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Developer Meeting Notes (Blender 2.5 Report)

45

Development UpdatePrevious week report, from Blender Conference meeting

- Blender 2.5 "beta 0" naming still has some pro/contra discussions... in some aspects it's more like an alpha. Everyone agrees it has to be communicated as a test build when released

- Beta0 targets: Python api is ready for exporters, importers work for mesh. Collada might be in as a target. Game Engine is nearly restored and ready for test.

- Default .blend test suite needs update, action required still!

- Crucial is to get the todo list well communicating for the "release log".

- Everyone looks forward having the old bug tracker upgraded, like with redmine.

- To welcome and support new developers, proposal is to make special (weekly) Q&A sessions online for developers. Campbell will announce and coordinate. Several ideas for welcoming and attracting new developers were discussed (tutorials, templates, irc search bot, online workshops, sprints in blender institute), clearly an important topic.

- Target 1 for Blender Foundation this year: implement better project management, with more clear modules, module owners, and rights of module teams to add developers or accept patches. Maybe even split up mailing lists for commits based on this.

- Target 2: find funding for (half time?) hired development support. We have too much backlog work on maintenance, documentation, website logs, patch reviewing, etc.

1) Current projects

- Goo & slime tests: http://pfs.planetblender.org/

- Martin experimented with smarter button-value-sliding, proposal follows.

(similar to http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini10.0/basics/ladder )

- Collada project: being integrated in trunk now. Main issue is get the build environment work for new dependencies.

- Martin puts back the autotest-suite on the agenda, especially for graphics correctness of UI. Unless someone else is interested, he'll give it a try.

2) 2.5 project planning

- Further planning & updating will be in wiki... todo section.

- It's Matt's first week! He will be in charge of the wiki communication too. (We have a sponsor paying Matt for full-time coding work, to wrap up 2.5 project).

- Thomas Dinges likes to finish UI for nodes before first beta build

- Blender WindowManager crashes a lot currently with opening/closing windows... ton will check

- Next sunday we'll review reports sofar and decide on testbuild "beta0".

3) Durian

- Brecht + Nicholas started on Sculpt branch, speedup and memory optimizing.

- Campbell works with Nathan on python rigging API, for creation of automatic rigged characters.

[edit]

Benoit is working now on a new logic editing system for the GE:  Feedback welcome, design is in progress still.

-Ton-

45 Comments

  1. goo and slime looks very cool, the first time I've seen it. First video reminds me of a snowcone...would also make for nice snow I bet.

    The ladder looks interesting as well.

    keep up the good work everyone!

  2. Thanks Tim for the report, missed last week's report... did Blendernation publish it?

    Didn't know about the particle-based fluid simulation... looks very cool!

    jedihe

  3. Anonymous Coward on

    "- Blender 2.5 "beta 0" naming still has some pro/contra discussions… in some aspects it's more like an alpha. Everyone agrees it has to be communicated as a test build when released."

    How's about 'more beta than beta'?

  4. How about SCULPTING? Is it getting any improvements? I mean if you look at it is AGES behind competition and I can bet that it is more importand feature then "goo simulation" for example.. (which really looks great btw, but still..). Come on guys - I have faith in you ;)

  5. Actually I'm really waiting for sculpting improvements: sculpting is really powerful, but not so smooth and not so stable (under Windows especially)!
    There's a way or a procedure to talk with Brecht and Nicholas about bugs/features for sculpting?
    Thanks in advance.

    P.S. As paperboard: http://www.youtube.com/user/thinkinmonkey

  6. @naag:

    A few days ago Brecht and Nicholas Bishop started a separate branch to work on sculpt. AFAIK, their main goals are to optimize memory and improve refresh times.

    jedihe

  7. I agree with sculpt improvements... but one is listed there isn't it? Any improvements in memory usage and speed is always welcome.

  8. Jebali Mohamed on

    am waiting for the new blender yayyy up to 2.5 ..bye the way Any new Tools in sculpt mode like the Zbrush 3.5

    good luck Team

  9. " - Martin experimented with smarter button-value-sliding, proposal follows.

    (similar to http://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini10.0/basics/ladder ) "

    WOW! This will be a major break-through in usability for Blender UI. I think Maya's Channel Box behavior is more convenient than this Houdini's feature in terms of operating rate. Anyway in both cases such feature combined with the 2.5 customizable UI will be extremely usable for character rigs, where it saves A LOT of custom character UI development and A LOT of time in the animation process. Can't wait to see some progress.

