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Blender 2.8: Left Click Select
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Description

For the longest time, Blender has had an option in the Preferences to use left click select:

This has been a useful option for people who use devices where right-clicking is a hassle, and for users coming from other software which uses left click for selection.

However, this option never worked perfectly. There were situations that never worked, such as the ability to select faces while in Vertex Paint mode. Using Alt-LMB for view manipulation also didn’t work with this option. With Blender 2.8, the situation for the left click select option is much worse, because there’s a conflict between the use of active tools and selection.

If we just naively flip the mouse buttons, so that selection happens with LMB and using tools happens with RMB, users are then still required to to use RMB extensively for common tasks, negating the entire point of the LMB select option altogether. The old way the option worked, doesn’t work in 2.8.

So, at the last UI meeting, we discussed several options:

  1. Remove Left Click Select
  2. Keep as-is, even though it doesn’t really work
  3. Change the behaviour, to do both selection and tool use with LMB

We recognise that lots of users use LMB select, so we really do want to keep it. We will try and go with the third option.

Here’s how we might go about handling left click select in Blender 2.8:

  • LMB does selection, when the active Select tool is enabled
  • If you keep using the Select tool, you can just keep selecting things with LMB and use keyboard shortcuts to perform actions, like normal.
  • If you want to use other active tools, you just switch to those in the toolbar. They are also executed with LMB.
  • To set the 3D Cursor, users can use the 3D Cursor tool, or use an alternative constant mapping, such as Ctrl-RMB (Ctrl-LMB could also be used here, but on some systems this is already used as an alternative to RMB)
    • Lasso Select then needs a new key. Shift+Ctrl+LMB or RMB?
  • We can try and make sure Alt-LMB works for view manipulation when using ‘Emulate 3 Button Mouse’.
  • MMB will of course still do view manipulation also
  • RMB will open a contextual menu, same as the W-menu.
  • W is now free, and we can use W to quickly switch to the select tool.

As you can see, the LMB select option becomes a bigger change. It has to be, to both support selection and tool use with LMB. When using left click select, Blender then becomes nicely internally consistent. Just like you use LMB to select nodes, and right click for contextual menus on buttons and other places, you use those same mouse buttons in the 3D View.

  • To implement this, we could use some sort of keymap override, so we don’t have to maintain two entirely separate keymaps.
  • It might be a good idea to have the select tool be the default tool here, rather than 3D Cursor. Otherwise, users won't immediately be able to select items until they switch to the select tool.

Note: the default for left/right select is outside the scope of this proposal.

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Most apps work this way. You enable a tool and then left clicking performs actions with that tool. And it’s not like users of those apps are not able to be productive. Most major films are made using tools that work something like this.

Now, the thing other apps do to make things quick, is simply to make switching tools very fast. We have discussed adding a preference to favor active tools, so that pressing, say, G, activates the Move tool, rather than the immediate grab operator. This way, you can use the hotkeys to quickly jump between active tools.

Some users will also just do what you say: keep the select tool active and use the old G, R S etc hotkeys to perform actions. That’s fine too.

In the end, this all means that new users who haven’t learned the hotkeys, or who use a tablet without a keyboard, can now use the tools really well. Old Blender users can continue to use it with quick hotkeys and selecting with LMB, and both types of users will be served here.

True, I think users that don't have a keyboard or are used to a more industry standard approach are better served.
And as long as all major tools have easy shortcuts to quickly switch between them, it can still work very fluently. I also like the suggestion that when using the operators instead, the related tools light up to show the connection so that the shortcuts and tools are not entirely disconnected in the old way of using Blender.
I also like the idea of the difference of tapping the G key to set the tool as active and holding G to execute it immediately, as described in the Tool Design Task. This can also work nicely.

But I think it's important to tread carefully (And I know you are) when changing essential operators into mandatory tools such as select, 3D cursor and all transform tools since these become on a basic level slower versions of the old operators because of this inherent switching between them which is forced on every user and wasn't there before.
It's not as bad as having pan, zoom & rotate of the view as mandatory tools but a selection tool is very uncomfortably close but as far as I can see at this point, with how everything works, regrettably necessary. Maybe this as perfect of a solution that we can get for LMB select.

Well, this should not be any slower than in 2.79. If you set the active tool to Select, you can just keep selecting with LMB and then use the hotkeys to perform commands. So there's no real loss there.

It will be slightly different in that RMB is no longer the 3D Cursor, but in Contextual Menu instead, but that should just feel more flexible and make that menu more prevalent. (As an aside, we should continue to improve that menu to add commonly useful things here in all contexts.)

