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HD Video Editing with Blender

timothy posted more than 6 years ago | from the like-riding-a-bike-on-a-camel dept.

Software 73

Posthis writes "While the VSE sequence module has been part of Blender for a while, the upcoming version v2.46 comes with some new powerful video editing features, like Proxy editing, optimized FFmpeg support, and more. Not many use Blender strictly as a video editor because it's not very straight-forward, but given the fact that it now deals with HDV and 24p footage much more comfortably compared to other OSS video editors, it makes it a sound contender. This new tutorial shows the basics of how to use it as a video editor and put your masterpiece together."

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First Post (-1, Redundant)

gmac63 (12603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138622)

whoo hoo!

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138684)

Somehow I expected more from a 5 digit.

Re:First Post (-1, Offtopic)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138692)

Ha!

Re:First Post (0, Offtopic)

gmac63 (12603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138708)

I've been waiting 8 years to do that :-)

Gotta have some fun somehow..... he he

Re:First Post (1)

fastest fascist (1086001) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139806)

let's hope your first first was your last first

Re:First Post (1)

gmac63 (12603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140442)

You know what they say

"Quitters never win and winners never quit. But those who never quit and never win are idiots."

Re:First Post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23140554)

You know what else they say? "Any asshole who jumps on a story just so he can put up a ZOMGFRISTPORST! is a niggerfaggot who will be ass-raped someday by an escaped convict with AIDS and anger issues. After the ass-rape, the convict will set fire to your house and let it burn down around you as your flesh bubbles and melts from your bones. Just as your eyes overheat and burst, the last thing you'll hear before the roof caves in on you will be 'First post *this*, you babyfucking cocksucker!" I mean, I've heard that a couple of times...

WOW! (1)

gmac63 (12603) | more than 6 years ago | (#23141706)

And you eat with that mouth.

Re:WOW! (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 6 years ago | (#23148234)

don't you mean, with those fingers?

Will It Blend (0, Offtopic)

KnowledgeEngine (1225122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138632)

The will question is Will It Blend (tm) I'd love to see Blender on Will it Blend, that would be a hoot.

Re:Will It Blend (0, Redundant)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138710)

The interface still sucks. I'm curious how they even found the right pulldown.

Re:Will It Blend (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23139176)

You still suck. Quit whining about Blender just because you're too lazy to learn how to work it.

Re:Will It Blend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23153520)

An anonymous whiner that mods their own posts up. How slashdotty.

Re:Will It Blend (1)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139580)

The pulldown that Eugenia mentions in the tutorial is a rather convoluted method of changing preferences - far easier is just change the main 3D window to a preference window.

Re:Will It Blend (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23150834)

It is powerful by all accounts but there are a few others I could create something in where blender was impossible. A friend uses some proprietary stuff just for that reason.

Now if only I could find ... (2, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138666)

... a video input/output card for Linux that supports component [wikipedia.org] (YPbPr [wikipedia.org] ) video.

Re:Now if only I could find ... (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138826)

Looking around quickly, I see a couple of capture cards that support s-video in - that's a component format.

I'm not quite sure why you would focus on that though - if you're doing amateur stuff composite is fine and if you need higher quality you can just go digital earlier.

Re:Now if only I could find ... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23138958)

S-Video isn't really component. It uses a luma and a chroma signal, while what people typically refer to as component video uses luma and a pair of chroma channels, or just map to straight RGB.

I agree with your point about just going digital, though. For capture, sure, there might be some analog sources you might want to grab from, but there's no point in going to analog output these days. Professionals still dream about keeping everything in their pipelines digital; at the end of the day, they still have to print out to film, at least until digital cinema has taken over the market.

S-Video is not component. (2, Informative)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138970)

S-Video [wikipedia.org] is not real component. S-Video still has NTSC subcarrier modulation. Its only benefit over composite is that the subcarrier is not mixed with the luminance, making it unnecessary to filter them apart later. That reduces the artifacts of NTSC, but it does not eliminate them. Component is all baseband; there is no modulated subcarrier.

