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November CVS Report: Render passes, bug fixing ...

52

Nov - CVS - 2006 - Super Wu-ManAlready wondering why the CVS report hadn't appeared?

No, we didn't ditch it, but we did wait for some new features to be available before posting the report.

The title gives you a hint, but I'm sure you aren't even close to imagine what changed this past month.

Yes, its true, Render Passes is now something you can use in Blender, but this is just one feature of the huge list this month carries with it.

If you haven't read October's CVS report, you should, this is the only way to understand how Blender is growing!

To say the developers are working hard on Blender is not being fair. They are heroes to our eager desire for more features. To prove this here is a selected part of the long list of changes that happened this month:

  • Animation Department
    • New option in the IK constraint to disable stretching. Read here.
    • New option to lock a view to always show a specific object, so you can see long walkcycles or actions well. Option is per 3d window, in "View Properties" panel. Read here.
    • Key snapping in Action Window, cleanup and new option to snap to current frame. Read here.
    • Action Modifier; paths now support Speed curve. Read here.
    • Speed curve points are now drawn on the 3D path as well. Read here.
    • Duplicating Objects with NLA ActionModifiers now also correctly copies object pointers. Read here.
    • IPO/Action 'Cleaning' method, removes un-necessary keyframes from individual ipo curves. Hotkey is "O" key. Read here.
    • 'Only Needed' Keyframing Option, a new keyframing option for objects and bones. It only adds keyframes where they are needed. Read here.
    • Added new "experimental" feature, Object Proxy. Read the log, here and here.
    • Next level of Proxy support for animation: Proxy for duplicated groups. Read here and here.
    • New 'TOG DUAL' button (for locking bone layers) disabled extend-press with shift key. Read here.
    • IPO Curve Smoothing. Hotkey Shift O in IPO editor. Read here and here.
    • New rule for append/reference Armature objects: the custom shapes get automatically loaded as well. Read here.
    • Markers working in the Action Editor. Read here, here and here.
    • Bone Layer feature: now also Armature layers have a hotkey menu; Shift+m. Read here.
    • Time-markers working in all time-related spaces (i.e. Ipo, Action Editor, NLA editor, TimeLine, Sound). Read here.
    • Possibility to mirror selected keyframes in the action editor. Hotkey is: SHIFT M. Read here.
    • TrackTo Constraint, added animatable "up" direction. Read here.
    • Auto-Keyframing Option: 'Needed'. Read here.
    • Action Editor, new Column Select Tools. Read here and here.
    • Possibility to 'protect' action channels and constraint channels. Read here.
    • Added a few more options for the copy pose attributes menu, Transform Locks, IK Limits/DOF settings, Custom Bone Shape. Read here.
  • Nodes
    • Added compositor node 'Seperate into YCC'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node 'Combine YCC'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node 'Seperate into YUV'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node 'Combine YUV'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node '(Chroma) Difference Matte'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node 'Chroma Key'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node 'Luminance Key'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node 'Color Spill correction'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node 'Flip (X/Y/both)'. Read here.
    • Added compositor node 'Split-Viewer'. Read here.
    • Node editor: when adding a new node, automatic links are created. Read here.
  • Game Engine
    • Added support for Bullet 2, too many commit logs to mention.
  • Particles
    • New static particle option: maximum length. Read here.
  • Sequencer
    • Gamma Sequence Plugin updated to be compliant with float rects. Read here.
    • In the case you messed it up and want your effect strips to be reassigned in a different way, there is the new "R"-key. Read here.
    • Sequencer delete now is less destructive. Read here.
    • The active sequence strip is now displayed with a light instead of a dark outline. Read here.
    • Ability to view the final result when editing inside meta strip. Read here.
    • Don't crash on loading files from newer versions with an unknown effect strip. Read here.
    • Added support for "generator effect strips", this to add a new effect 'Solid Color'. Read here.
    • Major sequencer rewrite to add Speed Control effect. Added a Speed-Control effect to change strip speed afterwards. Read the log, here.
    • Pressing ALT-A over a sequencer space with strips, now will also animate all sequence previews. Read here.
  • Modeling
    • Modified sculpt/multires UI. Read here and here.
    • Generalized the sculptmode "D" key to work with strength as well as brush size. Read here.
    • Group duplicators now are recursive, so group-duplid can be grouped and become a new duplicated group, and so on. Read here.
    • New dupli-group feature: you can now set in Groups the layers you want a group to show when used for duplicators. Read here.
    • New behaviour for SHIFT+O (set subsurf on/off) or CTRL+0/1/2/3/4 for level. Read here and here.
    • New feature: Face Duplicators or DupliFaces. Read here and here.
    • Sculpt mode hotkeys. Read here.
    • More Curve editing options. Read here.
  • Render
    • Added Render Baking. Just press ALT+CTRL+B on a Mesh with texture faces. Read here, here, here and here.
    • Render Baking upgrade, now its threaded. Read here.
    • Render Monster support !!! Hehe, no more 2 threads limitation, up to 8 threads / CPUs now. Read here.
    • Next stage of RenderPipe refactor. Added Render Passes, a new pass (Object Index, for masking) and sub-sample alpha masks. Read here, here, here and here.
  • Modifiers
    • Edge-Split modifier changes. Read here.
    • New option to use an object to determine the startX&Y in the Wave Modifier. Read here.
    • Upgrades to the UVProject modifier. Read here.
  • Images / UV / Vertex - Weight Paint
    • Added two new blend modes to image painting brushes, erase alpha and add alpha, for painting transparency in images. Pen support included. Read here.
    • Undo system now restores images without reloading. Read here.
    • UV FaceSelect mode now draws textured & default lighted (if the view is set to 'Solid'). Switch view to 'Textured' to see as it was before. Read here.
    • Weight paint options now also show in Nkey panel. Read here.
    • Vertex/Weight Paint now uses the regular global Undo. Read here.
    • New displacement direction for Displace modifier: "RGB -> XYZ". Read here.
  • Softbodies
    • Softbody review. Really, read the log, here and here.
    • Softbodies 'debug' ability. Read here.
  • Outliner
    • Added finding data in the Outliner, use Fkey (partial strings), CTRL+Fkey (case sensitive), SHIFT+Fkey to cycle around. Read here.
    • Added Xkey / DEL for deleting objects in outliner. Read here.
    • Object level restrictions in outliner. Important reading here.
    • Outliner now shows hierarchy for Libraries, indicating which Library files invoked loading another. Read here.
  • General / Miscellaneous
    • New option to the separate menu in editmode, 'By Material'. Read here.
    • For numerical pad 2-4-6-8, it adds a step value in degrees in the User Presets. Read here.
    • In 3D window, ortho view, you can use SHIFT+B to zoom in to a border. Read here.
    • Makes toolbox pop up like in 3d window, if you've set it to reveil on holding RMB. Read here.
    • Convert menu for Text objects (ALT+C) now has option to directly degrade to a Mesh. Read here.
    • Set the default material preview type to 'sphere' for newly added materials. Read here.
    • New set of Linux Blender icons, conforming to the freedesktop.org standard. Read here and here.
    • ID Properties. Read the log, its more directed to Developers so far. Read here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
    • FFMPEG support for Windows. Read here.
    • New 'Cameras' menu in the 3D View's View menu, containing a command to set the active object as active camera. Read here.
    • Subversion control and test for future Blender binaries. Important reading, here.
    • Added select faces based on there weight in the active group. Read here.
    • Thread support for command line: -t
      . Read here.
    • Remove the requirement to type # at the start when you want to use Python expression evaluation when typing a value in a button. Read here.
    • New Camera options for Architects. Read here and here.
  • Scripts
    • 'UV Export' revised. Read here.