If you would like to be able to use active tools and also be able to select while using those tools, I think that you are the best served with using right click select, so you always have immediate access to 'use tool' and selecting things.

True, I think users that don't have a keyboard or are used to a more industry standard approach are better served.
And as long as all major tools have easy shortcuts to quickly switch between them, it can still work very fluently. I also like the suggestion that when using the operators instead, the related tools light up to show the connection so that the shortcuts and tools are not entirely disconnected in the old way of using Blender.
I also like the idea of the difference of tapping the G key to set the tool as active and holding G to execute it immediately, as described in the Tool Design Task. This can also work nicely.
But I think it's important to tread carefully (And I know you are) when changing essential operators into mandatory tools such as select, 3D cursor and all transform tools since these become on a basic level slower versions of the old operators because of this inherent switching between them which is forced on every user and wasn't there before.
It's not as bad as having pan, zoom & rotate of the view as mandatory tools but a selection tool is very uncomfortably close but as far as I can see at this point, with how everything works, regrettably necessary. Maybe this as perfect of a solution that we can get for LMB select.

I am quite curious as to why would you willingly choose to stick with RMB centric input mapping if LMB one was made to be equally as usable? I can understand why some people do so now. It's because RMB centric workflow is so deeply embedded all around the Blender it's not just a matter of switching one entry in options, but requires days, possibly weeks of careful fixing in rather fragile input editor, tool per tool.

I mean, I am sure that you use other software alongside Blender. Not only CG software, but all the other software in general, like your operating system, or web browser, or image editor. All of those are LMB centric. Do you feel like switching any of those to be RMB centric would give you any efficiency boost?

Fixing your muscle memory to convert from RMB centric to LMB centric will take about 2 weeks of decreased productivity and frustration (I know that, because I've switched a few 3D packages in my life, and switched to QWERTY keyboard after 12 years of using QWERTZ). But you will be rewarded with very satisfying consistency of Blender working like any other piece of software. You will be as efficient, if not more, as your muscle memory won't have to store 2 different interaction profile, one for Blender and other one for pretty much any other piece of software in the entire world :)

@Ludvik Koutny (rawalanche) I actually kept working with LMB select for years, only switching a few times to test out the alternative, and am currently the only LMB select user at the Blender Institute as far as I know :D
So far it felt better to use as a pen user and there weren't really any downsides for me to use it.
Although I do agree with you on muscle memory and the benefits of switching to the common keyboard setup etc, that was not really my point. I was just discussing the minor loss of efficiency with the most common operators being replaced with these new tools.
As far as I can tell right now, LMB select in Blender 2.8 will be no longer be equally as usable, even if not by a huge amount.

I don't know what you mean. None of the old immediate tools have been removed. You can continue to use G, R, S etc to activate commands. You don't have to use the active tools in the toolbar at all if you prefer not to.

@William Reynish (billreynish) Well my points are these:

  • Where before you could use Select, 3D Cursor & Transform Gizmos at the same time they are now changed into Tools to switch between. This makes the Toolbar a mandatory element that has to be used, either trough shortcuts or by selecting the tools.
  • Putting essential operators into separate Tools adds an extra step to switch between them, slowing you down in the process. This is not the case with others since the traditional operators still exist (G, R, S shortcuts for example)
  • Using Tools consecutively by leaving it active and changing selections is no longer possible in LMB select, since the Tool needs to be switched after each use to the Selection Tool. This removes one of the advantages of using Tools for the average user.

These are inconveniences, minor for some, major for others.

For me the main open questions are:

  • Do we need a dedicated Select tool, or can we share it with Border Select? Other applications handle this in a few different ways:
    • Some share LMB for both within one tool, which implies select happens on mouse button release instead of button press. Selection in those applications feels sluggish to me, but I'm not sure if that's just me being picky.
    • Some applications make Select and Border Select separate tools, but this requires more work switching between them.
    • Some applications put border select on RMB. We could do if there is perhaps one Select tool with Border/Circle/.. as a setting of that tool bound to RMB. This seems less intuitive however.
  • What to do about "Click Anywhere" for transform tools? For LMB it makes sense to be able to select outside of the gizmo, so it seems this should be disabled by default. Ton suggested to remove this option entirely and make tools work by clicking on the gizmo whenever possible.

Julien: You could, I think, still do what you want in 2.8, once we update the keymap. If you use any of the transform tools and disable Click Anywhere, the input will fall back to selection. But, just like in 2.79, this is a quite bad. It means that it's not possible to select items that happen to be under the Gizmo. But if you really want to do it that way, you will be able to.