Additionally, S-Video only supports the NTSC format, which is 480i59.94. Component can support all the video formats used by ATSC and DVB video transmission standards. Many DVD and BR-DVD players have component output. I've seen one DVD recorder with component input. Many high-definition, and a few standard-definition, TVs and TV-oriented monitors have component input. You can recognize component input/output with 5 RCA or BNC connectors (1 for luminance referred to as Y, one for Y-B chroma, one for Y-R chroma, and 2 for stereo audio).

As for "going digital", suggest a digital input/output that is universally available (e.g. is input for monitors, output for cameras, input/output for computers including Linux supported, and input/output for recording devices like DVD-R, DVR, etc) ... and supports HD. Hint: I doubt you can find one.

Re:S-Video is not component. (1)

Chandon Seldon (43083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139148)

As for "going digital", suggest a digital input/output that is universally available (e.g. is input for monitors, output for cameras, input/output for computers including Linux supported, and input/output for recording devices like DVD-R, DVR, etc) ... and supports HD. Hint: I doubt you can find one.

Who cares if there's a single universal input/output connector? All you need if you're actually trying to accomplish something is to connect *your specific setup* together.

Re:S-Video is not component. (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139318)

Who cares if there's a single universal input/output connector? All you need if you're actually trying to accomplish something is to connect *your specific setup* together.

I care. But that is because right now various digital sources have different kinds of digital video output connections. Some have Firewire. Some have HDMI. Some have SDI. The video world went into this with too little planning.

But for the time being, *my specific setup* has analog component. It looks like HDMI would be the first digital source. So you know of a card that handles HDMI input (HDCP is not needed ... this is not about ripping protected content) and works in Linux?

Re:S-Video is not component. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23152426)

So you know of a card that handles HDMI input (HDCP is not needed ... this is not about ripping protected content)
Tell that to my TiVo Series3 HD. The last two software revisions have again taken to interrupting playback of cable HD (and some digital SD such as compression-artifact-filled episodes of X-Play) content with "HDMI connection unauthorized. Press Select for more information."

Pressing Select does exactly nothing.

Re:S-Video is not component. (3, Informative)

ZERO1ZERO (948669) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140094)

"Additionally, S-Video only supports the NTSC format, which is 480i59.94"

Erm. That's bollocks. There are more countries and standards in the world than America you know.

Re:S-Video is not component. (1)

Bill Wong (583178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140718)

As for "going digital", suggest a digital input/output that is universally available (e.g. is input for monitors, output for cameras, input/output for computers including Linux supported, and input/output for recording devices like DVD-R, DVR, etc) ... and supports HD. Hint: I doubt you can find one.
Uh, HDMI? Isn't that kinda the obvious answer?
Pratically every monitor has support for it (since DVI is just HDMI with a different connector and all you need is the right cable) and more and more cameras/camcorders/"video devices" have HDMI now, and there are a vendors with HDMI input/output devices for computers (although, Linux support is somewhat sparse, although, it is out there. See the other posts in this thread).

Re:Now if only I could find ... (4, Informative)

Saval (39101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139600)

... a video input/output card for Linux that supports component [wikipedia.org] (YPbPr [wikipedia.org] ) video.

There are lots of products from several manufacturers to choose from:

Deltacast [deltacast.tv]

AJA [aja.com]

Bluefish444 [bluefish444.com]

They are high quality professional grade cards and the price range is also high.

Re:Now if only I could find ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140046)

At least Deltacast indicates Linux support. I can't find any indication for the others. Thanks!

Re:Now if only I could find ... (4, Informative)

Saval (39101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140158)

AJA has linux support, drivers and SDK for (at least) their OEM boards: [aja.com] http://www.aja.com/html/products_oem.html [aja.com]

and Bluefish444 has Linux SDK available to registered OEM customers: bluefish444 OEM [bluefish444.com]

We are about to try those for use in our product in Q4/08 (hopefully)... If anyone knows other possibilities we would like to know!

