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Add Tabs for Movie Clip Editor
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Description

The movie clip editor's toolbar needs tabs defined.

Resolved in rB8614ed64eddbf62d8e1a1346525398ec305896bd

Event Timeline

Jonathan Williamson (carter2422) edited this Maniphest Task.
Jonathan Williamson (carter2422) edited this Maniphest Task.

Here's a proposal for the use of Tabs in the MCE.
I submit this here mostly for discussion, because as far as I know it adds a new UI concept to tabs. In the "Compact Tools" Panel (names are totally up for discussion as well) I have put 2 new panels, which contain the most used tools for tracking. The same buttons exist in other panels too, but since tracking is quite a linear workflow for the most part I think i makes sense to gather the tools that you use the most in a tab.
I also added a new Panel in the N-Sidebar, for the same purpose.
This should avoid a LOT of scrolling.

Either apply the patch that I added, or just paste the new space_clip.py in TextEditor and run it from there.


I have mixed feelings on adding tools in multiple places. It does improve the linear workflow, like you say, but it also seems a bit unnecessarily redundant.

I am not too familiar with the workflow for the MCE, so please correct me if I'm wrong on any of the below.

Would it not be more clear, and less redundant to keep all Tools in a single tab (which fits nicely on screen) and then move the clip operators into their own Movie Clip tab? Seems to me that the clip is something you set just once or twice at the beginning and then ignore it. So clicking over to the Clip tab initially to set the clip settings and then going back to the Tools tab would be quite simple and fast.

It also seems silly to me to have the Plane tab with only a single option. Particularly when it's already included in Compact Tools.

I do agree about the PlaneTrackTab, that's silly.
However, I don't see a problem with redundant buttons if used within different tabs.
On the contrary, I think that that's something good that's now possible with tabs that has not been possible before.

If redundancy would have to be avoided I would find the benefit of tabs a bit questionable.
Currently tabs are almost the same thing as panels. They are mostly a way to show or hide panels.
The problem with that is that often panels often have a lot of buttons and options, and often it's just one or two that I would need for a certain workflow.
So let's say I want to have the Basic panel for my current task, but also need the button to generate/clear Motionpaths and the button to Repeat last history. I would have to pin these 3 panels which will lead to excessive scrolling again. It's no different than if I would simply collapse the panels.

Tabs would start to become really useful though, if I could create tabs with my own panels with only the buttons I need. I would have workflow based tabs, and of course I would have redundant buttons, but I don't think that's a problem. Well, this of course is assuming that custom panels would not move the buttons away from their original panel, but instead create an instance of that button.

Currently buttons and panels are arranged in a way so that they are grouped by some kind of logic category. That totally makes sense because that allows you to look for tools that you need in meaningful places. But once you find that one tool it might be in a place that doesn't make sense workflow-wise, because it might be in a panel with 10 more buttons so you end up scrolling a lot again.

So with the workflow based tabs concept we would have both: categorized buttons and panels, but also workflow based tabs.

The MCE is a good example to test that kind of tab concept, since it really is quite a linear workflow. The nice thing about the CompactToolTab is that it offers all the buttons that you need in one tab, and thereby also suggests a certain workflow, which works well in most situations.

But I'll try to improve that layout and will try to look into your suggestions as well.

So, to sum it up, my point is that I think tabs would be way more powerful combined with custom panels (and maybe workflow based presets)

:)

I would like to remind everyone that we make Blender for full-time & motivated artists, people who need the tools for daily work.

For that reason, decisions that support more efficient workflow should always be considered first.

Tabs can be used for workflow, or for navigation. When this is in conflict, just choose workflow benefits.

What is messing up in all these discussions is the effort to design a single configuration for Blender that will both be easy to learn, logical to navigate, and fast and efficient to use. In theory such UI might even exist, but we don't have the UI design talent, nor the time to achieve that now.

Instead, just make the UI flexible enough so you can make the power users totally happy, and ensure it can be just as well be configured for learning purposes.

Here's an update for the tabbed MCE layout. I'm still working with Sergey on it, we plan to get rid of Distortion and Reconstruction Mode, also move some options into the header menu.

@Sebastian Koenig (sebastian_k), I like this. Having little to no tracking experience, I cannot comment too much on the actual tool locations, but I like that's limited to just two tabs. They feel quite workflow based and makes good sense.

The only one I wonder about is "Plane Track". Shouldn't that go in the "Track" tab? Or is plane tracking normally done during the solving phase?

Glad you like it!
:)

PlaneTrack is a bit ambiguous. However, you do not really track a plane like with the other markers, it is kind of like a 2.5D Solution. First you track 4 or more markers and then you assign a PlaneTrack to them. Blender then solves the perspective movement of the Plane with these markers. So in my opinion it belongs more to Solution than to Track.
But maybe the Solve Tab should be renamed to Reconstruction to make it clearer? (I'm not sure though)

Well your opinion is what really counts here, so I'm game for what you think is best :)

Any other changes? If not then I'll commit.

Yes, there might be more changes, especially how to arrange Tabs in Mask mode. So maybe rather wait with the commit for now. :)

So here's my proposal for the mask tabs layout.




What I was not able to solve is to hide Solve Tab while in Mask mode, to activate the Mask Tab automatically when entering mask mode, and how to get rid of distortion and reconstruction modes altogether.
Maybe Sergey can help here?

Adding self to CC. Will have a look soon.

Here's the file with Solve and Track panels hidden in the Mask mode. See poll() function of according panels.

I'm pretty fine with the patch. The only thing that "Tracking Settings" on the right panel shouldn't re-use show_default_expanded`. This conflicts with default settings on the left panel. But solving this would require some C magic, so once we'll agree on interface side i'll go ahead and fix this.

Which is also unclear for me now is whether we need "Reconstruction" and "Distortion" modes in clip editor or we could drop them?

We can drop the 2 other modes, since both are now available via regular track/solve tools.
One thing to think about maybe is about if we should show the track panel in mask mode, since afaik it is possible to track a mask directly.

I don't remember we've committed mask tracking.. That was rather a local experiment.

Jonathan Williamson (carter2422) changed the task status from Unknown Status to Resolved.Feb 9 2014, 4:29 PM
Jonathan Williamson (carter2422) updated the task description. (Show Details)