Blender 2.8 Xmas Report

Goodbye 2017

It’s that time of the year again. And what a year! Blender 2.8 is shaping up and made ready for use in daily production in a Blender open movie.

Early in the year, we started sharing a daily build of 2.8 with all the latest changes. That lead to a great response by early adopters who embraced the potential of a real-time engine such as Eevee in Blender. We saw that in the demo we had at Siggraph, as well as the constant sharing of images and videos in social media.

We also added a 2.8 hub on blender.org. A page where people could learn more about the 2.8 project. If you haven’t visited it, go check it out. You can find all the Siggraph demo files, as well as videos, documents and everything that is 2.8 related.

A beta is expected in Q2 next year, and we expect newcomers and seasoned users alike to adopt the new Blender 2.8 workflow in their pipelines. Meanwhile, Blender 101 will follow close with a proof of concept for 3D printing, and educational use of Blender.

But enough about the past. Let’s see where we are now.

What do we have?

Eevee

One of the most noticeable features of 2.8 is Eevee. This real-time engine has been tightly integrated in the Blender viewport. Eevee supports all the fancy lighting and rendering features that’s common in modern 3D games. It already features:

  • PBR – Physically based rendering
  • Subsurface scattering with translucency
  • Screen space effects
  • Volumetrics
  • Filtered shadows
  • Reflection and refraction
  • Light probes

Guitar stage by Davide Tirindelli

Guitar stage by Davide Tirindelli.

Layers & Collections

To organize Blender Scenes we have a new view layers and collections system with unlimited number of collections, supporting hierarchies and per-collection visibility control.

Mockup for move to collection operator

Blender 101

The 101 project (enable to configure Blender into special purpose applications) debuted with template support, tools, and custom manipulators. In the following proof of concept video you can see a Blender with:

  • Intuitive navigation widget
  • Click based modeling tool
  • Ruler system
  • Scaling cage

Grease Pencil

The 2d animation pipeline is vastly improved. You can read all of its new features in the previous post. This is a branch on top of Blender 2.8 to be merged before the first beta.

There is even an open project whose primary goal is to make sure grease pencil is production ready for 2d animation. Follow Hero’s progress in the Blender cloud.

Overrides and Depsgraph

Static overrides are now part of Blender 2.8. This is the first step to replace the proxy limitations and allow any datablock to be linked, and have unique local properties. This is an important feature that should slowly make way into everyone’s pipeline.

Also implemented under the hood is the new dependency graph. Its benefits are still invisible to the end user but we got per-view layer dependency graph and copy-on-write working. Copy-on-write already allows to have the same scene in multiple states, each one with a different frame, or level of detail. Per view layer dependency graph brings maximum playback performance and will allow for different dynamic overrides per view layer.

Known issues

Despite all the exciting things built and working, there are plenty of areas that are buggy, or not in their intended final form.

We have a myriad of driver related issues because Eevee is not working in your favorite GPU setup. We won’t be able to prioritize this before the very end of the project.

Performance is another big issue. If your graphic system doesn’t support cached shaders you will struggle every single time you open your heavy Eevee files.

Modifiers are not supported yet. The new dependency graph is still ongoing a lot of changes, and modifiers as well as tools are not available yet.

How about the interface?

  • Multi-window is not supported
  • The collections have a new design yet to be implemented
  • Workspace doesn’t have modes as originally intended
  • Scene and workspace engines settings need to fit side-by-side
  • Top bar and workspace specific keymaps and add-ons are postponed targets
  • Manipulators and tools are also postponed but will be around as an API for add-ons

There is more:

  • F12 render is not working for Eevee or Clay
  • Workbench engine and the overlay modes still need a final design
  • A long backlog of bugs

What is coming next?

For those of you living in the north hemisphere, Winter is coming, followed closely by Spring. The new open movie project will start using the Blender 2.8 branch before and after the first beta is out.

The main focus of Blender 2.8 is workflow. So instead of working in a set-on-stone design and implement it isolated from the real world, we will do the tried and proved open Blender way. The Spring team is committed to use the new features as well as the partial implementations every single day for the whole project.

This will be documented to make a workflow guide. Assisting Blender users migration to Blender 2.8.

But aside from what Spring brings and polish, we have a feel features yet to come:

  • Modifiers
  • Dynamic overrides
  • Proxy pipeline for static overrides
  • Asset engines
  • 101 3d printing application template
  • A different current frame per dependency graph

Welcome 2018!

There is more to Blender 2.8 than the projects mentioned here, and there is more to Blender development than the 2.8 project. So expect more interesting projects throughout this year.

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the Blender sponsors. To the industry partners, the development fund subscribers, donators and the blender cloud supporters, thank you.

We would like to invite everyone to the upcoming beta later this year. Stay tuned for its official announcement. Or join the early adopters wagon and keep sharing your work and your impressions where we can find it.

