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Sculpt mode defaults
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Description

With the inclusion of the new tools from the sculpt branch we need to review the default settings of sculpt mode to make everything consistent. The purpose of this task is to list all changes that are needed.
Some of the features and settings mentioned on this list are not available in master, we can test the configuration in the sculpt branch for now.

Brushes

  • All brushes:
    • Normal radius: 0.5 (Note: in the sculpt branch, the normal radius was calculated using the brush radius squared, so the default was 0.2. In the final patch in D3594 the normal radius is calculated using the brush radius, so the default value and behavior of the slider is different. I can also change it to be like in the sculpt branch.
    • Curve preset: Smooth
    • Cursor color: Unify the cursor colors or make it match the icon of the tool
    • Use world spacing: On
  • Scrape brush:
    • Strength: 1.0
    • Spacing: 7
  • Smooth brush:
    • Strength: 1.0
  • Grab brush:
    • Strength: 0.4
    • Symmetry feather: On
  • Orco brush:
    • Curve preset: Sharper
    • Spacing: 5
    • We can consider making this the default crease brush
  • Default masking tool: mask brush

Tools

  • Mask lasso:
    • Mask front faces: On

Keymap

  • Mask Pie menu:
    1. Clear mask
    2. Invert mask
    3. Grow mask filter with auto iterations
    4. Shrink mask filter with auto iterations
    5. Smooth mask filter with auto iterations
    6. Sharpen mask filter with auto iterations
  • Shortcut for mask expand: -
  • Shortcut for mask by normal: -
  • Shortcut for voxel remesher: -

Workspace

  • Gray matcap

Template

  • Trackball navigation
  • Auto depth (with the paint auto depth in D5385)
  • Rotate around selection
  • Gray matcap

Details

Differential Revisions
D5813: Sculpt: Brush default settings
Type
Design

Event Timeline

I think @William Reynish (billreynish) and/or @Campbell Barton (campbellbarton) had a task on brush/tool shortcuts for Blender 2.8 Sculpt Mode?
I couldn't find it but maybe that's worth linking & looking into as well.
I'm saying this because if we discuss shortcuts for the new masking operators then it's important to keep in mind that each Tool should have a shortcut assigned by default as well..

Quick suggestions...

  • Orco brush:
    • Default Direction: Subtract
  • Clay Strips brush:
    • Accumulate: ON
  • Options:
    • Radius Unit: Scene (Much more useful than the default "View" option, IMHO, and it's the default on most sculpting apps)

Also, this setting "Radius Unit" is a global setting, it affects all the brushes, so it doesn't make much sense to be under the "Options" subpanel inside the brush panel where most of the settings there are expected to be per brush. It woukd be better to move it to the "Options" panel, to clear this confusion..


Another issue: The setting “Sample Bias”, this name means nothing to the user, it would be better to rename it to something more meaningful like: Mid Value / Gray Value / Mid Gray Offset… Something around those lines, otherwise the users will never know what this setting does...

Smooth brush:
Strength: 1.0

This may be an advantage for people using tablet ( pen) but for people with mouse it will be good to have the strength of the smooth brush lighter may be 0.3 because people with mouse they don't have the advantage pen has (pressure sensitive).

Orco brush:
Curve preset: Sharper
Spacing: 5
We can consider making this the default crease brush

Without any shadow of doubt orco brush is great, but replacing the default crease brush shouldn't be our goal since the crease brush can be use for other purpose as well like scale the mesh in sculpt mode. And i believe as a sculptor you know that when sculpting there some kind of special relationship the artist has with the tool, the way an artist uses a tool to achieve a desired effect can be different from artists, so since the default crease tool have been used for many years, artists have discovered different way of using the tool. i will suggest to add orco brush as second crease tool.

@Erick Tukuniata (erickblender) I think we should target the default settings to pen users primarily since it's pretty much what sculpt mode is supposed to be used with. Personally I don't think that anyone should use a mouse unless there's no other way.

I do agree that the pinch brush has it's place and it's use. That won't go away but the orco brush needs a dedicated shortcut to be accessible and properly introduced to peoples workflows.

Another suggestion for the defaults I would add is to change the falloff curve of the flatten, scrape & fill brushes to spherical. This avoids wavy surfaces and rings around the sculpted areas. Overall it gives a cleaner, flatter result.

Also disable pressure sensitivity of the thumb and nudge brushes. Even better would be to remove the pressure sensitivity settings from radius & strength for all of the yellow tools since they only take the pressure from when the stroke was initiated, which is often close to 0, or do nothing. But that would be a different task.

