are you are not intimidated by it's interface. There is nothing wrong with a nice and friendly workflow, but for me it look's like you want to add training wheels.

    Simply not my cup of tea. Want it all grey, small and technical.

    • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

      I agree completely, well put. Make the workflow simpler and friendly, but no training wheels for the users, they have to grow up at some point and I think we can expect a little more from someone wanted to be a 3D artist.

    • knowles2

      This interface would reduce people training times with the software and reduce the need for tutorials in blender.

  • greg p

    This makes a whole lot of sense, although not a perfect solution, it still very good.
    Like the difference between using hand tools versus power tools?
    Blender is getting increasingly powerful, and polishing its use-abilty can surely only benefit users. I think it takes way too long to learn 3d (even if its modo, max or whatever), and any thing that speeds a new users path can't just be trolled away.
    If you compare blender 2.4 to 2.68, c'mon people, we are in a whole different place now, need to progress the interface to the many, many added features since 2.4.(I still use 2.4x occasionally, in fact doing Gamekit2 tutorials on it right now.)

  • martineschoyez

    I think that this proposal has good intentions, but this mockup is far worse than the actual interface. I hope it really gets improved.

    • fatsnacker

      Its a mockup for discussion and from it you get the general idea.

      • martineschoyez

        well, i don't like it too much. I've been a Blender user from 6 years ago and i think that the UI is one of the bests that i've seen. Of course it need improvement, but i think that this is not the way. A good example on improvement was the 2.4 to 2.5 version.

        • basroil2

          I've been using it since before 2.4 (dabbled with 1.8 on my oldest comp because, hell, it fit on a floppy!), but stopped for a while when I had access to 3ds and NX, and while there have been many improvements you just can't say it doesn't need an overhaul. A lot of the old UI elements just don't make sense anymore, and were around mainly due to hardware and software limitations (only so much screen space on a 800x600 or 1024x768 17" screen, tiny compared to the standard 1080+ 22"+ screens of today) rather than an actual need for them. How many times do you need to click in an area less than 1% of the screen multiple times just to change tabs and click something? Most people either lose time with the current layout or just know all the short cuts, and while the latter has no need for a UI change, the former WILL benefit even if it takes some time to get used to the new layout.

  • Rhys

    I can understand many areas to improve on blender and some concepts in the video. Things like notifications and more clarity is great.

    However, ribbon interface???, I did spew.
    Where's the make cool movie button, or the preset Audi R8 shape button?

    Show me how you are going to access the 1500+ operators in Blender, the tools that get the work done!

    This is another proposal which buries 85% of Blenders functionality and only provides access to presets and the simplest tools.
    Add glossy material to model downloaded from blendswap (which was made in modo) then press render.
    It's like DAZ or Poser, do people make the models or assets IN those applications??

    Blender is where the whole process of creating a 3d render starts, it's technical. If you want anything different about your glossy material you're going to have to understand some nodes/ shaders.

    This is not Photoshop or Word or Windows Live Mail. You can't simply create the content in a WYSIWYG fashion where text is text and scribbles on a screen are just like drawing with a pencil.
    3D content applications are much more abstracted, (unless you're doing stuff within heavily limiting applications)

    You really need to understand what makes up a 3d scene (verticies, triangles, shaders, UV mapping, coordinates, rigging.....etc) to be successful in the tasks Blender is targeted up for.

    In my opinion the most major problem with Blender interface at the moment is viewport performance. This is the most limiting to any of my projects (which is supposed to pay my bills).
    Because the Viewport is so slow I have to spend alot of time working around that, switching layers/draw methods/ proxies/ modifiers etc etc.

    After that not having a lovely asset browser is a real drain, not only on speed of work but also ability to wade through thousands of assets to pick the one I want, I'll just end up with using the object I remember from the last scene which is a compromise damaging the final result.

    I wish someone would start some fundraiser for work on a (fantastic) asset browser. I will be there with my wallet.

    • http://www.visnevskis.com/ Konstantins

      Totally agree.

    • DcVertice

      +1

    • SaphireS

      +1

      I'm totally in for a usable layer manager tough!

    • http://mathieu-auvray.tumblr.com matray

      Very interesting too !
      But as I work with 3D software you're doing the same things over and over again : toothbrushs, packshots, cars, humans, rigs, monsters... I think it's time for software to be clever than us (they already are processing faster than us) on those automated tasks that we struggle to do the most efficient way. It's like when you do some key or roto, you want to be able to access to every info on every pixel to manually be able to tweak them ! I'm glad if I can press a button that get a good clean for this Green screen !
      And when the green screen is badly lighted, or isn't there at all, then I want to dig into the specifics to use my knowledge !
      If blender can be, by it's UI, more clever on eveyday tasks without removing it's 15,000 operators (that you don't use everyday...) it's fine by me.
      And again, this isn't 2.7, but ideas I suppose and I hope Blender can manage to keep it's "personnality" that we all like !

    • DaedalJS

      "Show me how you are going to access the 1500+ operators in Blender, the tools that get the work done!

      This is another proposal which buries 85% of Blenders functionality and only provides access to presets and the simplest tools."

      right because we all know that right now when you're modeling in blender it's so obvious how to access things like extrude, loop cut, scale, rotate, move, fill tools, and the knife tool. those are what do most of the work if you're modeling in blender. i assume you know how to access them by shortcuts anyway.
      that won't change with this kind of interface it just makes it much easier to find out that you can actually do those things.
      also i'm pretty sure that you underestimate the amount of time you spend swapping through options in one window or another just to get at those 1500+ operators in blender that apparently you use all the time for every task.

      you obviously haven't heard of the 80/20 rule... where 80% of the work is done by 20% of the tools.
      this kind of interface doesn't bury functionality it just presents what you're likely to use when you're likely to use it and the less used options are in a side panel/tab/menu somewhere. i don't know if you just haven't used a program with a tabbed ribbon interface or what but THE RIBBON CHANGES WITH EACH TAB! things you use while modeling aren't the same things you use while rigging or sculpting or in the node editor.
      so while there may be some overlap you don't actually use most of blender's capabilities most of the time.
      you really only need access to a small portion at any given time and that portion just changes when you move from one task to another. which is why there are tabs for the ribbon in this proposal.

    • cekuhnen

      In certain parts Andrew's points are right.

      It is annoying to have to go to the texture properties to edit the texture for the 3D paint or sculpt.

      The same is true for working fullscreen and wanting to add a modifier.

      But that is the concept of central data presentation in propertie buttons.

      The idea of tabs hardly makes sense for Blender because besides modeling and rendering you also have camera tracking etc and all those make heavily use of the tool bar.

      I would rather propose to clean up the toolbar and property panels and make them more focused on presenting less and focus on dedicated tasks such as:

      Tool bar only showing modeling tools and not the tool option.

      Property panel for example show only options that are relevant to the select object and 3d cursor stuff - maybe layer can be included there.

      But the rest of the proposal looks to me like a lot of time invested into a fancy presentation that shows an interface concept that I am not convinced if this tab idea really will work with for example storing and presenting all the data of the toolbar when you are inside the movie clip editor.

      Today I did a perspective image tracking with the BLAM add-on. So how will this then work in the tab?

      Plus I think the ribbon toolbar is way too big. For sure the interface looked cleaner but is it that much more flexible and productive?

    • http://jackamandesign.co.uk jimbo45uk

      I have to Agree here,
      I was a Cinema 4D user for many years and I loved the interface, with icons and tool bars to boot. I will admit that Cinema's interface made learning the basics much easier. But even after six or so years of using it I was constantly feeling like I was scratching the surface. A lot of the programs power was hidden under the gui. In the two years I have been using Blender I have now understood 3D production and compositing far more than in the years using C4D. It sort of forces you to learn to use it in the most productive way possible. I am not saying it is easy, but if you are familiar with 3D concepts, it will only take about a week of basic tutorials to get you to work around the interface. I DO LOVE the customisability of it's current design. I understand that some of the menu panels are getting cluttered and messy. But adding Tabs and Tool bars are not totally solving that. It is hard to tell without using a real demo of the proposal (Something I am sure Andrew has no time for ;) ) I would like some things in the panels made clearer / simpler (such as render options and Cycles features) But generally the interface works. All of this is just opinion, I remember seeing 2.4 and trying it and failing. Then 2.5 came and things started to click. I have mentioned before in a post that people tend to learn things when they have a REASON to learn them. Making people have a REASON to learn Blender will improve it's take up more than an interface change.

    • http://stormstudios.no Ragnar

      The OpenGL viewport performance is a big issue, and there have been GSOC projects on it, they just haven't been integrated in Blender yet. I would much rather see the developers prioritize that over UI changes. The great sculpting, dynatopo and retopo tools in Blender, would be even more usefull with a faster viewport.

      While I do apreciate what Andrew is trying to do, I disagree with a lot of his choices. Blender is a complex professional programs, and we can't really apply the same usability rules you would to someting like a website where things need to be obvious at a glance.

      • basroil2

        I think you need to face the elephant in the room, Blender is NOT a professional program despite incredible things people can do in it. For one, it doesn't charge money at any level, and because of that it has neither the LTS nor actual support staff necessary to be a professional program. On top of that, view-port optimizations mean significant code time, and possible breaking of hundreds of plugins. Recoding the UI will make a ton of plugins look out of place (until they are updated), but it would take much less time and cause far fewer issues than rewriting the core code.

        And while you think we shouldn't make blender modeling as easy as surfing the web, I can bet you that the idea is a minority one. A UI is not supposed to be a computer interface, where a user talks to the computer in a language it can understand (sliders, menus, flat out coding), rather a user interface, where the computer guides the user in a language the USER can best understand. Right now blender has hit a wall in how user friendly it can be while still offering all the options needed for advanced work, a new UI that just brings the simple, often used stuff to light while hiding, temporarily, the rare and complicated settings would benefit new and old users alike. Too many people are focusing on the few hundred professional/semi-pro users that resist change like congress resists common sense. There are far more amateur users of blender than professional ones, but for every amateur that uses blender and eventually does something cool, there are likely hundreds or even thousands that get trapped by the absolutely horrible UI.

        And looking further down the road, a wider acceptance of blender, through new UI, would likely mean more happy users, and happy users are far more likely to donate a few bucks. On top of that, that many users from all levels means blender's far more likely to get grants from major corporations like AMD, Nvidia, and Intel, not just in money but technical support too. That extra funding and help could then be put back into tools and improvements the advanced users want, like optimizations for viewing and rendering (just imagine release time support for new graphics cards, autocad like support for professional level cards through ogl, and perhaps several times fewer crashes ).

    • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

      This ^

  • http://www.visnevskis.com/ Konstantins

    Please no tabs! Or at least in a way user can get rid of them. They do look fancy and give impression of usability, but in long term are quite inefficient.

    Totally agree on ctrl+click for 3D cursor. 3d cursor is a great feature, but I move it by accident all the time.

    • cekuhnen

      This is a must because for a such important tool you can to quickly by accident move it! Fully agree!

    • Triskelion

      You're not the only one. :)

    • Zecc

      Yes! And like I've said before, cursor changes should be possible to added to the undo stack.

    • basroil2

      Try checking out http://officeblogs.net/UI/UX09_Harris.pdf for an idea of why it isn't an issue in the long term (i.e. graduate to keyboard shortcuts).

      And it's not "impression" of usability, it's applied statistics. Hell, if they just included a function counter in 2.70 (that sends back use statistics, enabled by default but option to turn it off in an easy to see place) they could tell you with high levels of certainty what buttons would improve your speed, how many are needed, and even the order of the buttons (using simple formulas). Hell, if you had a large enough pool you might even be able to replace the entire UI with a half dozen buttons that change depending on what the previous button press was (ridiculous example but would work for a good chunk of people)

  • Clemens

    Please don't change the UI. I'm using blender on everything from a eeePC 701 to windows surface pro and dual screen iMac and it feels so much more comfortable than the "industry standard" UIs on all those different resolutions. Blender is special. People who prefer "easy" UIs can use Sketchup and the like. I'm sorry, usually I appreciate everybody's initiative in improving Blender, and I appreciate all of Andrews tutorials, but in this case I don't. I don't hate Max and I love Maya, and I want blender to be an alternative, not an imitation. I hope Ton and the Devs will keep improving blender following their own very special philosophy, not some washed down democratic standard. Blender development has limited resources and in the past it was very wisely chosen where to invest these. If I was a blender developer I would have felt insulted by the fixing blender videos. The dev's know these design rules as they are designers kindergarden.
    As a designer you chose where to go the standard route and where not to. Otherwise we would still have mobilephones with rubber buttons.
    Blender is well designed. No fixing required.

    • Raph

      Clemens you've just speak my mind ! I fully agree with you.

    • PhysicsGuy

      I couldn't have said it better myself!

  • knekke

    Pleeeeaaassseeee.... NO ICON BASED TOOLBARS!!!!
    Text menus are so much cleaner, and you get much more stuff into it. Take a look at Softimage or Lightwave

    • zavigny

      Absolutely! Icons are just another layer of abstraction that forces you to decipher pictures back into words. Think about it: Isn't text itself an Icon also? I already know language and comprehend it's meaning immediately. For instance, the text (Icon) "Move" is instantly understood, whereas a picture of arrows pointing four different ways does not, and can be easily misunderstood. Is it a compass? Will the screen get bigger? Are we surrounded? What??

      If usability is the goal, why would you want to add another abstract layer on top of a universally understood text (Icon!) system?

      • Colleyd

        Except iconography is how people navigate the world. Words are just a string of icons in which the components have associated sounds.

        Test this. Create an array of pictures and a spreadsheet of one word descriptors for the pictures (clown, bunny, sun, etc..) Make it about 30 items. Show it to a friend and time how long it takes them to find an item. If you're so inclined, repeat this test for days. Images will always be found quicker than text, whether day one or day 20.

        • knekke

          Not if you have loads of pictures, that all look similar in a way. You can have much more commands in less space, and text is much easier to parse by my brain than images.

        • zavigny

          @Collyeyd: Your simple test is not applicable. You have switched the argument by asking for pictures of things (nouns), not actions (verbs).

          If I'd make a list of 30 types of specific ACTIONS, with a list of 30 images denoting those actions, I believe your theoretical results will be completely reversed.

          It is difficult for me to believe that you could ever pick out an image representing "Move" faster then it would take you picking out the word "Move".

          • Scott Amsberry

            Not to mention the fact that once we progress beyond the earliest stages of learning to read, we begin to recognize entire words and phrases at a glance. Only beginning readers and people confronted with unfamiliar words will need to read anything letter by letter.

            There are occasions where I'd like to see a simple icon along side the actual menu items. Selecting a cycles shader type from a menu might be a little quicker. Then again, arranging the shaders in a logical order would also help. Shouldn't they be alphabetical or something?

          • Colleyd

            This is fricken ridiculous.
            Toolbars save space and are easy to remember. A user can mouse over and read the tool name and remember generally their function. If they forget, they mouse over and know again in an instant. It will use a fraction of the space and be more distinct than text.

            I didn't even mention the myriad of ocular and mental issues that can make text hard to read. Icons can vary in shape and color that can make functionality accessible even to people who lost their glasses or struggle with dyslexia.

            I don't understand how there's any controversy here. Icons save space. They're easy to recognize after one or two uses. You can mouse over to get the tool name and hotkey. It's absolutely no brainer. Every successful program uses them, from microsoft word to perforce to firefox to skype to GD windows, linux and iOS!

          • knekke

            @collyeyd: Take a look at the preview image from the video of this thread, and then tell me again that icons take less space than text.... 'Disk-symbol' vs 'save'. Of course you could make the icons smaller, but then the whole point about icons being easily distinguishable from one another is gone. As for professional programs and OS stuff: personally my favourite apps are Nuke (which actually offers both ways Icon and text... I never use the Icons), Softimage (Text only by default) and I run a linux box with Fluxbox as WM. No icons there and I use the commandline a lot ;)

      • http://www.nelsonfritsch.de piccobello

        Whatever you guys are thinking, researches proof that images are always quicker understood by the brain, even if you think it's not.
        Why would software use icons anyway if they didn't do their job?

        • Scott Amsberry

          And yet I constantly find myself waiting for a tool tip to pop up...

          Look, I agree it CAN save space if they are small, and Blender already makes good use of icons in some areas, but when its overdone your forcing the user to learn a new language. If you're not experienced in 3d, you're ALREADY forced to learn the language of 3d. Would learning 2 languages really be easier than 1?

          Personally, I've ALWAYS struggled with interfaces that rely too heavily on icons. I'm not just talking about software here. I remember when companies started replacing the word POWER on electronic devices with icons. Sometimes its one icon. Sometimes its separate icons for ON and OFF. This one still trips me up sometimes. Sometimes you want to know if it's turned on BEFORE you plug it in.

          The remote control for my DVD player is icon based. There are over 30 buttons on this remote. 15 are arrows. They all do something different.

          • http://www.nelsonfritsch.de piccobello

            Yes, I agree with you, having 30 similar, arrow-based icons is worse than having words/text. But that is the fault of the designer. Most actions nowadays have unified (world-wide understandable) icon:
            No one would use a rectangle to describe the word "erase" rather than a simple x.

            Especially when facing many icons at the same spot the icons must not only be readable but also be different in shape so you can make a difference from it.

            For the most software that is fortunately the case.

          • PGTART

            As a painting artist i once painted on large all symbols of a remote control; like to adjust brightnes collornes..

            People thought it had something to do with ying yang. And they even asked me what it was that i was making. Yet all those people used a remote for their TV at home and never had to think about those symbols.

            So symbols work good if used at the right place, symbols although looking perhaps simple, are in fact high level design.
            Symbols manage the road while you drive a car, once you understand them and if they are good driving will become easy.

            And even you can use your remote i am sure without having much wondering about those symbols, they make sens on that device, and so good symbols could work on blender too

    • John Norton

      I disagree - icons (if clear as the ones in the video appear to be) take up less room and their function more obvious and new user friendly - where as words can be obscure - a picture paints a thousand words and all that.
      Also as mentioned below if you need to know the name you could just hover over it for a second and not only that but have a brief description of what it does.

  • b2przemo

    I totaly agree with Clemens. Blender has great UI, adding icons and aditional bars dont make this app more usefull. I use Maya, ZBrush and other 3d software for many years. In Blender all functions are logicaly asigned to interface and what more for me is more userfriendly than max or maya where user got a lot of shelfs and icons.
    ps. sorry for my errors, english is not my native language.

    • http://mathieu-auvray.tumblr.com matray

      You're missing the point. It's not here for advanced users who can still use their shortcuts and workflow as previously. It's for beginniners or "switchers" (people switching from other 3D package) to help them learn how to use blender.
      The more we get, then more beautiful projects will popup !

  • utas

    I would welcome improvment in materials add texture etc,basicly I see problem with uv unrap as well normal layout dont show uwmap or texture or anything what indicate how to find that map and uvunrap button is hidden somwhere at bottom of left side panel

  • http://kleioscope.fr pitibonom

    Great !
    Will it also make the K and SHIFT+K knife work properly in all cases ?
    If not it would be like repainting a car with no tires, no wheel, no seats and a broken engine :)
    It's interresting to have a new UI, provided the user can choose between the old and the new one.
    Think about gimp who unilaterally made great choices for the user and who lost lots of it's community ( or at least lots of ppl kept the good ol' 2.6 one ). I myself lost 4 days of work because of the confusion load/import/save/export wonderfull idea. But i confess it's my very own bad: When you walk in a field of shit, you just have to be very carefull on where you put your feets :)
    Anyway a new UI is worth the try. will it be better or worse ? I would intuitively say worse, just because 'better is very often worse than good'.
    Finally i just dunno. Give it a try but don't make it a bag-end and allow ppl to choose ;-) as it's finally the user who should make the choice.
    Sry to say that experts NEVER make the good ones, as they just cannot :-)
    happy blendings !

    • PhysicsGuy

      The save vs export thing in gimp bit me in the ass as well a couple of times.

  • http://www.lejardindigital.fr vipvip

    i totally agree to with the interface evolution.

    The texture manager is actually a pain ( particulary with blender internal render ) and the 2 vertical menus along the prewiew windows ( the 'T' & 'N' menus ) are not really logic to my mind ( it mixes too many different types of datas ).

    The mouse-key are not intuitive ( i've configured my blender with MAYA presets, but of course after, it is difficult to retrieve some original blender shortcuts...).

    Sure, Blender team is on the good way, as this 3D-app has of course a lot of excellent features !

    • http://www.lejardindigital.fr vipvip

      and the multi-windows sytem should be upgraded too ( like maya or lightwave system )

  • liszi

    This most of it is for new users. Do we need thousands of recruits, who flood blender community and the web with their cheap cg, made with 10 clicks and uses 5 materials? I think it would cause the inflation of blender cg and 3D.
    If they want to create 3D in an easy way, download Google SketchUp, or something.
    I agree with modification of the UI, but not in this drastic way. We shouldn't throw away many years of work: the code of current UI, the knowledge of thousands old users, the millions of tutors etc.
    This UI proposal is beautiful for a brand new program, but too much for the 18 yeas old Blender.
    Andrew, blender UI really need a bit reorganise. I think in the 1st and 2nd videos you were on the right track, and i think you can this put into practice in a clever way, so i barrack for you. But dont forget:
    Blender should give a chance for new users, but MUST keep old ones.

    • BeeDoublejou

      yes, yes, that's the point: Blender is for elite hardcore addicts only !!
      ClosedSource, ClosedCommunity, BlenderVeterans, ShortCut and WorkaroundExperts only, novices not welcome (if you are too stupid to learn context specific shortcuts, then you better leave)

      keep Blender for us veterans, please !!

      • PGTART

        If blender is to go on another 18 years this should happen.

        Another option is to keep the current version as is, no more changes, and then it will never change a heaven for people like you.

        But let the people who care about this product go on, improve it and call it 2.7, as for the tutors, this GUI will forward you to the GUI so people get better directions on how to do things (the wiki might need better rewrites too so wel all understand it, even the pro people).

  • Colleyd

    I like a lot of the ideas in the UI proposal. For the most part I believe this would be a more accessible interface that individuals could learn quickly.

    My main suggestions is that while the UI is being redesigned, make it easy for users to design their own layouts. Make creating blank panels possible, so that users can populate it with their own layout. Make drag and dropping elements into blank panels possible. Make custom layouts save and load capable through the panel > editor type menu.

    The reason I suggest this is that, while this UI proposal does address many of the issues, it will not necessarily be the best or only implementation that could be. Great UI takes continuous effort, and Blender development is focused on creating better tools, not better work flow. For an open source project like Blender, it would be great if the developers would try to control the program layout less and rather design it in ways that the community can innovate and curate. That would free them to work on the program's ability, while the rest of us can figure out different ways to use it.

    • input_mod

      I think the point to make it easy for users to customize their UI is the best approach.

      I know that Blenders UI is hard to understand, when you are fresh or used to stuff like Maya, Max and Cinema. I came from Cinema4d switched to Blender 2.4. This was hard and I "hated" the UI of 2.5. Now I'm used to and I "customized" my UI-Layout to my workflow working with 2 monitors. This is mainly because i almost do everything via shortcuts or the search-function from spacebar menu in 3d-view. This goes really fast. Even my colleagues say this when the watch my modeling. Everything else like UV-Mapping, Script-Coding is done on my second monitor where i have nearly every widow open. If i need one of them ... short left-click and shift+spacebar

      On the other hand i also work with 3ds-Max and quess what. The UI of Max is horrible in my opinion. Also worked with Cinema a while ago. And quess what... also horrible. Why? Because i got used to a mighty tool and wanted to use other mighty tools. It's like the old visual studio vs. eclipse-discussion

      Any how there should be some improvements burt from my expirience i learned, that users get used to blender very fast if they understand the concepts of 3d-modeling. And i can remember someone said a while ago: If you want to become a professional. Don't focus to hard on Blender or any other tool. Most CG-Studios use their own customized Tools. So you have to get used to a new UI anyhow. The importend thing is that you know how 3D-concept is working. That you know "the thousands of ways to model a room with windows and doors". And there are a lot of ways to a room ;)

  • http://www.reservoirlog.fr/ raphael_betemps

    Well, what i see in this video is a come back of the original 1.5-2.4 design !
    I've always thought that vertical Ui design of 2.5 was a dead end.
    Let's go back to 2.4 and improve it.

    @Andrew : Have you ever used the "screens" menu in the 3D header ? this is for oriented tasks.

    • panzi

      I'm mainly just a lurker here, haven't used blender in years, and even I know about that menu! That really surprised me that he seems not to know it.

  • http://www.cenda.cz Cenda

    Great work Andrew !! I want it :)

  • tk1214

    I've learned how to use Blender and I can work with it, I wouldn't force a change of the UI. But there are really some things Andrew mentions that are worth a second look.

    For example, I got used to this right-clicking for selecting things, BUT: if I don't work hours only in Blender, but many hours in other software and then change to Blender, I still confuse left and right mouse button. And even when not confused, I sometimes change the position of the 3D cursor by accident, which is annoying.

    So changing the 3D cursor setting to something like CTRL+Click could help. Still it is confusing to select something with the right button in the 3D Viewport, but with left button in other windows.

    One solution could be changing the user preferences to selecting with left button. But then it gets more weird and I simply can't understand the following:

    Blender default is:
    in 3D View: select: LMB, move cursor: RMB
    in Timeline: e.g. moving green line cursor: LMB, changing frame: LMB
    in Properties: e.g. adding material: LMB

    With changed RMB/LMB:
    in 3D View: select: RMB, move cursor: LMB
    in Timeline: e.g. moving green line cursor: RMB, changing frame: LMB
    in Properties: e.g. adding material: LMB

    Where's the logic behind this? With toggling left/right, the change in 3D View seems logical... so maybe changing the RMB for the green line cursor in Timeline maybe okay too. But why don't the other LMBs change to RMBs in Timeline, Properties etc. as well?

