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Sculpting brush shortcut improvements
Open, Confirmed, MediumPublic

Description

In Blender 2.7 all sculpting brushes had shortcuts assigned to them through either fixed keys, like "S" for Smooth or "G" for Grab, or by using the number keys to select the first 10 brushes in the list of brushes and Shift + "Any Number Key" to select the 10 listed after that.
Since the number keys are now set to switching modes it makes sense to finally assign fixed shortcuts to the rest of the sculpting brushes. The new way of sorting brushes into drop-downs to easily cycle though multiple brushes with the same key makes this easier as well.

Currently the "X" and "I" shortcuts for SculptDraw and Inflate & Blob are not working anymore while Nudge & Rotate and Fill/Deepen don't have any shortcuts assigned to them.
The shortcuts Shift + T and P became free due to the new sorting and D, W & V has not been used before.

I would suggest to sort Flatten/Contrast & Scrape/Peaks into their own drop-down and leave "S" exclusively for Smooth since it's the most switched to brush and should be always accessible as fast as possible.
Those two could be sorted together with Fill/Deepen on the Shift + T shortcut since that one was used for Flatten before and all 3 brushes are used to make a surface increasingly flat.
SculptDraw could be changed from "X" to "D" since it's for drawing and "X" can be used for Nudge & Rotate instead. There's not a good reason for it to be "X" though. It can be just as well any other free key on the left side of the keyboard but none of the letters make any contextual sense for these 2 brushes anyway.

This way all brushes have fixed shortcuts and if new brushes are created by duplicating existing ones, they will also react to those existing shortcuts and can be just cycled through.

Details

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Event Timeline

Julien Kaspar (JulienKaspar) lowered the priority of this task from Needs Triage by Developer to Confirmed, Medium.Jun 6 2018, 2:00 PM
Julien Kaspar (JulienKaspar) created this task.

Why not we implement the zbrush way of shortcuts for painting and sculpting mods

Why not we implement the zbrush way of shortcuts for painting and sculpting mods

Do you mean the popup with the option to string different keys based on the brush name? That's kinda how it already worked but without the shortcut "B".
Or do you mean the option of just leaving it to the individual user to define their own shortcuts? That should also be supported but shouldn't be the standard.
If you mean something else then please explain since your point is very vague ...

Why not we implement the zbrush way of shortcuts for painting and sculpting mods

Do you mean the popup with the option to string different keys based on the brush name? That's kinda how it already worked but without the shortcut "B".
Or do you mean the option of just leaving it to the individual user to define their own shortcuts? That should also be supported but shouldn't be the standard.
If you mean something else then please explain since your point is very vague ...

Yes with B popup. With new asset engine we can get more brushes so. It's good for large amount of brushes

Or with new space bar to bring the pop up

I think the space bar & toolbar menus will work fine with the default set of brushes. If the amount increases greatly by importing/creating custom brushes then the option to create your own shortcuts would help more.
But I agree, the brush selection menu eventually needs to come back in some shape or form since it does give a complete overview of all the brushes. Just the past implementation of it was not good and we should not fully revert to that.

@Julien Kaspar (JulienKaspar) do you why brushes are nested? For me nested == to hide.
I have hard time to understand why. Because in edit mode we have 18 icons visible and in sculpt mode 12 icons visible. We have enough space to put more brushes and we can scale the icons and fit even more brushes. If the nested is based on the name, i should say that is a bad decision because in Blender brushes behave differently. For example, while clay brush works great with multires., it performs poorly with Dyntopo. And clay strip does the opposite, even though they have kind of the same type of brushes name"clay". The clay strip brush is Blender's magic brush you can do almost anything with it in Dyntopo, nesting it kills the discover-ability what ever this word means LOL.
@Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) Here is my suggestions:

  • Scale down all the brushes in sculpt mode and make them all visible, or
  • Let the users decide about what brush they want to nest. ( this is what has happened with old screen layout, almost no one was using them because it was predefine for the user, not necessarily user taste )

@Erick Tukuniata (erickblender) I agree that the categories are hiding certain brushes but that only serves to make it less cluttered and easier to navigate. The brushes that share a category have logically similar behaviour or uses. It also makes it easier to cycle through the brushes and to assign a shortcut to every one of them if they are sorted this way, which makes them even more accessible.
It should be made more obvious that there are drop downs though, since they are a bit too hidden currently.
And adding the option to get a full overview of all standard, categorised and custom brushes together needs to be. But just having that with small icons that all already look kinda similar would make everything even less visible instead of giving a good overview.
I also agree to let users define their own sorting/nesting & shortcuts and that should be implemented as well, at some point.

this is what has happened with old screen layout, almost no one was using them because it was predefine for the user, not necessarily user taste

I don't exactly know what you mean but the old preset was just all of them thrown together in a searchbar menu that wasn't even scroll-able with a pen. Just the most used brushes had shortcuts and not even all like Clay Strips.
The only advantage in the old system is that you can sort the brushes by renaming them and that way assign them to the number keys as shortcuts. Now it gets a more user friendly and usable layout for selection but still, a currently unfinished one. Things can still be added to make it more useful.

this is what has happened with old screen layout, almost no one was using them because it was predefine for the user, not necessarily user taste

I don't exactly know what you mean but the old preset was just all of them thrown together in a searchbar menu that wasn't even scroll-able with a pen. Just the most used brushes had shortcuts and not even all like Clay Strips.
The only advantage in the old system is that you can sort the brushes by renaming them and that way assign them to the number keys as shortcuts. Now it gets a more user friendly and usable layout for selection but still, a currently unfinished one. Things can still be added to make it more useful.

Sorry to be unclear i meant the screen layout wasn't used because it was predefined for the user and hard-coded, so people was just dragging the corners or right click to make some new windows ( own screen layout)

I m talking about this guys here ->

Hi @William Reynish (billreynish) and @venomgfx can we please have those old sculpt brush icon back, I mean the one you changed today. the new one are pretty boooring look yourself and the difference

Please please

Currently the "X" and "I" shortcuts for SculptDraw and Inflate & Blob are not working anymore

These are working now.


  • D is still used for annotate (although we could have an exception and override this).
  • W is used for context menu when select is set to right mouse select.

D is still used for annotate (although we could have an exception and override this).
W is used for context menu when select is set to right mouse select.

IMHO we should leave the D for annotation since it used everywhere in Blender.