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Blender Conference Closes, Version 2.3 Released 166

Qbertino writes "The 3-day Blender Conference 2003 has closed as of last Sunday. It was a successful one, with the front line of open source 3D people attending, such as Eskil Steenberg introducing his Verse Virtual Collaboration Server and giving talks and insights into the low-level details of Verse and programs accompanying it, such as his high-end full-range color-correction tool Nil, Loq Airou, the 3D Sketchpad and Connector, a Server monitor/server-app-debugger for Verse. All with over the top OpenGL-accelerated user interfaces. An impressive set of avant garde software engineering indeed. GPLd, of course. Almost one and a half hours of exceptional blender artwork and animations were presented, along with the nominated Suzanne Awards 2003 entries. Results can be seen here." Read on for some more details from the conference.

Qbertino continues: "The cool stuff and cool people I've met are so numerous I get dizzy even trying to sum them up. Notable for all should be the conference release of Blender, Version 2.3. A major release with, among other improvements and updates, a serious redo on essential parts of the interface. At last: No more cliff-wall learning 'curve.' Blender n00bs rejoice! An interesting piece of conference buzz was the entire development team of Newtek/Lightwave defecting and founding their own company with a flagship 3D Subsurf modeler called 'modo'. It sports an interface arguably influenced by Blender and advertised as the hottest GUI-thing since sliced bread. Talk about ripping of the OSS community and not giving credit where credit due ... We were ranting about this, but Ton Roosendahl of Blender fame himself was pleased to see his baby inspiring the industry. We'll beat them all with 3.0 anyway. :-) Get the new original here. And go easy on those servers ... err ... forget it."

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Blender Conference Closes, Version 2.3 Released

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  • What exactly are they about, and are there any pictures or other downloads available?
    • Here are a couple of animations
      Stuff by EnV [elysiun.com]
      and
      Mindfields by @ndy [elysiun.com]
      Would have been real nice if the Blender guys had put links in the news page. Check out the forums at elysiun for the quality of work that some of the Blender artists are producing. Also check out what Landis [elysiun.com] is doing.

      Cheers from a happy but untalented Blenderhead.
      Zambuka
  • Finally. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @11:08PM (#7403874)
    At last: No more cliff-wall learning 'curve.'

    I tried Blender long ago, and was consistently frustrated by the unneccesarily obtuse and convoluted interface. Can't wait to see if they have made some real progress.

    Now, since every Blender story had dozens of people who immediately said that "changing Blender's interface will make it useless!" whenever somebody brought up how difficult it was to use: are you sticking with your old version?
    • Re:Finally. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by t0qer ( 230538 ) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @11:14PM (#7403904) Homepage Journal
      I use truespace, I hear a lot of people say that has a "unneccesarily obtuse and convoluted interface." For some reason it just sat right with me.

      Same thing when it came to blender. After understanding the keyboard shortcuts I was able to create objects, animate them, and add in particle effects.

      UI design is wholy dependant on the programmers abilities and their knowledge of UI design. I don't think 3D manipulation and rendering of objects in realtime has any real "defined" widget set yet. Because there is no "Law" for designing UI for the 3D we usually end up with all these whacky interfaces. You just have to hope your userbase's minds can hum along with it.
      • Re:Finally. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by t0qer ( 230538 )
        Sorry to reply to me own post but just wanted to add.

        WADS. I believe that should be a standard widget in any 3D application is scene walkthrough using the WADS keys, which are standard walk keys in most FPS games.

        Ok so there's 1 standard everyone should be using.
        • I hate those keys - I use the numpad 4,6,8, & 2 for that, where they are lined up and easy to use with the right hand if I want to aim with the mouse left handed.

          I wish there were some standardized config file that could be setup once that every fps would recognize, and only game specific actions would have to be changed.
          • Yah you're left handed... I'm actually ambi if I want to be, and i've been looking for an experiment to try.

            I think i'll try remapping my keys, and going left for a few months. I'd like too see if using the right side of my brain would have an effect on my counterstrike scores.
            • I'm not really left handed, but there was a stretch in college where I would be on the computer so much I'd have to switch mouse between left and right to relieve strain. It's fun trying to play with the left, makes the games really challenging for a while- it's not as hard learning to use the mouse on the other hand as drawing or writing.

      • UI design is wholy dependant on the programmers abilities and their knowledge of UI design. I don't think 3D manipulation and rendering of objects in realtime has any real "defined" widget set yet.

