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10. August 2019


With the release of Blender 2.8, there is a ton of interest in using Blender 2.8 with Godot.  The process of importing/exporting has always been one of the biggest challenges for game developers and the newest version of Blender 2.8 is no exception.  We already created a step by step tutorial on creating, texturing and animating a model in Blender 2.79 and successfully import it to Blender.  This video is slightly different, in that we are going to be looking at the options available to export from Blender 2.8. 

There are three primary options available, each with their advantages and disadvantages:

  • COLLADA
  • glTF
  • FBX

In this video we look at the process with each format when using Blender 2.8.  For this example we use the model Laiku freely available on Sketchfab, that is non-trivial, fully textured and simply animated.  Please also note that FBX import to Blender requires Godot 3.2 which is as of writing in development still.  If you don’t want to build Godot yourself, you can get nightly builds here.

Art Design


30. July 2019


After 4 years in development the biggest version of Blender ever has just been released, Blender 2.80!  Blender is a comprehensive open source and free 3D graphics application with 2D, 3D, sculpting, texturing, rendering and compositing support.  The 2.80 release brings massive new features to Blender including a complete UX redesign, a new real-time PBR viewport renderer EEVEE, 2D drawing and animation support and much more.

A quick list of major new features include:

  • Completely redesigned user interface/experience
    • Pie Menus
    • Collections replacing layers
    • Redesigned tabs and toolbars
    • Adaptive interface based on resolution
  • Grease Pencil brings 2D support to Blender in a huge way
  • EEVEE real-time renderer
  • Cycles improvements
    • Hair shader
    • Cryptomatte
    • Random Walk Subsurface Scattering
    • Subdivision and Displacement
  • Multi object editing
  • Pixar OpenSubdiv Support
  • Improved COLLADA and glTF support
  • Much, much, much more


Blender is available for download on all platforms at Blender.org.  You can check out more details of Blender 2.80 in the video below.

Art GameDev News


22. July 2019


Ubisoft, or more specifically Ubisoft Animation Studio, has just joined the Blender Foundation as a gold sponsor.  The Blender Foundation Development Fund is a way for individuals and corporations to contribute financially to the development of Blender.  Additionally, UAS will be adopting Blender 2.80 for future animation projects.

Details from the Blender news:

Today Ubisoft announced that they will join the Blender Foundation’s Development Fund as a corporate Gold member. Not only will Ubisoft help funding online support for Blender developers, Ubisoft Animation Studio – a department of Ubisoft Film and Television – will also use Blender for their productions and assign developers to contribute to Blender’s open source projects.

Pierrot Jacquet, Head of Production at Ubisoft Animation Studio says “Blender was for us an obvious choice: Its strong and engaged community paired up with the vision carried by the Blender Foundation makes it one of the most creative DCC of the market.”

“Good news keeps coming” says Blender founder and chairman Ton Roosendaal, “it’s such a miracle to witness the industry jumping on board with us! I’ve always admired Ubisoft, as one of the leading games and media producers in the world. I look forward to work with them and help them finding their ways as a contributor to our open source projects on blender.org.“

As well as from Ubisoft:

For those that may not know, Blender has been around for quite some time as open-source animation software. Why has Ubisoft chosen now to become a Corporate Gold Member?

PJ: We believe that Blender 2.8, which will be released in the coming days, is a game-changer for the CGI industry. Blender has been on Ubisoft's radar for a long time already, and in the past year, more and more of our artists have shown an interest in using it in production. The growth of our internal Blender community, as well as the innovations brought by 2.8 – e.g. a revamped UX, Grease Pencil, EEVEE real-time rendering – convinced us that this was the right time to bring support to our artists and productions that would like to add Blender to their toolkit. What better way to support that switch than donating to the Blender Foundation, so we can help Blender to continue to grow?

How does working with open-source tools balance out with in-house developed tools?

PJ: At Ubisoft Animation Studio, we will always have very specific needs, and in-house development is the most efficient way to serve these.

On the other hand, when we had our own DCC, we had to spend a significant amount of time to maintain and improve the core of the software; this was less time we could spend innovating. Working with open source solutions like Blender offers us more flexibility and frees some resources to focus on research and exploration of new ways and tools to create animated shows.

Our discussions with the Blender Foundation have shown us that our goals are aligned, making the open source collaboration the obvious choice.

The above is only a portion of the complete Ubisoft interview about their plans for using Blender and open source in the future.  If you are interested in supporting Blender, be sure to check out details on the Corporate Developer Fund available here or here (PDF).

GameDev News


15. July 2019


As part of the Unreal Megagrant Program launched to:

…support game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing amazing things with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

Of course “open source capabilities for the 3D graphics community” sounds like a very specific application doesn’t it?  Therefore today’s news should come as no surprise, the Blender Foundation is receiving $1.2M USD as part of the megagrant program.

Details from the Blender news page:

Epic Games, as part of the company’s $100 million Epic MegaGrants program, is awarding the Blender Foundation $1.2 million in cash to further the success of Blender, the free and open source 3D creation suite that supports the full range of tools empowering artists to create 3D graphics, animation, special effects or games.

The Epic MegaGrants initiative is designed to assist game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing outstanding work with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

The Epic MegaGrant will be delivered incrementally over the next three years and will contribute to Blender’s Professionalizing Blender Development Initiative.

“Having Epic Games on board is a major milestone for Blender,” said Blender Foundation founder and chairman Ton Roosendaal. “Thanks to the grant we will make a significant investment in our project organization to improve on-boarding, coordination and best practices for code quality. As a result, we expect more contributors from the industry to join our projects.”

“Open tools, libraries and platforms are critical to the future of the digital content ecosystem,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games. “Blender is an enduring resource within the artistic community, and we aim to ensure its advancement to the benefit of all creators.”

This is actually the second time Epic Games funded Blender, with a much smaller donation back in 2014.

GameDev News


11. July 2019


Blender have just released the first, and hopefully only, release candidate for Blender 2.80.  Assuming no major show stopping bugs are found in the release candidate, Blender 2.80 final release should be just around the corner!  You can download the release candidate here

EDIT: The download link is now available right here.

image

Blender 2.80 has spent over 4 years in development and is absolutely packed with new features.  The star of the show is EEVEE, the new real-time viewport renderer, but other major features include massively improved 2D creation and animation tools, Cycles renderer improvements and of course a completely new UI.

To learn more about Blender 2.80 be sure to check out the Blender 2.80 launch page.  Much more in-depth details of the thousands of new features in Blender 2.80 are available in the extensive release notes.  Or you can simply watch the video below!

Stay tuned for more in-depth coverage when Blender 2.80 is finally released in the coming days!

Art GameDev News


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