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Modo/Blender meeting at Siggraph

49

ThreeMenFour3DAppsTon Roosendaal writes:

Brad Peebler, President of Luxology, invited me to have a meeting at Siggraph to start a friendly relation and check on ways how we can make Modo and Blender work together smoothly for our users.

Since Luxology was having an external event - in a legendary haunted cottage - I only could meet after tradeshow hours. The only possibility remaining was during their official press reception. I came straight from the booth, got picked up with a limo, and there I was at the reception feeling like a provocative party crasher with my Blender tee!

Luckily things went very smooth, all really friendly people there! Apart from a good chance to catch up with the press, I've spent a great time there with good beer and food, and a long chat with Brad about the industry, and all the passionate things we share with 3D.

Best things to mention are we both believe in excellent COLLADA support, and Brad talking about work they do on an upcoming freely licensed developer API for file im/export.

On the picture you see me with two legends of 3D: Stuart Ferguson (left), and Allen Hastings. Both creators of Lightwave and Modo. Allen also wrote Videoscape3D for Amiga, the first 3D program I ever used!

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.

49 Comments

  1. Having some of the bigger names in the industry show open interest in working with Blender shows that they know the power behind Blender. It's pretty exciting actually. Blender is getting bigger - staying free - and getting much needed and deserved attention.

    What it really means to Blender I have no idea. But it's still pretty slick.

  2. Oh man, this is BlenderNation, what would the visitors of this site think of this news?

    I know what I would! I would put on my flame coat! And I would scream: "open sooooouuurrcee!!1!" while running into the wise posters standing before the bridge with Luxology on it, who are actually there to bribe Ton with closed mindedne.. err, sources!

    ATTAAAAACK!!!

    *cough*

    With that out of the way, I say: great! I like Modo, I like Blender, what's better than having them both play nice together?

    Well, one more margarita would do, I guess. Thank you.

  3. Modo seems to fly in the same spirit as blender and often avoiding too much commercial vice. Alot about Modo looks alot like blender and vice versa, and even the workflow seems somewhat familiar.(could some one who has used it confirm?)
    plus It has some features I liked, gosted snap giudes, helping you work even at odd angles and continual render. The one feature that seems to be missing is working on subdivs live. again I havent used it but spotted this on their modeling page.

    Point is I'm really hoping to see what the lux team and blender team come up with, I hope collada synergy is just the start. personally I hope in the near future we even see joint development efforts (i.e server tech allowing artists everywhere to work on the same project regardless of their tool kit etc...).

  4. @Xenon dont start that please... It ends in flames ALWAYS. lol.
    go to the Modo website and the blender website and then decide for yourself. you have been warned ;-)

  5. Good news! Wasnt MODO interface mentioned as a good example, of good interface design principles, etc by William ? Also, Modo lacks animation and there's lots of Modo users who's using Blender Animation Tools to animate and send back data to Modo to render with animation, right ?

    So, this is really good news =) I hope that they can donate some money to Blender Foundation too :D

  6. @Xenon Modo is actually kick-ass, way more polished and friendly to use overall compared to blender, has powerful modeling features, but no game engine and many other things... and it's closed source, so .. no thanks. But good to hear about having them play along.

    @hitechboy722 I'm really looking forward to uni-verse implementation as well. Heard that the blender devs will pick that up again sometime after 2.5 release. Sounds exciting ^^

  7. OK, OK My intention was not to excite, but to give some reason for thought about what wonderful software we have in our hands - at the professional level and GPL.

  8. Somewhat good news for Modo/Blender, but very good news for Collada. I think this represents another excellent proprietary/open partnership too.

  9. @Dread night Thats great news, that project died off back in 07'. but I hope this time it involves more stake holders (ie. more organisations and communities) so it stays active and engaged by a larger user base. It was sooo exciting!

    @jahmaica I cant belive it doesnt animate... how did I miss that? hopefully it means that they have really really specialised in the area of moddelling, at ~1000$ they better. heck they should throw in a free german syrup waffle with every purchase!

    Has anyone downloaded it before? I'd like to know how many MB's it is... the trial one.

  10. I just would to say congrat's for this great friendship !

    For peoples who don't know what's a proprietary company does it do with an open source one, it's just the best of both worlds, don't react like a Black Sect, be open !

    I do and use the best of both worlds all days, perfect for busines.

    Videoscape3D, great remember (even if young 3d artists maybe don't know it), snif...

    it's a great collaboration / friendship who is starting (all proprietaries companies are not only focused on Billion dollards baby Monopoly)

    A prefect Collada import/export would be a dream !

    Cheers,
    Ben

  11. This is really cool!

    Reminds me of the ending of Return of the Jedi - the force ghost of Darth Vader, Yoda, and Obi wan Kenobi standing together... or not! ;-)

    The LW creator couldn't be Vader (LW was one of first 'accessible' 3D apps I used and it still rocks), Ton is a little to tall to be Yoda in the middle, and the Modo guy has too many years in the industry to be Obi Wan.

