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Developer Meeting Notes, November 27, 2011


Many 2.61 updates, but <drumroll...> also an update on BMesh!

Ton Roosendaal writes:

1) Blender 2.61 progress

  • Testbuilds are available online now.
  • Wiki release log in progress.
  • Some reports came in that systems without SSE2 don't run latest Blender anymore. Appeared to be in libmv - Sergey will check and fix. Blender has runtime support to switch back to non-sse for old hardware [using automatic detection, bv]
  • Long discussion started what kind of older HW would be not supported anymore... where do we draw the line? Seven years, 10 year old hardware?
  • Lukas Toenne has patch for improved render pass for AO and Shadow. These passes should use white (color 1 1 1) to denote "no effect". Ton is only OK to add this with warning... the issues are in shaders, not in the pass code. Better for after release?
  • Campbell proposes to add new option for equirectangular skymaps like this one. Code is trivial. Can be after release.
  • Sergey notes two improvements that will go to tracker tomorrow: (1) Camera solver now will lock the interface (2) Added presets for default tracking parameters

2) Other projects

  • BMesh makes progress (works for Cycles, Ocean Sim + server fixes). Ender now works on docs, Campbell will mail proposal for acceptable feature set for merger.
  • Question from Ton: when is OpenCL compositor project going to our svn?

That's it for now, thanks!


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. "Campbell proposes to add new option for equirectangular skymaps like this one. Code is trivial. Can be after release."

    great news! go campbel:)

  2. Yes, when will Open-CL be available for Cycles GPU computing? The best so far on only renders a clay model... sad face

  3. I've never got CPU rendering to work with Cycles.  I have a GeForce 9800 GTX CUDA card, with the latest drivers on a 64 bit Win7 sytem.  It should work shouldn't it?  It slows down to a crawl, with each pass taking over 30 seconds!  What's up?

  4. I wonder what technical issues are brought up by the use of really old hardware (other than slow speed, low memory, etc). Perhaps it'd be possible to make an addon to detect this older hardware and request some external libraries or revert to a modified algorithm (the effect would depend on what is the problem with really old hardware).

    • I am guesting the technical issues are to do with bloat and stopping blender from becoming over bloated and even more complex to maintain than it is already. 

      So yes you can have hardware detection and alternative algorithms but someone has to maintain all of this and keep it all working. The less hardware you support the easier it is to maintain and the less people you need to maintain the project.

  5. Firstly, really a big thanks to all those working so hard on Blender. Blender is just becoming a monster :). When I think of it, I only use let say 30 percent of it.

    Cycle is just the thing I was waiting for. I do not use other renderers anymore. But I have a small issue. Until now I've only been able to use CPU for my projects. My graphic card do support CUDA but for even a little scenes with some details I get the error message that memory is not enough. I have a Nvidia GT 8600 with 256 of ram. But my system itself hqve 3 gigs of ram.

    Can someone tell me if I will be able to use that graphic card with the new releases or must I invest in graphic cards with let say 1 gig of ram?


    • GPU renderers only use the RAM on the graphics card, so you will need to invest in a graphics card with more RAM. My card has 512MB and it struggles with anything more than a fairly simple scene. I guess 1GB is a sensible minimum.

  6. blender is a swiss army knife:

    flipbook viewer, video converter, nortoncommander-like file manager (also for hidden files), texteditor, graphic viewer and sometimes a photoshop replacement.   

    Blender resides on all the older workstations and servers around here like G3 400MHz, PowerBook G3 500MHz, G4 400MHz, G4 933MHz, MacMini G4 1,42 GHz, MacBooks, PC's.

    Everytime there are copy's of blender for all platforms on my USB thumb drives.

  7. I also have problems with Cycles and cuda not working with my gfx card, not sure where to post about it? Bug tacker?

    I have  GeForce GT 540M that has 2 gigs of ram,
    open CL 1.1 CUDA
    open GL 3.2.0

    hmmm maybe it isn't switching between the onboard intel GFX card and the Nvidia one.. dang it. ooh nice got it working, I had to tell the tell blender to use the nvidia card instead of onboard! Whoooo! Great work guys!

  8. Equirectangular Skymaps!! YEEY!!!! AWESOME! Thank you Campbell for reading my mind! I was wondering how blender/cycles was going to handle this mapping since the (old) "spherical" mapping on a "generated" UV was not available. Go Campbell! 

      • you may be right. my cycles knowledge is rather thin.. but i know I span my head around trying to figure out how to map an ER image on a sphere (e.g. planet textures) without any success so far. I know this is easy in the internal renderer, btw. I was thinking this new skymap may be the "missing link" in cycles.

    • Discussion in the comments from a previous BlenderNation post ( was what inspired me to write this patch. I guess the comments are gone now that BN has switched to Disqus? (I thought comments were being migrated. Bart?) Anyway, they're in Google's cache.

      So it just goes to show that complaining about missing functionality on BN or BA (especially little features that are easy to do) can inspire someone to get it done.

      Glad it appears the patch is getting into trunk!

  9. I would love to see the full screen multi-sampling ( blenderplayer.exe my.blend -f -m 16 ) work for the 2.61 blender player. It was working of the GSOC Cucumber Project any chance this will hit 2.61?  

  10. Sometimes venerable hardware is better than new.  Pentium M notebooks with SSE2 will walk away from new Atom netbooks with SSE3.  Netbooks and notebooks are not considered prime performance platforms for Blender, but they are used by millions of students who can effectively learn and use Blender on them, particularly when connected to a monitor.  For much of the world's growing population laptops, though expensive, are preferred because they can overcome the frequent power outages in developing countries.

    It's interesting to see on the Wiki Cycles pages that many of the advances planned in the Cycles code are geared toward the CPU, rather than GPU, at least initially.  If it's not too much code, it would be nice to see Blender optimized for non-SSE, SSE, SSE2 and SSE3, with automatic detection.  Presently some Graphicall builds sport SSE2 optimization, so there seems to be interest in this area.

    Thanks to Ton and all the devs for making Blender so marvelous.

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