Brecht: I think yes, we can just use Border Select.
The first option of the three you present I think makes the most sense.
The other option would be that selection happens on on mouse down, but to perform a border select, you can drag from outside an element. This can sometimes get fiddly though, if you have a dense mesh and want to border select something in the middle. That's why the first option is best I think: You can always border select or select individual items.

About Click Anywhere:
I think this should not be disabled by default. All the active tools have the consistent principle that dragging in the viewport uses the tool. We do this for Shrink/Fatten, Extrude, Randomize, all the paint and sculpt modes and so on. Some of these tools don't have a Gizmo, and it doesn't make sense to add one to all the tools. It also means that it's very easy to move around objects. You can enable the Move tool, and just start dragging in the viewport for move items around, without the need to use the Gizmo handles if you don't wish to.

This way, there's also no conflict between selection and transform. In 2.79 there was a conflict when using LMB: Try and select a vertex that happens to be under the transform arrow: You can't - it will move the object instead.

For RMB select it most certainly also is best to have click anywhere on. Otherwise, dragging in the viewport to use the tool does nothing, which negates the usefulness of them.

I think in fact we could do the opposite: Have an option in the tool settings to not show the Gizmo. Sometimes it may get in the way, and it's then nice to just drag and move items without seeing the Gizmo.

Note: One of the small but important things missing is that we should change the mouse cursor icon when changing active tools. Otherwise, it's not immediately clear enough which tool is active. Campbell was going to add support for this, but hasn't been done yet.

@Brecht Van Lommel (brecht)
Click anywhere is useful. I actually love how fluidly Blender allows you to work, not having to always travel your mouse cursor all the way to the transform gizmo to start working. Being 8 year 3ds Max user and only 1 year Blender user, not having to travel my mouse to gizmo to do transforms was very relieving. Click anywhere pretty much unifies current freeform transform tools (GRS) and gizmo based tools into one.

There is indeed valid argument that you should be able to use transform tools and keep selecting at the same time, but after thinking about it for a while, I have realized that not only in Blender, but also in other software, I usually drop the transform tool anyway, before initiating selection, because otherwise I risk an accidental "tweak" operation. The key here is to have border select very easily accessible on a hotkey, which in case of Blender is B, and in case of mainstream software is Q.

Also, please keep in mind that if you disable click anywhere, then this issue is no longer solved and becomes a problem again: https://developer.blender.org/T54482

So I agree with William that he best way is to have transform tools with click anywhere by default, and switch to border select tool for selections. The there there's a crossroad of workflows - oldschool users will probably prefer GRS keys to immediately active move, rotate or scale as in 2.79, while the more modern approach will be for GRS keys to switch between move, rotate and scale, and require just one additional click anywhere on the screen to activate. While this may seem a little slower, the reward is that if you intend to perform multiple tweaks using the same tool, you don't have to hit for example G key multiple times, but instead just keep clicking anywhere in the viewport in the same way you would with regular "tweak" operation, except the tweak here will work for all tools, instead of just grab like in 2.79.

@William Reynish (billreynish)

If you use any of the transform tools and disable Click Anywhere, the input will fall back to selection. But, just like in 2.79, this is a quite bad. It means that it's not possible to select items that happen to be under the Gizmo. But if you really want to do it that way, you will be able to.

That's good to know. It wasn't clear to me that this would still be the case since I thought it would follow the design principle of the other tools of not being able to select unless the selection tool is active.

So now I was thinking if the same could be possible for all other tools ... but the more I was testing out the tools right now and thinking over it, the more I see that the selection needs to be separated from most tools in LMB select. So a selection tool is still a must.

But if the transform tool, move, rotate and scale still allow normal selection like before, maybe there's another way of doing this.
So here's a proposal:
What if all these operations (all transform gizmos, selection & 3D cursor) would still work like before 2.8. Let's call it the Default Tool (stupid name I know). There you can LMB select, RMB set the 3D cursor and have the gizmo active at all times unless turned off in the Overlay settings. When switching to another Tool like Border/Circle/Lasso Select, Annotations etc, it executes the tool instead and the gizmo becomes overridden with the Tool specific one or temporarily turned off.
This can also work in RMB select except that the selection still works when using any Tool. The 3D cursor could instead still be accessible in LMB select or also turned off and only accessible from the "Default Tool".
This would at least combine the Tools that don't need to be separated and are most commonly used. The current separation also communicates to the user that they are completely separate since only one can be active at a time but that's not the case.

