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Re: simple 3d modeler

Gregor Mückl wrote:

It's a shame that there's no free modeller that can be called "easy to use" yet. My own work on a modelling tool hasn't come to any usable results yet, either. Hey, I'd *really* love to put a plug here, but not being able to do so after more than two years is quite frustrating :-/. Oh well, I'm working on it ;-)

It is a *terrible* shame - and one I tried hard to rectify with the PrettyPoly project (http://prettypoly.sf.net).

Unfortunately, writing a good 3D modeller is an INSANE amount of work. Certainly
more than writing (say) a paint program.

The world needs another OpenSource 3D modeller - but it's hard to imagine a new
team making much of an impact.

FWIW:  PrettyPoly got to the point of loading, displaying and navigating
around 3D models - with Python acting as the 'glue' between GUI, core
editing functions and viewer (kinda like Maya uses 'Mel' scripting).  Things
kinda bogged down over the actual editing part and somehow the project just
fizzled out with developers leaving in ones and twos until no more work

It was just flat out too much effort for a part-time team of five or six

Yes, I think I know how you feel. Although I have gotten a grip on blender by now (well, mostly at least) there's a share of programs I haven't mastered yet, either. But it wouldn't be fair to not mention that blender has had a couple of face liftings in recent years which help a lot with getting into Blender, although the UI is sometimes still obscure or even non-existent.

Yep - and those are a slight improvement (I can now reliably exit blender without a Ctrl-Alt-Backspace to reboot X!) - but it's still unnecessarily obscure in so many ways.

Even simple things like a directory browser for picking a file to load
is a major new learning exercise.  It's almost like it's different for the
sake of being different.

None of the hot keys conform to common conventions, icons are microscopic
unlabelled blobs that could be almost anything.  Buttons have different
functions depending on how you click on them and the thing is so heavily
'moded' (as opposed to 'modeless') that it's alarmingly easy to mis-click
or mis-type something and end up with the package refusing to do anything
meaningful for you.

Then, they often place empty buttons in some of the dialog windows 'for
future use' - but you don't know they are for future use because there are
other unlabelled buttons (such as the layer select thingies) that DO have
some important purpose.


Some features that are clearly there still are only accessible through (sometimes obscure) key combos.

Yep - or via middle-mouse-with-alt-key or something equally weird.

Even worse, a good portion of the blender community is very reluctant to change. As it is the UI provides a very streamlined workflow to those who truely have mastered this program and with every change to the interface these masters show a fear that their productivity could be hurt - and they do so quite loudly in my oppinion. And I haven't yet talked about how the UI structure directly provides the program structure for the internals...

Yes. Those who 'get it' are often quite intolerant of those of us who are genetically incapable of getting it. They always say that I should try the tutorials, read the book or watch the video's - never understanding just how hard I've TRIED all of those things. Sometimes they accuse me of laziness and an unwillingness to learn new things.

There might perhaps be a case for 'forking' Blender to make a second version
that has a more conventional (even if less ergonomic to some) user interface.

I've explored that option - but the blender source code is an utter mess with
GUI stuff spread all over the sources.

Anyway, blender *is* the most powerful 3D tool there is at the moment.

Well, the most powerful OpenSourced 3D modeller at least. Maya is without doubt more powerful (and runs on Linux) - but it costs several thousand dollars and is heavily node-locked so you can't even run it on your laptop when you travel and your desktop machine when at home.

The second law of Frisbee throwing states: "Never precede any maneuver
by a comment more predictive than "Watch this!"...it turns out that
this also applies to writing Fragment Shaders.
Steve Baker                      (817)619-2657 (Vox/Vox-Mail)
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