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Developer Meeting Notes, May 13, 2012


Lots of updates on ongoing projects, Google Summer of Code started.

Ton Roosendaal writes:

Hi all,

Here's the notes from today's meeting in #blendercoders:

1) Blender release review

  • The 2.63a update has been released last week. Documentation and release log was a bit sparse though... Ton Roosendaal reminded everyone to be more active in wikifying your work!

2) New release targets, current projects

  • Masking can be release target: Sergey Sharybin is almost finished, waiting for Pete Larabell's library now?
  • Tiles compositor branch has been successfully reviewed, can go in this week!
  • Mike Erwins tablet work is nearly done (for real now!), can get in too. Main features are:
    • Multi-window pressure loss fixed!
    • Ink blot fixed!
    • Finer-grained pressure/tilt sensitivity
    • Smoother strokes
    • Eraser actually erases gpencil strokes
  • Motion tracking: Keir Meirle will work on planar tracking (pretty far along), masked trackers (not started yet), reconstruction with Ceres (new solver).
  • Brecht van Lommel's Cycles targets: performance improvements, some new nodes, AMD OpenCL support (with limited kernel), motion blur.
  • Ton proposes to release in 7 weeks, he'll update the project page in wiki a.s.a.p. with a proposal for BCON dates.

3) Other projects

How are the future release targets? Mentioned was Freestyle, Nurbana, Unlimited clay, ... people are welcome to report on their branches and possible mergers!

4) Google Summer of Code

  • Tom Musgrove will make a blog article to introduce all projects.
  • 21st May GSoC starts!
  • First target for students then is to cleanup proposal and get the design approved.

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 ;-)


  1. I'd love to see freestyle in. I'm using sketch & toon (C4D) for some clips and I'd love to test freestyle.
    Are there any good fstyle tuts for begginers around?
    Btw Cycles perfomance improvements? Thank you!

  2. "... AMD OpenCL support (with limited kernel)"  Im not 100% up to date with cycles on non cuda cards, I've been ok  with using it for the little tests I've been doing with CPU, but does mean we will have functional non cuda GPU cycles? or is it just more development towards that?

  3. Cannot wait for Ceres Solver, and the new planar tracker. I have been hoping these would be added. 
    Well done guys, should be an interesting few months of development!

  4. I was wondering if Blender would ever get a planar tracker....I have been hoping for this for a while. Look out Imagineer Systems!

  5. For Mike ErwinsTablet work, Main features are :Multi-window pressure loss fixed !PLEASE, IT'S POSSIBLE CODING ONE COMPLETE... ?1) ONE LOGIC BRICK FOR BGE and2) A PYTHON CODE, TO ACCESS BY PYTHON IN BGE

    ?? BIG THANKS !!! ;-)))

  6. Kevin Haggqvist on

    Will us poor AMD owners actually be able to render with our GPUs now? On par with NVida owners?

    • I too am keeping my fingers crossed for Unlimited Clay (UC).  However, I think what was meant is that the Blender Foundation is looking for feedback from developers on the status of their projects, particularly if any are near enough to completion to be integrated into the next Blender version.

      According to, the developer has been out of contact for a few months due to lack of internet connectivity on Cuba.  Bmesh was the limiting factor in implementing efficient dynamically tessellated geometry.  It was mentioned to be something about being able to appraise adjacent mesh data relative to a datum (say, a vertex) without having to inspect all such elements of the entire mesh.  Now that Bmesh is part of current Blender versions, it is understandable that people are curious about projects that were postponed until Bmesh integration.

      Without the developer having access to the internet, we are all in the dark.  Is he able to obtain the Bmesh API?  Does he still intend to continue development of UC or pass it on to another developer?  Has he been working on UC since Bmesh integration?  We just have no way of knowing at the moment.

      Nonetheless, I think I speak for everyone interested in the project in extending our gratitude for the work Farsthary has done thus far and hoping that he may rejoin the lines of communication with reliable internet access in the near future.

  7. Philip Witte on

    Awesome! So many great things happening with Blender. BMesh is absolutely great, and because of it my most anticipated Sculpting features are at least possible, if not planned. I truly hope that Unlimited Clay is still as goal of Farsthary's.

