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Blender 2.5 - Got flexible?


blender-25-got-flexiblePablo Vazquez writes:

New Blender's event system is working like a charm, with realtime updates, and non-blocking tools. Check this video to see how I can playback an animation, while modeling, tweaking the interface, materials, rendering, everything realtime.

About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
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. LOL! Awesomeness! I love the touch of humor you got there!
    Now you have convinced me (who needs that anyways, but hey that's a plus!) I gotta get 2.5 build!

  2. If this works with the sculpt mode, one could model a clay vase pottery style, on a spinning tablet. :D
    Sorry just a random inspiration form the video XD

  3. 2.5 architecture is drag'n'drop ready, but it's not on the current high prio list. First want to get it to work, at least on a level it equals 2.49 functionality. In the meantime - if someone gets bored or so - it'll be added anyway. :)

  4. WOW!! Just downloaded the build to try it out myself. :) The long wait while you true geniuses got the hard-to-explain-to-non-coders stuff such as the event system working well was WELL worth it! Hope you get it up to usable production level by the time you start the Durian project.

  5. Is anyone also having the impression that the new interface is terribly slow and that it doesn't react to the clicks as well as the old one ???

    It's a magnific work in terms of appearance, but I think it doesn't make sense if we have to buy a new computer to be able to use it.

    well, it's only a humble opinion :S

  6. @ BlenderFan, you noted the video to be slow? is captured on a laptop at 12fps! :)

    My laptop is only 1.5ghz, also, I was capturing fullscreen (1280x800), playing the animation non-stop during the whole thing, and rendering, all *at the same time*, I wouldn't say that Blender got slower in 2.5, I would say is totally the other way around!

  7. duuuuuuuuuuude! duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude! this is pure awesome in its purest! awesome! blender is bond to become incredibly popular as soon as this version comes out eh. this is just too cool. i am now going to show everyone this video. doesn't get much cooler than this

  8. About speed: we use a triple buffer system by default, which allows menus to be drawn without need for redrawing the the underlying UI. At some (older, simpler?) ATI and Intel graphics cards it's horrible slow. This is WIP still... you can disable it via the User Preferences though (part of outliner now). Might become an easier to configure option.

  9. This looks fantastic, having that much control over the UI is very impressive, I would have a small gripe with the colour picker having no fields, i mean the current (2.49) colour pickers RGB values are not much use to me but I current use the Hex colour option constantly to get correct colours (for brand colours and things like that) I know there is a way to bring the old picker up by shortcut but will there be an option in preferences to always have the other picker?

    I really like the way the panels are zooming also, its all looking very slick!

  10. So the small colour picker is the default? Why make de default colour picker inferior to the old one by not having RGB inputs fields? Is there a design idea behind that?

  11. mymy!! some said the blender interface was crappy and somewhat lagging behind the other 3d soft. Well... what will they complain about now ?? Anyway congrats to all devs !!

  12. Tom (not Ton) on

    OK, I HATE the animated view changes. Will that be something that can be disabled?

    Not sure if it was in the video or not but I saw it looking at the raytracing build blender architect was talking about.

    Also devs, can we please get updated documentation before this is released? This is going to take some adjustment and a simple "this is over here now" will save lots of trouble and I'd guess plenty of threads.

    Trying to learn two versions (one I can work in now) and one that I'll have to adapt everything to when it comes out, both that have tons of features and a steep learning curve at the same time is going to give me ulcers, or more ulcers.

    That is the one single area I've always felt blender was most lacking in. Yes, there are plenty of tutorials and videos and stuff scattered everywhere on the web, but it lacks a single basic "help" file that covers what, where, and what to expect when you do "X". I think that alone would be a bit of honey to draw some of the flies using other apps over as any commercial software has something like that to cover the basics.