  10. Impressive list. Can't wait..

    With regards to funding the developers, why don't they use the same system as with the pre-orders.. I know I would be willing

    As a reward for donations, either name in a list of contributors in blender, and/or an earlier release to the supporters, by lest say a week or two.???

    Just my 2 cents...

    Still 2.5... :) just brings smiles to my face every time I launch the test builds :)

  11. Would it be possible, to make something about the limit in the number of polygons that Blender can render? Right now I think if I try to render something about 4 million, the program crashes. I'm using it along with zbrush, and since Blender internal doesn't have micro polygon displacement, you need a pretty dense mesh to reproduce the details on zbrush.
    Right now I can make a decent approximation of what I have in zbrush (17 million polys) with a combination of displacement and normal maps in blender, but it would be nice to render in its full detailed glory!

  12. I don't think GI is a priority right now, in fact Durian won't use GI at all, so I guess Blender won't have GI anytime soon.
    Yafaray is quite good, though. If only it had SSS....

  13. Alex Delderfield (AD-Edge) on

    Excellent stuff.

    "Benoit is working now on a new logic editing system for the GE"
    Now thats what I like to hear :D

  14. Blender Outsider on

    @ Thinkinmonkey.

    It's right there point #3.

    "3) Durian

    - Brecht + Nicholas started on Sculpt branch, speedup and memory optimizing."

  15. @Blender Outsider:
    yeap, I read.
    But my question was concerning about writing them to assist and to report bugs.
    Anyway, my english is not so good, I'm sorry, my thoughts were: Actually, I was really waiting for those sculpting features/enhancement... I hope it sounds better.

  16. "- Everyone looks forward having the old bug tracker upgraded, like with redmine."

    Will we finally be able to file bugs anonymously? Or will this just be a continuation of the status quo where the B.F. simply doesn't want just anyone filing bugs?

  17. Thank you all for the exemplary work you do to get Blender 2.5 out.
    Please, Please don't rush. We can wait (howls of protest).

    As for naming, 'Blender2.5 Test' says it all,
    Could even use Blender2.5 'Endeavour' which means the same thing but is also the name of Capt James Cook's ship that he used to discover Australia.

    Roger

  18. Wow, that document on the Nodal Logic is really fascinating, I am now really looking forward to when it is implemented. Man Blender 2.5 is the coolest thing ever!

  19. Blender Outsider - speedup and memory optimizing is not all. AT LEAST working clay brush is a MUST to make any sense out of Blender sculpt. It was implemented before but was having major problems. I know Blender cannot be as good as Zbrush but I would love to see some really good OS sculpt out there :D Keep it up guys!

  20. Awesome. I know that paper on fluid simulation quite well. It would be great if it can be integrated with the game engine later as well, as it's capable of interative speeds! =]

  21. I'm very impressed with the new features in Mudbox and ZBrush, hope some come to Blender.
    I think modeling is THE core feature of Blender, and BMesh is a great project for base mesh modeling. Sculpting and automated Retopo tools should be on top of the list for development.

  22. I'm testing the new version, I'm very exciting with it, it's really amazing!.. but where I could report some bugs blender 2.5-VC r24129.

    1- if you try to export the keymap configuration, Blender goes shutdown.
    2- In the properties panel, if put it like others blender, on the botton, not sidebar. when you try zoom a lot (maxime zoom) the panel show some distortion, every thing is out position.
    3- (this is not a bugs) in the outliner panel, before to highlight just drag the LMB, now is click one by one, and that's not good.

    Why Blender foundation always forgets the CG Arch-viz users, we need some especifics tools, like better snaps (intersection & perpendicular, etc..), protactor (like sketchup), infinite guide line (Sketchup, autocad xline), change axis and workplane (like Sketchup or Modo) and so on!.

    what happened with the drag&drop outliner?
    http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Source/Blender/Proposals/Outliner

  23. @kr, this is the idea of Open Source.... 'scratch your own itch' and get involved and develop these features for your own needs! I know it is not easy, but it will be infinitely satisfying when you do achieve it. One of the goals of the 2.5 project is to make the pathway for new developers easier too AFAIK.

  24. Eeean, thanks for your easy answer!...

    I'm not programer, if I were, I would do it, do not you think?.

    why some people involved in the Blender comunity (like U) think that all B. users must be a programer?

