You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.



Picture 2Article submitted by Chris Want. Freshman university student (and well-known Blender coder) Joshua Leung from New Zealand participated in the 2009 Google Summer of Code program (GSoC). His goal: to rewrite Blender's Non-Linear Animation (NLA) system for Blender 2.5. Joshua has reached and surpassed his goal, with the guidance of his mentor, Matt Ebb, and his work has been merged into the Blender 2.5 branch.

User Mike Belanger has documented some of the key features of this project on his wiki page:

Mike has also produced some screenshots of the NLA system in action:

To learn more about the details of Joshua's project, please check out the project proposal and Joshua's wiki page:

You can try out Joshua's code by checking out the Blender 2.5 branch here:

Feedback on the project can be posted to the Blender 2.5 tasklist mailing list, or to bf-committers:

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. Hehe, If you look quickly the title looks like some alien language :D


    Well Done, Blender 2.5 is gonna be great. It's getting a full dope sheet right?

  2. @ miff -

    actually, you should find this particular update to be more helpful. the project proposal states one of the intentions of this re-factor is to make the purpose of the NLA editor more clear. I'm sure usability also benefits a lot.

    I'll be happy to drop 2.49 :)

  3. well he did a great job, just want to mention - mentor matt ebb was rather an adviser and cooperator than 'mentor' in the true sense, since Joshua Leung is currently probably the most active developer. The work he did is just huge...

  4. I am absolutely chuffed by the way - awesome work. Even when I read what I previously wrote it didn't come out right! But yeah looking forward to seeing what the new NLA can do!

  5. Really a great feature. Thxs for your work.

    BTW: In the Documentation page for this feature hints for new modifiers/effects, so what are the new modifiers/effects are we talking here. Just curious to know.

  6. Can blended actions be converted back to keyframes/splines for refined editing? If so that would make this feature immensely useful. Mix and blend actions to block it in quickly then do the refined tweaking to finish it off, thus allowing things like a walk cycle to be more naturalistic. (as opposed to simply cycled, which tends to look robotic)

  7. I thought this was about Klingons from the title...

    Never mind, this is great news. A successful GSoC project that will be really useful to animators. We're going to be spoiled for choice on new things to learn when Blender 2.5 comes out. Much respect to all devs. :)

  8. Different smoke: new NLA (and even current one if you know how) can handle all animations
    ToastBusters: yes you can already just select a strip and press tab, its in the docs

  9. Whats with the title? I tried to read it and I sound like a toad or something.

    Great news improvements ( I hear a lot of improvements all the time. Is this really happening? ). Huge leap for Blender. I'm just trying out animation, I hope I don't need to relearn anything.

  10. This NLA update seems kinda pointless since 2.5 will include the "Animate Awesomeness" button, which would make this update seem outdated. Anyhow, good job on the prettiness. :P

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.