  13. Wow...
    I'm totally stoked :)
    ... can't wait to download this :D
    -that rendering WHILE editing feature is great! :D

    thanks to everyone who helped make this possible! :D

  14. I just compiled blender 2.5 from svn on ubuntu and it looks awesome! Very Very buggy, but what would you expect :).
    I will have to say the interface will take a while to adapt to, but looking over the UI concepts whitepapers and stuff, it looks really great. Great work Guys! If anyone needs a Ubuntu Jaunty x64 build, just let me know :)
    (comment here)

  15. wow, lots of bugs in the windows build :P
    - spin tool crashes
    - no live update for spinning - it's a slower update- whenever you move the mouse

    anyways, it looks like a good start :)

  16. I've tried the new blender 2.5 build and I have to say this one is going to be a major benchmark in blender history. I can't wait till its fully finished. To the people coding the software, keep up the awesome work :)

  17. @Tom,

    "Also devs, can we please get updated documentation before this is released?"

    There are always the release notes, and the release notes are always exceedingly good. Several other documentation and training projects are underway. But if you're looking for a complete re-write of the thousand and some odd page Wiki before a release it probably isn't feasible. You're personally free to wait for documentation before you download it though. Nothing is forcing you to download the software before you want it.

    "That is the one single area I've always felt blender was most lacking in. Yes, there are plenty of tutorials and videos and stuff scattered everywhere on the web, but it lacks a single basic "help" file that covers what, where, and what to expect when you do "X"."

    No it doesn't. You're describing the BlenderQuickStart.pdf which is in every download package of Blender. If you want more than that, read the release notes. If you want more than that, read the extensive Wiki. Beyond that you have to either poke around the web or pay some money. But also remember, this is a community effort, and you're part of the community. So instead of asking the developers to put in more unpaid effort for you than they already put in, go ahead and get to work on updating the Wiki yourself.

  18. @Tom (not Ton)
    re: I get this little "animated" flyaround or zoom.

    To get rid of this, select outliner,user preferences,view and controls.
    Change "Smooth View" parameter to 0.

    This is also in 2.49 but is set to 0 by default.

    good work devs!

  19. @ Tom
    I am going to assume that can turned off, based on the fact that the animated view switches can currently be turned on in the 2.49 build by way of the: Preferences, View & Controls, Smooth View button. (I have mine set to 300).

    @ Pablo
    What have you done? CGTalk has managed to drag that post into a UI flame war!

    Maybe after 2.5 is released, all of these Blender UI based arguments can finally go away.

  20. I've been playing with this early build and I find it to be very, very fine.
    Not much point in making comments because it is a work in progress, except to say that I am looking forward to seeing how it comes together.
    Good work, developers !!!!!

  21. Tom (not Ton) on

    Well, once again I'm left looking like an idiot. I do seem to do that often.

    I wasn't aware what that did and never bothered to mess around with it. I don't quite see the point of it but whatever, as long as I can turn it off. :)

    Already trying to figure out how I can make it look (somewhat) like the 2.4X series so I can transition easier.

    I do like seeing "volume" there in the materials and I can't wait to see the raytracing speed up. Hey, maybe someone can answer me this, but why are buffer shadows only available on spots and none of the other light types? Ditto for volumetrics on the lights.

  22. For what it's worth, the animated view change is actually very useful when teaching, because it helps students get their bearings much better when the instructor is zooming around through different views.

  23. @Pablo Vazquez, no, I'm not saying that for the video, I downloaded a release from graphicall and that seemed to be a bit slower than my old one. Anyway, It is surely a problem with my machine, because everybody is amazed with the new interface and, as Ton says, it's an effort in the programming to do it even faster.

    PD.- Tus tutoriales soy muy grandes compadre !!!. Hace tiempo que encargué el CD y espero con ansias su llegada !!!. Go Go Go !!! :). Gracias

  24. I was waiting for the dynamic menu (with search functionality) for years now! :) In fact, since i first saw Houdini in 2002!

    Thank you to all devs!

  25. Tom (not Ton) on

    @ yokljo. Adds time and unneeded "cute" much like all the bloat in animated effects in moderns OSs that I hate too. For me it just seems unneeded and wasteful. Personal preference I guess.

    @ Tony I can understand that helping a little for teaching, but with the display view name seems redundant.

    As for the docs, if it were only me I'd say you were right. I have bought a bunch of stuff, all a few versions behind and from one version to the next placement and keys have changed. However go talk to someone trying to switch and the lack of a singular location (or one that remains up) is a big show stopper. I tried blender back in the 1.7ish range and gave up shortly because there was very limited documentation, no help, and a much smaller community. It's gotten better, but IS still lacking.