Re:Now if only I could find ... (2, Informative)

Bill Wong (583178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140672)

I've been using a blackmagic intensity pro [blackmagic-design.com] for my own high definition video captures over hdmi/component
No linux support though, which is unfortunate
But it's very very very cheap (~$330 online for the pro, ~$235 for the hdmi-only version)
Didn't post in reply to your parent post as he was looking for something that was linux native, but, if you're working for an OEM, your company might be able to convince blackmagic to finally provide linux support.. They've been tethering on the edge for a while..

Re:Now if only I could find ... (2, Informative)

Bill Wong (583178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140784)

Oh, and your company might also want to look into a couple Japanese OEMs with products in that space
The hardware is cost-competitive with most of the other products on the market, but, probably at the expense of increased support costs
There's Sknet [sknet-web.co.jp] with their Monster X [sknet-web.co.jp]
And, Canopus Japan [canopus.co.jp] has a notable HDRECs [canopus.co.jp] product.
And, also earthsoft [earthsoft.jp] who I know has done some OEM work for Sony in their high defintion PVRs

Re:Now if only I could find ... (1)

Saval (39101) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140858)

Thanks!

I'll have to take a look at those too!

Re:Now if only I could find ... (1)

farrellj (563) | more than 6 years ago | (#23144096)

The other thing missing is a Time Base Corrector, or TBC...it compensates for the slippage there always is in a mechanical transfer of data from a magnetic media, and helical scan heads introduces erros. a TBC essentially is a huge buffer that waits for the whole frame to be collected from the source, and then passed along to the recording source.

Anyone know of a cheap TBC, or software that will do the same job?

ttyl
          Farrell

With that UI.. (1, Troll)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138720)

I wouldn't use it for anything more than necessary.

Re:With that UI.. (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138856)

Spoken as someone who doesn't know how to operate it, I think.

Personally, I wish I could use it as a word processor. I already use it for flowcharts.

Re:With that UI.. (1)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139782)

Spoken as someone who doesn't know how to operate it, I think.

Personally, I wish I could use it as a word processor. I already use it for flowcharts.
You can use it as a word processor :) Also Ton uses it for doing powerpoint style presentations; and Intrr uses if for page layout (see the Instinctive Blender fork).

LetterRip

Re:With that UI.. (4, Funny)

Max Littlemore (1001285) | more than 6 years ago | (#23138868)

I'm usually pretty quick to defend the Blender UI, I'm one of those people who understands how quick and powerful it really is, but this time I have to agree.

Any tutorial on video editing in Blender should be akin to a tutorial on cleaning teeth which starts with:

First off, you'll need to remove all of your teeth so you can get a really good angle with the brush.

Otherwise, it's lying or incomplete.

Re:With that UI.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23139194)

That's kind of funny. When I first started using Blender I found the interface to be horrible, but as time when on, I realized how excellent it was.

3D graphics programs aren't meant to be easy. Don't expect to UI to be either.

Anyway, Blender 2.50 plans to have the UI completely rewritten. Allowing new UIs to be created.

Re:With that UI.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23140334)

And when is that going to happen? 2011?

Sorry to say that, but Blender is one of those project with absolutely no Roadmap, no easy way to get a "nightly" or anything... or may there is, but web page was designed by the same UI design team.

Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23138858)

You mean that my smoothie blender can play TV now too? Kids these days...

Excellent! (2, Interesting)

_Hellfire_ (170113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139072)

Now does anyone know how I can capture HD footage from my camcorder over a supported firewire input in Linux?

Kino does SD great over firewire (my camcorder can downsample), but borks out (gray output) when I try it with HD. I've googled and sourceforged but cannot seem to find anything that will do it. I know my PC is fast enough because I used to do it with Premiere Elements.

Re:Excellent! (3, Informative)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139096)

Kino does not do HD, but dvGrab, the utility that Kino uses does HDV capture. You simply need to use the dvgrab 3.x version (not earlier) and use it from the command line. It captures HDV fine, in .m2t format, that Blender supports.

