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Developer Meeting Notes, July 21, 2013

26

Developer Meeting Notes, July 21, 2013 blender development Yes, a Blender 2.68a bugfix release is coming up :)

Thomas Dinges writes:

Hi all,

Here's a summary of today's meeting in irc.freenode.net #blendercoders.

1) Blender 2.68

  • There are some bugs (like crash on deleting a movie strip in video sequencer), so we will do an "a" update release. Meetings agreed to wait a few more days, to see if more regressions get reported.

2) Current projects

  • Martijn Berger and Doug Gale are working on Cycles network rendering (distribute render tiles of one image to several machines).
  • A reminder to developers, to compile Blender with all features enabled after big code cleanups and changes.

3) GSoC

  • Students, a reminder to send in your weekly reports on Friday to the mailing list! Not Saturday or Sunday!
  • Midterm evaluation is soon (starting July 29th, needs to be send to Google on August 2nd latest), so please make sure to communicate your schedule with your mentor.
  • Also (if you haven't done so already), make sure to provide proof of your work (reports, code commits to your SVN branch, planing documents...).

Best regards,
Thomas

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  • http://www.rirath.com Rirath

    Wow, the distributed tile rendering is quite exciting to me! If I could farm tile work out to every computer I have access to, even for a single render, that would be wonderful.

    • basroil2

      Hopefully they use the same code for intra-computer tiling. If they get everything working on multiple computers, can't see any reason why they can't get CPU and GPU to work at the same time (on different tiles). Just imagine having the GPU calculate large chunks in the center while the CPU does the smaller edge tiles that would mean wasted time on the CPU. Aren't looking at massive speed increases the same way multiple computers would have, but could make a decent difference on single GPU with quad/octo-core CPU rigs.

      • http://www.rirath.com Rirath

        Unfortunately, my GPUs are all ATI/AMD, but that would certainly be interesting.

        • mdriftmeyer

          Unfortunately?

          Sorry, but Blender is getting hand-held by AMD, LLVM/Clang, Mesa and whatever else to aid in their OpenCL with AMD cards. If they can't manage to code support its on them.

          • cdbfoster

            I dunno, no true function calls? Sounds pretty silly to me, especially when NVidia seems to have had no problem with it...

      • http://www.laszer.com mzungu

        This can be done for animations. Run two sessions of blender, open the same file, set one to CPU & other to GPU, make sure the "touch-no-overwrite" options are set right (can't recall what they're called these days...) and away you go... :-)

    • Lugus
      • http://www.rirath.com Rirath

        Thanks, I will certainly look into these. I hadn't heard of anything short of Blender's ability to network render animation frames myself. Appreciate the links.

      • http://www.laszer.com mzungu

        Just never been comfy with uploading my blends into the "wild". (Yes, I know that they assure you that things are secure and kept private, but you never know who's basement that "render-farm service" is set up in... not a big deal for personal projects, but when working on a client's proprietary information its a no-go. And yes, I am paranoid... Why do you ask?)

  • http://www.bonixmusi.com 8-bit

    Yes! I think this would make a lot of people very happy! In the past I've tried to network multiple boxes with some success, but eventually end up going back to my main workstation to render off images. I know the 'easy' work around for movie files is to sparse it out manually w/ an instance of Blender on each machine, but for it to be streamlined as suggested in the dev notes AND the capability of distributed tile rendering would mean a big boost in productivity for a lot of people I'd think. With the (easy- on/off)implementation of online network rendering with friends / family members, this could be one of the biggest upgrades for me. I have friend who would love to help on my projects and this could be a great way for them to contribute if implemented with an 'ease of use'. Yes, I could see this being a huge benefit and reason for more people to switch/use Blender. Fingers crossed!....

  • polygonesrus

    'A' release , should have waited , ah what the hell , whats one more build , cant complain its free . happy blending .

    • Sanne

      No, you shouldn't have waited, on the contrary. You should have downloaded and tested the release candidate, and optimally find and report the bug so that it could have been fixed BEFORE release. :)

      If everybody waits for the "a" release, there most likely will be a "b" release. The community really should do their part in help testing the RCs as much as possible.

      • winnertakesteve

        amen! :D

      • polygonesrus

        i've been using blender for quite a while . so the next time i need a lesson on how and when i should get the next release i'll give you a hollar . make sure i'm doin it correctly.

    • http://blendshow.com Garrett Williams

      Thankfully the initial release of a version number should be safe anyway and bugs won't be very obvious to most users. I consider the improvements to generally be worth getting sooner, at that point. Seriously, really nice improvements with each upgrade.
      Besides, upgrading is painless, especially to the same version number. I don't expect that you'll have any issues by getting the current release.