Testing Builds

As usual, the team at BlenderBuilds.com has provided a set of builds for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.
Go get them here.

Hope you guys enjoyed this report and the test builds.

Have fun ;) .

52 Comments

  1. It's very cool that on this earth exists such heroes, who develops the blender, although it's not payed job...thank you all!!!!

  2. whoever contibuted to Blender Development....

    YOU GUYS ROCK!!!!!!!! WOOHOOOOOOOO!!!! Thank you soooo much for doing it!!!!!

    -BS-

  3. A lot of new features . It must be hard for the persons who have to write the manual and tutorials for all the new features. But as before they will succeed !

  4. Awesome feature list!

    Am I correct in thinking that the UVProject modifier will be useful for doing camera mapping, like for making 3D matte paintings?

  5. @roofoo

    Yes, UVProject can be used for that. It is actually based on a script by ideasman which he devleloped for applying photo textures to objects - the projection process helps get rid of distortion in the photo. Now that projection is actually done properly, UVProject should be more useful. The advantage UVProject has over using "Win" in the texture map input panel is that the camera used for projection doesn't have to be the camera used for rendering.

  6. Yes. YES. YEEEEEEEEEEEEES! PASSES PASSES PASSES!!!! :D :D Folks I'm jumping, sorry, but I'm so frigging HAPPY PASSES are HERE and NOW I just can't stop jumping!!! I love you, really... When I'll work on some big-budget feature and have a lot of money, I SWEAR I'll donate a large amount to the Blender foundation. I mean... Too bad Ton is a man and I'm heterosexual, I'd MARRY him!!!