        I disagree. Give Mirai, Nendo, or Wings 3D [wings3d.com] (free) a try. I've never met anyone who couldn't figure out how to use it right away and they are very powerful modelers. It's all in the UI and the context sensitive nature of the menus makes it simple for anyone.

        I've had people who've never done 3D modeling or ev
    • Same experience here, tho I did make it partway through the tutorial and demos. I'm definitely not a CG pro, despite 3+ years of art school (traditional media).

      I'm a strong believer in open systems and software tho; I was one of the original contributors to the Blender Foundation when they had to buy their code base. So, I'm just thrilled that the OSS community was able to save this project, and now its taking off.

      Definitely, I'll have to try the new version ASAP.
    • I don't think Blender's biggest learning curve issue ISN'T the interface. It's the last of a proper UNDO function, which makes it very hard to 'play with' parameters, as you have to go through a save / load cycle. Plus, it can be really frustrating for a errant key press to really fudge things up, and have to revert to an older save.
    • I find that the most efficient interfaces are never intuitive. Blender makes itself efficient by moving actions onto the keyboard where your hand-eye coordination can hit the buttons with your fingers intead of trying to hit 8x8 pixel buttons with a clunky mouse. Plus side: It doesn't crowd your window with a thousand useless icons. Downside: You gotta learn all the hotkeys.

      Believe me when I say that spending an hour REALLY LEARNING Blender will reveal to you an amazingly efficient interface.
      • I find that the most efficient interfaces are never intuitive.

        True, but blender does some really tasteless stuff... like dialog boxes where you must click on the left side to decrement the number and on the right side to increment it, all with zero graphical hints. Contrast with interfaces that clearly have an up/down spin button by the number and also allow you to edit it with the keyboard.

    • I downloaded it, and though I'm still clueless, the interface does seem a lot better than when I tried it ~6 mos. back.

      My only complaint is that it still has the "subdivisions of one big window" interface that reeks for multi-monitor setups. I wish you could split the palette window from the view windows.

      Of course, that might be one reason the download is only 2.9 megs for a mac :). That's incredible.
      • They've released the "manual" for blender on their FTP [umn.edu] site.

        This book used to be sold, but I suspect with the new interface there will be a new book out for sale at some point. The differences between the old interface and the new interface are, of course, not in this version of the book but the basic interface and keyboard commands are pretty much the same. It's a good start anyhow.
    • Re:Finally. (Score:3, Funny)

      by dasunt ( 249686 )

      The parent poster writes
      At last: No more cliff-wall learning 'curve.'

      I tried Blender long ago, and was consistently frustrated by the unneccesarily obtuse and convoluted interface. Can't wait to see if they have made some real progress.

      Now, since every Blender story had dozens of people who immediately said that "changing Blender's interface will make it useless!" whenever somebody brought up how difficult it was to use: are you sticking with your old version?

      Nope. In fact, I'm so inspired th

    • All you guys who wan't blender become userfriendly think again do you really want Erwin.
    • Now, since every Blender story had dozens of people who immediately said that "changing Blender's interface will make it useless!" whenever somebody brought up how difficult it was to use: are you sticking with your old version?

      I've been toying with Blender since the first Linux releases and been an active user since 1.5 days.

      And I will not be sticking to the old versions. I don't hold Blender's interface that "sacred". The interface had its great strengths, but it had its weaknesses as well.

      The goa

    • What really frustrated me was the 'file' dialog, where the only way to accept your choice was to click the middle mouse button. The "Enter" key did nothing, and there were no "Save" or "OK" buttons. I believe they improved this a while ago, but I've always wondered what genius designed that in the first place.
      • The problem, really, is that the interface was designed by the programmers. Programmers aren't necessarily UI experts (and in this case, they obviously weren't.) Most of the Blender users who defend the interface seem to fall back on "we want keyboard shortcuts, not a mouse-driven interface." So? You can have keyboard shortcuts in a program with a well-designed GUI. There's no reason why the speed-saving features could not be retained while improving the interface. (Hopefully, that's what they did.)

        F
  • Yea! Give em hell!!!

    After all it's not like the OSS community ever copies others ideas!

    </sigh>
  • by Qweezle ( 681365 )
    Someone needs to create some 3d software which is INCREDIBLY simple...I mean, something even I could use(I am a web designer). If I could create quick 3d objects for use in images on the fly, that would be awesome.

