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Blender Artists 2.0: We’re Moving to Discourse!


Long in the planning, (three years now!) we finally move BlenderArtists to a new forum platform: Discourse. This change coincides with a change in ownership: after the switch, CG Cookie is transferring the ownership and management of BlenderArtists to BlenderNation.

Jonathan Williamson writes:

From day one we have tried to be good stewards of the community but in the last few years we’ve been unable to dedicate the time that Blender Artists deserves and needs. Thankfully, Bart has graciously agreed to step up and take ownership through BlenderNation. Bart is one of the original Not a Number crew and was responsible for many of the original Blender tutorials that many of us (myself included) first learned from. Blender Artists could not be in better hands.

Jason van Gumster (Fweeb) will stay involved as the lead moderator. The migration and this crowdfunding campaign are being run by BlenderNation.

The data migration is complex and involves hiring a professional to help us migrate the data. We can’t do this without raising some funds. For a full migration of the entire site we need €4500, if we raise less, we’ll import less history accordingly.

Read more about why we're switching to Discourse and our campaign goals on the Kickstarter campaign page.

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 ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. Bart Congratulations and keep up the great work. I have been fallowing and using your tutorials since I began with Blender 3 years ago. Thank you and I can't wait to see what the future holds for Blender!

  2. Congratulations!
    One quick question: wil there be a "subscribed" link to see in a list all the threads that one has marked as interesting? It's a handy feature of BA forum i use all the time to keep track of new posts in the thread I like

    • I believe so, I'd have to look into it more. For one, you can use the search function (see screenshot), but there may be an easier way to access this. There's also a 'bookmark' feature to collect topics of interest.

    • It's only a small budget, I feel that if we can't raise that in 14 days, we won't be able to raise it in 30 either. Plus, I'm eager to get this going :)

    • I'm aware there are scripts, but this migration is huge and complex - that's why I hired an expert to help us. If we can't reach the goal, I won't be trying it myself.

      • What's so different about blenderartists and any other vBulletin installation? I don't get that "complex" part. I understand that it is big one but after all it's all about import/export and this is partially automated task. Only "complex" thing I can see is that this will be time consuming (transfers).

        • It's 15+ years of data, there are likely corrupted parts. It needs installation of a Discourse development environment, pushing of content to S3,... All things that I don't have the knowledge or bandwidth for. This needs to be done properly by someone who knows what he's doing :)

          • Still nothing complex there :) I'll just tell you as a professional - this price is a total rip-off. Sad that community will take that on itself.

    • I kinda agree AND disagree with you. BA is full of old useless stuff that nobody would miss but some relevant stuff (like discussions and links) would be lost. Migrating is good idea and I believe that a mobile friendly UI with modern features like DIscourse have will help to engage the community.

  3. if possible some clean up are needed on very old threads
    many have lost images , files , links
    so not very useful anymore !

    I guess that would save HD memory too
    only one suggestion
    have a better search engine!

    Congratulations! & good luck
    happy bl

    • That would be nice, but with over 300,000 topics to review we'd need to let the community help with that. Perhaps they could flag expired thread for removal or so...

      • Some forums archive threads (you cannot comment any more) with the last comment being 1 year old.
        Would’t it be a good filter for you to only migrate threads with younger than 1-2-3 years LAST comments?

  4. Thanks Bart for all the great work you're doing on BlenderNation. And thanks for accepting this new responsibility to do even more. Good Job! Keep it up!

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