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Graph Editor: General channel list UI improvements
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Description

There are various smaller problems in the channel list of the graph editor:

  • Spacing between icons and channel name can cause a visual disconnect between the channel name and the buttons.
  • Too many icons.
  • Darker line between channels is a bit noisy.
  • Lack of auto-scrolling based on number of channels shown. This happens, for example, when switching between a fully-animated character rig and an object with just its position animated.
  • Hard to select many channels at once.

Proposal

  • Update the channel list to be more like the outliner:
    • Even/odd colouring of the background, instead of darker margin between the channels.
    • Use shift/ctrl keys for modifying selection (range select resp. toggle individual channels).
    • Highlight the entire row on mouse-over.
    • Filter the icon columns like the restriction columns in the outliner. For example, not everybody uses modifiers, so having a column of buttons to disable modifiers can be useless.
  • Ensure the UI is never scrolled a mile away from the actual content.
  • Auto-scroll the channel list when drag-selecting.
  • Replace box-select with click-drag (like buttons). This will give more immediate feedback of which channels are selected, rather than seeing that feedback only when releasing the mouse.

Details

Type
Design

Event Timeline

Sybren A. Stüvel (sybren) updated the task description. (Show Details)
Sybren A. Stüvel (sybren) triaged this task as Normal priority.

there is something missing here which is the fact that often you want to only see the translate x of all the controllers selected or only the rotation x and y, right now you have to use the search box to filter what you can and then select by hand, It would be great to have maybe a hotkey to select one or many channels filtered to all the selected objects.

Mostly a smaller visual thing, but currently the eye toggles are hard or impossible to see.

We could just separate the colors from the eye toggles:


before/after

What if the channel names where of the corresponding colors, it seems really hard to track with the colors so far from the names

@Luciano Muñoz Sessarego (looch) The issue would then be identical to the current issue. It's not easily possible to make it so the colors always have enough contrast with other elements.

Obviously the color indicators could also be on the left side:

Or could do it more like this:

With alternating rows, Outliner style:

More minimal view, with some of the toggles hidden, as per the proposal:

Disabling channel modifiers is a very esoteric feature and could be off by default.

why do we need a random color for each value, we just need RGB for XYZ + 1 color for W + 1 color for custom properties, that's it,.

This is really similar with what Sybren proposed yesterday in this task: https://developer.blender.org/T68972

@Luciano Muñoz Sessarego (looch) The issue would then be identical to the current issue. It's not easily possible to make it so the colors always have enough contrast with other elements.
Obviously the color indicators could also be on the left side:


Or could do it more like this:

@Luciano Muñoz Sessarego (looch) Please don't expand the scope of these design tasks. They are intentionally limited, so that discussions remain clear and to the point, and so that a developer can easily implement the task and close it.

@William Reynish (billreynish) The visibility of the eye toggles is described in T68972. When I was designing the images there, @Nacho Conesa (Nanoide) was quite vocal in the importance of the channel colour. I'm sure he'll find the dots too small. But let's continue that in T68972.

so sorry! it wasnt my intention to mess this up!
I only commented because i felt that the solution to the problem at hand was creating new problems!
sorry :(

What if the channel names where of the corresponding colors, it seems really hard to track with the colors so far from the names

That's something we are definitely looking at, but intentionally not part of this task. We want to have a clear proposal that includes an improvement of bone group colours, as then we can better reason about foreground & background colours, readability of the text, and how to keep things readable given different UI themes.