    So why can't the 3d software development companies create something for a guy like me, who just needs basic features and simplicity? I use a Mac, so I expect simplicity from my software anyway...
    • Coming from a fellow web designer and former 3D computer graphic art student, the simple answer is that 3D is far more complicated than 2D web pages. That 3rd dimension adds so much more to work with and think about. Add to that the fact that you are working with 3 dimensions (4, if you animate) on a 2 dimensional display, and the situation becomes even more convoluted. It is not like sculpting, where you can hold the object and intuitively work with it.

      That said, the simplist 3D package I have found
      • I have seen Bryce before, and even demo'ed it a few times. It's a great program. I could learn 3d, and it wouldn't kill me to, because I'm interested in learning it eventually anyway. However, for the time being, I just want a bare bones package that can let me put together simple 3d objects like spheres and cubes, to make custom buttons and looks for the advanced needs of some of my different clients.

        Learning 3d is on my list of things to do, though, and I will at some point in the future, for sure.
    • by FrenZon ( 65408 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @12:44AM (#7404352) Homepage
      If you're wanting non-curved shapes (architectural models especially) I do believe sketchup [sketchup.com] might be what you're after. The interface is even better than they say it is.
    • Oh yes there was... in fact I still have it on disk somewhere... it was called Web 3D and it was made by a company called Asymetrix. It was really easy to create 3D objects and light and texture them... it really was... I'm tempted to try and find the disk and see if it works under XP... Problem is that it is discontinued, and Asymetrix have changed their name and corporate image to Click2Learn.

      When I bought it many years ago it was only about $15 and it came with HEAPS of models already supplied.

      Here [animationlibrary.com] is
    • You could try design workshop - free, functional demo. Simple fast to learn and is cheap.
    • you cant have a simple yet powerful 3D application.

      There is inherent complexity.

      Just spend some time learning 3D, and you will find out what I mean, and in the process learn enough not to need 'simple'..
    • Infini-D is dead. That was the simplest 3D modeler/animator/renderer that I have ever used. It wasn't full featured by any means, but it would have been perfect for what you need, I think...

      Who was that made by, anyway? (I think Meta-Tools bought it at some point) Whatever became of it? That is a program that I wouldn't mind seeing resurface. It was soooo easy to use and you could pull off some pretty impressive and complex texture maps with minimal experience and effort.

      IMHO and all that... :-)

    • I'd just be happy to see one that uses a standard toolkit like GTK or QT. The keyboard shortcuts in Blender are great once you know what you're doing, but I hate trying to figure out the home-grown (and totally nonstandard) GUI.
  • ...to manage its projects - right here [blender.org].

    Seems like GForge [gforge.org] is all over the place... here [gforge.org] is a list of some known sites, and of course - shameless plug - RubyForge [rubyforge.org].
    • That's ok, gforge looks like it has some potention, (I like the gant charts). But it only has 2 projects. If it starts getting busy I wonder how it will do.

      • > gforge looks like it has some potention

        Yup, Tim's done a great job with it.

        > it only has 2 projects.

        Yup, that's because gforge.org just hosts the GForge project itself - it doesn't host other folks' projects. Check out that "list of GForge sites" link in the parent post; lots of people and lots of projects are out there using GForge.

  • blender is open source at its best; highly polished, cross-platform.
    • Re:blender... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Deusy ( 455433 ) <[charlie] [at] [vexi.org]> on Thursday November 06, 2003 @04:35AM (#7405302) Homepage
      Blender is open source at its best; highly polished, cross-platform.

      Yes, it is.

      It's a pity that this slashdot news story was not properly verified by the editors as Blender 2.3 is not yet released. The submitter was really referring to the recently released preview of Blender 2.3 [blender.org] which people will be finding it slightly buggy whilst now expecting it to be a final release.

      This would be a shame because since Blender was bought by the community and became open source, it's development has accelerated and moved in a direction that, as with all open source software, is highly influenced by the needs of it's community.

      One of the main criticisms of Blender was that it's power was masked by an unintuitive interface that was very inconsistent. Most features were designed to be activated by the keyboard, as opposed to through the GUI, and that confused most people new to Blender who were unfamiliar with the keyboard shortcuts.