53 comments 38,615 Views
  1. blender is the best

  2. The cage manipulator in 101 looks interesting.
    Here is for hopefully a lot of good things coming 2018 *cheers*

  3. very good

  4. I hope Blender 2.8 has solved the problem with cordless Apple keyboard and mouse. I still use Logitech mice with cable and very old Apple Alu Keyboard with cable on my iMac mid 2011 High Sierra to be able to work on Blender 2.79. Apple cordless stuff dont work. I hope you have solve that nasty problem.

  5. Nice update, really looking forward to 2.8! Wish we could get some updates on stuff like Workbench engine, Mantaflow branch and Fracture modifier? Anyways great job!

  6. nice article, thanks..! just a question: local time for duplis, like time offset for dupligroups as in 2.49 or even for particles… is that coming also or should I sell my Blender license and buy a C4D one?

  7. Its amazing software its all in one i am very impress to this can do Video editing, 3d modeling, gaming and many more at time in only one software.

  8. blender is the hero of 3D applications. 2.8 is feature. i’m ready for using blender and eevee for feature projects.

  9. You’re doin’ a great Job.
    I tested Eevee and clay and it will be much easier to work with it.

    We wish you a merry Christmas – we wish you a merry Christmas ^^
    and a haaaaapppyyyy neeeww yeeear

    Keep it up – 🙂

  10. We love you guys so much. We’ll make all blender users proud with what we’re doing at Xane Graphics, Nigeria. We are all blender, and we have all come a long way.
    God Bless

  11. This is sooooo coool!!!!, Cant wait for 2.8 🙂

  12. I just want to say thank you to all the people contributing to the Blender – I love using this wonderful tool! And the Blender community is amazing as well!
    The progress in the last year is amazing – good job, guys!

  13. Great work and joyeuses fêtes guys 😉

    For blender 101, I think it will be better to activate auto perspective in the preferences.

  14. Get the workspace flow down or this is a bag of hurt for a long time and only top devs/designers will touch it, while the rest of us will keep using 2.7.x.

  15. What about the Blender game engine? Any chance that will be improved? I am praying for that 🙂

    • unfortunately, but I’m full of bad fears about this functionality

    • Firstly let me say a big thanks to the whole team of blender. Be it with Blender 2.79 or the upcoming Blender 2.8 you guys have just pushed the limits of this awesome and outstanding open source software.

      I and quite a few are waiting for Blender 2.8 and the promise of Ton that the new Blender Game Engine would use the power of Eevee.

      It would be awesome if at some point an open project for the creation of a game using Eevee of course as the game engine could be done. Of course not everyone is interested in the creation of videogames. But this could be used for so much more, like medical simulation, industrial field, architectural projects. A kids’ dream maybe, but Blender really is a dream made real for many :).

      Happy new year 2018 to all!

    • BGE is actively developed as a fork here:
      https://github.com/UPBGE/blender
      have a look, they are doing a great work as well!

    • Have a look at http://armory3d.org/

  16. Blender is all that is good in the world manifested with love

  17. Doesn’t render properly demo files, the default cube scene renders well but trying to add more variaton creates mess on scene. Are you using Nvidia guidebook on how to write modern Opengl?

    • Final renders (F12) are not supported yet. Viewport drawing is working for NVidia cards for sure, but maybe not for yours+driver+OS.

  18. Great year 2018 ! The team bright us a tool that we want it 🙂
    I learn so hard the blender source code and make it a fork, no time from now and need to wait what i can achieve here, so wait and see !

    You all guys/gals i say you Merry christmas, see you next year for high gift and artwork, better and more users to share them 🙂

    Happy Blending

  19. Will the Fluid simulator be updated with the B2018 ?

  20. Love it! Thank You All Blender Developers for this amazing tool.
    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  21. I can’t wait! Thank you all for your hard and awesome work! Merry Christmas!

  22. when are you going to fix the rotation manipulator . i always get a problem when trying to rotate with the given rotation manipulators sometimes one work and sometimes no manipulator works . is it a bug or what please mention it to users .mostly x gizmo works and other two didnt work

  23. Thank you all for your hard work, I can’t wait to get to play with that stuff. But for now have a merry Christmas and a happy new year 😀

  24. Amazing!~ Evvee and 101. just VSE and I’ll be full happy .

  25. Good job blender team. I am a 15 year school boy and completed slow training on blender in 1 year, Yet i have accomplished 75% of it and left with some.
    I also compared it with other 3D softwares like 3ds and maya. The only 2 things are there which makes blender down from others. Which I want to share to u all team.
    1st thing is that blender is of very less in size with compared to its features. In other hand maya which is of 1.5gb approx which is too much as compared to its features anyway blender is the best among all. The thing which i want to say that blender should increase its size to 800 mb+ ;no matter that the size increased by putting useless files and codes in the software;. That will make it more popular . Then artists will prefer it more then those autodesk licenced dumps.
    2nd thing that blender should have a good icon. Which is known that icon is the face of a software and should look attractive.

    That’s all what i wanted to convey. Blender team u r doing a great job , i am not so big to contribute in it but i will do when i will stand in my own feet. Thankyou for this wonderfill software.

