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Developer Meeting Notes: June 29, 2014


The 2.71 release looks rock solid, and all development focus is now on 2.72.

1) 2.71 release and 2.72

  • So far, no bad regressions were found, a 2.71 update release is not needed.
  • Target planning for 2.72 continues, developers who want to add bigger features/branches should update that page!
  • Status of Multiview (Dalai) and Compositor Memory Management (Atmind) is unknown. Are these still valid targets for 2.72?

2) Current projects

  • Bastien Montagne mentions Split Normals Stage 2, for possible inclusion in 2.72.
  • Antony Riakiotakis is investigating ways to make pie menus more responsive and better presented, and finalizes the paint branch.
  • We try to clean up the patch tracker a bit for the upcoming release, and include some patches that have been in the tracker for some time.

3) Google Summer of Code

  • Midterm is over, every student should get in contact with his mentor and make a feasible plan for the second half!

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.


      • Cycles becomes NPR. ;)
        Working on both BI and Cycles to get lines and shading isn't a straight forward process. There are few cases where you can't sync them. Producing line art and shading that don't match.

        • Bassam Kurdali on

          agreed:cycles has camera distortions not available in internal, new options for DOF and moblur... and somewhat different hair rendering. integrating with BI can be a bit painful in those cases.

          • Freestyle don't support camera distortions, because freestyle don't support those view algorithm in view map creation.

            DoF is possible, coding on that started few months ago, a highly demanded request from Japanese side.

            Moblur is partially supported.

            Particle hair is a pain, because freestyle line types, by definition and algorithm wise will not handle it efficiently. Also it looks bad, no matter how you do it, tried "edge" solution and edge node (via compositor), just that particle hair don't meant to be edged.

        • It seems like Freestyle would be harder to achieve in cycles due to the way cycles handles transparency in ray sampling compared to Blender internal's Scanline Raytracing. I imagine you would also end up with very different results between Cycles and the BI as well. but Cycles does have a Toon BSDF node and is considered a stylized animation render engine so it is a welcome feature to add Freestyle

          • I don't think this is an issue, freestyle only does calculation at the end of surface shading rendering. It is outside of cycles calculation.

            FYI, freestyle has nothing to do with toon (BI and Cycles). Freestyle only cares if your object has 0 opacity (full transparency). Freestyle will just composite rendered lines on top of surface shading.

            If you bought Freestyle Level Up! course, you should know these already.

          • hmm... you are right, so freestyle. doesn't have as complex influence on material settings as I thought. upon experimenting with the material modifiers in the render pass settings, I found out that it doesn't take into account any per pixel info on the render passes setting's material modifier.

          • Don't understand your "material modifier" reference. Please enlighten.

            There are a lot of influence sliders in freestyle. They are for line style color, alpha, thickness and textured strokes influence. TK was referring to them in the chat log.

          • when you enable freestyle and go to the render pass settings under the Freestyle Line Style Settings, you can add a stroke Material Modifier that receives a material property to modify the stroke's transparency, color or thickness. but as it turns out it only inherits the material's base settings, such as base diffuse color, transparency, specular color, etc. and doesn't take into account texture influence or material nodes. this would be much different to implement in cycles because it does not have these kinds of properties that are defined in the base shader.

    • not all of cycles features are postponed. but it sure has taken a while for Cycles to get GPU SSS support. cycles has been evolving rather quickly and the blender development team has always been hard at work. it is a little unfair to say that features never get implemented and it's definitely not because of a lack of interest. some features are worth waiting for, especially if they will be any better than the early stages of development.

      • but why get peoples hopes up? this always happens with big cycles features. its on the list to be added for about 4 versions lol

    • I say this more clearly: If a company were to pay to get this kind of development results, I think it really would fail in less than 1 year. BF should bless who makes donations and not claim for results.
      An entire project's life depends from 1 person only, the work continuously postponed because this person is busy into fixing other things, the hope to get the charity of some volunteer who can develop some feature, and now completely stop... meh.

      I wait for the next stupid and unuseful feature for cycles announcement just to keep hopes in people high.
      "Now cycles supports a new shiny pois procedural texture! See people that our developers are still working on cycles?"
      I give you a suggestion: Use Brecht as a ghost developer, so probably people will think that there is still someone else who is working on cycles.

  1. It's very sad to see cycles SSS on GPU has been pushed back to 2.73 or later. There's not even a mention of Volumetrics on GPU, which is kinda sad because they are very slow on CPU.

    • Bassam Kurdali on

      there's finite developers and (potentially at least) infinite features- give em time and they'll do it. In the interrim, you at least do have the CPU option (for volumetrics, try using branched path tracer, it really is much faster than the default path tracer)

    • well, I guess this is what happens when the top Cycles developer leaves the project. Although the GPU is faster it also has less memory than the CPU. so if you are doing a complex single shot image you could easily trade off for the CPU. but if you have a lengthy animation that needs such features the GPU would be ideal. it just seems like SSS on GPU has been in the to do list for the past few updates now and I would think we would get closer to that goal by now.

      • dig in dude, make it happen captain, if you want something done, if it was really easy to do it'd probably be done, so patience is best for this remarkable free software.

  2. been diggin around 2.71 for a couple of days now and it really is rock solid wohooo .not one crash (so far). thanks to everyone's hard work on blender over the years .i think this is the best release since 2.49b. any chance we can get reactor particle's back, oh and the option to middle click to open blend files. instead of having to go all the way up to the accept button on top.(i have a 20" monitor) .happy blending .

  3. Craig Richardson on

    come on FBX export, you can do it.

    Oh yeah and multiview stereo 3d has some nice future prospects if that is really incorporated, in the game engine department, Oculus Rift any one.

    Im excited just thinking about it.

    I can just imagine watching a movie on the oculus rift, or playing a game that I have just created lol.

    • ...and then spending the next hour in a darkened room while the nausea wears off. The last few years' push towards 3D largely fell flat (again) despite a huge effort by movie studios and hardware vendors, because nobody really wants to wear silly headgear to watch a movie or TV. Many people who have tried Google Glass or its imitators report nausea. So why is everyone squealing about the next, potentially ultra-nauseous 3D 'experience'? I think our hard-working Blender devs have some far more useful things to be getting on with.

      • Craig Richardson on

        yeah I have heard the runours, a lot of people have said that they are causing nausea.

        but that is not what I find alarming, I currently wear glasses and the one thing that I don't like the sound of is having a screen one inch away from my face, I don't care what professional says, that cant be good for your eye sight.

        it is going to be like hen monitors first came out, it wasn't until years later that hey heard of eye strain and found a correlation between eye strain victims and the use of these monitors, although monitors know a days a lot better they still cause ye strain In most cases especially under varying lighting conditions, so it is not going to be long before people using these devices start complaining about damage to their eye sight through using one of these VR head sets.

        But their one saving grace is that apparently they know what is causing the nausea and the latest releases of these devices are going to be nausea free experiences (apparently) they also say that you are no supposed to be using them for more than an hour, but honesty who only plays a game for an hour or less, when I play on games I normally play for one or two hours minimum.

        but there is just something about being fully immersed in the 3D world that to me sounds really good, from a call of duty perspective, it would be the next best thing to actually being their, which sounds really cool, unfortunately I do honestly believe that the technology hasn't quite caught up with the dream.

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