Google Summer of Code 2019

Another year goes by, and another Google Summer of Code is successfully completed. This year 7 projects were finished, with plenty of new features already into the upcoming Blender 2.81.

Blender 2.81

Outliner Improvements

“With an increased focus on the outliner in Blender 2.80, many improvements could be implemented to increase the outliner’s usability.”

  • Project | Final Report
  • Status: Fully merged
  • By Nathan Craddock, mentored by Brecht Van Lommel and Campbell Barton

Improve Cycles/EEVEE for Procedural Content Creation

“The project hopes to refactor and add Cycles/EEVEE nodes to improve the workflow of technical/shading artists.”

  • Project | Final Report
  • Status: Merged, pending Voronoi and Vertex Color nodes
  • By Omar Ahmad, mentored by Brecht Van Lommel and Jacques Lucke

Blender 2.82

Core Support of Virtual Reality Headsets through OpenXR

“Implementation of core features needed for XR (virtual, augmented and mixed reality) headsets via the new OpenXR specification.”

Bevel Custom Profiles

User-drawn profiles, which is a commonly requested feature that could expand the bevel modifier use cases and speed up the modeling process.

2.82 or Later

Intel Embree BVH for GPU

Supporting Intel Embree fast BVH in GPU can speed up considerably Cycles rendering.

Cloth Simulator Improvement

Adaptive cloth simulation can decrease the computation time per frame, thereby leading to a better quality of simulation in the same amount of time.

  • Project | Final Report
  • Current status: Code still in a branch only (soc-2019-adaptive-cloth), not sent for review.
  • by Ish Hitesh Bosamiya, mentored by Brecht Van Lommel and Ton Roosendaal

Continued Development on LANPR Engine

“This project is aimed to complete the fast and accurate 3D NPR feature line rendering workflow and make it more production ready.

  1. Google Summer of Code is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organization on a 3 month programming project during their break from school.

  2. Could you create procedural particle system in Blender like Niagara(UE4) and VFX graph in Unity?

  3. 7 not bad, I guess Devs didnt’ have time to mentor more students but it’s nice that few crossed the finish line.
    Hopefully next year will be even more students who will join GSOC and best of luck for their Job applications.

    • 7 is actually a really high number. There is a lot of overhead in taking new developers in a short period of time with an expected production-quality code. All-in-all it was a really successful summer

  4. Those I some really great sugestions Peter, but I think you are more likely to get the community and dev support if you post them to Right Click Select.

  5. It’s nice to see the improvements you guys have made with Blender’s 2.80. I switched from using Maya to Blender. I noticed some UI challenges:
    1: In the outliner, it’s difficult to select multiple objects, normally I would hold Shift + RMB and click on the first and last object and every object in between them are selected. It’s not like that in Blender. It’s a painful process to have to click each one after the other.
    2: In the outliner there should be a shortcut to group objects together inside an empty null.
    3: One more thing that really slows down production speed is the fact that we can’t drag and drop 3D models from the computer to blender. Instead of specifying the 3D format in the import tab, Blender should be able to detect the in coming format when you drag from the computer to Blender.

    • A lot of these ideas have already been spitballed on RCS actually. If I recall correctly:
      #1 is planned to do, I thought it was already in the outliner improvements project.
      #2 is easily tackled by an addon and isn’t really all that important IMO- collections are much better for organizing the scene, you should only use parenting in a rigging situation and then it’s best to use bones most of the time.
      #3 is a lot more complicated than it seems and will need a lot of work. One of the GSOC projects that didn’t make it was a fast I/O for mesh data, and this is part of the difficulty (importers are mostly python scripts right now and it’s a speed bottleneck).

      Welcome to the community!

      • Number 2 is actually very important in my opinion, collections are great but having a fast grouping system just like every other object based software is crucial for fast production workflow. Both for interoperability with other software and for fast hierarchy organization.

        Just yesterday I had to export a scene from blender to maya that required the object to be grouped in specific groups to be animated in maya.

        Having to create the empties manually and parent objects Is veeery slow. I ended up exporting in maya and do the grouping directly in maya in few (select objects and press ctrl+g). I could do that because I’m experienced in maya, but my colleague that only uses blender had to do that in blender, and it’s a pain.

        It would also be great to have an option to lock/close groups, so that if you select one of the children in the viewport, you select the parent group.

        Last but not least, if you want to duplicate the whole hierarchy , you have to select it with ctrl+lmb in the (afaik). It would be faster and more logical if you just select the parent in the viewport and duplicate the whole hierarchy with shift+d .

    • As mentioned, Outliner improvements were part of this years GSoC, and pretty much all of those improvements are already in 2.81. Give it a go and see how you like it.

    • 2 & 3 are Planned for future versions and they’ll include much larger scoop, drag & drop will be for everything not just 3d models or import files with the upcoming Asset Manager you’ll be able to drag an drop anything and also in the UI we may see even detachable Editors,Panels..etc but these things take times as there also other Big important features to develop.
      1 Like the guys said Outliner improvements are already in Master and coming in 2.81 in couple months or u can just download the experimental build.

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