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Blender Developers Meeting Notes

30

The (almost) weekly update from the Blender Developers.

Ton Roosendaal writes:

Hi all,

1) Current projects

  • Joerg (Nexyon) has Ogg Vorbis and Theora sound worknow. Wav and flac coming.
  • Shaul reports that Lux Render project moved to 2.5 integration.
  • Thomas reminds us to the module owner list again. Should get more priority now!

2) Next 2.5 release

  • Brecht compliments everyone with bug tracker attack! Open issues went down from 275 to 138 in a week, with even 80 new reports added. (Special thanks to Brecht, Campbell & Matt!).
  • Matt has summer holidays now, will do some docs and website work this week, and resumes work in March
  • Time for a new and final release target list, with essential fixes and todos. Ton has it on his list to present a.s.a.p. Target is still to make a next release fit for documentation work.
  • Ton proposes a full feature stop until we can call Blender "stable" and "usable" again. It's time to get past the alpha or beta discussions, and just put all efforts in having a working Blender as usual.
  • Related to that, the 2.5 roadmap plan should be adjusted, based on fewer updates and state as we're in now. Next release (2.5 beta 1) could arrive within a month or so... depends on how complicated the release target list will be.
  • Jason mentions that he'd prefer toolbox back (as for 2.4x), which was a good feature for documentation for him. Ton invites all documenters to send in their top hotlists todos (only the essentials please!) this week latest.

-Ton-

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.

30 Comments

  1. thats awesome news! :)
    great stuff about the theora and ogg thing, luxrender aswell ...

    absouletely amazing that the bugcount went down so much,,,hats off for the devs thats quite an accomplishment *thumbsup
    i agree with the 'stable' proposal..tho that is not too important but it would be good to have since theres always lots of new users checking in wich arent familiar with getting the latest builds and infos on the alpha...

    I bow down before all the devs and say thanks for all the features and for keeping us informed!
    YOU ROXX!

  2. Wait WAIT WAIT Ton!
    What about the integration of the GE into the render engine dropdown? do you call that good design to build upon? This is by far the worst decision ever made for Blender 2.5. Render Engine drop down should be for rendering engines and absolutely nothing else.

    I thought this was a temporary placeholder.

  3. Target is still to make a next release fit for documentation work.

    Dear Ton - don`t let them begin or escape into new projects and keep focus on that aim - please. This would make my live a little bit easier.

    Toni
    (from the german blender documentation)

  4. Excelent news about Luxrender and 2.5 alpha 1 release date, cant wait to get my hands on the full stable version, even though I don't use 2.49 anymore, I find it old lol.

    Thank you guys a lot!

  5. By the way, congratulations for the progresses.

    Nonetheless I think I will create a 2.49b Foundation to help claim its fully operativeness, until we get a full official and production ready release for 2.5.

    All the "buzziness" about Blender 2.5 is getting me so tired, as I said here several times. If you don't have I-dont-know-which-feature-of-GE in 2.5, use 2.49b or simply wait. This is what mortal men used to do.

    Obviously I have hopes too in 2.5, but from Blender I expect a tool, not a headache. Even considering myself a rather "computer geek". Current 2.5 looks good, yes. But only looks. For the moment I can't care and I can't be confident with it. I don't understand the current "fashion trend" to do all kind of things (videotutos, pdf, debates about angels sex, etc) for 2.5 by several kinds of users over the net. If something is potentially not going to work, what do you want to teach about? Perhaps a little unconstructive (there are interesting things, too), but I hope you understand what I mean.

    Anyone else wants to join my Foundation too?
    Raimon

    PS: some 2.5 bugs reported by mine seemed to be reported and being processed yet, Matt told me. Not a good way to implement a search function in the bug tracker? to rearrange columns by category? you know, all these fancy tools that would make happy anyone who is browsing any data? I wondered about this for many years. I'm a blender user, fan, and all this stuff, but goodwilling has a limit too. If reporting bugs is perceived so hard or so useless, nobody will care about except a dozen of developpers. Don't take me bad, I don't wanna be unpolite, but bugtracker usability is perhaps the weakest point I find in my interaction with Blender community, or even with Blender itself.