    And if they all stay LMBs because the change only appeals to the select function in 3D View (because in the other windows you have standard mouse button functions)... then why oh why does the green line cursor has to be clicked with the right button?

    • tk1214

      And I forgot to say: if everything would be changed to standard mouse button functions, sometimes I would appreciate a context menu on the right button as well.

  • http://www.disnel.com Disnel

    Many poinst are valid in this (and two previous) video. But, please, don't add this ribbonish interface to Blender. With wider and wider screen monitors I really appreciate, that most of gui element eats up its space on sides. Placing gui on top or bottom was good with 4:3 screen. And about scrolling, I'am quite happy with scrolling of panels with mouse whell. I really don't want to sacrifice space on top or bottom of screen in favor of eliminating some scrolling (and I don't believe, that it will eliminate scrolling at all).

    I think, that most of your points can be solved in scope of current gui, there is no neccessity to remake it. For example task oriented gui exposing only most frequently used tools with possibility to open other ones (which is good idea!) can be done in current side panels as well.

    • Rhys

      Even better than scrolling with mouse wheel is MMB dragging with continuous drag on. It's so smooth and intuitive, HEAVEN.

  • iRolf

    Point I:
    I'm a bit confused, that after the two "Fixing Blender" clips, Andrew already created this MockUp. The survey maybe belong to 5% of the new UI Proposal. I thought there will be a deep research and a long but intensive road to a real innovative change in the Blender UI.
    In my opinion, before we should do such big changes to blender, we have to do more research. I would be interest in some stat tools, that log mouse movements and all the tools used, to get an overview, which of the tools we're used a lot in Blender.

    Point II:
    I dont think its a good idea, to have TWO UI's. This is way to huge work, there a more important points to work on.

    • BeeDoublejou

      iRolf: iWould prefer to add a feedback feature in iBlender when people deinstall Blender: why are you deinstalling ? and send the result over to iBlenderFoundation

  • http://www.dancingshapes.com/ snot nose

    When I install a new blender version the first thing i do is change right and left buttons.

    I was talking with colleges at work, one of them was in a big studio. and i tried to understand why they insist using only autodesk and don`t wanna try blender. People usually say that it`s only because of the interface.
    I think that it`s mostly a matter of a habit, but if that is what going to change people minds about Blender, and if studios will finally do the switch (more blender work for us) then i would say - go for it!

    • tk1214

      When changing right and left buttons: aren't you confused about the Timeline thing as well which I mentioned in my post? Maybe it's in other windows than the Timeline as well, that's just where I experienced it.

    • Rhys

      When people say they don't use Blender because of the interface it could mean one of sixteen billion things. It is saying absolutely nothing.

      Why people have this mindset that studios shy away from blender merely because of some mouse click is beyond me.

      =====The RMB comments are merely a SCAPEGOAT and always has been=======

      Blender has limitations, fact, this is a far more realistic and measurable reason studios look past Blender.

  • pistoltoto

    +1 great video

  • fluxcapacitance

    Andrew,
    I'd buy your Blender interface. Hehe.
    Your materials process was amazing. I would recommend having the "option" to scale the upper tab and chose between say large, medium, small icons and the option of whether or not to include text. That way people can shrink the interface as they progress.
    I've been using Blender since the time it fit on a floppy disk (pre 2000). I have no problem with the proposals.

  • https://plus.google.com/photos/116590141178461348470/albums/5735625515706514321 Sebastian

    We need much this change!!!! (while not occupy more memory and CPU ¬¬).
    All support to Andrew from Argentina.

  • Vassilios

    Clemens you’ve just speak my mind ! I also fully agree with you.!!!!!!

  • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

    Blender grew through the years. The current interface is a lot friendlier than the old one (version 2.49 and oldest). This was already a very welcome transformation.

    Now it's time to a bigger jump, in order to conquer thousands (perhaps millions) of new users. This is important also in financial terms: more users will result in more public to buy online meshes, DVD training, presencial courses, online courses, etc.

    If we love Blender we should be happy every time that Blender conquer new features, but also when Blender becomes more accessible for more users.

  • Reaction

    As a Blender user for 8 years I have grown to understand its interface. But Andrew's toolbar + tabs looks HORRIBLY like the Microsoft Word ribbon, which is a disaster of a user interface. Over the years, I have watched countless experienced MS Office users searching every single ribbon, every single time, to find the command that they wanted but which has apparently been hidden by Microsoft. It is a total mental block to the user. Andrew's suggestion is no better.

    Blender *already has* the best and most customisable interface of them all - much better than Adobe or Microsoft. Fully customisable screen sets that the user can build to suit their own way of working and switch to with one key combination!

    Andrew's basic suggestions in parts 1 & 2 were spot on, but in part 3 I fear he is mostly wrong, however pretty it looks.

    • martineschoyez

      "Andrew’s toolbar + tabs looks HORRIBLY like the Microsoft Word ribbon, which is a disaster of a user interface. "

      "Blender *already has* the best and most customisable interface of them all – much better than Adobe or Microsoft. Fully customisable screen sets that the user can build to suit their own way of working and switch to with one key combination! "

      All said. Totally agreed.

      • BeeDoublejou

        yes, Andrew Price, how can you dare ?
        nail this guy to the cross !!

    • officerchrister

      Blender had "ribbon" long before Microsoft invented it. This is Blender 1.8 june 2000.

      http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/7839/blender18onreactos.jpg

      • BeeDoublejou

        Windows had shortcuts, long before Blender was born

      • strat

        Both MS Word and WordStar had ribbons in 1990

    • DaedalJS

      comparing a 3d program to a word processor isn't really an ideal comparison.
      i've been using 3d cadd programs with a ribbon interface a lot lately and i can say it works quite well for them (inventor and revit).
      i also learned autoCAD before they changed it to a ribbon interface and while it looked different it really wasn't hard to get used to. especially when the shortcut based workflow i used before remained virtually unchanged.
      i'd say it makes things easier to learn and find if you're new to a program but if you're coming from an older version of a program where most everything you do involves clicking through menus or something like that rather than using shortcuts then it'll be rough. so using word as an example where you type and use the menus. suddenly having the menus turned into a ribbon is going to be a difficult change.
      going from blender where it's very shortcut based may not be that difficult of a change since you're still going to be hitting the same shortcuts to do the same thing.

      also i see no reason why blender can't keep the very customizable viewport functionality it has even with a ribbon UI. i will say though that while that is a fantastic UI feature that alone doesn't make blender's UI good at all... to be honest that's probably the thing that makes blender's UI usable... i'd hate to imagine blender without it.

    • tyrant monkey

      I agree on this. Even AutoDesk who implemented the ribbon interface in Max and AutoCAD bulked a bit with AutoCAD, you can switch it back to the classical interface very easily(deep down they must know ribbons suck).

      I don't use Max but use CAD for work and let me tell you the ribbon interface sucks big time. The are so many tools in AutoCAD that you end up pinning half the ribbons open and many tools are now hidden behind silly little pull down menu's all over the place. That is the fate that awaits Blender if one is foolish enough to go down the ribbon interface route.

      William the designer of the 2.5GUI interface was posting some nicer and frankly more realistic updates to the interface on blenderartist a month ago. I hope his design wins out over this eye candy. His designs were evolutionary of the current interface but clean up massively.

      Blender's interface needs to be improved but its not broken or what ever alarmist word you might use to describe it. Let us not throw out the baby with the bath water.

      • DaedalJS

        when you use cad for work do you use shortcuts?
        i mean i learned autoCAD before they put the ribbon in but i don't remember having to pin open a lot of ribbons afterwards... or that you could even pin open ribbons for that matter. it has been a while since i used autoCAD but you can't pin open different ribbons in inventor as far as i know.
        at any rate if you're plastering every tool available in autoCAD onto your screen just because you might have to use it at some point or another i question your methods since you're obviously using a lot of the lesser used tools much more often than pretty much everyone ever.

        also, i doubt they think the ribbon interface sucks since they went with that for the programs that are replacing autoCAD, inventor and revit.
        the ribbon interface in Inventor and Revit works quite well and i'm sure the only reason they left the old interface in autoCAD at all was because that's what so many users were used to.
        new users seem to use the ribbon just fine without any problems.

        • tyrant monkey

          I use shortcuts, but using shortcuts is essentially bypassing the GUI. You can definitely pin open different tabs in each ribbon in CAD. BTW I talking about the tabs within each ribbon not the entire ribbon when I speak of pinning.

          And its not a case of plastering every tool available in AutoCAD that leads to pinning those tabs. I know you said you use inventor but even if you have not used AutoCAD in a long time I am sure you remember the draw and modifiy tool bars. Download a Screenshot of the current AutoCAD and see if you can find those tools on the old tool bar in their newer respective tabs you can't. Try and find construction line or xline, its hidden. Extend hides behind Trim unless you are a pro or intermediate user who knows you can switch between extending or trimming by pressing shift you are left with switching the tools through the pull down menu.It's the same with fillet and chamfer and it goes on.

          Ribbon tool bars just end up hiding tools so you have to either pin open tabs to get to the or the are hidden behind little pulldown menus.

          Look at the CAD ribbon interface and you will see little pulldown arrows everywhere.

          I am willing to bet Mr Price has never used MAX and he is just copying an interface he has little experience with. Design by eye candy and plagiarism.

          • DaedalJS

            ah ok that makes sense to me now.
            yea i usually used the shortcuts for extend and trim.... actually i tended to use shortcuts for almost everything since that's the way i was taught.
            i was actually thrown for a bit of a loop in revit because it's turned into one tool with a different shortcut there.
            it doesn't look too different from revit and inventor's ribbon with the little drop down arrows. still though i don't find myself using them that much and i'm fine with occasional use of them.

            how about if the ribbon were customizable in blender? would it be so bad then? being able to choose what you placed where on the ribbon and what you put in what drop down box? with that you could even have a place to easily reach your third party add-on tools that may not even have shortcuts while making more space by not having all the tools you know and use shortcuts for. would a ribbon interface be so bad in a situation like that?

            yea i've argued that blender needs a UI update because when people learn blender they're basically learning the shortcuts and ignoring as much of the gui as possible. blender basically forces you into being a power user rather than letting you get there gradually.

            i've never used max but from the screenshots i've seen i haven't really seen much of a ribbon there.

          • strat

            actually looking at his proposed designs I saw far more Microsoft than anything else. Do you have a better idea or are you here strictly throwing stones?

    • Reaction

      My main issue is that 'ribbonized' interfaces generally think they know exactly which commands you want to see for a particular task, which is wholly wrong. We don't all work on one discreet task at a time, and Blender's user base is so diverse (artists, scientists, game designers etc.) that it's impossible to know which strange combination of panels somebody will want to see simultaneously. Perhaps the user is adjusting the change in roughness value of an object or the offset frame of a video texture while animating, so likes to see materials and animation controls at the same time. A ribbon would have you constantly switching back and forth to see the correct controls. Nasty! Even Adobe let's you have the panels you want, where you want, so let's not sink to a lousy Microsoft-esque interface!

  • http://PolyKhromeGames.blogspot.com/ Brian Lockett

    I find it strange that regardless of how objective, respectful, and disclaiming Andrew's been about proposing this suggestion, some people are still acting as if he's going to somehow ruin Blender.

    A proposal's aim is not just to make a suggestion in itself, but even perhaps more, to draw out a bigger point that a good discussion concerning such suggestions are needed. Things just shouldn't go on this way--just in terms of development alone.

    Funny enough, though, I distinctively remember there being a good deal of people being against (or, at least, complaining about) the new Blender 2.5x/2.6x UI changes as well. It's just funny to see that people have indeed adapted to this current UI the way some were with 2.4x.

    It was done to make much things easier for people than what Blender 2.4x provided, but it wasn't necessarily intended to be a final solution in terms of UI design for Blender forever. Even at the time the 2.5x/2.6x UI came out, many of us still knew it wasn't as efficient as it could be.

    Clearly, Blender isn't perfect just the way it is. It has long served a good deal of understandable confusion for new users and long-standing frustration to experienced users. Many of us might have adapted to Blender, simply because we had to, but that certainly doesn't mean that Blender wasn't long due for a better UI. Even a complete overhaul of the UI.

    I'm not one to just go willy-nilly with just any change, and everything has to prove itself in the end, but I can't help but see how this sort of suggestion can't be anything but for the better. I see more pros than cons for it.

    I think some people are simply afraid to adapt to such a good basic concept, simply because they've adapted to Blender as it is, and they're afraid they'll have to relearn Blender. But honestly, I didn't see anything in the UI proposal that you required such a major re-learning--just more of an adjustment period rather than an actual re-learning

    I'm a longtime user myself, and I've gotten used to working with Blender as it currently is, but I'm ready for a change if it'll prove more efficient. I truly believe Andrew's proposal is the best thing for Blender.

    If there's one thing I do know for certain in life, it's that most people in life don't truly know what they want in life until they have it. They judge a matter before seeing it in action and react to changes before giving it a chance. But just give the idea a chance.

    Let it happen as it may without so much contesting the idea. It can't hurt to try it. And don't worry--I'm pretty sure this wouldn't just be thrust upon the community without checking their feedback, anyways. If it proves hindering, I'm sure you'll be asked about it.

    • Reaction

      I think only a very few people (the inevitable fan boys) are denying Andrew the chance to make suggestions, as there are some irritating aspects of the interface. But to suggest that Blender switches to a Microsoft Word style ribbon is silly, as the ribbon is a much hated device that alienated existing users and made things no easier for new users, since it still controls the same garbled methods used in Word to achieve a simple objective.

      Blender's incredibly customisable interface must be somehow maintained, but made more friendly overall, such as Andrew's excellent ideas for a material creation system.

      • http://PolyKhromeGames.blogspot.com/ Brian Lockett

        I find two things wrong with your claims. First, this simply isn't the ribbon system in Microsoft Office.

        1) This is a tabbed system that still allows you access to the features underneath. You're only calling it "Microsoft's ribbon system" because it bears a similar look, but it functions quite differently.

        You can still access all the features before--the nodes, the Modes, the tools--but in a tabbed format, you can access them directly, instead of scrolling awkwardly-horizontally across a context window that's positioned vertically by default.

        And Blender's being customizable ain't doing jack towards making it any easier, because I can't even place the Properties context window below my timeline because then it'd occupy like a good third of my 3D View space.

        2) You can't really compare what didn't work with Microsoft Office with what might or might not work with this 3D program. They're apples and oranges.

        So, the ribbon-style controls in Microsoft Office has not made the likes of Microsoft Word to achieve a simple objective easier? This proves nothing really except that it didn't work well for MS Office.

        I don't know about you, but I'd much rather access the Properties contexts through a tabbed system than scrolling for it in a vertically-framed horizontally-accessed window. I've grown accustomed to using it, but it's never been the best design.

        The 2.5x/2.6x UI was done as a way to make Blender a step-up from Blender 2.4x, but in reality, even it isn't an ideal UI. I personally find that even customizing Blender only makes things worse with the UI.

        But I have used the tabbed system elsewhere and it works better than you might would think.

        Have you used modo at all? It uses a similar tabbed system to very good effect. But even modo runs into some issues with its tab UI, as it's still a bit jarring to face.

        If you haven't used modo before, it takes some getting used to--but not because it's hard to find everything, but because you're presented with so MUCH of everything. You may find yourself wishing that some of the features would be hidden until use is needed, as Andrew's UI proposal suggested.

        So even after learning it, some things could be better. I'd say it might just be a bit too tabbed, but still, for the most part, it works well in that it keeps you from scrolling and hunting for features. Everything's filed in an appropriate tab--even if a bit too tabbed with some of their sub-tabs.

        One thing I loved about Andrew's suggestion is in having the sidebar being simple and context-dependent. If modo had something like this, it'd be much easier to use.

        And frankly, even though Andrew's mockup was just a simulated example and didn't by any means showed a 100% completed product, even from what he showed, I don't see how his interface design idea is going to get in the way of Blender's features.

        The Node Editor was still accessible. You could still tailor the tab's to your needs (like when he deleted the Bump map for the Image texture, as an example). All the Modes were accessible. You're not really missing much in terms of accessibility with a concept such as Andrew's.

        And if it's customization you're concerned about, what's more customizable than tabs? What's more intuitive than, say, starting a blank tab and then labeling it, drag-and-drop features and otherwise docking to it as you please, and setting it along your tabs just as you desire?

        The Notification box in Andrew's proposal could even tell you when you're stumbling upon a used hotkey, and the Info Box could offer you a chance to replace your current default action of that desired hotkey to another hotkey, making custom hotkeys much easier to do.

        You could even group tabs together, to easily call up a customized set of tabs to replace the default tabs altogether. Imagine if you wanted a specific set of custom tabs you organized just for game asset creation? Just start with some blank tabs and set them up as you like, then group them so that you can call them up to replace the default layout of tabs.

        I'm sorry, but I fail to see where exactly Andrew's proposal is anything as you've claimed. I'm all for fair opinions here, but so far, I'm just seeing claims without much justification.

        I say, we should at least give an idea like this a chance first before making long-distance calls about it.

        • Reaction

          As I remember, Andrew mentioned nothing about being able to create your own custom tabs with exactly the controls you want to see. He showed a rigid structure where each tab showed you a discreet set of controls for one particular task. If the tab structure *does* still allow a user to build whatever strange combination of controls he wants to see on screen simultaneously, then great, it looks very neat and is a big step forward!

          When using Adobe apps, I have a whole mass of panels open (on a second monitor) so I get a huge workspace on the primary monitor and can still make any adjustment, immediately, as soon as it enters my head. The same is true in Blender: Object, Mesh, Materials, Texture, Modifiers panels all open at the same time while modelling, so I don't have to 'operate' the interface at all to make the adjustment I need. Then with one 'Ctrl+right arrow' key press, my screen is instantly laid-out with a completely different set of panels that *I like to see* for another task, all there, immediately accessible. It becomes transparent, which is the ultimate goal of a GUI. If Andrew's menu/ribbon interface would still allow this sort of flexibility then I can't wait!

    • http://PolyKhromeGames.blogspot.com/ Brian Lockett

      I speak not only as a longtime Blender user, but as someone becoming a Blender developer. I've been slowly working on some very useful additions for Blender, and one of the biggest issues I'm running into is, in fact, the user interface design.

      I'm developing several toolkits to extend Blender's functionality suitable for streamline development of game assets, but one major obstacle I've been having is with organizing a clean and efficient way to introduce these new functionalities.

      My toolkits in slow development are not only aiming to add much-needed functionality to Blender (such as a true remeshing feature), but to also streamline game development asset production But one problem I face with design is finding a good place to PUT them all.

      To avoid users from roaming across several menus and sidebars, I'd have to add even more buttons to the Toolbar. Or I'll have to invent more hotkeys, though these would be unintuitive, since we're running out of available hotkeys.

      If I have to add yet-another functionality to the already-long Toolbar in Blender, I'll defeat much of the purpose in trying to provide a streamlined workflow. But if I could place their functionality within the tabs--or even on their own toggled tab--that would solve the issue.

      Simply said, as Blender grows in functionality, Blender's UI gets more in its own way. This current UI cannot last if we expect Blender to grow--at least, it won't be terribly efficient. And nobody wants an inefficient way of working.

      I still find some frustration with the current UI as a longtime user (sometimes it works against efficiency), but lately it's been as a Blender developer that the reality of limitations is hitting me harder.

      With something like Andrew's suggestion for a UI, I can already begin to see how I could better implement my toolkits. I wouldn't have to worry about cluttering the current UI or scattering the added features across even more menus I might have to add to the current Blender UI.

      • PhysicsGuy

        Now, this is a constructive remark! Indeed, adding new functionality often breaks the consistency of the user interface. It is also a problem that if you have many addons activated, they all get their controls dumped in the Objects/Mesh tools panel, which can make it very hard to find the add-on you are looking for. Ofcourse, a lot of these add-ons are not things you use all the time, but it can get annoying.

        However, I do not believe that this is something that is solved by a new interface design. Because any interface design that needs to expose a lot of functionality runs into trouble at some point:
        1) toolbars -> get cluttered
        2) menus -> get too deep
        3) hotkeys -> too hard to memorize, or physically hard to do (shift-crtl-alt-c for something you use quit often!)

        The idea that any one of these solutions is better than the other is misguided. It is a matter of taste and all will have problem if the software becomes complicated enough.

        That being said, it means that for all solutions, there needs to be some measure of context dependance just to unclutter things. And context sensitive hotkeys are ofcourse a big problem, as one cannot switch dictionaries fast enough.

        Context sensitive toolbars can work. For instance: Object/Mesh data in 3D view has comparable functionality with the left panel in the movie clip editor. This works!

        The shortkeys that you never forget are the once you use in more than one context. Shift-A for instance, works in 3Dview, node editor, VSE, but not in movie clip editor (because, what would you add there?)

        But back to your problem. What you basically want is a way to switch context, so that you isolate certain elements from the toolbar. However, I don't think you want to have a tabbed toolbar. Perhaps one should be able to define selections of tools that go in the toolbar. Than one could define hotkeys to select which selection you want to see.

    • BMarple

      I could not agree more. Very, very, well said. I'm relatively new to Blender (since 2.65), and I've used Max before at uni, but learning Blender was way too difficult with all its unconventional ways (not that max is spectacularly easy to learn!). It took a really long time for me to see Blender as a worthy competitor, and the only reason i stuck with it is because its free and I'm poor! Even though I'm just getting the hang of the interface, a new UI is a necessary step forward, especially for those trying Blender for the first time.

      Andrews made some excellent suggestions that will benefit the new as well as increasing productivity for the experienced users.

      +1 for 'New Blender UI Proposal' By Andrew Price

      • http://PolyKhromeGames.blogspot.com/ Brian Lockett

        Yeah, you're precisely the kind of case I would point out. No one should have to adapt to an inefficient UI design simply because they're left with little choice but to adapt to it.

        Heck, I've been using Blender for over 5 years now, and even I run into issues with the UI's inconsistency. And now I'm doing some development, and I'm running into the problems with the UI even more. Blender's approaching a point where it's like trying to blow up a large balloon with a small rubber band around it.

        I hope people read the likes of our comments carefully. I'm sure most users like us, whether new or experienced users, are greatly appreciative of its progress thus far and would not want to come off as complaining. But certainly, some issues have been remaining unresolved.

        I think I think we both, as both newer and more experienced users alike, do see that developers are serious about Blender being recognized as a worthy competitor and that's only going to rightly come along with a much better UI design.

        Thanks for your comment!

        • fluxcapacitance

          About ribbons. I don't like the word setup, however...

          I'm a Solidworks user that started out with its default ribbon system. It worked very well!

          2. Then I moved to small toolbars and shortcuts.

          3. Then to a Logitech G13 (fancy shortcuts with macros), API (super fancy shortcuts), a minimalist icon toolbar interface, and 3D mouse.

          Step 1 not only helped me reach step three but also taught me how the software was meant to be implemented by its designers. I would never go back to the ribbon, but instead of complaining about it, I shut it off after install.

          Having the option for the experienced Blender user to shut it off on the splash screen after install would not be a big deal. Organized levels of customization would make sense as well.

          I think we'd all agree we don't want Windows 8. hehe

  • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

    I have to say that, beside Blender, I also use Vue. It is very practical and it allows me to focus on my work.

    So, I wish Blender had specific formats for: 1) materials, 2) characters motions, 3) atmospheres and 4) meshes.

    Peter Cassetta (http://peter.cassetta.info/material-library/) already had created a material format - bcm files - for Blender Cycles Material and I am using it. It's very useful and saved me a lot of time.

    Imagine if we could exchange with each other materials, atmospheres and motions!! I want it, and I'm sure that a lot of people too!!

    • http://sparkwoodand21.com dncnmckn

      .bcm material files looks good. Thanks for the heads up.

  • robotehnik

    Hah, i agree with DcVertice, the proposal UI looks like max vs photoshop, and… i don't know why, but i hate max. It is just a first feel of a product. I downloaded this 5 GB (!!!) demo and when i see this mess of ui, i just, i just can't do anything in it at all! even in maya i can figure out how to do tasks, but in max it is just a lot of pain in my eyes! It is like microsoft word for 3D. i never see the interface so badly damaged. And, ok, i start watching a tutorial on youtube to make simple (!) material for my model, and i just can't watch it till the end, it is horrible! How simple it in blender no matter internal or cycles render you make material, and how it an ocean of pain with all these nasty pop-up windows!
    Still, i like the idea in new proposal to history do, and simple undo, the named layers is too quite good! And i very like the rendering window and pre-render window proposal.
    Thank you and sorry for my english.

  • gwc

    Some interesting suggestions, esp. re L&R mouse buttons. It is disorientating going from other apps to blender, and also after using blender, going back to other apps! RMB should be context-sensitive menu, as is standard. But it shouldn't simply link to a wiki page as that means it is no use at all on machines which don't have an internet connection (as I mentioned previously). There needs to be adequate help actually built in to the software, in a form which can be used off-line. Maybe there could be a local version of the wiki-based manual which could be ported, and the means provided to get blender to look in the local copy if there is no internet connection.

    Basing the interface on workflow and having related things better grouped is also a good idea. The interface we have is *way* better than the old 4.x version, but there's probably still room for improvement. One thing I do like about the current interface is the ability to scroll the various panels if the width is insufficient, and I wish this principle were embedded in all windows. It is not always practical or desirable to have an application full-width; for example, if trying to follow along to a tutorial, it's good to be able to have the application and the tutorial open side-by-side.

    I'm sure there's more I could add if time permitted ;-)

  • wolfmanyoda

    The tabs remind me of Messiah Studio, which works fine, I could get used to it in Blender.
    I also really like the idea of a left click menu :)

  • cgvector

    Thanks Andrew Price,but I am really don't like the ribbon toolbar or top toolbar in the word or max, it's occupied vertical space larger. the left toolbar is similar to photoshop,not too,iam think on the right will be better,blender is blender,It should have its own characteristics~~

  • http://vimeo.com/samran samran

    I do not feel comfortable about this design

    • BeeDoublejou

      I do not feel comfortable about searching for the one missing checkbox to get my fluid simulation running

  • officerchrister

    I like it!
    The tabs actually have a lot in common with the old pre version 2.04 GUI.
    http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/7839/blender18onreactos.jpg

    /Blender user for over 14 years.

