Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

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sirdavid32
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Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by sirdavid32 » 10 Sep 2017, 02:36

Hi, Blender 2.80 will bring a lot of nifty changes to realtime processing graphics. I´ve been playing with some of its features.
Even inserted our dear TRex primitive mesh from softimage on Blender just to "get the point across".
I was wondering if you are transitioning to blender this year or maybe waiting for the 2.8 full release. Someone on the SI community
mentioned that being Blender an Open Source software, we should develop a modded version a la softimage. That idea seems viable.
Anyone here could share some thoughts (let´s skip the part about the ugly interface and other rants, please). Be objective
regarding modding a Blender version with Softimage utilities.
I am going to post a video about the entire magnitude of DEFAULT addons that come integrated in Blender which no-one
cares to bother explaining and they are SO NECESSARY for workflows we are accustomed to Softimage interactivity.
In addition: Yes, blender as it is right now, can be moded to work like Softimage. I am willing to release a theme, shortcuts
and addons necessary to make a 50% operability from Blender a la Softimage.
I just need to know if you are interested in this stuff, since the video will be around an hour long and probably will be available
to download for a very low price (just to help me out with the electric bill).

Please subscribe to this playlist as I will be upgrading it every saturday at most:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yoQvI1I ... UGfFOfcUeh


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xsi_fanatic
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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by xsi_fanatic » 10 Sep 2017, 07:53

Yes for Blendimage or Softblend or Imageblend which ever you decide to call it.

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Mathaeus
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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by Mathaeus » 10 Sep 2017, 12:30

In my small opinion, should be better to go with less ambitious, but complete and continuous effort. Let's say only with shortcuts, but, to be able to promptly update. For now in 2.7x, practically I have to rebuild shortucts again for every new release... (yes I know there's www app dedicated to do that automatically, but, I never had any luck with this).
Regarding interface design, tried that too, however my conclusion is more like 'impossible' - except maybe for initial screen, because it was impossible to keep the typical SI design ratio of small-dark-details against huge-light-gray areas in every possible Blender layout. While personally I preffer the semi dark style, existing everywhere today.
By the way, new Open Gl 3 viewport it's great news, at least one Blender Achilles heel is going to disappear. Unfortunately I don't see solution for another problem, that is, non existing internal structure to allow external renderers to be connected in same way as in any other 3d app. For now, only viable solution seems to be Blender's patch. We'll see how it will go with Eevee thing, as an alternative...
The renderer "turtle" used by this scene, is not currently available. The "turtle" renderer will be used instead.

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by FXDude » 10 Sep 2017, 16:07

For me I would be delighted to see a fork of blender that's been modified by users familiar with XSI's (and or C4d's) interaction model.

Perhaps could it be in the same form as "B for A" ?

Wasn't "Blender for Artists" suppose to address a bunch of usability issues?

I wonder how it was received, or if starting a new fork from that fork be possible,
...if someone (or i think ideally some XSI prod house) were to start a "B for A for XSI A" ?

I'd be all for it, but I suspect that I'd personally have the same gripe, as for a the main few options out there.

Fast & Easy to use, yet very flexible (and procedural), and "able to take it" all at the same time ?
(all equally important aspects I believe)

Will there ever be something like that? (again?)

A new 3D company? Or existing solutions eventually reinventing themselves ?

Any of which to me seems fairly remote, but would love to be surprised :)

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by Draise » 11 Sep 2017, 15:33

Yeah, Bforarists which really stands for "Be for Artists" trying to keep the artist in mind when building a creative application UI. You can go to https://bforartists.de/ to learn more. I use it in production actively today, I also tutor with it. I used to work in a studio using Blender earlier this year - but then started using this fork in my independant mini studio a long with SI for more private work. A lot of the leg work has been done to make Blender better, and now I compare the BFa and Blender with the latter certainly being the "Blander" of the two. Takes me twice as long to figure out how to do things than learning in BFA. It is not perfect yet, but soon it will release the 2.79 release with a buuuuunch of fixes and upgrades. I currently test it a lot and the main guy developing it is quite communicative, Tiles. You can also go to the tracker and see what's coming up and what needs to be done, and can sign up and post to it, start debates, etc. They always are looking for developers, and it's pretty opensource - with the sourcecode available too. I highly recommend saying there: why not include SI layout, make SI functions for BFA and ask to include the default shortcuts of Softimage into BFA. To be honest, I have heavily modified SI's shortcuts and BFA's myself so it may not be needed ideologically. But I think.. don't go the full on Linux Distro's chaotic way, try stay consistent and make one competitive product of the same sourcecode excel, and make a world of BeforAritsts software the other Opensource competition. There aren't enough competitive opensource 3D software out there to push each other a long to excellence. With two good ones off the same sourcecode, the progression of the two would be exponential.