    Sculptris-like ability in combination with Blender's other excellent Modeling, Rendering, and Animation systems would make for some serious Open Source competition to Autodesk, and Pixologic's sculpting software. It truly is an exciting possibility, and a triumph for open art solutions, and FOSS at large.

    The Blender devs, and all contributors to transparent, non-profit solutions are slowly changing the world beneath our feet, and shaping our economic future for the benefit of humans everywhere; both rich and poor. These contributors don't deserve our respect out of a dogmatic appeal to an Open Source philosophy; they deserve it because of their works demonstrable benefit to the entire collective.

    Thank you all :)

    • I think you make some interesting points.  I hope you don't mind if I provide just a little bit of additional thought for our friendly consideration.

      Personally, I'm more after a good product than competition.  Though, I do recognize here that you weren't stressing Blender as purely a competitive product, and I understand what you're saying.  I confidently agree with you in saying that open-source software is changing the world, and that developers deserve our respect for their openly-beneficial work.

      I do consider perhaps it is rather better to say that an open-source solution such as Blender is an invaluable contribution to the world of software as tools rather than any competition to commercial software.  Blender gives us a beautiful option in which can open the doors for further coexistence of other FOSS and COTS alike.  I'd rather view Blender as a peacemaker than a fighter, as a benevolent beacon in the world of software for professional and amateur developers alike, and as an example of progress without the priority of competition.

      What do you think about this?

      • Philip Witte on

        Competition is an inevitable symptom of two or more comparable entities with similar goals but private (often selfish) motivations, and methods. Cooperation, on the other hand, is when those entity's share their methods and motives with each other. In a sense, transparency-- the foundation of Open Source --is a requirement of cooperation to at least some degree.

        Unfortunately, the world of business is still rather dog-eat-dog. Many commercial entities today can't cooperate, beyond protected partnership limits, because the life of a project is directly tied to it's profitable prowess, not it's measurable merit to society. Classically, this works well because we lack the technology to automate all the necessary "dirty jobs" in the world. So instead of an entirely open and cooperative economy we have self-interested entities fighting for profit advantages by claiming ownership and distribution rights over the worlds resources. Often abusing the privilege in the process. However, because of labor automation and digital sharing, our possibilities are expanding.

        This is why FOSS and it's initial competition with proprietary solutions is so important. I believe in the efficiency and general morality of free and transparent collaboration, but it's advantage must be fully demonstrated before we can be expected to trust it as an economic successor to private competition. That means open technologies must first outmatch our best existing proprietary ones, and yes, it also means they must cooperate with each other in the mean time.

        The internet is a leap in our communicable evolution which connects the world in previously impossible ways. Because we can copy and share so efficiently though digital media, we are able to create and improve technical designs at rapidly increasing speed. As a Zeitgeist Movement and Venus Project supported, I'm excited about our future, and I see Open Source as the catalyst to a more perfect world.

        We have a pretty good method of selecting rules and distributing wealth (of resources) today. It's often only human error, bias, or greed which corrupts the process. Yet even today, we could algorithmically regulate that and remove the human element almost entirely, given that the only rules and projects which *should* be supported are the ones that have demonstrable benefit to everyone. So why not eventually create a website which distributes appropriate resources and delegate interest groups to projects of the most worth? The technique is solid, and is something I've thought about a lot, but the labor required today may still limit it from being practical. Automation has been rapidly taking over industrial work, so tomorrow may come quicker than we anticipate.

        my 2 cents.

        • That was a well-written and intelligent reply!  For the most part, I definitely agree with it, and it surely made me think some even more on the issue!  Thanks for taking the time to reply like that! 

          Though, I'm still left wondering if the priority of FOSS is as competition, or if such the perspective is as a competitor is truly necessary.  My consideration here is not that FOSS isn't competition, or that the aim of all FOSS software shouldn't be competition (one is free to make their software about whatever they want), but rather that it seems to me that as a priority, the view of FOSS as a "competitor" often gets put on FOSS and for the focus of most FOSS, the view of it as "competitor" is still not necessary.  One can compare without competing (though, I know that's asking too much from the human race!  Hahaha!).  In fact, while possible, I don't think what I'm proposing is even feasible at large in this self-agenda world.  But just to stir some consideration here, I mention my consideration in theory here.

