Page MenuHome

Add 3D View navigation icons to 3D View
Closed, ResolvedPublic


Add Orbit, Zoom and Pan icons to the 3D View. Dragging on any of these icons will enable 3D View manipulation without using hotkeys. Hovering will reveal the hotkeys.

Often times, a 3D artist will show off a 3D model to an art director, director or someone else who is not necessarily familiar with the given 3D app. These people will want to navigate in 3D without remembering complex hotkeys.

Also, new users will more easily be able to navigate in 3D space and learn the hotkeys by hovering over the icons.



Differential Revisions
D584: Add 3D View navigation icons to 3D View

Event Timeline

William Reynish (billrey) set Type to Design.
William Reynish (billrey) raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage by Developer.

This is something that has been asked for many times and personally I think it's a good improvement. Generally the argument against it, that I'm aware of, is that it adds more elements (and thus more noise) to the 3D View. However, I don't think that argument holds much weight as the additional elements are small, inconspicuous, and very useful. They're particularly useful for tablet users.

One of the big benefits to these kind of icons is they provide instant access to viewport navigation, with no need for hotkeys. This dramatically decreases the learning curve for getting started.

+1 from me.

I'd find this very useful in these occasional "Whoops how do I navigate in 3D without a middle mouse button?" situations.
Not really a professional concern in that sense, but it's happening now and then i guess. (Can't say if it outweighs the visual clutter argument though)
Maybe a placement near the "other viewport clutter" (axis gimbal, object name) would be more subtle?

I might have unfortunately discovered a problem about this proposal: If it works the way i understand it ...

  • Click on Orbit/Zoom/Pan Icon -> Navigation starts
  • Drag -> Orbiting/Zooming/Panning is performed as dictated by movement of the mouse
  • Release -> Navigation ends

... then this means that in those cases where the 3D View's right/upper edge is close to the right/upper edge of the screen you only have a very limited degree of freedom in the upper/right direction. (This is actually the same problem we are having with the button for the Translate operator in the toolbar, just with different directions in this case)

The first person game style solution to this would of course be to hide the cursor and reset it back to the initial position over the Orbit/Zoom/Pan icon on each cycle of the mousemove handler, but I'm not sure if that's a) possible from a technical perspective in the blender architecture or b) desirable from a ui perspective (hiding the cursor during specific operations, that is) ... I don't recall this suggestion being made for the Translate operator button problem, maybe for a reason.

This also can be handy even for normal users who wants to show something without using someones keyboard. I often get this situations with my co-workers. Plus 1 from me.

@Simon Repp (simonrepp): I don't think the issue you are outlining would occur, because Blender now has 'Continuous Grab' which means the cursor would internally stay put. Just try and drag a text field in a new build - you can drag forever :)

@William Reynish (billrey) Oh cool that's good news, must have missed out on that, will try that in a second :) thanks!

@Paweł Łyczkowski (plyczkowski) also created these alternative icons in his mockup:

These are good, except that the pan arrow icon looks like a plus.

@William Reynish (billrey)

Nope, these are borrowed from somewhere, would have to redo them.

Brecht Van Lommel (brecht) triaged this task as Normal priority.

This seems like a good idea to me, I would want an option to turn them off in Blender, but when I open other 3D applications I do use these kinds of buttons a lot.

@Paweł Łyczkowski (plyczkowski): Ok :)

Would you like to create some new icons for this?

@Brecht Van Lommel (brecht): I'm fine with that. If seems fair enough that you could turn this off, just like you can turn off the mini-axis indicator.

@William Reynish (billrey) I'm struggling at the moment to master Inkscape, to produce high quality icons, but I'm running into problems. I emailed Andrzej Ambroż to ask for help, we will see how that turns out.

Also, if anyone here knows Inkscape well and would like to help - mail me.

@William Reynish (billrey)

Icons proposition:

The idea here is for them not to be too flashy and irritating, so they have reduced contrast and no color.

Yes, icons for 3D View movement are definitely needed. However an option to disable them in the User Preferences would be great.

@Paweł Łyczkowski (plyczkowski) What is that screenshot you posted? I love those tabs!

Made a patch for it. Waits for review:

Julian Eisel (Severin) edited this Maniphest Task.Jun 15 2014, 1:25 AM

I finished programming on Turbo Pascal, so I won't be a much of HELP, but I have a proposition.
First thing is ICONOLOGY. The main rule is that everything that appears at the Graphical Interface must be in the range of "upper top of the middle" - it just has to be optimised that way - so it also means that it's usually a little bit bumpy.
The second thing is INTUITIVE INTERFACE, which means that everyone that sits by BLENDER should be able to do lots of stuff just by the fascination of it and the Tutorials should be a fascinating addition rather, than the only chance to learn BLENDER (for example the use of ctr+c and ctrl+v to copy and paste). More of that is making possible to use the mouse only to manage everything. Here is a concept, of how this might look like (the colors are important in an Interface - making the software EASY to use for lots of hours - the eyes get the picture as satisfactory rather than disturbing).

Blender NAVI

A proposition with a spying glass visible (the "hand" might be used for some functions like the size amd the circle might be used as perspective by "changing an hour").

This comment was removed by Tom (t.ask).
Tom (t.ask) added a comment.EditedJun 27 2015, 11:56 PM

A proposition with a spying glass visible (the "hand" might be used for some functions like the size amd the circle might be used as perspective by "changing an hour").

@Remigiusz I'm not sure if I grasp the idea behind the Navi suggestion. We have the Pie Menus which you could customize to your needs.

Design tasks are for constructive discussion of particular proposal. Please stick to this.

Aaron Carlisle (Blendify) closed this task as Resolved.

This was added to 2.8.