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Scene View Navigation & UX Improvements




This is a repost of a forum post ( I made a little while back, and got a fairly positive response on, so I'm now posting it to Feedback.

I've been using Unity since version 3.2, professionally since about 3.5, and I've had many complaints with the engine that have been fixed or at least mitigated in that time. However, one feature that has been persistently and entirely ignored by the Unity Technologies dev team is the Scene View's camera. So here's a list of complaints, and suggestions to fix them. I know that comparisons to Unreal are often apples to oranges with Unity, but there will be several references used as examples.

Camera Move Speed
This one's one of my biggest issues with unity in general, and definitely the biggest issue with the scene view. Currently, the camera goes at two speeds, fast and super fast. The lowest speed I can go is about 5m/s, and it slowly speeds up on top of that. This is not practical in the least for dealing with smaller scale things like individual rooms. On top of that, the claim that this helps with larger scenes seems very inaccurate as well, as my scenes of 1km or more are always a pain to navigate due to the camera being much too slow. A little bit of Goldilocks syndrome, lol.
A solid way to fix this is the give the user the ability to slow the camera down via scrolling while holding right mouse or moving around, in addition to a slider somewhere on the UI for fine tuned control. An example is Unreal's camera control in the upper right of it's viewport UI.
This solution allows the user to have absolute control over the speed of the camera, rather than either waiting on it to speed up or doing the fiddly task of moving around a smaller room.

Camera Clipping plane.
The near clipping plane is a little difficult to control in it's current state. It seems to depend on the "zoom level" of the camera, but the zoom level is often somewhat arbitrarily controlled.
Again, a slider on the scene view UI would help a lot with this.
Pretty sure this is a bug. When I hit F in Unity 5.6, I zoom away instead of closer to the object. If it focused to the bounding box of the object I'm looking at that would be wonderful, but it usually does about 100x that. Not even hyperbole, I have a object that is 0.1m wide, if I hit F, I zoom out to ~50m away from it. It's about 10px wide at that distance..

Currently, the camera orbits around a point that looks to be about 10m away.
I would suggest tying the orbit distance to the current camera speed mentioned above, or perhaps always orbit around the surface at the center of the screen like Substance Painter. Another suggestion posted by @syscrusher on the forum thread mentioned above is to orbit based on the origin of the selected object, or the average postion of all of the selected objects. I think this is a much better idea, but I'm leaving the original in as a potential option.

Object Placement.
When I place an object in the scene via the GameObject menu, it tends to be a long ways off in the direction the camera was facing. It doesn't even try to place it on the surface I'm looking at.
To go slightly off topic from camera controls, the GameObject context menu seems very archaic in the first place. A tray of all of those objects that I can drag and drop from would likely be much more intuitive and powerful. We have the Project view, but that's not so good for just placing a sphere or cube in the scene. Once again, an example is Unreal's object pallet. While I don't think that it is anywhere near a perfect implementation, it does have the general idea right.

Thanks for reading my super long post, and I hope I helped some change for the better come around soon!

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