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2. July 2018


Blender 2.8 Code Quest is now complete, the massive changes are done and now it’s time to polish things up and turn Blender 2.8 into a shipping product.  The core Blender developers have released a time line of Blender 2.8’s road to full release.

  • July 2nd – Initial Alpha Release
  • August 12th – Beta Release
  • September 19th – Final Python API released (plugin upgrades begin)
  • October 20th – Release Candidate 1

You can learn more details about each release milestone in the developer blog available here.

Blender 2.8 is perhaps the biggest release in the last several years and includes great new features like EEVEE real-time PBR viewports, vastly improved grease pencil now for 2D graphics and animation, a vastly updated UI as well as many technical plumbing details to better grow Blender into the future.  If you are interested in learning more about EEVEE be sure to check out this video.  For details on the upcoming UI changes watch this video, as well as this video for the new Quick Favorites menu.  Finally for more details on today’s news, be sure to check out this video, also embedded below.

Art GameDev News


16. June 2018


Perhaps you are a bit artistically challenged, or you are looking for resources to prototype your 3D games?  Where can you find the best free 3D models?  This page is a collection of some of the best resources for 3D models with permissive licenses.   If I’ve missed a resource you use, please let me know in the comments down below.


If you are using a game engine, specifically Unity and Unreal, both host several free models for download.  Generally the license limits you to use those assets in those engines.  Also keep in mind that you will see these assets commonly in asset flips due to their direct integration with their collective game engine.  Also be careful to respect copyright laws.  Just because you found a freely available Boba Fett model with a commercial license, doesn’t mean you can use it in a commercial project!  Existing copyright and trademark laws still apply.


Sites



Unity Asset Store

To limit to just free models, go to the 3D category and search for something.  You can then filter by price, including $0 as an option.

Unreal Engine

The Unreal Engine asset store is a fraction of the size of the Unity store.  The majority of free content is directly from Epic, but is of an exceedingly high quality.  The above link searches for just free content.  Products are freely usable in personal and commercial projects as long as you use Unreal Engine.

TurboSquid

TurboSquid is one of the oldest model resources on the internet and has a huge collection of free assets.  The link above links directly to the free models, you can then filter down by addition requirements (rigged, poly count, etc)

OpenGameArt

OpenGameArt is a repository for free assets aimed at game developers.  The above link is directly to the 3D objects section.  This is an non-curated collection, so quality varies massively.

BlendSwap

This site is dedicated to Blender and contains tons of Creative Commons licensed resources.  You are given a daily download limit if not a member, although a free login option exists.

SketchFab

Sketchfab is quickly becoming the place to demonstrate your artistic abilities, with full WebGL previews available.  The above link is for resources tagged as free and downloadable.  Unfortunately their search interface makes searching for free assets needlessly complicated.

Google Poly

Google Poly is a resource for free 3D objects, with VR/AR in mind.  Models tend to be low poly and flat shaded instead of textured.

CGTrader

CGTrader is another online game marketplace with a large number of free downloads available.  The above link is for free assets only.  Be careful of licenses, royalty free licensed assets can be used in commercial projects, while editorial licenses cannot be used in commercial products.

Remix3D

This is the Microsoft alternative to Google’s Poly.  It’s aimed at Paint3D usage, so you have to open first in Paint 3D (a free Windows 10 only application), then export to a format such as FBX.

NASA

Yeah, that NASA.  They have a large collection of space related models and textures available.  Granted  a very niche collection, but invaluable if you are making a space related game.

Clara.io

Another site with a huge archive of free 3D models for download.  Currently over 130K models on the site.

Yobi3D

Yobi isn’t a model site, it’s a search engine that searches free sites.  It searches several different free sites.  Be aware the license varies from site to site, so be careful before using results in a commercial project.


Art


28. May 2018


Last month we reported that Blender Game Engine (BGE) was being removed entirely from the source code of Blender for the upcoming major 2.8 release.  Judging by the comments section this was certainly a polarizing decision, with replies basically falling into two camps.  On one side there was a lot of “good riddance to bad rubbish” type replies, while in the other camp it was mostly “I’m done with Blender if this happens”.  Clearly the decision impact enough people that something had to be done.  Well, that something was just announced on Twitter:

image


The linked article from the developer mailing list:

Hi all,

The Blender Foundation Development Fund has reserved a number of bigger donations (also on donator's request) for game engine and interactive 3D related features.

Now 2.8 is getting shaped up, it was time to check on this topic. Yesterday afternoon I met with Benoit Bolsee and a couple of Code Quest participants, to discuss the future of Blender's real-time 3D needs and "interaction mode".

The outcome is that Benoit accepted a grant to work as designer and lead developer for one year on bringing back a good real-time interactive 3D system in Blender. He will do this part-time, in average 1.5 days per week, starting July 1st.

Obviously all work and further discussions will be done in public; using our regular channels (mailing lists, code.blender.org, developer.b.o, devtalk.b.o). Help from other Blender developers is very welcome. This will be further announced when Benoit starts.

To summarise, work will first be done in two areas;

- Implement a high quality real-time viewport with physics/event handling. This should result in a pleasant & usable environment to setup and bake simulations.

- Design and prototype a new nodal logic system.

Related to this work is also to enable good support (export or some kind of integration) for external game engines such as Godot, Armory, Blend4Web, Unreal, Unity, etc.

I especially invite the first three (open source) projects to connect with us to find ways to keep a high level of compatibility.