    • officerchrister

      Actually the toolbar as well. Only vertical instead of horizontal. :)

  • http://windingcreekpictures.blogspot.com stephen

    If you think about it, this is very similar to the pre 2.5 layout! Everyone screamed NO! when they saw 2.5 but after a while people got used to it and blender has grown because of it.

    The same thing will happen with this. It will take a little getting used to at first but in the long run blender will grow because of it.

    One thing to keep in mind is, this is just a proposal.

    There are people out there who have spent thousands of hours researching how people interact with computers and have learned what really works and what doesn't. Andrew has studied the results of these peoples studies for hours i'm sure (which is probably more than most of us can boast)!

    Andrew is also one of us, a seasoned blender user and professional. It's not like he's some newbe that's coming in from no blender experience saying hey lets make blender cute!

    And the blender developers, let's remember, they aren't stupid! the devs aren't going to do anything to blender that will harm it or us!

  • http://etmed3d.blogspot.com/ Floo

    Blender have a ~1300 python script. You think it's quick and easy to change all this? The all the time POWER OF BLENDER is in TOOLs. Only waste of time to create new UI(1-2 years) and nothing is really change. New UI slows down the development of the program. Kills all the idea of a creative new tools.

    • BeeDoublejou

      you shortcut dinosaur may know shortcuts and workarounds, but you know nothing about python scripting features in Blender 2.6

  • Paul

    Andrew thank you for your time. Having watched all of the material you put together to make up this proposal, I find your views about the interface are very logically presented. Quite a few of your current suggestions deserve some quiet reflective consideration. A lot of people are very comfortable with what they are used to and are understandably uncomfortable with major changes to the way they do things.
    It might make sense to do another survey based on your proposal. This would give valuable data to the developers for any future UI work which may be contemplated.
    Also remember that through History, individuals who question the tenets of the status quo, be it political, religious or social, are often loudly shouted down or worse. That doesn't make them wrong.
    Again thank you for your insight.

    • http://windingcreekpictures.blogspot.com stephen

      +1

      Very true.

      • BeeDoublejou

        + 2 !!

  • tiptoe

    That is absolutely AMAZING work, Andrew! I agree with pretty much everything on 100%. I'm an occasional user of Blender and it's really hard for me to jump into Blender after a longer break. I feel confused and frustrated that I can't really work with Blender intuitively.

    Although I would go for more modern, flat design-look of the UI.. 0:) With that and your great ideas I think Blender could really become very popular software (even for professional use). Blender already IS awesome piece of software, it just has to sell it :)

    • BeeDoublejou

      second that; I use Blender occasionally maybe 1 or 2 times a month for some hours or so when trying to create some pictures for my business stuff; but I find it arrogant to keep occasional users away from using a superb software due to the shortcut keys and mouse tricks that some long term users have learned by heart over years of using that software

  • okchoir

    Please, Please, people, remain calm! Andrew said at the beginning that this was "merely a suggestion".

    • http://windingcreekpictures.blogspot.com stephen

      Exactly!

      And if you have an issue with it please explain it logically! You're much more likely to be listened to than if you just rant that it's horrible

    • BeeDoublejou

      that is no suggestion, it is a solution !

  • http://windingcreekpictures.blogspot.com stephen

    You can't move on to the the future if you're unwilling to let go of the past.

    The same is very true for blender as well. I don't think anyone here wants to see blender die, but if we aren't willing to let go of the past and look carefully into the future that is what will happen.

  • willywill

    I'm using Blender since 1.8, not as a pro, but as a fan. The UI is fine for me, shortcuts too but I've learned them through the years from 1.8 so I cannot imagine what a newbie feel when he see Blender for the first time.
    Now, what I think is : the most important while using a software is the result you want/need. While using Blender, you mainly create some piece of art. Your brain have to focus on your art, not on "where is the button for", "what is the shorcut for", "How much tool do I need to".
    I'm sure some of you like to use 42 tools to create a pretty sphere ;-) and, ok, if the UI is too much simple, I'm not sure you will find easily your 42 lovely tools. But remember one thing : simplicity is always the best. And what I saw in the APrice movie is simplicity. So, that's cool, I like it.

  • pavig

    I think what we are missing in this UI proposal debate is that it is not just new users who would benefit. Graphical (iconic) user interfaces reduce cognitive load during learning, and expert users simply turn them off at some point... unless they prove more useful and compact than the "expert" interface they replace; eg. provide quicker access to the most used tools without digging through menus and panels.

    3D-Coat ( hhtp://3d-coat.com ) recently went through such a redesign, optionally replacing text based panels with graphical panels in some areas. Experts quickly adopted these UI improvements as they provided quicker visual recognition once learned, and provided easier to hit targets for tablet/mouse use, so enhanced flow during eg sculpting operations. They took up less screen space to boot. Also icons are _more_ visually distinct than words, which obviated the need to read a list of text buttons to find the correct click target.

    We forget that Blender covers the entire CGI workflow, and this is unusual. Many CG workers specialise in one area of an application, being either a modeler, rigger/animator, texture artist, scene artist, compositor, video editor etc. For such users a lean and mean UI is an advantage, as once it is learned it gets out of the way. (Organic modelers for example may find ZBrush's bizarre interface great, but it would not translate well to an application for animators, and struggles where it crosses into other territory such as rendering.) Blender users will tend to develop expertise in one area of the application, and occasionally find themselves having to tackle another where, while the UI is generally consistent between areas, there are few guiding principles expressed by the UI to enable them to make do.

    The mostly text based interface interface of blender, which relies for basic functions on remembering obscure (and often undocumented via the UI) keystrokes like Vim, is a huge barrier to learning unfamiliar areas of the application. Like Vim, most users only really familiarise themselves with a small subset of features and commit them to muscle memory, those which are most pertinent to their role in the production workflow.

    A secondary, well designed iconic based interface would allow two benefits to production:
    * It would allow us to minimise the space hogging and distracting extra panels we often have open on screen during many production jobs where, though we need access to a subset of tools to get the job done, digging through the five or so panels in which these tools may be hidden is counterproductive. They present this information in a more visually compact form. (You can generally fit about five visually distinct icons in the space of two multiword text buttons built for readability.)

    * Though icons also need to be learned, they eventually produce less cognitive load than mental task swapping to read text (which is less visually distinct). Icons can be visually grouped to clarify associated tasks (and the modes they apply to) ensuring context is easily intuited. The appearance/disappearance/greying-out of icons via application context reinforces understanding of what is available when without having to dig through menus etc, and acts as a visual reminder of the application's modal status.

    The addition of a more visual/iconic interface is in no way dumbing down of an application (unless it replaces the expert interface entirely, which I don't think anyone is advocating.) It is simply another tool which assists beginners and experts alike. When well done it can reduce clutter, reduce cognitive load, and provide benefit to all.

    Experts who are reluctant to acknowledge this must realise that blender is the Vim or Emacs of the 3D world as it stands, and though Vim and Emacs are the greatest editors in the world, they represent the tradeoffs of working via tty consoles. Their users love them either because they enjoy typing a 5 key chord to do a job (emacs), or typing 5 keys in sequence (vim). Both have their merits, until you stick a vim user in front of emacs or vice versa and their muscle memory becomes their worst enemy. Blenders eccentricity is an impediment both to learning, and to those who must task switch between multiple applications (such as every other left click application in the world, including the venerable GIMP).

    I have read many criticisms of even the simplest iconifications, such as adding an optional move/pan/zoom draggable icon set to the 3D view. Hardcore folk have said "if they can't learn key chording we don't want them", but such arguments are disingenuous. I use 3D-Coat and Messiah, which both allow navigation by key chording or via draggable icon. When using a mouse I chord, but when using a tablet I go straight for these icons _because_it_is_quicker_ and doesn't break flow. Well thought out visual UI enhancements are difficult to argue as they may seem logically redundant, but still produce intangible but real enhancements to workflow. We should not dismiss them simply because some users may have grown curmudgeonly about change.

    There is indeed plenty of room for better consistency in the existing blender build. There are third party tools to provide icons and widgets too. But I think there is also room for a legitimate UI enhancement API in blender trunk to allow icons and shortcuts. This would legitimise a framework for UI enhancements, and encourage third party developers to plug in to it to enhance blender further.

  • adekto

    so cant we just write a script to do all that and save the presets as like "easy ui"
    and just distribute it separately
    although the layout and tabs in the proposal look allot like 3D studio max to me, and the mouse wood be the same and i really hate the mouse in 3Ds since u can accidentally move an object just by clicking on it.

    i would like the standardization of units over the hole interface, and the info on buttons can be a bit more informative sometimes. but blender int the only one with that problem

    • timmyelliot

      I think Andrew's proposal is deeper than window-dressing, which looks more like your suggestion.

  • Gus

    Totally agree on LMB/RMB. Its silly to use LMB, which is supposed to be the main mouse button, for a task it's only used every now and then. CTRL+LMB seems cleverer. RMB could be used for that long awaited pie-menu.

    I always fing annoying to pan in the 3D view with SHIFT+MMB, I continually rotate by accident. Has anybody considered using exclusively MMB for pan, rotate &zoom? Something like MMB click to start panning, click again to end , wheel for zooming, click+hold for rotating.

    Lots of promising ideas in your videos, Andrew. Thank you for taking your time to express all those concerns many here share. KUDOS to your hability to make them very graphical.

  • glooblooz

    Just my two cents: I appreciate most of Andrew's proposals except the tabs - especially if they are not configurable in size or appearance. I think they need too much space at all.

    My most appreciated feature of this video is the new toolbar. Just like in every graphics program it uses simple icons to show what's possible to work with. Great.

  • http://thetetine.deviantart.com/ Tetine

    Just wanted to say, I kinda like this proposal, especially task orientation for the UI.
    To be honest, i think some of the problems here can be overcome by using things like workspaces, but overall, it would be a nice change.
    With the added benefit of making Blender more "Pro friendly".
    I'm about 85% ok with this presentation =P

    • Gus

      I agree. Working with 2 (or 3) monitors is heaven for many tasks and not that expensive nowadays; but also using additional workspaces (e.g. the linux way) is also a very handy feature. I often use 3 of them, 1) 3d view, 2) node compositor, 3 UV texturing. Switching desktops back and forth with a keystroke makes complex tasks much comfortable.

  • Lluís

    Andrew Price has done an excellent job with/for this video presentation. Thanks for your efforts.

    I think all the ideas are genarally good.

  • DaedalJS

    i've never used 3ds max before but from the screenshots i just looked up this doesn't seem to be like the max ui to me... looks more like the autodesk inventor or revit ui with a bit of blender mixed into it.

    i gotta say that the ribbon style UI in inventor and revit work pretty well for those programs.

  • http://arangodigitalproduction.com alimayo

    You serious would want to be able to have options like label names for layers? What is lost by changing blender to have some of these new options. I don't understand the disgust that people have for this new UI.

    • Chrome Monkey

      Agreed. It's like saying that labeling the gauges on a car makes it impossible for anyone except beginning drivers to use that car.

  • endi

    I use Blender in 10-11 years years and 8+ hours per day. Blender UI is very-very good.

    I think most of the people who whats the big change dont use Blender just playing with it...
    I dont want a toy-blender...

    • Chrome Monkey

      I really think you are making a false dilemma error here. Reorganizing is NOT the same as dumbing-down. Reorganizing has taken place since the early days. Up until and including Blender 2.49, the context panel buttons were arranged exactly like a "ribbon" and the only difference is that it was a horizontal row in the MIDDLE of the screen instead of at the TOP of the screen, and people were fine with that. Now that someone suggests changing the location from a middle-screen bar to a top-of-the-screen bar, and changing the shape of the buttons from squares to slanted-edge rectangles, it turns it into a toy? I am having a very difficult time coming to terms with that opinion.

    • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

      If you take a look at Andrew Price's tutorials (blenderguru.com) you'll see that he is a experienced user. The difference is that he care about new users. And he wants that Blender conquer a lot of new users every day.

    • Dr. Caballo

      "toy blender"... man it's only a UI redesign, the inner Blender functions would be keep the same, were do you get Blender would become a toy from doing this...

  • BeeDoublejou

    what about embedding two switchable interfaces into Blender ?
    "Blender CLASSIC" and "Blender MODERN"
    the difference would be the visual usage of the UIs; both would offer the same functionality using different visual methodologies

  • santiago

    esta interfaz que propuso andrew!!!! es fantástica ademas de muy intuitiva

  • Reavenk

    I think a lot of this is interesting and deserves merit. There's a few worries I have, the main ones being the question of if this will interfere with any GUI elements in python plug-in scripts, and if things get too cluttered as more stuff is added over the years, the horizontal clutter could be worse to navigate than vertical clutter.

    But if Blender's codebase can be elegantly refactored to this UI design, then for the very least, preview builds could be forked/made for AB testing, making it possible to test out features and have the community using/critiquing them for a while before accepting or rejecting an idea into the official Blender. I could see a situation where GraphicAll not only has experimental features, but experimental GUI builds.

  • Xraygunner

    I really like the idea, especially if it will speed up the viewport by "hiding" some or most of the features that I don't use often, or at all. As for the ribbon across the top, why not make it "dockable"? It would be easy enough to drag that puppy over to the left and have it use up the vast edges of the screen and putting the "tool bar" at the top.

    Also from what I can tell, it looks like we should still be able to split up the rest of the real estate as we see fit, thereby allowing multiple views or types of windows just like before, but FASTER (in theory)!... Let's face it too... the shortcuts will still be there and more than likely will be freed up from the need for making sure that every aspect has one! I think Brian hit the nail on the head from a devs perspective.

    Lastly... YES! To the library/asset management. I love the power of nodes and don't see how we could go wrong with something like this. The nodes are still there and we can really see what we have and where.

  • https://www.facebook.com/undeadthreads vier madchen

    I love the tab Idea.... BUT, not on the top , If I could move it to a less in the way location like the left or right. or even if i could just replace the tools with tabs.

  • Chrome Monkey

    What exactly is the difference in practice between a "ribbon" and the "context panel" buttons? The only differences I can find are the location and shape of the buttons. Blender calls the tabs "context panel buttons", uses square buttons captioned with icons and mouseover text instead of trapezoid-shaped tabs with both text and icons, Blender 2.49 puts the context panel button bar in the middle of the screen, Blender 2.5/2.6 places it on the right, but it's still the same thing to me from a user point of view. They all do the same thing: when you click a button(tab), new options appear below the buttons(tabs) specific to that context. There has got to be something more to this that I am missing, and an explanation would be greatly useful.

  • 0xfded

    I'm very concerned this largely unnecessary effort will cause important, useful and needed development to cease or be delayed (such as Cycles improvements, new tools and features, etc).

    Blender is a complex tool, not MS Office.

    The "survey" only had two questions, of which at least one was already address in the User Settings.

    Some of the things mentioned are very valid; however, simply reading a book on usability doesn't make one an authority. (I remember the havoc I created on a development project after reading the famous Design Patterns book).

    I beg the Blender Foundation not to get sucked into this. Make small, incremental UI changes based on the suggestions and concentrate on the features that make Blender what it is - an amazing tool for the complex process of 3D modeling.

    • BeeDoublejou

      yes, we elite users want to stay among us !
      Blender is our .... treasure !!!

    • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

      Agreed 100%. I've seen many applications which are designed for complex tasks suddenly try to go 'perfect UI design', and in the process simplify themselves to the point of uselessness, alienating existing users and not even securing any new ones in the process. One of which I was part of the development for. In the team, the was a growing desire to make the application 'idiot proof' and the final result was something so useless and complex to develop that it turned out to be a waste of effort entirely.

      Blender is a complex application, but 3D art is a complex field and that should be remembered. That said, Blender does need improvements! But like you said, small incremental changes, not an entirely new UI design concept altogether. We've barely gotten to know the 2.5 interface yet, lets see if we can improve it first before we dump yet another UI system and start again.

  • felipeesquivel

    Andrew, I hope the developers adopt most of your ideas. They completely make sense to me and will only help to improve Blender user experience and adoption.

    Felipe

  • http://niko40.deviantart.com/ Niko Kauppi

    I'm a blender veteran with almost 8 years behind me (although hobbyist) and at first I wasn't so sure what to think of it but now all I have to say is pretty much...
    YES! This was really well done presentation. Overall look and feel is real nice and really helps bringing the usability in front. I love it. I Really do. :)

    I have had the exact same problems as you do. The UI feels gluttered with stuff you don't need at the task. Even though 2.5 project really helped it a lot already. I'm completely in for this change. Though I still like the RMB selecting but if LMB select brings new users, I'm all in. :) Microsoft's decision to make those heads up bars on the top was pretty much the most best thing they could do on their apps. I love them as they make easy navigation.

    Just a couple of questions hover in my mind though. Have anything planned for the drivers and UI scripting? There's a lot of data in objects, how to access it. I'd like to change all of the sub processes as well. Not just lay a nice layer on top of everything else. For UI scripting there should be a template. If everything should still be defined by python scripts.

    Anyway though. Bravo. You really know your stuff. :)

    • BeeDoublejou

      how can a veteran be positive to a new UI ?
      aren't you able to remember all those shortcuts !?

  • Absense

    Now many in the comments have argued over their preferences for the interface to look one way or the other. Personally I like the idea of the more simplistic initial layout in the proposal. I started learning blender primarily for modeling parts to be printed out on my 3D printer. Everyone has their own use for the software but how about a slightly different approach. What about the development of a skinning or theme-based system that would allow for an even more customizable approach to the issue? With such a system in place we wouldn't have to worry about having to redesign the UI every few years and a new skin or theme could be loaded up on the fly.

  • bamwir

    Instead of complaining about the UI how about do more tuts explaining the new features of Blender, and if is about the shortcuts learn the shortcuts is like learning a new language, this new UI proposal looks more like a combination of Maya, Max, Zbrush, and Photoshop/Aftereffects/Premiere. The UI that Blender have is great, and I have Maya/SoftImage/Mudbox/MotionBuilder + Zbrush and Adobe Master Collection (since photoshop 7) and believe me the UI that Blender have right now is great. Make more tuts about modeling, sculpting, and all stuff that Blender is eating alive all expensive software and stop complaining about the UI, and what would be the next theme, making Blender a freeware, shareware, or make it commercial and pay thousand? How about more tuts for the BGE instead of using Unity or another game engine, how about improving again BIR(Blender Internal Render) or combining with Cycle. I agree in most of the thing that DcVertice wrote, but who am I, right, just saying and thinking out of my head.

    • http://niko40.deviantart.com/ Niko Kauppi

      Heh. You're right on that blender's UI is good enough to get work done. Though why not make it better? I rather not stay in the stone age when others move forward. People are leaving blender because other apps have become more easy to use, they actually have done this research Andrew has made for us a long time ago already, 3DsMax has it and has gained a lot more usability now, though they kept the old UI as additional way of doing things, and result is a bit of a mess. Blender's UI nowadays is bloated and I hate scrolling and UI messes. I also hate having to switch between things all the time. So... Why not try to make blender the best piece of software there is for free? And ya. I've been using blender for almost 8 years now. For as long as Blender Foundation is in charge, It will never be commercial app I can tell you that.

  • nXain

    I started watching as a skeptic, but Andrew won me over pretty quickly. His recommendation is superior, by far, to the current UI approach and great vision for how easy Blender could be to use while still serving the power user well.

    For myself, I've gotten pretty used to the Blender interface (I have almost two decades of working with various game engines and 3D tools), many people I've pushed to try Blender have been turned off instantly by the non-conventional UI approach which is counter to almost every other application they use in production (as opposed to Cinema 4D or Photoshop - programs you can jump right into and do something cool.) Blender is a tough sale to most of the experienced production artists I work know. They know it's powerful and can make awesome content, but give after 20 minutes. They know 3D Max sucks, but it's the devil they have already invested so much time in.

    What have I learned from nearly two decades of game development? For the team, it's all about the ease of use of the tools to create great content (this makes or breaks games) and for the user it's about the UI being as streamlined and straight forward as possible so he can play the game instead of "playing the UI".

    - nXain

  • Smriti

    I've been using Blender for about 7 years now, both professionally and as a hobbyist. Andrew's proposal really makes sense to me. All his points hit home and I support this idea to change 100%.

    Coming from an artist background it was hell trying to learn Blender. But I realized it was the only option I had to create professional level work on a budget. Now I have more options open to me but have stayed with Blender because I have the knowledge (which took me forever to gain) to use it effectively. But I would love to help new users and also I would love to simplify my visual experience of Blender. I fully utilize Blender's customizability but have often thought "gosh why do i have to dig through a gazillion drop down buttons to adjust 3 attributes in the particles menu's" etc.

    So Thank you Andrew. You have really done some amazing research and put your heart into this. It was well worth your time to get people thinking on this subject.

    I love Blender and think it's one of the most awesome applications out there. That doesn't mean it can't be improved.

    • BeeDoublejou

      +1

    • Dr. Caballo

      +1

  • MartianR

    I was skeptical at first, but I think Andrew has made some great, rational and thoughtful suggestions. The proposal preserves what one can do with Blender in terms of depth, but improves the workflow no end and softens the learning curve too. Fantastic approach and I for one am persuaded.

  • Ben Amend

    Great ideas! However, the ribbon, though I do think it would work well, looks kind of strange. A bit too... childish, perhaps? It looks less powerful and professional than, say, the toolbars/panels on the left and right in your proposal. Overall, including this proposal, Blender's UI is starting to look more and more like Softimage's interface, which looks both outdated *and* more like a toy than a tool. That has more to do with the colors/shading/button shapes than the actual layout, though, so that's more of a minor gripe.

    I hope at least some of your ideas are implemented in the near future!

  • omer242

    This is a great design proposal for a clean, task-oriented, User Interface. We should not be rejecting good ideas because someone else used them and specially if that someone is one we compete with. We should base our decision on common sense and what works for the majority of users not the few elites. If I can add something it would be that experienced users can and should still be able to use existing shortcuts and if desired retain the old interface while every one else sees this great UI when they open Blender for the first time so they feel welcomed and not intimidated or frown upon with a screen full of buttons, numbers, and options that they do not need to use..

  • flaschus

    Can this new UI be integrated like cycles so there is a choice betweeen the two?

    maybe at startup?

    Because I think its a great idea... Y the heck not?

  • scuozz

    I really think that this is a big mistake, and just a copy of common ribbon interface. Actually the blender GUI is the most advanced and scalable gui in the 3d world, even the best for resolution adaptability.

    • Chrome Monkey

      Isn't the Properties panel a form of ribbon though? I'm not getting this yet, and I'm actually asking so that I can see what the do's and dont's are.

      Here is a screenshot that is representative of Blender from versions 1.8 to 2.49 inclusive. My perception is that if the 3D view had been placed under the properties panel instead of above, it would look just like an early ribbon design. And by the time we get to Blender 2.4x, items in the properties panel were collapsible, as in modern "ribbon" designs.

      http://img9.imageshack.us/img9/7839/blender18onreactos.jpg

      What makes the context selector in this demonstrations "ribbon" so different from the ribbon-like selectors shown here, what are the important "do this and not that" considerations to keep in mind?

  • trupelo

    Andrew, I loved the new proposal. Everything you said is a step in the right direction for Blender. Definitely, as more people pool in ideas. Blender's existing great UI will march towards perfection.
    Massive respect for you, Andrew.

  • wolfmanyoda

    I would not recommend interchangeable interfaces. That just doubles the maintenance and testing of each release.

    • BeeDoublejou

      that is the reason to keep shortcuts for the hard core users throw the classic design over board

  • http://www.Artalva.com Balvarez

    I think a lot of work went into this and i agree the current UI has some things in really wonky places... that said I don't like the horizontal nature of this UI. You have to cover a lot of ground to get to various options (tabs) on a horizontal tool bar. I prefer the vertical layout much better it keeps elements more condensed in the same plot of real estate. That said, thank you for spending the time to create this and to get the dialogue going. I love that blender is always striving to move forward.

  • sozap

    Have you looked at this first :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prD6BFYIWRY
    It's the UI proposal that made the 2.5 version of blender.
    I think here we are regressing in some points, and also going in another direction.
    I love that blender is non-modal. And maybe complex but very flexible.

    IMO Andrew is making another software, it's more beginners oriented and not as flexible as the actual one.

    • Francisco Ortiz

      Great Link! Thank you for remembering history! :)

  • sympa

    I suppose the new bars can for a large part be added to the existing panels. Those who dislike icons could show just the text in a preference.

    Some things must be changed in the core code - such as the mouse buttons or the render time estimate and canceling. They should suit both classic and easy UI.

    So let's take current Blender and just add the new bars as shortcut into existing functionality - and extend that functionality if needed to make something work like grabbing.

    As for the examples, I feel that included material samples would be great for both old and new UI, but also that the included popular choices must be easy to hide.

    Otherwise I fully agree... there should not have to be a tutorial on 'how do I add a colored cube in my scene' - instead, the tutorial should be about how to model a tree from scratch. The simple things should be simple in the UI.

  • ronbravo

    I think the video proposes some pretty interesting ideas for changing the UI. My question is if it would be possible to extract the UI from the functionality of the Blender program. I ask this so that perhaps we could provide a "Traditional/Default", "Max Version", "Maya Version", or "Andrew Price" version of the interface. The things I saw in the video are good UI suggestions and components, but Price does have the challenge of convincing people who are set on their own type of workflows. For example, a while back I remember this post:

    http://www.blendernation.com/2011/10/29/cleaning-up-the-blender-ui/

    Where it was a concept on simplifying the interface. I personally really liked it but knew it would not work for many Blender Users. Is there a way to add much of the functionality being proposed while also having pre-configured Blender UI workflow setups that users can switch between and modify based on their personal workflow? I think that would be the most far reaching solution in terms of satisfying many desires.

