GSoC Roundup Episode Two: Editorial Endeavours

The 2021 Google Summer of Code projects have just wrapped up, concluding ten weeks of exciting Blender development over eight projects helmed by students and supervised by members of the Blender development team. This is the second post in a four-part series exploring what the students have achieved during this year’s development stint.

Episode Two: Editorial Endeavours

After taking a look at the Geometry Nodes-related projects in the first part of this series, today’s post will go through the two projects tackling two editors nestled in the confines of Blender, frequented by intrepid editors and texture artists: The UV Editor and the Video Sequencer Editor (VSE). Aditya Jeppu spearheaded the project aiming to implement individual strip previews in the VSE, while Siddhartha Jejurkar took on the task of improving Blender’s UV Editor.

Video Sequence Editor strip previews and modification indicators

Camera, Lights, Previews

Aditya Jeppu’s GSoC project proposal initially aimed to deliver two new features to Blender’s VSE: strip previews and modification indicators. However, after consultation with mentor Richard Antalík, Aditya ended up focusing on getting the strip previews fully functional and polished enough to increase the chance of the patch making it to master; and that’s exactly what the student delivered:

Aditya Jeppu’s patch instantly increases the VSE’s usability by dynamically generating previews for loaded clips.

The once monochromatic VSE strips are now brimming with life, and most importantly: They are full of useful visual information.

What comes next

While this patch still requires some work to deal with some lingering flickering artifacts, Aditya’s eyes are firmly fixed on the future possibilities this feature opens, including a potential extension of the preview mechanism to scene strips.

UV Editor Improvements

Unwrapping your head around it

Seeing how the Blender community rejoices at the mere mention of UV Editor updates, Siddhartha Jejurkar’s GSoC project is bound to make a few texture artists sleep better(and for a few hours more) at night.

Under the eye of his mentor Campbell Barton and with additional guidance from Daniel Bystedt, Siddhartha managed to implement all planned improvements in his initial proposal and then some. While Siddhartha extensively documents the functionality of his newly implemented features on his final report, here is a quick taste of what this student has achieved over the summer:

Pack Islands to Box Area

Siddhartha’s “Pack Islands to Area” allows the definition an area where to pack UVs. Learn more.

Siddhartha’s new modal operator “Pack Islands to Area” in action

Snapping Improvements

Siddhartha’s GSoC work also includes snapping improvements. Learn more.

Snapping improvements including Increment and Absolute Grid Snap

New grid types for the UV Editor

Siddharta revamped the UV Grid as well for customization and visualization. Learn more.

Dynamic Grid

Allows the users to create an NxN grid in the UV editor

Subdividing Grid

Zooming in will subdivide the grid into smaller grid units and vice-versa when zooming out, just like the 3D Viewport.

And more:

Keep in mind that all GSoC projects are developed in separate branches, meaning that all these features have not yet been merged with master. The ultimate landing (or not) of these patches lies in their overall quality and in the GSoC students’ motivation to pursue development and maintenance of their work beyond the GSoC weeks.

Join us next week for the third and penultimate episode of the GSoC Roundup, where we will take a look at improvements made to the Knife Tool and Curves!

Find out more on these two projects on the links below:

  1. I have a question ASKED IN THE WRONG PLACE BY 90% …. . how can we use driver to drive positions by scaling pixels of a video strip (OR TEXT or …. ) …. by animating pixels for example … and other properties of different adding stuff in the channels ….. help ยง

  2. Great improvment on the VSE thumbnails. One tip though : usually while editing, the most important frames to see are the first frame and the last of each strip. It could be an option to have only those 2 frames, or at least to keep the first and last frame always visible instead of random frames from the strip…

  3. oooh finally UDIM workflow improvement. . . . !!!! Awesome!!!!

  4. OMG! UV mode got some love! This is awesome!

  5. I’m super excited about the UV and VSE improvements.

    However, the thumbnail previews on the VSE strips updates a little slow, especially when being resized. It might feel more responsive if the thumbnail was loaded progressively (from very low resolution to high resolution over time) so we don’t have to wait for the higher resolution images to load to know what the clip is.

    Great job overall!

    • Also regarding the performance of the VSE, it appears that the thumbnails are re-loaded on newly duplicated strips. It might be better do just instance those loaded thumbnails to the newly duplicated strips and only re-load the thumbnails if changes are made to the strip later.

    • There is a new version, in master right now. It is much better than what was submitted at the end of the GSoC period. And yes, we are looking into making sure that duplicate strips don’t reload the images.

In order to prevent spam, comments are closed 15 days after the post is published.
Feel free to continue the conversation on the forums.