CategoriesGeneralHenning is learning Blender 2.8!

This topic contains 17 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Arev 6 days ago.

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  • henning
    Wizard @ FlippedNormals

    After many years of looking at Blender, I’ve decided it’s time to jump into it now that 2.80 is released. Up to this point, Blender has just been a bit too weird for me, but the changes to 2.8 makes the transition so much easier! Just the fact that left click is possible is a game changer. While there are 1000 new amazing features in 2.8, the biggest one for me is honestly that it’s significantly improved from a UX point of view.

    What I like:
    – The software is clearly extremely powerful.
    – The modeling tools are quite solid
    – Eevee and Cycles are awesome!
    – The new UI is so much better than previous versions
    – The Blender community is so friendly and is extremely eager to help! This makes learning it a lot more motivating and easier.

    General Dislikes:
    – It definitely needs another UX pass, as there are a lot of quirks still.
    – Retopo and UV mapping isnt great
    – It really doesnt play well with other 3D software.
    – Blender still often feels like an old software with a new skin on top. It looks beautiful, but once you dig a bit deeper, some of the workflows clearly havent been updated in a long time.
    – It’s extremely hotkey based. There are features I simply cant find in the UI, only by hotkey.

    Specific Wishes:
    – Quad draw style tool from Maya for Retopo
    – Seriously pimp up the UV tools. They feel like they are from 2010.
    – The Simple Deform shouldnt need an Empty to work
    – C key stops the 3d navigation. This is super annoying. A modeling tool should never freeze the navigation.
    – Searching in the modifier stack
    – Isolate selected which does not move the camera, and is mapped to something more sensible by default. Alt Q or Alt X are great keys for that.
    – Frame mesh without comma key on num pad. You really shouldnt have to move your hand to frame the mesh. This is one of the top 5 hotkeys I use the most.
    – When deleting a mesh, it shouldnt ask to confirm. I literally just confirmed by hitting delete. I have ctrl Z if I want to undo.
    – Move origin point with single click. Moving the origin is really annoying
    – Add 3d view to render tab. When rendering, you always want a 3D view.

    A lot of these are clearly fixable with addons or by simply modifying the UI with a few clicks, but I really feel these things should be default in Blender. It would make the user experience a lot smoother.

    Here are some quick tests I’ve done while learning.

    lightingScenesBlender01telephone01ape2

     


    Shain1234
    Artist

    I’m very much in the same boat. It’s obviously a fantastic piece of software but I really struggle with a few very basic things.

    Personally I’d also like to see workspace specific custom hotkeys. They semi have a system for it. But I can’t for example have my 3D viewport for “edit mode” pan, orbit and zoom using alt+middle mouse, left mouse and right mouse button. And then tell my “sculpt mode” to use something more similar to zbrush which is much easier when using a tablet.

    Also the keybind interface in preferences, although I can tell very powerful is rather complicated. Needing long complex naming conventions and adding new ones is just a nightmare.

    I use the keymap made to be more industry standard ( it’s an optional keymap by default) and it fixed a lot of my initial struggles with traversing the software but added to one if your points of simply having features hidden behind hotkeys. Then made worse because you can’t rebind stuff easily.

    Frankly it’s been a nightmare to even try anything because just getting the software to function can be quite the challenge for someone transitioning.

    Along side that the community is great, until your critical of the software. I’ve had a lot of angry messages because wanting qwer for my transform tools is less logical than s for scale and r for rotate. They always forget to mention g for move.

    To me it shows that some people who really love blender haven’t used many other applications ( absolutely understandable ) and dont seem to quite grasp functional advantages some of the industry standards have.

    People can use whatever they want ofc but when your software is a puzzle of remembering hotkeys that spread you far across the keybiard to get even some very simple things done, you have a problem in my opinion.


    Mike_A
    Artist

    I couldn’t agree more with everything you said.

    I really wanted to try out 2.8 but man some things are so weird and I have used the majority of 3D software out there. Max, Maya, Cinema, modo, the transition to blender seems really weird to me.

    It’s like you said, the software is a puzzle in so many things and especially keybinds which I heavily rely on.

    Blender is the only software that I have really tried to learn but I am still frustrated by so many things, as the article states.


    marcclintdion
    Artist

    Isolate selected which does not move the camera, and is mapped to something more sensible by default. Alt Q or Alt X are great keys for that.

    You must be referring to local view.  That zoom-in thing it does is jarring and a bit confusing.

    You can just hide things the regular way by pressing “shift+h” which hides everything but what’s selected.  Use “alt+h” to unhide everything.  It doesn’t micro-manage the view transform for your inconvenience.


    marcclintdion
    Artist

    – C key stops the 3d navigation. This is super annoying. A modeling tool should never freeze the navigation.

