What are you missing in your gamedev toolchain ?

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

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What are you missing in your gamedev toolchain ?

Post by darek » Sat Dec 15, 2007 12:59 am

In the Apricot Open Game Project real planning will start in the January. We have already nice wishlist, but we want to ask about your ideas ! Let's start brainstorm without judging what is sane, what insane.
Like in topic :
What are you missing in your gamedev toolchain ?
What do you think that should be improved ?
Say about bottleneck or annoying process in your project.

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Post by kakapo » Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:49 am

where can i find your wishlist?

what i miss in the blender gamedev toolchain:

- viewports with shader support and more draw mode flexibility (i guess that's what the summer of code project was about but i am not sure?)
- collada and fbx exporters with good animation support
- improved workflow for light mapping whole levels (and previewing them without much effort)
- radiosity baking (not vertex based but texture based)
- the possibility to use blender as physics editor (for example setting up joint hierarchies and collision shapes and so on and export them as collada file or in other formats)
- more high poly to low poly baking options like ambient occlusion or diffuse color
- more flexible walkthrough camera modes

...and of course other planned blender improvements like bmesh and a more customizable gui will be great for game development too.

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Post by ghoulsblade » Sat Dec 15, 2007 4:15 am

* a embedded version management interface (svn) as alternative to raw file-browser would be cool (in the direction of asset management)
* blend in a "ghosted" model as reference for getting the scale and orientation right might be helpful in some cases.
* a mode to support assembling models like vehicles/spaceships/buildings from components, similar to lego (saving groups of components as new components, defining snap points).. components would be reusable, and it would save trouble with uvmapping (once the components are mapped)

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Post by LetterRip » Sat Dec 15, 2007 6:05 am

I'm in agreement with all of the wishes suggested by kakapo, in particular improving the Collada and FBX export (better import would be good also); and improved and generalized baking.

kakapo - I was under the impression that one could already use Blender as a physics editor - I certainly recall that as being one of erwins goals, and him adding that to our Collada export.

My wishes

1) Improve the 3D painting - BodyPaint 3D, ZBrush, and Modo are enormously ahead of us (among others) in the painting department. The first and simplest thing would be unify the painting tool working methods - sculpting, painting in the 3D interface, and various 2D painting methods should all be able to use the same tools and methods perferably styled after the sculpting tools since it has the best hotkey, pen tablet and interaction methods and it has best brush methods. After that I'd like to use much larger textures for 3D and 2D painting. Then it would be extremely nice to be able to paint different channels (spec, color, diffuse) and paint different layers. Other useful things would be painting across multiple objects.

2) Improve opengl preview - ie help finish the opengl materials preview work that was being done for a SoC project.

3) Improved retopology tools - many artists are switching to a 'sculpt first - then retopologize - then detail sculpt' the current best tool for retopology is topogun. Retopologizing is creating a new mesh topology over an existing mesh. Some tools allow you to retopologize your existing hipoly mesh and have the sculpted details baked into your new mesh automatically.

4) higher poly count for sculpt - while the current sculpt tools are awesome, it would be excellent to be able to comfortably work with higher poly counts - even just double the current max would be amazing.

5) Being able to edit a multires mesh - silo allows you to add delete and extrude parts of your base mesh, even though they are 'multires' - currently in blender you must delete or apply multires before you can edit the mesh.

http://www.maxon.net/pages/products/bod ... t3d_e.html


The draw1, practical, and subdivision videos show how nice the workflow can be




It would be nice to be able to set up 3 views with the image in the background (yes I know the texture a plane with the image technique - and it is inconvenient and can tend to interfere with your workflow...)

Also cleaning up annoyances like improved copy and paste for all of the color, and texture stuff.

Also please look at the following modeling tools

the QUADdraw of NEX plugin for Maya







and Mesh Surgery



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Post by kakapo » Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:42 am

i agree about the retopology and painting tools. improvements in those areas would also be very helpful.

and something else came to my mind:
-animation retargeting

it would be great if it were easier to reuse animations on different characters (also with slightly different proportions or armatures) but i fear this is one of the more difficult things to implement. :)

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Post by darek » Sat Dec 15, 2007 10:52 am

You asked about our wishlist (it's more my personal list than team's plans. because probably 6 months will be too less to make everything)

- yes I'm also missing GLSL-powered viewport, models should look like in original game, since it was SoC and needs probably not too much effort - I think it's quite realistic
- Embeded engine inside 3dview window - we can do this with Crystal Space already, but it's not finished in 100%, it would be great to allow to easily connect any engine this way like Ogre or Torque
- better navigation on big levels (I have funky but useful compilation of mouse wheel, flying mode and local view in my mind)
- more complex meta data per object for external engines
- improveent of the File->Append or Link, Blender can be not only modelling application but also complex level editor
- dds support (it's good image format for games, fits to modern GPU)

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Post by kakapo » Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:02 am

yes, dds support is very important!

i am not sure but because i often have problems with z-fighting i guess the blender viewports only use a 16bit z-buffer. this also should be improved (especially for nicer displaying of big levels).

and since we are at it, i would like to bring up this one again: http://www.blender.org/forum/viewtopic. ... highlight= :P

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UV Map Management

Post by Pixelquäler » Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:21 am


I would like to see better support for UV maps in blender.