The real question is... (3, Insightful)

TheShadowzero (884085) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139082)

Is it still insanely counter-intuitive and hard to learn? The blender i used for rendering was nigh-impossible to figure out without at least three tutorials.

Re:The real question is... (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139100)

It gets easier when you start getting the hang of the hotkeys.

Re:The real question is... (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139104)

Yes, of course. :)

Re:The real question is... (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139660)

Is it still insanely counter-intuitive and hard to learn?

For the 3D part? Probably. But the video editing was (surprisingly) a snap. Just follow Eugenia's instructions and you'll be up and running in no time flat!

If you don't believe me, check this out. After seeing this story, I downloaded the latest Blender and got cracking. A short time later I had this video uploaded to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUzVi_f5kyE [youtube.com]

All the source videos were fairly large clips that Blender handled without issue. With only a smidge of practice, I was able to clip them to size and add transitions. So I'm pretty happy with the result. Especially since I have absolutely NO video editing experience. If I had a bit more time with this tool, I imagine I could whip up a pretty good promotional video.

I didn't bother with the audio tracks on my first run-through, but it doesn't appear to be too difficult to include them. The one issue I'm concerned about is if there is support for a decent mixer. (e.g. Could I play background music, then at some point fade it to a less audible level, play the original speech/effects, then adjust the BG music back to full volume?) Worst case, that's probably something I could work out in an audio editing program, but it would be a major pain.

I can't complain, though, given what I paid for Blender. (i.e. Nothing!) It's possibly the best FREE video editing tool I have ever seen. Which probably says more about the lack of such tools than about the brilliance of Blender, but I'm still happy. :-)

Feel free to give it a go yourself. If you need some footage to mess around with, the stuff I used can be found here: http://blog.wiicade.com/?p=177 [wiicade.com]

Re:The real question is... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139842)

Just follow Eugenia's instructions and you'll be up and running in no time flat!
As he said, can't understand without a tutorial.

Shill.

Re:The real question is... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140014)

Having tried quite a few video editors, I've still not found any (pro, "easy" or otherwise) which is so intuitive that you instinctively get it. At best you're flipping through menus or mousing over buttons trying to figure out WTF they do and where the function you want is. Still, when the first line of the review says it's not easy or intuitive, back away slowly.

Re:The real question is... (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140364)

Just follow Eugenia's instructions and you'll be up and running in no time flat!
As he said, can't understand without a tutorial.
No, he didn't. He may have implied it, but 'implied is in the ear of the listener'.

This is actually what he said :

The blender i used for rendering was nigh-impossible to figure out without at least three tutorials.
One tutorial is not 'at least three tutorials'.

Re:The real question is... (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140376)

This is why people don't like you.

Re:The real question is... (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140666)

Ooh, that hurt.

Re:The real question is... (3, Informative)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139878)

For bg music in addition to another audio track, use the "ADD" plugin between the two audio tracks and then use the iPO curve editor to make one of the two tracks louder or less loud.

As for other audio options, go to the panel at the bottom and click the last toolbar icon, the one that reads "Sound block buttons".

Re:The real question is... (2, Informative)

MenTaLguY (5483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23151104)

Unless they've changed things in the newer versions, you don't need the "ADD" part (though you do need IPO to set volume); all of the audio tracks are mixed automatically.

If AKAImBatman can do it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23140418)

..."in no time flat!" Why won't the Blender developers put up a small series of how-to videos on youtube?

Since they know their own program inside out, it would probably take them only a few hours.

Maybe they don't want the newbie video editor traffic ;-) who knows.

On the plus side they could even use their latest movie as an example tutorial project to get some advertising.

