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Blender - Google Summer of Code 2009


gospo-logoThe GSOC 2009 has been announced and with some exciting improvements for Blender. It looks like that if all goes well we may be seeing some significant speed enhancements.

A BIG thank you to Google for supporting Blender again!

Title: Raytrace Optimization

Abstract: This proposal aims at optimizing blender raytrace.

Student Name: Andre Susano Pinto
Mentor Name: Brecht Van Lommel

* Making it faster
* Support for render instancing
* Added support for generic objects (used to implement instancing but later can be expanded into LOD)
* Script to measure performance
* Removing worst-cases
* Make it easier to try tweaks and different data structures.

Title: Refactor of Non-Linear Animation (NLA) System in Blender for 2.5
Student Name: Joshua Leung
Mentor Name: Matt Ebb

Abstract: This project aims to refactor the Non-Linear Animation (NLA) system in Blender to function in conjunction with the new "Animato" animation system core in Blender 2.5. A more extensible framework for evaluating animation clips to layer and mix them will be developed, allowing for the addition of more powerful features at a later stage. This will be presented by a more modern and usable UI for the creation and editing of such data, which clearly exposes the true nature and power of NLA workflows.
Title: Collada Support Improvements For Blender

Student Name: Chingiz Dyussenov
Mentor Name: David Letwory

Abstract: COLLADA is a flexible and versatile digital assests exchange format created by the Khronos Group consortium. It is supported by the top commercial DCC tools like Maya, 3ds Max, Lightwave 3D, Cinema 4D and Unreal Engine. This project is about improving COLLADA import/export support in Blender.

Title: Blender Light Paint using Spherical Harmonics

Student Name: Jingyuan Huang
Mentor Name: Martin Poirier
Abstract: Inspired by Illumination Brush, this project aims to create an interactive tool for Blender to preview, modify, and create image-based lighting environments specified by HDR light probe images. Artists can change the HDR light probe by directly painting colours on the models. This tool will be integrated with the existing image-based rendering routines in Blender in order to help artists determine the final renderings.

Title: Implementation and Validation of Python Import/Export API
Student Name: Arystanbek Dyussenov
Mentor Name: Campbell Barton

Abstract: Blender 2.5 Project has been in active development past 6 months. Many improvements have been made and it is a very big step towards robust architecture. In the light of these great changes I propose a small help to the Blender team. This project will help implement Python import/export API.

Title: Integration of OpenGL VBOs and vertex arrays for faster 3D Viewport rendering
Student Name: Lukas Steiblys
Mentor Name: Joseph Eagar

Abstract: One of the biggest weaknesses of Blender is the inability to render high polygon counts while modeling. I believe the way blender uses OpenGL API is the biggest cause: it does immediate mode rendering. Using VBOs and vertex arrays, sometimes called the retained mode, would speed up the rendering substantially and provide a user with a more responsive interface.


  1. Wow, I'm glad to hear that GSOC is on the Blender bandwagon. But come on, let's admit it. Deep down, we secretly hope that Google will just integrate Blender completely, either by combining it with SketchUp or releasing it on its own.

    But oh well, until then, we'll have to settle for our GSOC stalwarts.

  2. Great to see! There looks to be some good advancements coming. I'm particularly pleased with the prospect of faster viewport rendering.


    Hmm, I don't think that I really want Google taking over Blender. =)

  3. GSOC 2009 :
    Nice things. All of these projects are sure to enhance Blender. The one that retain my attention are : the light brush thingy, and the more responsive interface.

    GSOC 2010 :
    Port Blender to Android ?

    GSOC 2011 :
    Propose a web based version of Blender at ?

  4. VBO for viewports is top of my list.

    It will mean that video cards with more memory will be able to hold the geometry data and not have to transfer it over the ePCI bridge each frame.

    For good video cards this option will bring a big speed up (hopefully something like 5 times)

  5. I was hoping that someone would pick up the viewport rendering and update it, as i am usually using models that are really heavy :D

    Thanks you Google, Lukas and Joseph!

    The raytracing improvements and light painting look great also :)

  6. Nathan Braswell on

    All of theses things sound like big improvements, and I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of it. I'll study the blender code, maybe I can help with the next GSoC.

  7. NLA Refractor gets my vote.

    blender 2.5 is going to get incorporated into many pipelines, why? because of it's powerful animation capabilities.

    chances are big studios will be rendering in mray/vray/mantra, sculpting in zbrush.

    so i say push the animation capabilities in 2.5 and get blender into as many professional pipelines as possible.

    i'm sad to see no render api on this list :(

  8. Nice to hear that this summer will be hot !
    With the improviments of VBO it will be possible to sculpt beyond now with blender?? It will help on sculpting ???

  9. Sorry just mentioning Brecht - as a community it would of course be great to get to know these students and mentors and what motivats them to do this amount of work

  10. I just saw a presentation on Light Brushes on YouTube. It is amazing! I really hope that this tool gets into the Blender. =)
    Good luck to all students!

  11. Collada support? Ability to easily export rigged Blender characters? Not having to create bones in 3DS Max? YES!

  12. You have to love a lineup like this, designed to make your favorite app more efficient and versatile. Great going folks. Good luck in your projects, and may you all get an A+++

  13. That's really great! I hope to see those works finished soon! The light brush it's more interesting than I thought O_O

  14. Darn... I was really hoping to see "OpenCL integration for GPU rendering."

    Still, this is really great. Thank you and good luck, folks!

  15. @Socceroos and @roofoo: You guys are hilarious. Nothing's happening anytime soon, so chill. :D

    But I must agree with @aws357, Blender could do with some development of a web-based application.

  16. I wrote it before, but man Blender is progressing fast. Thanks to all the peolple working hard to make Blender what it is.

  17. There are these two Web 3D news items that might be of interest. The second one is about Google.

    I'm guessing the JavaScript support would be a game export type thing, not internally supported in Blender, but that's just a guess.

    I really can't see Blender not being part of the 3D Web.

    And thanks to all the developers - what a neat app!

  18. So pleased about the Collada support!

    As someone who is only working in Blender right now to output to PaperVision for Flash3D experiences, my recent discovery that it couldn't output animations to DAE has been a real showstopper.

    I've ploughed a good bit of time into learning Blender and selling it to my bosses, but there's only so many AR and scene interactions I can deliver with everything animated by scripted tweens in translation, scale and alpha :)

  19. Full COLLADA support is a very important enhancement right now! I hope it will support all the physics stuff too.
    Blender+COLLADA could be THE open source physics pipeline. Right now there isn't a way to model graphics and physics in the same tool and export all the information in a portable way... i'm really looking forward for it. Thank you very much!

  20. Integration of VBOs is a good step toward being compliant with the latest OpenGL specs. I wonder how much more it would take to get there?

    I'm also excited about better COLLADA support. How will the results be validated? Is there some kind of validation file set that can be used? Will all of the properties be used (or at least retained) after a COLLADA import? How can other exporters get access to those properties? I feel like the Python Import/Export guy should work closely with the COLLADA guy. :)

  21. PLEASE someone consider Quad Buffer Open GL!!

    the reason -> 3D monitors are fantastic to work with, getting to be very affordable, are widely available and working in 3d, like you can in Maya, would be a wonderful expansion of Blender.

    If you haven't tried it then you don't know what you are missing, 2D modeling just uses one of your 2 eyes.

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