    So... the Modo guy could be Yoda as his app Videoscape3D trained Ton, which makes Ton to be Obi Wan... and the LW guy Vader? Nah, LW is too 'Light' and cool for that (and the creator has obviously got Yoda like hair)!

    ( What the hell am I smokn?!?? )

    But seriously... this is a super cool historical event captured in a photo - one that all in it must treasure... and bodes well for a new Alliance.

    ( I'd love some of the Blender doubters on http://forums.cgsociety.org/ to see this photo. =)

    But it's going to be 'interesting times' in this Alliance, as Blender will increasingly put LW, Modo, and 'similar tier' apps in the industry 'on notice' as its abilities partially or wholly overtake them, making Blender the new Jedi - Luke. :D

    ( Does this make Audacity Princess Leia? )

    Perhaps COLLADA is the Force? (Or will it eventually be Verse?)

    Apps not supporting COLLADA may very well be the Sith!

    Hehe... just having some fun to celebrate this cool photo... so put your 'sabers away! =)

  12. Yeah that's really great news...
    We should nonetheless be cautious... and have foresight as to how "The Empire ( surely will) Strikes Back"! ^^

  13. great, cograts , keep working on those collada standards ;). videoscape remember that proggy well, a 3 floppy install with one full floppy containing a 33 sec demo of space ships doing a planet fly by.

  14. Great meeting.

    Speaking of Lightwave makes me think to one thing that I'm wondering about for a long time : the ability of future Blender releases to support features of external packages.

    I'd want to purchase Vue 7 (from e-on software) for a long time, but the standalone version (Vue 7 infinite) of this software has poor animation possibilities, other than animating vegetation.

    Though, its plugin version (Vue 7 xStream) allows to use Vue 7 inside other packages, like 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave, Cinema 4D and XSI.

    As for me it means purchasing and learning a new and expensive package before being able to use all the features of Vue 7, I'd like to know if the architecture of future Blender versions will allow one day to use Vue 7 as a plugin ?

  15. @Roubal :

    About Vue 7, 'im experienced users with this application, and I try longtime to get xstream plug-in for blender but no way for now...e-onsoftware don't have enought request for it.

    Now as Vue is Python connected, and with Vue Python we can do Import/Export files formats, it's possible to creat a bridge between Vue and Blender, but who want to code that's ? I'm not experienced enough in Python and Vue / Blender API.

    Last weeks I try to create (with a programmer) a direct .blend exporter from 3ds max to Blender but after a quick exchange with Bart and Ton by email, it's seam .Blend file format is for now a bit complicate but more open with 2.50...

    Into Blender you have some tools and plug-ins to creates tree, sky, etc... and 2.50 coming with more tools to help in this task so wait and see !

    Many open source addicted ask me often : how my god you use 3ds max and blender...why not only blender ? My replies is always the same : I use Blender because he have tools 3ds max don't have (fluids, painting, game engine, composite,...) but in industrie when you work with customers they use 3ds max and .max file format, so no way... I prefer 3ds max for modeling and rendering with mentalray and blender for all this greats tools inside, we can use both worlds as fine !

    It's my point of view and way of work, the most important is do th ejob with the right tools !

    Cheers,
    Ben

  16. @bsm3d : Thank you for your answer.

    Yes, Blender allows to create landscapes, but a scene with few detailed trees is already very heavy. The most interesting thing of Vue, in my opinion, is its ability to manage with huge scenes with hundreds of trees. I dont know if this ability is kept when using it inside an other package, though...

  17. wow what a great news.....i'm a fan of both :) i use blender for modeling and modo for rendering ...waiting for more updates related to this title :D

  18. Nice to hear, and yes collada is the way to go, imo.

    Even NewTek realized that, and their Main Object/Scene Format for Core v1 will be based(extended) on collada.

  19. @ ROUBAL:
    Although I think it's technically possible for a Vue plugin to be created, I doubt it will happen due to licensing issues. Even if Python is used to bridge between the pluging and Blender, according to the Blenders licensing page (http://www.blender.org/education-help/faq/gpl-for-artists/) they would still be considered one program and therefore be subject to the GPL; i.e. E-on would have to open-source their $1500 a throw program.

    Chances of that happening? Kinda slim!

    This is actually one of the downsides of the GPL for Blender; it effectively walls off Blender from the considerable eco-system of plug-ins that the rest of the industry uses.

  20. That is great news. Though I'm not a Modo user (unable to buy any yet) I would give it a look. Love events like this happening. Hope this would foster even more.

  21. hummm sound strange...

    Modo needs to rip some blender features ?? like animation (CA) ?