  6. Ai.... I like the NEW toolbox FAR better than the old one.

    I can't imagine fitting the painting tools that now are getting VERY nicely developed and VERY usable, into the old floating annoying window. Please PLEASE don't switch to the OLD toolbox!

    About the bugfixes - very nice work devs! Thanks for your efforts!

  7. Thankyou for development... I think I can wait if the final release will be " WOW ", and if I know Blender, It would be "WOW" in the nearly future! :)

  8. Raimon,

    Talking about documentation, I've been thinking about starting the new edition of the Blender Basics book, but want to wait to see how things pan out. Don't feel like spinning my wheels and having to go back and make changes.. time is way too precious for that :-)

    I plan to teach some classes through our state college at their Kids College camps and don't know where I should focus my energies.... Will a stable 2.5 (2.6) be out before that time? If so, I'll need the new book.... if not, stick to 2.49....

  9. Wow... I would LOVE to know what lux integration in blender means. I Love lux and am not sure if you mean just getting it working with blender 2.5 as it did with 2.49 which is most likely, Or does it mean going all the way to integration as part of blender internal with GI option and OpenCL which is a dream come true, but I know too much to hope for.

    Any way great update and keep up the good work!

  10. -nrk-

    I think it does tie in with the material re-factor since a complete rewrite would be too time consuming. Lux will have openCL by then too. That means that Blender might get accelerated rendering before Maya and others. =)

  11. @nrk

    I think it just means LUX will use the new render api for its export script. it will work more seemlessly with Blender but still be a seprate render engine. there are POVray and vray python scripts that kind of shows how all external renders will be working with Blender 2.50

    I could be wrong but I don't think there is any external render that will be replacing BI as the render engine. The refactor is targeted at BI. This is just my opnion though maybe a dev can clear things up.

  12. Hey, does anyone know if Blender 2.5 (or, 2.6 as it'll be called when it's finished), will have support for multiple monitors? It's probably a dumb question and been already answered, but just curious.

  13. ogg, luxrender and last i heard that bmesh will be merged with trunk... wooohooo!! i think the nxt blender release will just make it at pat with the giants like max and maya. thank you developers.

  14. @Aussiedude:

    I find 2.5's multiple screen concept a bit messy. Using a separate Blender window on each screen means that if you have a button to click in a different window, you effectively have to click once to select the other window, then again to click the button. Annoying. For this reason I still prefer to use one window spanning both monitors - but unfortunately 2.5 doesn't understand the command line switches (e.g. "C:\blender2.49.exe" -w -p -1280 53 2960 1000") that would make 2.49 open across both screens at startup. Grrrr...!

  15. Unless I need todo something extra in 2.5, I hope (especially the 'buttons-window') get horizontal-support again, the first +/-350 pixels usable...

    Niels

    ps.
    Or it's changes already...

  16. Ahh, thanks Scott, Reaction.

    Well I did try that before, but more often than not, my screens are different resolutions (ones a laptop and the other is a 22inch LCD monitor), so stretching it across two monitors usually won't work, or will leave a big space empty at the bottom of one monitor. So I was hoping to be able to have two windows so I could maximise it for the other window.

    Would it be a challenge to make Blender recognise the extra window as being the same context (I think that's the correct word for it from what I read on windows programming) or would it make Blender not crossplatform or something?

    Regardless, Blender 2.5/2.6 is looking pretty damn awesome right now.

  17. @abhifx

    "ogg, luxrender and last i heard that bmesh will be merged with trunk… wooohooo!!"

    LuxRender merged with blender trunk? I think not. Where you do people manufacture such crap ?

  18. Hey "Anonymous", crap and crap...I'm not sure you understand.... I bet he meant the script that connects LuxRender to Blender, that could most certainly become a part of the SVN Trunk!

    PovRay already is...

  19. It's name is LuxBlend and yes we knew that. I will pray for anonymous, it is difficult to imagine the torturous existence of having to live with bile in your throat.

  20. @Shiretoko said:

    "What about the integration of the GE into the render engine dropdown? do you call that good design to build upon? This is by far the worst decision ever made for Blender 2.5. Render Engine drop down should be for rendering engines and absolutely nothing else."