Some major changes to the Blender UI in BFA are the following (that I've noticed):
  • -Removed all double entries and put them in a single place, the menu header or toolshelf (More than 250 entries have been removed/moved)
    -Added entries that ONLY existed in Blender as keyboard shortcuts (Can't believe Blender had it like that - I learnt so many more features in Blender due to discovering they existed in BFA as menu entries, similar to SI having EVERYTHING listed)
    -Removed illogical floating menu based on Keyboard shortcuts only
    -Removed most shortcuts except essential ones - leaving flexibility to build your own system easily
    -Left Click default
    -Changed the SRG shortcuts for scale/rotate/translate to the Maya/Max standard of WER.
    -Changed editing modes to shortcuts 1, 2, 3, 4, etc (handy)
    -Added Icons almost everywhere for everything (Which I like due to not everyone I work with speaking English and it's very easy to remember without mixing terminology in other software) - function can also toggle to include names on said icons
    -Added a toolbar where you can have exposed icons and actions on one mouse click (export, save, load, parent, snap center to cursor, create primitive, etc)
    -Added an overhaul node organization panel (with icons and names, similar to the icon workflow, so now you can add icons on mouse over and click) to have everything on hand (also divided to more common to advanced)
    -Reorganized the panels to start closed and to have advanced options collapsed (example: open up Dimentions, you get the first important options then you can later expand to advanced pixel ration, frame step, etc so you don't clutter the workflow from the start, but still expand later if needs be)
    -More default addons already included from the getgo
    -Overhaul to tool shelf order and button/shortcutable features
    -Improved default layouts
    -Wireframe tools included on the get go
    -Reorginzation of some tools:
    --Keeping scene toggling in the Scene Properties Panel(instead of header)
    --Bake tools in the tools shelf
    --Keeping the Scene Layer manager addon in the tool shelf and removing the tools manager from the view header or in the Layer tab of the Properties
    --Lock Camera now logically under the View in the Properties Toolshelf of the viewport
    -Some viewports on default layouts now don't have the viewport toggle so new comers don't accidentally eff up the super flexible UI
    -Viewport icon shortcuts in the 3D viewport header (way better than reaching over to the number pad)
    -Overview/Properties panel toggle switch in respective panels (SUPER USEFUL)
    -Animation Panel toggle switch in respective panels (Also very useful, you never know you'd need it till you have it)
    -Overhaul of the documentation and orginization of said documentation.
    -Single area for quick start tutorials on Youtube
These are just some of them.. there will be more in the next release.

I like it, I feel happier here in BFA than I ever could in Blander, ahem I mean Blender, though all the features of the current version of Blander are all there. My only quipes with both architectures are some basic systems of the "Active first then Selected" workflow, which SUCKS. I can't modify common attributes of all I have selected at once!??!?! I took that so for granted in SI. But that is a deeeeeep mess of code to fix in Blender, that may be almost impossible. Others are middle click repeat last menu operations menu memory, that could be added with a good code guru possibly. Other aspects might be sticky keys (which will have to jump over the wall of the different edit modes workflow) which could MAYBE be coded. The other thing someone can try program, if they are good, is making the menus tear away and float - a la Softimage/Maya. The other is an Overview improvements, or include something like Animation Nodes or Shrevock Nodes in the release of BFA (which is like using ICE for motion graphics or simple visual programming on 3D geometry) of which I see lots of potential, and later it will be more fun with the Depsgraph I hope they might expose in 2.8.

For shortcuts, editing the python scripts for that is not hard. I currently had added F for focus in all panels, R for radius (which also is scale, so it works) and the same Shift+Number for basic modeling things as I have in SI. That is the least of my worries, and doing it through Python probably is way easier to do than with the editor in Blender/BFA. Just.. you will hit a wall when it comes to Stickykeys.

I also modified the Theme a little to be like SI based off another SI theme out there.

So.. I highly recommend.. go to BFA, stick to one good competitive fork, help develop it. There is nothing wrong with crowdfunding some programmers to work on a particular feature for say.. BFA - I highly recommend it.. but for now the best way to make a better system is becoming a part of the developer forum, post requests, study the limits to the code, propose feature improvements, bugs, and/or work directly with those in the BFA community (and in Blender developer community if features are deeper than the fork mods of BFA with other issues in the source code), be a part of it as small as it is. It has been going for a year now and I think this fork will be worth the while.

