Unleash the power of 3D
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  • #14188 Likes: 0
    • Posts 4699

    Yesterday a guest joined to the chat, and i was unfortunately not at my place. And when i came back the guest was gone. I cannot change that one. Sorry for not answering the question in the chat. What remains was his question. Which i will answer here now.

    The question was, what is the difference between Blender and Bforartists?

    First let me point out where it is equal. It’s the feature set. What can be done in Blender 2.76 can also be done in Bforartists. There is no difference in the features. They are equal. Minus the game engine, which is disabled in Bforartists. The main difference lies in the UI and usability.

    Blender’s useage philosophy is hotkey centered. Something that will most probably not change in Blender 2.8. Instead of improving and fixing the graphical UI they now started to develop even more new elements and UI confusion. Now the solution to all the UI problems is to go “back to the viewport”, whatever this means. Most probably 3D widgets and 3D menus as we had them in trueSpace 3 already, fifteen years before. Which means to have a still just half implemented graphical UI with double entries and missing menu items, a hotkey centered workflow that is close to broken since Blender runs out of hotkeys, a pie menu that introduces lots of double functionality for what already exists in the traditional graphical menu. And finally the now coming Widget solutions.

    The goal for Bforartists is in the first place to have a intuitive graphical UI. With a focus at an easy to learn and to understand workflow. Not at speed. Make it easy, and the speed comes automatically. In ideal case a new user should be able to pick Bforartists up without any further help and without to read tons of tutorials. This means to have one working and complete UI solution. And not four different ones, where the user has to learn four different UI concepts, plus all the shortcomings in those UI solutions since they are just half implemented. To use Blender is already now impossible to learn without help.

    The base is the graphical UI. That’s what a new users sees first. That’s what they will try to work with. That’s what has to work out of the box and hassle free. When you want to speed up the workflow, then there are hotkeys and the pie menus. Widgets too. They are all still there, nobody stops you to use it. But that’s an individual choice then.

    We are just at the beginning of the journey. The fork is young, and not really production ready yet. Even when Bforartists is fully functional. I have just started with the work. And so the differences are still small. Bforartists is currently just around 300 commits away from Blender. But this will change over the time.

    Different is already the standard keymap. Where nearly all hotkeys for tools are removed. So that the user can choose his own hotkeys without bigger conflicts with the existing ones. Different is already that lots of double menu entries are removed. Different is that the graphical menu has lots of new menu entries for tools that were formerly just available by hotkeys. Different is small stuff like that you can hide the 3D Cursor. Or the groundgrid. We have custom wireframe colours. Delete deletes now without any further questions in most cases. And a few other small but important improvements. Like that you can select with the left mouse button by default.

    When you want to read more details, here is the release thread for Bforartists 0.2.1: http://www.bforartists.de/content/bforartists-version-021-released

    Also an important read might be the roadmap: http://www.bforartists.de/content/roadmap-0

    And the UI design document: http://www.bforartists.de/data/Bforartists_UI_redesign_Designdoc_Part%201_-_general.pdf , http://www.bforartists.de/data/Bforartists_UI_redesign_Designdoc_Part%202_-_theming.pdf


    #15677 Likes: 0
    • Posts 19

    Hi Reiner

    I heard about BForArtists yesterday. I could never really get used to Blender because it looks like the devs make everything they can to make it off-standards with every action hotkey-related, which make the learning curve of this program very difficult, and the modeling tutorials hard to follow. And I love to try new things; Maya, Max, C4D, Modo, Zbrush, Softimage and so on. With a bit more effort I could get better in each of those (Modo is a bit weird to me), but Blender was always too much for me x)

    So that’s why in the end I’m only a very occasional user, as I like the UV tools and the hair system (and that’s pretty much all, sorry I’m a Zbrush fanboy :p )

    Now with your “fork” version I’m really happy with many choices you made here, reducing all these FUCKING HOTKEYS, the icons, and especially removing all the doubles. And the colored default theme is nice and refreshing as well, it reminds us all that we have no obligation to make everything DULL with only greys/dark tones. Color is beautiful !!

    So I did a very simple test, with both version (original Blender and BFA) : Just create a box and extrude its faces. Pretty basic stuff with BFA. At first I couldn’t do it with Blender, the right click for selecting was disturbing, and I didn’t understand why this 3D cursor were in the way; I needed to learn how to use it first !! Like they say : RTFM xD

    To me that’s already a first proof that BFA is easier to use, because even a rookie like me could do it without much effort.

    That being said, I’ve read the 1rst part of BForArtists_UI_redesign_Designdoc (what a long name !), but it’s filled with explainations of why you changed this and that… It’s interesting, but I think that you need to summarize as much as possible because not everyone want to read all of this just to know what’s so good about BForArtists. Keep it simple if you want to attract more users.

    Also I could read the Features page but that’s basically listing Blender’s features. So it’s a bit misleading, it looks like you’re trying to sell a new software, while it’s only a fork (I need to make some research about that word, it’s new for me. I knew “frontend”, but not “fork” – I’m french btw)…

    Again, keep it simple and concentrate on BFA features. One shoudn’t have to read the whole page about every Blender feature to finally realize at the end of the page that it’s only about a better UI and a different approach of the same software.

    (PS: I’ve read many of your posts, on the Blender forum, on your page as well, I can tell you’re talkative hehe ;) )

    #15678 Likes: 0
    • Posts 4699

    Hey Tetsuoo,

    Thanks for your input, thoughts and suggestions. Much appreciated :)

    but I think that you need to summarize as much as possible

    That’s a good hint, thank you. I tend indeed to go into detail too much. I will do my best in the future to make a better summary and to get to the point :)

    Also I could read the Features page but that’s basically listing Blender’s features. So it’s a bit misleading, it looks like you’re trying to sell a new software, while it’s only a fork (I need to make some research about that word, it’s new for me. I knew “frontend”, but not “fork” – I’m french btw)…

    I don’t know the french name for forking a software, sorry ^^

    A fork is a secession from the original software. Without any connection to the original development anymore. Like for Libre Office and Open Office. Libre Office is a fork of Open Office. The split point is usually the last connection between the original and the forked software. And this means a fork IS a new software. That’s why you make it a fork, and not a branch. The longer the development will go, the bigger the differences will become.

    I have already changed lots in Bforartists. As you can see with the hotkeys and the icon buttons for example. And so most of the tutorials from Blender will not work proper for Bforartists anymore. The UI is too different already. Which means Bforartists needs its own eco system. With own tutorials and manual and own community etc. . As told, it is already a different software.

    And so i have to list the Blender features since they are also the Bforartists features. To declare it to a branch of Blender by writing: it’s Blender with this and that differences, will not really lead to a goal here when you understand what i mean :)

    Polishing the webpage is a task when we get close to the final version. And then especially the UI features description will be a bit different. But we will need much more time until we reach a stable. It’s all in development. I am in the middle of the process, Bforartists is at version 0.4. There is lots missing, and lots may change in the future. Making tutorials for example makes just sense when the UI is ready developed, and will not change dramatically anymore.

    But you can help out when you find something to improve. Make a short tutorial for example. Or tell me what you would change at the description page in detail. I am open to any suggestion. Every helping hand is welcome :)

    Kind regards


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