To contribute to the end-of-year list frenzy, I thought it would be cool to salute and applaud the most active developers for Blender of past year. I use the commits statistics from MiikaHWeb for that. Obviously a commit total is still arbitrary to some extent – it doesn’t list the branches, and for sure great developers add code just once, and don’t need to fix it! Nevertheless, it’s a nice introduction to get to know some of the people who make Blender possible.
Names are listed in increasing commit count order, with commit total between parentheses.
Daniel (USA) started in 2011 as Google Summer of Code student. Since then he became a frequent contributor to Blender’s Game Engine. His main contributions in 2013 were LOD support in the BGE, and a lot of bug fixes.
Shinsuke (Japan) contributed a lot of patches since 2011, and was recently added as a project member to help maintaining Blender’s Internal render engine further. With the original BI coders (Ton, Brecht) busy elsewhere, a very valuable addition to the team. Among lots of bug fixes in the render code, he added a new “Lamp Data” shader node for the material editor.
Miika (Finland) is active since 2010. He contributed Dynamic Paint as a GSoC project, and added interactive smoke editing in the 3D viewport. His personal website with code statistics is well appreciated by the devs, especially by the ones who like to check on their rankings! His main contributions last year were for bug fixes and quaility improvement in smoke simulation.
Svyatoslav has been active submitting patches and became a project member last year. He is active as maintainer of several user interfaces in Blender, like for the Text editor, the File Window, Node editor and Outliner. As an example of his work, check his UI fix for the “Add Torus” option in Blender.
Howard (USA) started helping out with the BMesh project, to modernize mesh editing and to add ngon support. He worked on the Knife tool and Edge loops. In the course of 2012 he became the main owner of Blender’s beveling tool and modifier, adding substantial improvements in it. This work he continued in 2013. His most remarkable contribution last year was writing the Bevel Bible – a complete overview of how the Bevel principle works and how it was implemented.
Dalai (Brazil) joined the team in 2008, initially to help with Game Engine stereo mode. He also was working on VR and Dome projection with Blender. Since then he became a frequent contributor to the BGE as well. Dalai’s biggest project last year was on the MultiView project – to integrate stereoscopic and multi-view editing in Blender, including for viewports, image viewing, compositing and rendering. In September last year, Dalai was hired by Blender Foundation to work part-time on game creation tools in Blender – made possible by a Valve donation.
Sergej (Germany) joined the team in 2012 as part of the GSoC program. He worked on further integration of Bullet Physics in Blender, to allow rigid body animation as part of the animation system. Last year he managed to get another GSoC grant, to further work on rigid body support in Blender; for constraint editing, speedup and better visualization. Sergej currently works on wrapping up his branch for inclusion in a release next year.
Jens (Germany) is active with Blender since 2011, to help out as platform maintainer for OS X. He’s one of the few people on board who understand Objective C, which is required to keep Blender work smooth on Apple hardware. Basically it’s mainly thanks to him we still have an OS X version! Next to Blender, Jens also works on the LuxRender team, where he’s doing OpenCL support. For Blender he’s keeping a close eye on getting this to work as well.
Mitchell (USA) is active since 2009, when he got accepted in GSoC. He quickly became an indispensable member of the Blender Game Engine team. Last year almost all his of commits were for for bug fixes and small improvements in the BGE.
Joshua (New Zealand) is already active since 2006. From start his main interest was animation systems and tools, for which he contributed a complete redesign to align with the Blender 2.5 project. He is also well known for adding Grease Pencil to Blender. Aside of doing a lot of maintenance and bug fixes, Joshua started working on a complete new “Dependency Graph” this year.
Gaia (Germany) is very active in the SecondLife community, supporting users there to have Blender work properly and save out compatible COLLADA files. In 2012 she joined the team to become maintainer of COLLADA in Blender. Last year she became active with UI work and rigging as well. Gaia has a special talent of finding cans of worms in Blender, but luckily won’t give up before it’s solved!
Ton (The Netherlands) is active already for 20 years. His special interest is to find exciting new ways to support Blender, and especially to turn right when everyone goes left! Last year his code work was mostly in UI and general usability fixes. Most notable were matcaps and real-time render for Blender Internal in the 3d viewport. Ton is full-time working for Blender Institute, preparing for a huge open movie project for 2014.
Tamito (Japan) became active in 2008, taking over work on the unfinished “Freestyle” branch. This was meant to add Non-Photo-Realistic (“Cartoon”) rendering in Blender. He then steadily kept working on for five years (!), before it was ready for him to submit for final review and inclusion in a release. That milestone was achieved in May 2013. Since then he’s actively maintaining the code.
Antony (Greece) became active in 2010, but had to postpone work a year due to military service. He then joined GSoC in 2011 with a Paint Tools project. Antony is an active co-maintainer of Blender’s 2D and 3D painting tools since then. Last year he did another GSoC, adding a wealth of brushes and paint options to Blender. Antony has been invited to join the crew at Blender Institute in 2014, supporting the next open movie crew.
Lukas (Germany) joined the team in 2010, with as main interests Nodes Editing, Compositing and Particles. In 2012 he helped adding Open Shading Language to Blender. His biggest project – since 2011 – is to make a node-based particle (simulation) system, which should see its completion in 2014. Lukas was hired last year via the Blender Development fund for development support issues. Also he has been invited to join the crew at Blender Institute in 2014.
Bastien (France) joined the team in 2011. His main interest is the UI API, for Python and buttons. He also became the maintainer of translations (Ii8n) in Blender, wrapping up an unfinished GSoC project and organizing all translator volunteers. Last year he provided a lot of bug fixes, and worked on better support for the “UI List” widget. In September, Bastien was hired by Blender Foundation to work part-time on FBX and game creation tools in Blender – made possible by a Valve donation.
Thomas (Germany) joined the team in 2009, as part of the Blender 2.5 taskforce, to help getting the Python (UI) API to work. He then joined the UI team as co-maintainer, especially on scripting and layout. With the surprising Cycles addition in 2011 he found a new passion, helping out with Open Shading Language in 2012. Last year Thomas used a GSoC grant to work all summer on new Cycles shader nodes and shading features. Thomas loves to help organize stuff, and is the leading force behind the German Blender Day since 2009.
Brecht (Belgium) is active since 2003, and is well known for a lot of spectacular features in Blender such as live UV unwrapping, Mesh deform and the Cycles render engine. He combines mathematical coding skills with a high level of understanding what artists need in the 3D creation pipeline. For that reason he was hired by Blender Institute in 2007, to support the teams for Open Movies as well. In November 2013 he joined the UI team as lead developer to manage the necessary upgrades for the 2.7x releases.
Sergey (Russian Federation) joined the team in 2010. He started working on Curve and Mesh modeling, worked on Sculpting improvements, and quickly became one of the top bug crackers in the team. Sergey’s special interest (and University graduation) is in Computer Vision. In 2011 he accepted a GSoC grant to add a motion tracker and camera solver in Blender, spectacularly improving Blender’s vfx pipeline. Since 2012 he works part-time for Blender Foundation, supported by the Development Fund. His last big contribution this year was multi-threaded updating of Objects in Blender, improving animation speed tremendously.
Campbell (Australia) has already been active since Blender became open source, in 2002. Since 2007 he’s listed as the #1 Blender committer, working frantically on like each and every part of the code. His main responsibilities are the Python API and Blender’s Mesh modeling system. Just one notable addition from him last year was Mesh Grid Fill (image). Campbell has been hired by Blender Institute since 2007. And as we use to say – you can’t use Blender without Campbell!