My setup in BFA:
bforartists_2017-09-11_08-16-53_LI.jpg

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by FXDude » 11 Sep 2017, 16:40

Here is a clip about the difference between Blender and BforArtists,
the changes seem like quite good improvements, yet seem to concern fairly superficial aspects..

https://www.bforartists.de/wiki/differe ... forartists

I'd like to see things like the outliner get drag drop parenting/organising among many little things..


If Maya is very customisable, isn't Blender by definition completely customizable?

I would love to see a studio with a good development team take on the challenge making a more production ready fork of Blender, or by starting with BforArtists (also open source)

Edit: Hi Draise! you posted just before I did, I saw you on their forums, just to say thanks for the details!

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by Draise » 11 Sep 2017, 17:19

FXDude wrote:
11 Sep 2017, 16:40
Here is a clip about the difference between Blender and BforArtists,
the changes seem like quite good improvements, yet seem to concern fairly superficial aspects..

https://www.bforartists.de/wiki/differe ... forartists

I'd like to see things like the outliner get drag drop parenting/organising among many little things..


If Maya is very customisable, isn't Blender by definition completely customizable?

I would love to see a studio with a good development team take on the challenge making a more production ready fork of Blender, or by starting with BforArtists (also open source)

Edit: Hi Draise! you posted just before I did, I saw you on their forums, just to say thanks for the details!
:D

You can techincally drag the icon of an object in the outliner to reparent it already, just not the name, and not a group of selections (Active over Selected issue again)

I assume you can really customize it under the hood, but just as Maya has a lot of code messes and weird API, so does Blender.

Some of the fixes are superficial - yet just getting rid of the double entries to make the UI simpler and workflow more direct had a lot of writing under the hood. I guess that is why those guys need more help to work harder under the hood.

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by FXDude » 11 Sep 2017, 18:34

Hum right! is that recent? Because I can recall that it was'nt the case not so long ago.

In your opinion, what are the major roadblock if any in regards to blender in productions, not necessarily only from your experience, but from what you've heard/read around?

Perhaps regarding Character anim, rigging.. I know modeling leaves not much to be desired to any package out there.. but what about the rest of it today?

Is it mostly by habit of disregarding Blender that it's sometimes disregarded?

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by Draise » 11 Sep 2017, 20:12

Caveats would be.... that the "apply to Active over Selected" approach (from what I read also happen in Maya sometimes) is a huge one, a real limiting time sucking feature. Another is the polycount limits in the viewport and playback. I sculpt on meshes of up to 2-4 million polys and things can't get done eventually hitting memory leaks. I am about to buy more ram to see if that's the issue, but I find it's handling of geometry significantly less than SI. The animation is on par concerning the cool dopesheet, but I think the lack of Animation Layers nor the ability to "add" or "layer" animation clips to be a huge missing feature typical of Softimage and Maya.

For some procedural stuff, I've found a lot less flexibility to SI, but there is still some flexibility, layering modifiers, specially with addons like Animation Nodes or other addons that give a bit more flexiblity. I am no procedural guru, but I like the artistic approach of retopology with grease pencil strokes and easy IK/FK setups and the like overcome that - also the hair instancing for scattering, or other little thigns. Python scripting is really easy, and the API relatively quite well documented, though still strange - and I have to admit, the output console, compared to SI sucks. Operators are context sensitive so some repetitive python script operators are harder to code due to that fact. I still have troubles coding anything due to context issues because of it's super flexible interface.