      So the Blender community set about a rethink of the user interface. The proposal [blender.org] is well thought out, well planned, and well documented. And from what I have seen of the 2.3 preview release, the final 2.3 release will be a brilliant piece of software.

      Really, the commercial 3d development studio vendors should start getting worried.
      • Argh why is it that I rely on www.blender.org for updates when they bloodey well announce it on www.blender3d.org... talk about bad synchronisation!
      • Oh please. Blender is a great application for hobbyists, but there is no way in hell that you're going to see it replacing Softimage or Maya in ILM's workshop anytime soon.

        It simply does not have the featureset. The materials are downright laughable, the particles are crap... the interface isn't an issue actually as anyone that's used Houdini knows what a REALLY bad interface is about.

        I don't doubt that in the due course of time Blender will reach a certain level of acceptance in movie houses such as
  • http://www.joecartoon.com/pages/home/

    Check out the frog in the blender

    Be nicer if it was Bill in a blender.. but frog works for now. *wink*

  • by Quarters ( 18322 ) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @11:46PM (#7404062)
    An interesting piece of conference buzz was the entire development team of Newtek/Lightwave defecting and founding their own company with a flagship 3D Subsurf modeler called 'modo'.

    Alan Hastings and Stuart Ferguson, the two people behind Lightwave (all the way back to when it was called Aegis Animator 3D and ran on the Amiga) founded Luxology in 2002. They've not been a part of NewTek for at least a year now.

    Yes, Modo is a new program, but the "defection" you mention isn't anything new. Or, was the buzz at the conference about the people NewTek brought into keep Lightwave going also leaving to go work with Hastings and Ferguson?

    • Of all the programs I really miss from my Amiga days, Lightwave is the last one (now that PageStream has a Linux port - http://www.grasshopperllc.com - that I really jones for.

      But oddly, it's like Linux doesn't exist over at NewTek. I've never understood why they didn't port Lightwave over.

      Any ideas on if we'll ever see this?

      DG
  • Any information from the conference on Game Blender? Apparently a lot of the parts are in place to make it work, but there is barely any documentation at all. Every new Blender release I check to see if it is working and documented...
  • Minor update (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shibbydude ( 622591 ) on Wednesday November 05, 2003 @11:52PM (#7404094) Homepage Journal
    Having used Blender since something like 1.8 I would say that everything past 2.26 has been a minor update, but this is a very good step in the right direction. I love Blender. Open source projects often fail, but Blender will still rule the amature 3d market. The cool thing is, though, that recent Blender work is rivaling the Big Boys (3ds Max, Maya). For some great artwork and examples visit elysiun.com [elysiun.com] and check out the forums.
    • Given enough time and talent with a 128 color box of Crayola crayons I can replicate any picture in the Louvre.

      The quality of the final output is directly dependant on the skill of the person working on it and the time they spend on it. That Blender has a renderer that produces images on par with Max and/or Maya is nice. But, is the toolset as robust? Does it allow the artist to create the same imagery in the same (or less) time than it would take to do it in Maya or Max?

      Generally, right now, I'd say th

  • I know I was initially over-whelmed by the interface when I first checked it out too. The trick that makes it all come together, and incredibly fast to work in to boot, is hotkeys. Keep one hand on the keyboard and one on the mouse.

    If you haven't checked out Blender in a while, now is the time to do so. It has changed alot, and is advancing QUICKLY.

  • by subk ( 551165 )
    Blender3d.org lasted a lot less time than I expected...
  • Why, Mr. Howard Strauss [slashdot.org], the [koff] "esteemed" manager of technology strategy and outreach at Princeton University, says that open-source software is gunk!
  • I'd really like to see Blender support a wider variety of file formats for exporting objects. Particularly .X files. I know that Microsoft fromats don't really sit well with many in the Open Source community, but I'd be nice if there was a nice, free, open source way of creating .X files. (and it goes with Blender's game making focus)
    • If the format spec is available, Blender can do it (If you can find someone to write a script). Import/Export is handled by Python plugins.
    • The problem is not with the open source community, but it is with the closed source community, like Microsoft. Initially, Microsoft used to publish their formats. There was a time when the MS Word format was available from MSDN web site (you can still find old copies by searching for "Microsoft Word 97 Binary File Format" [google.com]). Today, Microsoft keeps the format secret, and discloses it only if people sign a tight non-disclosure agreement that prevents anyone from writing open source software.

