(2012-12-11 7:14 AM)
Blender is the open source,cross platform suite of tools for 3D creation.
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The Blender User Interface is enhanced by showing small icons in the popup menu for materials, textures, lamps and world as well as in the popup menus for images. This adds a visual clue for the user in addition to the name of the material or texture that is shown in the menu. The icons also update themselves whenever a change is made to a material or a texture for example.
For images, the preview icon is stored in the .blend file to prevent having to load all images into memory just to show the previews for the images. This means that the previews only have to be created once, when the popup for images is opened for the first time for any .blend file. When reopening the .blend file, the icons are created from the stored preview image without loading the actual image file into blender, which results in a significant speedup.
The images are not shown in the icon preview for textures until the image has actually been loaded into Blender, for example when the larger preview for that texture is shown. The reason for this is, that it can takes a some time (and uses memory) to load the images, which would make the popup menu lag. It is planned to store all icon previews in the .blend file in the future, which will make it possible to show the texture image preview icons without having to load the possibly large image file.
For a next release, we will also allow image-based browsing when using the 'Data browser' (SHIFT+F4), appending from other files, and for image previews for browsing regular files.
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