Apricot: why use CrystalSpace, and not Blender GE?

Discussions and feedback around the Open Projects such as Orange (Elephants Dream), Peach (Big Buck Bunny), Apricot (Yo Frankie!)...

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ton
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Apricot: why use CrystalSpace, and not Blender GE?

Postby ton » Thu Nov 01, 2007 7:54 pm

The Blender GE artists most likely wonder why this project is not aimed at getting Blender's engine improved and used. :)

For me there's several good reasons for it; listed in random order:

- I'd like to get this Open Project organized mimicing as close as possible how to integrate Blender in the common practical studio pipeline in the games industry. It's very common to use external (licensed) game engines.

- Crystal space is a well organized mature development community, we can accept very active support from dozens of people on this GE.

- There's already relatively good exporting and level-editing in Blender for CS (via python). A good project to look at to improve further, also to make more generic for other engines

- The Crystal space community will also actively contribute financially to Apricot.

- We have plans (not scheduled) to make the Blender GE a plugin, and allow better integration with external engines such as CS or Ogre

- Why not Ogre? Well.. it just happens that we have active CS developers hanging out with Blender devs in irc, and... CS is a much more complete game development environment (including logic etc).

Further; we don't have to forget about the Blender GE artist's. There's need for good prototyping of characters in Blender, something we can definitely look at how to get this done in Blender's GE better.

Lastly; many 3D game studios suffer big bottlenecks in getting character animation integrated well in the pipeline. Their tools don't work all together as seamless and fluently as we can do with Blender and CS in our open source pipeline. Proving that this works well is our challenge... :)

kid_tripod
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Postby kid_tripod » Mon Nov 05, 2007 5:15 pm

I certainly think you're right to be using an external engine. My only suggestion (although I'm pretty sure it has been done) would be to look at the Unreal tools and see what ideas could be used, and those which don't work so well. Whilst not perfect these are the current industry leaders, and certainly have got interesting approaches to the character animation system for blending motions on different limbs.

I'm going to be very interested to see the quality of result achieved, especially in terms of non-trivial shader effects which are more common these days, and how the player character animates.

The open source world doesn't seem to manage games production too well (the closed one is bad enough!), so this could be the kick it needs. Good luck!

bartrobinson
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I don't see the point.

Postby bartrobinson » Tue Nov 20, 2007 8:01 pm

I don't really see the point of Apricot and Blender Game Engine together. The open projects so far (Orange and Peach) have served to further the development of Blender (in the areas of 3D animation, compositing, editing) in a large and direct way. With Apricot (using CrystalSpace), I do not see the project furthering the development or Blender Game Engine. It will only further the development of Blender Export tools, and CrystalSpace engine development.

I think a more noble cause would be one of two choices. Scrap Blender Game Engine, use CrystalSpace and concentrate on Blender Export capabilities allowing it to output models and animation data in several game engine formats. OR Cancel CrystalSpace association, and focus development on Blender Game Engine to bring it to the level of CrystalSpace. Personally I see the later as a better choice since we can keep and extend the current game engine, gain shader support for the rest of Blender as well as the engine. Logic could be enhanced to provide AI not only to the engine, but also to crowd/flock sims for 3D animation. Game testing remains in Blender environment, maximizing development and testing speed.

Apricot sounds like a great idea, but only when focused on Blender.

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Postby ton » Wed Nov 21, 2007 6:40 pm

Hi,

For Apricot, no Blender Game Engine development was going to be scheduled, apart from - and that is even undefined how - possible animation preview/prototyping tools.

-Ton-

bartrobinson
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Postby bartrobinson » Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:13 am

ton wrote:Hi,

For Apricot, no Blender Game Engine development was going to be scheduled, apart from - and that is even undefined how - possible animation preview/prototyping tools.

-Ton-


I understand that. I just don't understand why and I don't understand how that could be good for Blender.

LetterRip
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Postby LetterRip » Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:59 am

It is good for Blender in that it proves we can be used in a typical game development pipeline.

Also the tools which are most needed by game devs will get greater amounts of attention.

LetterRip

bartrobinson
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Postby bartrobinson » Tue Nov 27, 2007 7:48 pm

LetterRip wrote:It is good for Blender in that it proves we can be used in a typical game development pipeline.

Also the tools which are most needed by game devs will get greater amounts of attention.

LetterRip


That alone makes sense. Perhaps that's a good place to start. As a whole and how it compares to Orange doesn't make sense to me. In Orange, there wasn't a focus on FITTING IN to the existing piplines of CG film making in my opinion. The focus seemed more to be CREATING a pipeline with Blender. That's were Apricot seems different to me, and in my opinion, less fortunately. It seems to me currently Apricot will embrace and develop the front end of the pipeline, and ignore the backend where the engine is, and sadly could use some more development as well. Just airing my thoughts and wishes.

brecht_
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Postby brecht_ » Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:39 pm

bartrobinson wrote:That alone makes sense. Perhaps that's a good place to start. As a whole and how it compares to Orange doesn't make sense to me. In Orange, there wasn't a focus on FITTING IN to the existing piplines of CG film making in my opinion. The focus seemed more to be CREATING a pipeline with Blender. That's were Apricot seems different to me, and in my opinion, less fortunately. It seems to me currently Apricot will embrace and develop the front end of the pipeline, and ignore the backend where the engine is, and sadly could use some more development as well. Just airing my thoughts and wishes.