The one reason I could think of is that tablet users usually have only one click option: A tap. But why not introduce a tablet mode as well that splits these specific tools up instead of having them separate for every user. As far as I know Tablet optimisation doesn't work well for normal PC users since it usually has to work in a different or very simplified way, especially if the software is as complex and vast as Blender.

I also noticed that my complaint goes deeper into the design of the Tools itself so should we continue this discussion in another thread?

As far as this task is concerned I agree with the changes except for:

  • the right click context menu if something like a "Default Tool" would be implemented
  • the Alt + LMB view manipulation since MMB is already used for that. Why have both and what happens if Selection Tool/Default Tool is active?
  • the Ctrl + LMB for setting the 3D cursor. Again: What happens if Selection Tool/Default Tool is active?

Your suggestion of a 'default tool' should not be necessary. It's essentially the same as enabling a Transform tool and disabling Click Anywhere. To set the 3D Cursor, we could just use Ctrl-LMB or Ctrl-RMB even. So you should be covered - you'll just need very slight re-learning to use Ctrl+LMB rather than RMB to set the Cursor, that's all. What you gain is the ability to always use a contextual menu with RMB, which, once you get used to it, you'll most likely enjoy.

Alt+LMB for view manipulation works in Blender currently when Emulate 3 Button Mouse is enabled in the Preferences. This is useful for users who don't have a 3-button mouse, and more importantly, many modern mice have unfomfortable scroll wheels that are not nice to click. Alt+LMB has always been an alternative, it just happened to not work for LMB select. We should fix that.

Alt+LMB for view manipulation works in Blender currently when Emulate 3 Button Mouse is enabled in the Preferences. This is useful for users who don't have a 3-button mouse, and more importantly, many modern mice have unfomfortable scroll wheels that are not nice to click. Alt+LMB has always been an alternative, it just happened to not work for LMB select. We should fix that.

If I may barge in with a different suggestion I have for the better part of the last years been using a RMB tweak event for 3D view rotation, and have grown very fond of it for a few of reasons:

  • Mainly because it allows full 3D view manipulation exclusively from the mouse
  • Doesn't require any modifier keys whatsoever
  • Works without any kind of keyboard interaction (you can even use a wireless mouse or be away from the computer, like for presentation purposes)
  • If you keep panning (move view) in the MMB you can fully control viewport navigation with a single hand on the mouse (how conveninent is that? :) )
  • From my years of testing tweak events haven't so far interfered much with clicks, leaving right-click still free for:
    • RMB selection
    • Context menus
    • 3D cursor placement,
    • or any other planned action
  • Everyone can benefit from this, not only users without a 3 button mouse
  • You can now more comfortably rotate view from a laptop touchpad (which doesn't often have a wheel or a third button
  • You can still keep Alt+LMB plus any other MMB key combinations in parallel (if deemed necessary) or
  • Release Alt+LMB for other useful tasks such as selection modifiers selection like add, remove, toggle, or selection extenders like select edge loops, edge rings, connected geometry, childrne, grouped among others.

Possible downside are:

  • It might require changing other RMB actions to release events to avoid interfearance
  • Release events may add to the perceived sluggishness which is a concern @Brecht Van Lommel (brecht) as raised
  • May seem not being totally standard compliant. I understand not many applications use this, but I learned it from using MoI 3D, and if I recall correctly Rhino 3D also uses something along this line by default.
  • Though I find it quite unobtrusive it may go against the new "minimal keymap" approach, by adding additional default key binding.

It is an acquired taste, it may not please everyone, so I'll just leave it as a testimony.

@William Reynish (billreynish)
Yeah I see now where there have been some misunderstandings. I was also under the impression that these tools were planned to be further separated in the future. That possibly still came from some miscommunication during the code quest.
I think I can very much get used to Ctrl + RMB for setting the 3D cursor but using Alt + LMB or Crtl+ LMB is definitely a problem with selection. I hope there can be a good solution for that but unless emulate-3-button mouse is enabled this shouldn't be an issue anyway.

If the selection tool and 3D cursor tool also light up when being used while having any other tool active, that would still make a nice visual connection to the tools but I'm also thinking now there's a problem of them repeatably flashing up when clicking maybe being too distracting.

To be honest I don't find myself using the Context menu that often, usually for removing double vertices and converting curves to meshes but that might also be because I'm using many shortcuts. But this might change with more options being added to the context menu so I might use it more often, as long as it's not going to become to big with options and full with sub-menus. But there's a chance of people like me just ignoring it in the end which is at least not really a bad thing except for a wasted shortcut (But even that can be manually changed if people want to).

Yes, perhaps setting the 3D Cursor should be Ctrl-RMB to avoid possible conflicts is better. It can of course also be set with the 3D Cursor tool as normal.

The contextual menus should become a lot more useful in 2.8 compared to 2.7x. The old W-menu was mostly a random collection of obscure commands, so wasn’t very useful at all. Now, the idea is that it will include the most common and useful commands in a more context sensitive way.

Another thing I noticed is when assigning Ctrl + RMB to setting the 3D Cursor, then there needs to be a new shortcut for the lasso tool. Actually I'd like the lasso selection to get a simple key like B & C for Box & Circle select. These work fine for them so it can work for Lasso select as well.
But maybe that's not really possible since most are already taken in Edit Mode and reassigning it to a key might require reassigning of other keys as well.
Maybe the shortcut for the 3D Cursor can be Ctrl + Alt + RMB but this likely just involves too many keys.

Another thing I noticed is when assigning Ctrl + RMB to setting the 3D Cursor, then there needs to be a new shortcut for the lasso tool. Actually I'd like the lasso selection to get a simple key like B & C for Box & Circle select. These work fine for them so it can work for Lasso select as well.
But maybe that's not really possible since most are already taken in Edit Mode and reassigning it to a key might require reassigning of other keys as well.
Maybe the shortcut for the 3D Cursor can be Ctrl + Alt + RMB but this likely just involves too many keys.

Wouldn't it make more sense for Lasso to be a mode of Box select? For example modifier key in box select mode, or RMB in box select mode, etc...

@Ludvik Koutny (rawalanche) It already is it's own tool at the moment. It's in the tool dropdown together with Box & Circle select so I don't think it makes sense to add it to the box select tool.
But there should still be a shortcut related operator to access it without switching the active tool, the same way it works right now. If it's included in the box select operator as well you would press B and then instead draw a lasso with RMB or by holding a modifier key?
That's not really clear enough if you don't know how to access lasso select.

Julien: Yes, we could re-assign lasso to be more consistent with Box Select and Circle Select. This would afford ud the ability to use Ctrl-RMB for setting the 3D Cursor.

Other options for Lasso: Shift+Ctrl+LMB or Shift+Ctrl+RMB.

BTW the name Circle Select not describe very well what the tool actually does. IMO Is more like a paint selection tool

Matias: I agree, we should rename it. It's very different from the other two.

Your suggestion of a 'default tool' should not be necessary. It's essentially the same as enabling a Transform tool and disabling Click Anywhere.

Maybe this "default tool" is simply an "idle state" state where for veteran users Blender 2.8 would behave like the previous versions where no active tool is performing any actions, and one can safely click on objects to select. I believe in current state it is a closer equivalent to having the 3D Cursor Tool active.

However I believe having the proposed "Selection Tool" active by default at startup would be far more welcoming and yield more expected results for new users. Selection is the most basic of tasks and the one they are likely to want to preform first, rather than set some unknown cursor.
This doesn't necessarily require coding a new tool or adding a new icon to the toolbar, it could just simply be the current Border Select, where clicking would select and Tweak events or dragging would start border select (or whichever other mode is active like paint, lasso, etc).

I'd say it is probably just a matter of making it the topmost icon in the toolbar (to better communicate it is some sort of "default state"), make it active by default at first startup.
Possibly add actual arrow cursor to the border icon (or completely replace it), to make it clearer like most graphics software. This would be a "safe mode" for all selection matters where a user click away without risks of accidental transforms.

Selection is an area in which Modo really shines, and I prefer the way it's done there:

  • Selection is always active until you activate a tool (though there is also an option to modify a selection while a tool is active)
  • You can always border-select and paint-select. Starting to drag the pointer when it's not over something selectable activates border-select. Staring to drag over something selectable (ie. a polygon, if in polygon select mode) activates paint select. This lets you jump between different modes effortlessly, especially combined with the Shift-key modifier which takes away from the current selection.
  • You can, however, toggle off paint-select at any time with a hotkey, if you want mouse drag to always activate box-select.
  • Border-select and lasso-select (and other shapes) is a toggle, not two separate tools.

Furthermore, left-click selects visible, while middle-click is x-ray select. This way you don't have to enter a separate "x-ray mode". In other words, the display setting and the x-ray selection behaviour is completely decoupled.

Pressing an extra button to activate "selection mode" seems extremely cumbersome for what is for most people the most frequent action.

i don't know if it's planned or not but i noticed in blender u can assign the same hotkey multiple times but only counts for the first one. it would be useful to have something that tells you that the hotkey is already assigned and gives you the possibility to override the other one.