      I searched the w [google.com]

      • Actually, there are copies of the format available. In fact, many DirectX game programming books actually teach you how to write a loader. I think it's just that MSDN is horrible for actually finding the info you want.
        • Could you please post the links or names of the books ? Better still, would be to post the format from the book, if possible. I would be happy to write the relevant python scripts.
  • The first time I read that I thought it said Bender conference.... I was thinking "Whoa, that must be one hell of a conference!..." :-)
  • by [verse]Eskil ( 118352 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @12:19AM (#7404218)
    Wow verse finally hit slashdot...

    So what is verse?

    Verse is a network protocol that is designed to let any apps talk to each other in real-time over a IP network. So if one app changes the data all other apps gets the changes sent to them in real-time. This means that multiple apps, people and developers can collaborate. its all Free BSD and portable.

    Verse support can be given both existing and new applications.

    It has been around for quite some time. I and i friend was hired to write verse a few years back. (at II [tii.se]) it is one of few apps written from the ground up as open source and the people who wrote it got funded to do it.

    Verse used to be on source forge [sf.net] but is now living on at blender.org [blender.org]

    Loq Airou, Nil salentinn, and connector are very recently added apps and you can find some screen shots here [quelsolaar.com] and here [quelsolaar.com]

    Ton (head of the blender foundation) wants to base Blender 3 on verse technology.

    E
    • Hey Congrats, at last on slashdot. It's really cool technology I really hope that some of you will be luck enough to see it in action..

      I Loved the Gimp plugin, is it still working?
    • It sounds similar to Lightwave's hub, although on a grande scale. Lightwave is broken into two parts, Layout and Modeler. If you make changes in one the hub automatically updates the other if neccesary. That could get very interesting as far as collaborative modeling goes.
  • First off, Blender's awesome. It took me quite a bit of learning to get the hang of the basics, but it was easily worth it. And I'm in awe of how much work these guys get done for each release.

    Anyway, looks like the site's /.ed now, but I believe 2.3 is just a preview release and doesn't include all the features found in the previous release. I think it's basically just a showcase for the new GUI improvements to come. I tried 2.30 and noticed right off that the sound sequencing wasn't working, so I wen
    • by Anonymous Coward
      It's nice but one thing I noticed with the Windows version is that the parts of the GUI that aren't selected are out of focus. That actually makes the interface hard to use. Do you click on this smear, or that smear?
      • The thing that I noticed about the GUI in the MS-Windows version of 3.20 was that it seems to think that all of the characters have width 0.
        That is, it places all of the characters on top of each other.
        This is true for buttons, captions, balloon help ("tool tips"), etc.
        Also, if I type text into a text box, it doesn't appear at all.
        This is on MS-Windows 95; I also downloaded the Linux version, but haven't tested it yet.
  • Wow, Blender3d.org wins the award for "coolest non-flash website pop-up menus". Those menus are awesome, and they even work in Mozilla and Konqueror! I may have to steal them for my site.
  • Off all the OSS software out there, this is the one that is gaining a lot of attention out there in industry land. Its learning curve is extremely steep, but I have found it to be an extremely good program for basic 3D animation. With some of the tools to use POV-RAY for ray-tracing, one can get the same results as with Lightwave with a little practice.

    I'll be glad to see the game engine back into the platform. I know of several indie gaming companies that could save a lot of time and money by using bl

    • I like blender, but POV-rays texturing system is just so good it's silly. i need more practice exporting to pov with blender, then using pov textures and raytracer.

      Pov-ray is also a crown jewel of OSS. It's not GPL, but it's still free (more restrictive than GPL though). www.povray.org

      • Would love to hear move about the tools you use in conjunction with POV...

        Please share...
        • well, you can use Moray for modelling in windows. Moray also has a great interface to the texturing system. Blender has python scripts that you can use to export as meshes to render in povray. Or, you can hand code povrays scene description language using a text editor. the scene description language is very powerfull, and pretty intuitive if you have some programming background.

          hundrends of people have made "include files" and "macros" for doing things like creating grass and fur, or placing such objects
  • The link is to a 2 year old verse site. The new releases can be found at: http://www.blender.org/modules/verse/ [blender.org]

    • Actually, the link in the article seems to have been updated, but I nevertheless made the old site a meta-redirect to the new one. I'm the other half of the original Verse development team mentioned in Eskil's post above, and still have SSH access to SourceForge of course. :^)
  • I'll begin by confessing that I'm not an expert in the field of graphic design or 3D design or any real kind of design. Now...

