Very impressive article Jake! You are very talented.
nice article! i love seeing the breakdowns.
Blender.org shared some of the amazing new things coming to the popular modeling software.
Blender still remains one of the most interesting tools for aspiring game developers out there. The team behind the software manages to keep the tool free and constantly add new content and features. Here’s a little look at the things we should expect from Blender in 2018. A great way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first public release of Blender.
Early in 2018 animation support will come back (with support for modifiers), with as highlight OpenSubdiv support (GPU based adaptive subdivision surfaces).
In Q1 of 2018 the short film “Hero” will be finished as proof-of-concept for the new workflow and tools of Grease Pencil in 2.8x.
Workflow & “Blender 101”
Optimizing and organizing one’s working environment can significantly improve the workflow in 3D applications. We can’t make everyone happy with a single Blender configuration anymore. This is where the new Workspaces and Application Templates come in. In Q1 and Q2 of 2018 the first prototypes for radically configured simple Blenders are going to be made (a.k.a. the Blender 101 project).
Meanwhile, work continues on usability and configurations in a daily production environment. Blender’s latest Open Movie “Spring” is going to be used for this.
Blender 2.8x is also getting a complete new layer system, allowing to organize your scenes in advanced ways. A Scene can have an unlimited amount of layers (= drawings or renders), unlimited amounts of collections and per collection render settings and overrides.
Visit the code.blender.org blog to read more about it.
New UI theme
No, there are no pictures yet! But one of the cool things about releasing a massive update is to also to update the looks. Nothing radical, just to make it look fresh and to match contemporary desktop environments. We’re still using the (great) design from 2009-2010. In computer years, that’s a century ago! Work on this should start Q1 and get finalized before Q2 ends. Contributions welcome (check ‘get involved’).
In 2017 we saw the rise of AMD GPUs. Thanks to a full-time developer who worked on OpenCL for a year, Blender is now a good choice for use on AMD hardware. For 2018 we want to work on solving the kernel compiling waiting time.
Cycles is now one of the most popular areas for developers to work in. Most of these are doing this as part of their daytime job – to make sure Cycles stays an excellent choice for production rendering. Expect in 2018 a lot of high-quality additions and especially ways to manage fast renders.
Blender Game Engine
For the 2.8 project we want to achieve a better integration of BGE and Blender itself. The Eevee project has proven already how important real-time tools are and how well this can work for interactive 3D design and game creators.
Assets and presets
Another ‘2.8 workflow’ related feature: we are working on better managing your files and 3d assets. Partially it’s for complex production setup, partially it’s also about configuring your Workspaces with nice visible presets – lists of pictures of shaders or primitives for example, ready to be dragged & dropped or selected.
Modifiers & Physics upgrade
Blender’s modifier code is getting fully rewritten for 2.8. That’s needed for the new dependency graph system (threadable animation updates and duplication of data).
A nice side effect of this recode is that all modifiers then will be ‘node ready’. We expect first experiments with modifier nodes to happen in 2018. Don’t get too excited yet, it’s especially the complexity of upgrading the old particle and hair system that’s making it a very hard project to handle.
An important related issue here is how to handle “caches” well (i.e. generated mesh data by modifiers or physics systems). This needs to be saved and managed properly – which is what the dependency graph has to do as well. As soon that’s solved we can finally merge in the highly anticipated Fracture Modifier branch.
You can find more details over at the official website.