Petter: This is outside the scope of left click select. This is a comment on the general approach to tools and selection in Blender.
Zino: Off topic. This has nothing to do with left click select.

Nobody answered about why keeping RMB as selection.

There are some benefits of the RMB, but it's not enough to keep it as default or to keep it IMHO.
I don't know how many people (including me) having trouble because of that when trying to learn Blender, they stop Blender because they don't know it's possible to change it.
People who don't know 3D can accommodate with it and they will say they are fine with it but for the other big part, it's a big No, they put it to LMB.

At one point, you have to decide if you want open blender to pro world with LMB as default or keep 2 different ways to select in the software.
I can understand in the proposal that you want to make it easy for every people, but it complicates everything.

When learning a new software, if it's too different from other software, it's not great.
Try to use Mudbox after using Maya, it's really easy, it's in the continuity, you can learn it in only a couple of hours.

Sorry if I'm out of scope, but this is a really important topic and it seems way too complicated to try to make 2 modes when you can make one that will help new people to use blender and only hurt some others for a few days/weeks.

Yes, the learning 'curve' (more like learning wall) would be great to soften up. Making LMB-select the default would go a long way here.

However, it's a radical change, and not something that everyone agrees to at this moment in time.

The first step is to make sure that LMB select works really well. Only then does it make sense to really review if it should be default or not.

Perhaps everything has been said but I would like to add that right click select is nearly impossible with a tablet due to the pointer moving when you press the button on the side of the pen.

However, it's a radical change

That's right, but in any case even long-term users of Blender will have some relearning curve when Blender 2.8 will be production ready, so why not take this opportunity to switch to LMB by default. Plus I think switching from RMB to LMB is more a nostalgic difficulty gap than a constraining one :)

I personally use blender along side many other programs and I need to jump along them a lot during my work (when texturing in substance painter, or refining my blender sculpts with zbrush, or transferring models in game engine, or tweaking normal maps or images inside affinity photo) these other software's all use left click select like 90% of any software known to mankind and when I get back to blender its nice to have option to use left click as well. I highly recommend using this as a default, because there is many new dev's and kids who starts using blender because its free and powerful tool and the first impression is so very important to keep these future users feeling at home the day 1 they launch and start learning the world of 3d.

I am sympathetic to all those arguments and largely agree. I think this needs to be tackled in stages:

First, we implement the improved support for LMB select and make sure it works well in all modes and with the tools.

Then, we add it to the startup screen so you can easily pick it as an option.

After this is done we can easily flip the default if we can come to an agreement to do so.

The only 3D software I know and use is Blender 3D. I really do not have problems with RMB to select. But I really wish that LMB is established by default only to stop listening to complaints and whining about it, and that finally Blender development will focus once and for all on features and performance that is what really matters and what attracts new users.
I have seen many new users enthusiastically testing Blender 2.8 for first time because of Eevee and Grease Pencil, even with Blender still having an unfinished UI at all. Features and performance is what really attracts users.

Yafu: It's important that left-click select is made to work well. Lots of people use devices which require it. Making something the default is not a developmental burden - making it work well is the primary thing. The default is just flipping a switch.

I see, William. I hope that devs can make LMB work well without major problems.

First, we implement the improved support for LMB select and make sure it works well in all modes and with the tools.
Then, we add it to the startup screen so you can easily pick it as an option.
After this is done we can easily flip the default if we can come to an agreement to do so.

This!
I wish I could upvote comments. This is the way to go without generating a new total war.

Hi, I did a survey to more than 30 people in a game development studio. Thanks @William Reynish (billreynish) you are the only person in Blender who understands UX, thanks for working in a more standard interaction. The first time I tested Blender was when they launched Sintel, downloaded and tested Blender, I thought it did not work on my PC, I thought blender did not work well in Windows, it was a program only for linux, because "I clicked and did not do anything , LOL". And I never tried it again, it took eight years.

https://blender.community/c/rightclickselect/Wbcbbc/#5b9fbdcf2155dc28ed46e571

@Sebastian M Roy (sebastianmroy)
lol, ok that blender is not industry standard ... however, you too son, could investigate 10 minutes more before trashing it for 10 years

I think it's in the biggest innterst for both Blender aswell as the users to have a LMB,

I had the same experiences as @Sebastian M Roy (sebastianmroy), when I first started Blender, you get confused and click arround and thought the program was broken. Blender cannot deny that a lot of user have this exact experince. I belive the goal for all programs should be to be as userfriendly as possible.

