Continued Outliner Improvements: Final Report



Most of the original project goals are completed and are in review. The status of the project can be seen on the design task linked above. As the project progressed there were a few features that I had to drop because of time or the original design wasn't completely perfect. For example, the original proposal for the Mode Column also included data activation. The implementation worked great, but it wasn't exactly what was needed in the outliner. Additionally, my implementation showed me that the "problem" I was attempting to solve with a data activation column was not as severe as I originally thought.


D5817: Selection cleanup

This was committed at the beginning of the summer. This refactor simplified the selection operators in the outliner to make it easier to add new features.

D8317: Row Icons in menus

Still under review - this adds support to draw in-line icon buttons in menus. Required for collections color tagging. If needed, it could be postponed, and the color tagging could be done as a submenu.

D8622: Collections color tagging

Adds support for adding color tagging to collections. This is the first step, later improvements could be a viewport overlay (which I have started on). This wasn't a part of the original proposal.

D8638: Outliner -> properties editor sync

Clicking on outliner elements will open the related tab in the properties editor. The code is fine, but the design is going through a few small modifications. One idea in development is to only sync with properties editors that share an edge.

D8641: Outliner mode toggling column

With properties sync now using the select action for mesh and armature datablocks, we need a new method of mode toggling within the outliner. This moves all mode toggling to a single column in the left of the outliner. The View Layer display mode already has a column, and the scenes view mode has a column added in.

One additional benefit of this is that we can toggle interaction modes for modes other than edit and pose.

This has passed initial review and should be committed soon.

D8642: Data stack drag and drop operator

Partly committed. Adds grease pencil modifiers and shader effects to the tree.

The second part allows drag and drop on these datablocks to reorder, copy, and link.

D8646: Outliner manual object sorting

This feature works well, but isn't as mature as I would have liked. I'm on the fence about if it should be committed, or redone in a more reliable way. The downsides is that it doesn't support reordering for bones, or child objects.

D8647: Use right click target for context menu

This hasn't been reviewed yet. The context menu tries to intelligently show options based on the selection, but it's more intuitive to show based on the target data of the right click.

D8648: Create new collection with selected objects

This has been mostly reviewed and we may make a few slight changes. The idea is to default to moving the selected objects into a new collection from the outliner.

D8650: Various small fixes

These has been committed.

  • Using left and right arrows for walk navigation
  • Use Shift for bone recursive icon button toggling rather than Ctrl for consistency.

Overall, nearly everything on my original proposal is awaiting review, and there are patches that were not on my proposal. Only manual object sorting may not be included.