    SIDE NOTE: Who are the 4% voting "No" on "Asking to Save" before closing? I can't imagine any scenario where this is a bad idea? Lol. Anyway I love Blender and it's customization. I think we can make this work while accommodating a lot of different tastes. C ya.

    • blenderissimo

      "Who are the 4% voting “No” on “Asking to Save” before closing? I can’t imagine any scenario where this is a bad idea?"

      When Blender even had no Undo/Redo functionality (before version 2.32?) some devs and veteran users told me that it is not necessary ;-) Nowadays nobody is complaining about that "3DS Max / Photoshop idioty" in Blender. Something near it was to read about the lack of a snap tool two years later. They said, it is not necessary because Blender is for artists ... now everybody uses the tool.

      The same will happen with a new (better) UI. An UI that makes Blender more accessible to beginners and those who use it only occasionally and at the same time help experienced and professional users get there work done faster.

    • ssnbee

      The thing about the 'Asking to Save' (and displaying the python tooltips, and similar things) is that for the 4% of users who think asking to save is irrelevant, or who use the python code, it can easily be configured in the preferences! It makes sense to go with the preferences of the overwhelming majority, and leave the few to configure the program as the like.

      (Although I hope that just viewing and moving around a project doesn't prompt a save. It does in Autocad, and while I potentially understand the reason, 98% of the time I just go into a file and look at it, I don't want to save it again. Prompting me with wanting to save always freaks me out because I have to remember what I've changed or not changed.)

  • Andreas_Walsh

    We definitely need more visual clues in the interface, like icons and tabs. If people are offended by this, there will be a way to turn them off and use the traditional interface.

  • http://marcdion19.webs.com MarcClintDion

    I love it Andrew, keep up the good work. Maybe you could hold a contest to see who can come up with the best looking icons.
    Using Blender modeling tools and the half a dozen free renderers, people will likely come up with some pretty amazing looking work that will blow away all the commercial software packages. Distinct icons, each with their own surface, color, and lighting applied would make it very easy to select functions and tools without having to think about it since pattern and color recognition are excellent ways to get a persons attention.
    Some might argue that everything should match, in the same way that curtains should match a sofa but I disagree.
    I think each icon should stand out apart from the rest. I'm sure this will greatly decrease reaction time, if for example, the 'Move' icon is blue with an SSS shader applied, and the icon for 'Scale' is red with a car paint shader applied then not only will people be able to remember the icon based on shape and position but also, now color as well.
    Blender now supports large, hi-res .png icons in the interface as can be seen with the brush tools. What the collective imaginations of the user community come come up with is the only limit here.

  • Dr. Caballo

    Even though I would prefer a vertical tab arrangement instead horizontal, I really like Andrew Price's proposal, is by far more intuitive than the actual one, I hope the blender developers take into consideration this proposal.

  • blenderissimo

    I really appreciate the analysis and proposal Andrew made. Must have been a lot of work. Hence I am quite surprised and disappointed about some negative reactions here. First, it is only a proposal, nobody will be forced to follow this proposal. And the target of the proposal is not to make Blender like 3DS Max or Photoshop. If there are good points in the UIs of those programs, then it is probably not the worst to learn from it. Furthermore nobody wants to make Blender "for idiots". Such comments are unfriendly and not helpful at all! And what is wrong about make complicated stuff as accessible as possible?

    I've read a lot about the community aspect of Blender, that it is of big value. I agree! But why some people now complain about a proposal made by one of the most active members of this community? Of course the implementation of all features requested in the proposal means a lot of work and cost a lot of money. But I am convinced that to have high ambitions is much better then just make adaptions without a medium- or long-term target!

  • BigPilot

    I think this is just brilliant. An interface like that will make Blender a lot more accessible to new users and increase the productivity of experienced Blender artists.

    How could anyone be against this proposal short of resisting change to the existing UI?

    • Scott Amsberry

      As others have stated, the most glaring issue I see with this proposal is the ribbon. As I see it, this is basically a graphic form of menu, focusing more on icons than written word. The biggest drawback of this type of menu, is that it doesn't disappear when you aren't using it, thus taking up valuable screen real estate. Windows that run horizontally will tend to have more impact on the vertical space available on a screen that is wider than it is tall. Andrew presents this horizontal arrangement as taking advantage of the more common wide screen format we see in today's monitors. While this is true, I'd prefer to keep the 3d viewport, image editor, etc. as the dominant features. I tend to spend a lot more time in those parts of the interface, so it only makes sense that they command a larger portion of the screen. This is totally in line with arguments he has made leading up to this video (making more commonly used features more prominent.) Personally, I can't say I've ever felt like I was spending way too much time scrolling, as I usually scroll to what I need, take care of business, and move on.

      Don't get me wrong. There are a lot of good ideas. In fact, I think he's got a decent looking idea for cycles materials. It's attractive, looks simple to use, and appears to be well thought out. However, I think this could be accomplished without the ribbon. It also looks like he put this together a few weeks ago. According to the last couple of podcasts, he seems to have realized the folly in trying to change conventional terminology.

      Bottom line: I think the first, and most important change would be to clean up inconsistencies and fix the wiki. Beyond that, there are ideas that are both good and bad. I have no doubt that the developers will look at each of these suggestions individually.

    • Reaction

      I am all for making Blender easier to use. But whatever beautiful, clean, interface Andrew suggests, it *must not* remove the ability for users to customize it to their own preferences. There is the obvious chance for Andrew's design to be likened to the Microsoft Office ribbon, which allows no customization at all - if you hate it, tough luck! However, all Adobe's applications let you chose the control panels *you* want to see, and arrange them where *you* want them, and then save that layout as a 'Workspace'. In other words, exactly like Blender and its Screen drop down. This flexibility is now expected in major applications and *must* remain available, even if the default new-install screen is an apparently rigid structure to make things easy for beginners.

  • Barathrum_S

    Great job Andrew!

    I really like the idea of vertical tabs! I'm a AutoCAD user and i think the ribbon design works very well. I would recommend anyone who is working on the Blender UI should try the free AutoCAD demo for a month.
    Here's a link to a UI presentation:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZuhYAEBZMs&noredirect=1

    I don't think it's a good idea to put everthing under a tab.
    In ACAD the layer manager still has a seperate window.

    I'm not convinced to change the right-click select mode. I've changed it to left-click a week ago and i accidently moved alot of stuff while trying te select more... The solution maybe to use "CTRL-RMB" or "1 sec RMB" for a menu.

    For new users i still thing i'ts better to have 2 seperate software packages, like "Blender Go" and "Blender Pro". Like Sketchup Make and Sketchup Pro.
    The people i work with just can't climb the learning curve that Blender has...

    Anyhow, i love Blender looks and feel. Why can't someone make a stand-alone file explorer based on Blender UI? (i hate windows file explorer ...)

  • fmoritz

    These are all great suggestions. However we really need to look far into the future and recognize that cellphones, tablets, and smartwatches/bands will eventually replace our larger counterparts. (PCS, Laptops)

    The Blender UI needs to prepare for this transition to multitouch systems by exploring the idea of extending UI controls to any mobile device. Which can be done by building in a UI Editor that allows users to quickly create their own controls, panels, menus, and toolbars from the ground up all within Blender.

    The Android Developers Docs. is a great place to start:

    https://developer.android.com/design/style/metrics-grids.html

    All in all, everyone has their own interpretation of what a streamlined UI consists of and the UI you have suggested is extremely limiting in those regards. The only solution would be to make it easier for anyone to customize each and every element. Whether it be a UI with just a couple controls or endless amounts of them...The choice should be ours.

    On a more personal note, I'm not a fan by any means of Microsoft's Ribbon design which many have explained in great detail why it's terrible...

    • fmoritz

      To expand upon what I mean by adding a UI Editor. A prime example would be to add an edit function that jumps into sort of low level edit mode that operates similar to QT Creator. This would allow users to create any kind of interface they want without imposing a complete redesign of the UI on those who don't want to switch:

      http://qt-project.org/doc/qtcreator-2.8/creator-qml-application.html

    • sozap

      it would be so nice to work with blender on my iphone, drinking beer and chatting with good looking women...
      Or maybe working on my special blender UI , on my iphone, drinking at the pub ...

      • fmoritz

        Your sarcasm is not amusing.

        I was think more in terms of using your phone or tablet to extend the controls on to.

      • fmoritz

        Not to mention, many professionals use a Wacom Cintiq:

        http://www.wacom.com/us/en/creative/cintiq-13-hd

        The current design doesn't adhere the standards of touch interactivity.

        • DaedalJS

          wacom and other graphic tablet use is quite different from a touch interface even though the latest wacoms tend to also have touch capabilities. the touch capabilities on wacom tablets are meant more for quick gestures, zooming/rotating a canvas, rather than as a touch interface.

          with wacoms and other graphic tablets it's more like using a stylus instead of a mouse. where you hover the stylus over the screen or drawing surface is where the pointer goes on the screen. it's also much more precise than a fingertip and you don't have to use multiple fingers or gestures to right/middle click.
          it's also got pressure sensitivity on the stylus which pure touch devices don't. people might not thing that's a very useful distinction until they realize the applications that something like pressure sensitivity can have in sculpting where it makes things so much more organic than a simple 0/1 where it's either all or nothing vs a 0 to 2048 where you're determining to what extent some things are being done at any given point of a stroke.
          blender's sculpting does work with pressure levels by the way.
          generally a tablet stylus doesn't have a scroll wheel but instead just a button that by default counts as a middle mouse click. so you have to hold ctrl and move the pointer up/down to zoom rather than just scrolling but overall blender works very well with graphics tablets even if it would be horrible on a touch tablet.

    • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

      "However we really need to look far into the future and recognize that cellphones, tablets, and smartwatches/bands will eventually replace our larger counterparts. (PCS, Laptops)

      The Blender UI needs to prepare for this transition to multitouch systems"

      Sorry but I can't disagree with you any more than I do right now.

      Don't believe all the hype which the likes of Apple and Google have fed you, or online journos who spend a little time writing blogs and using Facebook/Twitter/iPhones and suddenly think they can predict the future of the PC industry.

      Your mobile phone and tablet are not going to replace desktop or laptop computers. If they ever did, productivity would drop drastically, as it's just no where near as efficient to work on a small device with a touch screen and no physical keyboard, as it is compared to a large high powered PC with a fast CPU and GPU, keyboard, mouse and other input devices, and potentially multiple large monitors.

      Would a typist work on a tablet? Would a video editor working on a production grade movies work on a phone? Would a programmer manage their projects on his smart watch and do all his typing on that tiny little touchscreen? Would a graphic design dump their 27inch screen and replace it with a 7inch tablet?

      It simply defies logic entirely why someone like a professional video editor would dump a setup like that, which is perfect for their workflow, only to switch to a tiny little battery powered device designed for viewing webpages/photos/movies and simple interactions. It'd make just as much sense (aka none) to use a game console & controller instead, since it would be just as large a step backwards in terms of productivity.

      Certain people can repeat this non sense all they like, that PCs are dead, laptops are dead, mice are dead, keyboards are dead, and that all the world will use at most a tablet in just 5-10 years. But just repeating something often enough doesn't make it true.

      • fmoritz

        I think you've misinterpreted much of what I've said intentionally.

        "Don’t believe all the hype which the likes of Apple and Google have fed you."

        This has nothing to do with neither of the two nor any of the others you have listed. Offloading the bulk of processing power from client machines to servers has existed for decades.

        Your mobile phone and tablet are not going to replace desktop or laptop computers. If they ever did, productivity would drop drastically.

        You can simply plug your phone or tablet into a docking station that links you to all you peripherals or you could do it through bluetooth. A mobile desktop that fits in the palm of your hands is not that far fetched. Ubuntu is working on such a thing: http://www.ubuntu.com/phone/ubuntu-for-android

        All in all, you've completely missed the point of what I was trying to propose, but I suppose I'm partially to blame. I would have made the correction if I could edit my posts.

        Nevertheless, I was simply pushing the idea of allowing users to remotely control some of the buttons on their tablets and phones like a keyboard or drawing tablet and not to move the core of blender over to phones and tablets.

  • Severino

    Hello Andrew Price,

    Good ideas !
    IDEA 1 ?
    ======
    It's possible to introduce in each tab, one button : AUTOPILOT ?
    What is the button AUTOPILOT ?? ;-)
    - It's just for beginners (to learn more easily and faster), and when they click above the button : AUTOPILOT,
    => Numbers appear by order (1 after 2 after 3 after4 etc.... to 8 for example) near the options the user must modify the value (number, chose an image, etc...) (like in your example with the MATERIAL TAB in your video = 8min 50sec...)
    => and the possibility to comeback into the step of creation processus, the user can click on one of the 8 numbers (for example, see above) to modify one of this steps with the : HIERARCHY RULE AUTOPILOT / PROCESSUS = [[__1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8__]]
    => Because for me, to create a normal map, i forgot always to choose :
    ->Properties panel -> Texture -> Mapping -> Coordinates -> UV

    IDEA 2 ?
    ======
    Can you reduce the space between the frontier border and some (severals) textes options ? (at 5min 32sec)
    => Shapes and Lighting, textes options/labels more to up
    => All textes options, more closer to their icons
    => And all triangle + more, textes options more to down
    => It's a little ambiguous and we save space for 3d view for example...

    Thank you for your work and your ideas and your tutorials Andrew Price ! ;-)
    Severino,

  • Big Fan

    I like your proposal very much. For some software the ribbon style doesn't work but for Blender I think it makes a lot more sense than what we have. The old 2.4 UI was frankly awful and the 2.5 UI while better really didn't do what it should have for the user although its easy to code. There are definitely things that need to be organised better for usability. I think what you have is a large step forward.
    Go for it but please keep the existing icons which I think are quite nice. Well done Andrew for tackling the subject and how you presented it. If you could alternatively put the strip at the bottom of the screen I would be happy cost its easier to look down rather than up on my 27" screens. Thanks man ;)

  • ssnbee

    I really don't understand why people are reacting so vehemently. Tabs aren't so very different than what we have currently. I have to switch 'tabs' if I want to get from my rendering tools to the texture panel. Then each tool can be hidden or shown by pressing the dropdown arrow.
    Andrew really is just suggesting a cosmetic change to clean up the appearance and make things more useful and easier for people to find. And, it is worth noting, that this doesn't dumb down blender. You want to use a combination of four keys to do one task? That's fine- nobody suggested about taking that capability away. (Although I would argue that it's worth making the shortcuts more inline with other programs, and at least keeping them consistent across functions.)
    The thing that appeals to me about having a little more of an intelligent interface is just what Andrew points out- I can spend a lot more time getting work done if the program predicts what I want to do and need most and arranges accordingly.

    I think the most important thing when we have these discussions is what adds objective value to Blender? A few concessions should be made for new users to orient them and help them learn the program, but as many people point out- we don't want to turn this into sketchup. But if we can make things easier and more streamlined for the user who has taken the time to understand the program and is committed to it for the creation of great content, that is what will make Blender into a better program.

  • DarranJones

    It's good to have people in the Blender community willing to spend a considerable amount of their time and effort for the benefit of all who use the software. I for one think your suggestions are great and exactly what Blender needs to rise to the next level.

    For anyone interested in the how's and why's of MS's ribbon interface, before you rubbish it, here's an interesting video http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/MIX/MIX08/UX09

    Great job Andrew!

  • Voodoo Doctor

    Very well done! You are going places young man... Not only have you identified problems, but you have designated solutions as well. We, as a community, are in your debt.

    thank you.

  • justposted

    I'll start with a thank you to Andrew. That's an impressively well thought out and put together video. Must have taken an age to get all those mock-up elements working nicely.

    In terms of the UI I think that there is a lot to be said for what Andrew has put forward here. The trouble is that by making it look like a ribbon (which many people hate), lots of people seem to have skipped over the underlying content. Amazing how emotional we all get about moving the button panel from the side to the top!

    I would think that many of these useful UI ideas could be implement using the current UI simply by having buttons that reveal/hide information (like we already have), setting up a new window type to give render info/preview and so on. So it needn't be perceived as such a threat. I can see a lot of value in what is being proposed, and not just for new users.

    I've used Blender more or less daily since 2000, I also work a lot with AutoCAD, Revit and Rhino.

  • ff777

    Thanks a lot for the very nice approach you have made.
    I am very interested by your proposal, just have a few comments:
    - The notification box may not be permanent but can appear only in case of problem.
    - I totally agree with your approach regarding materials, It take such a long time to put one in place with the current interface.
    Thanks a lot for your very constructive state of mind.
    I wish you an excellent blender conference.

  • glloq

    comme dirait un bon monsieur dans matrix ; non de dieu de putain de bordel de merde de saloperie d'enculé de ta mère ... j'adore cette interface !!!
    franchement, meme si vous le comparez à photoshop, autodesck etc je pense que c'est une amélioration qui est nécéssaire très rapidement !
    blender est déjà un logiciel extra simplement par les possibilitées qu'il offre mais comme n'arrete pas de le répéter ce mec il faut totalement revoir l'interface de blender pour la simplifier au maximum et la rendre accéssibles a tous (j'ai moi meme laissé tomber blender la premiere fois que je suis tomber dessus !! ... bon par contre j'ai bien accroché la seconde fois :D)

    par contre pour les écrans séparable, ça non ! c'est meme un des gros avantages de blender

  • http://www.framedlives.com Giovanni

    I really like the proposal for the new mouse functionality and the context menus. I think it would work much better than the current solution and it would be more in line with the majority of other software. So for the mouse it is an absolute yes.

    For the material toolbar, I'm not fully convinced. After few days usign Blender I jumped soon into the material composer using nodes. In my opinion working with nodes creating the material is much easier and more clear. I would complitely remove the material toobar and jump straight into the composer.

    The idea of toolbars and tabs is interesting. But I haven't used Blender enough to have a strong opinion in favour of a yes or a no.

  • eddysag

    I think a great idea simpler interface, and sorry if there are many angry but ultimately I think it will help many people

  • kroova

    I have kind of noticed a problem, and I contacted Andrew about it. Just a couple of missing features, like the scene menu, layouts menu, and render engine chooser menu. But overall, I love the idea.

  • rontarrant

    Well stated and presented, Andrew. The nay-sayers are out in full force, but don't let that get you down. Your proposals make very good sense and I believe they would be welcomed by the artists among us.

  • PGTART

    this looks great, integrated help !
    Wow, maybe (by some voting system on the site) have besides the wiki, also a youtube link to explaining movies contributed (linked) from the wiki.
    As i think most new people first look at youtube to do something then later get into the wiki or in the forums.

  • MeshMaven

    Andrew,

    Nice presentation. Very good points. But if we are going to dream, why not include a date with Angelina Jolie for every Blender User as well. (or with Hugh Jackman for the ladies).

    • DaedalJS

      ...but i'm not really into angelina jolie...

  • Mark LaBarr

    Wonderful, and knowledgeable video Andrew Price.

    The reason for this UI looking somewhat similar to other programs and such, is because that there is a certain constant uniformity for every function among all UIs. This familiarity speeds workflow, helps workers stay focused, and opens up new possibilities.

    In my personal opinion, I don't mind whichever interface is used, but what Blender needs is a little satisfying chiming sound or something of the sort when the render button is hit.

  • benjaminad

    Excellent proposal Andrew. It's a great start to an obvious hot topic. I've been using Blender since 2.46. I was so excited when Blender went to the 2.5 UI. It helped me take Blender to a different level because it was EASIER to use. It's time for another change (my opinion of course :) The trick will be making it more user friendly without losing functionality and tweakability. It would be nice to hear a reply video to the community from the Blender Foundation.

    • benjaminad

      One more thing, This would be great for my kids as well. My 8 year old daughter uses Sculptris. The UI is easy enough for her to figure out.

  • hermano.poj

    Andrew,

    I absolutely agree with you! You have a superb proposal. I'd rather say that this is the project of the decade :)

    I suggest (seriously) that you put together a proposal on kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) in order to raise money to fund this project. I think that an UI Guidelines book (like IOS, Windows,MacOS) and a real implementation could be two important deliverables. Ask for the necessary amount of money that allow for hiring one or two good programmers and keep you focused.

    Blender is a very powerful tool, but incredibly difficult to newcomers. I, personally, started learning blender three times and gave up. I tried once more (I don't even know why) with a friend as my teacher/mentor/coacher. I have succeed at that time.

    Maybe I'm a stupid person, but i think that's not the case... I'm sure that many people out there gave up also and never returned.

    Does anybody that think blender ui is good, ever consider for a moment (for a few seconds - delirium tremens) what if WORD, EXCEL and POWERPOINT, just to mention a few blockbusters, had an interface like blender? Do you think they would be mainstream today? I'm sure a competitor had wiped out them easily. Do you think that it is reasonable for a user to hit CTRL + SHIFT +A + F11 (fake) to get his text right justified around a figure? And remember several keystrokes for italics, bolds, etc. This could be compared to a Salvador Dali painting. I'm sure that those guys who managed to memorize all that stuff would consider themselves as really smart people, and refused to admit that those software needed another ui because they are not aimed at dumb people!

    Blender is a complex piece of software with lots of functionality. In some sense it looks like SOLIDWORKS, a mechanical cad software, the one people use to design airplanes and similar stuff with. Please take a look, it has a wonderful ui based on ribbons (what you call tabs).

    Andrew, try to make Ton's mind.

    Thanx a lot.

  • Haptic

    I read about half the comments here and it seems like this proposed interface might be well received by half the people who commented, which unfortunately still isn;t the greatest stats.

    I haven't been using Blender for that long, but I have been using MANY softwares that are either long standing open source projects or highly developed projects that rely heavily on user feedback. UI is always an incredibly heated debate that remains heated simply because you can't please everybody.

    The softwares that I have seen come closest to solving the problems are the one that allow the interface to be UBER configurable and easily share UI presets.

    My suggestion:

    - Correct the excellent points Andrew made earlier about consistency of button actions, feedback, input and sliders
    - Change to left click select AND right click menu and allow everyone sufficient time to freak out and subsequently deal with it
    - Make the buttons movable and theme-able as well as the right click menu
    - Keep all the amazing work already done for customizing your own layouts
    - Allow tabs for those who want to dock buttons and build menus or layouts that way
    - Allow the developers to make the default theme as easy for new users as possible knowing that power users will develop, swap and maintain their own themes.

    This strategy works because it allows the users to choose their own adventure, and allows the developers to focus on making the interface simply more customizable, while adding to an easy "new user" default UI. Don't like it? Make your own or grab one of the thousands of UI's made by people who firmly believe that what they made is the absolute best thing.

    ...and maybe, just maybe, it is...

  • edgar.ishankulov

    Guys, I think Andrew's main point was in making us all enjoy all the 3rd party goodies that are out there. Make Blender a stronger, more respected player. For example I suffer a lot by not being able to use great 3d tracking software like Mocha or Bojou with Blender. The only way to do it is to get more new users to start using Blender. We NEED this new design, because the newcomers NEED this design.

    • BeeDoublejou

      we dont wand newcomers, we want to stay shortcut elite

      • edgar.ishankulov

        YOU don't want newcomers. All the other smart people do want them

        • hrachmd

          In that case lets do your own soft and use it yourself, why???? what you have against newcomers ? Sometimes the newcomers are the future developers and better professionals than you and I..

          • BeeDoublejou

            let me tell you a secret here:
            in every release, we misuse and reuse buttons and data fields, create new complex menu trees and spread workflows over the menus and panels so that only the shortcut elite can use it; only the cracks, who use Blender 24 hours a day will know how to use all these unclear features; we want to limit the usage to a few insiders because Blender is our treasure, it is like "Apple" products 15 years ago - made for an elite who refuses against mainstream; this is the way, we try to revert the error of making Blender OpenSource; we dont want Blender to get mainstream like Apple did; we pack as much hidden features into Blender as we can, communicating these secrets in secret forums and let the trainers make their money with all those young unexperienced users that pay money for courses and then quit disappointed, coming back a few releases later spending more money and so on; this is our money making strategy: get people in, get their money and let them get out of the loop for a while since they are confused

    • sozap

      Then use syntheyes , it has a blender exporter.
      with boujou/pftrack it should be possible to write an importer, these software always have a simplest text format export.
      Mocha does planar tracking which is another story. Making an importer for the compositor may be complicated but maybe possible now that it does also plane tracking.
      In the end, all these are not related to UI, we don't need new users like noobs, but more solid/pro users, and they'll look more in the functionality blender provide than the interface.

  • WDS

    Very Cool.

  • enpipes

    First, thanks for so extended investigation.
    Although I don't agree the main concept of these videos, because they are intended to develop an UI too much typical and trained, out of the meaning of the Blender Foundation, closer to a Free usability for profesionals (yes, you have to learn!).
    Into the Blender's concept we cannot obviate his singular character, marked by these differences you marked as 'bugs'. I respect your opinion, for me you becomed the opposition of the Blender Foundation, and it's good. But I hope your interface don't go through, because would be the final of Blender as a 'Special' software.
    A clear example: when you break a learned routine (selection by left mouse), your brain have to work, and look what you are doing, and the creativity is improved.
    So, please, I don't want a standard, I like the singularities.
    Above all, Why somebody can jump over everybody in the Blender community? why Andrew don't create a branch? I think is the usual way for make real changes in Blender...
    Thanks & Regards

    • sozap

      so true !

      I guess for some basic modeling and rendering this interface speed up the workflow, or for sculpt work maybe. But for more complex task/project you'll have to click a lot of 'more' buttons.
      Also like this it looks cool but it doesn't show where you put all many buttons like 3D viewport options , modifiers/constraints stack, or particules/physics settings.
      which all doesn"t fit well in an horizontal layout.