Re:The real question is... (1)

damg (906401) | more than 6 years ago | (#23156278)

Is it still insanely counter-intuitive and hard to learn?
For the 3D part? Probably.
And even for the 3D part, it's really not bad. I think most of the complaints you hear are from people who have spent a lot of time working with another 3D package and expect Blender to be a close clone of their favorite package. For example, you've learnt a small part of the app in a short amount of time, and I'm sure that with the same motivation, you could learn the other parts the same way, a little bit at a time. Another comment above compared Blender to Emacs, which I think is a great analogy. It was not designed to be pretty or provide nice screenshots for the marketing department to sell more copies. It was originally an in-house tool that was designed especially for efficiency, which is why many of the complaints are about all the keyboard shortcuts you have to learn. Very Emacs-like. Imagine a Visual Studio developer trying to learn Emacs and getting frustrated because pressing F5 has always built and ran the app in every IDE he's ever used. Don't get me wrong, Visual Studio is a great app, but it's not the equivalent to Emacs for efficiency.

There's a difference between using an learning (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#23154310)

If you're making a long-term commitment to using a tool then spending a few hours to get a productive interface is worthwhile.

It depends a lot on the type of application, but making something easy to learn should not make it harder for the power user. This is particularly true for applications like blender where learning the application is only a small part of learning the skills required for doing the job.

My son got a reasonable grip on blender after a couple of hours of fiddling around. He had used 3D studio before and can now use both.

Learning Blender (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139086)

Has anybody here used any good books that help one learn to use Blender? Online tutorials [wikibooks.org] only do so much good.

Re:Learning Blender (2, Informative)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139166)

Lots of links here:
http://www.blender.org/community/user-community/

Re:Learning Blender (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139272)

I often get "Address Not Found" errors when trying to connect to http://www.blender.org/ [blender.org] , but often refreshing will work. Are their servers at capacity right now?

Re:Learning Blender (2, Informative)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139572)

'The Essential Blender' [blender3d.org] is a pretty good book for learning the basics of Blender - after that use the Blender Wiki [slashdot.org] and other sources for deeper information.

Re:Learning Blender (2, Informative)

WK2 (1072560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140176)

Sorry I can't answer your question about finding a good book, as I read all my technical information online. Here's a source for great blender tutorials though:
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD [blender.org]

BSOD stands for "Blender Summer of Documentation". It was a Blender/Google Summer of Code/Documentation thing they did a few years ago. It produced the best documentation that Blender has to date.

Try starting with this one:
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/BSoD/Introduction_to_Modeling [blender.org]

Yes, the UI sucks. (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139172)

I've used Blender extensively. I've even used the Game Kit and extended Blender in Python.

Even after you know it, the UI still sucks. There's not enough feedback, it's too modal, the tools for aligning objects are weak, the keyboard shortcuts manual is over forty pages, and things that aren't implemented just silently don't work. Other than that...

Re:Yes, the UI sucks. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23139328)

Wow, it sounds like every other 3d modeling app I've ever used!

Re:Yes, the UI sucks. (2, Insightful)

rabiddeity (941737) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139604)

Wow, it sounds like every other 3d modeling app I've ever used!


Yeah, except this is an article about using it as a video editing and compositing tool, so we're not comparing it to Maya and the like. We should be comparing it to Premiere and Final Cut Pro. Does being powerful mean it must be difficult to figure out? I don't think so. Adobe Premiere took me about half an hour to figure out, behaves pretty much like film junkies would expect a video editing tool to work (with terminology like "razor tool" and "shuttle"), and doesn't have any rusted pointy edges to catch yourself on. If only Premiere didn't cost so damn much.

Looking at the tutorial, it seems like you CAN use Blender to edit and compose videos, but it seems like choosing a Leatherman to do surgery because it has a scalpel and tweezers and a screwdriver all in one tool. But you don't need a screwdriver when doing surgery. It'd be nice if they scrapped the existing UI skin and started with a deliberately limited interface specifically for video composition. Hide the buttons related to 3D rendering, rework it to make it look like Premiere or Final Cut Pro. Separate audio and video tracks. That's a start. Then start adding back in useful Blender features to the UI, under a separate extra toolbar or something. I don't need to know about the internals, I don't care that a fade transition effect is actually a Frazzleby-Zharfontane Swinklebury Matrix Transform chained to an iDCT followed by whatever. In fact I don't even want to see those things. It's confusing and irrelevant. In Premiere I drag the transition to the timeline between the two cuts and it works. I can tweak it if I want, but by default it does pretty much what I want. The focus is not on the how, but the what. KISS method.

