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  • #14323 Likes: 0
    Draise
    Participant
    • Posts 1181

    I have noticed a bunch of people starting to show interest in developing Blender on the idea that the workflow of Softimage could be applied. They also have mentioned crowdfunding. I know the main guy behind the idea in Ecuador, and then there’s me, a avid Softimage user. So I decided to sell more on the concept of  BFA, the better way, there. Maybe they will joing the development

    Here is what the general vibe is:

    I’ve had this idea for a while now and wanted to share it with Softimage users:

    We could technically bring back Softimage from the dead. It does however, require our financial contribution. “How?” might one ask.

    Simple. The answer lies in Blender. It is open source and all the elements are there. So all we have to do is redesign it’s interface and user experience to look and behave like Softimage. It might not be a 100% replica because Blender and SI may use different algorithms for the similar tools. But the workflow (most importantly) can be vastly similar.

    I got in contact with Software developers in the Ukraine who have experience with Blender development. They gave me a ball park figure of USD 13,000. Keep in mind this is the minimum.

    Now my question is: How many of us is willing to contribute financially to make this happen ?

    And a response:

    For me I would be delighted to see a fork of blender that’s been modified by users familiar with XSI’s (and or C4d’s) interaction model.

    Perhaps could it be in the same form as “B for A” ?

    Wasn’t “Blender for Artists” suppose to address a bunch of usability issues?

    I wonder how it was received, or if starting a new fork from that fork be possible,

    …if someone (or i think ideally some XSI prod house) were to start a “B for A for XSI A” ?

    I’d be all for it, but I suspect that I’d personally have the same gripe, as for a the main few options out there.

    Fast & Easy to use, yet very flexible (and procedural), and “able to take it” all at the same time ?

    (all equally important aspects I believe)

    Will there ever be something like that? (again?)

    A new 3D company? Or existing solutions eventually reinventing themselves ?

    Any of which to me seems fairly remote, but would love to be surprised :)<img src='data:image/svg+xml,%3Csvg%20xmlns=%22http://www.w3.org/2000/svg%22%20viewBox=%220%200%20210%20140%22%3E%3C/svg%3E' data-src=” class=”smilies” src=”http://www.si-community.com/community/images/smilies/1.gif&#8221; style=”height:18px; width:18px” title=”Happy” />

    Here is what I responded:

    Yeah, Bforarists which really stands for “Be for Artists” trying to keep the artist in mind when building a creative application UI. You can go to https://bforartists.de/ to learn more. I use it in production actively today, I also tutor with it. I used to work in a studio using Blender earlier this year – but then started using this fork in my independant mini studio a long with SI for more private work. A lot of the leg work has been done to make Blender better, and now I compare the BFA and Blender with the latter certainly being the “Blander” of the two. Takes me twice as long to figure out how to do things than learning in BFA. It is not perfect yet, but soon it will release the 2.79 release with a buuuuunch of fixes and upgrades. I currently test it a lot and the main guy developing it is quite communicative. You can also go to the tracker and see what’s coming up and what needs to be done, and can sign up and post to it, start debates, etc. They always are looking for developers, and it’s pretty opensource – with the sourcecode available too. I highly recommend saying there: why not include SI layout, make SI functions for BFA and ask to include the default shortcuts of Softimage into BFA. To be honest, I have heavily modified SI’s shortcuts and BFA’s myself so it may not be needed ideologically. But I think.. don’t go the full on Linux Distro’s chaotic way, try stay consistent and make one competitive product of the same sourcecode excel, and make a world of BeforAritsts software the other Opensource competition. There aren’t enough competitive opensource 3D software out there to push each other a long to excellence. With two good ones off the same sourcecode, the progression of the two would be exponential.

    Some major changes to the Blender UI in BFA are the following (that I’ve noticed):

    • -Removed all double entries and put them in a single place, the menu header or toolshelf (More than 250 entries have been removed/moved)

      -Added entries that ONLY existed in Blender as keyboard shortcuts (Can’t believe Blender had it like that – I learnt so many more features in Blender due to discovering they existed in BFA as menu entries, similar to SI having EVERYTHING listed)

      -Removed illogical floating menu based on Keyboard shortcuts only

      -Removed most shortcuts except essential ones – leaving flexibility to build your own system easily

      -Left Click default

      -Changed the SRG shortcuts for scale/rotate/translate to the Maya/Max standard of WER.

