Ideas to make any Blender files easier to understand

#This is the same copy of  email I emailed to Ton

1. Comment everywhere and on anything
I found myself making note in the text editor more often as a scene/set getting bigger. In a huge and complex scene I can compile tons of stuff in the text editor which most time can be too big/long to read. I prefer everything in small chunks. Below are some examples I think Blenderheads often do, most times they are small comment to remind, sometime it’s crucial explanations that can make or break a scene/object/mesh/render.
ie #1: Node editor
A special commenting node just for commenting what (process) is going on.

ie #2: 3D view
Rig is often hard to understand, a comment field in the N-key menu would be great for rigger to explain the rig.
Mesh object sometime need simple comment to explain why it is there and what it’s for.

ie #3: Properties
A small text field for commenting, maybe in the last/first dropdown menu.

Render button: Explain what layer is rendering and rendering setting in brief
Scene button: Explain why suddenly units/gravity is set to that specific value
World button: Explain or record Color Hex value for sky, AO best setting and optimum value, Mist depth when camera change location.
Material button: Detailing what setting is ON and what is OFF. Also great for making material library.
Particles button: Explain the settings and threshold where things break.

ie #4: UV/Image editor
Explaining which texture for what mesh, detailing progress of texturing/UV mapping

ie #5: Video Sequence Editor
Documentation of progress, what to do next or editing ideas while they strike

ie #6: Dope sheet, Graph editor, NLA editor
Documenting progress, Problem faced that need others’ help solving it, Highlighting key animation that need or don’t need work

ie #7: Logic editor
Very important here, because every menu item can be collapsed/uncollapsed therefore most setting will be hidden.

With these examples I hope you can understand my idea of commenting everywhere. It make a lot of explaining possible, every blend file will be easier to understand. It’s great for new users to learn too. Tutorial can be made simple with just .blend if this goes as main Blender feature. Thus more new blender user. XD

2. A proper library for asset management for huge scene/set/project
I came from 2D animation background, in most vector animation software (Flash, ToonBoom) there will always be a proper library for asset management. In Flash you can have Symbols, Graphics, Buttons, Fonts, Colors, Swatches, Sounds, Video or Coding that are linked/append/created (in the file) into the main file. Once the assets are committed into the library, one need just to drag and drop to the Stage(aka Scene in Blender) to make instances of the same object without getting the file size growing exponentially, number of instance on scene will be updated, a drop down menu can be made to link to each instance on scene. Similar context assets can be grouped into folders by user, this make finding model/mesh easier.A small preview of the mesh/material/texture/animation/node will be made available for easy recognition while selecting. Removing an instance (in scene) from linking to library also very important if one wants to make variation from the base mesh and recommit to library as new object.

This request came when I made a really huge scene with many mesh with the name of circle.001 to circle.436. Frankly I often confuse if circle.002 is the same mesh as circle.001. Looking at the outliner mostly isn’t helping if I’m renaming circle.002 to fountain_of_youth because in large scene that might be few pixels of orange highlights on 3D View or I’ll be looking at the wrong view. So looking for the mesh is making me feel pretty stupid and a total waste of time.

####

Ton’s reaction on “Commenting everywhere”
You know you can make notes with Blender’s grease pencil everywhere?

My reaction to Ton’s reaction:
Yes grease pencil can make commenting possible almost anywhere, but it’s the unprofessional way for displaying it. Because not everyone can write decently in Arial, size 12, and BOLD. Therefore a proper text field is a better solution.

####

Todo: Update of graphics for commenting example.
Note: Please leave comment here, I’m only online 1 or 2 days in a week.

UPDATE: https://studiollb.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/blendering-easier-part-one-commenting-everywhere/

UPDATE 2: https://studiollb.wordpress.com/2011/10/07/blendering-easier-part-2-new-outliner-system/

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