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Graph Editor Backdrop

Authored by Julian Eisel (Severin) on Feb 9 2016, 3:05 AM.



Adds the option to display a backdrop in the graph editor. Settings are in a new "Backdrop" panel in the graph editor properties region.

These settings are: Camera to project backdrop, shading mode, opacity, position, size and grease pencil visibility.

Diff Detail

rB Blender

Event Timeline

Julian Eisel (Severin) retitled this revision from to Graph Editor Backdrop.
Julian Eisel (Severin) updated this object.
  • Fix crash when deleting backdrop camera
Sergey Sharybin (sergey) requested changes to this revision.Feb 10 2016, 11:08 AM

Not really fan of backdrops, we've been following non-intersecting UI paradigm and now all of a sudden we'are adding all this weird backdrops.. But here is also ull bunch of issues here:

  • Animators don't usually work n just a Curve Editor, they also spend lots of time in the dope sheet. In fact, Hjalti here most of the time spends in dopesheet tweaking timing and then uses transform tools from a viewport to princely orient objects.
  • You can't have easy to view backdrop in the dopesheet. Open the file from Caminandes and you'll see how much channels there are in there.
  • Selection is also gonna to be a problem here. You can't have lots of objects selected at the time, because otherwise you'll only see a mess in the curve editor. You also can't change selection from inside a graph editor either.
  • it's quite often when you want to change visible scene layers, so you have max performance when animating one particular character and then can see overall scene.
  • There are more issues in there, only outlined the biggest one.

So while this patch might probably perhaps improve someone's workflow, it doesn't make animator's life any easier. And to make it easier you'll probably end up re-integrating full 3d support into curve and dopesheet editors. That's not something i would like to see.

Think such things should first be based on an animator's feedback. Ask Hjalti, Nathan or Bassam to give feedback.

This revision now requires changes to proceed.Feb 10 2016, 11:08 AM

Am wary of these kinds of features.... on face value this seems like it could be handy... but I'm concerned this ends up exposing many other minor missing areas users will want to control that would need be be added for it to be really useful,
which ends up overloading animation views...

  • Show in other animation views.
  • View options (DOF, AO)
  • General control of background position, ways to pan. zoom.
  • Control whats visible, (layers, isolate objects) motion paths...

On the other hand if very limited background support is enough... I guess this *could* be OK.
Would like to get feedback/testing from animators on this one.

This is a feature that was requested on BA a couple of times from different people (initially as overlay). @Todor Imreorov (blurymind) wrote a proposal about it on the wiki.

It seems to be mainly useful for people using a single monitor. As Campell said, the idea is to have a backdrop with pretty limited support, just to give some feedback without having to switch to 3D View.

Re. non-overlapping UI paradigm: Initially I added this to wiggly-widgets branch when I was at the Institute (with less features - rBe29deba6). I talked to Ton back then who agreed that it's fine to add such backdrops for different editors as long as they stay in the background and don't overlap the content.

Proposed this on and seems like there is some demand for such a feature (20 votes - this is how we'll argument in future, get used to it! ;) )

Julian Eisel (Severin) abandoned this revision.EditedThu, Mar 26, 1:06 PM

I still think these kinds of backdrops have their usecase, but closing this patch for now. Not only is it old and would need updating, checking the code it's also very inefficient. The way it's done here would slow down animation playback significantly, it shouldn't write and read the offscreen render from a CPU side image buffer, it should all happen on the GPU using textures & framebuffers.