I want a tool that only edits video and does it well. If you can fake it with a UI skin, then do it! This is one thing the pro tools do so well, and it's something the free tools would do well to emulate. Call it "Blender for Video". Same internals, different UI.

One more thing: make the goddamn windows look right according to what OS it's compiled for. I made this point about GIMP before [slashdot.org] , and it applies equally to Blender. Spit and polish make a huge difference.

Re:Yes, the UI sucks. (1)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 6 years ago | (#23139714)

Looking at the tutorial, it seems like you CAN use Blender to edit and compose videos, but it seems like choosing a Leatherman to do surgery because it has a scalpel and tweezers and a screwdriver all in one tool.
You are looking at this from the wrong perspective - if you are using Blender for Compositing/3D animation/Visual FX/Color Grading etc. Then you can jump into video editing with similar tools and workflow. Plumiferos ended up using Blender for video editing after considering commercial packages and other open source packages because of it being easier to keep the consistent work flow.

After 2.50 a skin that allows Blender to be used by individuals familar with other video editing packages without having to learn a new owrkflow might be a possible consideration, but as is it is already very useful to a number of users and their workflows.

LetterRip

Re:Yes, the UI sucks. (1)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 6 years ago | (#23147842)

While Premiere is a great tool and all, I'd hardly go as far as saying that its UI [grafika.cz] is completely straightforward. Honestly, my first time messing with it was an experience very much akin to trying to figure Blender out for the first time. Granted, I'm not an experienced "film junkie" or anything, but I really don't think it's accurate to call Premiere so much more naturally intuitive than Blender. At least, it sure as hell wasn't for me.

Now, that's not to say I would ever want to do video editing in Blender. Really seems like a case of everything looking like a nail to your new hammer.

Re:Yes, the UI sucks. (2, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140612)

Even after you know it, the UI still sucks. There's not enough feedback, it's too modal, the tools for aligning objects are weak, the keyboard shortcuts manual is over forty pages, and things that aren't implemented just silently don't work. Other than that...

I see you haven't used 3DSMax yet.

3D kits are difficult to handle. Quit wining. (5, Insightful)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23140584)

Once again lots of Blender UI bashing from the less knowledgable here. Please listen to this:

3D kits are difficult to handle. Period. That goes for Maya, Softimage, Lightwave, 3DSMax, Houdini and Blender. That even goes for Cinema 4D, allthough they claim to be the easiest to use in the pro legue.

Pro-level 3D with pro-level tools is a non-trivial task, and trying out every feature in each of these packages and learning to use it takes well over a year, a stack of books and porbably even some hands on training by a professional. Somebody who is good at operating a 3D kit usually knows nothing else about computers. These software behemoths are like Emacs with the brakes removed - allmost an operating system by themselves.

That you need a stack of tutorials to get going with a full-range 3D package is the *norm*, not an exception. Blender has some unusual UI concepts (most of which make perfect sense and actually are and allways were innovative) but it is definitely not any more difficult to handle than Lightwave or 3DSMax. Take that from someone who has a full commercial license of Lightwave 8 *and* has been using Blender since 1.8.

Re:3D kits are difficult to handle. Quit wining. (1)

nevali (942731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23141024)

While all of that may well be true, it doesn't make the âoeUI bashing from the uninformedâ inherently wrong: it just means that they all suck.

Re:3D kits are difficult to handle. Quit wining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23176830)

I agree. All of the uninformed bashers suck. Whiny little bastards, every last one of them.

