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CVS: what's going on - Chapter III


CVS IconWelcome to the third appointment with Blender CVS development overview; since you are all probably used to this kind of article, I'll leave out all the cerimonials and go directly to the list of new features/improvements that the CVS official repository is actually storing.

As always, sit back and relax, the list is long to read ;-) Ready? Let's go then.

  • Fixes to the Python API:
    • access to Dupli functionalities
    • added Blender.Group module
  • Elbeem (fluid simulation) improvements
    • Solver updates: moving obstacles, additional domain options
    • IPOs: Animated params(viscosity, time and gravity for domains; for objects that are enabled for fluidsim a new IPO type shows up; inflow objects can use the velocity channels to animate the inflow; obstacles, in/outflow objects can be switched on and off during the simulation; movement, rotation and scaling are exported from the standard Blender channels
    • Particles: should at some point be used to model smaller splashes, depending on the the realworld size and the particle generation settings particles are generated during simulation, actually code is deactivated, too experimental of a feature
    • Rendering: smoothed normals, image based motion blur support
  • Rendering system improvements:
    • Recoded Panorama rendering vector-blur compatible
    • Render option "Single Layer" now keeps the already rendered other layers, and after rendering restores them. Also means this option works for compositing now each "Render result" node now has a button option to re-render that specific node
    • ESC now works to stop Compositing nodes rendering process
    • "Save Buffers": in first Output panel of renderbuttons, will not allocate all render buffers, but instead save the rendered tiles to exr; for each scene rendered, a single exr file then is created, after rendering, the files get read, and only then the memory allocation is done; the exr files are saved in the temp dir (from user settings), and have names derived from the filename+scene name. That way these buffers remain relatively unique, and can be re-used later too
    • Added option to only render a single side of an Environment map cube, allowing to use it for planar mirrors. Enable it with the new "Plane" option in the Environment Map panel
  • Edit mode additions:
    • Loop multiselect: can be accessed via the CTRL-E popup menu in editmode, it is used to select multiple edge loops/rings based upon the current selection set
    • Path Select: new tool in the "W-Key" popup menu,when exactly two vertices are selected it will find the shortest path of vertices between them; there are two methods for determining the shortest path, one that finds the path with shortest physical distance, and one that finds the path with shortest topological distance
    • Around Individual Centers: now works for each face when scaling/rotating mutliple faces at once
    • "Loop to region" and "Region to loop": Selects the smallest region enclosed in a selection loop and vice versa
  • Improvements to the memory freeing code for sequencer and post-rendering, memory management/allocation system has been improved too
  • Fixes and improvements to the new object grouping system:
    • Dupli-groups, now is possible to use grops with Dupli-Verts and Dupli-Frames
    • Added CTRL+L link copy and SHIFT+L link select
    • CTRL+G grouping menu: it now offers a choice to add to any existing group, using a secondary menu
  • Fixes for "append from file" functionality
  • Fixes for the Sequencer
  • Array modifier has been officially committed, this modifier allows to make arrays of meshes, with multiple offset types:
    • constant offset
    • offset relative to object width
    • offset with scale and rotation based on another object
  • Softbody simulation improvements:
    • Sofbody local bake: using the new "Local" button in the Bake menu, it will allow to animate or move the baked object, it was not possible before as long as the simulation was baked in the Global space
    • Baking all selected softbodoes: press ctrl+b in 3d window
  • CTRL+C Copy Menu additions:
    • copy autosmooth settings
    • modifiers for Curve objects
    • "Copy UV orco" for curves/surfaces
  • New commands in text editor under format menu to convert whitespace to spaces or tabs
  • DirectX8 exporter has been updated
  • Import/Export of Cineon and DPX image files: the first is Kodak's standard for film scanning, 10 bits/channel and logarithmic, DPX is derived from Cineon as the ANSI/SMPTE industry standard and supports 16 bits color/channel, linear as well as logarithmic
  • New commandline options, blender --help for details
  • My Documents and Desktop folder automaticly added to the Folders pulldown of the filesector, only affects Windows builds
  • .blend files produced with 64bit builds are now readable with 32bit builds (this has to be verified as long as I received a notification through the mailing list but cannot find it in the official archive)

In the last days development has almost been stopped but this can be explained by the Premiere event of the Orange Project (which takes place today if I'm right ^_^). I'm sure that after this little period of intense Public Relations work, development will start again and it will probably focus on the render passes functionality (and on the awful AO bug too I hope).

Since there is still quite some time to wait for the official release, I'm once again supplying a customized build. This time, along with a release optimized for standard 386+ processors, you'll find AthlonXP/MP/Sempron and Athlon64/X2/FX (still 32bit as long as I don't own a copy of WinXP x64 to test with) highly optimized releases and the source tarball I've tweaked (this is for all the linuxers & MacAddicted around here, you can simply compile it using the new Scons build system).

Here's a list of what I've packed in this time for your blending pleasure:

  • MMap for Win32 patch has been applied enabling for up 2+ Gigabytes memory allocation also on Redmond's OS - supplied by Lox (oops, this is me)
  • IOR presets patch, now you can select an IOR value for refraction in a menu with some standard named values (glass, plastic, water, etc.) - supplied by Ed Halley
  • Transmissivity and total internal reflection patch, finally photorealistic glass is possible in the internal renderer - supplied by Ed Halley
  • New workspace layout and revised screens
  • My green GUI theme
  • Customized Splash screen for Blendernation
  • Helpful Blendernation RSS feed reader in the Help > Websites menu (this is cool, and I'm not just saying this 'cuz I'm the developer of this script :-P)
  • Compiled with Bullet and FFMpeg support
  • Some good python scripts are bundled:
    • Improved Layer Manager 1.2
    • ProCAD 1.7
    • Kerkythea improved exporter 1.02.2b (hey, I supplied this too :-P)
    • DPI Calculator (I managed to improve it a little bit)
    • Mesh Flatten Faces
    • Solidify Mesh v2
    • BRayBacker 3.3
    • Mesh Terrain triangulate
    • Mesh displace UV
    • Wire Mesh

To download this new "Lox build" go here and remember to report bugs on the official bug tracker:

Waiting for your comments/impressions/tests ;-)


  1. I am extrememly excited about the fluid updates. I've said it before, but think a great fluid solver is the center jewel in the crown of a professional 3D program.

