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Blender 2.5 Alpha Brings Major Changes

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  • #11
    Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
    If you need documentation in order to use basic functions, then the UI is broken. :P (Personally, I find the Blender tutorials excellent, but I can see what you mean.)
    Which ones? The "official" tutorials, the BSoD tutorials, the Noob to Pro tutorials, or the various tutorials thrown about the web like so much chaff on various freelance artist's sites and blogs?

    Also remember that the BF has a habit of releasing new features with nothing but developers notes explaining the feature. The 3d texture painting mode is a perfect example of that. A technical writer writing a freely downloadable pdf (with a book that could be purchased to cover costs) would solve that problem.

    The new UI is a massive step forward from a former in-house tool but without solid documentation anyone just starting out in 3d will have just as much trouble as with 2.4x.

    @ Michael - file a feature request

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    • #12
      Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
      Which ones? The "official" tutorials, the BSoD tutorials, the Noob to Pro tutorials, or the various tutorials thrown about the web like so much chaff on various freelance artist's sites and blogs?
      You forgot the commercial books on blender. So much for the lack of documentation. :P

      Seriously, I've yet to find a feature that I couldn't find a tutorial for. Granted, I'm no professional 3d modeler, but there's certainly no lack of good tutorials on blender. There are tutorials even for 2.50 alpha-freaking-0!

      I'm not sure why you'd want a dedicated technical writer duplicating all this work, when you can simply spend 5 minutes on google or buy a book written by a professional.

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      • #13
        I've been following Blender since before it became Free Software,and I compiled 2.5 from SVN for a while so this isn't really news for me, but I'm glad to see this gets some attention - as it should! Blender 2.6 (the "final" stable version out hopefully around Siggraph10) will be a dream come true

        The learning-curve can be steep (like learning GNU/Linux) but there's definitely a reward at the end. Now in 2.5 things are already much more logical and "easier", but it's still Blender. Keyboard shortcuts are essential to learn for ALL applications you seriously use, including GIMP. I don't follow the irritation over The GIMP's UI since I can work fast in it using shortcuts and GUI. These are complex tools and most people complaining don't need or use 90% of the capabilities, yet they want to click a button and "create" a Pixar short without knowing anything about 3D/2D...


        Originally posted by Michael View Post
        I wonder if Blender can finally handle benchmarking in an autonomous mode now...
        I think the Blender developers have a lot of other important things to work on first, but try to contact Cambell Barton (ideasman42 on the BA forum) who currently works on the Durian project. Here's a thread he started:

        http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?t=165866

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        • #14
          The problem with the Gimp GUI is that the GUI is unintuitive and difficult to manage (multiple windows, no context-sensitivity, confusing icons and menus). The learning curve is pretty steep, but once mastered it becomes a surprisingly capable and efficient application. Unfortunately, many people get turned off after the initial contact (same as with Blender).

          The other issue with Gimp is the dissonance between user expectations and its supported workflow. One common complaint is, "how do I draw a simple circle with Gimp?" Go ahead, fire a new window and try this - just a simple circle, like mspaint. Most newcomers will give up here (Gimp sucks), turn to google or try all tools one by one (Gimp is hard!) Personally, I believe Blender is better in this regard and doesn't suffer from this issue.

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          • #15
            @BlackStar

            I partially don't agree. Mostly like I said these apps are very complex, which for highend use is good. Maybe it's easier to create a circle in Photoshop but how many people buy an app for $600 to do simple things? Because GIMP is more comparable to PS than MS Paint and many people don't need more than the latter, being the reason Canonical want to remove The GIMP from the default install. That is not GIMP's fault, no matter the UI. Same story with Blender, which is more like Max/Maya than Sketchup. If people can't/won't grasp the concept you can't blame the software.

            Yes, both Blender and GIMP have "non-standard" interfaces but once learned they are powerful and flexible. Just because many know 3D Studio Max and it therefore somehow has a de-facto interface, doesn't make it easier for people to use the potential it gives. It's just that people have a higher incentive to learn a complex app when they've shelved out thousand of $$ for it, and "free can't be good = not worth the time"...

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            • #16
              No. That the application has advanced capabilities doesn't mean that it has to have a bad interface. And you seem to ackownledge that fact, since you said:

              Originally posted by numasan
              Now in 2.5 things are already much more logical and "easier", but it's still Blender.
              So, it's still Blender (and quite probably better and with more options), but at the same time it's "more logical and easier". How can it be? It can be because of what I just said, interfaces do not have to be messed up for no particular reason. Please see Inkscape as an example of how things can be done when having the UI in mind from the beginning.

              Originally posted by numasan
              Just because many know 3D Studio Max and it therefore somehow has a de-facto interface, doesn't make it easier for people to use the potential it gives.
              You are not entertaining the possibility that the acceptance of that particular interface actually has something to do with its quality and design merits. Actually, there is a bit of nonsense in your sentence. If somebody is familiar with a particular UI, it will definitely be easier to accomplish something with it, even when compared to a suposedly better designed one but pefectly alien to the user. In the long term your point is valid, though.

              In any case this is not what happens with The Gimp, unless all the voices complaining about it are wrong, of course. That its developers realised it should tell you something.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by BlackStar View Post
                I'm not sure why you'd want a dedicated technical writer duplicating all this work, when you can simply spend 5 minutes on google or buy a book written by a professional.
                Why do you feel it is alright to dump the responsibility of documentation off on the user?

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                • #18
                  Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
                  Why do you feel it is alright to dump the responsibility of documentation off on the user?
                  This is FLOSS. Who has the responsibility? The developers spending their free time on writing the software? Besides, as has been said already you can buy books for many of the larger open source apps if you have problems with documentation contributed by users.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
                    Why do you feel it is alright to dump the responsibility of documentation off on the user?
                    Because it makes sense. Developers usually aren't professional writers *or* 3d modelers, and I'd rather read a book by the latter instead of a technical document.

                    (Edit: I misread the quote above as a direct question "Do you feel..." rather than "Why do you feel...")
                    Last edited by BlackStar; 11-30-2009, 07:46 AM.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by yogi_berra View Post
                      Why do you feel it is alright to dump the responsibility of documentation off on the user?
                      One reason could be that the create-sinister-looking-monster button doesn't exist. You need a tutorial for that.

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