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Blunder v0.5 - Unreal UX in Blender 2.8

Hey all, I posted this in the wrong thread last time, but some people managed to find me anyway!

Blunder is an attempt to bring the ease of navigation/workflow I feel in Unreal into Blender 2.8

I’ve done this with a custom keymap, theme, add-on set, unit scale, UE4 Mannequin etc all in the hopes of making Blender feel like a natural modelling extension of Unreal Engine.
https://youtube.com/watch?v=YHsMVguiIjo
Download here:
https://spectral-vectors.itch.io/blunder

New in v0.5:

Node Editor changes:

-Right Click pans the Editor AND opens the “Add Node” menu, just like in Blueprints!
-Double Left Click adds a Reroute Node
-Middle Mouse cuts links
-S+Click - Value Node, M+Click - Math Node, U+Click - TexCoord, T+Click - Image Texture, C - Frame Node (same as Comment Box)

-Hellgate94 and bandages made Math Nodes, giving you familiar functions for dealing with vector and scalar values like: Lerp, Remap Value etc
-Bone Studio’s Modify Pivot lets you manually adjust object origin
-Jayanam’s Batex give you batch FBX export
knekke & cgvirus built a bridge to Instant Meshes (https://github.com/wjakob/instant-meshes) for retopology

Edit Mode changes:
-Ctrl+E - Extrude, Ctrl+R - Loop Cut, Ctrl+F - Inset Faces, Ctrl+B - Bevel

Plus all the returning features:
-theme and window layout
-Right Click WASD Navigation
-Transform widgets
-Blue sky HDRI, Mannequin and 3rd Person Scene
-0.01m in Blender means 1 Blender unit = 1 Unreal unit
-Alt Left Click rotates the view, Alt Right Click pans
-Shift+Right Click accesses all traditional Right Click context menus
-Ctrl+Click duplicates objects and nodes
-File Manager tab gives you all .blend file info in one spot
-Scripting tab layout altered for better visibility
-Keyframed Texture Lerp node lets you choose from between 4 HDRIs just by pressing Space
-Wayward Painter Nodes show how to achieve realtime PBR texture painting in Blender

Someone needs to do something about blender. The app is totally backwards when up against every other piece of software. The only question I have is can this be easily updated to future versions of blender? I could see updating this becoming a problem with a lot of changes made unless you planned ahead for that already.

A while back I actually thought it would be great to see someone go over blender to make it work more like something else or just feel more familiar when jumping from blender to something else and back again all day. Still torn on the idea being good or not. If you were already familiar with blender this causes you to need to relearn it and if you weren’t familiar then you learn blender without understanding any of it’s default layout which can also be really bad. But for some of us just being able to move between blender and other stuff without having to readjust to the difference every 5 minutes is great. I used to do this with adobe products back in the day because for whatever reason they weren’t very consistent with how things worked across all the applications it was frustrating. I made all of them work like the ones I used the most so that I could have a consistent flow between them.

I think the recent 2.8 update is trying to address a lot of the “backwardness” of Blender, bringing it more in line with all the other 3D software. This, of course, while great for beginners is annoying to a lot of people with a ton of Blender experience.

It won’t be a super easy update process, and, honestly, it’s not an easy process the first time, either. Blender’s keymap is super powerful, but it doesn’t solve the fact that there are structural issues withing Blender: some settings that should be global, should be local, or the lack of a warning dialog when you’re using a key shortcut that conflicts with an existing key.

So, the update process could break things, right now the Node Editor is shared between the Cycles Renderer and EEVEE renderer, and about 90% of the nodes are cross-compatible, but not 100%, you also can’t bake textures in EEVEE, meaning you need to switch between EEVEE and Cycles in order to bake textures, and since they aren’t quite 100% compatible, you may have crashes switching render engines.

I will continue to update the template along with Blender’s updates, some of their planned updates include features that I was originally planning to implement myself, and try to fix any conflicts, and hope that Blender becomes, structurally, a friendlier program to customize. Basically, at this point, I’m trying to stay as informed as I can about Blender’s development, community add-ons that do things I was planning to code myself (often better than I could!), and keep up to date with what users expect from the template, and what I feel it needs to have to succeed.

Thanks very much for checking it out, it sounds like you can feel a bit of my pain with your Adobe project!

It’s great to see someone throwing some love at Blender + UE, and to such great effect. Keep it up!

Concerning the backwardness of Blender… This is honestly part of it’s charm for me, and many others. Many who are inexperienced with it are hit with that initial friction because they are so ingrained in the workflows and layouts of “other” DCC tools. However, once you put in your time and get to know the ins and outs, you learn just how powerful and efficient it truly is. It’s insanely open concerning modifying the UI, keybindings, functionality, etc. to fit YOUR preferential workflows, versus “other” DCC tools that force you to conform. This is where Blender surpasses the rest of the pack. That, and well… The price tag.

After watching hundreds of hours of speed sessions and all-out deep-dives from amazing modelers, I’m personally leaning towards a fullscreen, 3D view with no UI for my modeling sessions. Learning shortcuts is key here, and actually having a workflow. Supplementary add-ons such as HardOPs, BoxCutter, MeshMachine, etc. take this even further, and even if one were to purchase several popular and powerful Blender add-ons, they will have still spend a tiny fraction of what it would cost to purchase an alternative and popular modeling package.

Not knocking the “big boys”, but after spending several years with Wings3D, MilkeShape, GMax, 3DS Max, Maya, Modo, so on and so forth… Blender simply comes out on top, across the board. It looks like AAA studios are starting to publicly announce that they choose Blender, as well.

The takeaway is… Blender is only “backwards” by default. You can set it up to be more noob-friendly. You can set it up to mirror other DCC tools. Hell, you can connect it to your Google Home via IFTTT or similar, and have it greeble out a scene and change your smart light color to green when a render completes, all activated by a voice command: “Hey Google: Greeble it up, yo!”