When I first starting working with 3D I only used Blender and I after some time I got to learn to be familiar with the defult RMB

Before I started working professional with 3D I though the RBM was quit nice and handy as it worked very well internally within Blender. However with my curret proffesion I have to use several 3D programs at my work place, and this made the workflow not consistens for me to contniue useing RMB, as most programs does not let you change the defult selection and 99% of programs have LMB selection, and I do think this is important to remember. The LMB vs RMB seams like a little thing, I hear alot of people say "just get used to it", but I belive thats a huge burden to ask the user and will be a big drawback for Blender if they do not have propper LMB selection support both for expereinced proffesionals and new user.

We know. That's why we are working on improving LMB select, and why we are discussing the possibility to make it the default, once it works well.

We know. That's why we are working on improving LMB select, and why we are discussing the possibility to make it the default, once it works well.

Lets suppose LMB be the default, what about all those who developed years of muscle memory with RMB. would you guarantee that RMB still works well?
And what about addons with modal operators that are generally hardcoded to RMB how to deal with the inconsistency?

@Jean Da Costa (jeacom256): Of course. If, hypothetically, LMB-select becomes the default, RMB-select will continue to work.

I'll reiterate that there is no complete consensus on this, and the first step is simply to make LMB-select work well.

As for addons, if they register themselves as an active tool, this should be no problem.

It is also important to be able to deselect with the empty space (or in an object with restrict viewport selection), also move the object only if you click and drag over it. These icons would also be more intuitive. https://blender.community/c/rightclickselect/4hcbbc/selection-tool-icons

@Sebastian M Roy (sebastianmroy): Nice idea with the selection icons.

As for only dragging when you are over an object, that is not how Blender works, and probably isn't a very good idea for handling complex 3D scenes. You may be working in wireframe, you may have many tiny objects, or objects with holes, or thin, long objects. It would be very fiddly for most things if you had to drag on top of the thing you want to move. One of the nice things is that you can drag wherever you want

I refer to an interaction as in vector programs, such as inkscape, coreldraw or illustrator. It would be useful to incorporate this pattern. Only with the mouse and without using keyboard shortcuts, you can do everything.

Double click to enter edit mode.
Click in empty space to deselect.
Click and drag selection box
Left click contextual menu
Only with a single tool can you do all these basic actions, such as selecting, selecting groups, editing nodes, moving, rotating, scaling.

https://blender.community/c/rightclickselect/yccbbc/

KiJeon (0o00o0oo) added a comment.EditedOct 21 2018, 8:42 AM

As for only dragging when you are over an object, that is not how Blender works, and probably isn't a very good idea for handling complex 3D scenes. You may be working in wireframe, you may have many tiny objects, or objects with holes, or thin, long objects. It would be very fiddly for most things if you had to drag on top of the thing you want to move. One of the nice things is that you can drag wherever you want

Maybe others can chime in here, but I've used Blender in left-click select mode with left-click drag enabling box select for years and I can't think of a single time this was an issue.

Maybe others can chime in here, but I've used Blender in left-click select mode with left-click drag enabling box select for years and I can't think of a single time this was an issue.

That’s different. What was proposed earlier was that you’d only be able to drag objects in the viewport if your cursor is over that object.

Ah, okay, my apologies. I misread that as the usual request of dragging and clicking the mouse to enable box selection.

I can't say I understand the request to only move objects when clicking and dragging over them.

Is there any ETA on 2.8 tool system properly working with LMB? I'd like to start re-making my custom keymap for 2.8

@Ludvik Koutny (rawalanche) You'll have to wait a bit more. After BConf, but before the beta, we should be able to hopefully tackle this. But it may be an ongoing thing where we keep on tweaking things for a while.

It's worth looking at Fusion 360 (it's free, so no excuses!) as far as first-launch input settings go. If I recall correctly, it popped up a non-modal window on the side of the workspace, and you could pick which preset you preferred *while experimenting with how they feel* before dismissing the window.

Note, text on "Defaults" is out-dated - also find language biased, calling existing conventions "old", saying new users would like it to be left without noting the down-sides (which new users will of course be unaware of).

Suggest to remove the "Defaults" section from this task since it's not the purpose, or make a new task and link to it.

The defaults section actually spiraled into two questions:

  1. Is it better for left-click-select to be the default? (Probably resulting in fewer new users complaining, but more experienced users complaining, although you're much more likely to lose new users than experienced users.)
  2. Whatever the default is, should Blender prompt you with an easy way to change the default without digging into the settings window? (Ameliorating whatever decision arises from question 1.)

@Rick Yorgason (Skrapion):

#1: Yes, that is true. But first we have to make the left click keymap work perfectly in all areas of Blender. There are still areas where it doesn't work so well still. When it works perfectly, we can think about making the switch or not.
#2: This is already the case.

