For 2.8, we plan to create a consistent toolbar user experience. However, our toolbar looks vastly different in our various modes:
- Object & Edit Mode: No icons, other than the wrong Grease Pencil icons
- Sculpt and Paint Modes: Icons are big, selected in a menu
- Hair Mode: No icons. Tool is selected as a radio button
We want to make both the toolbar and the icons within them consistent. This document will serve as an overview of where we want to go with our icons.
Consistent Visual Language
We have been working with icon designer Aslam Cader on creating a consistent visual language for the tool icons. Since they will be fairly small, we need to be able to use visual markers that help make icons clear. Things like adding, removing, deforming can be communicated via consistent colours and shapes.
Add = Green
Deform = Purple
Remove = Red
However, for colourblind people, will will make sure that colours are not the only thing differentiating our icons.
Icons will fit into the new toolbar like this:
This means that the icons have to be able to stand alone - even though we will provide an instant tooltip when you hover over them.
We need a wide selection of tool icons for all our modes. Most icons in Blender are 16*16 pt. Paint & Sculpt icons are larger. We want to use the same size everywhere, but 16*16 pt is going to be too small to make them useful. They'll be so small that we cannot possibly convey the information needed (hence why sculpt and paint tool icons are already much larger).
For now our new icon set is being created at 48pt size. This means 96px for 2x hi-DPI displays.
We are considering storing all our icons as .svg vectors. This makes it much easier to re-generate them at larger resolutions and also plays more friendly with Git. This has not been finally decided though.
We are investigating actually rendering them directly as SVG's inside Blender too. This requires further investigation. First step is to put them in as images.
List of needed tool icons:
The plan is that we will require icons for active tools, but not for commands. That makes the job of creating icons somewhat easier, and helps separate the two.
Here's a list of active tools:
These have been created by Aslam Cader:
- Scale Cage
- 3D Cursor
- Border Select
- Circle Select
- Lasso Select
- Extrude Region
- Extrude Individual
- Inset Faces
- Loop Cut
- Spin Duplicates
- Edge Slide
- Vertes Slide
- Smooth Verts
Grease Pencil (Annotate)
- Push Pose
- Relax Pose
- Pose Sculpting tools? (pending pose sculpting branch merge)
Note: We already have icons for these, but we are considering updating them to be more consistent
- Clay Strips
- Snake Hook (Extrude)
Weight Paint Mode
Vertex Paint Mode
Texture Paint Mode
- More icons for paint brushes?
This document represents the current state of the icon designs