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Interview with Ton in Linux User & Developer Magazine


What's next for Blender

At the moment, we have to focus on the next release of Blender, and there a lot of loose ends from the Elephants Dream project. There are things that were added in the Google Summer of Code project that we have to get into a stable release. I would like to migrate a few more of my responsibilities, as there's still too much depending on my availability. I'm also the person who likes to organise things and get things done, so I can't do the next movie project if I'm developing too much.

One of the things we're going to do after the next release is a complete re-code of the internal event tool system, customisable hot keys, and Python integration with the event system. Then I hope in the Spring, we'll be ready for the next Open Movie project, which like the first one will be a temporary project in a studio for half a year, or there's a possibility it will become permanent. An open studio where artists and developers can come over to work on independent cinema, using open and free software. The Mozilla style of corporation could work well for computer graphics, especially because there is a big community of developers, but most importantly because developers could come over for just two weeks or a couple of months to work together on specific areas. They won't be able to give up their jobs or their lives, but they might be available for a short period. Even though the internet is great, and software developers love to work via the internet because they don't get disturbed, meeting in person is always much better.

That kind of central hub where people can meet and work on projects together is something I think we really miss. Maybe we can even expand that to other open source projects like games, or video editing. There are a lot of computer graphics open source projects that find it difficult to get into the commercial or professional market. I don't know why - most of these projects are being organised by technical guys which are happy when the software works, when it compiles, or when they can do cool things. They're not so interested in going to trade shows or to give talks, to make sure they get reviews in magazines and that kind of stuff. The Blender Foundation is doing that pretty well, because of my commercial background. I don't mind organising things, setting targets, or having deadlines.

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About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Cool and huge interview...but I think thats a little bit not true that blender in 1995-2000 was absolutely was freeware on Solaris, BSD and other UNIX platforms, but for MS windows it was as shareware (the saving was not possible if you don't pay 100$:);s clearly written in 1.60 release notes .but it;s just kinda
    small thing...anyway

  2. This is a very good interview.
    I´ve always read about Blender´s history via a bunch of sites, but nothing is better than read Ton himself tell us about his point of view of everything related to our beloved Blender. =D

    Thanks a lot!


  3. What a great interview, kept me interested for the whole six pages! Thanks Ton, Bart, and Daniel.

    I'm delighted to read that other open movie projects are planned soon. It's great what came out of the last one, I have no doubt that the next one will be grat also and push Blender forward in the process.

    Though with only a small user base compared to the modelling/rendering side, I would love to see some sort of open game project sometimes. Perhaps after the Ogre integration and the other exciting additions to the game engine that could be an interesting project.

  4. I agree with Enriqolonius - in this "fast times" i think blender have an intresting and "long" history
    and an very intresting future in front.


    third what sanne said! ;)

  5. Read it, part that I like a lot is the open studio idea. Also wondering how they would qualify people for orange 2.

  6. Great interview, very interesting... yeah, I was wondering how on earth Ton could keep doing all the things he has been doing. I feel relief that Ton is going to delegate some more of his responsibilities to others , just so that he doesn't burn out or worse have a stroke.

    Ton, your the programmer of programmers I am sure, thanks for giving us this marvelous tool to work with. ANd thanks Bart and Daniel James for sharing this with us!!!!

  7. Every time Ton talks about Blender I felt more secure about the open source project and the strong of the way Blender took.
    Every time I felt more confident that Blender will change the 3D world forever with the open source ItÅ› not so a question of being free, itÅ› a question of the quality of the software itself. Open source is made with love, for all and to everyone.

  8. This article was so crispy! :D We love Ton.

    Oh, and I'm the bloke that remarked many times about non-open audio. I still think it's important that Blender start looking at audio more. Is anyone with me? Maybe we can make it happen! Audio is actually very easy conceptually.

  9. Ton!

    If you are in need of a professional in Blender who will work for love of the project (i.e. no fee whatsoever), let me know.

    Just ask on this blender forum for "Dude man" (or this email - my real email this time, he he ;) )

    I always appreciated what you and the other developers did, and since I'm such a lousy programmer - but an excellent modeller/animator/FX - I should put my efforts where it will pay off best.

    Call me when the time comes, give me some early notice, and I'll see if I can clear my busy schedule for ya!

    Take care, and thanks!!!!

    Dude man

  10. i second what Bmud said, i am a very beginner programmer and thats why i didnt got any further yet with my "dreams" on this side but once i proposed a blender and puredata integration to give the blender users contact to a audio interface also not only graphics, maybe i was wrong maybe not but the truth is im to amateur as a program yet to go for it so i am better improving my skills as a programmer before any attempts on this side, but if someday i have the knowledge to do something like that i would be very proud of it.

    Very cool interview and the studio idea is something that can really grow and benefit the whole OSS comunity, not only blender, thanks for sharing.

  11. Quite an awesome interview, and the cool part is that Ton has already been on the leading edge once with the first release of an open movie, but if the open studio becomes a reality, it will be another first!

  12. Very very cool Interview.
    I think the best resumé of ever for all the Blender saga from the beginning.

    My compliments Ton! ;-)

  13. Very nice interview! I'ts always awesome to dig little bits of info about Blender's history and development =)

    Best regards

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