Blender Development Fund, projects for first half 2019

The development fund has had a big boost in the past months. Recurring donations are steadily climbing up to EUR 25k per month, which makes it possible to keep supporting the core developer team and to look into starting new projects.

Grants

The Development Fund grants will first be used to enable the following six people to work full time on core Blender development:

Bastien Montagne, Brecht Van Lommel, Campbell Barton, Clement Foucault, Jacques Lucke, Sergey Sharybin.

And as part timers: Dalai Felinto and Philipp Oeser.

When the Development Fund climbs up to 30k p/m, more people can be supported. There are at least eight developers eligible for coming on board this way.

Key project: 2.80-stable

Obviously, the main focus for everyone is to get 2.80 out. That means stabilising and cleaning code, bug fixing, reviewing patches, finishing incomplete features, gathering and incorporating feedback, testing with user files, … in general everything that’s needed to make Blender ready for a stable release.
Not only does this imply work on reports at the developer.blender.org site, part of the team also works alongside the Spring Open Movie team to stabilise and validate Blender in production every day.

An official 2.80-stable is targeted to be ready in Spring. Hopefully in April.

New projects

Based on the feedback in the previous roadmap article, there’s enough to do for 100s of developers on projects the coming years. That means we will have to prioritise. What’s possible to start working on in Q2 is:

  • Overrides and asset management
  • Better support for large scenes or complex environments
  • Modifier nodes
  • Physics & real-time mode (for designing simulation and baking)
  • Cycles: reviewing/adding patches

If the development fund grows beyond 30k:

  • Particles and hair nodes
  • Texturing tools and tools for procedural textures
  • Painting and Sculpting improvements
  • Better snapping and precision modeling
  • Cycles: denoising
  • Compositor

Priorities of new projects are still open and depend on Dev Fund member feedback and availability of developers. Let us know what you think, and don’t forget to join the Development Fund if you want to help out!

Note that there are numerous other projects running as well, thanks to Blender Institute, and thanks to volunteers and developers working for other companies. For example, work on Blender pipeline tools, work on the Video Sequencer, AMD openCL and Nvidia RTX rendering.

I wish you happy holidays and a wonderful 2019!

Ton Roosendaal
Chairman Blender Foundation

55 comments 11,660 Views
  1. Sounds like an exciting year ahead! Just a quick question Ton: you use “p/m” a lot: it’s not clear to me what currency you are referring to as “p”!

    • “per month”, if I’m not mistaken. 🙂

      • Makes much sense now 😀 The missing “euro” in “30k p/m” confused me (was reading the “slash” as “per”)

      • Yea, i guess there is redundancy mistake, cause slash itself means “per” so “p/m” would mean “per per month”.

  2. this is great news, isn’t Overrides/asset management already started and half way and planned to be in 2.81?, i would vote for these three ones and hopefully we can get all of them in 2019.
    * Better support for large scenes or complex environments.
    * Painting and Sculpting improvements.
    * Better snapping and precision modeling.
    happy holidays to you all 🙂

  3. Blender 2.80 will make blender enter the big boy ring with C4D and Maya. Except blender is free. We have a winner.

  4. I just signed up as a Silver member of the Blender Development Fund. It is not much but I hope it helps get the Blender Development Fund over 30k sooner than later. As a Cinema 4D R19 user embracing Blender 2.80 in earnest I am desperate for “better snapping and precision modeling” tools / settings.

  5. The modifier nodes and large scene support is a priority, but 2.80 had been doing wonderful as of lately the stability is doing great, can’t wait to see what happens with the texturing and texture paint today tools _^

  6. So, when are animation nodes going to be integrated?

    • That’s part of the ‘everything nodes’ in Blender. It will start with nodes supporting modifiers. Then we look into particle systems, hair, generative modeling, physics, rigging and animation in general.
      The ‘animation nodes’ add-on developer works full time for Blender Institute now, he will keep his add-on work for the time being.

  7. As an architect, my favorite feature from the list is be better snapping tools.

  8. Overrides and asset management -> Yes!
    Modifier nodes -> Yes!
    Better snapping and precision modeling -> Yes Yes Yes Yes!

    Thank you Blender foundation! Merry Christmas to all!

  9. “Better snapping and precision modeling” for us CAD modelers is the number one priority! 👍👌

  10. nothing on improving animation workflows, playback speed, animation caching, graph editor / dope sheet / timeline in general 🙁

    • I think that’s for the Animation 2020 project.

