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Collections Proposal
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Collections Proposal

Separating Scene Graph from Collections view.

One of the main confusing things, is that we are currently mixing Scene Graph (Parent/Child relationships) with Layers/Collections. This makes it seem as if all children of objects in a collection is also inside that same collection, even if that's not the case. The two views are entirely different, and we should reflect that in the UI.

In the Outliner, we will have one view called Collections, and another called Scenes:

  • 'Collections' shows a list of Collections inside the current View Layer
  • 'Scenes' shows a list of all the Scenes with the scene graph inside each.

Overrides are stored in the View Layer. For this reason, we will move overrides to the View Layers Properties section. This way, we can make it so all Collections are always displayed under the Master Collection in the Outliner. We never want to see Collections hanging out independently, which caused lots of confusion.

In the View Layer properties, we have a list of View Layers. each of these allows you to create a list of override sets. These include a list of affected Collections as well as the properties themselves that get affected by the override.

Accessing Collections from the 3D View

We would like to keep a way to access the collections from the 3D view, just as you can in Blender 2.79. It's useful when the Outliner is not visible, and when working in full screen mode. However, the old 'dot bucket list' interface does not map at all well to the concept of nested collections, so we really don't want to use the old interface here. It will only make users confused and have to think about several mental models all at the same time.

Instead, we will create a mini-Outliner view in the N-key area, where users get a list of nested Collections, and a quick way to show/hide items inside it. Later on, we could also support renaming and adding new collections here.

List of UI tweaks that would make working with Collections easier
  • There's no way to move a collection back to the top level once you've nested it.
  • New Collections should always be added to the Master Collection, so objects don't immediately disappear when adding them to new Collections
  • We will do away with the 'Collection linking' concept. If Collections are always added to the Master Collection, we won't need it.
  • Filtering we can handle better in a popover. The infinite list of mini-icons is not clear and not fun to scroll through
  • Adding new Collections should be super easy. We will add a clear button to add new ones

This document reflects the current state of the Collections design



Event Timeline

William Reynish (billreynish) triaged this task as Normal priority.

New Collections should always be added to the Master Collection, so objects don't immediately disappear when adding them to new Collections

This makes me wonder why Workspace RenderLayer is the default and not Viewport workspace? I asking because i believe everyone will like to understand what is going in the background, it is not a problem if something disappears as long as you know where to find it.

Let's say Viewport workspace is default workspace when starting Blender, when user adds an new object to a collection, the object gets highlighted and if the collection is closed or nested, it gets collapsed and user can see the newly added object. Note that objects are not disappearing when Viewport is the visible workspace because here Master collection is already visible.

I have been toying with blender 2.8 collection and sometimes it is pretty fast to create a new collection to already created collection and add an object there. No need to create first in the Master collection and then start to move collection over the place.

Yes, Viewport should be the default active view layer in the workspaces if we are creating it by default and suggesting users to work within it.

Huuuuge thumbs up for the general proposal! I've been very worried about the complexity of the new layer/collection system; this addresses my concerns just fine and is in fact quite similar to what I had in mind.
No more linking, instead you define you're hierarchy once and define a sub-set of it for each layer -- so much yes!

I notice one point though: Why having a master collection rather than a master view-layer? It would behave just like the master collection, you organize all your objects in it and it would be the base of all other layers. View-layers are already a higher-level concept than collections, it feels a bit unintuitive to squeeze another level in-between those two.

@Julian Eisel (Severin), I think the scene is the "master view-layer", and the view layers are different "views" of the scene. The scene has a collections and (render) settings that you can override in the view layer. We will be hiding the term "Master Collection" from the UI, there will just be "Collections" in the scene.

Dalai Felinto (dfelinto) closed this task as Resolved.Apr 30 2018, 10:09 AM