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Design Needed: Improve Tag set up workflow
Needs Triage, NormalPublicDESIGN

Description

Tags can be a very powerful way to make asset libraries easily searchable. Currently only the bare minimum tag support is implemented though.

There are two main issues:

  • Adding multiple tags in a row is slow.
  • Adding tags to multiple assets is slow. There's no way to batch add or edit tags of multiple assets.

Another thing that would be nice to address:

  • Tags are displayed in a regular UI-list, which isn't really optimized for tab display. A dedicated tag-list "widget" (in the broadest sense) would be good to have. From T54642:

Also see https://devtalk.blender.org/t/asset-browser-tags-improvements/21828.

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Event Timeline

Hey there!

I'd like to tackle this! I'm relatively new to blender, so it will take some time for me to figure out how to actually execute this in C / Python based on Blender's norms. Any pointers or direction is much appreciated! Also, any feedback, ideas, etc. on what I've outlined below is very welcome.

I think the development of a new C widget(s) and accompanying operators will be needed to handle this panel in the asset details, as well as the “All Tags” (outlined below) in the main asset left panel. If certain parts of it are developed to be agnostic, then the widget(s) could be reused in other areas of blender where this type of interaction is desired. I’ll develop some design mock ups to fully illustrate the two widgets / panels outlined below:

Tags on Active Asset - Easily add / edit / remove tags on selected asset

  • Box that has tags in it similar to pictured above
  • Clicking on the box region (anywhere not directly on a tag) creates a new empty input field for a new tag and focuses cursor on it
  • Tag field supports autocomplete in a dropdown menu for tags that already exist (like the Object Relations Parent input behaves)
  • Tag field if detects commas in tag name, creates a new tag for every non-empty (and whitespace only) string in between commas
    • e.g. [tree, large-tree, , wide-tree, oak-tree] would create four separate tags, and skip the empty third tag that has just white space in between the commas (, , or , , or ,, etc. you get the picture)
  • Enter (Return) creates the tag and creates a new empty tag field and focuses the cursor on it.
    • If enter is pressed when tag field is empty (or only has whitespace), no tag is created, and empty input is removed
  • Tags have an X icon appending each tag which, when clicked, allows for easy removal from specific asset (as shown above)
  • On click of tag, current tag is marked as active, and becomes a field, populated with that tags current value, for editing. On enter, saves the update to the tag.
  • Things to Consider - Needs Ideas
    • How to deal with editing tags on multiple selected assets?
      • Are tags amalgamated in the tag box?
      • Is there some sort of visual indication as to what tags are shared or unique? (count of objects that have the tag on them perhaps)
    • What happens with the other meta data when more than one asset is selected?
      • Do those fields become greyed out, and uneditable?
    • How is auto complete performed? (see All Tags in Left Main Panel for ideas)
    • Tags Widget will want to be designed to be agnostic to the asset panel usage, so that the widget can be used elsewhere in blender if needed. What other panels / editors could it be used in? Should it have a more general name if so?

All Tags in Left Main Panel

  • Box of all tags that are sortable and filterable
    • Appears like tags do on a single asset, but by default do not have the X button to remove tags, but do have a quantity of objects that have that tag
    • Panel can be put in edit mode where tags can be removed or their name edited in bulk
  • List of all tags is stored centrally and modified any time a new tag is created that doesn’t appear in that list already
    • All tags store saves from having to search all assets for autocomplete function, where tens of thousands of assets, and tens of tags per would take much longer
    • The number of assets that match that tag are also stored (and displayed). This helps in tag list updating when all instances of the same tag are removed from all of the assets that previously had it (to prevent having to search all assets any time that list is shown, to ensure that any tags that aren’t used anymore don’t appear: e.g. remove tag from all tags when number of assets that have that tag is zero).
    • Manual refresh of tags list can be performed, which searches all assets for tags and cross reference them to that list
  • Click on tag displays assets that have that tag
  • Click on multiple tags displays assets that have all tags selected (and)
    • Option in all tags panel that toggles the and / or behavior (so you can select tags that have any of the tags selected as well)
  • Things to Consider - Need Ideas
    • How / where will this “all tags” data be stored?
    • Are assets that have a specific tag actually linked to their tags in all tags for quicker display of those assets when a tag in all tags is selected? (so as to not search over tens of thousands of assets and their tags to display the assets that have those tags)

What do you folks think?