  26. Its amazing! Can’t wait for use the new version in my work.

  27. I hope you make good fixes on Apple platforms there are still too much problems and the way to report the errors is so nasty and not clear to do it.

    in edit mode always crash and also the poor performance and I have 2 cards on my macbook pro polaris pro555 and inter pro both with the support of opencl and gl with 2 gb both and still poor performance also DON´T LET CYCLES RUN automatically. for modelling and sculpting process is so horrible and not logic .

  28. This is amazing development. Thank you guys!

    I read that you guys eventually want to get the compositor working in EEVEE, but many of the nodes will have to be updated to work in real-time. Would the transition be faster if you replaced the nodes with OFX node support instead? You would be killing a few birds with the same stone if you were able to support OFX.

  29. do blender 2.8 getting a function to make hairparticles collide on the emitter-object?

  30. I can’t wait too! Thank you all for your hard and awesome work! Merry Christmas!

  31. Hi, Great work with 2.8 and eevee so far.

    When you do the particle to eevee piping, would it be possible to add per particle (solid) color in the viewport. Not only for meshes trough material, but also for the simple point display.
    I see the point display is now a circle, would be nice to have the option for square too, and to display its outline or not.

    That, or have an option to display vertices of a mesh in object more or some other objects editmode…

    trying to (ab)use the particles for point cloud display in the viewport, per vertex distributed on a vertex only mesh with the positions. It seems to work fine up to about 10million points. this enables me to snap to the points too. would need the color though…

    Of course a real sparse octree point cloud implementation for blender wuold be even more amazing 🙂

    • Actually, for point clouds i can just use the vertex only mesh on itself, no need to put a particle on every vertex, doubling the amount of data to keep track of. tested up to 250 million points now, in 4 objects. can probably do more, but that is with just 1px points using the fast gl_points.

      So, this would require a – per collection/view layer- setting of vertex point size though, instead of just a preference (and not just in edit-mode!) , and also per vertex drawing of the vertex color data. Please, pretty please, i’m sure this would open up a lot of possibilities…

      Going further, dynamic point size depending on distance, or even full blown splatting…
      but just a per object/layer point size, and per vertex color would already be great.

      Since eevee will redo this overlay drawing of tool manipulators and drawmodes anyway, this would be a very nice addition !

  32. Is there any chance Eevee will see Blender game engine integration? The current BGE is still incredibly versatile, if not dry to look at. A new, realtime renderer would make it a serious contender for open source game development

  33. Hello everyone, i’m new to blender and about to download and start learning. My question is: i know blender 2.8 isn’t released yet, not even in beta. But since i’m just starting to learn from scratch, would it be wise to start learning with the WIP blender 2.8 so that when 2.8 is later released beta or stable, i would already be familiar with it to some level instead of starting to learn with 2.79 then moving to 2.8 when it is release and re-starting to learn again?

    • I recommend you start learning it already with 2.79 and go to 2.80 when it is stable.

  34. Thank-You Blender and Blender Community. Great communities, lots of friendly helpful advice. Still working out that my mouse has 3 buttons. Logic slowly taking root in brain.

    • PS Happy New Year everyone and a Merry Xmas if you celebrate it – and the for the Orthodox followers-
      yours is coming up 6-7January 2018!

  35. I’m still hoping there will be an option to move out of real time render on eevee… I dont think my computer can handle real time the whole time and I really want to use eevee!

    Please add solid view into eevee, it will be so much easier on me.

  36. I was attracted to camera handling when I was in 8th grade and had an old PC to learn crappy vfx done on paint brush and windows movie maker… My parents hated it as I spent my childhood wondering how to make vfx or 3D models I saw in games….Later I studied physiotherapy sad and hopeless there is no one out there to understand me or my work for 2 years and was forced to continue doing medical stuff, wanting to make one of those amazing medical visualisations or making my own short movie,


    AND then Blender came to my old laptop and suddenly my life changed…
    I switched my career path and joined animation school to pursue Bachelors of fine arts.
    I feel so confident to tell everyone that “this is my calling”.
    My family is happy now to see me create new stuffs on PC (oh they got me a faster PC btw)

    I am practicing blender since 2014
    Today I proudly say people like Andrew Price, Ton Roosendaal, Gleb Alex., Sardipax

    Changed my life
    Thank you Blender and its Community
    I love you all

  37. Where is backface culling?

  38. How do I hide objects in scene “h” is not working, the little eye is gone from outliner as well?

  39. I hope more improvement on Blender VSE 😀 . I love use it for editing video than another linux editing video.

    • I hope the Blender VSE can use the asset engine as a media pool. That would bring Blender much closer to the standard NLE designs.

  40. Blender Is not Optimize for large scenes.so your works are ineffectual !.

  41. Blender es lo mejor que he conocido, seria bueno tuviera tambien presets de animacion de texto con animaciones predefinidas como aparecer letra por letra, etc. Permitir importar videos con fondo transparente en la vista 3d …

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