There should be a possiblity to select one (or more) specific UV map(s) for export (to ogre) and better support for baking textures of different UV maps for a mesh to one resulting UV map (output). It works in 2.45 but is not very userfriendly.


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Post by kakapo » Sat Dec 15, 2007 11:59 am

another one:
- correct handling of transparent textures in the viewport (options for back to front sorted drawing and for alpha testing)

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Post by calli » Sat Dec 15, 2007 1:41 pm


with the growing possibilities to use things like multi (UV) textures, for lightmaps, Normaps, using Blender Materials, I would like to see that the Material system will be more unified for rendering and the Gameengine or exporting to external engines.

Right now it is hard to get a good workflow when using the UVEditor and the MaterialButtons.
LetterRip wrote: It would be nice to be able to set up 3 views with the image in the background (yes I know the texture a plane with the image technique - and it is inconvenient and can tend to interfere with your workflow...)
Hmm? What do you mean here? Different images in different views, are possible, so do you mean to lock images to specific views (like image1 to Front View, image2 to Side View)?

Best Regards,

Michael Williamson
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Post by Michael Williamson » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:16 pm

Mostly covered by the posts already.... Good we all seem to want the same things!

edges set to smooth or solid rather than faces

antialiased baking

Using node materials for GLSL in game engine
GLSL with more texture channels (limited to 3 at the mo)
Better gl viewport with multitexturing

Better lightmapping options (radiosity, conbined layers eg AO + shadows)
Lightmapping pipeline for the whole scene

Displacement map baking

"projection painting"
Multilayer painting with GL preview (specular map, colour map, bump/displacement map)

image based sculpt (like modo)

drag and drop materials with previews

Customisable interface... for specialists (game designers view, Shader artist view, Manager view etc...

Locking access to parameters with change rights (eg shader networks changable by one person, physics parameters set by another..

Better scene management (referenced libraries easier and more visual)

That's it for now!
Cowtools Media Ltd


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Post by macouno » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:18 pm

2 Little things.

1. Probably doesn't apply to apricot directly but I find the GE python api incredibly awkward. Especially things like not having access to the mathutils module. My guess is that whatever form the Blender internal GE will take... that may need quite a rewrite.

2. I would truly love to be able to draw my texture images directly on my 3d model in the 3d view after unwrapping. It's somewhat possible now, but needs some love.

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Post by Mariolink » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:20 pm

Diffuse color baking... do you mean without shadows? cause then you just need to do a texture bake.
AO baking... guess you talking about something that looks like the AO pass from the compositor.
https://projects.blender.org/tracker/in ... 9&atid=127
Here is maybe what you want.

Other than most things i want have been asked for.

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Post by kakapo » Sat Dec 15, 2007 2:44 pm

i know that you can bake ambient occlusion and diffuse color already.

but i would like to be able to bake such things from high poly objects to low poly objects. just like with normal map baking but instead of sampling the normal, other high poly surface information gets sampled.

or does this already work with svn builds? haven't checked the latest ones...
edges set to smooth or solid rather than faces
doesn't the edge split modifier cover this quite well?

- maybe VERSE could get some attention? i could imagine that multi user level editing would be fun. :)

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Post by kaeru » Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:07 pm

what i think would be nice IMO ...

about painting tool :
-unified brush system (same brush for sculpt mode and texture painting mode)
-create new brush directly inside blender (adding a "new brush" option in the UV/image editor "new" menu with different brush size preset)
-add a "brush" path in the user preferences\file path menu
-make straight line while holding shift (in fact there's already sculpt mode "smooth stroke" option , it would be nice if it's added to texture editing)
-possibility to edit the fall-off for smooth stroke and normal painting
-painting normalmap in real-time

about animation tool :

-only do heat-weighting on visible bone or something like that
-flip vertex group name and shape anim while applying mirror modifier !

Can't think of anything else right now ,maybe i'll find/add some others later ...

Peace :) .

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