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Brecht joins Octane team


After working as a full-time Blender developer at the Blender Institute for three years, Brecht van Lommel found he needed a new challenge. In those three years, Brecht has done an incredible amount of work for Blender.

I bow deeply before you, Brecht, and I wish you all the best in your new job. Thank you!

Ton Roosendaal Writes:

After three years of more than excellent services at Blender Institute, Brecht has decided to move on with his career and accept per september a position as software architect at Refractive Software in Belgium, which is close to where he lives. He will be working on the very promising Octane renderer, which caused many heads to turn at the last Siggraph expo.

Brecht's position will be filled by Campbell Barton, who will start working full time on Blender development, coder support, bug fixing and Python design - working from his home in Melbourne Australia. Well he did this mostly already, but now will be official and paid! :) Currently Diego Borghetti is working half time for the Blender Foundation on bug tracker support. This month I'll also know more of our financial scope, but quite likely another full timer can be recruited then for support & fixing.

It's been a great pleasure and honour to have Brecht work for us in the past years. He's done tremendously important contributions, for which I certainly will miss him. Luckily Brecht will remain involved with Blender, also as a developer in his spare time.

I wish Brecht all the luck and success with his new job, and welcome Campbell to the team!

In a reaction on the bf-committers maillist, Brecht writes:

Here's a few more details on the changes. My contract at the Blender Institute was until the end of this month, and I've been contemplating a bit what I should do in the future. It's been great working here, and I'm very grateful to Ton, he gave me a lot of freedom to work on what I wanted to work on, and I've learned a lot from him in the past years. I feel like after 3 years I need a different challenge, just doing something a bit different, so I started looking around and found a job at Refractive Software, with the advantage that it's closer to where I live.

I'll still be involved in Blender development, but again in my spare time as I did before I started working here. There's no non competition agreement or anything like this. I'll still work on getting Durian features merged into trunk, getting 2.5 finished, and other things after that, there's still many areas in Blender I'd like to improve in the future. In terms of internal render engine development however I won't be involved much anymore, focusing more on external render engine integration, but I'll of course try to get render branch features merged and help others understand how it works.

Thanks to everyone who's helped out with development/documentation and supported open movie projects. Further, I'll still be on IRC, mailing lists, committing to svn, so no massive change there.


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.


  1. All the best in your new job, Brecht. The Blender community will certainly miss your awesome contributions.

    Hopefully Blender will get interesting enough in the future for you to come back ;).

  2. OOoooooooHh No!!! We are losing a ROCK STAR! Thanks for all of your work and
    best of luck in your new endeavors. I may even buy Octane now. :)

    P. Monk

  3. Wish you really good luck for your next job. You Devs really have brought so much through Blender to us. Again I wish you all the best and hope that you'll have enough time to continue to help Blender grow :).

  4. Thanks for all your efforts and everything you've done for the blender community, and best of luck with the new job!

    Looking forward to the extreme Octane->Blender integration that is sure to follow :) And probably improvements to the render API aswell

  5. Thanks for all the great work you did, it really helped Blender to move be more professional.
    Good luck with the new job in Brussels, I understand the choice that it's time for something new now but I'm also glad to hear that you will still be working on Blende in your spare time :)

    groeten vanuit Brussel

  6. Way to go Brecht! If you you do for Octane what you've done for Blender, I'm sure it will become the industry standard in a few years. Congrats on moving up and taking on new challenges! Thanks for your hard work. We all appreciate what you've done :)

  7. I find it pretty sad, as Octane is a commercial project.

    But anyway, all the best for you, Brecht, and thanks for all you've done at the blender project.

  8. Thank you for your outstanding contribution to Blender over the last 3 years Brecht.
    Best wishes for your new position at Refractive.

  9. Indeed, good luck Campbell with new fulltime job :)
    And hopefully the financial situation gives good results so that there will be another fulltime developer

  10. Congratulations Brecht, sounds like an awesome job. Thanks for your hard work over the years. Octane is pretty nice too, here's hoping for an OpenCL version! :)

  11. Congrats to both Brecht & Campbell on their news.

    A friend of mine has remarked that 'you can never really leave blender!' when I told him bout the changing of the guard @ the BI.

    I can completely understand the need to face new challenges and glad there's a decent project associated with that challenge.

    IMHO: Commercial or non-commercial, great software is still great software guys and Blender & Octane are both great pieces of software.