    • exactly, 2020 is not that far that gives them at least 1,5 years until it’s end, they should start that after 2.80 release ,i think they bite off more than they can chew hopefully with this steady increase in fund they’ll be able to do it,blender is not just for modeling or rendering , rigging and animation iare big things and shouldn’t be ignored because that’s what the main job of any 3D package.

    • Alexander gavrilov already improve dope sheet and nla editor ,bendy bones and much more
      His is in fire mode right now for the blender animation and rigging system 🙂
      Here is all the improvements in blender 2.8 for the animation and rigging
      https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/Reference/Release_Notes/2.80/Animation

    • I am working on getting support for dedicated animation developers – the 2020 project indeed. It’s not in the current dev fund planning. Probably needs 2+ full time developers.

  11. Perhaps a dedicated motion graphics workspace and improve on that with tool set that is similar to cinema 4d motion graphics tools like (mograph) or like Maya that is now catering to motion graphic designers. I think catering to motion graphic designers would be a smart move because a lot of them are one person crews that generate impressive work very quickly and this would drive up interest in Blender and increase the Blender portfolio of what is possible just by one person and as a result increase funding and support more developers.

  12. You guys are sort of close to that 30k mark. I think Blender should try and be a little more aggressive pushing this development fund by advertising the proposed additional features if you reach that milestone.

    Right now the only way anyone knows about the potential features is in this blog post. Something like this should be right on the banner of the home page on blender.org. This would generate more awareness of the additional features that would be coming if the link to the development fund wasn’t just a tiny box below.

    • I agree with you. If the donation is placed in a visible place like the homepage, there will certainly be many people who know and donate to the project.

      • I’m always a bit reluctant doing too much begging… but you’re right. Will work on it!

        • Begging is more like: “Give us money so we can do nothing.”

          You are more like in this category: “We can do this and this for you if you give us this.”

          Tools like Blender, Krita, GIMP are getting more and more important as the commercial alternatives are getting ridiculously expensive. And I can guess that younger artists and hobbyists are struggling to actually afford any of these.

          And 2.8 is a foundation release to bring in more people on board.

          If these big time studios chip in a little bit each year they could not only have a free tool at their disposal but also a larger pool of potential talent. Maybe that’s how these foundations should be promoted to those who have the money and power.

  13. I really think any tools and workflows dedicated to Motion Graphics, such as modifier, particles, simulation and hair nodes should be top priority. Of course, these tools would not be limited only to motion.

    Motion nowadays is everywhere, from instagram to youtube. It’s a huge market that Blender could embrace.

    • I agree, motion graphics is really popular these days, a dedicated workspace would usher blender to a larger user-base.

    • One of the main things that would benefit motion graphics is nodes for modifiers and other things, like the Animation Nodes addon allows for today. This allows for efficient procedural animation of all sorts of motion graphics effects.

    • You’re right. So, a dedicated workspace for motion, with Animation Nodes already shipped with Blender and the future nodes for modifiers and particles would do wonders for Blender in general. Talking for myself, where I live (Brazil), motion graphics is at peak of the creative industry, with people migrating over everyday. Blender is losing a “creative trend” by “ignoring” motion graphics.

  14. I wish that not only a “Better snapping and precision modeling” will be made but also some ability to make “sketch” with parameters like in CAD software.

    I think that the CAD industry is way bigger than the animation/VFX etc. and the 3D printing adds the ability to produce products that are much easy to make with Blender than any other CAD software.

    Peoples are already using Blender to make models for 3D printing and for fixing them.

    (another wish: to have the “Mesh Analysis” to work with modifiers and having modifiers for “Remove Doubles” and “Recalculate Normal Outside”)

    • Way bigger and by far way greedy. Just look at projects like freecad or librecad. Very Little to no funding at all and lots of users and downloads.

      But yes, i agree “better snapping” is still required for better 3D printing interaction and easiest modeling when precision is needed.

      • If you look at revenues, the CAD software market is 10x bigger (if not more) than all of media/entertainment tools. I always send people to FreeCAD, a project worth joining or giving support.

        • Concerning CAD… It would be interesting if the grease pencil system could be leveraged to do 2d drafting…

        • Hi Ton, why don’t you hire marketing and brading team to really drive money in?

      • Better snapping and precision modelling is not good just for 3D printing it is also more natural and easier to learn and use when you are making hard surface models.

        I think this should be a priority as it will make modeling easier (well it depends on how it will be implemented). I remember when I had to do something in AutoCAD quickly (and I don’t use that software often). It was very easy to pick up and to what I wanted to do in the version that added such snapping and other aids.