          I guess what I'm trying to highlight here is that FOSS in general seems to me to be more about solving a problem rather than trying to gain an advantage over other software--which tends to be the priority of COTS in general.  As soon as it crosses that lane of priority, it becomes subject to suffering as a commercial software does, but except that in order to compete with the free nature of Blender, the only real other alternative is to try to shut it down somehow.  But while Blender is still free and really just aiming to become a better software for itself (and NOT with the particular aim of trying to replace the likes of Maya, ZBrush, VRay, etc), the most these companies will really do is borrow ideas from Blender in some ways and know that most of the digital industry are still predominantly their market.

          They might better leave Blender alone as an open-source project focused on serving an open development.  But it seems to me that the moment we announce Blender as an official "competitor" to COTS, however, and they might feel the need to pull out the strongest weapons against this announced "competitor."  And what can you do with a "competitor" who gives everything away for free but persistently try to find an underhanded way to shut them down?  Not saying they will or even they can hinder or shut the likes of Blender down--I'm just saying that I sure wouldn't want the likes of a potentially-unified multi-billion-dollar industry to try.  Initiate some primary initiative with Blender to go about attempting to replace COTS and freeing the world of all commercial business of its field, and it seems to me that'll be like us bleeding in a pool of sharks.

          I'm just saying that maybe the position of treating the likes of Blender as a "competitor" would be hurting open-source software more than it would be helping it.  We can still have open-source software have as its aim of being a provider of open solutions.  But what I think might hurt that very case would be the announcing such FOSS as being a direct and outright "competitor" to COTS, per se.  That's what I meant about Blender being more a "peacemaker" software--not as a software to make other software developers get along, but standing as an example than commercial developers (great and small) can sleep at night even with the likes of Blender growing in the world.  It's priority is not that of direct official competition, but rather of a bunch of cool people wanting to develop a great software for their own and anyone else's free usage.

          Again, even Blender's constant rising to the occasion with features that seem to match or even outmatch features found with commercial 3D packages seems to be more focused on just making greater tools available to Blender users rather than true aiming to "outmatch" other software.  When Blender does at times outperform some other software's similar feature (or just feature something other software simply do not feature) do, it seems to me that it's achieved based on more of a side result of improve Blender development than rather an aim to outdo other software.  It's like when you're faster than someone you thought were faster than you, but you weren't racing them when you found that out.  But when that happens, developers just seem to add a similar feature to their own software, and move on.  And since we're free, we don't mind--such doesn't hurt our priority: to have a better Blender.I hope this wasn't too long.

          I also hope this communicated my point better.  I do thank you for your great reply, and for engaging in this thought-provoking, fruitful discourse.  :)

          • Philip Witte on

            sorry this response is a bit late. I don't receive emails or anything from this site.

            To address what you're saying here, I don't disagree with any of the finer points you're making, but I also think you're over-associating 'competition' with self-motivation, rather than viewing as an inevitable method of comparison and development across projects of similar utility.

            What I mean by that is when two entities, e.g. Blender & Maya, are compared by their respective users, 'competition' is simply a _method_ of evolving one to match the benefits the other offers. If Maya does something that is useful which Blender does not do, then Blender's community, and therefor it's developers, will see that benefit and work towards providing similar functionality to it's community as well. This is true with any technical advancement, because ultimately the community will follow what is practical to use. If Blender did not aspire to meet and outmatch the benefits of it's "competitors" than it would be evolving blindly.

            When defined as such, I don't think "competition" is a negative term. Especially when applied to Open Source technologies where every advancement made is free to be learned from and applied to other projects. It's only in combination with pure self-interest (non-cooperation) that competition shows it's negative facets.

            Right now are world is largely run by self-interested projects, but FOSS's freedom and encouragement to cooperate is why I believe that Open Source will be the future.

  8. Colin Griffith on

    I hope someone can make a better bevel tool. The current BMesh bevel tool is... Fundamentally broken :S Just try beveling 3 edges (that form a corner) on a cube.

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