In this video I talk about the concept of context-sensitive behaviour and how I personally find it highly beneficial as a UX design concept for facilitating a fluent and intuitive artist workflow. MODO, Maya and Blender have their different approaches and degrees of implementation of this principle but Blender’s modelling tools are where I found myself missing this paradigm the most – maybe others feel similarly and this video can serve as inspiration to further a discussion on this topic. 🙂
Since I only touched on the most basic functionality of Blender’s Knife tool in my last video I want to append an addendum showing its other features and how they compare in particular to MODO’s Slice tool – which is separate from the Edge Slice tool with the buggy “Multi-Slice” option I demonstrated in video #4.
Okay, enough about knives and slicing for now. 😉
EDIT: I was wrong! I have just been informed that MODO also supports CTRL+LMB clicking on an edge for a mid-edge cut. You don’t have to activate the global snapping menu as I described. I never knew.
Now so far for the most part MODO and Blender have come out roughly even for me. On some things, MODO had the slight edge, on others Blender had the slight edge. But I just encountered a tool where Blender’s implementation absolutely blows MODO’s out of the water – and that is Blender’s excellent Knife tool.
Before I address any feedback I received on the first video, here’s a quick follow-up where I talk about some component selection-related confusion I came across right after recording the first video. 🙂
I’m trying hard to keep each of these videos to a digestible length.
Now in response to this video someone commented:
about the highlighting of selections. I think it’s actually better, because it better shows what will actually be modified. Just imagine a case where you accidentally extruded the edges. When only edges are highlighted you’ll easily miss the “lose” edges. With Blender you’ll immediately see if the edges actually belong to the polygon.
The thing is, in MODO tools are context-sensitive depending on what selection mode you’re in. So if you are in Edge Selection mode and hit Extrude (or Shift+X), MODO will fire up the Edge Extrude tool.
If you’re in Polygon Selection mode and hit the same button (“Extrude“) or shortcut (Shift+X again), MODO will fire the Polygon Extrude tool instead.
I find this behaviour highly intuitive and clever.
It allows you to achieve exactly the behaviour you want and expect, by using a single button and/or shortcut.
The same goes for other tools like Bevel.
Depending on whether or you are in Vertex, Edge or Polygon (=Face) selection mode, MODO will activate the Vertex Bevel, Edge Bevel or Polygon Bevel tool when you click “Bevel” or hit the B hotkey: