Let’s salute and applaud the most active developers for Blender of the past year again! Obviously a commit total doesn’t mean much, and it doesn’t include work on the branches* even. Nevertheless, it’s a great overview 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.
(* A top list of exciting 2016 branches is coming soon!)
Joerg (Austria) is our sound developer – very active on keeping his Audaspace (“Outer Space”) library to work in Blender. Aside of the game engine, sound is essential for animations (lip sync) and of course the video sequence editor.
Since two years ago, this library is also available stand-alone for other projects who need sound playback or editing.
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. In 2015 mostly worked on maintaining the bevel code and fix reported bugs. His favorite fix was to preserve UV layouts while beveling. Sounds simple but was a very complex code job!
Nicholas (USA) is the developer who brought us sculpting and multires. His biggest recent contribution was dynamic topology sculpting.
In the past year Nicholas mostly worked on small fixes and code cleanup. In a special branch he worked on PTex support for Cycles.
Gaia (Germany) is the maintainer of COLLADA in Blender – using the OpenCollada library. She is also active in the Second Life community, where a lot of Blender users depend on her efforts to maintain this 3d file format for import/export.
Gaia is very interested in usability, to get Blender more accessible for occasional users. While digging into (unmaintained) parts of Blender she has a special talent opening cans of worms, finding the dirt others have been sweeping under the carpet!
Martijn (Netherlands) became active in 2014. He helped out keeping the build system for the Windows platform to work for us, and in the past year he took over the role of platform maintainer for OSX as well.
Aside of this, Martijn is closely involved with Cycles and OpenCL development.
Inês (Portugal) is one of the Blender Game Engine maintainers. In 2015 she has been cleaning up and fixing Python scripts for the BGE.
The major new contribution was Python API code to manage (custom) Icon previews in Blender. Python scripters can make much nicer preview UIs and icon lists for Add-ons this way.
Jorge (Spain) is also one of the new BGE team members. His activity in 2015 was mostly maintenance and bug fixing.
A notable new feature was a new hysteresis offset to improve LOD level transitions; to avoid popping.
Sybren (Netherlands) is another new team member working (mostly) on the Blender Game Engine.
His main contributions were fixes and feature improvements related to the BGE animation system – this because he uses it for his Phd research on crowd simulation. (*Image from his paper, not in Blender)
Dalai (Brazil) finished and committed his Multiview project in 2015 – after two years of hard work. Thanks to this project Blender now can display and render stereo ‘3d’. Blender now can also be used for (stereo) dome rendering and it even got ready for the next VR hype!
Dalai also worked on BGE features (walk mode) and Cycles baking.
Brecht (Belgium) is the original creator of the Cycles render engine. In 2015 he was very active in our bug tracker, fixing a lot of bugs and did essential maintenance and code cleanup.
Recently he joined the OpenGL viewport team, helping to modernize Blender’s drawing.
Tristan (France) also joined the team this year, to work on the Blender Game Engine. He has proven to be a passionate and very capable bug fixer, helping to make the BGE much more usable.
His main contribution was improving collision raycast masking – enabling much more precise control over what hits rays and not.
Another project (picture) is drawing debug info for tweaking lamp shadow.
Thomas (Germany) main contributions are to the Cycles rendering engine.
In 2015 he mostly worked on shader graph optimizations – to speedup rendering for black areas, or to exclude shaders when they don’t emit light.
Julian (Germany) became active a little over a year ago, and already entered the top 10 Blender committers. His passion is UI and usability.
His most notable 2015 project was the “Auto Offset Node” feature, making it much simpler to work with nodes. It was one of the innovative commits Blender nowadays gets well known for.
Joshua (New Zealand) is the long-time maintainer of the animation module in Blender.
His focus during the past two years was on improving the Grease Pencil feature – the annotation sketching tool he added long ago. In the course of the past two years it became a full fledged innovative 2d/3d drawing tool for animators and story artists. His paper on this topic was accepted for SIGGRAPH Asia 2015.
Lukas (Germany) worked on the Cosmos Laundromat movie project during the first half of 2015. He contributed a lot of hair and particle fixes in the ‘gooseberry branch’. Several of these went to ‘master’ for release as well.
Most notable commit was a proper implementation of angular bending spring forces including Jacobian derivatives (needed for curly hair or sheep fur).
Antony (Greece) also worked for Blender Institute during the first half of 2015. It is thanks to him we now have a viewport with DOF and AO rendering.
His personal favourite commit this year was to speed up initialization of Cycles tile rendering, which was slowing down exponentially to 20 minutes in cases. Now it’s back to just a few seconds.
Antony is currently one of the key team members for the Viewport upgrade project.
Bastien (France) works for Blender Foundation, supported by donations and the Development Fund. He is one of our most active bug fixers – he handled over 500 reports last year.
His main project last year was “Split Normals”, Meshes now support custom normals, i.e. normals differing from automatically computed ones. This was one of the main features wanted by game artists.
Sergey (Russia) works for both Blender Foundation and Institute, he’s the coding monster tackling every complex issue you give to him!
In 2015 he worked on topics like OpenSubdiv, a new Dependency Graph, Cycles ‘split kernel’ and support for Cycles OpenCL. He is also one of the main bug fixers and code reviewers on blender.org.
On 25 December 2015, Sergey completed his Phd at the university of Perm.
Campbell (Australia) also works for Blender Foundation. He is ranking the #1 position of most frequent committer already since 2007.
Aside of doing hundreds of bug fixes, code reviews and even more code cleanups – his main interest is with Mesh tools in Blender. For example – he improved Mesh decimation (using weights) and added Boolean editing support in Mesh edit-mode.
Campbell is currently writing a much improved boolean mesh intersection library.