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Developer Meeting Notes: July 6, 2014


Big news this week: Epic Games is now a sponsor of the Blender Development Fund!
Hi all,

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

1) Projects for the 2.72 release

  • Targets for the coming release:
    • Cycles: Improved Glossy and Volume Sampling ✓ In Master
    • soc-2013-paint
    • Multi View (stereo 3D)
    • Freestyle: Memory consumption improvements
    • Pie menus
    • Compositor Memory Management (P1.1) Currently in review.
    • FBX: Export ShapeKeys. Import armature, shapekeys and (some!) animation.
    • SplitNormals Stage II (custom split normals).
  • Meeting agrees on moving to "BCon 2" now, which means we schedule 2-3 weeks for the selected targets to be merged in the official bf-blender git master.
  • Note: Blurry tooltips on windows got solved, it was an issue with fonts.
  • New freestyle feature, Cycles render! Tamito Kajiyama looks for testers.

2) GSoC progress

  • All students survived midterms.
  • Meeting discussed for a while that communication is quite low in general, mentors and mentors could be more pro-active and visible as well. Suggested is to not communicate in private with students (when not needed) but do all mail exchanges about code work via our public lists.
  • Also: make it a habit to commit often and regularly!

3) Other projects

  • Campbell Barton and Francesco Siddi are almost done with the manual project (allowing to edit wiki locally with git checkouts).
  • Ton Roosendaal confirms that Epic Games became a big sponsor for the Development Fund. Their main interest is in getting Blender to read/write FBX better. Bastien Montagne will look at writing out a good description for a project - so we can do a call for a developer.
  • Alternative: get 3DMax or Maya to read/write .blend files! This can be using Bullet's MIT licensed .blend read/write module.



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. I'd really like to know more about this "Cycles: Improved Glossy and Volume Sampling ✓ In Master" improvement. Improved sampling in terms of optimised sampling? Or better quality sampling? More accurate?

    Another words, is this going to reduce my render times? If so - Yay!

  2. Roberto Locatelli on

    Freestyle in Cycles? Sounds weird for me, since Cycles is photorealistic. I think Freestyle blends very well with Blender internal render. But, ok, I guess we will get exotics and interesting results.

  3. What a Epic donation (pun intended)
    Great to see Blender getting finally the long awaited features for game artists.

  4. hmm... blurry tool tips. looks fine on my Intel i5 laptop, but on my desktop with an NVidia GeForce 660 graphics card, the entire interface looks heavily anti-aliased. good to see we are getting official EPIC support for Unreal export. maybe you can revise the UDK export addon interface so it isn't always pushed to the top of the toolbar whenever I am sculpting (its getting really annoying, its everywhere).

    • Actually, Ton understood the issue a bit wrong. He mixed to bugs... The blurry tooltips were just caused by changing the shadow offset in the user prefs. The other one was that the python part in the new tooltips should use a monospaced font which wasn't the case on Windows. I've fixed both issues already.

  5. I'm super-excited about Multi View. I've always been a sucker for stereoscopic images of any kind, and am delighted that this is finally in the coders' cross-hairs.

  6. """Alternative: get 3DMax or Maya to read/write .blend files! This can be using Bullet's MIT licensed .blend read/write module."""

    probably that'd be the better way

    While sending fbx files from blender to maya went quite smoothly I recently had some severe issues with getting meshes back out of maya and the only way I got it to work was via 3ds max :(
    direct maya>blender fbx export would always just export the meshes that were hidden in my scene, but not the actual scene itself.
    while autodesk would probably never bundle a *.blend exporter it'd still be quite an amazing option.
    and who knows, 3ds max even has a blender preset for their obj exporter so maybe they'll even pick it up one day

    • Craig Richardson on

      or perhaps have it the way unity 3d does it, when you import a .blend file into your project folder, unity automatically converts it into a fbx file type so all of the heavy lifting is done by the unity 3d gamer engine so that all we have to make sure is that we can save in .blend, of which we can lol.

      Basically i like you idea but getting a software like that to implement .blend read and write is a stretch but getting them to implement a automatic converter which automatically converts .blend files into .fbx files on import would be better for people using there software.

  7. I feel like Blender is finally moving in a better direction for game developers like myself. I know there's more than one aspect with Blender (animation, 3D printing, compositing, etc.), but right now, there's no bigger "gold rush" industry right now than (indie/small-studio) game development.

    Industry-leading tools are becoming much more accessible. Publishing platforms are becoming far more plenty. And the indie games are getting more ambitious than ever, seeing bigger and better projects. It's a golden age of independent and small-studio game development. And free/open-source software are seeing some great potential towards this end.

    We're seeing Blender make some new strides towards game development tools. Newer texture-paint tools, improving FBX support, Cycles texture baking, custom split normals, and upcoming quad-dominant remesh--all tools that are shaping Blender into becoming an invaluable tool for the indie/small-studio development team.

    Seeing Epic Games step up to back Blender's direction towards this potential is great. It also means that people are beginning to listen. I know I myself have been among the voices to Epic Games about making Unreal Engine 4 play better with accessible tools (like Blender and modo), and apparently, they've been listening to us. This news of Epic Games' support just better confirms that Blender's heading towards the right direction.

    Anyways, this is all just to say: Keep up the good work, Blender developers. Keep strongly with this potential, of including improving these areas as part of your general Blender development. Blender is starting to become good friends with small-team, small-budgeted game developers.

    • Craig Richardson on

      be careful because they might run away if they realise that they are going to be released just like the AO node lol.

        • Craig Richardson on

          the pie menus have been on the list of possible features to be released for quite a while and when ever someone says something like "pie menus are going to be released, yeah", they always disappear just lie the AO node has this time around lol
          I just don't want the release of the pie menus jinxed as well lol.

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