      -Changed editing modes to shortcuts 1, 2, 3, 4, etc (handy)

      -Added Icons almost everywhere for everything (Which I like due to not everyone I work with speaking English and it’s very easy to remember without mixing terminology in other software) – function can also toggle to include names on said icons

      -Added a toolbar where you can have exposed icons and actions on one mouse click (export, save, load, parent, snap center to cursor, create primitive, etc)

      -Added an overhaul node organization panel (with icons and names, similar to the icon workflow, so now you can add icons on mouse over and click) to have everything on hand (also divided to more common to advanced)

      -Reorganized the panels to start closed and to have advanced options collapsed (example: open up Dimentions, you get the first important options then you can later expand to advanced pixel ration, frame step, etc so you don’t clutter the workflow from the start, but still expand later if needs be)

      -More default addons already included from the getgo

      -Overhaul to tool shelf order and button/shortcutable features

      -Improved default layouts

      -Wireframe tools included on the get go

      -Reorginzation of some tools:

      –Keeping scene toggling in the Scene Properties Panel(instead of header)

      –Bake tools in the tools shelf

      –Keeping the Scene Layer manager addon in the tool shelf and removing the tools manager from the view header or in the Layer tab of the Properties

      –Lock Camera now logically under the View in the Properties Toolshelf of the viewport

      -Some viewports on default layouts now don’t have the viewport toggle so new comers don’t accidentally eff up the super flexible UI

      -Viewport icon shortcuts in the 3D viewport header (way better than reaching over to the number pad)

      -Overview/Properties panel toggle switch in respective panels (SUPER USEFUL)

      -Animation Panel toggle switch in respective panels (Also very useful, you never know you’d need it till you have it)

      -Overhaul of the documentation and orginization of said documentation.

      -Single area for quick start tutorials on Youtube

    These are just some of them.. there will be more in the next release.

    I like it, I feel happier here in BFA than I ever could in Blander, ahem I mean Blender, though all the features of the current version of Blander are all there. My only quipes with both architectures are some basic systems of the “Active first then Selected” workflow, which SUCKS. I can’t modify common attributes of all I have selected at once!??!?! I took that so for granted in SI. But that is a deeeeeep mess of code to fix in Blender, that may be almost impossible. Others are middle click repeat last menu operations menu memory, that could be added with a good code guru possibly. Other aspects might be sticky keys (which will have to jump over the wall of the different edit modes workflow) which could MAYBE be coded. The other thing someone can try program, if they are good, is making the menus tear away and float – a la Softimage/Maya. The other is an Overview improvements, or include something like Animation Nodes or Shrevock Nodes in the release of BFA (which is like using ICE for motion graphics or simple visual programming on 3D geometry) of which I see lots of potential, and later it will be more fun with the Depsgraph I hope they might expose in 2.8.

    For shortcuts, editing the python scripts for that is not hard. I currently had added F for focus in all panels, R for radius (which also is scale, so it works) and the same Shift+Number for basic modeling things as I have in SI. That is the least of my worries, and doing it through Python probably is way easier to do than with the editor in Blender/BFA. Just.. you will hit a wall when it comes to Stickykeys.

    I also modified the Theme a little to be like SI based off another SI theme out there.

    So.. I highly recommend.. go to BFA, stick to one good competitive fork, help develop it. There is nothing wrong with crowdfunding some programmers to work on a particular feature for say.. BFA – I highly recommend it.. but for now the best way to make a better system is becoming a part of the developer forum, post requests, study the limits to the code, propose feature improvements, bugs, and/or work directly with those in the BFA community (and in Blender developer community if features are deeper than the fork mods of BFA with other issues in the source code), be a part of it as small as it is. It has been going for a year now and I think this fork will be worth the while.

    Just to say, I believe in this project, it’s great. Thought to share.

    :dance:

    #17481 Likes: 0
    Reiner
    Participant
    • Posts 4699

    Thanks for sharing Draise :)

    Helping hands and fresh ideas are of course always welcome. I’m open for everything. But the ideas have to fit into the concept. And another big problem is that it is unfortunately Blender under the hood, with all its oddities. Like first performing the tool, and then tweak the settings for it. That’s why you simply cannot change Blender or Bforartists into XSI, Maya or other 3D packages like trueSpace. Unfortunately. This would end in a complete rewrite from scratch. And that’s several dozen manyears of work.

    But we can make the life of artists much easier with a better UI and workflow improvements. One by one. And we do :)

     

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