      There are still many things to think in this proposal, for me this doesn't look at the big picture.

      • jefferson moreira

        I agree with you two, everyone else here has learned to use the blender even though it is complex, and with this new interface it will not make it get easier, it will remain difficult (because of independent counsel is hard 3D software) but it will be difficult for a differently than the blender is today, but standardized with most software. not going to be easy.

        Not all people in the world think the same way and what many people think can not be so amazing so amazing to others. I just fell in love with blender because it is completely different from anything that exists in relation, to the world of 3D
        I think the idea is cool Andrew became a branch, but I believe that would be the end of the blender if that becomes the standard blender.
        I always thought we were all with the blender just because it is different ...
        I also do not want a standardized tool.

    • jefferson moreira

      I agree with you man...

  • VanRailey

    No doubt pre version 2.0 days, had a very horrible interface. Now it to me is much better than it was. Yet, I think improvements could definitely be made. I do like this idea of an interface if only you can customize your own tabs and be able to drag and drop icons around. Or even create a new tab entirely.
    If anything I wouldn't mind the current interface if I could move every single icon in the areas I wanted. Which with this current interface I do get kinda irritated with the back and forth between menus between menus when trying to texturing setting the maps. The sculpting example did hit it on the head and wasn't an over exaggeration.

  • BeeDoublejou

    I really dont understand, why shortcut addicts and pro users need an interface at all: there is python and command line, that's all you guys should use (max and maya have shortcuts, so I suggest to throw them out of blender)

    for the rest of us occasional users: PLEASE CHANGE THIS NIGHTMARE UI !!!!

  • hrachmd

    It's a good idea to improve the Blender UI, but please NOT! MS Office styled menus ....

  • hrachmd

    And the current UI is NOT nightmare, why back to console??? don't forget that blender3d also are using beginners. And it is needed an intuitive and user friendly UI (with buttons, with kb shortcuts, with notification tips/tooltips) to involve more and more users!!!

  • edgar.ishankulov

    @BeeDoublejou,
    Dude, are you trying to be funny? We get it, you're a comedian. Now please say something that you really mean, and stop misleading people and wasting their time

    • Gnuren

      +1

      • BeeDoublejou

        +1

        I cant stand all those "leave my Blender untouched; it took me years to learn it and now you want to change it ... hugh ?" guys

  • sympa

    Andrew, thanks for spending this effort on improving Blender.

    Some reactions remind me about the I change in word processors many moons ago: the formatting codes that filled books and trainings, and showed up as a yellow B on your screen for Bold and a yellow b for end-of-bold, were replaced by a WYSIWYG display and discoverable menus. People would complain "but I lose my power" - but that power was only superficial, like having to cast a magic spell to get out of bed. OK it's magic, but conveys no special powers.

    Some Maya users hate the view cube that shows which way are X Y and Z in the viewport and adjusts orientation by a click on the cube face. Probably because it feels like dumbing down the UI (those hard learned shortcuts are not required any more) and less than the bit of clutter it is.

  • bartosh44

    Hi,
    I am very basic user of Blender since few years. I respect that software very much and I always see endless possibilities of using it. I`ve tried to learnt it few times without success. I am also legal user of: Modo, Zbrush, Adobe Creative Suite. I can`t afford for Autodesk or Maxon or Realflow. I think I am the worst kind of Blender user for you becouse I am trying to steal best Blender things (for me) like: physics animation (smoke, fluid, clothes, particles) + Cycles engine and mix it with my pipeline (Modo and Zbrush). I am mainly hobbyst and fresh freelancer.

    I respect all opinion especialy people who choose rough path of learning Blender. I know most of you tell me that I am too lazy to learn diffrent way on thinking for few softwares. And you will have right. I always chose shortcuts. For me opening Blender for users like me is wonderfull idea. I don`t know if all proposals are good or not. I know that Modo and Zbrush are more user friendly FOR ME. Maybe other may other opinions but for me is more easy. Thats why I`ve collected money few months and I bought both softwares.

    That was intro of my question.

    Please tell me why that discussion is: "that or that". I know that kind of proposal can`t be done as one big cut. People have learnt Blender so many years and no one is allowed to cut them out of their software. I think solving that problem are two UI for chose. One for Blender Society and one for users of other softwares. I think that kind of proposal is good as opportunity for users of other softwars, not as obligatory for all users. Old method is not worse in my opinion, it`s only harder to learn and harder when you use few softwares and you have to use Blender occasionally. Occasionally users are also users and no one should cut them out also in my opinion. So my think is to create both UI as opportunity. Everyone will be happy (I think) and your Society will grown dramatically ( it`s only one big cons that will be popular for everyone ;) ).

    Please don`t eat me for my opinion if it`s other than yours :)

    Best regards,
    Marcin

    • sozap

      making two UI would take more time to do and to maintain, when the software evolve it take 2 time to do that can be done once. And also it means more bug to track down.
      Finding the perfect UI , that will keep good things blender has : flexibility, non-modality, the fact that you can customize your workflow, that you can tailor blender for your need. In the end , something that makes blender a bit different, but cool to use when you know it. And in the other hand, something that is easy to use not knowing how it works, were it will suit more people like you or beginner is very difficult to do as you guess...
      I think Andrew's choices are too drastic, IMO blender should evolve one piece at a time toward the better tradeoff of both world.

      • speakingmute

        Two UIs would also be frustrating so far as communicating with other users, especially given Blender's community base for documentation and tutorials. In the long run, one UI would be phased out, and I'm guessing that would be the Blender's current one due to Autodesk.

      • bartosh44

        So maybe enable more deep customize option will solve that problem?

  • smallB

    " “Andrew’s toolbar + tabs looks HORRIBLY like the Microsoft Word ribbon, which is a disaster of a user interface. ”

    “Blender *already has* the best and most customizable interface of them all – much better than Adobe or Microsoft. Fully customizable screen sets that the user can build to suit their own way of working and switch to with one key combination! ”

    All said. Totally agreed."

    Couldn't agree more.

    Andrew, did you take into consideration the fact that current users like their windows setup and how your ribbon and toolbars on the side would work with it?
    Seriously, what you've did is copied Office and AutoCAD/Photoshop, nothing original, no improvement, less screen space, constrained customization. Andrew, wake up! If you want to make name for yourself make it as a man whom people remember with warmth not with laugh!

    • edgar.ishankulov

      He never said "get rid of customizable panels"! And at least he explained and argumented his view. What real points do you have except accusations of him stealing ideas from big players?
      Oh and btw, do you know why those multimillion dollar software made that kind of design of UI? Because it's convenient and efficient, go tell Adobe and Microsoft how you have a breaking idea of developing their "dumb" interfaces. They'll pay you a lot.

      • smallB

        And where did I say that he said that? My point was that with the UI design he proposes the space lost because of the ribbon would be considerable.
        And btw, Office is constantly criticized for their "ribbon", AFAIK AutoCAD ditched ribbon, Maya doesn't want to touch it.
        Just because Adobe and MS have it, it doesn't mean that it is best possible solution.

        • DaedalJS

          autoCAD still has the ribbon. i learned autoCAD quite a while before the ribbon and my almost entirely shortcut based workflow in it changed very little after it appeared. if anything it sped up my workflow a bit once i got used to it but it's been a year or so since i used autocad. i can say that the ribbon made it easier for new users to learn the software.

          autodesk's two softwares that are slowly replacing autocad, inventor and revit, also have the ribbon and it works quite well in them.

          i heard that maya hasn't really had an update in a decent while... dunno if that's true but it's what i heard.

          office is a horrible example to compare with a 3d program. it's so much simpler and most users before didn't really use shortcuts or a lot of it's more advanced features anyway. they just did everything through the UI where most of the "advanced" features were hidden in menus. the ribbon exposed a lot of the more "advanced" features so it completely confused and shocked the vast majority of it's users.

          blender already has a heavily shortcut based workflow so while a ribbon UI may look different i doubt that much would actually change in terms of how current users actually use the software. so while this kind of UI would make blender easier to learn the worst it would actually do to current users is just give an adjustment period before making the parts they're less familiar with more accessible and easier to learn... that is if they're willing to give the new UI chance enough to actually adjust to it.

          heck current users would probably quickly grow to love this kind of thing if the ribbon were customizable, swapable between horizontal or vertical, it's own panel/view/window and they could still split views.

  • Gnuren

    Blenders current UI isn't perfect, i agree.
    And i agree with a lot Andrews research.
    But I feel that a lot of the suggestions could be implemented in the current UI.
    What Andrew is proposing is a almost complete change of UI and workflow.
    A lot of good idea, but IMO the proposal i too radical.

    As Andrew stated in his presentation: This is more religion than science :-)
    There will be pros an cons and i'm sure the blender foundation will come up with some great UI changes once the dust settles :-)

    • DaedalJS

      is it really that big a change in workflow with how heavily shortcut based most everything is in blender? unless they go changing a lot of shortcuts it'll be more a change of scenery than a change of workflow.

      what if the ribbon were it's own panel to be selected like any other window type in blender? what if the panel were also customizable with whatever commands/tools you wanted on it and could choose for yourself what was put under a small drop down drawer or what was immediately accessible? what if you could save different customized ribbon layouts? what if the panel could also be swapped vertically if the user wanted? what if you could still split windows/viewports/panels?

      • Gnuren

        True, I don't know how much this will affect workflow.
        As you say: there's a lot of 'what if'.
        One thing I hope never changes is the ability to customize the UI.

  • kniteriter

    I started using Blender back in the bottom panel days 7 years ago from small projects to multi-month full-time projects. It was a constant struggle to learn, then have to relearn how to do things. Mostly because in between 3D/motion projects I am primarily a user experience designer that was originally trained in traditional art like drawing, sculpting and painting, so I feel like I have seen both sides of the power/casual user debate.

    When Andrew started with his UI project I was very excited, I agreed with many of the things he proposed in his first and second videos, and I also agree with many of the things in this proposal video, except for the tool ribbons. I think the task oriented tabs have potential and I'd like to see some focus group and A/B testing on it. Love the consistency of the left-mouse button and contextual options panel for the right-mouse click, the friendly recall of layer naming, and so on.

    I feel that with some cleaning and simplification we can keep most of the current properties view and include things like the operators and transform editor as a tab within it, and move things like render, scene, and world somewhere else, perhaps render properties on the render view, and scene/world replaces the transform/operator tab when you select the background of the 3D view or something like that.

    Overall though I am very excited to see how Ton a crew respond to this, because all I want is Blender to get better and better for artists to create beautiful work.

    • Gnuren

      '...all I want is Blender to get better and better for artists to create beautiful work.*
      Well said :-)

  • downshiftdx

    I registered today just to jump in on the conversation but have lurked for years.

    Andrew’s proposals I have comments on:

    1. LMB default and RMB becomes context sensitive menu.- Yes. Yes. YES!!!

    It just makes sense and fits with everything else out there regardless of the type of application or GUI driven OS. Like so many, this is the first thing I change, followed by renderer = Game Engine.

    2. Tabbed Modal Interface - No thanks, at least not how presented.

    Why not?

    - The non-overlapping UI Blender has is, imho, brilliant and I wish that there was a full window manager that could apply zooming and the non-overlapping windows to all apps system wide. He made no mention of how/if the current non-overlapping system fits into the “ribbon” / tabs system.

    - Blender is not really that modal even though you can force it to look like it is for short periods as shown in his video by the sculpting example. Python editing, UV editing while working with a model (maybe tweaking geometry to get a cleaner unwrap), Texture painting in 2D while observing the results in the viewport, rigging/posing, etc… Many needs overlap and flow into and out of each "mode" and to be best used need to be open at the same time such as working with python for editing a game script with the logic editor on the display as well as the 3D viewport for rapidly testing in the BGE. (And frankly the BGE is where 95% of my interest in 3D and Blender is.)

    So what if you are modeling in a small window but if it gives you access to EVERYTHING else you need? I can say with almost 100% certainty that the small window you are working in still has considerably higher resolution than most computing systems could manage when some of us started with 3D in the 90’s. (Plus that tab-ribbon concept takes up a fair bit of precious screen space.)

    Suggestion:

    Move the current “layout” selector out of the Info bar and make it into a tab system just like a web browser and many file managers now have. Place the tabs below the Info bar with common shortcuts like CMD KEY + “T” and (+) and (x) buttons to create new tabs that can be configured with any combination of windows just like they are now. It frees up room in the Info bar, presents clearly to the user the availability of different “modes” and is configurable as current users are used. The same default layouts can exist or be overwritten / added to as needed and saved in the preferences.

    3. Layer Editor - Yes but not as shown.

    Extending from my idea for a tabs system, the layer editor could just change the current unclear 20 buttons to a drop down with editable names, check boxes / eyeball icons to hide / show, and the ability to add and delete layers. It should be in the SAME place it has been and that persist until the mouse leaves it or it is hidden intentionally by a close button.

    4. Help system & global undo - Yes please! Current undo has screwed me over several times.

    5. Hide Python tooltips by default & undo stack - Sure, whatever, don’t care. (I’ve never needed an undo stack anywhere and I haven’t gotten lost in my steps.)

    6. Bigger fonts. - No

    Blender’s text at the normal size and default layout is already cut off in almost every tool and window. (I can’t even fathom how bad it must be in languages other than English where many words may be far longer.)

    THIS is what needs a redesign but not in the extreme way as the modal-ribbons proposed. I am on a 15 in monitor @ 1680 x 1050 most of the time and I made all my fonts SMALLER (by zooming where I can) so the words can be READ which is why they are there in the first place. I think font sizes are much more subjective due to differences in vision (though I have glasses) than is the LMB vs. RMB debate. So redesign the layout of all the tools and panels to make more sense and be more legible but it will never be perfect for all users and all languages.

    Final thoughts…

    #6 brings me to Blender’s consistency, or rather lack-of in many areas. It is my opinion that before Blender gets a UI overhaul it needs a full review for consistency in naming and functionality as Andrew pointed out in the first videos. One big one for me? Nearly everything can zoom with + and - except the Outliner. (Unless I somehow just didn’t figure out how to do it even after reading the latest Outliner docs online) The scalable interface is a great feature but it like many other things (*cough* BGE *cough*) it needs some love and attention before adding more and more features or it should be scrapped. (Why leave it half baked and confusing?)

    Nobody should freak too much about anything because this is after all just ideas (which has inspired me to mock up some of my own) and it can’t all be thrown in at single release. It would and should be gradual and incremental. For instance 2.7.3 - 2.7.5 goes through a consistency review and re-work while features are frozen until the cleanup is done. Then 2.7.6 can implement a better layer manager or a material system similar to Andrew’s proposal (which I thought looked really good except for the ribbon system.) 2.8 can implement something else major with the UI… etc. There are still good tutorials from 2.4 that if you pay attention carefully to what is being said and shown you should be able to follow fairly easily in 2.5. Tutorials both in text and video are just a MUST unless you are some god-gifted person. Making some really radical shift such as what was proposed will totally invalidate the books, videos, and online texts for helping new users.

    As for new/potential users, while considering this we should think about who is likely to actually use it and I don’t mean the “noobs” who think they can model and render Toy Story from scratch in a weekend or who think they will build the next great MMO using nothing but logic bricks. Those users are going to give up no matter what because their expectations are totally out of whack for just how much work goes into anything, 3D or otherwise. How many people set out to write a book and fail? That is doing something we all do everyday - use words and write and still people aren’t successful - 3D is a whole new beast!

    The tool can only do so much for you and to help you no matter how well it is designed. This isn’t writing a paper, it isn’t drawing or painting in photoshop, and it isn’t learning to program… it is/can be all of those things and so much more. If the user isn’t going to take the time to read a book, watch some YouTube, or check a FAQ once in a while to learn Blender then they weren’t likely to do it with Max or Maya or anything else either so why coddle them so much? I will put money down if many of these things were implemented people would still complain that it is too hard and has too difficult a learning curve because 3D is just not easy for everybody.

    Blender has very good functionality that needs refinement to interaction and stability instead of sweeping changes for the sake of easing users into something that is practically very difficult to be just okay at let alone master.

  • pixellegolas

    I think it is really scary to see so much negative reactions to a proposal about change. One guy has spent alot of time trying to make things better for the many people and and he gets so much negative response. It is so easy to ti just comment bad stuff, if you don't agree, have you any better ideas? Use the energy to help instead of complaining. I really like blender and want it to be better.

    you are basically saying like this:

    "We have the best car in the world that drives really really fast, but the gear and brakes are placed differently than other cars. We have totally changed it, and if you cannot find it yourself in 10 seconds you are screwed. you are not elite and should move to another car. We don't want to have it like others"

    I use solidworks every day in work and also teach out 2 times per year. What people say is that it is so easy to learn. I really believe it is because of the easiness of the UI that makes people think this way. The easy access of relevant buttons and foremost that the buttons actually are there. Not in hidden areas.

    There could be basic and advanced view. In some programs you just shift easy with a button. Wouldn't that kind of cover everyone's needs? Basic with ribbons to understand and advanced that hides stuff so you can focus on blender and make the best 3d in the world?

    Say yes to change and live more happy ;)

    • speakingmute

      Using the car analogy, I think the negative reaction is because the change is more like this:

      "Maya-GM, Max-Ford, and all the rest use the combustion engine, therefore to improve you Blender-Tesla, you should make it with a combustion engine as well."

      I'm all for Price's earlier suggestions for consistent values, labels, logical grouping, and changing how you position the 3d cursor - but the reason I use Blender is because I vastly prefer it's GUI to Maya. I would actually stop using Blender and switch to Maya if they start using ribbons, tabs, and pie menus.

      • pixellegolas

        But that is because you have spent quite alot of time learning it and passed a threshold of understanding. There are people with far less patience. Should they be excluded from blender because of this. I am a very patient person so I have no issues but I feel sorry for people who are unpatient. I see no reason why piemenu, ribbons and what have yous would be so bad for the new people. I rather have that and a possibility of changing it to a more advanced mode later. For you it would mean switching instantly to advanced mode. Best interface purely aestetichal is according to me SCULPTRIS :)

        • speakingmute

          The same could be said for Autodesk users - see my post below.

        • speakingmute

          I also like sculptris - but sculptris is a much simpler program, with a real world analogue to molding a ball of clay that's easily understood. Animation software has no such analogue - stop motion and cell animation are the closest, and these are quite complex subjects.

          • pixellegolas

            I think the hard part is like others have pointed is to say what I want to have when I for example switch in blender to sculpting. Maybe the view could change to something like sculptris but that is maybe not prefered by others. Making intuitive views for different aspects of blender is so hard, it such a big and complex program. This will be a tough nut to crack and I am eager to see ideas. I love ideas and change so lets see what will happen. I would also love to see some interactions with tablets so we can get quick commands from an external panel :)

    • BeeDoublejou

      The UI problem gets worse with every release, because there is no distinct UI expert at the Blender team and no UI strategy guide. Every student brings in exciting new features, and in the end he/she adds some buttons into the panels, making everything more worse. Good news for BlenderCertifiedTrainers and shortcut addicts with enough time to learn them all.

    • smallB

      " think it is really scary to see so much negative reactions to a proposal about change. One guy has spent alot of time trying to make things better for the many people and and he gets so much negative response."

      He gets negative response because the changes he proposes are poorly though, will not improve in any way current workflow, and it will not make your work easier. If anything it would get worse. That's why the negative response. If he had proposed something which at least could potentially work people would tell him that. But he proposed something which would only make your work harder and again, people are telling him that.

  • speakingmute

    I began teaching myself Maya and Blender at the same time, and had no prior experience in technical software when I did so. Neither UI is easier or more intuitive than the other so far as I'm concerned. The core debate is essentially on of hotkeys vs. menus, which frankly comes down to personal preference. Menus are just as opaque as hot keys to the genuine first time user, especially for a jargon laden field like CG. Would you know what weight painting or a NURB was just from looking through the tabs in Maya? Could you have figured out how to use these items in a trial and error fashion? This is all stuff learned from documentation, instructors, and tutorials - no way around it.

    So this really isn't about making Blender easier to learn so much as it is making Blender easier to use for professionals who want to integrate it into an Autodesk based pipeline. You see this notion in full force in above complaints that more or less state "Our production team uses Maya/Max most of the day. This makes it really annoying for us to switch to Blender for the few tasks we think it useful for." I It's silly to cater a program's development to those who admittedly use it as a periphery. I also can't see how this encourage any opensource development; professional developers who pick up Blender are going to make for-profit software.

    • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

      Agreed, spot on.

    • PGTART

      No it is about making Blender usage more intuitive.
      Software has always been a tool to make things easier.
      To shorten the path where you want to go.
      It could make open-source more attractive to a lot of people.

      Just imagine, if people find-out that things become more easy to do in blender as compared to others, that would attract also lot of knowledge to the blender project too. We are already in an age that for example Android a Linux version is taking over the world.
      Only even a few years ago people rejected Linux, and now most people use it on their phone and trust it. This changes the open-source world, now people think why not create better open-source software, our community could become larger then autodesk...

      • PhysicsGuy

        I think your remark about Android is actually making the opposite point you are trying to make. The fact that Android is built on top of Linux does not mean that people now have the power of linux at their fingertips. Rather, Android provides the same walled garden that windows 8 and iOS provide. The user experience in Android is opposite to the experience in normal Linux. Even a childproof distro such as Ubuntu allows you to get rid of unity. Android requires you to jailbreak the device for that. We do not want a blender UI that limits users and makes them feel they are in a walled garden.

  • http://www.easykitchen3d.com fabbyone

    very interesting, a more usable version should be the goal of every software, less time to scroll up and down the menus means more efficency and free time

  • mjack

    I totally agree we have to get rid of that frustrating first click experience, that means you can do nothing, when you first open the software. You know: Left/Right Mousebutton discussion. As blender is no commercial software it cannot focus just on professionals and powerusers. It has to get people to 3D and to fall in love with working in 3 dimensions. At least I think that was the idea behind back in time when the source was bought free on community effort. Next task is to lead users to get professionals - using blender and perhaps even developing and supporting blender. And thats a huge task to combine in an efficient and friendly interface. So for me it is totally clear we need a good discussion of maybe radical proposals. Keep your minds open. And no one can tell he likes to have to remember shortcuts, yet beeing proud of knowing them. The task is not to scare people away. Point and click should work for the unexperienced, while experienced users should unfold the magic a poweruser can get out of a customizeable and streamlined interface.
    Blender's interface will change, as it has changed in the past, it's not logical to try to keep it on hold. We now have to target the right direction and we all are asked to be constructive.

    So open your mind, perhaps it's time to reinvent a better wheel ;-)

  • VanRailey

    I say Blender Cookie should hold a contest. Because I think many of us would agree that the UI could use a revamp. Although, the question is how.

    • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

      ^ This. A contest is definitely the way forward. Let the seasoned users pick something, since they will have to be the ones which put up with it any way. Get some folks to form some UI proposals. In fact, why can't that be a regular thing here? Why can't we have SMALL UI change proposals thrown out here and discussed, and make small changes to the UI on a regular basis. There's no need to completely throw out the 2.5 UI in one hit and start fresh with something new, just make evolutionary changes.

      • Big Fan

        No contest please. We want to actually achieve something not have a thousand more suggestions to disagree over. I like the idea of a two stage clean up though. There are quite a few defaults and basic layout changes and tooltips that could be improved before the big representation via tabs. This would give users time to get in the groove of a more streamlined workflow. For the most part its really not at all as scary as some people imagine.

  • BeeDoublejou

    Google of Summer 2014 UI Redesign Prototype Contest

  • Big Fan

    I think its time we just started work on it. People are going to bitch and moan and think the sky is falling no matter what is done. The Blender UI definitely would benefit from a spring clean and consistent flowing approach. I am not really sure those complaining here have a sound grasp of what Andrew is trying to acheive anyway. Just a small team of say 3 sensible and proficient users driving the usability clean up and a sponsored coder to implement the change would do. Too many opinions, too many details kill progress. Keep it simple and direct and just go do it I say. Start a branch and arrive at something nice and tidy and refined for 3.0?.

  • Big Fan

    I nominate Andrew, Jonathan and perhaps Sebastian to be the UI oversight board. What about it guys? :D

  • WesleyL

    I agree it is time that Blender has gotten a cleaner and better UI. Yes a lot of people will cry about what they don't like. But the idea is a very good one for one it will make blender not look so jam packed. When with his proposal it opens up newer idea's and ways things can be done in Blender. Cleaner and they take up less room that slows down work flow so in the end less space taken up is more work room. And the idea is a very nice and professional looking UI.
    Cheers and Great Job.
    Andrew.

  • Krumelur

    Any reactions/comments from the developers yet?

  • vandorius

    First off. I respect Andrew and his work. But i don't like most of the proposed changes. Andrew's main goal is to teach Blender so i bet this changes would benefit his "income" a lot.

    I think if we wanted to help new Blenderheads to learn we could make a ribbon as an addon.

    Just my two cents.

    Take care.

  • Hubberthus

    Looking at the proposal and reactions I see that everybody has his/her own point, and there is always something I agree with in each comment.

    It is just a proposal, but I think its awesome! If somebody would start with Blender and it would look this way, he/she could create something very quickly.

    However, I've been using Blender for a long time, and got pretty used to it, and I agree that when you get a grab of it, you'll be better in the long run with all the buttons around. They would only need some minor cleanup.

    So, basically some cleanup must to be done, but there are two opposite sides against each other. One that would like Blender getting very clean, and the other who prefer to have everything in front of them, like a pilot on an airplane.
    In Blender, the coolest thing is that you can arrange the screen the way you want it. So:
    Why not have both of these?

    By default Blender could use a setup where all the simple and clean stuff are arranged in an easy-to-use way, but with a click, it could jump to the good ol' setup.
    And the users could customize the thing to go somewhere in between these, according to their level of knowledge.

