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Video: Blender 2.8 Workflow Workshop


Let's take a look at the Blender 2.8 workflow and have a little chat at then end!

Whenever we think of a new feature in Blender, we always think of the artist first. Systematically working everyone's shoulders such as animators, modelers, texture painters, layout artists, and see how they work. We try to get a good grasp of their use of Blender.

They want to make a new Blender but also keep things that we already have that is really good. It is just a matter of organizing it.

They are in a lucky situation to have a lot of support from sponsors and the Blender institue to hire developers full time. Ton mentions in the video expecting to have something presented summer (2016) as an alpha and have it done by the next year (2017). (Note this was said in the end of 2016)

Layers was also discussed in the video, explaining how it came as a simple subject and turned into a complex implementation. I am excited to see where this whole thing will take us. How excited are you guys for Blender 2.8? I think the hype is real!

Here are some of the things said in the video. Note that these quotes have been changed a bit, to make it easier to read.

Ton Roosendaal (Blender Foundation Chairman)

I'm like the architect of the Blender 2.5 project, my role is to get everyone to understand the limitations and the possibilities of the design. I work within that to make a number of new decisions so that we can continue working on it for at least 5 years in the future.

Brecht Van Lommel (Software Engineer)

I worked together with Ton and Campbell with most of the blender 2.5 code. 2.8 is kind of a similar project and we are continuing a lot of the projects that we have done there. I'm here to help understand the decisions that were made then and things that we thought that can be improved and so on.

Pawel Lyczkowski (UI Team)

I am quite surprised how well this design session works since i am used to UI discussions going no where for a long time. If we limit the amount of people in the room, we end up finding common grounds.

Julian Eisel (Core Developer)

And that is very usefull, we still have develops out there discussing the technical stuff.

Sergey Sharybin (Core Developer)

And we need to make sure that we don't end up with something that is only usable by coders.


  1. Jean Montambeault on

    Thank you Yanal for the nice update. I am getting back to Blender after years of idle interest and, by the looks of it, just in time for the best of times ever to do so.
    You wrote:
    "Ton mentions in the video expecting to have something presented summer (2016) as an alpha and have it done by the next year (2017). (Note this was said in the end of 2016)"
    There is some contradiction in that sentence and I guess that you rather meant "summer of 2017" and "next year 2018"?

    • No problem.

      I see why it seems confusing, my bad.

      The video was released at the end of 2016. Ton mentioned that they are expecting to have something presented in the summer as an alpha, and have it done by the next year.

      If you didn't know that this video was released last year, you would think that as you said, 2017 alpha and release on 2018.

      But it is in fact summer 2016 for the alpha and release on the 2017.

      • Jean Montambeault on

        OK, so the video was released by the end of 2016 but Ton spoke much earlier hence he could reference to an alpha by the summer of the same year. Well all that will then come one year sooner than I first understood. Schopenhauer was right: the pessimistic can only get happy surprises.

        TY again.

  2. It would be nice to see a picture of blender 2.8 ui.
    I would like to see blender has a gallery of basic default materials, wood, metal, glass, leather, fabrics, stones, ceramics, materials for architecture and would not be bad see sweet home 3d and 3d galleries.
    It is nice to see blender as well, I hope you don't stop!

  3. I'm always glad to see the Blender Foundation release new features and tools so frequently. But I wish the Foundation would take a year off and focus on streamlining what it already there.

    There are situations where you need to go to several panels to set values that seem to be to be unnecessary extra steps that you need to memorize. For example, when creating a displacement modifier, you have to go to the Texture panel, change the texture to a displacement, then select a texture, and then return to the displacement panel. I see no reason why all of the displacement requirements can't be located in the displacement panel.

    The same with micro-displacements. People have to bounce between three panels to set it up and/or adjust settings. Why not include all of the requirements for micro-displacement in the modifier panel.

    Then there are the tabs. They would be a great idea if I could group the tools to support my workflow, but I can't unless I go into each and modify the Python code for each, but that disappears with each new version and so it's too work intensive to keep changing it back to the way I want to work. Instead of making the tabs so small you can no longer see the labels there should be a way to manage how groups of labels are displayed. If I'm working in texture painting, I only need the tabs that have the tools that need to support texture painting. The rest can be hidden. I think it could work much like the Outliner where I can hide or show the tabs as required.

    And when baking, why do I need to remember to create a fake texture in the node editor and ensure that it is highlighted before baking? If I'm baking an object that should be done behind the scenes.

    Blender needs a better layers management. Layer manager add-on is pretty good, but I have to find it in the tabs when I want to use it. I should have a button next to the Blender layers that displays the details of the layers whenever I need to quickly reference them.

    There needs to be an asset manager in Blender. There are a couple of add-ons that attempt to manage assets, but asset management would be much cleaner if it were fully integrated.

    There needs to be a materials and texture manager. And I'd like to be able to export materials to a dedicated materials file (e.g., Copper.mat) so I don't have to append a blender file, find the material, and then append it into my scene. I'd like to have a materials manager and have all my favorite materials saved in folders such as "Metals", "Textiles", "Concrete", etc. I click on the material manager, it displays my material library on my hard drive, and I select the category and material file I want. I like the way Substance Painter manages materials and how they are fully integrated into the painting tools with layers and masks like in Photoshop, GIMP, and Kitra.

    Blender Sensei has a nice drag and drop add-on that was primarily for environment textures, but he shows how to use it for many other time saving ideas by creating a file browser window and you can set a custom directory where your favorite files are saved by whatever categories make sense to you. It displays where the timeline would normally be to drag and drop assets, brushes, environments, lighting, models, textures, etc. It makes modeling so much easier when you have direct access to frequently used assets, textures, brushes, etc. The timeline can be restored anything you need it.

    There are dozens of these annoying problems. They almost all have some type of work around or add-on that someone has thought of, but they are all a bit clunky and cannot be organized to support my unique workflow.

    A good example of allowing Blender users to customize their workflow is the "Screen Layout". There I can create the screen layouts to support my workflow such as screens customized for modeling, lighting, materials, UVs, painting, The default screens will work, but I prefer to customize the layouts for each of my workflows and I give them a number such as 02 Lighting so that the layouts are in the order that I normally use them in my workflow.

    Anyway, you get the idea. Take a year and streamline and improve what is already there. I can wait for new tools for a while if I can finally customize my workflows and have them imported into future versions of Blender.

    • Blender lacks "convenience features". An asset manager for materials and objects would be amazing. Nothing slows down workflow more than trying to remember what type of material or object you have on the hard drive and what blender file the damn thing is located in!
      I am sure there are people who have neatly organize blender files for materials/models/nodes/physics with nicely made previews. But the average user does not have that. The average user wants to go into the asset manager grab that rock material and drop it on the rock object. Or go to asset manager, look for what types of trees he has, if he has what he needs, he can drop it in the scene.

  4. "make sure that we don't end up with something that is only usable by coders."

    ...and also not only for super-pumped (video) hw. ;-)

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