    I do not agree. In fact, the game engine is also a render engine. I go with the new design. It is appropriate for it is the renderer you need when you're making an interacive project. If you are doing assets and need the BI, you'll probably do it in another .blend file. And if you want to make a still image of your game, you just have to change it back, but it won't annoy you the rest of the time with a tab full of unsuitable fuctions for you project.

    For the 2.5 progresses. Congratulation! I am so excited about what blender is becoming.
    But do someone know when the bevel operation in edit mode will be back (not the modifier)? Will it come with bmesh? For it is the only thing that stop me from modelling in 2.5 right now.

    Excellent news anyway!

  21. @Axon D

    Well yes it is a render engine, but it does much more than that. One is a real-time renderer with a game engine and the other is a software renderer only... and the two are being lumped together as if they are they are two exactly the same items that you can only mutually choose to use ONE of.

    Fact. They are two different things, that were used to be able to be used side by side, when modelling and working on game art for your game. Lots of artwork is rendered in the software renderer eg. normal maps,light maps, texture maps.. then loaded into the game engine.

    One effects the view-port, the other affects the software rendering. The two are totally mutually exclusive. The tenuous link is that they both render things.

    Why if it worked together before, can it no longer work now? How are you supposed to bake normal maps then jump into the game engine to see if it works.. now you must change renderer first. It is redundant and it is bad design.

    The whole.. well we want the material tabs to make sense argument is moot.. because they could just add a mode/button for viewing whatever material setting work in the GE or the software render. They already have split screen buttons overlapping other buttons..another huge unaddressed and unheard of in any app ever made..design flaw.. so they should be cool with it ;-)

    The whole.. you will only make your game assests in another file argument is also moot, because that doesn't solve the extra work you now have to do in order to bake normal maps and whatever and then change renderer in order to view your game art in the game engine.

    This negates the best thing about the blender game engine.. you just hit "p" and off it goes.. no other engines do this.. now you have to click click change this change that.. then hit"p".. it's like messing up one of the best attractions the engine had to offer. If I want to it to be a slow complicated process I would use other engines.

    A lot of people aren't happy with it including some of the original game engine developers. So it would be nice if we could address the problem with a better solution and not simplify the huge differences in workflow between the game engine and a software renderer. Which is the whole point behind 2.5 having an easier interface to change.

    But they have more important other 2.5 things to focus on like Durian! Which is looking awesome!!!

  22. I realy would like to see some usefull things in next version....like Bake button and lightmap options for UV... so i can migrate all my jobs to 2.5...for now i must have to do just one thing...wait!

    But i understand what is envolved here...keep the good work!

    Sds!
    Berk

  23. Good Good,
    Developers.

    Its nice to put on the thought for a stable 2.5.0 version of Blender,the software.

    What is envolved here,is most about the talk about,
    i myself had given already some angry for all the thing to keep it on.

  24. @Hippblend

    Hi Hippblend. You're right that in some certain case of workflow it could be usefull to have all the options accesible at the same time (BI and GE). But i think it is more confusing most of the time. I see the new design as a cleaner UI.

    "How are you supposed to bake normal maps then jump into the game engine to see if it works.."
    For the baking question, you still can push the Pkey we all like. In the BI rendering mode the game will still start. So that's not an argument. Anyway, you can see the normal maps in the viewport(Yes, i know, some custom shaders may only be visible while the engine is running).

    And any developed project would have at least one central .blend set in GE, and many assets .blends set in BI. Yes, you can make a project into one single .blend. A prototype even without texture or a little project, something like that. But a serious project need to be well organised. I think that for most projects, it will benefit from this contextual approach.

    And, thank you, you also made me realised that some of the material options are also contextual. And this is cleaner design IMO.

    In fact, you're right, those options "were used to be able to be used side by side". And this is something blender does well. Let YOU decide how your workflow will be. I think this is your point. And i agree with that. Maybe it could have another mode where there is BI and GE renderers together. And i think we now can make it ourselves with the new python interface. But this would be a peculiar taste.

    But the Only situation i see that could really be annoying is for switching the viewport rendering for unwrapping/texturing(GLSL/TextureFace/Multitexturing). We'll have to go to GE to switch to texture face to see the uv grid and vice versa or create a material with the texture.

    I may be wrong to think it is be better, but it is valuable to contribute to the reasoning.

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