Orphaned areas help call

Hello, everyone.

Blender is becoming more and more big, developers who used to be active were kidnapped by their real life and they can not spend much time on Blender development anymore, which lead to some orphaned areas which are not currently maintained or in which help with maintaining is needed. I went through our bug tracker and source code to collect a list of such areas. Maybe somebody will become interested in improving some of this areas? It”ll help us a lot!

So, here”s a list of areas where help would be really welcome:

  • Tablets and other non-standard input devices. In fact it”s pretty fun and not so difficult area to work in, the only real difficult here is that some bugs can be reproduced using only specific hardware.
  • Transformation module.This module needs a bit more love. Some of issues here are caused by some design assumptions and some re-thinking might be needed here. There”s also couple of bugs there and think Martin Poirier (maintainer of this area) wouldn”t mind having help fixing them.
  • Volumetric materials. This kind of materials were implemented a while ago and weren”t actually improved further last year or so. But they still have got some unresolved design issues like having volumetrics on different layers and so.
  • Keymaps. We have an additional Maya keymap in default Blender”s configuration, but it weren”t improving further, sometimes it doesn”t actually match Maya.
  • Sequencer. It”s kind of complicated area with some internal design limitations and not actually clear architecture. There are plenty of things which might be improved here, but there”s no developer-time currently for this.
  • Particles. Currently there”s only Janne Karhu who”s working in this area and he doesn”t have much time for bigger improvements / fixes. Would be nice to have somebody else who”ll be familiar with this code to help improve / resolve issues there.
  • Simulations. All simulations like cloth, physics, softbody, fluid are kind of orphaned at this moment. There”s Daniel Genrich who”s currently trying to improve this areas, but for sure one developer can not cover all this areas and having more developers here would be  really helpful.
  • Metaballs. It”s also fun area which basically works, but it was designed a while ago and there”s some internal limitations there like they are not thread safe. Nice project for evening entertainment to play with 🙂
  • Game engine. Well, it”s not actually orphaned, we”ve got some active developers there, but BGE is quite large project and few developers can not cover it all. And can think about couple of ways to improve this area a lot.

Hope this will help attract more attention to areas where help is needed. Connect with us via the webpage here.

-sergey-

(Image shared from http://www.flickr.com/photos/purrfectly_kittenish/901104856/)

24 comments 7,837 Views
  1. I have already made a fully functional Maya keymap, but there’s a bug in Blender (already added to the tracker) that prevents me to export/import it correctly.

    I will maintain it in the future as that’s what I use everyday 🙂

  2. I would love to help. I tried asking on #blendercoders but didn’t get a response. I’ll lurk a bit on the mailing lists and see what happens.

    • Probably it was just a timezone gap issue. If you don’t have feedback in #blendercoders most probably all core developers are having few hours of sleep, which can not be avoided 🙂

      For sure guys who wants to help are always welcome!You might just try again asking in IRC room or mail to our ML.

  3. here’s my problem, totally new to coding but want to help. first year student and next year start on c++. would love to make a start over the summer and blender would be a great learning ground. so if i can get involved would love to look at the BGE and assist there. But where do i start?

    • Hey!
      Well, if you’re completely new to blender sources, good start would be to check out svn tree and compile blender. Steps for this should be described pretty well there http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Doc/Building_Blender
      But further steps depends on what exactly you want to do. For example if you want to improve engine itself, then you’d better to go to sources/gameengine, but if it’s more about how blender interacts with BGE (like, logic editor and stuff like this), then it’s in sources/editors/space_logic and some other places.
      I’ll try to figure out if we’ve got documentation about BGE architecture, meanwhile you’re welcome in our IRC room so we can help you with first steps like compiling blender and discuss areas you’re interested more and give you tips in the code.

    • I just built Blender so I’m pretty fresh on some of the easy pitfalls for compiling using MinGW and CMake. Check out Sergey’s link, and feel free to contact me at rishel.nick@gmail.com if you get stuck.