    I assume you’re talking about circle-select. I don’t know why that’s still there, it’s been replaced by something much better. You can press the “w” key to cycle between 4 selection tools. Watch the top right as I switch between tools.

    For now the new circle select doesn’t seem to have adjustable size but that’s likely an omission and not a feature that was dropped.  Again, someone just has to let the right developer know there is an issue here.

    https://vimeo.com/352344506


    marcclintdion
    Artist

    I find UV mapping works well so long as we don’t consider Blender’s single threaded performance for most of the tools.  (cough, cough, Epic mega grant)

    For hard-surface models with clean topology, performance isn’t an issue so long as model components are separate objects.

    Here’s a video showing how seamless(pun) this process can be.

    Live unwrap is activated and the ‘Mark Seams’ tool is loaded into ‘Quick Favorites’.  https://vimeo.com/352339676

     

    This next video shows the ‘Pick Shortest Path’ tool that is using the ‘Tag Seams’ option and live unwrap.  The model is a messy ‘Dynatopo’ sculpt and things still progress rapidly.  It took about 3 minutes to get a usable unwrap.

    Most of the time was spent either thinking or waiting for Blender to think.  The single-threaded problem really shows in this example.  (cough, cough, Epic mega grant)
    My i7 6820HK @2.7Ghz can’t keep up with unwrapping ~20000 verts.  I think it’s the packing algorithm that’s causing the lag.  It would be nice to have the option of a weak packing algorithm to choose so we can get good response times from ‘Live Unwrap’.  Then we could switch to the better algorithm once the unwrap is finished.
    https://vimeo.com/352333391

     

    Here’s a helpful video made by Aidy Burrows.  A couple of the shortcuts no longer work with 2.8 but the tools are the same and they’re listed in the menu.   https://cgmasters.net/free-tutorials/10-essential-uv-tips-and-tricks/


    marcclintdion
    Artist

    – Frame mesh without comma key on num pad. You really shouldnt have to move your hand to frame the mesh. This is one of the top 5 hotkeys I use the most.

    You can add that to the ‘Quick Favorites’ menu then press ‘q’ to access the list of favorite tools.

    Here’s how.  https://vimeo.com/352354471

     


    Shain1234
    Artist

    – Frame mesh without comma key on num pad. You really shouldnt have to move your hand to frame the mesh. This is one of the top 5 hotkeys I use the most.

    You can add that to the ‘Quick Favorites’ menu then press ‘q’ to access the list of favorite tools.

    Here’s how.  https://vimeo.com/352354471

     

    Hey thanks for the recommendation on hide and unhide Instead of isolate and Ill watch the UV video later but from what I read it sounds a lot better then what I was doing.

    Though I personally don’t think that adding frame mesh to the favourites menu is really a good solution, frame mesh should be rapid and instantly and help you get along with your project, moving your hand across the keyboard sucks but so would having to find it in a list, maybe it seems petty when it’s like 2 seconds extra work but I’m sure you understand.

    Personally I’ve already remapped most of my blender so I don’t have this issue I’m just trying to see it from Hennings side 🙂


    marcclintdion
    Artist

    For now I can only think of one other thing that will help with rapidly zooming-in on pieces.  By pressing ‘shift+b’ and drawing out a box by clicking and dragging, you will zoom into the area drawn out by the box.  The size of the box determines how close you zoom in, the code isn’t perfect since it zooms in too close so you do have to draw a bigger box.  Pressing ‘shift+c’  zooms you back out again.
    There’s a scene-pivot setting under ‘Edit->Preferences->Navigation->Orbit Around Selection’ that will allow you to use this technique more effectively since you can rapidly zoom in and then set the view’s rotational pivot point by selecting what you want the view to orbit around.

     

    I made a quick video to show how that works.  So far as that goes with the box-zoom zooming-in too far, that can be fixed if you pester the right developer and make a decent case that the area which is framed should zoom to match the view dimensions.  If you frame a model then that model should zoom-in to fit the viewport.

    -Dalai Felinto  ——- @dfelinto is active on Twitter.  He can point you to the right person if he’s too busy to do it himself.

    -Mike Erwin ———[email protected]

    -Julian Eisel ——— @Severin_b3d

    -Sybren A. Stüvel —- @sastuvel

    -Wil  Wheaton ——- @wilw

     

     

     

    https://vimeo.com/352386841


    marcclintdion
    Artist

    Hey thanks for the recommendation on hide and unhide Instead of isolate and Ill watch the UV video later but from what I read it sounds a lot better then what I was doing.

    The issue with hiding all non-selected pieces is that the un-hide operation is very inefficient in large scenes for some reason.  It behaves like ‘Undo’ and you’ll regret using it if you are working on something complex.