    New user -> Easy Blender -> Quick learning, happy starting experience
    Experienced user -> Spaceship Blender -> Everything is quickly reachable

    ps.: By the way, I just LOVE the right-click pop-up menu idea.

  • JRipa

    Good video Andrew. It must have been a lot of work to do the mock up of the UI.

    One feature I don't see mentioned (but could have missed in the volume) is the screen layout presets. I often don't think to use that feature but it is very powerful and a way to quickly switch from one task type to another. It would be important to keep that feature.

    Also, I think as long as the keyboard shortcuts remain available, the power users that have memorized most of them should not be concerned with having a change to the menus.

    I have shown Blender to a few people that were excited by what I was able to do with it but none got past the initial pain of the unique UI. I am used to it but I think change would be good.

  • PGTART

    It seams as if a large part of it is developed, when can we see it in the buildbot ?

    PS could you add some customizable buttons to where people could put under their favourite scripts ? (or have a good guideline for menu and buttons) some simple button assign would be nice for the newbies, but have one requirement, that people should provide an icon for their button, no more cryptic text fields and buttons.

  • jcduplessis100

    Hi Andrew!
    Excellent presentation and proposal. As someone who uses Blender on a not so regular basis (and only for fun), I must agree that one tend to forget your keyboard shortcuts and property function/locations. I often find myself scrubbing through downloaded "Andrew Price" ;-) and other tutorial videos to try and revive lost knowledge! It took some determination and time to get to know the Blender interface, myriad of functions and shortcuts, and to only have yourself forget half of them because you don't use them that often sucks. I am VERY excited at your proposal as I agree with 100% of your suggestions! They would definitively make a already Excellent piece of software Awesome. Once you have made the "powers that be" realize that this UI update MUST happen, we can unleash you again with your sights set on the video sequence editor! LOL! Thanks for your work and effort in the Blender community! Regards!

  • shinobihn

    "The change is importat part for the human, whose who resist to change are eventually extinct"

    Some Solution:
    1 - Dont like you new UI: keep option for choose UI // UI mode legacy and new UI
    2 - No good for dual monitor// unpin tabs as the current panels and this for other monitor.

    3 - Don't like looks stile //this only a theme can be customized // maybe theme contest for add theme pack

    4 - this new blender no problem for expert, the expert use short cut, the place of icon for then not much important, but this usefull for the new users
    this design want atract new user,
    very much people NEW dont like the UI interface some student coment to me this is as retro style don't like this.

    5 - IMPORTANT POIINT: very much people here will say they do not like the andrew proposal but this normal, they actually have practice in current UI and dont like learning new work flow.
    THE NEW PEOPLE AGREE THIS CHANGE, for the new, the most time think a Pretty UI and practical workflow, and this the center of this proposal.

    6 . the chage attract more like that don´t like
    in this site is like 50% and don't 50% approximately but out of the current blender user the proposal have very much like that don't like maybe 95% like 5 % dont like, this good for attract new users.

  • mbresciani

    Yes, Please!

    Having a well thought out interface based on the science of proven design principles would make a great program like Blender a real main stream professional tool.

    Blender's current UI has the look and feel of a cheap shareware program from the late eighties.

    Thanks Andrew!

  • http://www.cresshead.com cresshead

    1.right hand click context sensitive menus is the way forward
    2.left click to select means no confusion/frustrations for new users
    3.add object menu displayed & not hidden will keep new users from deleting blender within the first 10 mins.
    4.3d cursor by default need to be a new hot key command be default
    5.maya/max nav should be the splash screen question before it launches
    6.introduction videos should be on that same start up splash screen

  • Rafal Cypcer

    This proposal is very brave and clever idea and I encourage Andrew and rest developers to turn those ideas into reality. At first glance I was sceptical but after seeing the video I am convinced that those changes are needed and will improve using Blender. Many people dislikes changes because they have to learn old things again and I understand it. But it's worth to learn new UI if we will works faster and more convinient way.

    Thanks for your work, effort and brilliant ideas! Wish you luck!

  • monfico

    it's good to see the community involved, but... please people, learn how to deal with trolls. Just ignore them.

    • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

      It's not trolling to not like a UI redesign proposal. This is the discussion, there will be people who like his idea and people who don't, and both will express why they feel that way.

  • jefferson moreira

    I do not see anything wrong with the current UI.
    It really is very easy to criticize an idea, it is difficult to think of one, but I really do not like the proposed new UI, did not think the blender got face proprama professional (I'm not talking about usability, but the appearance, if I walked Barbie's office I would see something like this) but let's remember that "final cut" has a similar story, but no happy ending. There were changes in the UI so that new users stay happy and forget the professionals already working with it, the interface was good for those who are amateur (and not really understand video editing), but bad for proffisionais, I believe that with the blender can happen something. Just to satisfy new users is not a reason strong enough for such a change, we can not forget that the blender is a professional tool, not an amateur, it is not a child's toy, therefore it is expected to be something same complex, (he has to serve up to design rockets if any) we all learned to deal with him, and no one here had a brain aneurysm because of the degree of difficulty.
    Andrew Price's proposal contemplates blender like 3D software, but the blender is more than that, he is also a video editor, composer, game developer among several other things, and I believe that this proposal does not work well with this other branches
    it is necessary that we all discuss this further because it affects the life of all the...

    • jefferson moreira

      When I said (barbie's officer) I did not mean to offend anyone, it was only a comparison

    • shinobihn

      don't undertand why you say this when the problem with final cut was on cutting of funtions ( the late implementation of some funtion with updates, as multicam and others)

      this UI no make blender no- pro, this facilitates the workflow, the true expert dont think and icon theny work with shorcuts.

      why can't contemplates the other aspect of blender, becouse not show in the video ? he show modeling and compositor funtion but this proposal but logic this comptemplate all aspect.

      if don't like you can choose between legacy and new UI
      and so what is the problem now?

      • jefferson moreira

        Sorry shinobihn I don't understand, blender will be two interface? or old UI will be continue receiving actualization? I understand that will be change the UI...
        (I don't wanted keep work software without updated)

  • https://sites.google.com/site/tutblenderbr/ varanda

    Making Blender easier to use is a must.
    I see Andrew's proposal as a huge contribution to Blender. I would vote in favour of holding off new features towards making a better UI for the next Blender versions.
    I know I would need to get used to the new UI but if that would enlarge the user's base I am fine with that.

    Thanks a lot Andrew for your hard work and bright ideas.

  • http://www.yusis.net Vince0273

    It is very funny to watch the comments here.
    A lot of what I read is about the look that Andrew showed and not about the concept.
    Maybe the header looks a bit like Max, but that is not the point and can be changed. The point is making a software as easy to use as possible - who doesn`t want that?
    By the way Max interface is a mess and the usabillty is even more worse than Blenders!
    I agree with those people who said that the look and feel should be kept a bit more than in Andrew presentation - and I hope that a lot can be customised, so that everyone can rearange the software for their needs.

    Thank you Andrew for your work!

  • http://baltazaar.worpress.com cseder

    QUOTE: "I knowed that all this “littles” ideas had only one target… change all the interface to a MAX/Photoshop copy for idiots because one guy want this and have a lot of free time to make this proposal."

    This is totally stupid, you're ignorant and have a no-brainer way of thinking.
    Clearly a UI update like this would help more new users keep using Blender, as the workflow would be more comfortable compared to 99,8% of all other software out there.
    You're probably one of those that are so proud of being able to do things that nobody understands that you're afraid that this might actually show how simple your work really is.

    You should try thinking about other people than yourself, just for once. You'd be surprised how this will effect those around you positively.

    Your comment is so typical of why people steer away from Blender.
    Too many people like yourself in the community.

    Luckily there are people equipped with actual brains using Blender as well.

  • Zsolt S.

    +1! You have my vote Andrew!
    Very well thought out, bringing the tools needed for a given task together. I have also noticed how I always have the two sidebars (T, N) open, plus the porperties windows plus nodes for most tasks, leaving a fourth of the screen for the actual 3D View. Left-click for select seems to me a no-brainer, I don't understand why this even needs to be discussed. And the other mouse button would be better with a function more often used than placing the 3D-cursor. Like a context-sensitive menu. Maybe a pie menu.
    I find it sad that so-called advanced users attack a new interface proposal, either because of its looks (oh no, it *looks* like software XYZ that I used and hate, ergo it must be bad) or just because it is "new" and would require a bit of adjustment. Please look at what is proposed on its own merit, what parts bring what advantages and what disadvantages. It is not "dumbing down" Blender. No tools are removed, only the more ofthen used ones are exposed, better within reach. As in another post said here: the 20/80 principle. It makes the interface more discoverable for new users AND faster for existing users.
    Also, a comples program with many operators does not necessarily require a confusing GUI. I used Inventor (CAD) for some time. While it is not the best CAD program feature-wise, its interface is just great! It has huge tooltips with pictures (in the preferences it can be set without pictures for power users.) The GUI layout is in fact similar to this proposal. And Inventor has I am sure at least as many functions as Blender.
    Anyways, I hope we as a community can discuss the proposal as objectively as possible.
    Andrew you have my vote!

  • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

    NOPE!!!

    Too far, way way too far. There's no need to turn this into a Photoshop clone (I don't care what you say, I use Photoshop daily, that looks just like it!) or make it look like Microsoft freaking Word! This IS a 3D modelling and animation package after all, it's not meant to be THAT simple.

    I agreed with your first videos, I said that Blender does have UI issues, but nothing so horrid that it needs a redesign this extreme! This just goes too far in the other extreme. There's no need to dumb down Blender as much as this! If you do, the next 5 years will be just everyone demanding back all the power-user style elements that Blender had in before this change.

    If Blender is -10 on user friendliness, this is +10 on 'too dumb' for the UI. Bring it back 10 points to 0 and you will have me, but this is too far for me.

    NO.

    In recent times, Blender has been evolving in terms of UI and has been incrementally changing, I trust the developers will continue to do so in small steps, in ways that make sense, which are efficient and not dumbing down the application. I'm sure there are a few parts of your proposal which could work, but if you offered me the choice of the two UIs right now, I'd pick Blender's current one.

    • DarranJones

      "There’s no need to turn this into a Photoshop clone (I don’t care what you say, I use Photoshop daily, that looks just like it!)"

      Well, I have Photoshop open right now and the proposal looks nothing like it. Photoshop is menu based...file, edit, etc, etc, the proposal isn't. It's completely different except the layers/info panel things on the right and the tools bar on the left, which lets be honest is just good ui design.

      "This IS a 3D modelling and animation package after all, it’s not meant to be THAT simple."

      Why should it not be that simple? Wouldn't you rather use some software that was amazingly intuitive and allowed you to concentrate on your art rather than clicking 50 button to do one small task? or allowed you to do your job better, or faster?

      "There’s no need to dumb down Blender as much as this!"

      No one said anything about dumbing down Blender. It's about making the ui more usable and task/results oriented. Why should it be a nightmare to find/do things just for the sake of it. The shortcuts will still be there for the power users, all the functionality and tools will remain, so how is it dumbing down?

      Jeez, some people...

    • PGTART

      Your hilarious " it’s not meant to be THAT simple"...

      From what planet are you ??, software is a tool to make things easy for humans. As otherwise we would all have to learn assembler pop code and instruct a computers in a very complex way how it should behave. The goal of all software is to simplify

      If it becomes that easy even your kids could use, then you have a great GUI, sure more people can then make things, but dont look down on those people, if you realy got the skill then i am sure your still a better 3d designer. This tastes to me like, oh please dont make it to easy or else people wont pay me for this job.

      And thats such a bad idea...
      Great designers can work with any tools i give them
      I can even give them a real stone and they make great sculptures.
      If you think your a great designer because you can remember shortcuts R + Z 360.. thats what you should think about then...

  • http://www.mindinsomnia.com Aussiedude

    My hope is that there will be a compromise in the developers minds between this and keeping the UI exactly the way it is. Something like:

    "OK, there are many places in Blender where we are either inconsistent, or the options haven't been laid out in a very logical way, and there are some parts of the application's UI we can consolidate. We'll do a similar evolution of the UI that we did with 2.5, re-arrange some things, stream line options and generally tidy up the place, while implementing certain UI design standards which we are breaking. But we're not putting training wheels on the application, we're not completely redoing the UI from scratch or making it look like Photoshop or something for iOS. This is a complex program with a lot of functionality, and the users should be expected to learn a certain amount of that. 3D graphics, animation and special effects is a complex field, and requires a complex tool."

    By the way, I learnt Blender in high school, it has improved dramatically since the early days and should continue to improve at a steady pace! I use it now professionally for my job.

    • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

      I guess this graduality that you suggest is good and inevitable. Would be a disaster if the Blender team decided suddenly start to build the whole Andrew proposal. Andrew does not expect this, he exposed his points to contribute with the debate.

      We should think in Blender as a great ship. It's impossible to force this ship to change the course radically and rapidly. But, once the new course is decided (not a lonely decision made by the captain, but a collective one), the team gradually and patiently can turn the rudder, taking care to avoid bumps and swings.

      As you said, from 2.49 version to 2.5 it was already an improvement of the UI. A GREAT improvement, indeed! Now the Blender team should keep the evolution of the tools and resources and, at the same time, improve the UI to attract (and keep) a lot of new users.

  • ruslansobr

    Please, No...

  • Issanou Kamardine

    Please don't do this!
    Andrew Thanks for you work but blender UI is already the best. It Just need an clean up to be more intuitive.
    Thank you again.

    • BeeDoublejou

      yeah. back to the roots !
      command line, nothing else !!

    • PGTART

      Please do this, Blender has had such large changes before and the product got only more easy to use, you wont loose a lot, but in the end get things done in less time.

      And i never heard of people who are still using the first releases of blender because of its GUI in that time.. (how strange)...

  • wordsand

    Really will thought through Andrew! I want this new interface!
    - I appreciate the amount of intuative functions built in this new interface proposal.
    - I have to buy a special 3 button wheel mouse just for Blender. I use a normal mouse for everything else.
    - Seriously, I think this new interface will help Blender catch up with the other major 3D applications (and eventually overtake them).
    - Left click / Right click... I vote for the more standard and easy to learn convention, so I can think less about Blender and more about my project.

  • sympa

    The 'first impression' is probably the most important. Left click select and drag, for example. Perhaps a context menu à la the iD Openstreetmap editor.

    Adding a material should show all major features in one view. Not the shader in one panel, load the texture in UV map and then also link that same texture in the material: that can be connected and easier to use in an 'apply material' -> 'select color or picture' -> 'adjust picture position' sequence which follows logically. And as Andrew shows, the individual operationd and the node editor are still available.

    Adding decent predefined materials also would help a LOT. Just as auto-exposure on the camera would (it already has auto-focus, right ;P)

  • sarwat

    the idea of developing blender's UI is realy great .
    in my opinion if there will be a new UI it must be :
    - beauty , tidy and simple
    - ease to use
    - different from other 3d app
    I suggest there being a competition for the best blender's UI .
    sorry for my bad en

  • shinobihn

    yes taking as base the andrew proposal and the actual UI make a Blender UI contest!!

  • birddog

    If anyone wanna change Blender UI ,
    Then put word , "Blender Jr."
    But Keep "Blender Sr".

    What about poll? Or vote anyone?

    Just said!

  • Alex1553

    Good job. I agree with your task oriented concept.
    The thing that gets me though is that for the last couple of decades GUI is supposed to be graphical. Most applications use a "spreadsheet" or "database card" type textual interface. Tabs is another 2D textual paradigm (which I agree is quite effective).
    I always wanted to explore 3D user interfaces, where one can interact with the interface as if it is more of a physical object without having to put up with "menus" and "Popups"...
    This is some times hampered by the fact that there are not many libraries (in software world) that allow you to build 3D interfaces.
    Blender on the other hand is build exclusively in 3D. I believe (now going on a limb) that everything in Blender is OpenGL based, even the user interface menus and panels.
    I wonder whether your ideas and the wider community of users (i.e. us) can come up with an elegant 3D user interface that will revolutionise how software interacts with users.
    I call to arms all 3D artists and software engineers to start the revolution and kill the 2D textual interfaces.
    Alex

  • PGTART

    I think Andrew has a great background, and knowledge about design.
    Software design and usability, is something different then a nice blender picture.
    He has the right background, to do this, hes the kind of guy to could have made microsoft big in the mobile phone era.. but hey he uses his time for blender !! wow

    I am a sofware designer too, and i notice he is on a high level, he has good ideas.
    Sure people tend to stick to old things, things they knew, as people are afraid of change. But when i look around i dont see people using windows 3.11 a lot or DOS 6.2, or people using linux mint "Bea", no time goes forward and things change people move on forward.

    Sure some people would like to use python only perhaps, but python wont move away in blender, its the interface thats bad and needs to change, because like i see in many software projects, they start simple, things get added, things break design, but things dont get removed, and in the end they become trouble, i've nver seen bigger trouble together as in blender, from a GUI perspective, its a miracle people find their way in it, reminds me of old version of Autocad

    Also a good user interface will also improve future add on development, and will interest new developers. An interface makes how new people like your product. It are the new people who are the future of a software product. In the end the new people will carry the product expand it, with those hardcore developers who already know such things about software development. Despite some old day users who don't understand such things. If blender gets a better GUI it will attract more people, with that more developers, with that broader acceptation, with that become even a powerful industrial open-source standard.
    ( people who dont like this perhaps got payed by 3dsmax ?? or ... ?? )
    Because this will kill their application and they know that.

    As what Andrew does here is convincing people to go from windows 3.11 to well Android 4.4 or so, a major change. We really shouldn't stop that. Dont think i see a ribon it looks like office 2010 and i hate MS office, as you hate Photoshop or 3Dmax, that isn't rectifying someone trying to improve a peace of software that became a huge garbage.

    Sure some of you know all the keyboard shortcuts, but i bet you still remember them from WP5.1 too (do you ??) or do you use a modern wysiwyg editor ?. Well if you say your still using notepad or vim, then i am even more amazed that you use the latest version of blender, why dont you use an old version ??

    I hope this will go on, or else become a split in the project line, the fan base will then decide what what people will use (and since the inner working isnt planned to change a lot) its most likely the new 2.7 versions will attract much more people, people who are willing to learn easier ways to get things done faster.
    With less distraction and switching in between screens and dialogs.

    If your afraid to learn a manual again, think twice, because should the new generation learn just as much, or.. since we live in a digital world should the product be nicer to its users, so more people with great understanding of blender will rise out of the blue, if your experienced, then dont be afraid of that.
    In the past i've seen technology become better tools and no one got hurt by it.
    Maybe you get more professional colleagues and having Blender on your CV will finally be seen as something more serious.. it wont hurt your job.

  • Hammers

    All in all I love Blender as is, I'm even a right-click fan. But I have to say the proposal looks pretty damn good Andrew.

    I wonder what your thoughts on the future of multi panel non-overlapping display is though. It's one of the things I really dig in Blender and use it all the time for animation (e.g. dope sheet, graphs, face cam, alternate cam etc. all open an visible at once). Drives me mad in Maya, every time I open a window and it takes over the whole screen, and spend all my time moving it around.

  • http://dtpembroke.com dtpembroke

    Over many years I have tried to tried to use Blender. Maybe a few weeks then 5 or 6 months off (other workloads). I showed blender to many students but the INTERFACE!! Well, there was too much effort. It is not intuitive. Blender will NEVER be accepted by the masses because of its strange interface.
    Yet it provides awesome facilities. I go to Blender Nation to keep track of developments, every day!!
    A completely New Interface that makes sense. YIPEE.
    Please hurry and commit to it or Blender will forever be a niche player.

  • modelmaker

    @dtpembroke: I totally agree!
    I am the owner and sales director of one of four Autodesk Gold Partners in Europe. And "of course" I am working in my free time with their products.
    Since many years I install Blender on my workstation, but I have never really used it. Mainly this is because of its usability which is horrible and made by programmers not by artists. I went 2 times to Blender Conference and everytime I told the guys to create Blender to a more user-orientated tool. Many are avoid using Blender because of the bad learning curve caused by the poor usability.
    I agree totally with Andrew that it's important for the 3D world to give new gui to it.
    Unfortunately I cannot participate the Conference this year, but, Ton (I think you remember me!), please support Andrew and the guys who will work on the new Blender outfit. That will be good for the market and beneficial for commercial studios which want to implement Blender in their workflow!

    • blenderissimo

      Generally I agree with you. The problem is indeed that developers make the UI design. The same happens with websites "designed" by technicians or IT experts. The have a quite different approach to design or should I say "they are design ignorants"? Every software team needs an usability and design expert!

      Nevertheless after thinking a lot about Andrew's proposal I stopped to be 100% with him, but most of his ideas I like much more than the actual UI. What I wouldn't like is the "fat" ribbon. It takes to much place from the top. I only would make a thin ribbon with tabs for the screen layouts. The rest I would place on the side like in the actual 2.5/2.6 versions. Andrews proposal for the thin toolbox on the left border is just fine. It should contain only icons with tooltips and it should be possible to customize.

      I would add a similar vertical list of icons on the right border for properties (they should only appear (slide in), when needed). I would (like Andrew) add a layer panel and a global undo/redo panel there (even when it is similar to photoshop, which should not be a criterion). Then I would add a material editor with a group functions. It often happens, that I have quite a lot of materials and it is difficult to overview them. Materials should be seen independently from its users. Fake Users are no good solution. Materials just shouldn't be deleted when the have no user, but there should be a simple "x" to delete them when I want to get rid of it.
      And what about to switch through the properties icons just by repeating the space bar. The actual function of space bar could be put into the top menu beside the screen layout tabs. To have a search field on the right top corner is quite common (websites, browsers, mac os spotlight, etc.). And every beginner would immediately find it. On the contrary the actual space bar search is not obvious.

  • Nomster

    Wow. It really looks disgusting.

  • Rosebarb

    hi andrew,
    i am with you- when you mention that blender needs an other interface - but please keep also these things in mind:

    If you hide option in extensible tabs - maybe never seen by an new user - this user didnt even know there is the function. I learned surley over 50% of the functions by seeing UI elements i can try out - learning by doing. if their knowledge grows - they dont need this anymore.

    Each user has differnt approach to work - so the tabs should be completly customizeable.

    Another thing is about the text size - when you are new to blender you maybe read the buttons - but over time you only know where the function is and click nearly blind. so if there is to make an input from users - the size should be bigger than on buttons or info text.

    lg

  • manmachine

    Please DO NOT change the UI.Everything is as it should be.If possible make a blender-beginer version and leave the blender-pro as it is.
    Peace.

  • rontarrant

    I still don't understand the naysayer point of view on the new UI and here's why:
    - the keyboard shortcuts WILL NOT be removed, so all those shortcut memorization gurus won't be affected except they'll have more screen real estate by default (and who would complain about that? Seriously.)
    - the new UI could be done as a second version of Blender (call it something completely different, if you want, like: Blender 3D Studio or MindBoggle 3D) if it comes to that or could be a single checkbox in Preferences, so again all the shortcut mem jockeys can carry on as usual while others can learn and use the new UI

    So what's the big deal? In essence, both sides of this argument could have what they want.

  • http://www.aldeaglobal.net/enpipes enpipes

    Max, AutoCAD, Zbrush, Maya... are all the same concept: Autodesk
    Blender is another concept, and this concept is the sugar where came the people, looking for the freedom. Autodesk makes the workflow in one direction, Blender is like a tree, where all the branches can interact.
    A solution, Andrew:
    why don't you offer this design to Autodesk directly?
    The Blender developers would save a lot of time!

    • blenderissimo

      @enpipes
      It is simply not true that max, autocad, zbrush and maya have the same concept. There are similarities but big differences too. If you ever tried to work with ZBrush, you would stop to claim such nonsense here!

      • http://www.aldeaglobal.net/enpipes enpipes

        Read again more quietly my words (with a tea?)

        • blenderissimo

          I can read it again and again ... what you wrote is just wrong. Everybody can proof it. There are at least as many differences between - let's say - 3DS Max and Zbrush as between 3DS Max and Blender.

          And why should Andrew offer his concept to Autodesk when they already have a similar concept?

          Andrew Price has made a proposal and we can discuss it. It is not fair to offend him. Isn't the strenght of Blender and OSS that this kind of community processes are possible.

  • blenderissimo

    I was a fan of Andrews proposal and I still like a lot of it. But there is a mockup which I'd prefer after thinking about both:

    http://www.blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?298932-Blender-UI-Mockups-and-Ideas-Requested&p=2449618&viewfull=1#post2449618

    Look also at page #29.

    The advantage over Andrews concept in my opinion are:
    - more vertical space for 3d viewport
    - more flexible
    - more important tools at a glance
    - easier to implement (at least I think so ;-)

    • timmyelliot

      I like the look of the mock in that link. What I really like about Andrew's proposal are all the ideas behind his final mock-up (and his final mock-up also looks good).

    • PhysicsGuy

      That forum post from an actual developer is very sobering. I was just warming up to parts of Andrews proposal, although the contexts sensitive rmb menu already had me wondering.

      I'm afraid the guy is right and Andrew is naieve. But let's try to cherry pick from his proposal the things that are realistic...

      • Chrome Monkey

        Doubly sobering for me because it puts my own significance in perspective. Not just that this developer is so far ahead of Price, but also that Price is just as much ahead of me. And I'm guessing Price is just over half my age and that the other developer is around my age give or take. Really draws the lines clearly, doesn't it.

  • PhysicsGuy

    Having thought about it for a while and rewatching the video, I come to the following personal conclusions:

    1) I don't like the icons for standard transformations in the tool panel, but I use shortcuts for that anyway so I don't really care if there is an icon for rotate or the word rotate.
    2) I like right click for select and left click for action. The convention in this case is bad. I often mess up a selection in an office suite or gimp, by accidentely left clicking in the wrong position.
    3) I actually can imagine using Andrews ribbon. In cycles, I always use the node editor for materials, as the interface in the panel is weird. The ribbon could work.
    4) Having the toolboxes change depending on your task is a good idea. It significantly declutters interface.

