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Blender Developers Meeting Notes Nov 7, 2010

23

The big issues this time were the implementation of render threads, and the many reports that Blender 2.55 doesn't start.
Ton Roosendaal writes:

Hi,

1) Current projects

  • Campbell Barton has a patch in the tracker to place background images with empty objects.
  • Meeting shortly discussed progress in particle branch, which involves node-based particle editing too.

2) Blender 2.5x topics

  • Janne Karhu proposed to make pointcache baking (like for particles) threaded, but he was getting thread issues with scene drawing, mostly due to an ancient global variable.

    Meeting then went into review of how threaded render works in general, which is not stable yet. Brecht reminded that there's a "Debug" test 101 for it (CTRL+ALT+D, set to 101), which copies the entire database (but there's issues with Images still).

    Ton confirms this needs further research, and is definitely a 2.5 target.

  • Andrea Weikert noticed 'noise depth' on Perlin-noise based textures had a too low maximum setting. Will be fixed. Example.
  • Campbell mentions there are too many "Blender doesn't start" bug reports. He suspects gfx cards to be the issue, and proposes to get a couple of different cards to configure systems at home with.
  • Nathan Letwory suspects that (for Windows) a "doesn't start" bug is also related to failing installer issues. The installer doesn't handle priviledged vs nonpriviliged files well, and there are problems with installation path finding code.

    Maybe we should drop the installer, and just provide a register_blender.bat or install.bat?

  • Campbell and Thomas Dinges will look into removing unused files from svn.
  • Campbell proposes to ditch old Makefiles, Ton protests, but will test Cmake in due time. Andrea mentions Cmake to MSVC has a nasty bug, creating directories for every C file.
  • Question: is anyone even supporting Irix for 2.5x?

-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 ;-)

23 Comments

  1. Right now I think people should just use the zip-distribution of Blender. If they really want to have the exe registered, they can run blender -R on a command-line. With the zip distribution everybody can put it wherever they have write access and not bother with administrator privileges and whatnot. It should just work after unzipping anywhere.

  2. Actually had no problems at all installing on win7 64-bit ( with admin rights tho ). So far from testing this seems to be the most stable 2.5 build I've tried, really feels close to finished even!

  3. Found that Windows 7 install (64 bit) using Apps folder for data has a small problem with multiple profiles.

    Starting Blender in the profile I didn't install it on initialised the grey window but no controls. No errors, just no controls.

    Reinstalling in the second profile fixed it.

    In short - install in each profile you want to use it!

    Hope this helps - sorry it's not in the tracker : - )

  4. Node based for the win!

    Great move to make the particle system node based, it should be implemented for more features in blender.
    Although I think that the node editor could use some usability enhancements, the way it is now just repels me but i'm a nuke user so i'm probably biased.

    go Blender

  5. I use Linux. But I totally support dropping the damn installer for Windows. I mean. No issues with upgrades, no problems with privileges, no need to maintain, no hair pulling. You just unzip and run the damn thing. In Mac OS the installation is pretty much "unpack to app folder".

  6. What exactly are the reasons for an installer in the first place? Is it meant to give any additional functionality, or make it possible to display the usual Windows file dialogue boxes without outside coding, things like that?

  7. I think what they mean in there being a problem with the privileges on windows is the new User Account Control protection, new to windows vista and beyond. Although it is a good idea, basically it is just sudo for windows, it is a bit annoying and can mess up some installers. Many users have it disabled so they may not get any issues.

  8. Playing a rendered animation.

    I am running Windows 7 64bit. I have no problem istalling Blender, But I can not get any player to work with any of the Beta versions of Blender. I was able to set up a player as a preference under user preferences in the first 2.5 alpha version of Blender using windows 7 64bit. I have not been able to set up any player (DJV,VLC, Blender 2.4 etc.) with any 2.5 Beta version including the latest 2.55 Beta version.
    Does anyone have an explanation for this? What methods do you Windows 7 users use to play back a rendered animation in Blender 2.5 Beta running on Windows 7 64bit machines?

  9. I've had a couple of "no-start" issues on Vista, and I thot it might have something to do with the OpenCL code and me not having the right dll installed due to outdated graphics drivers. (I'm often reluctant to update video drivers if the one I'm on is working well in my core apps.)

  10. I had Vista x86 with Radeon gfx (which causes many problems) and UAC was turned off. I couldn't run blender in 2.4x version and neither in 2.5x. I've also installed few versions of Python, but I couldn't solve the problem. Now I have changed my system to 7 mainly because of that.

  11. I agree with getting rid of the installer for windows. It's pointless, evidentially problematic, and people really ought to understand how to extract a zip if they're using something as complicated as windows. If you for some reason don't have a zip extractor, get 7zip!

  12. Promoting ZIP version is good in a sense that artists who's using their machine in corporate environment try out Blender without calling up admin... (if their system is set to unprivileged mode.)
    Not that I'm promoting breach of company policy if there is a one against this type of practice, but I think this type of "portable" nature of the application is very good strength to promote. (and this is something you just can't get benefit out of many commercial packages...)

  13. -1 for dropping the installer; at least for release builds. For better or worse, an installer that drops the applications, access icons and an uninstaller is de rigueur for Windows. If the problem is a poor or badly behaved installer, the solution is a better installer!

  14. I really dislike how everyone thinks installers are so necessary in windows. They aren't! Filling up windows registry should be avoided as much as possible, so you don't have to attempt to clean it up later! All the installer does is "Associates files" with blender, but you can accomplish this by right-clicking a .blend "open as" and finding blender.

    I vote we replace the installer with a self-extracting 7zip to make it a smaller download.

  15. Nice stuff :)

    Could there be something like an adaptive noise-depth for perlin-noise? Based on how deep a pixel actually needs it at rendertime, while considering the Antialiasing?
    (e.g. nyquist frequency adaptive)

  16. Hmm. Seems some things are going well. I don't understand much what those features are about but it seems nice.

    I use Ubuntu so can't connect much with windows.

  17. At least for the time being, I don't see why a selfextracting archive isn't good enough.
    Just a zip would work, since windows has a built in zip extractor these days, but making a SFX archive shouldn't be a problem, 7zip's works well, and it doesn't require any additional software to unpack, regardless of what version of windows the user has installed.

    You'd probably want a working installer for 2.6, but for the run of beta builds no installer is surely better than a partially broken one.

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