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Developer Meeting Notes, April 7, 2013


blender_logo_shinyBlender 2.67 is now in BCon3 (stablize new features, bug fixing) - release should happen in 3-4 weeks from now.

My personal favorite today: 'freestyle is in SVN'. For non-developers and/or people who are new to Blender: this means that the code for the new non-photorealistic renderer Freestyle is now officially included in the Blender codebase and can be checked out and compiled.

Don't like compiling Blender yourself? Ready to use builds containing this new feature should be available soon from the Blender Foundation BuildBot, or from GraphicAll (but be careful: these aren't well-tested releases, but development 'snapshots').

Ton Roosendaal writes:

Hi all,

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

1) Blender 2.67 progress

  • Tamito Kajiyama: Freestyle is in svn now!
  • Sergey Sharybin: motion tracking 'autokey' is not done yet, working on math issues with a bug in camera motion reconstruction now, which doesn't always gives same results.
  • Brecht van Lommel: SSS is final, 'ubershader' node moves to next release.
  • Lukas Toenne: Pynode goes fine. Work to be done includes viewer nodes inside groups, some weird scrolling in UI panel, better file read for node editor trees.
  • Lukas also worked on new node categories. If this would still make it in release, review + approval should be done very soon.
  • We now move to BCon3 (stablize new features, bug fixing). That will last at least 2 weeks - there's enough bugs in tracker anyway. Release could happen in 3-4 weeks then.
  • Targets that move to 2.68 are: Pie menus (sorry!), Rigid Body constraint viz, Cycles 'ubershader', probably motion track autokey.

Current release targets and planning.

2) Other Projects

  • Tomorrow Google announces the organizations that will participate in Summer of Code 2013. Mentors who like to help out can notify Ton Roosendaal. See our ideas page.
  • Module owner list has been cleaned up. Active developers: just update it yourself. Note a bug in wiki makes the changes not show up after saving, only a 2nd save refreshes the cache.



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.


      • Sorry,
        but in the page you just linked there's not a description of what exactly are Pie Menus. Found myself hitting the wall trying to find some brief yet descriptive info about what the hell Pie Menus were. Only found info about how to install, how to this, how to the other. But anywhere it wasn't a simple description of "what it is".

        Been a little disappointed by the ways some developments seem, at least, to work. It's obvious that every developper there wants the features he developped to be useful and used. But sometimes the most critical thing to explain to people is forgotten: What is this.

        Obviously, after hearing (better said, reading) a bit about Pie Menus I guess I know what they're about: a way to do actions in Blender using menus appearing right at the same place of the cursor, without being forced to change your sight context. But this is a description I've just invented now.

        Purpose it's not bad, but actually I've always thought about Blender as a shortcut driven application (I hate transfrorm gizmos for example, most of the time they appear as a childish and a stupid thing except for very particular situations), so this kind of features seem to me as a ways to overload an application that doesn't need them, at least as long as I don't receive an explanation of Pie menus beyond the fanboyism I've read out there until now about them. It's a lot frustrating look for a proper explanation and only see "Hey this is great man" "You're a genius" and so. Communication in the XXI century and its unforeseen hits.

        So I'm really open to rectify my harsh words, but please someone could explain what are Pie menus and why are them useful; in which way they compliment the already great shortcut system in Blender and all those annoying questions that matters to those weird people actually working with Blender ;).

        • Well, first of all we are slowly hitting a shortcut wall in blender where most key combinations are used up. Having pie menus will allow us to reduce the number of shortcuts used for similar actions. The view context as you said is a very good reason too, and of course pie menus are faster is some regard because you can memorize the direction of each command and automate its access. And personally I think the play factor is important for every program, as long as it doesn't get counter-productive. Pie menus don't IMO.

          • Hi Psy-Fi,

            Indeed from this point of view Pie menus are an interesting thing. Anyway keep in mind that my words were simply a half playful half serious tantrum about things that I noticed along the time about Blender features being developped, its documentation and our reactions as users. So hope didn't hurt anyone and, the least of them, the developer of this feature. My apologies if so.

        • To me the best advantage is when you compare them to normal menus, not with keyboard shortcuts.
          Even if you use the same menu for a long time, you might still click on the wrong item if you go too fast because you have to put your cursor in a 20 pixels area or so.
          I think pie menus are a lot less prone to error because you only have to "throw" your mouse in a particular direction to select the right item.
          Even better, I think it's a lot easier for the brains to memorise "go up-right" than "7th item in the list, wich is 140 pixels down", so you might end up knowing the pie menus organisation by heart and use them without thinking and without looknig closely at what you're doing, just throwing your cursor rapidly in the right direction.

          I hope you get what I mean, that's why I want pie menus at least :), but I haven't tested Blender's implementation.

          • I never really understood the reasoning behind circular menus until I read your comment. Thanks for that! :)

  1. Speaking of

    Anyone know when it is going to be backup and running?

    Last Builds are from March 21st.

  2. I'm so excited to have Freestyle in trunk!
    3-4 weeks ... hm ... I probably won't be to the rendering stage of my current project then. Excellent!

  3. Blender newb here. Anyone else need a global switch for 'Display wire/edges' - on top of solid mode? at the moment i think the only way to display wire on top of solid mode is to enable in object properties (so you have go and change for every single object in the scene which is extremely tedious!) On a complex mesh/scene everything can blend into single(or 2/3) shade(s) of grey which can make it difficult to see the shapes. 2 additional GLOBAL DISPLAY modes would be very helpful - 'display edges' and 'draw all edges'.

    It would be most appreciated if any experienced users know of a workaround (by that i don't mean complex lighting setups - at the moment i assign different materials and colours).

    Or maybe nobody else is having the same problem....

    • Well... you can at least easily mass-change it for any number of objects at the same time. Select them, assign the proper value on the latest selection, then right-click the checkbox/field and choose "copy to selected".

    • I hope too ;) need to work in GPU mode.
      Hope too the hair rendering in cycle will be support in GPU mode, can be really usefull (with instance I can run large fur setup without problem so why not be supported by default in gpu ?).

      An idea to have the volumetric supported too by Cycles in the direct branch ?


  4. Awwwww.. Was really looking forward to pie menus! Also, I have a request (hopefully devs still read this), please make it so they work like Modo pie menus:
    - Pressing and releasing hotkey will open pie menu where you have to click on button in the pie menu.
    - But you can also hold down the hotkey and you can just move your mouse in the direction of the pie menu button (does not have to hover over, just in that general direction), then when the user releases the hotkey it will perform the action.

    I've seen other implementations where the users _has_ to click, but it really slows down the workflow and makes me want to use pie menus a whole lot less.

    Anyway, holding off making my final hotkey configuration until this is implemented. I plan on assigning many of my actions to pie menus.


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