    A quick glance at the current array of 3D applications and one thing tends to strike you: hardly any of the interfaces of the major applications work all that much like the environment in which the application is being run.
    (That is, Lightwave is quite unlike Truespace is quite unlike Maya is quite unlike Blender. Ok, this may be an exaggeration, but you get the picture.)

    Is this goo
    • The answer is in the application's histories.

      Lightwave began life on the relatively low powered Amiga. It was split into two different parts in order to conserve memory and processor usage. It remains split for those same reasons. The UI has simply grown from the old Amiga days, and can actually be quite nice if you put in the effort to learn it.

      Softimage was designed around high-end SGI workstations and as a result looks and feels more like an Irix app because, well, it IS. Softimage|XSI is a bit dif
  • by dmouritsendk ( 321667 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @06:48AM (#7405671)
    An interesting piece of conference buzz was the entire development team of Newtek/Lightwave defecting and founding their own company with a flagship 3D Subsurf modeler called 'modo'. It sports an interface arguably influenced by Blender and advertised as the hottest GUI-thing since sliced bread

    Influenced by Blender?? Influenced by blender??(Love , apperntly, really DO make people blind :)

    Seriously, You got to be kidding me. The layouts on those screenshots are ALL ligtwave inspired baby(with different icons to mimic lightwave, Max and Maya looks if im not mistaken). The fact that blender TRIES to be ligthwave'ish in its design might have been the point of confusion here. But even though Blender tries to mimic LW, its still not 10^-3 the 3D app lightwave is.

    Main differences? Lightwave have allways been created to be as simple/intuitive as possible, because they target artist. Not techtypes.
    I think the blender teams definition of a artist is pretty is pretty clear if you look over the the Blender confrence schedule, especially this one stands out:


    15:00-17:30
    Python scripting for artists


    I know a few professional artists, primarily from a job i had at Denmarks national TV channel DR(Who had a bunch of hardcore Pixelwizards, to make special effect etc). I think its safe to say that none of them have scriptet a darn thing in their life, heck.. the most talented FX guy there had his SGI workstation start Softimage automatically because he is so afraid of the desktop. To us geeks this is hard to understand, but the guy was a artist. Not a computer buff, he saw the computer as a tool to assist him in producing art. And there was'nt really anything he could'nt draw/model/create with a computer (or with a simple pencil for that matter), but belive me, he wound'nt be able(nor interested) to script ANYTHING.

    I've tried lobbying Blender to a few of these guys and lets just say, i haven't gotten all that positive feedback. One described it as "a dated lightwave with a post-apocalypse interface". I actually found that pretty funny :D
    • What he was getting at is not the look and layout of the interface, but the functionality. From the beginning, Blender's interface has been a single window, that can be divided up into tiles however the user likes. Those tiles can contain various different 'window spaces', for example, the 3D view, an animation curve editor, button panels, pose editors, and so on. Modo uses a very similar approach, using a tiled, configurable single window, whose sub-window tiles can be switched between various different wi
    • by ducomputergeek ( 595742 ) on Thursday November 06, 2003 @11:18AM (#7407580)
      Funny, where have you been in the world of CGI arts the last couple years. Scripting in animation programs is becomming a rather big deal. You still have your modellers/texture arts out there, but then when it comes time to add thousands of models into a scene, lets say a large battle, it becomes rather tedious and not very time effiecent to place and animate all the objects.

      In starwars Episode I, all the grass on the hills were animated. Sure there were some basic "motions" defined, but then the coders came along and wrote a mathatical model so that the computer could calculate each indivdual blade's movment.

      I worked as a systems admin at a local architechture/Graphics design firm and they actually hired a civil engineer that had his BS in Physics along with a newly gradute in mathatics & computer science who wrote some nice AI programs for an undergrad to program scripts for modelling buidling and anaylize stress patterns. They actually chose Blender 2.23 because Python was pretty damn easy to use.

      In LOTR: TTT, the battle scence was constructed by using a "learning" computer program that calculated the battle. There were indivudal actions model, then they used a mathmatical script/program to have the computer AI simulate the battle. Each time they ran it, the elven arcahers got more accurate, etc. The one scene where it looks like they used just "store actions" was if you look closely, the last two riders when aragon and Theadon are riding down the path, they are swinging at nothing and doing the same actions as the two in front of them.

