After using a variety of software and looking at the 3D Coat interface a bit... I wanted to go ahead and start a new or current UI update thread. More specifically these are my personal recommendations and or solutions to polishing up the Interface.

One of the first things I noticed with 3D Coat is that it suffers the same problem Mari does, in other words... its filled with micromanaging panels and wasted screen real-estate. If Andrew is going to keep adding functionality and features to 3D Coat, refining the Interface and freeing up some space will be a huge benefit. For example, layer masks in the layer stack will probably require a beefier layer stack panel.

Starting off this thread, I want to bring some attention to the Brush Panel and through it the Alpha, Strips, Stencil and Material Panels. Together, they simply take up too much space and much of their interactions require what is happening with the Brush itself.
From this perspective, we can see a lot of space can be saved if these panels were simply not there.... yet we need to interact with them. They currently take up way too much space, and also offer very little organized interaction. Some users start to become overloaded with custom materials, alphas, strips and stencils...

What if all of this can be consolidated within the Brush Panel itself?
This solution can streamline the interface and remove the panel micromanagement. Like many other 3D packages, it creates input fields in one location, rather than toggling on and off various alphas and materials spread out across many open panels.
Above:
Clicking on input boxes within the Brush Options panel will cause a pop up panel to appear. Within are the actual alphas and materials that can be used for that input. Instead of layers upon layers of tabs for categories, they can be placed alphabetically in a pulldown menu. Alternatively, some other method can be used, but the stacks of tabs we have now is not ideal in the long term. What you also see is the ability to save presets (ala Photoshop and Substance Painter). Whatever material, alpha, strip, brush setting can be saved as a brush preset, much like with sculpting it can now apply to painting as well. This will open up the door later down the line for photoshop like brush selection and user created brushes (painting)... especially if the brush system continues to add more types of behavior.  Since the Brush settings are not always going to be accessed, especially with presets, it should be able to be collapsed under a "settings" header. In addition to migrating the panels over as input areas within the Brush panel, the actual Brush Operations panel can also exist within the Brush Options panel. This organizes and keeps brush related functions within the same UI space, which will not only make it easier to interact with but also adds a bit of convention to the UI.

The Brush Panel should, in my opinion, try to be the central attribute editor for almost everything that interacts with it and can require some form of input. While these graphics are mainly focused around the painting room, I believe the same can work with the sculpting room as well, maybe minus the Smart Material input field (or included if the option for painting and sculpting are combined in some fashion similar to zbrush). I also wonder if the Brush Panel can have an option to be context sensitive so that it transitions to tool options based on the tool selected. For example, the fill tool (brush) which gives the options to fill a surface or mask it out. A lot of the inputs found above the viewport can actually be consolidated into these context sensitive panels... such as the "more on convex, less on convext" list.

Feel free to contribute with your own solutions or changes, since its better to keep this kind of subject all in one place.  
    • Like
    2