The backend for Apricot is Crystal Space, and development will be done on it. This is not only a Blender project, but half a CS project too. CS is as open source as Blender, so everyone should be able to use the pipeline, it just doesn't involve the Blender game engine.

youaresomean
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Postby youaresomean » Wed Nov 28, 2007 6:32 pm

It is good for Blender in that it proves we can be used in a typical game development pipeline.


Hopefully improved collada support will be part of the effords. Lots would benefit from a collada pipeline compared to one to heavily tied to CS.

Very valuable format coupled with FX composer 2.

bartrobinson
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Postby bartrobinson » Wed Dec 05, 2007 12:34 am

brecht_ wrote:The backend for Apricot is Crystal Space, and development will be done on it. This is not only a Blender project, but half a CS project too. CS is as open source as Blender, so everyone should be able to use the pipeline, it just doesn't involve the Blender game engine.


Well, I guess that's were we differ, because as a Blender user in a Blender forum on a Blender website based on past Blender Open Source Projects, I was expecting all Blender. Not using/enhancing the Blender Game Engine when it's RIGHT THERE seems silly and a insult to the BGE (not that that's hard). Why have the BGE if the community itself isn't going to use it for it's own projects. That's about all I have to see.

NielsBlender

Postby NielsBlender » Thu Dec 06, 2007 7:50 pm

bartrobinson,

If you have an old(er) towel with a label:Blender and you would have a much better towel labelled:WhatEver and the quality of the 'WhatEver'-towel can be used to create a better or good quality 'Blender'-towel. I know what I will be using when I come out of the shower, at least 'for coming season(s)'. :)

Hope this helps,
Niels

Qareeb
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Postby Qareeb » Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:33 pm

bartrobinson wrote:Well, I guess that's were we differ, because as a Blender user in a Blender forum on a Blender website based on past Blender Open Source Projects, I was expecting all Blender. Not using/enhancing the Blender Game Engine when it's RIGHT THERE seems silly and a insult to the BGE (not that that's hard). Why have the BGE if the community itself isn't going to use it for it's own projects. That's about all I have to see.


I can't help but to agree with you, it would seam that the blender community never really push firmly enough to keep blenders game engine in the now, If that is so far as to say the blender community even inspired enough effort to bring it into the "now" back then. We the inept community were at fault on that one. :P And that's not to say some still hadn't tried their hardest.

I support Ton and the blender foundations decision to give Blender GE a back seat on this one, more time should be spent on making blender better in the directions it has progressed. And improving it's integration with other software.

bartrobinson if you don't agree with it that's fine, but know that ultimately marketing blender to a wider range of people in any way we possible can, short of being a complete sellout should be done. Keeping with the mindset of pimping this fine open source 3d software that "still" knows how to compromise for the larger general public, and while keeping it real.

sorry for the sublime

LetterRip
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Postby LetterRip » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:06 am

Part of the reason to focus on alternative engines is that Blender and CS are professional tools right now for content creation, and game creation respectively.

The project is primarily to prove that this is the case to a wider audience (ie all of the game content creators, and game engine users out there in the world which aren't currently using Blender :) ), with a nice side benefit that both projects will get some rough edges knocked off. Once the Apricot project 'proves' Blenders capabilities for game art creation you will see much more rapid acceptance and uptake for Blender usage for professional game creation (which means more jobs for Blender artists yipee).

LetterRip

vidrazor
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Postby vidrazor » Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:44 pm

While I can understand the objective trying to be reached, I agree with bartrobinson that it should be all or nothing, so to speak, regarding the blender game engine. The foundation really needs to focus on where they want to go with the blender game engine, either scrap it and use a third-party alternative, or concentrate on making the blender game engine functional in the modern age.

To me, the decision to go with an external engine on the Apricot project pretty much spells out the answer. The foundation decided the blender game engine simply doesn't cut it. As such, I think that no further time, money, and other resources should be applied to what appears to be an albatross in blender.

These resources should instead be distributed through the rest of the program's development, especially in areas that may need them the most, such as the image rendering engines or the animation tools. The game engine itself could be spun off as a separate project, or it could be integrated into a project such as CrystalSpace, if the code allows for it.

I think this would allow for better resource management overall, both for the sake of blender, the 3D modeling and animation program, and the development of an effective and competitive open source game engine.

If this doesn't strike a comfortable chord within the community, or the foundation, then the opposite should be applied in blender, that being a significantly large portion of all of the foundation's resources should be applied to bringing the blender game engine into the modern age.

Either way, a clear-cut decision should be made, and should be made public. Right now all this looks rather nebulous and is the reason why there appears to be concern by those that want to modernize the blender game engine. Personally I could go either way with this, but whatever goals are desired should be made, um, crystal-clear. :wink:

LetterRip
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Postby LetterRip » Sat Dec 08, 2007 8:58 pm

vidrazor,

As such, I think that no further time, money, and other resources should be applied to what appears to be an albatross in blender.


You misunderstand how open source projects work. There are certain developers who find the gameengine fun to develop, and they work on it. There are other developers who find other parts of Blender fun to work on and work on those.

There aren't any resources 'allocated' to the BGE, other than the voluntary time of those who enjoy using, working on, and testing the GE.

The GE isn't really an albatross - no one is forced to use it if they don't want, and it provides some benefit for those who do want to use it. Dropping it doesn't really provide much benefit to any of the end users of either part of Blender.

If people want to 'spin off' the GE as a separate project, they could do such a fork at any time with the Blender Foundations blessing, but the reality is, there isn't a big enough coder base interested in the GE for that to happen.

Also any attempt to 'drop' the GE from Blender would result in a great deal of unhappiness and ill will from the current GE user community.

LetterRip


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