Work on typical GE features such as super-fast drawing (LOD, etc) are welcome too but should be part of the regular work on Blender's viewport and our internal drawing engines. That way everyone benefits. Laters,

-Ton-

Blender Game Engine is not coming back, but a great deal of the functionality that was removed with it will be returning. Additionally Blender will be working directly to support Blender as a game development tool for existing game engines.

Art GameDev News Programming


15. May 2018

 

BForArtists is a special port of Blender aimed specifically at artists.  It aims to move from Blender’s keyboard focused memorization heavy user interface to a more streamlined, visual icon based approached.  The net result is a new interface that is much more mouse heavy and perhaps a bit slower, but also a lot easier to learn.  At it’s core, this is still Blender however, built on top of Blender 2.79.  There is even a Blender keymap mode in case you need tobForArtists1 follow along to an existing Blender tutorial.  On the topic of tutorials, BForArtist also has a comprehensive set of searchable PDF documentation that go step by step through using BForArtist.  Between the release candidate and the final 1.0 release, the follow functionality is new in the 1.0 version:

Release note Bforartists Version 1.0.0 - 10.05.2018

Tools tab - Edit Panel - Hide auto smooth angle slider when Autosmooth is deselected
Added snap icon to the autosnap dropdown menu in graph editor and nla editor

Release note Bforartists Version 1.0.0 RC1 - 04.05.2018

Removed double menu entries Undo, Redo and Undo History from the object menu.
Added the quickstart tutorial link to the help menu too
Youtube Link in Bforartists needs a hint towards Youtube
Added the Liquids material library to the Material Library VX addon
Iconize Brush panel in Particle mode
Removed confirmation dialog for deleting markers in animation editors and tracking editor
Materials Library VX - added basic material library
Missing Hotkeys in UI - changed hotkey for Delete Global
Missing Hotkeys in UI - changed hotkey for Center Cursor and View All
Missing Hotkeys in UI - changed hotkey for Toggle Maximize Area
3D View - View menu - two Toggle Maximize menu items. Renamed to Toggle Fullscreen Area
Merge remote-tracking branch 'blender/master' into sync_blender_master
Texture Paint - Brush Panel - Blend Mode dropdown box without icons
Fixed ... has no attribute draw_ ... error in edit mode
Moved the Transform menu from the object related menus to the tool shelf
Removed Objects and Wireframe subtabs in the object display panel
Added the experimental keymap
Material Library VX, updated the init.py to the latest name convention changes from Blender
Fixed Primitives Creation Modals addon - missing script files warning
Materials library vx - added the Foliage library
Separated the sections in the Create tab panels into single panels. Fixed the add menu in the Misc panel.
Increased the camera clipping default for a camera object
Materials Library VX - ceramic library added
Materials Library VX - added the glass library
Material Library VX addon - added the Metal library
Removed some not necessary texture linkings in the Paint library
Materials Library VX - added the Paint library
Fixed name convention warnings in the materials_library_vx/__init__.py
Fixed name inconsistency warning for the cycles bake panel
Fixed classes names to fit Blender name conventions for panels and menus
Node Toolshelf - Renamed the classes to follow the panel name conventions
Removed the bl_idnames from the panels in the space_node_toolshelf.py . They are not needed for panels
Improve Materials Library VX addon - added preview, made preview and apply buttons bigger
Viewport Display cleanup - put World background out of subtab, rename subtab to Object related
Rename Shading panel to Object Shading panel
Remove double menu entry tilt in curve menu, Removed Mean tilt submenu
GPencil Menu in Edit Strokes mode - Removed the Transform menu. It was a double menu entry.
Gpencil menu in Edit Strokes mode - remove double menu entry Undo, Redo, Undo History
Sculpt mode, Hide/Mask menu, readd hotkey ctrl shift lmb for lasso select
Particle Edit mode - Options panel - hide settings when corresponding checkbox is off
Fix error in materials library vx addon. See Blender commit: https://developer.blender.org/rBA8d3301f66c77e7b5a1f310a311d2055dbd473e09

 

BForArtist is available for download for Mac OS and Windows right here.  Unfortunately for Unix users, there is no current binary version and you need to build from sources.

 

If you are interested in learning the difference between BForArtists and Blender be sure to check out this video explaining the major differences.  I also looked at BForArtists in the past available here as well as much more briefly earlier today, also embedded below:

Art GameDev News


17. April 2018


If you are a Blender Game Engine (BGE) fan, I have some bad news for you.  Earlier today BGE was removed from the Blender 2.8 branch of source code.  This means in the next version of Blender and beyond, there will no longer be an in-built game engine.  The game engine was never particularly popular and apparently caused a bit of a code maintenance nightmare, so the decision was made to remove it.  Then changes to the game engine are massive, touching 916 files in the code base.

Details of the change from the Blender code commit comments:

Removing Blender Game Engine from Blender 2.8

Folders removed entirely:

  • //extern/recastnavigation
  • //intern/decklink
  • //intern/moto
  • //source/blender/editors/space_logic
  • //source/blenderplayer
  • //source/gameengine

This includes DNA data and any reference to the BGE code in Blender itself.
We are bumping the subversion.

Pending tasks:

  • Tile/clamp code in image editor draw code.
  • Viewport drawing code (so much of this will go away because of BI removal that we can wait until then to remove this.

You can learn more about the change in this video, also embedded below.

Art Programming GameDev News


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