      Scripting and the use of Computer AI in animation is becomming a large part of the CGI industry. The artist just make things look good for close ups with modelling and texturing. Most of the actual animating is being done with scripts.

      The money in CGI is also on the math end. Starting out, our guy with a BS in math & comp sci was making more than the senior GA that had been there 10 years. I learned how to use some of the 3D applications (two were special software they had created that ran on Alpha's). They also had some Lightwave and several 3D studio stations to take their Autocad specs from the architects and have the GA's make cool 3D virtual walk throughs.

      When I left to take a job at a consulting company, they were taking a serious look at blender for replacing their Lightwave system. Why? Yes, Blender lacks a raytracing engine, however you go use third party applications if you need to, but modelling buildings and its intergated game engine (on older version) and at least the python scripting language ment that mathmatical programs can quickly be written to simulate various aspects.

      And then there is Blender's ablity to read and write .dxf and the fact that blender does do a damn good job for rendering buidlings if you have a good GA with some talent.

      Blender was hurt by that year of non development with NAN was in bankruptcy. However, Blender is worth a good look.

      • Well.. i haven't really been that involved with the CG world ever since i left that job(im back in school to do a M.Sc in Applied Math atm).

        To answer your post, I dont really get what it is you are trying to tell me... I argued that scripting was not for A-R-T-I-S-T-S.. and you start telling me about various CS/Math types and how important their scripting can be.. Yes, im aware that scripting is widely used in the industry. But the people making the scripts, are not artist. They're science types, not artis
    • And there was'nt really anything he could'nt draw/model/create with a computer (or with a simple pencil for that matter), but belive me, he wound'nt be able(nor interested) to script ANYTHING.

      Really? So how did he make things move?

      • Eighter by animating the stuff "basic" animation tools, like keyframers and such.

        If the wanted animation was really complicated and scripting was required, he would probertly include the department programmer(who's job bacially is to write shaders and scripts for the artists) in the project.
  • I can testify that Blender has been making steady but good progress since 2.23. The last release I have tried (2.28) added some really nice enhancements when it comes to selecting faces and edges. I too feel inclined to defend the user interface in Blender. Sure it can use improvement but it's not as bad as some people say it is. 3D modelling is by nature a difficult task, so it's not possible to dumb down the interface as much as some people would like. Blender has excellent mouse navigation and shortcut k
  • I still think the internal rendering engine is not on par with current commercial software. Yafray (Yet Another Free Raytracer) provides better looking results than GI, and I'd really like to see Ton merge it into Blender. Half the serious blender users are using Yable to export to Yafray, so it make sense to give the users what they want.

    There are some other good python projects that should be considered for incorporation - makehuman (Poser clone) comes to mind.

    I wish they would break the window panes an
  • I am so glad i got it yesterday!!!!
  • It's still a long way from where I can write a 3D email on it in an hour. There's still nothing in the simplified user interface that says "animate human face", no record button for capturing 3D from a 3D TV. The characters in the screenshots still look like computer graphics and not the lifelike characters you see in a photograph.
  • Blender was influenced by Lightwave for sure, recognize the layer buttons from some place? Also notice that the hotbox uses the space bar, where did this come from (Maya?). And the tiled interface, well Lightwave, Maya and 3dsMax.. But the things that weren't stollen are things like the concept of linking objects, materials, textures.. This is one of the strongest things blender has brought to the table. Also there is an amazing amount of modelling simplicity in it, that has a lot in common with the old ami
  • A major difference, and the primary reason I use blender outside of it being a good and dependable 3D application.. You will never lose anything, you never lose features in old versions of blender, you can always get access to every version of blender, from the beginning..

    Go ask Alias/Wavefront if you can obtain a copy of Wavefront TAV 4.5 with Kinemation. This is the application I trained myself on for 3 years, A/W no longer offers it.. How do they enforce this? License servers.. You don't buy an applicat
  • I've been using Blender since 1.7, thats along time ago, LONG before maya. (In responce to Blender copying maya, not true) The interface is quite easy, the new one is actually alot more congested, don't really like it myself. The old one was very simple, once you learned what the main buttons were. (E.G. read one tutorial and your set) oh, and yes, this release is a preview release, and more bugs are being fixed. With luck, they will repair the start menu, and scale things so those wishing to use the old s

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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