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Developer Meeting Notes: 2 September 2019

9

Announcements

  • Julian Eisel is now working full time for Blender in a 4 month contract.
  • Nathan Lovato (gdquest) has been granted commit access to contribute Power Sequencer: video editing tools in the add-ons repository.
  • The patches for the sculpt branch are finished, except for the transform tool. (Pablo Dobarro)
  • We started to organize “mentorship” tasks for developers - T69403 and T69399. (Campbell Barton)
  • These tasks will be readable by everyone, but writable by the developers only, as a way to keep the conversation between the involved parts without too much noise, while keeping our communication open for the public . (Dalai Felinto)
  • Shadow refactor for EEVEE is ready for review. (Clément Foucault)
  • We have a landing page and a corresponding tag for all our modules now. (Dalai Felinto)
  • Today is the last day of the Google Summer of Code. Final students report will be made public soon. (Dalai Felinto)

New Features and Changes

Sculpt and Retopology

  • Sculpt cursor follows the surface normal and displays symmetry. (Pablo Dobarro)
  • Normal radius setting for sculpt tools, to control how sensitive the sculpt normal direction is to the underlying surface. (Pablo Dobarro)
  • World spacing option for brush strokes, to keep an even distance between stroke points in 3D space. (Pablo Dobarro)
  • Poly build tool improvements for retopology. (video) (Pablo Dobarro)
    • Click and drag from a boundary edge extrudes a new quad.
    • Click and drag on vertices tweaks the position.
    • Ctrl + click adds geometry, with geometry preview and automatic creation of quads.
    • Shift + click deletes mesh elements (faces or vertices).

Rendering

  • Cycles adaptive subdivision and displacement now stitches faces to avoid cracks between edges. (Mai Lavelle)
  • Eevee shader compilation was optimized to only parse the required shader node code. (Omar Ahmad, Brecht Van Lommel)

Transform

  • When auto merging vertices, adjacent edges and faces can now be automatically split to avoid overlapping geometry. This is controlled by the new “Split Edges & Faces” option for Auto Merge. (Germano Cavalcante)

  • Transform parent without children option added. (Campbell Barton)
  • Origin edit can now be toggled with ctrl . (Campbell Barton)

Batch Rename

Where you could previously rename the active item with F2, you can now also batch rename all selected items with Alt F2. (Campbell Barton)

  • Find & replace, with regular expressions
  • Set, prefix or suffix
  • Strip characters
  • Change capitalization

Other

  • Grease Pencil (Antonio Vazquez)
    • Switch active layer automatically when selecting keyframes in the dopesheet.
    • Opacity modifier gained a Strength mode, to use the strength of the stroke instead of the alpha channel of the material.
  • Constraints (Alexander Gavrilov)
    • Copy Scale: option to copy non-uniform scale as uniform.
    • Copy Rotation: option to explicitly specify the Euler order used during copy.
    • Transform: options to explicitly specify the input and output Euler order.
  • Drivers: option to override the Euler order and access quaternion values for driver variables. (Alexander Gavrilov)
  • User Interface:
    • Support joining areas that are not exactly aligned. (Harley Acheson)
    • Various layout improvements for popup dialogs. (Yevgeny Makarov)
    • Outliner alphabetical sorting now uses more natural sorting of numbers. (Harley Acheson)
  • Workbench matcaps can now be multilayer OpenEXR images with separate diffuse and specular layers. The layer named diffuse will be affected by material, texture or random colors, while specular will not. (Jeroen Bakker)

Projects Under Development

  • Cycles Optix is almost ready to be merged as an experimental feature. It’s only waiting to resolve a license issue so it can be built without having to install the Optix SDK. (Patrick Mours, Brecht Van Lommel)
  • Buildbot is being worked on, to support building official releases and arbitrary branches. (Brecht Van Lommel)
  • Release Cycle page was updated with more details on each Bcon phase and branching.

Weekly Progress Reports

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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.

9 Comments

  1. Don't know where to post this for visibility to developers:

    Is there a plan to include the new sculpt mode brush that follows normals to texture paint? Also would like to see "paint through" with that mode.

    Would like more options for collections. I'd like to be able to assign a priority to collections and sub collections. In complex scenes, it would make it easier to identify the priorities of work. In that regard, I'd like to be able to see the level of completion of each object. Perhaps a green check mark on objects, etc. that have been completed, yellow for those that are a work in progress, and red for new objects that have no yet progressed. I know it's subjective, but I think it would help in complex scenes and animations. The character could be complete but the rigging is a work in progress.

    I'd like a true layer concept for texture paint, sculpting, and even shading similar to Photoshop, Kitra, Gimp. And I'd like the ability like in the Collections to turn them off and on.

    Basically I'd like to see something similar to the way Substance Painter works. I can approximate it with multiple use of the Principle Shaders using mixed nodes and masks, but every detail is created manually.

    OK, I get it. Just use Substance Painter. I do. So do thousands of others. So where is the Blender to Substance Painter interface in Blender. Yes, I know, SP needs an add-on as well so provide that as part of the add-on. There are a couple of efforts out there by they are not seamless. I want to move from Blender to SP and SP to Blender seamlessly. 3D Coat provide a good interactive interface. For that matter, why not a seamless interface to the extent possible for all of the major 3rd Party painting applications such as Mari, etc. I recognize that it's not always possible due to licensing, but to the extent that Blender can draw professionals into it's community that need to use professional texture painting, I think that would be a big win for Blender.

    Blender texture painting has improved, but it is light years behind Substance Painter.

    I guess optionally, Blender could develop a similar capability where there are presets of materials, smart materials, presets of masks and smart masks, physics based materials, etc. and allow users to create their own libraries of materials, smart materials, and masks. And most importantly, a website like Substance painter has that allows users to upload their materials to be freely used by others.

    Probably pie in the sky recommendations that no one will ever see.

    Overall, Blender 2.8 and especially 2.81 are game changers worth the wait.

  2. > Cycles adaptive subdivision and displacement now stitches faces to avoid cracks between edges.

    Holy shit, I've been waiting *literally* years for this, it's not a hyperbole! Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mai!

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