  25. Sorry it wasn't a sarcasticly directed comment, but meant to be encouraging... I should have phrased it better. I didn't assume you were a programmer and I don't think every Blender user is a programmer either. Bleh... whatever.

  26. Sorry too!..

    Come back to zero...

    I was a little ungry, bcouse I'm using Blender for more than 6 yaers and never improved the tools that I need like CG architect I'm. I know that blender is day by day better and improves a lot, but in animation and in others areas.

    I'm very exciting with the 2.5, I like so much the interface and so on, but

    - The Onliner is almost the same, in this moment the outliner is just a Objects list. (would be great at least like Modo)
    - The Oops Schematics dessapeared, this is a good tool if improves like houdini.
    - The layers... why just 20, why I coudn't write a name. (I had seen a scripts that improve it, why have not integrated?)
    - Presets materials
    - presets configuration renders
    - Global illumination Blender internal (I now that we have Luxrender, Yafaray, Kerkythea, etc.)
    - AEC tools (snaps, protractor, rotation by select point, dimentions, etc.)
    - Parametrics objects (doors, windows, stairs, etc..) I personally do not use them, but the CG Arch-viz user like 3DS Max just for that. postdata: I don't use 3DS max, I use SketchUp, Modo & Blender.
    - Improve the preview render (like XSI or Modo) in this moment U couldn't configure without unconfigure the final render.
    - Blender Game engine elements (Player, Low-poly trees, Low-poly terrains, etc.)
    - Global Lightmaps
    - More than one UV-map per object

    I know I require so much, but you couldn't tell me that many of these features cannot be upgraded easily?

    Repet: I'm not programer, if I were, I'll do it by myself, but I couldn't. I'm just a poor user.

  27. I propose a change, being that Blender 2.5 is practically new software, called Blender NG* or Blender Revolution, and its updates call it as ubuntu does.

    examples: Blender NG 2010, this is the final version and its updates Blender NG 1005 (2010 and the month 05)

    *NG: new generation

    ------------------------

    Somebody knows which the file that controlled the keymaps, I'm driving the 2.5 but it can not save the keymaps configuration, when I try to save it blender crash, so I need to identify this file to change outside blender. Thx.

  28. Some of your needs are being addressed, so there is hope!

    - The Outliner is much more comprehensive (change the 'view' to datablocks, you'll see a whole array of editable parameters, right click a value for options to Keyframe and add Drivers too)
    - Preset Materials are AFAIK on the way for the 2.5 project. You can join in the development of the materials library at BlenderArtists.org forums

    "AEC tools (snaps, protractor, rotation by select point, dimentions, etc.)". I totally agree with you, these are useful for everyone.

    Parametric AEC objects would be nice, but it would be really difficult to maintain an international standards compliant set. Proprietry CAD software is expensive because of these types of features. Really the only solution is to motivate, as I had meant to suggest before, the CAD community to rally together and rather than request these features... start to develop them for themselves. Otherwise they just won't happen.

    Luckily, some of these problems are solvable... through Python. Which is much easier to work with than the actual source code. Blender should IMO remain a generalist 3D application, and with the core development remaining focused. Specialist needs can and should be met by Python scripting. Luckily this is being taken seriously and these needs will be easier to meet with the new improvements to scripting. I'm excited to get involved in this area once 2.5 is ready.

  29. I don't understand well the Datablocks keyframe and add drivers, step by step!..

    I Hope some day Blender adding a AEC tools, I'd found a scripts called ProCAD, it has a lot of tools , but is unclear (just a litle) and all its instructions are in Italian, but there is a Gloogle translate!

    Do you know which the file that control the Blender 2.5 keymaps?.

    --------------------

    just googling and you will find it!

  30. I'm not sure about the keymaps, sorry. I think the B25.Blend file has something to do with it, which again I don't know anything about.

    Open an Outliner window, then change 'all scenes' to 'datablocks'. Then drill down and explore the parameters of your scene / blender project. You can right click some parameters for further options.

  31. i believe when they say the ability to keymap it is the ability change the shortcuts for blenders tools like make ctrl I rotate instead of ctrl R

  32. Dr Doom has made some good calls over the last 6 months. I have to say that I find his general tone to be refreshing. Surprising how he has turned economics into something captivating. I have assembled a collection of interviews from Roubini, Meredith Whitney, Jim Rogres and Barry Ritholtz at financialanalystwatch.com

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