Proposal : implement Blender UI icons

(Caetano Veyssières) #1

The idea is to have UI icons (e.g. , ) in the emoji panel for use in technical support on Blender.
I proposed this idea a while ago in the Vbulletin forum and was told it wasn’t a bad idea. Now, with Discourse I think it would be both easier to implement and better fitting. In Vbulletin, the emoji panel has no tabs and isn’t scrollable, whereas Discourse has all of these.

A dedicated emoji tab for blender icons could allow for quickly pointing somewhere in the interface without taking a screenshot and uploading it, which in the long run could also save storage in the server (to a probably small extent but hopefully not neglectible).

That being said, there are currently about 480 icons in the UI and that’s too much for a small emoji panel if you want to quickly find the one you’re looking for. Plus, that number will certainly increase in 2.8. So if we are to do this, we should select the more useful ones and eliminate those that are not specific enough to help point somewhere or explain something (e.g. , , , , , , , and so on…)

What do you think ?

(Bart Veldhuizen) #2

I’m open to the idea if someone can create them (are you volunteering? ;-). I did a quick test with your nodes and camera file - turns out you can drag-and drop them into discourse all at once to define them, and the new emojis will take the name of the files. So:

Turned into:

I’m not sure how to add another ‘tab’ to the emoji browser though.

(Caetano Veyssières) #3

I expect there’s a way to have a “custom emoji” tab like in most chat applications. Isn’t there such a thing in Discourse ?

(Bart Veldhuizen) #4

As I said, I don’t know how to do that :slight_smile: There’s no ‘out of the box’ option for it, no, might require some modification.

(Bart Veldhuizen) #5

Update: ah, look at that! All I had to do was rebuild the app :slight_smile: It uses the first defined custom emoji as the tab icon - so we’d have to take care to make that one a Blender icon. Problem solved!


(Caetano Veyssières) #6

That’s awesome ! You can find all the icons in individual images in 16x16 or 32x32 pixels in this repository I made a while ago :
(the page takes time to load)

(Bart Veldhuizen) #7

Very nice. I do agree that 470+ icons is way too much to be useable though, so we’d need to trim that down. Could you come up with a list of 100 essential icons we could share?

(Caetano Veyssières) #8

I don’t know how to get down to 100 without removing many useful ones.
I’m currently at 385 and it’s already getting hard

I narrowed down :

  • all the duplicates (some icons have different names but are the same)
  • all those that are in multiple colors (e.g orange for objects, grey for data, blue for modifiers and green for force field) and kept the grey ones whenever possible
  • the on/off versions (where one is greyed out)

I also removed all the most generic symbols which we can find in the regular emojis anyway (e.g. = :radioactive:)
I guess I could remove all those that are easy to describe with one or 2 words (e.g. : bouncing ball), but another problem may arise from this :
the purpose of narrowing down the number of icons is to have users take less time searching for one but if the icon they’re looking for isn’t in the list, they may search for a while before realizing it.
So maybe we should find a balance between 100 and 380 so we keep enough of them. What do you think ?

(Bart Veldhuizen) #9

I think you should think from a use case perspective - how would people use these icons? It may not make sense to duplicate all UI icons. And I still think 100 is the limit :slight_smile:

(Caetano Veyssières) #10

It may not make sense to duplicate all UI icons

Not sure I got this part. By duplicate, did you mean implement ?

About the use case perspective, my personal vision is all about practicality.
Of course if we implement the “emoji-like” icons (e.g. ) then people will use them for fun but that’s not what I had in mind. I was really thinking about using them to explain things more easily (e.g. “if you want to add overlap to your action use the curve”)

(Caetano Veyssières) #11

The bigger issue is, I shouldn’t chose which icons do eliminate all by myself. This is such a subjective choice. I should somehow make several people decide. It would be cool if I could put a survey where people would click on the icons they want (however many they want between 1 and 100) and keep the most chosen.
Surveymonkey has a feature to select images but the thumbnails are big and it would take hours to upload them one by one. Unless I’m overthinking this and we could have suggestions in the future to change them ?

(Bart Veldhuizen) #12

Sorry, this is low priority for me now. I suggest you restart the project once the site is up and running.

(Caetano Veyssières) #13

anyway 2.8 is definitely bringing many new icons and who knows what will happen to the current ones. Let’s at least wait for the release.