If we're talking about brush shortcuts anyway then here are my suggestions. I wish I could find the codequest task on the sculpt mode shortcuts, but it seems to be gone :/

  • Draw = D
  • Orco Draw = Alt + D
  • Clay = C
  • Clay Strips = Alt + C
  • Layer = L
  • Inflate = I
  • Blob = Alt + I
  • Crease = Shift + C
  • Smooth = S
  • Relax = Alt + S
  • Flatten = Ctrl + T
  • Fill = Shift + T
  • Scrape = Alt + T
  • Pinch = X
  • Grab = G
  • Snake Hook = K (If someone has a better suggestion than K, tell me. Maybe V instead)
  • Thumb = Alt + G
  • Nudge = Alt + K (Perhaps Alt + V)
  • Pose = R
  • Rotate = Alt + R
  • Simplify = Shift + S
  • Mask = M
  • Mask expand = Shift + M
  • Mask by normal = Alt + Shift + M (Maybe not very good if it required careful mouse placement)
  • Voxel remesh = Ctrl + V

Might seem a bit excessive but this is just to see if all could get a shortcut with the most used brushes having more accessible ones.
If tools should get merged in the future or if some should be left without a shortcut it should reduce the density of the keymap.

@Julien Kaspar (JulienKaspar) Regarding the brush shortcuts, I think we need to support some kind of two step shortcut from changing the brushes.
When working with a pen tablet in sculpt mode you need to have your hand constantly in the Alt/Shift/Ctrl modifiers to control the viewport navigation, smoothing and brush direction, so we should try to avoid any shortcut that forces you to move your hand from that position. In my case, I can't press any key that is to the right of the RFV column of my keyboard without moving my hand or losing the reference of where the rest of the keys are.
To fit the entire keymap with the new functions we can group similar functionality under a single key and then decide the final option with a second key press. For example, brushes can be changed by pressing C ->Z, C->X, C->C.., masking operators with V->X, V->C, V->S.. and so on

  • Draw = D
  • Orco Draw = Alt + D
  • Clay = C
  • Clay Strips = Alt + C
  • Layer = L
  • Inflate = I
  • Blob = Alt + I
  • Crease = Shift + C
  • Smooth = S
  • Relax = Alt + S
  • Flatten = Ctrl + T
  • Fill = Shift + T
  • Scrape = Alt + T
  • Pinch = X
  • Grab = G
  • Snake Hook = K (If someone has a better suggestion than K, tell me. Maybe V instead)
  • Thumb = Alt + G
  • Nudge = Alt + K (Perhaps Alt + V)
  • Pose = R
  • Rotate = Alt + R
  • Simplify = Shift + S
  • Mask = M
  • Mask expand = Shift + M
  • Mask by normal = Alt + Shift + M (Maybe not very good if it required careful mouse placement)
  • Voxel remesh = Ctrl + V

Might seem a bit excessive but this is just to see if all could get a shortcut with the most used brushes having more accessible ones.
If tools should get merged in the future or if some should be left without a shortcut it should reduce the density of the keymap.

+1 for all those suggested shortcuts, I would suggest exactly the same.

@Pablo Dobarro (pablodp606) I don't think two step shortcuts are a good idea, brushes don't have much visual feedback, nothing is more annoying than cyclic shortcuts when you have no idea of what state the brush was before, you keep blindly mispressing keys and having to undo and look at the keyboard to see what's the right sequence. Not fun.

Having the most used brushes on the left side of the keyboard is good enough.

this mean that:
Clay strips, Clay, Draw, Grab, Snake hook and Crease must be bound to simple shortcuts.

I think we should target the default settings to pen users primarily since it's pretty much what sculpt mode is supposed to be used with. Personally I don't think that >anyone should use a mouse unless there's no other way.

I have to agree with you here :)

Your suggested brush shortcut have some conflict:

  1. Draw brush: the D-key is used for annotation everywhere in Blender and I use it to sketch some concept on my sculpt to add more details. So X-key should use like at the moment but the problem is X-key has a conflict when using stroke method curve one way to overcome this is to override the operator.

2: Pinch Brush: can keep the P-key as it is now.

@Pablo Dobarro (pablodp606) this ->

To fit the entire keymap with the new functions we can group similar functionality under a single key and then decide the final option with a second key press. For >example, brushes can be changed by pressing C ->Z, C->X, C->C.., masking operators with V->X, V->C, V->S.. and so on

sounds a bit complicated, please let keep this easy => KISS

@Erick Tukuniata (erickblender)

Draw brush: the D-key is used for annotation everywhere in Blender

Good point.

@Pablo Dobarro (pablodp606) I hope we can avoid a shortcut system where multiple different key inputs are necessary.
I do like a shortcut system like in Zbrush where you can access any brush by hitting B and the the first letters of the brush but that will only be necessary if we have too many brushes. Simple shortcuts are always better. I think we still have few enough to keep simple shortcuts for all tools wihtout resorting to multiple key presses after another.

But yes, we almost have too many tools for all of them to have good shortcuts. So here's another way we could use the left side of keyboard to the fullest.
Early in the alpha of Blender 2.80 we grouped Tools so that they could have the same shortcut.
This way you could cycle through them with one shortcut. If we try that again by grouping tools or possibly even merging them the keymap can look more like this:

  • Draw / Orco Draw = X
  • Clay / Clay Strips = C
  • Layer = E
  • Inflate = A
  • Crease / Blob = Shift + C
  • Smooth / Relax = S
  • Flatten / Fill / Scrape = W
  • Pinch = Alt + X
  • Grab / Thumb = G
  • Snake Hook / Nudge = V
  • Pose / Rotate = R
  • Simplify = Shift + S
  • Mask = M / Holding Alt (Similar to holding Shift for Smoothing. This could even be combined with Ctrl to Invert Mask Paint and Shift to Smooth the Mask)
  • Mask expand = Shift + M
  • Mask by normal = Alt + Shift + M (Still not the best idea)
  • Voxel remesh = Ctrl + V
  • Annotations = D

As long as no more than 3 and an optimal number of 2 tools/brushes are grouped together it should be good. Also we should try not to group tools/brushes that we would need to switch between often, because then the cycling would become annoying after a while.

There are some conflicts with existing menu shortcuts like R & E but who even uses them anymore.

I do feel like this eventually deserves it's own tasks though since it can easily go beyond just assigning shortcuts.

@Julien Kaspar (JulienKaspar) The problem is, we need to think something that can be easily expandable without changing the keymap or adding weird shortcuts in each new release. If for 2.82 we have 4 new brushes, 4 new tools, new smoothing/masking modes and trimming and insert tools, we are going to need to redesign the keymap again or assign unrelated shortcuts to the new tools.
In this current keymap we also need to fit:

  • Execute mask filter functions directly (smooth, sharpen, grow, shrink, clear, invert...)
  • Set the pivot point for the transform tool and other operators (pivot to cursor, to active vertex, to center, to geometry...)

And we should leave some easy to press shortcuts available in case some users need them for any specific operator.
If we integrate vertex paint, then we will also need

  • Color picker
  • Switch primary/secondary colors
  • Other color operators like mask by color, color fill...

Also, when a tool that it is not a brush is active there is going to be a lot of keymap conflict if we try to assign shortcuts to all brushes. The transform tool, for example, will share the same keymap as any other transform operator in Blender, so you can't press G to return to the grab brush when that tool is enabled.

Maybe instead of having a two step shorcut we can put as many options as possible into pie menus. We can solve the brush problems with something like a global brush palette. Having more than a key assigned to change the brush tool is going to cause us problems in the long term.

Adding a dynamic keymap to the number row back similar to how it was in 2.79 might be the solution.

I used to love using the numbers to access brushes and as I added or removed brushes, the number row binding changed but never bothered me.

we already use the number row to switch selection modes and collection so I guess this approach makes sense:

We can fit a keymap with 40 brushes/operators in the number row using combinations of numbers + alt + shift.
Its just a matter of choosing thoughtfully.
example:

  • the 9 most used brushes go to 1 - 9 in order of most commonly used near to 1 (left side)
  • zero can be a special operator like voxel remesh
  • even less commonly used brushes can go to combinations of alt / shift + numbers
  • brushes that are often used in combination with smooth or invert get letter shortcuts near shift and ctrl

It might be a bad idea to make dynamic keymap so better choose wisely.

@Pablo Dobarro (pablodp606) All good points.
I like the idea of using pie menus to make multiple tools accessible through the same shortcut but this could make cycling between brushes a pain. Also I think the proposal by @William Reynish (billreynish) for improving the brush workflow will be better to access brushes quickly and will trump the selection between tools: T56744

I think the shortcuts need to be figured out after changes to the workflow of how we select and cycle between tools & brushes. Otherwise the keymap needs to be redesigned anyway. I'll see if I can spend some time on a proposal very soon by writing down some ideas and outlining the issues.

@TheRedWaxPolice (TheRedWaxPolice) I agree man. (only zbrush fans would understand lol)

@Julien Kaspar (JulienKaspar) Those are some tough hotkeys LOL


global brush palette

This is what is needed before anything else.

@Pablo Dobarro (pablodp606)

We can solve the brush problems with something like a global brush palette.

Sounds interesting, can you explain more about this concept?

@Jean Da Costa (jeacom256) Your suggestion is not bad :) we can sacrifice the switching from collection to collection and using top keyboard numbers for assigning brush with the combination of shift and crtl we can fit many shortcuts.

I would like to suggest one small change.. the Grab brush should have smooth falloff as the default, it's the best thing that has ever happened to it
I used to tweak all the settings just to get the right feel and i hated that but now it just works....you are the real MVP Pablo.

Both voxel remsher and voxel size should have hotkeys and voxel size should be made like dyntopo's detail size, no need to go to the panels and sub-panels to tweak values.
I recommand pivot point and orientation hotkeys ( , & . ), it doesn't make sense that u can call these pie menus in sculpt mode unless there are tools in developement that will use them.

@Pablo Dobarro (pablodp606) I've been experimenting with the sculpt mode and it seems like for the flatten brush, 0.5 normal radius is too small, it is making the brush behave weirdly, flattening but also bulging near edges, I think it should be bigger, say 0.85.

@Pablo Dobarro (pablodp606) can you make a patch for the default brush, tool and matcap settings? These can be changed in BLO_update_defaults_startup_blend.

Shortcuts may be better done along with bigger brush UI changes. Navigation preferences are not per template, so making changes there is probably beyond the scope of this task and more to look into along with D5385.

@Pablo Dobarro (pablodp606) wanted to point out that since we have the transform op in sculpt mode ( btw thanks for that i love it), we should definitively use the default transform shortcut in sculpt as well for consistency, so g,r,s keys should be use for transform and not anything else.