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Developer "thrice-monthly" meeting notes - 18 February 2015


Here are the notes from this week's meeting in #blendercoders. Biggest news: test builds for 2.77 will become available today!

Ton Roosendaal writes:

Hi all,

Here are the notes of the 10 AM Amsterdam meeting in #blendercoders.
Next meeting is Sunday 27th, 10 AM Sydney (Saturday 26th, 23h UTC 15h L.A.).

1) Upcoming 2.77 release

  • Today a second test build will be made available. Download it here.
  • Planning is to release the first Release Candidate on tuesday.
  • Help testing! You know where to find the bug tracker? Here.

2) Other projects

  • Possible feature for 2.78: Basic Alembic IO for models and animations. Discussion goes on here.
  • Studios with clear requirements or specifications for Alembic IO: Please share it!
  • Studios with budgets to support (Alembic) developers: join the development fund, or mail me!
  • "Shadow Catcher" for Cycles could also be added for 2.78
  • The application to Google Summer of Code is complete and looks very good.
    Google will announce the orgs on 29 February.
  • No further news on 2.8 or OpenGL/Viewport work! Coders are busy :)



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. This is my first time looking into Alembic. One thing concerns me. In cursory searches I'm not finding if it supports joints and vertex weights. At an overview glance this is just a format for models. Does anyone know if this supports skeletons? As a games animator I'd struggle to find any use for it if it didn't.

    • To my knowledge Alembic does not fit for game developing. The main target is for movies. This is because alembic is a big dataholder format, and it caches every single frame. So animations and everything can be baked and saved with alembic. No need for skeletons -> easy to exchange data between applications.

    • Alembic is essentially a caching format for scenes. It has been used in games for large scale, high detail premade scenes such as in Ryse: Son of Rome, in their scenes with large scale ship collapses.

      Crytek engine has builtin support for it, Unity has plugins or support I don't remember which, I know of one studio that has used a custom built plugin for UE4.

      But its usefulness is more limited since it was designed to meet the needs of movie studios.

      It could possibly be used in a cloth sim situation, but someone would need to do a lot of work for that.

      • Makes sense. I could see baking more complex simulation. I'm just a little surprised that any new 3D format doesn't include some skeletal consideration. There's a move among cheaper movie and television productions to test game engines for super cheap rendering, and it's foreseeable for more and more forms of production to move to realtime. You simply can't do realtime without skeleton. It's too bad that a new promising production format didn't account for an forward looking feature like skeletal deformation.

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