But for file sizes, resources, and the quick and easy fur, the free cloud rendering with Sheepit, sculpt tools, sculpt animation, quick shape manager with GP and animation workflows, and quick rigging... Rigging is pretty easy, and doesn't crash when editing shapes, bones are pretty flexible and stable, performance does have opensubdiv thoughI haven't tried it, and there are crowd plugins being developed. I actually do my facial rigging without drivers and use Animation nodes entirely. There is a bit of a performance hit with those nodetrees, but it works. I have to run scripts to make keyingset and import/update the rigs in scenes to make sure the info bakes before render time, but that is a typical workflow of most cached animation to render farm workflow. Management of data is weird, like.. no EMDL like workflow, but with whole scene data blocks.. which has it's strengths, but also weaknesses with production nightmares when it comes to rendering in the cloud unless you pack everything in making large files to upload. But.. rendering is ok with Cycles on GPU, pretty straight forward, and beautiful, pretty quick, shading is very good and easy with the node editor (which also is really easy to use and has great node workflow hacks). Filmic Blender and other addons are a must, and the compositor is more than capable for most composition needs (just a little slow to render, but you can do that over the cloud and/or a farm). The motion tracking is the best one out there for free. The video editing system it has already is actually quite good, and.. what I use now for my video. I know a guy who edits 4K on Pentium 4's with Blender and it's proxy system (and even render out the 4K on the Pentium 4). The way you can use 3D scenes in the VSE also, with cameras, markers, grease pencil and it's strokes on geometry, all of that is stellar and I don't know of a better Animatic system out there. SI can do that, but you have to do some workarounds. The greasepencil is pretty straighforward and actually really really useful. I feel Blender is creative in that regard, concerning making sequences and the artistic workflow with sculpting with poly modeling (the modeling is alright, despite what they say, specially with some cool addons, for example the rounding script that came out of Maya 2018 just now was in Blender for years - but NO WAY compares to the dynamic operator modeling workflow of SI). Also, the ability to have MULTIPLE scenes in the same project is actually really awesome. Once you get the hang of the linking concept, it's really usefull for some productions and collaborative workflows (linking in, appending, making local, referencing, data management).. it's very flexible with that if you know what you are doing. Like I block characters in one scene, the animator has the blocked character linked in, and that blocked character updates as soon as the scene saves, uploads to the cloud and he updates and viola, the ghost blocked character updates (or any other linked data). We both can technically work on the same scene but working in linked scenes that won't conflict in versioning. I have yet to work hard on animation with it - but unless your animator is heavily dependant on clipping animation libraries and offset keyframe workflows, the dopesheet and graph editor are pretty easy and straightforward, and basic animation libraries can be built, all of it quick and fun to use with different key types, and clear visual language. Though playback is.. I keep SDS off, framerates suck. But 2.8 should fix that maybe, and I haven't tried Opensubdiv yet. Oh, and the weight painting.. is.. alright. A little more difficult than SI, but it's still pretty easy - just miss the smooth weights feature (but you do get healing, stepping, smooting individual ones, etc). Changing geometry with shapes is tricky though, but it doesn't crash things, though editing shapes is definately not an issue. It does have some ability to transfer weights and some properties from different meshes to others too.

I have done some particle work, instancing leaves with cloth attributes, and they did them all without much of a hitch (and only on modifier stacks) but it works. The solidify modifier is really good and fast. It's baking is pretty alright, controllable and nice with Cycles. Concerning features.. it has what you need. Concerning the UI, BFA has helped on some things but some things will always be Blender as much as Maya will always be Maya. There are many addons that work around some issues, like copy attributes to others, pie menus, etc. And they are useful.. but you have to know them.

Oh and.. objects are in world space, but parents seem to go to a weird local space. There is a Delta space, no idea how that works other than possibly 1 layer animation. So.. it's not as clear cut as SI.. and as a thread in the SI mailing list says, Maya has that issue too. But you can animate to transform or delta movement, and it will save both - but in Global space. But it's weird as the Global position now becomes a Local/Global position relative to the parent if you're animating a child. So you can have "Local" position if your object is a child - which is... "cool"... Render layers, with AOV's work, and with limited overriding - but no object/item override system as of yet, just shaders. Technically in 2.78 this will be possible with the Depsgraph, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how that works. The layer system is limited to 16 layers, but that's ok. Rarely have I needed more in SI. And with the linking/scene system, you can create your "partitions" almost to similar funciontality as Softimage. There aren't too many render engines integrated in, but Vray and Thea plug in. Cycles too. Alembic, less exact than SI concerning UV's I've found, but I hear they are improving that. The FBX workflow to and from different areas are about as easy and normal as elsewhere, including SI. It's animation baking is... once you understand the term, manageable. It's.. adequate all around concerning all areas. But personally the only thing I see it REALLY excells in is the Grease Pencil for 2D animation or collaborative work, or even quick artistic workflows.

Another comment on it would be.... ehm... it can get the job done. Maybe in more time than SI - but the creative preprodution phase, even with it's limited SSAO and camera DOF in the viewport is certainly great, in my opinion. And soon more so when it comes to using Eevee.

So all round.. it is nice having sculpting for free, despite the poly limit, and everything else for free. The UV workflow and unwrapping is ok - though I miss the limit loop select SI has, the poly modeling is alright. I have worked on some projects and it seems the largest studios here in the city use Blender, Unreal Engine, a mix of both - then Max and Maya. They made 8x10 minute episodes in a quasi 2D/3D animation with card rigs in 3D space in Blender over 6 months, had 60 average people on the team. Not sure if that is fast or not, but it worked. It was an older version too. Another studio used Blender for motion capture to produce 2 hours of content over a year and half.

But.. I can't say it's great. I just use it out of need and legality and to get work with it per requirement (so far so good).

