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Startup blend & default Workspaces tweaks
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Description

This is a task for tweaks to the default Workspaces and startup scene in Blender. Tweaking these is a bit tricky so it's best to do a bunch of changes at once - hence this list of tweaks:

Layout

  • Timeline should have the Dope Sheet summary collapsed so you only see a single line of keyframes

Sculpting

  • Cavity should be set to Screen Space (faster)

Scripting

  • Enable Syntax Highlighting
  • Enable Line Number

Animation

  • Enable Marker Lines

Motion Tracking and Masking

  • Change default Pivot Point to 'Median Point'

Event Timeline

William Reynish (billreynish) lowered the priority of this task from Needs Triage by Developer to Normal.
William Reynish (billreynish) changed Type from Bug to To Do.

Perhaps the default objects should not be inside a Collection?

Why even have those default objects? Why not start with an empty scene like every other app?

Hide top bar

Why? Why make those settings more difficult to find?

@ThinkingPolygons (ThinkingPolygons) The reason why it doesn't work so well to start with an empty scene, is that in Blender the mode is still tied to the object. Meaning, if you have an empty scene and switch to the modeling workspace, you won't be able to see the modeling tools because you won't be in Edit Mode.

Also, if there isn't a camera, you can't render.

And if there is no light, the scene will look completely flat.

Other apps work differently, where you can still switch modes or render, even if you have no objects in the scene, but Blender requires these things to be present.

Why even have those default objects? Why not start with an empty scene like every other app?

That's useful for several reasons.
Quick discovery of features.
Without a lamp, rendered display mode is just a grey soup.
Without a camera, a try to render an image gives an error.
Without a mesh, only object mode is possible for the others.

Default scene is a lot used for debugging features. Does the feature work after a load factory settings ?
To reproduce a problem from scratch, a startup scene allows to not build one from scratch each time you need to test a modeling or rendering bug.

But what could make sense would be to add an empty scene item to New File menu.
A template with no more workspace than layout one corresponding to an empty scene would correspond to a recurrent demand.

Hide top bar

Why? Why make those settings more difficult to find?

I don't understand that, too. Active tools is a new concept that would be used under Layout and Modeling workspaces. Why hiding them ?

Currently, tool settings bar can only be revealed by a right click on a button of header.
If right click is done next to such button, it is right-click menu of 3DView that is visible, not the one of including Header menu.
If topbar is hidden by default, at least, header menu containing Show Tool Settings item should be added to View menu.
Or sidebar should be open.
There is also a problem with sidebar. When it is moved next to toolbar, toolbar is closer to border of editor.

That may be less problematic if tab column could stop at inferior border of last open panel.
By default, in object mode, toolbar is shorter than view tab of sidebar.
In fact, both cases are possible.
Sidebar can be shorter than toolbar with tools on one column.
Maybe a way to let user move one bar closer to border is most clever solution.

I hope that Adjust Last Operation panel could be moved to this new sidebar with tabs.

@William Reynish (billreynish) I'd like to add a change to Motion Tracking and Masking Workspace, related to this report: T63888
The default pivot point currently is 'Individual Origins', which is very unpractical, rather it should be changed to 'Median Point'.

Shading

  • Change active HDRI to studio.exr. It gives better reflections, higher contrast and doesn't change colors so much compared to default (forest) which is more experimental.

Scripting

  • Enable Syntax highlighting in Text Editor.

Change active HDRI to studio.exr. It gives better reflections, higher contrast and doesn't change colors so much compared to default (forest) which is more experimental.

I think forest is a better default, it's quite neutral and has more detail in reflections. Studio has big black areas that cause details to become invisible.

Not really sure if default settings overlap with this task. In the defaults task T54943 I added an item which was brought up by many users:

  • Set all exporters to Only Selected by default

This is really what you expect, and it's quite annoying that you currently have to remember to toggle this manually every time.

Not sure if this can be changed simultaneously with this task or it's really more a separate thing.

Once we agree on making only selected the default for exporters it's a simple change. I would like to get confirmation from @Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) and @Bastien Montagne (mont29) that they are ok with this though.

Ok to change "selected" to be the default,
IIRC there was issues in 2.4x where newer users exported and complained the files were empty,
however exporting only a sub-set of a file is a much more common use-case than image editors for eg, so changing the default does makes sense.

I don’t have any strong opinion on that one, personally I tend to prefer 'export everything' to be default for the few formats for which that makes sense (i.e. that support the concept of scene, collada, FBX, maybe gltf?), but any default will make some people unhappy anyway… Not hard to change to whatever you want when you export. :)

Collada, FBX and GLTF are used to export rigs to game engines, in which case you almost always would want to to export the selection I think.

I've done the listed changes, except the viewpoint for which I'm not sure yet what the intended value is.

Note we decided against changing the default to Only Selected in a UI meeting, since it can cause confusion when nothing is selected and trying to export. A better solution in the future would be for example to have a Collection with associated exporter settings and file path.

Why not make the best matcap for sculpting (basic_2.exr) the default one?
The "clay_brown" is not that good for sculptng.

Sorry for being late. Here are a few suggestions for the sequencer startup presets:
(from: https://devtalk.blender.org/t/suggestions-for-vse-ui-cleanup-and-default-settings-in-2-8/2210 )

Main ones:

Av-sync: on (both in the Timeline header and in Preview menu)
Audio scrubbing: On (Preview Menu)
Frame Dropping: On
Waveform Drawing: Waveforms On
TimeCode Style: SMPTE(compact)

Render settings:
Render Settings - Post-Processing - Sequencer: check
Display: Keep UI.
Output: Ffmpeg
Color RGB
Encoding - Preset: h264 in mp4
Encoding - Audio: Ac3
(YouTube friendly settings)

While those settings work well for video editing, several of them don’t work for normal 3D modeling & animation. Unfortunately, Preferences are not stored in the workspace so we can’t really set different preferences when starting a video editing project.