      The two most active places I have seen for developers are their IRC channel on freenode, #blendercoders; and their listserv, bf-committers. Some quick googling should give you all the information you need to get started. 🙂

    • Also, don’t be afraid of compiling Blender without knowing C or C++, both are good knowledge to have but not necessary just to take what’s there and make it run.

    • You could try here:
      http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Doc/Quick_Hacks

  4. Would love to put some time into maintaining/fixing BGE stuff. We shall see soon enough!

  5. Submitting a GSoC proposal to add multi-touch functionality to Blender with intent to move into “Tablets and other non-standard input devices.”

  6. I suggest that Blender use the same model that LibreOffice uses: make tutorials for developers, make them do easy tasks to get them started, then asign a mentor to them to point out the parts which need to be altered. Blender is, like many FOSS, too large to take in.

  7. Tablets and other non-standard input devices… Not orphaned actually.

    I’ve got a pile of tablet code nearly ready to submit, waiting until after the 2.63 release. I didn’t want to potentially delay BMesh now that it’s finally here! Pretty much a rewrite for Windows & Mac, Linux was already pretty solid.

    On the 3D mouse front, the past year we’ve gone from supporting zero devices to four (with 2.59) and have just recently topped 20 (with 2.63)! See http://spacemice.wikidot.com/blender then go to eBay and grab one for yourself. Navigation still needs lots of work — my next todo pile — but blender is already way ahead of other software when it comes to working with new and older devices.

    I’m not suggesting other people should stay away from this code. Just pointing out that it’s not abandoned.

    • I didn’t mean it’s orphaned, but think more developers with different hardware and system configurations would be really welcome here.
      Because it’s “pretty solid”, but we still have got upcoming reports about non-working pressure in blender at the same time when pressure works just fine in other apps.

  8. hey guys 1 last exam and the summer is mine!

    I have compiled a few bits of software before so that shouldn’t be a worry. will get my self in irc as soon as possible

    i might actually try and work on the device thing with BGE in mind as we have haptics at uni which i know someone had working before but not sure the state so will have to see

    thanks all for encouragent

  9. I would like to see (and help with) the physics engine in Blender. It needs a pretty hefty overhaul. I do have a few sections already done for it and testing on my computer (Linux).

  10. Who and where to arrange this summer on fair, slice your information.

  11. don’t forget fastharry who was working on fluid particles, particle skinning and unlimmited clay
    he went to 3dcoat.
    sph particles are already multitreaded and faster than the current sim
    but we can’t skin them.

  12. I want yo help. I’m a programmer

  13. I want to help. I’m a programmer. I’m currently studying engineering. Where do I start? What are the languages use? Python? C?

  14. Hello,
    I would like to help in simulations or BGE.
    I am an experienced C++ programmer. Python I can read too. I have next to 0 experience in 3D and blender.(Though I am learning blender now. I want to run some simple games in it.)

  15. Hi,

    in blenderstorm i created idea #447. I actually need the improvement of meshdeform performance. This is easy possible with multithreading. Meshdeform don’t use it. Therefore fast machine cannot run mesh deform fast because the cpu’s and cores aren’t really used.

    Now the questions:

    How can i find the right source file? How to find out if mesh deform is pyhton or c or c++ realized? Where is the documentation to find out this? Why the source files are not documented?

    I compiled blender with mingw64 and optimized the code for my machine. Blender runs now 20% faster on windows7. Ubuntu still not tested because i got a new computer and have to install it new.

    Could you help me to find the entry point for mesh deform?

    Next: which multithreading libs are you using in blender?

    Last: Who is responsible for mesh deform modifier?

    Greatings, Stephan.

  16. I think this thread is dead. No answers, no help.

    Bye.

  17. Hi Mike,

    Glad to here this isn’t fully orphaned. I’m working with a ball called sphero.http://www.gosphero.com . It uses bluetooth. I’m just wondering if you know of any tutorials or examples to help me get started in this section of blender’s code base (i know physics and a bit of weight-paint). Also, if there are any special considerations to working with bluetooth, vs other drivers that would be helpful.

    A sphero could be used both as a 3d mouse- artist tool, and as a game ball like a remote control car that moves around in a scene.

    kesten

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