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GUI Graphics Open Source Upgrades

Blender 2.57 Released — and It's Easy To Use! 221

An anonymous reader writes "Past Blender releases, as capable as they were, had learning curves somewhere between straight up and down and 90 degrees. The release of Blender 2.57 changes all that. No longer are simple features 'non discoverable.' It has more or less a completely redesigned user interface that is clean, sensible and newbie friendly (hey, I'm using it!). It has a handy tab interface for Actions/Properties such as Render, Scene, World and Object etc. Plus, it's fast and CPU friendly. I'm running the official Blender standalone binary on Fedora 14, with 2GB RAM , Radeon X1300 (free drivers) and a cheap CPU Intel duel e2200. No more more slow GUI, no more 100% unexplained CPU, just great stuff. Kudos to all who made this possible."
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Blender 2.57 Released — and It's Easy To Use!

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  • You're A Newbie (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dylan_- ( 1661 ) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:23PM (#35823450) Homepage

    Perhaps it really is now "easy to use". I doubt it. Many moons ago I downloaded Blender to give it a shot. I installed it, messed about for a while and was totally lost. Nothing made sense in it; I could barely figure out what I was supposed to be looking at or how to draw the simplest object. I gave up cursing the UI as completely impossible and arcane.

    Some time later I decided to try it again. This time I didn't even try to figure it out, I just read the Complete Newbie tutorial and did exactly what it told me to do. All of a sudden Blender made sense and seemed quick and easy to use.

    So, my recommendation is not to treat Blender like other packages, where you can figure it out by clicking around for a few minutes. You're a newbie. Do the tutorial. It will definitely save you a lot of annoyance.

  • Re:You're A Newbie (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:44PM (#35823642) Homepage Journal

    Right, niche markets demand niche applications. Some tasks just aren't 'easy' by nature and if you dumb down your GUI ( and perhaps features ) to accommodate the average user, you alienate your true market.

    I have always felt that production 3D work has been one of those markets.

  • Re:Fantastic News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @07:49PM (#35823690) Homepage Journal

    Gimp is an excellent example of old school window use -- where you do not blow up windows full screen, but work with overlapping windows. It allows you to work on multiple pictures at once, copying between them, without the toolbox, layer window or similar ever taking up more space. Even to/from other applications.
    But to use it efficiently, you have to forget everything that Windows and Ubuntu has tried to teach you for the last decade; that you should only view a single window at a time, and that smaller windows raise on focus.

    Return to the X way, and it makes perfect sense, unlike Photoshop, which takes over the screen, and then presents its windows within the master window.

  • Re:Fantastic News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r ( 612664 ) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:12PM (#35823912)

    I disagree. Breaking usability for nix users is backwards.

  • Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bradgoodman ( 964302 ) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @08:59PM (#35824234) Homepage
    As a "novice" Blender user (by "Novice" I mean I have only been working with it for a couple of years) - I will say Blender is the most complicated program I have every used in my life. I have always attributed it complexity, and counterintuitiveness to its unfathomable complexity and clusterf*ckery of features and options. As I'm glad to see a bit of an overhaul to make things easier - I am completely dreading having to re-learn it all. I guess on the flipside, I don't really know it all - hopefully it will be easier to learn this time around!
  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @09:34PM (#35824508) Homepage
    3D is just hard. If the program has any depth at all, there are a huge number of functions, details and methods that need to be covered. Most of the newer 3D programs include several different ways of interacting with an object - mesh manipulation, NURBS, sculpting, several ways to texture or paint the object, different aspects of animating, then placing things in a scene, integrating it with video / still / whatever output. Lots and lots of things.

    Then you have restrictions generating from decades of previous programs - users that are used to manipulating things in particular ways, limitations of data containers, limitations in the ability to transfer data back and forth in a work flow.

    Not to mention that working in 3D gets complicated fast. Not too many spherical cows in CG land.
  • Re:Great... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Thursday April 14, 2011 @10:12PM (#35824772)

    Blender is easy.

    3d art applications are just hard in general. There are tons of options, 3d is hard to grok for newbies.

    Newbies can easily get blender since it's open source and free, thus there are many newbies like you running going "OMG blender hard." As someone who cut his teeth on 3ds max, I found Blender hard for the first hour (adjustment period) and it was all downhill from there.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"