Re:3D kits are difficult to handle. Quit wining. (4, Interesting)

chammy (1096007) | more than 6 years ago | (#23141080)

That you need a stack of tutorials to get going with a full-range 3D package is the *norm*, not an exception. Blender has some unusual UI concepts (most of which make perfect sense and actually are and allways were innovative) but it is definitely not any more difficult to handle than Lightwave or 3DSMax.


Finally somebody says it. 3D graphics have been a hobby of mine for the past 10 years, so I've played with quite a few trials of various editing packages. NONE, I repeat, NONE of them are "pick-up and learn" tools. The sheer amount of information you work with when modeling in 3D makes any sort of editor horribly complex (or horribly simplified).

I like to think of Blender as "GIMP for 3D" because people like to complain about the UI. It seems complex, but once you get to know it you see how incredibly flexible it is. After several years of using an old Maya license, I actually prefer Blender because I can customize panes and save views into what my "ideal" 3D package would look like. There are also quite a few tools and scripts I can't live without (brush vertex selecting, anyone?).

Re:3D kits are difficult to handle. Quit wining. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23146620)

I'd like to mention that the 'most' intuitive 3d Modeling interface I've come across is probably Sketchup [www.sketchup.com](from @Last and then bought by Google!). It's not one for Nurbs or any of the more complicated features of modeling, but for the basics of solid items, it's a dream. And then export the results into your preferred editing/rendering package and continue to fine tune the work.

My current workflow is either model in Sketchup then build the scene and render in either Blender or 3DSMax or Hexagon or Lightwave (or any other tool I have at hand).

Works for me.

Re:3D kits are difficult to handle. Quit wining. (2, Interesting)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#23146830)

These software behemoths are like Emacs with the brakes removed - allmost an operating system by themselves.

Funny how creating a powerful, intuitive, user-friendly GUI for OSs is what catapulted computers from being nifty novelties into being essential productivity tools from the top to the bottom of society in every sphere, from social to economic. Funnier still is how many bozos are too stupid to realize this, still think command-line interfaces are where the cool kids hang out, etc. It's ridiculous. Get. Your. Farking. Interface. Sorted.

Compared to the challenge of creating the tools themselves, the task is trivial; but it takes the skillset of a designer, not a math jock or code monkey.

Re:3D kits are difficult to handle. Quit wining. (2, Insightful)

Tetsujin (103070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23150508)

These software behemoths are like Emacs with the brakes removed - allmost an operating system by themselves.

Funny how creating a powerful, intuitive, user-friendly GUI for OSs is what catapulted computers from being nifty novelties into being essential productivity tools from the top to the bottom of society in every sphere, from social to economic. Funnier still is how many bozos are too stupid to realize this, still think command-line interfaces are where the cool kids hang out, etc. It's ridiculous. Get. Your. Farking. Interface. Sorted.

Compared to the challenge of creating the tools themselves, the task is trivial; but it takes the skillset of a designer, not a math jock or code monkey.

Let's get this straight:

It doesn't just take a designer. It takes a designer who understands what the program is and what it's supposed to do, and how people are going to work with it and (if you really want to pander to the audience) what they expect, what they're used to. In short, it's a harder problem than you acknowledge.

And, in general, for an interface to be easy to use it must be limited. Too many options means users complaining that your app is too complicated, or too cluttered with buttons and huge-ass menus. That's the problem with current GUIs - they don't scale well to large sets of possible commands. And a mesh editor is pretty much all about the large command set...

Honestly, I don't give a shit about what made computers massively popular commodities instead of niche items - not in this context. Blender, 3DS Max, Photoshop, etc. - these aren't apps that everybody runs. They're for specific groups of users - people who will do a lot of work with the app, can afford to take the time to learn to use it right in exchange for being able to use it more efficiently.

'Course, I do like command-line interfaces, and I like the Blender UI, so therefore I must not know a damn thing, right? :D

Re: (1)

clint999 (1277046) | more than 6 years ago | (#23155190)

The pulldown that Eugenia mentions in the tutorial is a rather convoluted method of changing preferences - far easier is just change the main 3D window to a preference window.
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