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Authored by Harley Acheson (harley) on Feb 25 2019, 1:18 AM.

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Summary

I doubt I have implemented any of this well as it was just a quick weekend hack. But it addresses a number of things that have bothered me about the Properties Editor, especially through the eyes of new users. But perhaps this could provoke some discussion...

First, the order of the items in the Properties Tab list is changed to what many people have mentioned to be a more logical order.

Tabs are separated into four logical groups rather than three, so each section is a smaller, and more visually manageable, group.

The group separators are larger (just uses two each rather than one), so the groupings are much clearer to notice. The current separators are too small to do the job.

The breadcrumb is now only showing a single endpoint of the path, so only the object acted upon. The current breadcrumb is confusing and not very useful to be honest.

The header now includes a title, which many new users just expect to be there.

Diff Detail

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rB Blender

Event Timeline

Looks Interesting. However, this goes in a different direction than what we had in mind during the code quest at least.

Our plan was here to add a search field to the header, and let the breadcrumbs scroll away:

The reason we have the breadcrumbs at all, is because (especially in the past) the hierarchy was not so clear. With the Blender Internal renderer and working with textures, it was useful to know is texture A belonged to material B, which was connected to mesh C which was a part of object D inside scene E.

The need for it is a bit less now, and perhaps we could get away with just the object name here instead, which would afford space for the title, as you tried here. As for the title itself, remember this is the 'properties' so it would be 'Render Properties', 'Scene Properties' etc - not 'Render Settings'. We could even make this shorter by just using the single descriptor, ie 'Render', 'Scene' etc.

Regarding the tab sections, the rationale for the current three sections are

  1. Properties that depend on the active tool
  2. Properties that depend on the active scene
  3. Properties that depend on the active object

To me it's not clear what your categories signify.

this goes in a different direction than what we had in mind...

No worries, just a fun experiment.

Our plan was here to add a search field to the header, and let the breadcrumbs scroll away

I'd rather have a search icon-only button that expands into a search field, pushing other header content away.

...breadcrumbs...could get away with just the object name here instead

Using just the object, with the added context of the title, makes it clearer that it is the thing to be acted upon.

remember this is the 'properties' so it would be 'Render Properties'...

I did try that and it looked a bit dumb, regardless of what we call that editor. LOL. "Settings" is a word that ends up working in all contexts, while "properties" works (somewhat) with objects only. To users we are changing intrinsic attributes of something, not the things that something comprises. Just semantics of course, but generally the things we are changing here are "settings" anywhere else.

Regarding the tab sections, the rationale for the current three sections are...

...odd. When you proposed adding colors to help categorize those better they did not align with how they are now displayed. That should be an indication that the current order is less than ideal.

Properties that depend on the active tool
Properties that depend on the active scene
Properties that depend on the active object

To me it's not clear what your categories signify.

1.Tool settings.
2.Scene Properties

    • with output first since it changes less with engine changes
  • scene, world, layers just because it seemed a more logical progression

3.Object Properties.

    • with object and object data being closer together.
  1. Specialized Items

I'd rather not make any of these changes.

I don't think we need to add a title that takes up space, the icon alone is enough in my opinion.

The new order is also worse for me. Output and view layer are closely related, so are object location and constraints, and modifiers and mesh data.

And for scene and object pinning to work well we need to display more than the last item in the context.

@Brecht Van Lommel (brecht), no worries. Just a fun exercise.

I didn't expect it to prompt anything but discussion anyway. Feel free to close.

Cheers, Harley