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Blender UI improvement thread
show user profile  Black Mariah
What I am proposing is a community effort to design a new layout based on input from artists that have used other software packages before. Blender users are typically Blender users. They know the keystrokes by heart, all the menu layouts, where everything is, but when you approach it as the user of any other package designed for CG work it's an outright mess of buttons and knobs. The difficulty of transitioning is, by and large, a result of Blender not quite behaving like an artist coming from another package would expect.

While the historical view of Blender is that it's "not quite ready", I feel that changes and additions made of late have put it into a position tool-wise to provide most of the functionality required by professional users and that it simply lacks a more elegant and thoughtful way of going about things to make a serious case for abandoning more traditional packages. This doesn't mean creating an exact duplicate of the Max look and feel. The way Blender's UI is set up is brilliant in its flexibility, just questionable in where the original devs decided to put things.

The UI is generated using Python scripts. I'm not the best in the world with Python, but they did manage to make it fairly simple to design layouts so it shouldn't be a problem. Key bindings are trivial and created within the user preferences, as you'd expect.

For contributions I've set up a Paypal link, just send me lots of money through the donate link on the right side of the screen (love me, Spoon ;) ).

Or download Blender, mess with it for a bit, and post your thoughts on the UI and how to improve it here. When that's done we'll get more in depth regarding specific changes.

I think it was Socrates who said... "I drank what?"

read 899 times
7/16/2012 1:20:31 PM (last edit: 7/16/2012 1:20:31 PM)
show user profile  Sir_Manfred
I have many times wanted to get in to Blender but I couldn't stand their key-bindings.
Something more max-like would be more likely to maximize my liking.

Visit my Portfolio

read 857 times
7/17/2012 12:28:11 AM (last edit: 7/17/2012 12:28:11 AM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss
Good luck with this. Definitely interested in seeing any progress!

read 852 times
7/17/2012 12:40:10 AM (last edit: 7/17/2012 12:40:10 AM)
show user profile  reeves1984
The last thing you want to to is make it like max, I assume you're trying to get away from it after all..

Simon Reeves - VFX Artist & Blog
twitter <-- I work here

read 848 times
7/17/2012 12:46:51 AM (last edit: 7/17/2012 12:46:51 AM)
show user profile  Black Mariah
Primary goal is to make something that's more usable overall. There will be some Max-like functionality of course but my intention is to take the best bits and pieces of everything, smash them together, and tweak the result into something far more ass-kicking.

So let's start this off with the basics.

Camera control. Max style? Maya style? Modo? Lightwave?
Modeling tools. Right click menu? Better button layout?

I think it was Socrates who said... "I drank what?"

read 833 times
7/17/2012 8:49:34 AM (last edit: 7/17/2012 8:49:34 AM)
show user profile  Nik Clark
Definitely make the camera control max style!

I really struggle with Blender. Perhaps it's time for my annual "give it another go".

read 819 times
7/17/2012 9:47:28 AM (last edit: 7/17/2012 9:47:28 AM)
show user profile  donvella
Is this going to be any different to:


read 809 times
7/17/2012 11:00:06 AM (last edit: 7/17/2012 11:00:14 AM)
show user profile  Black Mariah
Much different. Again, not interested in emulating anything in particular. The way Blender's interface actually works is brilliant. Any section of the screen can be resized and changed to anything you want. This is great, rather than having multiple windows open you just change what one of them is. The problem is that the default layouts don't make it quite clear what everything is or how it works. The goal is to create a UI that will be completely obvious to anyone that's ever used a 3d application more than a passing amount.

My Turing Test for 3d apps is the teapot on checkerboard. Knowing nothing about an application, how long will it take me to create and render a teapot (or sphere, or whatever) on a checkerboard with reflections and a shadow casting spot without referring to help files.

If you know one app you should be able to walk into any other, because you know what you're looking for. Here are the primitives, here's the material editor. There's the object's options, there's the renderer. Every app has these, but making their location and use obvious seems to be quite difficult.

So the idea is to make Blender that damned easy to transition to. Open it up, there's everything you need, no mass of shortcut keys to learn from the word go. Just everything set up properly.

I think it was Socrates who said... "I drank what?"

read 793 times
7/17/2012 12:18:44 PM (last edit: 7/17/2012 12:18:44 PM)
show user profile  Nik Clark

read 787 times
7/17/2012 12:26:15 PM (last edit: 7/17/2012 12:26:15 PM)
show user profile  BishBashRoss
What he said.

read 779 times
7/17/2012 12:56:10 PM (last edit: 7/17/2012 12:56:10 PM)
show user profile  reeves1984
use xsi

Simon Reeves - VFX Artist & Blog
twitter <-- I work here

read 772 times
7/17/2012 1:16:48 PM (last edit: 7/17/2012 1:16:48 PM)
show user profile  Sir_Manfred
use max

Visit my Portfolio

read 770 times
7/17/2012 1:18:32 PM (last edit: 7/17/2012 1:18:32 PM)
show user profile  donvella
use maya

edit: I agree with reeves below... I hate working every day in this package, i hate it I HATE IT! Makes me wanna throw monitors off the roof.

read 761 times
7/17/2012 1:38:28 PM (last edit: 7/17/2012 2:14:10 PM)
show user profile  reeves1984
max is arse

Simon Reeves - VFX Artist & Blog
twitter <-- I work here

read 750 times
7/17/2012 2:10:42 PM (last edit: 7/17/2012 2:10:42 PM)
show user profile  Sir_Manfred
maya is arse

Visit my Portfolio

read 740 times
7/17/2012 2:54:15 PM (last edit: 7/17/2012 2:54:15 PM)
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