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Blender 2.8 Viewport Development


Over on, Dalai gives an in-depth overview of the plans for the 2.8 viewpoirt development.

Blender 2.8 original design brought to the conversation a workflow-based usability mantra. Within those constraints we went over the ideal pipeline for a few well defined workflows.

Here is an excerpt from a recent viewport development design document which is still valid for this proposal, and summarizes the principles here presented:

“There’s a fundamental difference between an object’s material appearance and the way that object is displayed in the 3D view. Materials are part of your data, just as geometry is. One way to display is full material preview. When you want a high quality rendering of a lit scene, or you are working on the materials themselves, this is the best choice. There are other ways to view your data, useful in different situations or stages in your workflow.

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. Awesome, with full PBR support and export shader compatibility with game engines Blender will be the best tool for artist and game developers, thanks to the Blender Foundation for this.

  2. What means "illustrate how wireframes are a poor choice for some if not all tasks"?? Is this referring to wire-drawn 3D mesh view, or is it some other more general meaning of the word Wireframe that has to do with project planning?

    • It's indeed Wireframe drawing in the 3D view, If you have a lot of mesh with a lot of geometry , displaying them in wireframe mode doesn't help to see the scene or the different objects. Instead a better system for visualisation can be used... But I don't see clearly what can it be...

  3. Add me to the list of people who are concerned about wireframe mode. I love Blender but if they take out the wireframe edit mode, or option to see through objects and select verts through the wireframe, like Ton was talking about before, I might go insane. I can't really think of anything which Blender does which is more essential to my workflow.

    • i seriously doubt that you have to worry about not being able to edit wireframes as long as blender has poly/subD surface modeling. they're the most basic and simplest form of 3d mesh data display and being able to edit them is absolutely needed in order to optimize a mesh as well as retopo down from a high poly sculpt/scan.
      you'll never have SubD or poly modeling without being able to edit wireframes and there's a good reason that pixar still uses and promotes it and why other software in blender's vein still use subD rather than more complex methods of mesh calculation when newer options have come around. this video is at the bottom of

      when Ton did the whole "no more wireframez!!1!!1" thing in his speech from last year's bcon most (if not all) of the examples used were from CAD programs that mostly are used for hard surface kind of things.
      i've been a user of some of those programs for school and work so i can tell you that those programs do have an efficient workflow without actually editing and viewing wireframes. that said, they don't use poly or sub d modeling like blender does. they use surface modeling where the surfaces are defined by curves rather than wireframes. the line drawing Ton was talking about them having was really just displaying those curves and while it is visually cleaner a complex object with a lot of small detail would still look like a mess. plus, even in those programs when you force your way needlessly down to the vertex/edge/polygon level that's being calculated based on the curves, the topology is awful. i'm talking like pre Ngon blender boolean use awful so even in that case you'd need a way to edit the wireframe to make something that would deform well in animation.

      another thing is that surface modeling just doesn't lend itself anywhere near as well to easily creating complex organic shapes as subdivision surface or poly modeling does. i do think gaining some more surface/nurbs modeling tools would be positive thing for blender but making a complete transition and eliminating subd/poly modeling would most certainly be an obvious detriment.

      Ton may have something specific in mind that does actually make sense but we just aren't understanding (wireframe view is pointless for highpoly sculpts and dense scenes.) unless something comes along that can replace SubD modeling we're still going to be able to edit and view wireframes.
      personally i think it'd be better to just rethink how they draw wireframes for subD objects to make it look much cleaner. like keeping the pre subsurf wires thick and solid the way they're all drawn now while thinning down and/or fading out the subsurf wires... maybe even drawing them dashed on top of the previous suggestion as well to further help clean things up and hide a little more of the wire mess.

      • Hmm thanks!

        I trust the Blender devs not to totally shoot themselves in the foot on this, and I can't imagine them doing anything which would nerf poly modelling in Blender, since it's perhaps one of it's core most important features, but just wish we could get more detail on what they mean by all this stuff about "no more wireframes!". I don't know, I guess we'll find out soon enough.

  4. It'd be nice to have something that can increase the FPS count for animators like me. normally reach a max of 18fps when priviewing animations in blender with complex rigs. like rigs made with Blenrig5 . :P

    • As an animator, I totally agree, and I think that's already being addressed with the new depsgraph (relations between objects/bones being analyzed quicker). The new viewport will further increase playback speed I'm sure.

      • cool. be looking forward to the better performance. Especially when it comes to lypsinc it can be a bit hard to always Open Gl every 10 minutes to check if the animation is too slow or too fast :P

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