I should probably get back to work..

Point form roadbloack deficits Go!

-Animation Offset Layers missing
-Animation Clips with Offset keyframe/Add keyframe workflow missing
-More integration and optimization of the node systems that already exist
-Ability to render out multiple scenes from the same file without Bat scripting it
-No clear Global/Local location system (Maya deficit also)
-Poly limits when sculpting/unwrapping
-Optimzed texture painting (goes slow at 4K)
-"Apply to Active over Selected" workflow everywhere (get rid of that in the Outliner or to Modifier editing and it will double it's useablility and efficiency)

But to be honest, I try stay away from the Blender community, and assess myself. But so far those who have used it whom I know have said that they prefer rigging in Blender out of Max, due to constraints variety, and others on big productions prefer Blender mainly due to the flexibility to script and find ways to script in Blender, also it's easier for new people to pick up the pipeline and learn than the software they already "know" like Maya or Max that they teach in Uni's here. Biggest complaints are in UI workflow, and noone really knows why.. but coming from Softimage, it's easy to see why. Same symptom of Maya UI improvements and the people who use it.

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by sirdavid32 » 12 Sep 2017, 07:09

Maybe we should see a videorecord of anything you´re working in. To make ourselves a better idea. I´m interested about that "simultaneous" workflow. Wonder how the "deltas" speak through a net.

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by FXDude » 12 Sep 2017, 08:40

Point form roadbloack deficits Go!

-Animation Offset Layers missing
-Animation Clips with Offset keyframe/Add keyframe workflow missing
-More integration and optimization of the node systems that already exist
-Ability to render out multiple scenes from the same file without Bat scripting it
-No clear Global/Local location system (Maya deficit also)
-Poly limits when sculpting/unwrapping
-Optimzed texture painting (goes slow at 4K)
-"Apply to Active over Selected" workflow everywhere (get rid of that in the Outliner or to Modifier editing and it will double it's useablility and efficiency)
Wow thanks for that elaborate runthrough! we should frame it, and post it on Blender's forum! (really)

I think if blender addressed not 'all' (any solutions have their share of issues and its' unrealistic to expect most issues to be resolved),
but *some* targeted issues based on feedback from the number of shops that use it to do what you would normally expect Maya (or XSI) to do,
as there are at least a few out there, meaning like literally working with them on their projects...
(along with perhaps some sort of marketing campaign around that)

... that it would relieve alot of pressure, or satisfy a need for some antithesis to a hegemony that has only been getting worse
(along with the worsening of accompanying effects you would expect from publically traded monopoly owned markets... with currently no end in sight )

Also, the ability to have MULTIPLE scenes in the same project is actually really awesome.
Once you get the hang of the linking concept, it's really usefull for some productions and collaborative workflows (linking in, appending, making local, referencing, data management).. it's very flexible with that if you know what you are doing.

Like I block characters in one scene, the animator has the blocked character linked in, and that blocked character updates as soon as the scene saves, uploads to the cloud and he updates and viola, the ghost blocked character updates (or any other linked data).

We both can technically work on the same scene but working in linked scenes that won't conflict in versioning.
I have yet to work hard on animation with it - but unless your animator is heavily dependant on clipping animation libraries and offset keyframe workflows,
the dopesheet and graph editor are pretty easy and straightforward, and basic animation libraries can be built, all of it quick and fun to use with different key types, and clear visual language.
sirdavid32 wrote:
12 Sep 2017, 07:09
I´m interested about that "simultaneous" workflow. Wonder how the "deltas" speak through a net.
Indeed, ususally that is a main aspect that make shops shy away from either C4D or Modo for more involving projects.
so good to know that there is already some headway there!

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by Bullit » 12 Sep 2017, 15:50

Great posts Draise, thanks.

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by sirdavid32 » 18 Sep 2017, 11:27

I´m going to mod Blender a la´ Softimage soooo.....

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by sirdavid32 » 21 Sep 2017, 00:24

Ok, as of now, officially I am developing a Blender "Softimage MOD Theme".
You can follow all the details here:
http://3dcinetv.com/blender-softimage-t ... mod-theme/

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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by Bullit » 04 Jan 2018, 12:01


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Re: Blender 2.80 to arrive in 2018

Post by sirdavid32 » 21 Jan 2018, 08:19

All right team, XSIMOD sneak peak is out! And also the video training series to Change Blender´s UI. Because all people I know, customize what they use everyday. Why not customize your 3D software? No need to fear coding, with these video training series you will be able to change Blender´s UI from the core. With Blender 2.8 around the corner, the developers want icons! More details on https://wp.me/p4qGvb-6F

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