Blender Plugged on SlashDot

General discussion about the development of the open source Blender

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Blender Plugged on SlashDot

Post by Pablosbrain » ... 185&tid=99

Blender got a plug over at slashdot today. More of the same discussion that usually happens over there.. "it UI sucks", "its UI is great"... oh well. Still publicity is good! More and more will see it!

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Post by z3r0_d »

there was a post:

why does blender need an audio sequencer? (kind of thing)

but other than than that and the usual ui (and renderer) stuff it was the ususal

why didn't they mention 2.28 last week?

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Post by sten »

just reading the comments on slashdots makes me tired...

lazy people trying to learn things ;)

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Post by thorax »

(I think the guys up on Slashdot are like my multiplied 1000 times, how I'm different is I know how to use blender, Nya Nya Nya Nya 8^P, okay that was chlidish I admit)..

Well you should note, some of the first 3D applications were combined sets of applications.. I mean it was a popular thing on the Amiga's, but then came in the software for the PC's and they would split the applications up and distribute them seperately.. I think its good that blender has the modelling, animation, compositing, paint, sound tools, programming tools all combined, because when you think about it animation isn't about many seperate things apart, its about doing all at the same time or in a sequence.. Animators don't just animate, they do sound editing, plan/edit shots, control motion, pick textures, etc..

And I didn't mean to imply that Blender is limited to animation.. Its good for a lot of things.. So it will become more of a general tool for making 3D animation work and presentations (and games?), that it covers a number of functions with a simple set of tools all combined, not sold seperately..


Post by alt »

thorax wrote:I think its good that blender has the modelling, animation, compositing, paint, sound tools, programming tools all combined, because when you think about it animation isn't about many seperate things apart, its about doing all at the same time or in a sequence.. Animators don't just animate, they do sound editing, plan/edit shots, control motion, pick textures, etc..
Actually, animators just animate. That's what the name implies. But they need sound for syncing. And it's also convenient to keep modeling/texturing tools in the same package for other artists too, because tasks are similar enough.

But IMHO it is wrong to assume that all-in-one is a good practise. That leads to unnecessery bloat, half-way solutions and degraded functionality. Eg. implementing a full editing, compositing or HDR/DAW system into Blender to make it an all-in-one DCC solution would be a nightmare for users and developers alike. But I guess nobody is doing it anyway ;)

While having basic compositing and editing around is all nice and handy, I wish Blender to stay away from bloat-syndrome.

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Post by thorax »

Longer reply is at

Read my comments on the animation.. I don't consider animation
just animating.. To make animations believable you have to do more..
Also its possible in a integrated environment like blender
its possible for the environment to know more about what you are trying to create than a pluggable environment.. For instance you could later associate sounds with lines that a particular actor say, then you could associate the sounds one-to-one with the object that represents the actor, then you could produce an environment that does sound rendering to simulate the reverberations off the walls of the scene to simulate the effect of the sound, and then specify the origin of the sound for the actor, possibly multiple sources, possibly the origin for the low frequency harmonics (say through the skin and bone) and mid frequencies from teh mouth and high frequencies coming from the teeth..

This is a complex problem that is not easily
done on a closed-source plugin system nor with seperate applications
that each do something specific. But, it would
more easily be done in blender because of its overlapped
functional design (I'm not saying it would be very easy to manage,
just that it would be easier to do because it can know more about the internal functionality of the application).

As for the bloat..

There probably should be a distinction made between
"bloated" in terms of usability (too many features,
improper continuity across the interface) and
"bloated" in terms of speed and size..

Blender is about 4 megs in size.. It runs pretty quick
but adding of features won't affect the runtime performance becuase
the way a CPU accesses memory it has access to all registers at once,
you could have a thousand functions and the program could be
designed to run extremely fast dependent on how much of the program is available at any given time..

Try this turn off your virtual memory and run Maya.. I'm sure you will notice a increased runtime efficiency of the program.. This is because
the operating system does some things to allow you to run larger applications, it tries to predict what you will use next. when you do something unexpected, like render, it could slow down the machine
until all the pages for the application and data are swapped into memory.. This has prbably gotten easier over the years, but if you have a 1 gigabyte scene, it may take you a minute more to render the scene
than if you had not used virtual memory at all.. A Minute is enough to frustrate the average user..

Feature bloat is runtime efficiency on the part of the user (causing them to ask a lot, where is that function?). That can be fixed by well design of the interface..

But it doesn't cause a computer to run slow if you program is huge, especially if you turn off your virtual memory, its dependent on how much code is executed to do something useful.. How we battle this is also by thinking carefully now the source is written and reducing the amount of "copy&paste" that we do across the source.. Its okay to copy&paste, its
not okay to copy&paste versus use an external function.. Its also not okay to copy&paste without really understanding what the copy copied code is doing.. It really bloats the sources to copy source everytime you want to do something similar but different, rather than fixing the function
you end up duplicating code that isn't needed but is executed anyhow, probably because one doesn't understand what is being done..

Sorry I have a tendency to use the pronoun "you" and I know that can be quite offensive to some people.. Just substitute "you" with "one" throughout the above.. Wait don't do that..

Really I should do that, because when I do mean "you" I may say something that is completely meaningless..

( I just turned something I said into an example of poor coding practice,
that is just an example of the kind of problem coders make, more because they make a general assumption about the code and are
lazy enough not to deal with it specifically.. But if blender's sources were
well abstracted, methods could be added where "you" has a method
that acauses it to look like "one" when used in a the context of a sentence that is meant to be an example.. In the case of blender, such distinctions are not possible because the data is not aware of itself in and of the environment, nor is the application aware of what might lurk in the data, so it leaves development to be hacked with generalized approaches to
the state of the data and the functionality.. )..

Anyhow to have a trully pluggable environment blender will
need to be better abstracted, either in C or C++, but currently
its not possible, and the only way to add on to the sources is to hack them, so sizable and feature bloat is inevitable.. But execution bloat is avoidable..


Post by alt »

and make a decision about what an animator does and then think about how this applies to blender
Thank you, but I have a pretty good impression of what an animator does :)

Every studio or production I have seen has animators separated from the director, camera operators from the set builders etc. Unless it is a student project or independent work. Or otherwise very small project.


Because the motion-picture field is so large and so technical that no human being can be excellent in everything. It's good to know the great whole but while everybody can do everything (I can play violin, I just have never tried), approach like that doesn't work that well with deadlines. That's why people specialise.

In order to animate you need to know about art in general, and specifically about drawing and acting. With those skills you could do backgrounds and storyboards too. But just as some painters work rather with aquarels than oils, some people rather just animate than make compositing and leave other fields to people who are better in them. It's better to have some other guy to cut your movie because you just couldn't throw unneeded pieces away. And editor has different needs for a software than animator.

That's why 3d software doesn't need to do other things than 3d. It should be designed to fulfill the needs of 3d artists, not the needs of an editor.
"bloated" in terms of usability ... and "bloated" in terms of speed and size
Bloat is bad. Bloat in usability slows me down. Speedbloat in code slows software down. Result is same. And sizebloat is just annoying.

3d software should deal with modeling, texturing, animating, rendering and *exporting* to other software. Compositing software should deal with compositing, matte extraction procedural painting and *exporting* to other software. Editing software should deal with editing and exporting to other software or external hardware (like BetaSP/Digital Betacam). HDR/DAW should deal with hard disk recording, sound editing, exporting and external hardware.

Partially they do overlap. But IMHO 3d software should do 3d, and no hard disk recording. It is same as attaching rocket sledge to a camel. Sure you can travel with it but it's not as functional as plain camel would be.

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