    As for the wiki, it is feasible, but not for one person. It could be going on right now in tandem with development. Just like one person can't do the entire recode one person can't rewrite everything either. There need to be dozens of people each documenting the features of one section/feature. The problem is they'd almost need to work with the coders. Otherwise it'd be right back to the "few versions back" problem the books and DVDs all run into. A lot of the info still applies, but placement has changed, keys have changed, and the look has changed.

    Yes, I get it's free and I don't have to do anything or have the latest greatest version., but there are plenty of reasons to get it.

    I guess it's just me, so whatever.

  26. BlenderLovingPandaBear on

    @Tom - don't take this as a "Don't criticize blender" comment. But you are really coming across, to me, as a "glass half empty" kind of attitude. Because I'm personally looking forward to a blender that's different. I know the current version pretty well but learning new things about a more powerful blender could be fun!

    But you just have complaints. Whatever.

  27. Hands down the most awesome interface customization I've ever seen! I have a feeling Adobe and Autodesk will be taking note of this and "stealing" some ideas for their software. And I love the parametric spin tool!

  28. @rofoo: hmmm... it's stealing anyway, might the UI developer have inspiration on UI of those companies... hehe...
    yeah me too I love the spin tool...

    Overall design is great, another learn from the scratch thing on UI when release? or it's just the same?

  29. Wrong answer from the first post, "It's stealing anyway" - correction: I forgot to add "not". correct: It's not stealing anyway...

    Few things to add:
    - What if a user can choose layouts, like default (old), new, and the custom layout.
    - a thumbnail or preview when you browse pictures, images or videos.

    And most of all I love the Search tool... :D

  30. This looks sweet! I can't wait for it to come out! I'm hoping to go Blender for some projects - and this looks like it has major tools I'll be able to us!

    Keep up the great work!

  31. Tom (not Ton) on

    @ BlenderLovingPandaBear

    Well, yes there are some things I don't like, but like that with every program. My suggestions about the help and stuff were to make it better and easier for people who have never touched it to get on board (which can possibly become a feedback loop spurring it on further) AND for those of us who still don't know how to use all the bells and whistles an easier time relearning where everything is.

    I've supported and bought books from them because it IS free and great, but that doesn't mean it couldn't be better and even easier.

    I don't like software to look like a comic book. I'm not running some brand new super computer so things that might start draining from what I do have worry me. I'm not just trying to "have fun" I'm trying to use it to do something and hopefully make some money in the process because last time I looked the world hadn't stop running on money. Time spent relearning all the old is time spent not learning the new or working.

    Am I looking forward to 2.5? Hell yeah I am. Do I have some concerns? Yeah. Is requesting improved documentation for an overhaul of this level such a horrible thing? I didn't think so.

  32. Magiciandude on

    To anyone complaining about speed, I downloaded the build onto my five-year-old dying laptop and it runs lightning fast :D!

    I can't wait for this release! I'm assuming many of the shortcut keys will remain the same?

    I seriously can't thank you enough for all of the hard work you do Devs! You guys are the best!!!

  33. AWESOME!!! Oh man - I can't wait for the final release.

    I'm in love with this version for the integrated search feature alone. But besides that everything looks so much more clean and accessible already. Having played a little with a graphicallBuild on OSX I'm in love already. It feels really good, already.

    Nice, nice, nice ^^

  34. Hi. 2.50 is looking really nice and handy. I hope the keyboard shotcuts will be there again - preferably to be set to a custom set ;-). I would like to know how to bring up the command search. I tried space, Ctrl-F and so on, but to no avail.

  35. "Wow, awesome", etc, etc, but what we really need is easy of use. I don't care about multitasking, resizing menus while playing animations, etc., I just want to find things easily. This is what I hope for in 2.5.

    And what about multi-thread fluid/clothing baking? Is it there?

  36. I'm a graphics noob looking for something quick and easy to design overflow HOB's for aquariums. If the learning curve is too steep on the software side, then I'll probably stick with pencil/paper. Any suggestions?

  37. I needed that felxibility, we have XXI. Windows doesn't crash? Fortunately Linux exists. Would be nice to have some material and object manager also in 2.5 (couldn't find the anonuncement). Anyway B is my fav. software.

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