    Whether Andrews way is the way to go, I don't know. It certainly isn't as radical as people make it sound. It won't require maintaining a traditional and a new interface.

    The tricky thing we need, is that every ui element gets a property "task_context" or something, that is used to decide whether to draw it. This already exists for the different modes in the 3d view, the movie clip editor, etc. Now, it should be extended to button in the properties panel. If people want to clutter their propertiespanel, they simply tell it to ignore context.

    The ribbon is just another panel, that rearranges the properties panel in an interesting way. The problem here is that one needs to carefully think about the workflow for each action, as to make a tree diagram that the ui should follow, without (and this is important) making it a hazzle to backtrack what you did. Also, a expert user should be able to tweak the workflow, perhaps by drawing the decision tree in the node editor. I think this could all be investigated in an add on.

  • Mark_Bench

    Well I admit that Andrew brings a lot of ideas to the table and I mostly agree with the revolutionary changes that he thinks will help blender users(especialy those that are not that experienced-like me!-) get along with the software and reduce the workflow.Yet is this really possible?
    Is the entire remake of the interface doable for the developers?-and if yes-how long will or should it take?

    • PhysicsGuy

      I actually don't think the change is as radical as people make it sound. It doesn't need a complete recode as the 2.5 interface did. I am convinced the ribbon thingy could be tested as an add on. It already looks a lot like the properties panel, only it has a context dependent content. From a software engineering point of view, I don't think it is that shocking.

      Other things, like the menu on rmb are also tweaks of what is there underneat the w shortkey. I thing Andrew is a bit optimistic about how good software could predict what you need to have in that and he underestimates the frustration that would follow if that menu would give you a choice that doesn't fit in your workflow. But still, it is not something that would require a refactor to test.

  • anxo

    From the North of Spain:
    For me as a new beginner in this world of 3d. Blender is an incredible option to learn about computer graphics but what a i find in the UI is that is too complicated to move around. I think this gold software it has to be for every one, beginners and experts, easy to learn for young people an for guys of 46 years like me. The beginners , we are not programmers or expert artists in computer graphics.
    For my opinion, i am on the side of Andrew Price. Open source means for free, to every one with the effort of some marvelous guys. ( Sorry for my English )

  • jefferson moreira

    The real reason why some people do not like the blender has a name, and the name is bias (prejudice) makeup will not change that.
    These people do not like FreeSoftware not know why should we try to conquer them, I'm not proposing any kind of "apartheid" only believe that the blender may have the respect of everyone being as it is (completely different)
    He has won the respect of all of us can get from anyone who has respect for him and does not want to make it socially acceptable.

    • Chrome Monkey

      Really now... if they don't think the software is important enough to be a threat, they aren't worried about being "conquered" at all. That argument contradicts itself just on the face of it. From everything I have been able to find out, the biggest source of any prejudice they might have, comes from us getting all in-their-faces about it, and when you think about it, that's not the kind of thing that anyone likes. Even the community's own Jonathan Williamson has said as much in his discussion about how to be a fan without being a "fanboy" at the same time, and he was thanked for it by taking some undeserved flak from the community. It's really simple... when the community interacts with people outside of the community, we have to ask themselves: do our words and actions help or hurt our cause? Lets just not go down this particular road. We can stay above it. Those who matter will take us more seriously, and those who are unreachable, forget about it. Like the famous webcomic shows us, that's a fight that is not very useful and will never really end if you get caught up in it:
      http://xkcd.com/386/

      • Chrome Monkey

        (My favorite part of that panel is the mouseover text. "What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!" Definitely the most famous comic panel the xkcd.com crew ever did, and one of the best.)

  • rockus_123

    Why does Blender users have to add a plane, then alt-m to merge all the vertices to a single point, then add a skin modifier before they can use it.

  • ncl3rdy2

    I love Blenders current UI, and I have been working with 3d software for over 10+ years. But after working for studios who primarily only use "x" software, or students that I have taught who find Blenders current interface frustrating, I personally* feel that Andrew's proposal is the best thing I have seen in a while. Personally if it were up to me, ( which it obviously is not), I would push to have this exact system implemented as soon as possible. Considering it is mainly a "re-skin" of the current user interface. I don't believe it would be the hardest thing the Blender Foundation has implemented for Blender. But yet I think it would really usher in a lot of new users. And for all of those who dream of "Blenders WORLD DOMINATION", I think capturing more creative minds, would not be too much of a bad thing.

    I am all for it, including the mouse config. (Though that will take some getting used to), it is genuinely a good idea.

    Well I hope this whole discussion about the UI makes some progress.

    Nate L.

  • http://stoppedframe.blogspot.com.es/ OR_PARGA

    a week to learn to use a new interface? ... PLEASE NO!!!!!!

    • timmyelliot

      In theory, Andrew is making the interface intuitive enough, so that if you saw his proposal video (above in the post), then you know the interface.

  • dileep

    I like Andrew's UI already... and I am no noob

    We shouldn't bother if it copies Max or Maya as long as it makes work easier and faster.

    Right click menu is a big yes!.

    The render post process is a good idea too

    Editing cycles materials even simple ones using the properties panel is confusing as of now.. i always have to switch over to the node editor, but this suggestion covers it nicely. And presets are always good.

    And a suggestion of mine... why not have a keyboard shortcut to overlay the material nodes of the selected object on top of the 3d view, with realtime rendering also activated by the shortcut? Just like compositor nodes with the backdrop. Now wouldn't that be fast?

    rockus_123 has a point, skin modifier object should be a readymade

    and that reminds me, why should we have to make a viewer node every time in the compositor?

    If anything changes, remember that none of us were born with intricate knowledge of the blender 2.6x interface. Tools and features in blender are only going to expand so why should anyone worry?

    • dileep

      But properties tabs should be switchable to the right side(vertical)... in case the 3d view becomes a little too wide.

  • graphixgeek

    I agree with the comment that BeeDoublejou made regarding splitting blender into two versions; "classic (2.5-2.69)" and "modern (with Andrew's proposed UI)".

    Let's face facts, people. Blender as a 3D solution is not adopted into mainstream work because of one or all of the following reasons (not in any particular order):

    - The UI. We're talking about it now, so " 'nuff said."
    - It's open source and not many businesses (at least in the USA) want to use a solution that is perceived to have limited or no paid support.
    - The schools (colleges/universities again located in the US) won't teach 3D modeling and rendering using Blender. I have a young friend who received his degree in digital art and animation from a prestigious university in Virginia. When I mentioned Blender to him, while he was in his third year, he told me this..."Blender? Oh yeah. My teachers say to stay away from it. I'll never get a job learning Blender...stick with Maya and After Effects. THAT's where the money is." Which leads me to my final point...
    - The lack of recognition of Blender in the mainstream 3D world. This is starting to change now that Blender's getting some notice in the "big boy" 3D magazines but most employers want to see 3DMax/Maya/ZBrush/"Insert-the-industry-standard-here" on a resume before they will even consider calling a prospect in for an interview. I'm as guilty as anyone; I put "Blender 3D" on my resume when submitting for a job BUT also put "Lightwave 3D" (which I am versed in) on there as well.

    As far as everyone on this thread is concerned who is not agreeable that the UI could use adjustment, it's completely understandable that you've put hours/days/weeks/months/years into learning Blender as it is now and that you don't want to have to change your workflow to accommodate a new UI. I get that, I really do. Felt the same way when 2.5 came out; wouldn't touch it until 2.57 and was hooked by Cycles in 2.62. Up until 2.57, I was still in 2.49 in refused to budge.

    A good friend whom I'd pointed to Blender when she wanted to re-immerse herself in 3D (she'd used Max back in the day) was horrified (really!) at the UI of 2.49. When I showed her 2.5 alpha, she said "OK, now I can work with THAT!" and jumped in with both feet. Took her about a year and some months but she pulled me out of 2.49 and essentially taught me Cycles when 2.62 hit the street.

    My point being that you're going to have your old-school, die-hard Blenderheads who don't really want change because it feels like their investment in time has been wasted, BUT, Blender is DEFINITELY going nowhere if the usability problem continues to go unaddressed which, in turn, scares off potential new users. Blender, I believe, is the ultimate "3D software as social media" experiment. As someone earlier in this thread pointed out "not everyone is a python programmer." I definitely am not; I'm a graphic designer who uses Blender and other 3D software to create digital illustration stills for my layouts (at home, I use it for my personal animation pursuits) and I suspect that there are others like me who have viewed Andrew's proposal videos with great anticipation.

    Thank you for your time.

    A Designer (and Blenderhead) in the DC metro area.

  • swebal

    I registered an account just to comment this article.

    I think the the UI proposal is well though-out and should be implemented to 100%. It makes blender much nicer to use with a lot of great additions such as the tabs, icons and a context-sensitive right-click menu (could actually be the single best thing IMHO).

    I don't think I have seen such a polite and professional video presentation, well, ever. It really saddens me to read disrespectful comments from people who do not understand the time devoted to this presentation, which obviously is significant. A proposal this thorough deserves a serious, objective discussion.

    Change is always good, it puts things in perspective. ;)

  • Michael

    I'm in complete agreement with swebal; Andrew has clearly put a lot of effort in to his presentation and I agree with everything Andrew has said.

    I began using Blender after buying my 3D printer. I nearly purchased Alibre CAD but took Blender for a spin and have been learning it ever since. I initially typed 'using' instead of 'learning' but that is not true because Blender takes an excessive amount of time to learn. Most of that time should have been spent using it rather than learning it. It has taken a lot of time away from what I actually want it for.

    • Having a toolbar with shortcuts shown makes perfect sense.
    • Being able to left-click and right-click like every other program out there makes perfect sense.
    • An error message when something goes wrong makes perfect sense. Just yesterday I was trying to do something again and again and again in multiple different ways but nothing happened. There was no clue as to why not. I don't want my time wasted. A simple error message would have saved time and frustration.
    • Retaining the ability for current users to also keep the existing look also makes perfect sense.

    Lets have an updated GUI which implements all of Matthew's recommendations.

  • Cotas

    I agree with Andrew's UI proposal and I believe the new design will make Blender a lot better.

    I think the more people using Blender, the better it will become.

    Don't be afraid to try new idea.

  • etufoz

    I think the things that make Blender great are being Open Source and the speed and efficiency of its tools not the UI.

    Coming from a Max and Maya background, the UI is what scared me the most and what kept me from learning Blender 2.4x. Since 2.5, the UI has become a lot friendlier and accessible, but I have to say it can become really clunky especially when you have many tools to your left. A shelf would be a lot more efficient than having to scroll through or minimize/maximize the tools. Imagine if the Properties panel didn't have that shelf and we had to scroll through everything.

    As far as I can tell, the proposal is not suggesting removing any functionality or shortcuts from Blender, but rather streamlining workflow and making the UI more intuitive. So I look forward to the improvements.

    • blenderissimo

      I like the open-source idea, but this alone doesn't mean anything. GIMP for example is open-source and cannot compete with the proprietary Photoshop, the same can be said about Inkscape vs. Illustrator and even about OpenOffice/LibreOffice vs. M$ Office.

      I agree with you about the speed and efficiency of some tools in Blender, but on the other side there are at least as many points where Blender is less efficient and slower when compared to other 3d-packages. E. g. the viewport of Blender is slow and the material editor of Cinema 4D is much more efficient.

      Though the properties panels are a good solution, we have to scroll quite a lot. This could be really improved.

      I agree 100% with your last last paragraph!

  • http://www.aldeaglobal.net/enpipes enpipes
  • Falco

    Andrew has made a very detailed and deep work. I really don't like religious discussion about command line, freedom, whatever, these are, to me, idiotic points.
    I can see the problem underlined by someone here that such an interface would bring to the blender community a lot of noobs producing low quality works and animation, but... who cares? A noob can start with some "wizard driven" animation and years later he can produce Avatar. Why always try to defend a product from new users? it is totally wrong. If you keep new users away you want to keep an isolated castle, well build, indeed, but isolated. I would prefer to have a castle with more people, more ideas, more creation, and the building, if it is well built, will never suffer from more people visiting it.
    So to me Andrew has made a real good work, i appreciate 90% of what he said, i would probably change something in the "ribbon" interface but this is a starting point of discussion, not a flame war igniter.

  • juanathan

    Andrew is one of my Blender heroes. He has a lot to do with my fluency in Blender. So I trust him with a lot of UI proposal changes. Layers and history panel like photoshop = genius. Even though i hate the ribbon panel in microsoft, it doesn't look that bad in andrew's.

    Except:
    I'm not fully convinced yet about changing selection to left-click. Sebastian's argument in the first minute in this video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcwk6zvBnVU
    reminded me how great right-click selection is. I've used maya and max for years and this feature gives blender a big advantage over them. But now i'm torn because i love andrew's context menu idea for the right-click. I hope there is a way to tie in the best of both Sebastian and Andrew's worlds.

    I'm also not convinced of turning the mesh from black to white. One of blender's great features is that when you select a vertex in edit mode, you can see the vertex as white with its connecting edges as orange fading to black. This makes it easier to see connecting vertices in highly complex meshes. Making complex meshes white would make everything look too bright and busy.

    Other than that i welcome changes that would make it easier for beginners but keep the things make blender fast and powerful.

  • Ralmon

    I really liked many of Andrew's ideas. They could do make a difference in the experience of the product.

    I really like the Tabs and how it was used to group together 'task' related functions. Blender has the functionality arranged and grouped by type or kind, which kinda makes great sense to our logical minds but just don't work really well with our creative juices...

    ...but not so sure about the 'ribbon.' It's just that I don't like it in many softwares that have it. Arranging the tools there just don't work well with me. The reason maybe because the top is just way too short/narrow. I liked it better placed on the side. Andrew's way of using that ribbon though might work well also.

    The toolbar is something I just don't like at all. It is not for me.

    The discussion on the mouse functionality is something I agree with. It just seems that Blender ignore the mouse too much and instead depend heavily on the keyboard. It might be time that we allocate more load to it than what it have now. However I would like to have it changed a bit. Using the mouse menu to do the functions really reminds me of wings3d and its ever increasing menu levels that pops up and gobles up the screen. It might be intuitive to use but it isn't really that speedy or unobtrusive. A series of extruding means a constant clicking and searching in the menu. It isn't really something I like doing much. Maybe we could instead use keyboard to access the funtionality and use the mouse menu to change the functionality. Say we press 'E' to extrude then right mouse button to show a menu on other extrude options that would then change the behaviour of the extrude when selected. That way we don't have to traverse all the menu level when the default extrude behaviour is just what we want but still solve the problem Andrew stated.

    I'm also into the result of the survery. I agree with all of it though I'm not that strongly attached to it. For me most of the 'problem' the questions staked are just cosmetic and does not bother me much.

    • blenderissimo

      I agree that the ribbon is not good because it takes too much vertical space. The tabs I like. The toolbar could have 3 colums of icons (with text as option), because there is enough horizontal space (16:9 displays).

      Left-click-select and right-click context-menu, pre-made cycles materials, global undo/redo and layer panel are a good ideas too in my opinion.

  • riemenschneider

    Current Blender's interface is in my opinion a very smart and very logical, once you know it. I suspect that for new users is very difficult to comprehend. Similarly, for users of other applications. I used the 4 maybe 5 years Softimage XSI and Maya. It took me a long time to learn how to use Blender in an efficient and fast way. If no tutorials from BlenderGuru , CgCookie and now PolskiKursBlendera, I would leave this application.

  • zalmoxes

    Hi Andrew, I really appreciated your effort. I am an open source community member since 2006 (linux as OS, open and free software pipeline in my workflow, active participation etc..).

    In this post I will critic some aspects of your proposal and I will make (partially) another one (not so well showed like your !)

    I like new solutions, so I'm generally not confused by a new UI

    BUT:

    A) I agree with just a part of your UI interpretation:

    1) blender needs a more consistent UI, a lot of properties are now strangely clustered.

    2) when I maximize a window (i.e. the 3d window) I risk to lost some useful panels I need to open and close all the time.

    3) the tab system is very clever (but, as a fixed set of buttons, is too space-wasting)

    4) the right click menu localized for the active performed action is a GREAT idea (but is it a terrible complication for the creation of new add-ons ??).

    B) On the other hand these improvements are not completely a great gift for me (apart the point 4).

    I'm not so excited because, personally, I really don't use the UI (almost) at all, just the properties panel: as an experienced user I use massively the short keys being a super fast and eye-saver approach (a hand on the keyboard and a hand on the mouse, the eyes every-time on the model, the fingers on j f bumps of the keyboard). Such approach is very diffuse in other professional softwares as well.

    I disagree with your UI proposal in other parts:

    1) I love the modularity of blender (windows can be transformed one in each other: in a word, UI personalization!) great piece of software like Unity 3D works very similar. A tab based system seems to be poorer ... why not a MIXED one ?
    2) I love the hierarchy of tools in Blender: is like a set of wrenches well organized (you know where to go to find the correct tool (is tool oriented). Your proposal is task oriented. Good but we can't overwrite such schema with a task oriented one in the same way in a laboratory we can't store our wrenches depending on the task (in a drawer all the tools to change a tire, in another one just the tools to work to the the gear engine etc..). The task oriented schema (presets, set of tools to perform a specific task) must be integrated in the tool oriented one. So another time: why not a MIXED one ?

    SO IN OTHER WORDS

    In my opinion a mixed way is necessary, something that can make comfortable the workflow experience both for experienced users and newbies.

    ->>>>

    My proposal is an "intelligent" ctrl+UP command that fits and re-arrange the necessary properties fields in the used window view (in a tab based way like your proposal ?) to perform the actual action.

    EXAMPLES: I'm sculpting in 3d view, I ctrl+UP and enter in the full screen mode. All the tools and parameters regarding the sculpting nodes are placed in the top of the window (with auto-hide behavior ?).

    this approach could be applied to most of the actual views

    <<<<-

    In the end a very personal consideration about WHY a tab system is not enough for Blender:

    One of the very good aspects of blender is the fact that it is NOT JUST task oriented. Scary affirmation I know.. let me to explain better.. Blender is not just a 3d modeling tool, is a 2d animation system, a GE, a video sequencer, a node based material creator, a post processing system, etc.. everyone of such tasks can be performed in very different ways: for example you can open in the monitor the window with the sequencer and the window with the graph editor (for fade effect control) or you can use 3 different view and a node window to tune your material. If we have to make a really task oriented UI for Blender we will obtain an enormous amount of buttons and almost 3 tab level deep to represent every actual possible approach. The BIG value of blender is in its modularity, is "TOOL oriented": you can choose the way to drive your workflow (I know, a lot of users doesn't love such freedom....). In the case of a such complex software like Blender, task oriented UI will never cover the spread of possible tasks (and windows arrangements) you can perform in Blender (due to its complexity) and will reduce the freedom of the modeler.

    I'm not saying that your proposal is not usable, I just try to explain that prefabricated tasks in the GUI is not necessarily a good thing when you have to deal with a tool like blender: is not just a software, is a Framework !

    This is why I prefer the old one UI with your improvement as an ctrl+UP "extension".

    all the best, Emanuel

  • Maccus

    As a professional whose principal work area only brushes the 3D application world but would incorporate Blender more readily if it didn't seem determined to be "unique", I welcome Andrew's idea of reinventing the tabs. It's logical, functional and familiar. Right click context menus and a rapid access Wiki Manual would be great, too.

    Blender is a phenomenal 3D package. Being Open Source, it is of great interest to those of us who cannot or do not want to spend £100s or £1000s on equally impenetrable geek-ware.

    The UI needs an overhaul. Andrew has provided a decent discussion sample. Let's hope the powers that be step up, seize the idea and run with it.

  • wimdb

    Thanks Andrew for triggering this interesting discussion. I watched your video's and read a lot of the comments. Obviously there is strong support for taking the UI design principles seriously. When you filter opinions and emotions, I see a lot of usefull comments en idea's.

    Applying the principles is a whole other ballgame. It is reflected in the mixed reactions to your proposal. Even Apple does it wrong from time to time. To blindly answer my iPhone or end a call I need my .....eh.....car !? It has the right buttons.

    Your proposal has some nice ideas (e.g. better toolbars), but every single detail needs a lot of attention, solid reasoning and balancing the tradeoffs. Personally I don't like to sacrifice the current flexible view layout.

    I have a few points to add to the discussion.

    Keeping blender the way it is, is no option, it would really mean freezing development. Every new release leaves its trail in de user-interface. Since 2.6x, rigid body tools and motion capture (default on!) are staring in my face. Go away ... I don't need you the next two years! (Of cource with all due repesct to the brilliant developpers). I think this example underpins the idea of what you address as task orientation.

    But taksk oriëntation itself needs refinement. It is usefull to make a disctinction between interactive task oriented tools and project oriented toolsettings. A lot of screen space is dedicated to buttons and menu's that are project-oriënted. You probably touch them zero, one or two times during a project. Why not configure them in a projectmanager ( in a modal window, like usersettings). I would love to have projectsettings for:
    - renderer type and render settings
    - addon selection
    - layer names
    - (material)assets, automatically linked in (i.m.o. better than standard presets)
    - tools and toolsets (not) to use
    to name a few.
    Of course you want to be able to save projectsettings. And imagine what ....
    making one or two beginners defaults is a breeze. As a bonus we might even get rid of the eternal pro versus beginners controversy, not to mention the material preset dicussions. To compensate for that we probably will have ..... new defaults related discussions to fill the forum pages.

    Finally, my take on the sebastian paint/R-mouse argument. I'm perfectly happy with shift L-mouse for selecting in paint mode. (C-select and B-select use L-mouse anyway). The bottom line: luckely we have user-settings. It just needs some TLC to make both mouse-button choices really consistent.

  • dafyduck

    Please do not use a ribbon bar interface. I absolutely hate ribbon bars.

    Why not just improve the consistency and usability of the current menus and toolbars? They really aren't that bad.

    • artpen

      Agree !!!!! Let's go Modo way. It is much nicer

    • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

      Anyway, I guess that Blender developers will keep the flexibility of Blender UI, so each user will be able to customize everything. So, if someone doesn't like ribbons, or prefer right click to select, it will be so for him (or her).

  • Zsolt S.

    I've already given my thoughts above (a well-thought out proposal!).

    But this whole discussion just reminded me of one years before: Any old blenderheads remember the one to have ray-traced reflection in Blender?!
    One respected Blender user, in fact i think his forum alias was Macke, said he was leaving Blender, because the renderer is not up to par with the others (Max, etc.), and Blender will not be able to grow without implementing things like reflections. And there was a heated discussion, with similar arguments like here. Many were actually AGAINST it, along the lines of "Oh no, this is dumbing down Blender!!!", "Power users can fake it!", "We don't need raytracing, it's for beginners", etc, etc. I'd like to know which user of Blender uses reflection maps to fake it nowadays? Any "power-users"? :)

    • blenderissimo

      A similar discussion took place in the year 2000 - believe it or not - about the implementation of the undo/redo system ;-)
      Yes, I am so old ;-)

      • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

        Man, what absurd complain about undo/redo!!

  • Odolyte

    Honnestly, i think Andrew made an awesome job with these proposals. I was new to blender not so long ago and endured lot of difficulties to learn blender, mostly because the overall UI is crap (no really, i understand the legacy weight and all, but definitely it's crap). And all the things Andrew proposed just make sense to me.
    Don't forget that lot of people goes to other software because it's more intuitive and easy to learn (the learning curve of blender is famously known to be difficult, even if it's an amazing software). I'm the kind of user who likes things to be simple & easy (this doesn't mean simplistic !). I think that usually when it's easy, more people use it !
    Andrew i totally support ALL your proposals and say "Thank you" for this great work !

  • LorenzoGatti

    Ribbon bars often have the wrong form factor and layout for their content, and their probability of matching what each user needs for a task is zero. Any effort to design a "good" ribbon bar, regardless of the amount of thought and statistics gathering invested into it, can only aim for the average of a cluster of user needs, whereas a traditional system of menus and hotkeys at least makes every command accessible.

    Therefore, implementing ribbon bars should not attempt to add a dumbed down UI for beginners, but only a more general and more customizable system for layout and command setups (including OPTIONAL arbitrary toolbars for people who want them).

    I think there might be some lessons to learn from the Eclipse IDE. Depending on the task, Eclipse lets the user switch tool and window setups as he wishes, limited only by available screen space; enabling the user to dedicate all available area to the relevant tools of his choice; Eclipse provides good defaults rather than constraining attempts to second-guess user needs, which is the right approach to task orientation.

    The Eclipse window has traditional menus and toolbars at the top, and a flexible layout of tabbed and split panels (easily modified by drag and drop and possibly spanning multiple windows and screens) containing "views" (e.g. assorted text and diagram editors, file system tree views, lists and tables, etc.). Key bindings change by active view (e.g. arrows to navigate a tree view or to move the text editor cursor) and there's a "show view" command that adds them to the screen in a default position (which matters very little because they can be moved to the right place). Many views open automatically (e.g. click on a file to add its editor as a new tab in the main panel), or come to the foreground in their tab group automatically (e.g. some consoles).

    What's significantly different from Blender is the higher level of organization. The whole structure of views is a "perspective": exactly one perspective (e.g. "Java", "C/C++", "Debug") is visible at a time, and a few others are selectable from a toolbar (open and close perspective commands manage this short list). Toolbars and menu commands also change by perpective; a specific dialog window allows full customization of what's available or hidden in each perspective.

    All existing ribbon or palette style toolbars within Eclipse (guess what: they are very rare) are confined inside a single view, along with their main editor area, without polluting the overall UI organization; the true toolbar is used very sparingly, because historically it was limited to one line only. Traditionally, common commands are in the right-click context menus and uncommon ones in the window menu.