It's worth looking at Fusion 360 (it's free, so no excuses!) as far as first-launch input settings go. If I recall correctly, it popped up a non-modal window on the side of the workspace, and you could pick which preset you preferred *while experimenting with how they feel* before dismissing the window.

I have posted a suggestion for a 'enhanced' splash screen design (T56510) that I think could do this in a discrete way.

Sorry for my English and my prejudiced opinion. I'm using Blender with Left Click.
Does anyone use 3d max here, anyone? Please respond. Because I’m in a panic about how basic selection tools work with move manipulator in Blender. I am writing this post not for hate, but for make blender better.
I use 3ds max too. 3ds max use Left Click for everything. In 3ds max selection \ deselection, border selection and manipulator handles work together very conveniently, easily and clearly. And these tools do not interfere with each other. In 3d max it is so easy.
But in Blender, selection \ deselection, border selection and manipulator working together is just awful. These are separate tools that cannot work together, and if they work, it is very inconvenient and difficult. I can’t understand why such basic tools work so badly :)
I can make a video about comparing Blender and 3ds max basic selection tools work . But my english is very primitive and terrible, maybe you will not understand anything of what i am saying, and may take a long time. But I can make this video, if it really will be useful to developers.

I have been a left click (with a wacom tablet) user in Blender for a long time. It worked perfectly for me, especially because I liked the tweaking functionality where I do not need to press a second button to do my model tweaks or animations, just like dragging a node in the node editor.

After the latest additions to left click select in 2.8 branch, I can say that this feels pretty good from a left click person's perspective. Please bear in mind that I use bunch of other 3d applications, and personally my initial issue with right click was not because it was the right click. My issue is that have to press a button on my pen to get things going in RCS. This is no issue when I can just utilize the pen tip which is a natural implementation of the hardware as a left click, therefor left click+tweak on the fly feels incredibly fluid with a tablet pen device. This even gets more awesome when posing bones.

In that regard I think 2.8 left click has come along well with good implementations there, however there is an issue, which could be a biggie or a small depending on the person. The selection modes, which require cycling, meaning that I need to give up "Tweak" mode or reach to the keyboard for Ctrl, which is fine. I am not complaining much about it.

What if there are users who do not need the right click as a contextual menu? Can then the right click be spared for the last selection mode that was set in the space bar tools menu, if not make it an additive lasso selection? We do not need to change whatever is offered at the moment, but I am bringing it up as something on top of what has been done.

thanks

kursad k (kursadk) added a comment.EditedNov 30 2018, 9:23 PM

Ok I actually went ahead and mapped right button (well it is top and bottom on a pen) of my Wacom tablet to "Ctrl - Left" ,so my right click is actually a lasso selection now. As far as I can tell this is quite a workflow improvement, at least for me and I can definietely recommend this combo to be part of Blender as an option.

thanks

Alt+LMB for view manipulation works in Blender currently when Emulate 3 Button Mouse is enabled in the Preferences. This is useful for users who don't have a 3-button mouse, and more importantly, many modern mice have unfomfortable scroll wheels that are not nice to click. Alt+LMB has always been an alternative, it just happened to not work for LMB select. We should fix that.

If I may barge in with a different suggestion I have for the better part of the last years been using a RMB tweak event for 3D view rotation, and have grown very fond of it for a few of reasons:

  • Mainly because it allows full 3D view manipulation exclusively from the mouse
  • Doesn't require any modifier keys whatsoever
  • Works without any kind of keyboard interaction (you can even use a wireless mouse or be away from the computer, like for presentation purposes)
  • If you keep panning (move view) in the MMB you can fully control viewport navigation with a single hand on the mouse (how conveninent is that? :) )

You are a bit mistaken, but yes, single hand layout is good.
But chance is already lost because of menu)

Professional single hand Navigation looks like

  • LMB for select, RMB for pan
  • MMB for all opertions around centered point
    • double MMB for view selected
    • scroll MMB for view zooming
    • press MMB for view turntable rotation
    • Ctrl+MMB for dolly
    • Alt+MMB for Roll
    • Shift+MMB for centering view.

Alt + F has been changed to Alt + MMB, now it blocks the Rolling ability, so navigation has become more incomplete and inconvenient in terms of relevance.

Brecht Van Lommel (brecht) claimed this task.

The bullet points from the original task description have been done, closing.

T57918: Tweaks & Fixes for Improved Left Click Select Support (Parent task) has the remaining left click select issues that are planned to be solved.