In Blender, both tools and commands have settings that let users tweak the result of an action. Here's how we want to display these settings in Blender 2.8:
When using a Command, such as Subdivide or Remove Doubles, we have settings that users can tweak. Rather than presenting users with a blocking popup window, we have a system that makes it possible to tweak these settings fluidly, seeing the result immediately without blocking the UI. In Blender 2.79, we placed these settings inside the 3D View toolbar, at the bottom, but that created a few issues:
- Commands can be executed in any Editor, not just the 3D View.
- It was not possible to easily get to this panel without having the toolbar always showing.
- It could get lost, hiding in a sub-section of a side-pane of a single Editor.
- Users had to manually resize the sub-panel to the current size depending on how many settings each command has.
Instead, we'd like to crate a system that makes it possible to tweak commands executed in any editor, and have those settings appear as conveniently as possible when you need them, and provide an easy way to hide these settings away when you don't.
Our solution is to present a thin 'tweak bar' inside the current editor, after a command is executed. It stays visible until the user either hits the X, or simply moves on to use other commands.
Some Commands that have more settings can instead display as a small floating panel, like so:
If the user doesn't want to see these tweak-bars appear, they can disable them at the top-right of the screen by disabling the Gear icon:
We suspect that this UI will be both too obtrusive and mostly redundant when using modal operators, such as Move, Rotate, Scale, Knife etc. These kinds of operators usually don't work with redo, and even when they do, it's usually not that useful. For this reason, we should not present the tool taking UI for these kinds of operators.
However, we will still allow for redo functionality for these tools via Edit > Adjust Last Operation, or via the F6 keyboard key.
==Active Tool Tweaking
For some tools, we require input for things that don't map well to a spatial 3D manipulator widget. For this reason, we want to add a numerical manipulator widget to adjust the current tool.
It appears when using a tool, after you've created the initial action - after your Extrusion, your Spin, your Bevel action etc.
This will be implemented via the manipulator system.
//Below are some examples of where this is applicable://
Add Cylinder tool:
Add Sphere tool:
We //could// even add it for some commands, such as Subdivide:
We want this interface to be as unobtrusive as possible, while still being easily accessible.
Rather than re-using the large F6 panel, we wanted to make something that will stay out of the way, yet appear close the manipulators when needed.
We've ended up with this thin 'bar' approach, which sits near the bottom of the 3D View.