  2. Forgot to mention, I think the scripts you bundled should be standard in Blender. It's great to see that you've added them!

  3. so, where is the linux build you promissed last time???

    I know you give the source, but I'm having troubles to build it under Mandriva 2005;

    please try to get someone to make this builds for you!!!

    I checked in the 'testing builds' development forum; but again, we just see builds for windows and Mac OsX

    I know that linux users generally have all the tools nedded to compile by themself; but it is not always the case

  4. Yo Lox,

    Great article! I can't wait to try out the BlenderNation Build :) Awesome.

    I'm having a hard time downloading.... would you like me to mirror these on my server?

    Also, should we mention that these are .7z files and require 7-zip from to be able to use?

    Shoot me a reply in an email when you get a chance. You have my addy.


  5. Hmm, the linux tarball is in "rar" format. That's not a common compression utility on Linux. Any chance we could get a tar.gz, tgz, or tar.bz2 file, instead?

  6. Errm,
    The builds looks solid, the theme is awesome,
    but some scripts are busted I think like 3dsimport,

    Or am I in the wrong here ?


  7. Well guys, here I am, so...

    @Kainho: I'm sorry I couldn't keep my promise, I didn't had time to set up Kubuntu on my box and I know no Linux-addicted guy that can compile it, so I'm asking anyone of you who runs on Linux to build the source tarball I've supplied and post a link here. However I'm going to install Kubuntu for sure before Chapter IV being published here on BNation simply 'cuz I need a working Linux environment for my job.

    @Spiderworm: mmhhh this is the second time my hosting service is failing, I'll move averything to a new and dedicated server with a better bandwidth after March 31 ;-) Ah, it is not compulsory to use 7zip, there are other great archiving tools on Win32 that support .7z format such as TugZip and ZipGenius.

    @Mike: Ok, I'll change it asap

    @sander: 3dsimport is part of the official CVS repository, if it gave any problem just report it to the Bug Tracker on or on the Python forum hosted by

    @Robin: there's no release date, I've heard somewhere that the new official version should be released in May bt noone really knows if it is the truth

    @everyone: noone gave a try to my RSS feed reader under the Help > Website > Blendernation menu? :-\

  8. hi thanks for the cvs and source
    I tried to compile the souce in my ubuntu but occurred varios erros with the openexr_api.cpp archive, they not find various header files, but I tested the cvs emulating with wine :) the preview is so faster of the one than I imagined, very good, and have a package to uncompress the 7z for linux, they call p7zip


  9. Guys, I didn't write this in the above article giving it as a known thing but... You have to download all the dipendency libraries to build the tarball I've supplied (from Blender CVS repository if you're interested in building for Win32, from your package manager if you are a *NIX maniac)

  10. I compiled it on kubuntu. (Linux a2000p 2.6.12-10-k7 #1 Sat Mar 11 16:59:38 UTC 2006 i686 GNU/Linux)
    I don't know if it will work on *your* linux or if really all features are turned on (just typed "scons" without any arguments), but better than nothing. ;)

    It's a 13MB .tar.bz2. I don'T have a webspace where I can place such a "big" file. If anyone want's it, just say it here. But compiling isn't that hard, I just had to install the OpenAL developement files.

  11. Hi Panzi I have a space to place this file, can you send me by e-mail? I place the link here
    [email protected]

    I have seek this tutorial, with python2.4 cvs&start=15

    and this from wiki

    here are a trace of the error, this file contain Win32 specifications (sorry if I don't have so fine with the code)
    Compiling ==> 'openexr_api.cpp'
    source/blender/imbuf/intern/openexr/openexr_api.cpp:66:26: error: OpenEXR/half.h: File or Directory not found
    source/blender/imbuf/intern/openexr/openexr_api.cpp:67:32: error: OpenEXR/ImfVersion.h: File or Directory not Found

    bye thanks

  12. Hi, there is written that the build has ffmpeg support, but it doesn't work for me. maybe should i install ffmpeg somewhere? I'm on Win XP. Also in the article you write there are bundled scripts, but where?

  13. The scripts are in the blender script directory, Kerkythea exporter can be found in the File > Export menu, DPI calculator can be found in the Scripts > Render menu in the Scripts panel, etc. etc.

    Just search for them in the Blender Scripts panel ;-)

    I haven't tested FFMPEG, it simply didn't complain during build process, so if you had some problems with it simply report them to the main development team through the bug tracker on

    @Patricks: Ok, if you grant me this scripts works good in my custom build I'll include it next time (cannot test it myself, I don't use Simbiont)

  14. Hi guys!
    I have 2 question:
    1) home on my windowsXP sp2 crashes this build when i use modifier->subsurf.(divison by zero error)
    2) why don't put on the or on your linux buid, one of you who compiled under linux. I coul not build, either, home on my Suse9.3.
    sorry for my english.

    Thanx for all, thanx lox_federico!!!!!

  15. stupid me, the complaints about scripts and ffmpeg i had a few days ago were stupid, i looked on a different build archive on my disc, sorry. |The build is just great, thanks and please continue in this. Espacially packaging non cvs scripts is very valuable, often i loose much time trying to find them on the net if i need them.

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