    Again good luck to both of you! :)

  12. Welcome to Brecht !
    As a member of both Blender and Octane community users, I think that this is very good news. I am sure that Brecht will contribute to a better and faster exporting system from Blender to Octane.

  13. It's refreshing to move on to other things sometimes. It's a good way to remain inspired.

    I'm sure your new job will make you even more experienced, and in the end, maybe let you contribute in different, yet important aspects of Blender.

    When looking at the online videos, I always see you as the quiet, reserved, yet wise and all-knowing guy :D

    Thanks for all your great work !

  14. Giovanni Lanfiuti Baldi on

    Good luck man! Thank you for all the work you've done (and will do) for Blender!
    Welcome to Campbell!

  15. Congratulations Brecht!

    I belive Octane is a great piece of software, even if some people consider is evil because it's commercial. I couldn't rely only on opensource, and the whole economy relies on money. If you don't get paid at least to have a good life, why give software free ?

    Opensource is supposed to be the people who have resources to contribute, not the poor people working for free and the corporations winning.

  16. Good luck at Octane Brecht, switching jobs is always a super refreshing experience. Thanks for the amazing work you did until now with blender!

  17. Sad to hear, but best of wishes.

    I guess they created that European office just for Brecht. But Luxrender will win anyway.

  18. Good luck with your new position. It certainly won't hurt to have a Blender developer working on an external renderer. I guess we can look forward to even better integration between Octane and Blender :)

  19. Sephiroth the Bimbo Master on

    Good luck Brecht I wish you all the best in your new job, we'll gonna miss you our beloved programmer god. Thanks for all the work you have done for us, I really appreciate that.

    And welcome Campbell, well officially welcome.

  20. Thanks for all the work you have done with Blender! Radiance is making a dream team! we´ll miss you! goood luck!

  21. "Bratu Sebastian Aug 6th, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I belive Octane is a great piece of software, even if some people consider is evil because it’s commercial...."

    I think it's not because Octane is commercial but because who are the people behind Octane project is... a lot of people is sensitive about it... Spread the myth about "Open source community hate commercial apps just because they are commercial" is more evil.

  22. Yes indeed, radiance dream team.. i will take a closer look on octane again.

    Thx for all your efforts and great improvements you did.
    lady blender will miss you..

    dankeschön and all the best for your future at refractive

  23. I am both a Blender and Octane user!

    Now I know they will working very well together in the future,
    at less the exporter for 2.5!

  24. Good luck on your new post, Brecht. Perhaps you can help get Octane working with OpenCL so that those of us who use ATI cards can join in the fun.

  25. Must say I consider Octane more as a cool demo, not really something to work with right now. Maybe Brecht can push towards a real blender integration.

  26. \o/ We got Campbell FULL TIME!!! \o/

    Muhahahaha! World domination cannot be far behind! Awesome!

    Sad to lose Brecht to a closed source company with some weird FOSS history (even though I am *pro* commercial... Just would have been nice to be a commercial FOSS project). Still, better to have Brecht paid to learn ninja render fu.... and contribute come of that back to Blender! All the best Brecht and thanks for all your sexy Blender contributions. May the source be with you!

    Moving on though, I am seriously excited to have Campbell jumping in. A great coder and a great team player, in as much as I've seen. You'll make a kick ass Mango Man, Campbell! Let's rock! :D

  27. Everyone needs to make a living, Bretch has given the Blender society MUCH for free, amazing amounts, more than most would ever do for any organisation.

    Congratulations on your job Brecth, it is WELL DESERVED! Be happy, grow and aspire to the BEST you can be - we already KNOW you're one of the BEST, not only that - you're a NICE person too! Best wishes and BEST of luck (not that you really need luck with your calculations)...

    And yes - A HUGE WELCOME to Campbell Barton - nice to have you on board! I remember you with your first famous scripts such as the Discombulator (greeble clone), from then on we pretty much all knew you had it in you.

    Don't worry Brecht, we won't miss you - because despite your new focus on the new job, you'll always be a part of the FAMILY! :)


  28. haha, funny i was asking about him on Durian's blog and what i heard here...

    Mighty Brecht all the best for the next of your career!

  29. A man of few words, but big actions. We all enjoy the fruits of his labor, and what we create, always has a bit of Brecht in it :)
    Good luck with the new job!

  30. DAMN!!! That's one hell of a shame!

    BUT!! the man deserves career success!

    See you Brecht! I hope you find time to do some bug fixing and feature enhancing now and again!

    All the best!!

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