      • The average artist might not care about precision very much but I do and I also think that precision modelling can help a lot and give more opportunities for example in games.

    • I second the “Remove Doubles Modifier” suggestion!

  15. Hi. The question from the beginner – whether it will be possible to do interactive things in blender 2.8, like in Unreal Engine?

  16. I would put a vote for pixars usd, atleast as an importer exporter but maybe also start looking into using its outliner or usd as a scene description for cycles, or hydra viewport.

  17. u guys should focus on the important things more than these aesthetics, i am relatively new to blender and i want it to be the best at it’s job like everyone else, so i would say upgrade the UV/mesh/ editing especially when you have heavy geos,interactive primitive objects creation with possibilty to go back in histroy and make changes, resources usage especially now with EEVEE..etc u get the idea, i was happy that you guys made huge improvements to dependency graph, don’t know how much but hopefully it’s now more flexible.

  18. A quick look at the posts reveals the most desired feature:

    Better snapping and precision modeling

  19. It would be great to have such a button in the Blender UI to create saved new files during development representing all the stages. Without Save As…. For example, I create a house and by clicking such a button I can save the current work as House-01.blend, then I work with texturing and click again to save House-02.blend, and then I add a roof to my house and click to save House-03.blend, etc. The number would be increased and added automatically by clicking the button and maybe all those files should be placed in one folder called House in this case.

    • Not a button but ctrl+shift+s to save as then press + on the numpad will create a numbered incremental save without you having to rename the file manually. ctrl+alt+s will save a copy without making the saved file active. You can also increase the number of “save versions” in the user preferences and then every time you save you will get a .blend1 .blend2 etc. file which are hidden by default in the file explorer but you can see by clicking on one of the buttons at the top (can’t remember which off the top of my head)

      • Thank for your explanations. I didn’t know, of course. But for making this feature more friendly, maybe such a button would be a good alternative. Not much work I guess. You see how much confusion can be.

  20. Please add Ruby extension for render blender files https://www.rubyguides.com/2018/03/write-ruby-c-extension/
    nothing more. I need only addfile and get/set/modyfy vertex.
    Please

  21. Please Please Please Please Please to improve EEVEE :((

  22. touch screen support (surface book 2, surface studio 2)? Almost any new laptop has a touch screen today.

    • I was just thinking how I could possibly get the word out how terrible Blender runs on an SB2.
      Tablet support is essential. We gotta get this experience smoother on the go. If not ipad at least adequate touchscreen pc support.

  23. Just ported on Android

  24. You should buy a Manuel Bastioni Lab add-on and make it to be a part of the Blender core. This is now abandoned and it is really bad. Blender with a separate workspace for creating people would be much more powerful software. We all need good avatars. MBL is a really good stuff. Please make it a part of Blender. Please contact Manuel and do something with that.

  25. ‘Better support for large scenes or complex environments’ … that sounds great, Ton. It’s another step closer to the Interactive mode we discussed at the last Blender Conference together with Benoit and Martins.
    I hope it brings also LOD system back as well as improves manipulation of objects in scenes with thousands of objects.

  26. Major for me are improved collections / overrides / instancing workflow improvements supporting complex scattering (see ForestPack or Clarisse for scattering).
    Minor but nice would be better alembic support (attrs), OpenVDB import.

    Thanks

  27. Holding my sculpting ransom I see… you’ll get your 30k boss.
    Exciting times!

  28. To earn payment, and similarly users, it is possible if 1) to create a platform for plane-tables (Android) 2) to Improve video editor, – beginning to compete with АЕ

  29. Hi, dear developers!

    I wanted to express my deepest gratitude for your hard work. I’m super excited about 2.8 version. It’s a real breakthrough and I just congratulate you all with this fantastic achievement.

    A also wanted to ask if you’re planning to make some improvements to the Remesh modifier, I wonder if it could do the same perfect work like automatic retopology tools in ZBrush. that preservs topology really well. Its’ primitive project function is also amazing. It would be great if one day you could implement these features into my favorite program of all time.

    Thanks again

  30. hey blender devs thank you for your awesome work, you are truely ninjas in my eyes 😉
    i think many Artists like me would say that u should focus on performance and interoperability plz, handling large scenes with shaders, opening large files, FPS playback with complex rigs , editing and uving meshes…etc this is what the competitive apps are focusing right now, it’s a very crucial thing to stay in the curve.
    we can live without other fancy features for a while but once high performance and stability are reached u can go wild with any features you plan to add…so i urge you to make this the next big goal.

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