  • RNS

    Why this issues was not catch before release? Bugs give blender a bad rap and no studio small or major will take this software serious to produce short or film. The alphabet series of blender need to stop. Waite for every three month then do release. We the artist suffer for coming short on projects due to bugs issues. Please take the time to recap fixed bugs. I want to see blender to professional
    level creativity! So stop the sugar coating comments and bitch to developers of the issues of making blender a pro software.

    • winnertakesteve

      A couple of things wrong with this sentiment.
      1) bugs get revealed through testing. The pool of people who test development builds is much smaller than the people who download the release, and consequently more bugs get uncovered. Did you download the release candidate, find a bug, submit a report, and not have it addressed? Unless ALL of those things occurred, you really have no one to blame but yourself.

      2) the rapid deployment of alphabetical releases is a good thing, not a bad thing. It means coders are listening and responsive to bug reports, not letting them languish between releases.

      3) the idea that commercial software assures you a bug free experience is hilarious. Obviously you've never used adobe products. I use blender and after effects almost daily, and I'm quite certain blender encounters glitches and crashes MUCH less frequently (unless I'm on some highly experimental build, which isn't the discussion here).

      Your comment just really rubs me the wrong way, because it positively drips of selfishness. "I want awesome software, I want no bugs, and I don't want to help."

      I will not "bitch" to developers about the extent to which we are entitled to their generosity.

      • Januz

        "Obviously you’ve never used adobe products. I use blender and after effects almost daily and I’m quite certain blender encounters glitches and crashes MUCH less frequently"

        LOL, so much THIS. I've been considering moving more and more of my motion graphics work to Blender just because of the all the bugs and limitations in AE. Things like the buggy OpenGL renderer, still broken since (at least) CS3.

      • http://blendshow.com Garrett Williams

        "The pool of people who test development builds is much smaller than the people who download the release..."

        I should add that the pool of people who test development also test different things and on different machines than what a regular user might have found a bug with. No matter the software, paid or open source, the users will try different things than the testers tried. Some steps to reproduce an error might involve "delete this while this specific thing is also running and the machine has just done this, and you're using an AMD graphics card", bugs that really only come to light when it's released into the wild.

        "3) the idea that commercial software assures you a bug free experience is hilarious"

        I've been using Photoshop Elements 5 for years and have to live with various bugs because there's no hope for a bugfix unless I pay $100 for a newer version. Same with Anime Studio(crashes with long series of images). Thankfully Blender can do everything I did with Anime Studio, plus with all cores(or with GPU), and so much more. SO much more.

    • fluxcapacitance

      I'm a Solidworks user. I have very good customer service and we pay for it (in thousands of USD). The software is still very glitchy (sometimes nicknamed Solid-Glitch) and you have to understand the tools and workarounds in order to keep a project stable. I typically wait for the third service pack of a particular year before updating. We were at an event and the simulation software failed to solve. Everyone chuckled, because it's just the way it is. I still love the software. I love Blender more. :) Sign me up for testing the first release.

      • http://www.laszer.com mzungu

        Yep, "SolidQuirks" here... :-)

  • http://www.youtube.com/onjofilms FloridaJo

    This is great! But I can't wait until Blender does my dishes and takes my dog for walks.

    • http://www.laszer.com mzungu

      ...and that fabled "Render Perfect First Time" button! :-)

      (And yes, I've tried the "ctrl-alt-shift-winkey-prntscrn-F12" keycombo... ain't workin' yet, dadburnit!)

      • Chrome Monkey

        "Render Perfect First Time" isn't entirely the software's fault. It's just that the hardware required to scan the vision in the author's imagination has been mired in beta for way too many development cycles. Also, your ability to "see" images in your mind needs to be very, very strong, and most people have as many flaws there as in remembering exactly how a musical chord would sound if played by a specific group of musicians, there's usually some error introduced there, such as overtones that your imagination's ear didn't account for. But it's mostly the hardware thing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/artigliphics artigliphics

    It's true that we should be testing. I am forever grateful for the awesome work that the developers do. I've submitted bugs, sometimes on beta releases, sometimes on official releases. It will take the entire community to work together to be able to solve most bugs within the two weeks before the test releases are official. I don't test the movie editor because I never use it, but if joe smoe does, then that's what he should be testing. I'm guilty to say, I don't test for bugs, I work on my projects as I normally do, and if I encounter a bug, I report it. Sometimes it's just my fault, other times, it's really a bug.

  • http://www.bonixmusi.com 8-bit

    Was demoing 3dsmax a couple of years ago to possibly migrate over from Blender. I'm happy to report I chose to stick w/ blender due to the amount of crashes I had w/ Max. I was actually surprised how frequently it crashed on me, specifically when texturing and rending out objects.

    I'll add it's unfortunate because Blender is 'free', that draws people of different maturity levels to put in their 2 cents regardless how rational it is.

    Kudos to the dev team and those who report bugs to keep Blender moving forward and making it a viable option for professional work!

    Best Regards..

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