    Eclipse views and perspectives, and the default content of perspectives, are defined by plugins (for example, if you install the "C++ development tools" you get the C/C++ perspective); a less plugin-obsessed application like Blender could have mostly built-in "views" (ranging from major ones like the 3D viewport, the node editors, and the object tree, to small panels of closely related parameters) and leave "perspectives" to arbitrary scripting and customization with factory defaults that are a good starting point for beginners (e.g. "XYZ+perspective four views model editing", "generic video editor") but can be changed per site (e.g. "everything I need to inspect and preview the 3D models I download and collect") or per project (e.g. "color correction with live update of thumbnails of specific frames of my movie").
    In this framework, ribbon-style toolbars could be simply a view or a container of views, optional like all the others and placed arbitrarily like all the others, containing arbitrary user-selected items.

  • http://www.sespiderproductions.com SEspider

    I say this with love, guys/gals.

    A LOT of you are idiots.
    You look at Andrew's UI graphic and immediately start complaining. You're clearly not watching the video nor any of his related videos at all. If you had, then you would fully understand his reasoning behind his proposal.
    It's about functionality and ease of use for ALL USERS new and old. It's about streamlining the interface so it's not as cluttered. It's about auto hiding menus we don't need when we start a certain task. It's about giving everyone what they need WHEN THEY NEED IT instead of having ti search for it. And yes, it's also about bringing in new users.

    You guys seem to have forgotten what has made Blender so great. It's the community and thus the program's developers. Blender has always been a FREE OPEN SOURCE program that's been developed by said users. Even if we don't know how to do any of the coding, we still have a huge voice as to hiw it looks and runs. I've made simple suggestions and seen developers run with it. So have many of you.

    The fundamental fact is that Blender is in bad need of a user friendly UI. And if you like it or not, Andrew has hit the ball out of the park. Don't like the top toolbar idea? Much rather have it on the side? I'm no Python coder but I'm pretty positive that option could be implemented into the UI settings. Heck we can pretty much do it already with the current Properties panel. Remove side window - add new window at top - select Propeties as the window and you're done. So all this complaining about a top tool bar instsad of a side one is pointless. Andrew's TAB system will work in any format. Top, bottom, left, or right.

    I started using Blender over 5 years ago for the same reasome most of you did. It was all I could afford. Sadly it still is. When I started, the interface was a complete mess and I put the program down for a year. Took me a could year and a half just getting use to the interface eniugh where I was comfortable. Then the new UI came out and I was upset. There I was, just got use to it and it was changing. Didn't take me long to realize just how much better the new UI was to the old. Sadly, it still a loooooong ways to go. You see, I have short term memory. Keeping up with what does what and how it does it is near impossible for me. Add to that my Dyslexia and poor eyesight and we're talking nightmares in learning Blender's UI.
    Around the same time I started using Blender, I was given Photoshop and MSword. Both programs had very similar layouts. Everything was easy to find and un-needed menus were not present when I started most tasks in them. Because of these seemingly simple features of navigation and auto hiding what I don't need, I've since learned both programs very well. I had downloaded Zbrush a few years ago and enjoyed it because I thought it was just a pretty cool painting program tbat gave everything a 3D effect. Not until after getting a hacked version did I learn it was a 3D scuplting tool. Sadly it's interface got in my way as well. So I put that program down as well. I've tried the demos over the years and the program gets more complex with it. Sadly so does it's UI. I have a very difficult time using both Zbrush's & Blender's UI. They are currently VERY similar in flow and ease of use. Not to mention placement. But Blender's is easier to follow (for me) but not by much.

    My only concern with Andrew's proposal is the complete lack of Enternal Blender Engine support. I have no job and have to use a friend's electricity just to type this. My 2001 laptop can not handle Cycles and does not support OpenGL at all. I can't afford to upgrade computers and driver updates don't help either. Blender Engine is all I can work with. taking that away will be the same as charging for the program. At least for me it would. I understand the need to upgrade Blender and I'm all for it. But why remove it's original engine when it still works great?

    Thanks for reading or skimming through my post. God Bless

    • http://dmradford.com dmradford

      Hey SEspider,

      Cycles works on either the GPU or the CPU, so its compatible with older hardware as well. Although CPU is much slower than GPU, there are some circumstances even on high end GPU's that cycles renders must be done on the CPU, such as SSS (just plain doesn't work on GPU). Out of curiosity, if your machine doesn't support OpenGL at all: how are you even able to navigate any 3d scene?

      • http://www.sespiderproductions.com SEspider

        I honestly haven't a clue how I am. I can't use Photoshop's canvas rotate feature nor it's 3D text options. Zero games, outside simple 2D ones, will run, and MANY other programs refuse to work due "OpenGL support not found" I've been wanting to test out the Mischief demo but to requires OpenGL. :(

        Maya, 3DsMax, Sony Vegas, After Effects all refuse to work (demos). But Particle Illusions, Blender, Sculptris, & Zbrush all work. Zbrush demo acts up however. I don't understand it.

        I BADLY need a new machine. Preferably a Touchscreen laptop with full OpenGL support. Touchscreen so I can use a stylus instead of always having to waste time drawing, scanning, and ckwaning my work before inking and coloring. Plus using a mouse to edit art sucks.

        • http://www.sespiderproductions.com SEspider

          Sorry for spelling errors. Keyboard sucks as well.

    • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

      I don't think Blender team will abandon Blender Internal Render. Look, for example, at this tutorial: http://cgcookie.com/blender/cgc-courses/creating-an-island-environment-in-blender/ Very realistic result using B I R. I also work in an old machine (about 5 years old) and several resources don't work properly. I have to take care on the complexity of my meshes, otherwise Blender got crashed.

      Greetings!

  • fab31

    I understand some left/right mouse clicks might me more unified, but about the left and right, to avoid trolling and because it's not so obvious. Why not:

    - ask for left vs right inversion on first run [and Maya or other layouts + some options like GC acceleration & metric system too ?]

    - Use a lonely (for instance) to popup things [people with automatic popup will see it after a delay only ?]

    Btw, we already have the "dynamic spacebar menu" in plugins that could be improved... maybe the fancy menu we can see is a special menu type in the default layout, with proper setup... Adding more context to blender is definitely a good thing, sometimes I feel frustrated about the "n" & "t" panels, how they could be and how they are...
    Dynamic menus are easily too big on screen, and the "more" thing becomes easily tedious. Bubble menus "à la Maya" could be a solution... defining "important" is so hard, if you limit blender actions to a very specific context you still get many choices... I really like the dynamic space bar menu way, why not improving it and doing a "very dynamic spacebar menu" bound to ? ;)

    Generalizing an entry box to "grep" (sub) entries in a menu could improve things a lot, it's easier to remember a unique pattern and visually get the ambiguous choices than counting a position...

    My 2c before sleep ;)

    Thanks for your work, lot of good sense.

    • fab31

      here is the fix:

      - Use a lonely [Control] key (for instance)

      “very dynamic spacebar menu” bound to [Control] key ? ;)

  • fab31

    Ok, when you see a word missing, read [Control] key ... sorry for that, first post here.

  • blazer003

    As a long time Blender user (13 years since 2.23) I whole heatedly agree with Andrew's proposal. I think care would have to be taken to still allow the user to set up different panels in different places if they so choose, but especially changing the right click, left clicking. How often do I need to place the Cursor? A fair amount, but not enough that it should have its own button.

  • http://dmradford.com dmradford

    I'm with blazer003, I've been using Blender since 2.25 and would love to see this UI implemented one way or another. Or at least the concept goals this UI proposes to solve. I still don't know half of the menus because I just use the hotkeys. However to everybody who keeps yelling "Learn the hotkeys like a pro, menu's are for n00bs"...... New features? Forgot the hotkey? New to the program? Similar functions? There are COUNTLESS times when "knowing the hotkeys" isn't a substitute for a good, functional UI/UX. In fact, I would argue that if somebody is REQUIRED to learn the hotkeys to use a software to its full potential it isn't a good software at all. Now before I get flamed for that, I do remember when there WASN'T menu's for at least half of the functions in blender. Hotkeys are intended to expedite processes and tasks, and if you know them great, don't use the menus. However, look at blender now, I can't find a single function anymore that isn't also available in a menu somewhere. Improving the UI is a vital part of blender's progression and although there would definitely be growing pains for the vetrans like myself and many others, the benefit of the improvement would far outweigh the pain of learning the new UI. Blender would still be blender, he's not saying get rid of edit mode here guys. As for the left click select: For myself personally, right mouse select is one of the weird querks about blender that I absolutely LOVE for some reason with no logical explanation. However, I completely agree that it makes no sense whatsoever the way it is now other than "because we can" which is the worst reason to make any UI/UX decision. So, I would miss it, but I would love to see it gone for the progression and improvement of the interface.

    Don't like the idea of a new UI? Stick with 2.69 forever. That is all.

    -David

    • Nomster

      Don’t like Blender? Use 3dsmax or something else.

      • Chrome Monkey

        False dichotomy. Fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses / excluded middle. Implying only two options exist. It's really about time to close this thread.

    • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

      Yes, I also love Blender and so I want to see it grow and conquer studios, universities and common users, instead of remain as a curiosity in the CG world.

      Certainly Blender team will improve Blender UI even more (this work started with 2.5 version) but with options to keep the current interface for the experienced users.

  • Cotas

    Does Blender have some sort of Custom UI module system that allow us to implement completely new UI (such as Andrew's design, or others)? I understand there is UI scripting available, but I have not look deep into it to see if it is possible to implement Andrew's UI.

    This would allow the Blender core developers to focus on the 'core' components development, and let any 3rd party developers go ahead and create any type of UI they want.

    We all have our reason for choosing the UI we use, there is no reason to force everyone into anything.

  • Cotas

    An interesting experiment for anyone to try - switch to another 3D package for half a year, then see how long it would take you to pick up Blender again?

    • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

      As I already said here, beside Blender I also use Vue. And I have to say that it have a lot more friendly UI compared with Blender. If Vue had the powerful resources that Blender has (gravity, fluid, ocean, wind) and the modelling tools that Blender has, I would choose Vue for my only 3D software, just because of it's intuitive and friendly UI.

      In the other hand, if Blender improve its UI, I probably will abandon Vue definitively and married Blender (lol).

      • Cotas

        I see :-)

        Depend on the job, I often switch between different 3d packages. Everytime I left Blender for longer than 3 months, it would take me a while to pick it up again - most of the time spent on finding things. I know it is there, but I just couldn't remember where it is.

        For people with better memory might not have the same issue with Blender :P

        Back to the topic, I think there is no perfect UI design which can satisified all requirement from all user. I think this discussion shouldn't be a 'Can we REPLACE the existing UI ?', but instead 'Can we have a system in Blender for full UI customization and swaping ?'

        This would be a far long term solution for Blender 3D, and let the Blender core developers concentrating on the core technology development instead of on things that changes like fashion.

        • http://www.planetaignis.com Roberto Locatelli

          Hi, Cotas!

          I tottaly agree with customization. Flexibility of current interface is the better thing on the Blender UI. Now is time to think on the new users, and even experienced users with a no so good memory.

          And I think that changes must be done slowly, with improvements for each new version. There was a great change since version 2.5, and it was welcomed.

  • http://www.rosalilastudio.com sucito

    This actually makes blender a lot more friendly and straight forward! <3 I love the proposal UI.

  • http://ahurig.sketchfab.me ahurig

    That's a nice overall idea.
    Some tasks are really hard to actually put together to build a sustainable workflow.

    However the design side is really to casual for me. The fact is that blender is a soft that require a lot of investment and passion ans offer a really strong amount of possibilities. Some of the proposition for the improvement are made for non 3D users or really new users.

    It should be great that professional or well skilled users can access a UI that let them not messing with huge icons and simplified menus (like the material panel that pretty scared me).

    But I agree that having a top bar which regroup all the features is a nice idea. It reminds me the recent work that apple unveiled in the new Pages. Contextual side bar and top tool top bar (that is already running well in microsoft's office suite).

    So to conclude:
    Interface reorganization: YES!
    Cusual UI: NOOOO! or Professional interface option: YES please!

  • polygonesrus

    this is all incredibly mind boggling to me. whenever "anyone" start something ne ,a new job a new hobby rideing a bike you have to learn it. even the people who use the other 3D programs had to learn them first.sure there's problems with the software but i used some of them to and they crash and freeze up, have bugs for years.try useing music software its the same.Mr. Price seems to think that just because he dicided to read a couple of books on the subject he's an expect on UI disign, or at the very least knows alot about it.i loved that podcast with him and williamson,mabye he got the message that he dosent do coding has and has no idea whats involved in managing a piece fo software like this.in the podcast he said blender does everything sooo horribly, but he's making a living off of it. mabye not for long though.seems like someone is trying to convince him that blender sucks.or mabye now that he's mad some money(off of blender ) he can afford 3,000 for a commercial brand. i see it all mthe time with people that age, they start reading books and gaining expierience in the world and all of a sudden there experts on this or that.and start running off at the mouth. i have three sons that age, so i have a little expieience in that. but i dont go around tellin people how to raise there son's.i have a daughter too. anyway, if anyone has problems with blender, if your not goin to dig in and actually do something. to help improve what you percieve as shortcomings in the software,and if your reading this you abviously use, then,,, well,i think you know where this is goin. happy blending and long live the blender nation lol.

    • http://www.sespiderproductions.com SEspider

      You may want to start prof-reading your post before submitting your comments. Based on your wording & errors, I'm going to be nice and assume you used the tiny keyboard on a phone to type. Either way, always prof read before submitting. It's pretty difficult to properly read your comment as it is now.

      Who made you the "expert" on determining whether or not Andrew is a UI "expert" or not? Andrew never made the claim to be one so why say he did? As for as I'm concerned, Andrew is a expert in Blender's UI. So is Williamson. They both are far to advanced in using Blender's interface not to be considered experts in it. Williams has used Blender for 11 years and they are both teaching people how to use it and it's UI. They both also are experts in other softwares and teaching those as well. Thus they ARE EXPERTS in how a UI should work and flow and have every right to make suggestions on how to improve said UIs. As a user, so do you.

      One of the first things you complain about is that users (new and old) should learn how to use their software of choice fully if they wish to improve in it. You even compare it to riding a bike. What?! Have you ever used Blender? There's nothing in Blender that compares to riding a bike. It's a Open Source Software that's been out for over a decade. It's consistently being updated. A LOT more often now then 3 years ago. It's UI is always changing. So much so, it's impossible to keep up. By the time you learn something, it's, updated to work a different way. The ONLY way to learn Blender "like riding a bike" is to never update to the latest version. And by then you must update to keep up and you're find yourself right back at the start trying to learn that "bike." Your logic does not stand at all. Are you still strictly using the original Blender model you started with? I'm going to take a wild guess and say you're not.

      For argargument's sake, let's say Blender never updated again. Are you or other's going to remember how everything works? Proberly so since nothing will ever change. But there will be more crashes and bugs the. anyone can handle. Why? Lack of updates and improvements is why. Without these updates, hardware and software die. Do you wantt Blender to die?

      You go on and assume that Andrew is going to leave Blender simply because he doesn't like the interface. Sorry but that's a very idiotic thing to say. Andrew never suggested he was leaving. Also for a professional of a program, doing so would be like leaving a free car on the side of a road simply because he doesn't like that the steering wheel holds the gear shift instead of the center console. Then he goes and spends half a million on a nother car just for the gear shift location. Not to be mean but do you realize how dumb your statement sounds/is?

      "i see it all mthe time with people that age, they start reading books and gaining expierience in the world and all of a sudden there experts on this or that.and start running off at the mouth." Here's a little lesson for you. Reading Makes You Smarter. The more you read up on a subject, the more of a expert one becomes on it. Do you know how much Andrew has studied UIs? Didn't think so. At this point, I don't even believe you paid a bit of attention to what Andrew and Williamson were saying in the podcast and videos. If you had, if you truly listened then you would not be attacking Andrew as you are. Andrew is NOT "running off at the mouth." He is making a clear and understandable case filled with educated suggestions for improving Blender's UI to cater to both new and old users. There is FAR TOO MUCH scrolling and searching in Blender's UI for anyone. Like it as it is? God, then I challenge you to either never upgrade to a newer version ever again or go to another program with the same interface. Oh wait. You can't do the latter because no other respecting company would use such a sloppy, crowed, and confusing UI!!

      For the record, having 4 kids does in fact make you a expert in raising children. And you have every right to inform others how you feel children should be raised. Are you telling me that you've never given a new parent advice? I refuse to believe that. There's a lot more to raising children then simply having them. One doesn't need to have children to know how to care for them. I've helped raise hundreds of children over the years but have non of my own. It's called experiance. What we are not allowed to do is force our views into someone's lives. Something Andrew is not doing with his PROPOSAL.

      You close your argument by attacking everyone for not fixing Blender's. "short comings" ourselves. WHAT?!?! First off, not every Blender user is a coder nor do we all have the time and/or energy to learn to code. If we did, then what would we need Blender (or any program for that matter) for? Secondly, part of fixing Blender's short comings is by seeing them and pointing them out. Something even Coders have to do first. Thirdly, providing proposals in the form of graphics, text, video, or audio are always the second step of fixing any any problem. The third step is where Coders come in. They impliment the changes/fixes. Testing/Demoing said changes is forth and finalizing is 5th. My point is that one needs to see the problem and have a solution before ever fixing it. And Andrew has done just that. As has most of us.

      Why do you insist on making Blender more difficult to use? Why do you insist on forcing new and old users into doing simple task the hard and long way? Why are you so set against improvments? Are you just another idiot troll? I ask this because you are coming off as one. I appologize if I just insulted you. But that is how your post reads.

      • polygonesrus

        and your defending someone you dont know pensonaly, why? ive been using blender for 9 years , and other software as well . lol .oh and sorry for my bad spelling . everything else you said really dos'nt really matter at all. now does it. isnt the internet wonderful. gee, i hope i spelled everything wrght.;) oh and one more thing. oh never mind.

        • http://www.sespiderproductions.com SEspider

          "and your defending someone you dont know pensonaly, why?"

          First off, you don't have a clue who I know peronally or not. Second, because that's what kind people do. Especially when the person they are defending is correct and/or a friend.

          You've just proven yourself to be a troll. Thus your future comments are hereby ignored. Enjoy talking to yourself.

          • polygonesrus

            bye :)

          • polygonesrus

            wow that's pretty harsh stuff coming from a someone who bills themselves as a Christian. aint that what it says on your site,must have really pissed you off. stop takin this stuff so seriously.

          • http://vimeo.com/jmafi mafster

            Daang son..easy.

            And yes. Every Blenderhead should be a coder :P

            Code is awesome.

  • polygonesrus

    by the way ive been coming to this site for quite awhile. and blender cookie ,and blender artists, and ive heard alot worse than anything i said. if i offended you and your "friends". oh wait i forgot i dont care what you think ahahahahaha. have a nice and kind day.

    • http://vimeo.com/jmafi mafster

      lol polygonesrus :P love it.

      And yep agreed with your first comments.

      Who knows, maybe Price needs to boost his revenues, this must make for some great marketing!

  • dileep

    Since the suggested UI works withing one single window, why not someone make it an add-on and see how it goes?... with it you can choose 'Andrew Price window' among the other editor types.

    I would use it for the fast and simple stuff.
    And not use it when I want to say animate the values in the node editor, or do some UV layout or texture painting.

  • comoris

    Just go for it, what 3d software dares to change their UI radically to improve usability? Copy the best out of the existing ones (max, c4d, modo, ...) & implement! maya, 3dsmax, zbrush all look 15 years old, with all their frames in frames in frames in frames, in boxes in frames ... . http://www.scriptspot.com/files/reset3dsmaxfloatingwindows_ui.jpg

    Besides functionallity, a good UI can be the main reason for choosing for blender

    imagine a FREE 3d software tool with the BEST UI on the market

  • polygonesrus

    2.69 is out officially, on the blender foundation home page. woho, Cant wait to crack it open. always love the official releases. espescially after a couple RC's.great work dev's.

  • http://vimeo.com/jmafi mafster

    wow...hahaha.
    So now we have Maya again! :) Sign me up Autodesk!

    You know there was a reason i LEFT maya and started a studio built on Blender...

    Has Andrew ever worked in a studio pipeline before??

    I'm guessing he means pipeline oriented when he says task oriented?

  • http://vimeo.com/jmafi mafster

    I reckon to make it simpler and more user friendly...we should make Blender OS as well....

    And also a "make my project for me" preset button.

    That way i just need to push the power button on my workstation and boom! blender opens itself and i just one click, pop! and out come all the renders of my finished project!! :) no need to tweak any details.

    Some people want to know the python code, some people want to have all the tiny functionality, not just the common tools, some people actually left Maya cos it had a terrible interface..

    If Blender goes huge in industry, studios will build their own interface and pipeline within Blender, they wont use this layout anyway. One strong reaon Maya (with its gross UI) still hangs around is because its customizable. Blender should be built UI and functionality to be EASILY customized...so you can build whatever UI you want.

    I dont think Andrew Price quite gets this, and i think working in industry in a team based heavy pipeline studio setting would greatly benefit his views on UI :D

    Alrighty...rotten tomatoes anyone :)

  • B-Chan

    I love blender, because it's super easy and has comprehensive tools. I hate blender because interface is really useless, and hard to keep concentrate! I like the ui idea, looks way better than current one.

  • Daryl Brennan

    The about of hate for ribbons makes me wonder how many people use them daily. I do, and finding stuff is a hell of a lot quicker. I rejected them at first, but it really increased the speed of my work-flow... I recently installed Suse on my laptop along with Libre office, and the amount of time I now have to spend going through menus and sub menus, reading lists upon lists of ugly text, to find a single function. It's so time consuming.

    • John Norton

      I'm with you - takes a little rethinking but once you have them they're better plus if you're new to the application (as someone was at work) they pick them up much much quicker.

  • John Norton

    Well from what I saw and as a new user who finds many aspects offputting I would welcome the change - in its entirety, especially tab, left mouse click.. well actually everything!
    Please do this as soon as possible :)

  • Paolo Balestro

    Hi, the new UI is very beauiful. Now the software is very very competitiv. Good good

  • Dave6487

    I really like the ideas that your presenting. The only thing that I may have an issue with is the changing of the buttons on the mouse.

    I still like everything else that you mentioned about the mouse layout though. I think a simple solution would just be to let the user change the button config based on personal preference. All that you mentioned could be achieved the same way, just leaving the user to choose which button opens the menu and which dose the selecting.

  • Talk Box

    It's important to bring new ideas to the table. Andrew Price deals with a lot of beginner's questions giving him a unique perspective. I think considering what he has to say may result in more Blender users.

  • macrumpton

    These look like great proposals to me, not just for streamlining workflows, but also for learning.
    The problem with learning blender is that it is kind of like one of those crazy walls in detective shows with all the pictures and index cards connected with miles of string. The great thing about that is that you have every aspect of the whole project at your fingertips, but the downside is that for a student it is hard to know what is relevant to the current task, and currently, gaining that knowledge takes dozens of hours of frustration, which leads to many people just giving up on blender.
    User interface standards exist for a reason. They save millions of hours every year by building on peoples experience rather than having them learn a unique interface for every app.

    Perhaps for the people who have invested thousands of hours becoming expert in the old interface, there could be an alternative skin, that would let them work the way they are used to.

  • http://www.softwarefacil.net Julio Fernandez

    Blender is for the world much more than Microsoft.
    Change for change is very much leisured.
    Why change what already works well?
    Blender MUST maintain its own personality.

  • Jedd Ahyoung

    I stumbled across this today and i watched all three of the videos. I would fully support this change.

    I'm new to Blender; I wanted to give it a try to figure out if I could make 3D assets for my game. As a note, I'm a programmer, and I'm used to the Linux command line - I'm using Unity, I'm well-versed in Git, and I'm familiar with Photoshop/Illustrator and other raster/vector editing tools. Additionally, I've used Rhino3D before, and AutoCAD. (AutoCAD 98, though, in high school. I'm getting old.)

    Blender is free, and that's what attracted me to it, but the interface is definitely awful. I agree with the proposed changes; honestly, with the interface the way it is, I don't feel like I have the time to try to get used to it. The lack of a good toolbar is one of the main reasons for this, and the lack of adherence to common conventions is really a sore point. (Blender has managed to eschew conventions found in Windows, OSX, -and- Linux - hat trick!)

    Speed of execution comes with time and experience, and we learn by following convention. There are simply too many little frustrating things in Blender that hamper creativity from the outset. I'm sure that Blender is a great tool once you've gotten past that learning curve - and it's definitely powerful, there's no doubt about that - but really, I might just download and install something that I can use. I want a working (non-scrolling) toolbar, I want icons, I want to be able to click the "move" button without automatically starting the move from my current mouse position, I want right-click context menus.....my goal is not to learn the tool; my goal is to make assets, and Blender stands in my way right now.

    Andrew's proposal definitely isn't perfect, but I think it's a step in the right direction.

    Finally, want to say - although I dislike the Blender UI and it seems like it'll just hamper my development, the program itself is great and I've seen excellent results. Blender is one of the hallmarks of open-source development and I don't want to knock that (as a dev, I understand what goes into it). I hope that Blender will become the standard for editing in this field, and I hope that it'll always be free and open-source! That said, there's always room for progress, and I hope that Blender won't stagnate due to fear of progressive change.

  • Alessandro Lima

    Hi there! I'm really loving blender, but I'm really suffering a lot to learn, once my guesses of how to do something never works and I feel like been conducted as a peregrine by his master, when watching tutorials, to make the most basic things.
    I think that a most comprehensive interface is ESSENTIAL for a free software, once the main proposal of open source is to be INCLUSIVE.
    I fully endorse the ideas in this video, but I'm realist: these changes will be cost, not only financially, but in terms of existing tutorials, documentation and knowledge of experienced users.
    I'm guessing if there is a way of creating wizards based add-ons so the interface could be maintained and those who need this kind of help would download or enable the related features.
    I'm even interessed in get involved, anybody else would like to join me? You can find me at [email protected].

Share.