    “Isolate” which is properly called ‘Local View’ (/) doesn’t have that issue, it’s still responsive when things get difficult.

     

    BTW.  Most tool operations will show up as part of a running list in the Info Window.  This is invaluable for scripting macros and just for talking to developers about problems with Blender because it gives you the exact tool name as it is in the Python code.  If you click one of the entries, it should turn blue and now you can use Ctrl+C to copy it to the operating system clipboard.

    Screenshot (326)

    (Coincidentally, ‘Local View’ is the 1st tool I’ve encountered that doesn’t show up in the info list.  Definitely a bug, almost everything should show up there)

    Fun fact, did you know that you don’t need to click and select most value fields in Blender.  You can just hover the mouse cursor and press ‘ctrl+c’ to copy the value to the clipboard.  Now you can hover over another area and use ‘ctrl+v’ to paste the value, again without actually having to click and select anything.

    It even works for vectors like color values.  I’ll now make a video where I hover-copy from a Blender node and then paste it here.  😉  ->  [0.002309, 0.000000, 1.000000, 1.000000]   https://vimeo.com/352407338

     

    You can also copy and paste models from one running instance of Blender to another and everything associated with the model like rigging and material nodes will all go along for the ride.  This is useful for isolating a scene component if you want to save just that one piece to it’s own file.  It’s great for bringing models from a different scene into the one you are working on without having to navigate menus and look for things you forgot to name properly.  Just load the blend file, then copy and paste the model over to where you want it.  I recently copied a model from 2.8 to a version of 2.79 from 2 years ago so I could run an old addon that stopped working a long time ago, then I copied and pasted it back into the recent version of Blender I’ve been using.  I always copy and paste models that I’m texture baking over to an empty scene so I don’t make a mess of the scene I’m working on by littering it with intermediary files.  Then once the baking is done, I delete the model from the original scene and copy over the newly baked one.


    henning
    Wizard @ FlippedNormals
    OP

    marcclintdion: Thank you so much for the links! Ill check out all the videos as I go through Blender.


    Gapincyberspace
    Artist

    While accept blender has some way to go, I disagree with many of the complaints based on a couple of things worth mentioning.

     

    Learn blender before you make assumptions about what is seemingly missing or difficult. Many of the complaints are already there but your are treating blender as an extension of other software you have used, yet you know such software has its own way of doing things.

    Secondly it’s highly customisable so learn how to instead of expecting it to be done, then post that customization back to the developers or community for all to test and or adopt as extras.

    What your are doing by this is helping yourself be more attuned to blenders abilities and helping others, but please ask the community seek out tutorials and share, just because your not familiar with how or where in blender is not necessarily missing, awkward or broken, but yes by all means suggest if you cannot actually discover it. I’ve seen many people say can’t do this or its awkward etc to be then told yes it’s here or do this instead, just ask or find first or try it blenders way without harking back to Maya max Houdini zbrush or whatever you are used to, the blender community is always willing to help and even its gurus are still learning things about 2.80.


    Adam Skovran
    Artist

    G is for grab though, not move. 😛


    JuanAguilarC
    Artist

    -Hello! I do agree with some things said here mainly the uvs, don’t get me wrong, the Uv tools that blender already have are awesome but I fell like some are missing, Although UV master (the included Plug-in that you just have to activate) has a lot of this tools enabled. The only one I can not find is one to grab texel density from one Mesh, face or object and set it to other meshes, faces or objects. Another Uv thing that I would like is a non adapting grid since sometimes I have to work with non-square textures and when zoomed in I have to guess which of all of the grid lines is actually the center one. Also UDIMS hahaha

     

    -Retolopgy is a big issue but since i have been using 3d coat for that I don’t feel it mush although It would be nice to nat have to switch programs for every songle step hahaha.

     

    -Simple deform doesn’t require an empty, it is based on the pivot of the object, the empty (or any other mesh) provides more felxibility to replace the pivot and even make it so you can animate things.

    Compared to maya, yes, it is an extra step to create the empty so you can move and edit more thouroughly how the deofrmation is happening, but it allows for much more felxibility. Just like the lattice modifier; when you create a lattice in maya from a selection, the program places the lattice in the right spot and with the right size compared to blender that you have to create a lattice, place it in the right spot with the right size, create the lattice modifier in the mesh and finally link the lattice to the modifier. Much more steps, but the good thing is that you can move, scale and tell which vertices that lattice can affect, even after tha lattice was modified. So i’ll trade that flexibility over convenience every time. (just like creating tileable textures in Substance designer vs Zbrush)

     

    -I just learned this yesterday, but you can deactivate the Isolate select moving the camera here: “on the keymap search for local view (or search by key-binding for “/”) and uncheck the option frame selected” (this is from the blender discord comunity btw)aaaaa

    It is so good to finally keep the camera in place when isolating!

