BforArtists or BTouch on touch capacitive digital drafting devices

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AngelaReitan's picture
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BforArtists or BTouch on touch capacitive digital drafting devices

I started using Blender about seven years ago and in recent months heavily considered switching to one of the big digital drafting desks on the market (Microsoft Studio, Dell Canvas, Wacom Cintiq 27) as I believe that with the right user interface, these work stations could dramatically improve productivity and work flow.  When I tried playing around with Blender on my touch screen laptop, I noticed that simple touch gestures such as one and two finger swipes as well as pinching, did not register any response.  I began developing a simpler user interface that mirrored Adobe's launch of their initial Photoshop Touch port for iPad, and used only a handful of tabs in the design, in hopes that the complexity of the 1990's dial up ad bomb that is the main screen could be scaled down to a handful of buttons.  Upon reaching out to the community, I was met with a lot of close minded nay say from what I can only describe as "old dogs unwilling to learn new tricks".  One person told me that Andrew Price had tried proposing a similar but more complicated design to the Blender development team and was met with harsh backlash.  A YouTube commenter pointed out that B for Artists had already implemented many of the improvements he proposed, but upon review, it still looks more complicated than something I could easily navigate on a touch display.
 

Since this team seems more willing to change with the times, I was wondering if any development for touch devices would be feasible.  Frankly I think it would introduce new users to CGI and the many applications it serves in the community.  An easier to grasp UI without frightening them away and overwhelming them, since it would be easy to use with mouse and keyboard as well.

 

What resources would the team need to make that change?  A Kickstarter?  Hae you considered volunteer or work study labor that write code for school credit instead of paychecks?  I did a similar program and enjoyed it immensely.

Please don't underestimate my hyperfocus.  I want to see this project completed if at all possible!

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Reiner's picture
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Hi Angela,

Hi Angela,

The will is there. And we improve the interface piece by piece and step by step. What we lack though is man power. And the other limit is, we don't want to change the core too much. We rely at Blender under the hood. And every change at the core makes it harder to keep it in sync with Blender then.

When you have single improvement wishes, feel free to post them in the tracker. And we will do our best then.

On the other hand, what you want sounds exactly like the 101 project from Blender. Blender developers wants to create customizable workspaces with Blender 2.8. And 101 templates are then some kind of rooms, with just a handfull of tools for a specific task. So it might be a good idea to simply wait with what the Blender developers come up in Blender 2.8.

Kind regards

Reiner

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Draise's picture
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I guess you'd need to

I guess you'd need to discuess your ideas. The BFA UI has a lot of Icons already built in, and some of them can be scaled to large proportions.  Making things a bit more touch friendly is a doable thing - but that would posisbly and also mean more control to gestures and making things larger to touch elsewhere, principally no? Touch friendly sliders? Were you also refering to minimalizing function? 

There is a way to make templates with certain presets/shortcuts/addons and layout setup that could be played with. The toolbar addon icons is header based, unfortunately that can't be scaled, but the GUI can be scaled. Worth playing around with some ideas to implement, like....maybe template with GUI double size and rescale Properties View to be nice? More icons/sliders? Scale UI? NDOF event and gesture TWEAK event hotkeys? 

How would you make things a bit more touch friendly?

Concerning third party sponsoring, I think it's mentioned in the terms and some forum threads that third party funding to sponsor BFA development is allowed, but won't be nor will go through nor to the BFA development directly, as it will never be a financial institute, either foundation nor business - but an opensource software - meaning any funds with change of hands with/for developers with an agenda can and will only be done through a third party or third party campaign that can indirectly sponsor and integrate into the development of Bforartists and the tasks in the development area. So nothing really is stopping you from creating a case to develop something that might get included into official BFA releases of off the sourcecode - if it's in the general direction of the system/source - which is essentially built off Blender (to get all the improvements they do). 

And yes, as Reiner suggested, maybe looking into Blender 101 might be a good idea, and BFA might need/integrate your ideas as to make that system a bit..infinately better itself - when they release it - and thus Bforartits 101 would have your ideas integrated into it and you could technically fund/train/develop that as a third party to sponsor that area of BFA. Creating preliminary feature requests with reasons or plan might be nice.  

Blender/Bforartists is a profound software that is hard to minimalize and still keep 100% all function, so understanding what a touch UI might be good for and then work on finding a way to optimize/work on that with the current setup or build up from it might work. Maybe it might just work fixing current issues like multifinger issues. There are templates that could be included on the default, there are icons you can work with, there is an ability to experiment on gesture based workflows, develop custom gesture based pie menus, custom touch UI that overlay on BFA's UI core, or even create a new touch toolbar for certain things such as an an addon/template. 

I'm.. busy working on merging hotkeys from Blender between a myriad of projects for my clients, but discussion and dreaming/planning can be done for free - let's hear your ideas. wink

You never know, maybe a task can be created to incoporate the beginnings of what you think is UI friendly for that - if possible to do. Or feel free to work with the team on things, help for code, how BFA is compiled, how to do things, how to setup feature requests or tasks, etc.

Just glad you're wanting to get some idea out for education and easing adaptation and learning quickly.
 

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-Draise

AngelaReitan's picture
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I have a PDF... sorta

My note taking app with all of my ideas and rough drafts can be sent via PDF and then maybe I can attach it here, it's just that the function isn't really working right now.  Let me see if I can get it to work and upload it.  In terms of touch devices, I'm talking about a 27" screen to start, so nothing would really need to be scaled but it would be nice to make them SLIGHTLY larger.  In terms of touch capacitive gestures, just the ability to maneuver around the 3D viewport and replace some of the necessity that we have to rely so heavily on hotkeys.

 

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Reiner's picture
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Yes. Blender and Bforartist

Yes. Blender and Bforartist relies still too heavily at hotkeys for navigation. It's not made for touch devices really.

The problem is, i don't have any touch device. I don' t use tablets. So even when i would want to change something, i cannot test it.

But i am open to any suggestions. I think that some of the ideas for touchpads could also bring benefits for the normal useage.

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Reiner's picture
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so nothing would really need

so nothing would really need to be scaled but it would be nice to make them SLIGHTLY larger. 

 Go to User Preferences. In the Interface tab, change the Display silder to something higher. 1.1 or 1.2. Then save the user preferences.

Attach Image: 
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AngelaReitan's picture
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Hopefully this will work. 

Hopefully this will work.  Just remember that it is just a compilation of thoughts and ideas, not necessarily feasible ones.  I have a lot of napkins with other details written on them as well that I could probably jot down.  There are different drafts of the UI in there, as I change my mind rapidly with different flaws from one design, or added benefits of a revamped look, et cetera,

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aVC6NDaanvXDrAB1AZzydG8t9Q5YdS6o

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Reiner's picture
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Thanks Angela,

Thanks Angela,

I have downloaded it now, and will have a look at it. When we can do something, and it's an improvement, then we will do. But please don't expect results.It can happen that none of the ideas or suggestions makes it through.

Kind regards

Reiner

 

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