    That's the best Xmas gift for me. Really. I love you guys...!!!!

    S.

  7. OMG, Huge improvements on all fronts !!!!

    Now that we have render baking, render passes and multi-core rendering, can we expect also more samples in the Ambient Occlusion panel ?

    Since we can now bake AO once and then render frames very quickly, it would really make sense to have an AO pass at best quality to fake GI or IBL/HDRI lighting easily...

    Think about how this would be a real quality boost and time saver for animation : ie. rendering a camera walkthrough for architectural visualization...

    I really hope someone can add options to push 32, 64, 128 or even 256 AO samples in the next release !!!!

  8. Well all I can say to this is "let's get some funds together guys and send these Devs away for a holiday on us!" I will definitely be donating something once my pay check clears! Just don't give yourselves an aneurysm with all the late nights you guys are doing... I also can't believe this is freeware.

  9. Carlos Felipe (cara-rj) on

    Awesome list of development / improvement! The Devs really deserve a nice holiday vacation.

    And there's people saying Blender's development is slow compared to other packages... :P

  10. How fast do the comercial packages develop? Are thet a lot slower than Blender? If so i guess there wil not be long before Blernder out performs them :-D

  11. Not to be a spoil-sport, but I use Blender as a modeling tool for Poser content. And import/export of the OBJ format is woefully inadequite at present (in fact, it worked better in 2.37 with a third-party script).

    My pet peeves:

    Why can't Blender keep track of OBJ groups when importing/exporting?

    Why is Blender limited to 16 material zones?

    Can somebody please move the "hash" button where it won't accidentally get hit when doing multiple smoothing operations?

    Can we possibly get Blender to cope with the tiny Poser scale correctly on distortions and when overlaying a background image?

  12. :Why can’t Blender keep track of OBJ groups when importing/exporting?

    Have you reported it? And provided example files on the bug tracker? http://projects.blender.org/tracker/?atid=125&group_id=9&func=browse

    :Why is Blender limited to 16 material zones?

    This is a known issue. I'm not sure if anything is planned.

    :Can somebody please move the “hash” button where it won’t accidentally get hit when :doing multiple smoothing operations?

    You can avoid using the button by just pressing W and then the smooth button in the 3D view.

    :Can we possibly get Blender to cope with the tiny Poser scale correctly on distortions :and when overlaying a background image?

    Not sure what you mean by this.

    Anyway the best thing to do is to report all issues. Every issue I've reported I've gotten a direct response from Ton himself in 1-3 days.

  13. Hi !

    I have just read the huge list of incredible new features, and I can't believe my eyes !

    Am I dreaming ? If yes, It's a marvelous dream and I don't want to wake up !

    I said yesterday to my brother that the only thing really missing was the support of more than 2 processors...

    And today, through a heap of new tools, I read that Blender can use 8 CPU !

    That's not a dream, but really a miracle of Christmas !

    Congratulations to the all the heroes of the developement team, and a big thank you for this amazing gift !

    Philippe.

  14. Great report. Nice to see it all put into perspective.

    btw. "To say the developers are working hard on Blender is not being fair." probably means "The developers are working their asses off"

  15. CubOfJudahsLion on

    Wow. This is really, really growin' . So many features, so little time... blender is poised to really kick the industry's rear end.

    Thanks to all devs. You rock gigadecibels.

  16. I'm so impressed i don't know what to say, i'm speechless! Thank you a lifetime, this has made things possible for me that i had a hard time thinking was possible. And the fact that it is free, it's just freeking my mind out.. =D

    tankyou thankyou tankyou thankyou tankyou thankyou tankyou thankyou tankyou thankyou!!!

    kind regards
    -c-

  17. the only thing i can think about now is how i was so right when i chosed blender as my 3d program
    thanks for the developers :)

  18. Well, to tell all of you here who really thinks that Blender is freeware, you're wrong! Blender's development model is much much much (100 trillion times) more advanced than that of freeware or proprietary software (i.e. Max, Maya, etc.). Blender is Free Software (a.k.a. Open Source Software). Blender's development model is the same to that of Linux, MySQL, Apache, Firefox, etc. which explains why development is soooooo damn fast. You can read more about Free Software here: http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html.

    Again, Blender isn't freeware; it's Free Software! Don't insist. That'll be an insult. ;)

  19. Nice and incredible progress. The only critic i have so far is its impossible to use both a multires mesh and the subd modifier, this would be cool to render a sculpted and supersmooth normal map without deleting the lowpoly mesh. :)

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