Blender gets new user interface team
The Blender Foundation has announced a new UI team to work on developing Blender’s user interface, headed up by Brecht van Lommel, lead developer of the software’s Cycles renderer, and CG Cookie’s Jonathan Williamson.
The idea of a dedicated UI team was originally mooted by Blender Foundation chairman Ton Roosendaal in response to the debate prompted by Blender Guru founder Andrew Price’s videos discussing the UI’s failings.
Price himself is acting as a UI designer on the new core team, along with open-source movie veteran William Reynish and games artist Paweł Łyczkowski.
Starting with small tasks
Anyone expecting a full-scale overhaul of the Blender interface along the lines of the one proposed by Price in the video at the top of this story should take their expectations down a notch, though.
According to the announcement on the Blender developer site, the initial aim of the new UI team is to streamline existing development efforts, not to launch major new projects.
The announcement reads: “We do not have any developers with a lot of time dedicated to working on the UI. So we will start with small, easy to implement topics, or help developers that are already working on functionality to get their designs improved and approved, and try to grow from there.”
Anyone can contribute proposals to the UI section of the Blender wiki, but only those that van Lommel and Williamson judge possible to complete in “the next few months” will be moved to the list of open design tasks.
However, even that should go some way to addressing common user frustrations: tasks currently listed include an overhaul of Blender’s hotkeys, filling in missing tooltips, and removal of the redundant ‘Confirm to Delete’ prompt.