    I am sure that Brad is looking more than to make compatible the collada format....
    Brad is a business man, that's sound strange for me. Maybe to rip some blender features.

    take care

  22. @bsm3D and CorsairX : thank you for these informations.

    @bsm3D : So, you think that it would be better for me to purchase Vue infinite (rather than xStream), and composite in Blender ? It looks like a good solution for background mattes, but wouldn't it be less flexible for close up or immersive (surrounding) scenes ?

  23. @Roubal :

    If you use Blender as 3d application, Yes! As Vue xStream don't support Blender, the only way you have is do compositing...(it's the better way in all case for any serious projects!). Vue Infinite have all the xStream features, excepted 3d applications connections plug-ins...

    Vue can export Render passes with all sub-compoments and each separated objects with layer, alpha, mask,... Vue can also can export to Open EXR.

    Forget about RPF / RLA exporting as it's for Autodesk Combustion, Toxik,...

    From my experience, use Blender for modeling, setup scene, animation... and use Vue for Matte, sky, background tree,...after merge all in one in Blender Compositing or after effects or all you want to do the work you need.

    You can also tricks with Front camera mapping, exporting 3D data from blender to import into Vue for keep lights and camera positions...but I repeat Blender and Vue must be used in compositing, forget all the rest!

    Depending on what's you want to do you can also try to sculpt terrain into Blender or import DEM or Ter files, Terragen Learnign edition is free and perfect for making sky or landscape...

    Note : if you would like continue this discussion I think it's better to go to my forum (www.tdt3d.com) to avoid spam this thread and subjet who is Modo and Blender Collada's friends :-)

    Cheers,
    Ben

  24. wow,

    Combination of Blender and Modo, now that is gonna be a bomb to 3D world, Blender 2.5 is like a huge factor that will shake whole industry, now if MOdo and Blender get to work together... it is fascinating!

  25. @ bsm3d

    or simply people may ask for the bridge to Carrara 3D, upcoming version is 8.

    With version 8 it will be more powerful than Vue, even now it is in most cases the better choice, it is a pity so many people doesn't see the real potential of C. Anyway, combine it with Blender and you will never want to look at any other software and it is cheaper than Vue, oh and old versions comes free on magazines or Books. For instance you can buy one of last months 3D world magazines and get Carrara 6 pro for free (I don't remember which issue).

  26. @ Ash Tray : I never said Carrara is less or better, the subject is about Modo and Blender and derivated to Bue and Modo from a question posted by Roubal...

    Roubal asked about Blender and Vue, I don't know why you go with Carrara, I know Carrara very well I have a copy but it's not the subject...

    I know Carrara have great "natural" tools but it's not the Subject :-) I think we are on BlenderNation and Blender is the core of all discutions...

  27. Sorry, I didn't want to put this thead in fire with my question !

    The question came to me because the creator of Lightwave was present at the meeting. As Lightwave appeared to be one of the less expensive 3D package supporting Vue, I wondered if a rapprochement between Blender and Lightwave creators could have a positive effect on future compatibility with some plugins... I have got my answer !

    @bms3d : I will go on your forum for more details about Vue ! Thanks !

  28. Nice idea to come together (commercial and opensource)!
    My oppinion is that Collada isn't the best import/export format.
    I think it's FBX, because you can put textures, bones, deformation data and of course the polygon itself into it!!
    So I wish that Blender will get an fully workable FBX connection!!

  29. There is no fire just a point of view :-)

    To come on Blender discuss, if there is requests, I guess e-onsoftware can creat a .blend exporter (waiting for 2.50) or a python camera and lights sync tool.

    @Tim, LA : Both have pro and cons, Collada is not robust enough and FBX is Autodesk proprietary, both export datas sometimes rights sometimes badly... depending on what's inside the scene...

    The bad about Collada with Autodesk is Autodesk use his FBX translator to create Collada files with as usual Autodesk touch !

    I think if we want to see Blender in big productions and compagnies, he must support industries files formats inputs/ouputs, for now Blender have a strong files formats bases but need to be more tested or robust... I think this is the bad point of Blender and as it's open source GPL based, it's not so easy ! Blender is FRee, others are not, combining both world is again not so easy...but possible !

    Often a forget but really robust file format is VRML ;)

  30. Steven Smithers on

    It would be good if the Blender folks also talked to Newtek - having a nice pipe-line between Lightwave and Blender would also be very cool!

  31. beliver
    Aug 13th, 2009 at 5:03 pm
    hummm sound strange…

    Modo needs to rip some blender features ?? like animation (CA) ?

    That's cool, if Blender can get some code to improve it's rendering.

  32. Research projects that involve developing new 3D tools (like new renderers) often hit a roadblock when trying to import data. Though COLLADA is a nice standard, Blender's support for it isn't very good. I almost wonder if Blender would have a better chance at making COLLADA a big thing if it did what Inkscape did to vectors, and just adopt the standard as its native file format completely.

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