     

    -Agree with moving the origin point with less clicks, after months of using blender the sequence to move the origin point is now in my muscle memory, but it still feels unecesary.

     

    -For the shortcuts for isolate and framing, I do also not like the fact that the shortcut keys are “.” and “/” in the num pad but since I haven’t worked with a mouse with just 3 buttons in yeeeaaaars (left,  middle and right click), I just mapped those to the extra buttons of the mouse, just like I used to have in maya. And this never gave me problems since it’s really rare to go to a place that deals with 3d (studios or schools) and they don’t have a modern mouse with extra buttons.

    Maybe you could argue that if you have to work at a friends computer or any computer but your own, you’ll have to set-up before starting to work, bur lets be honest, No computer is like your own computer so there is always a little bit of set up.

     

    Hopes the isolate thing helps

    Cheers

     


    marcclintdion
    Artist

    The only one I can not find is one to grab texel density from one Mesh, face or object and set it to other meshes, faces or objects

     

    I believe you’re looking for TexTools.  The developer goes by the handle @renderhjs on Twitter

    http://renderhjs.net/textools/blender/

     

    Another Uv thing that I would like is a non adapting grid

    Does this mean that you want the UV grid to stay square instead of stretching to match the image proportions?

    If so, you can drag and drop the image you are working with into the UV Editor and then adjust the aspect ratio.

    Screenshot (365)

    This even works if the image is fully transparent but unfortunately the grid disappears when images are loaded in.

    Unless you make a feature request, the only way around this that I can find is to take a screen-capture of the grid, crop it in a 2D photo-editor and then

    drag and drop the image into Blender’s UV Editor so the image becomes your grid.  If you want custom proportions then you can model your own grid

    using boxes and render that out then load it back in to the Editor.

    Here’s a screen-capture of the grid from the 3D Viewport’s top view that’s been cropped in Krita to be rectangular and loaded into the UV Editor.

    Screenshot (369)

     

    you can deactivate the Isolate select moving the camera here:

    That’s a good one, thanks.

    UDIMS

    UDIMS are expected to be in Blender 2.81

    Retolopgy is a big issue

    Retopoflow is free on GITHUB.  If you want tech support and you want to support future development then you can buy it at BlenderMarket.  Here’s a link to the official CGCookie GitHub repo for retopoflow.

    For now you’d have to use Blender 2.79 but once the new UI is ready it will be available for 2.8 as well.

    https://github.com/CGCookie/retopoflow

    You can follow the 2.8 Retopoflow progress on Twitter by looking up @gfxcoder


    PastyPict
    Artist

    I’m excited that you have started looking into Blender. I’m so pleased that Blender is getting some much deserved attention now.

    I will say I find it interesting that you dislike the UV mapping. I remember hearing that’s what made it popular in the first place, and I’ve personally always found it easier and more efficient for me to get good UVs in Blender, but maybe that’s just me. Though, I imagine more tools for more control can only be a good thing, so I’m definitely not gonna complain if they accommodate for other artists’ desired tool set.
    I think the devs are also planning UDIM support in 2.81 or 2.82.

    I could be mistaken, but I think I remember hearing something about a quad draw feature.

    I also find interesting that you feel that it’s like and old software with a new skin, because that’s how I feel about 3DS Max, and to much lesser extent, Maya.

    Retopology is bit annoying, having to setup the Shrinkwrap modifier, as well as turning on surface snapping. I think it’s easierto retopolgise in Blender compared to 3DS Max, but I think Maya is more ideal for this.

    I think all of your points make for a very good critique. I’m personally used to most of them to the point where it doesn’t bother me either way, but I think it would be wise for the Blender Foundation to take these suggestions on board.
    I haven’t used the Industry Compatible keybinding preset since I already know the legacy hotkeys, but if the Blender Foundation want to keep both parties happy, they should continue with the two styles of keybinding presets. The one we are used to, and all the changes you suggested under the Industry Compatible preset (pertaining to controls).


    tyler.tofu
    Artist

    I suggested these improvements on the blender community, and they actually soundly addresses every single one of your concerns! You can check out the responses here:

    https://devtalk.blender.org/t/how-to-make-blender-industry-standard/8858


    Arev
    Artist

    Hey Henning, you mention the “quaddraw” tool in maya as something you wished blender had. I have watched the beginner retopoing tutorial on your youtube channel where you show of some things the tool can do. I am not sure how well you know blender yet, but blender can do things that are pretty similar to most of it. It just isnt gatehered in a spesific mode or tool like “quaddraw! I dont have time to look it all up and make a video, but i recorded something i think you should know if you do not already know it.

    You can press control+rightclick in edit mode and blender will create an extrusion towards the location of your mouse pointer. Check the video out for demonstration.

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