Aqueduct Asset Manager

Hi Blender Community,

today we want to introduce you to Aqueduct which is being developed as our own Asset Managing solution at Edgeflow 3D.


Since we are working on Linux (CentOS 8) we built our own custom solution we later called Aqueduct.
It’s meant to be a crossplatform project and includes builds for all other Operating Systems (Windows, Mac).

What is Aqueduct?

Aqueduct consists of two parts:

  • The C++ standalone Aqueduct Asset Manager App
  • The Aqueduct Blender Addon

>> We currently support Blender 2.83 LTS! (More on that at the end of this post)

The Aqueduct Blender addon strives to make the appending/linking of Blender files and saving of 3D assets to an Asset Library fast and comfortable. It features a custom context menu for when you drop .blend-files on the viewport and the ability to save Materials, Objects and Collections to their own files and render preview thumbnails automatically.

Its goal is to enable the usage of an external 3D Asset and Material library Manager in conjunction with blender.

The Aqueduct project features a standalone open source C++ 3D Asset and Material library manager Desktop app. Currently the Aqueduct Asset Manager is in Alpha stage we have binary builds for every Operating System (Linux, Windows, Mac) on our Github repository. Go check it out!

Alternatively you can simply use your systems file browser to manage your assets and drag and drop them onto blender.

You can get the Aqueduct Blender Addon and the Aqueduct Standalone Desktop app here:
Aqueduct Desktop App Github
Aqueduct Blender Addon Github

If you want to support us and the Aqueduct-Project you can buy it on blendermarket:

We also have a work in progress Sphinx-documentation hosted at:

Why is there no support for blender 2.91 yet?

The blender developers change the python API with almost every release with complete disregard for stability, we can’t guarantee that the Aqueduct blender addon will work with versions of blender > 2.83 (I. e. 2.9+). Time is limited and we can’t stay up to date, because we would have to test every new release.

If we have time we will try to update the Aqueduct Blender Addon to 2.91.

>> Blender 2.93 stable LTS will release April/Mai 2021 which we will support again.

The Desktop App being a standalone C++ application is completely unaffected by this, and should work
with all Blender/Addon versions.

We will keep you updated in this topic if there’s any news!

8 Likes

Looks good. I’d love to try it, any plans for a Mac release?

2 Likes

@Mark_Ferguson
Thanks for your feedback, Mac release has a lower priority than the Linux AppImage build.

We have builds for CentOS 8 and Windows 10, and are currently working on creating a Linux AppImage so it works on all Linux Distros.

I still have to learn how to compile for Mac OS. I have to setup a VirtualMachine first since i don’t own a Mac. It seems way harder to get a BigSur or Catalina VM running in comparison to a Windows 10 VM. Also don’t know if Apps compiled for Catalina run on BigSur, lots of stuff to learn still.
But if i manage to do all that then i will add a build for MacOS too.

(The addon link has a typo so is not working)

I tested for a bit (on windows) and the workflow to append models and materials with the app + addon seems to be very good, even the addon by itself helps that process.

The only problem I had was with rendering thumbnails, since the background render is trying to load addons (I think) it just basically throws an error for every non official extra addon on the preferences and while it doesn’t really affects the actual render it does slow the process.

The other things is that since the bg render is using the specific setting of the resource .blend files the only way I found to change them was to open the files, change the settings, save and then make the thumbnail. So I was wondering if there could be a way to use the current render settings for the bg render.

Other than that the addon works great, it really speeds things up.
Thanks!

@Motiomancer

Thank you for testing and taking the time to write feedback!

The Addon link has been fixed. thank you!

I will look into that, the background blender instance is loading addons becaue it needs functions from the Aqueduct-addon itself. Maybe i can get it to only load Aqueduct and not the other addons.

You can actually supply your very own Studio Files for Material and Object/Collection rendering. Aqueduct has settings in it’s own preferences

You can read about it in our sphinx-docs on the Global Preferences Page. It also describes what you need to look out for while making your own studio files.

Also something i didn’t show in the Video:

If you don’t click on Render Thumbnail while you export an asset, Aqueduct automatically adds the file to it’s batch render list.
You can then render all thumbnails at once by going to the Aqueduct addon preferences and clicking the Render Button below the Batch Operation List

So if thumbnail rendering is slowing you down you can do it at the end of a session or while you take a little break.

1 Like

Hi Blender Community,

we have great news today!
Earlier than anticipated we finished the builds of Aqueduct desktop for the other Operating Systems (Linux and MacOS).

You can get the Aqueduct-AppImage and the MacOS-.dmg archive at our Aqueduct Github Repository Releases page or if you supported us on blendermarket you can download it there.

@Mark_Ferguson
We have an Aqueduct.dmg which was built on a MacOS Catalina Virtual Machine ready for testing!

Please remember that the binary builds for each Operating System are in Alpha stage, and the Aqueduct Desktop app is still lacking in features. But we will do our best to improve the Software over time.

If you encounter any Problems or have Suggestions on how to improve Aqueduct please let us know here, or even better use Githubs Issue system to file Issues, Bugs or Enhancement requests on our Github Repositories Issue Page

1 Like

wow, That was quick!
I’ll try to get some time to test it over the next few days.

OK, I can confirm it works on Catalina for me. I have just imported and exported a few objects.
I do get some terminal spam during export. Mostly related to keymaps or registering/unregistering of other addons.
So far this doesn’t seem to cause any actual problems.

Nice software…
I was testing and, at first I couldnt get the asset from the Desktop app (on windows), but i closed the app and blender, and when opening again, it worked.

But when adding a new asset, I had problems, it gave me this error.

Thanks for your feedback.

you are using Blender 2.91. We are currently supporting Blender 2.83 stable LTS. Please use this version of Blender for now. If the error keeps happening on that version of blender feel free to reach out again.

>> If we have the time we will push an update to support 2.91.

Why is there no support for blender 2.91 yet?
The blender developers change the python API with almost every release with complete disregard for stability, we can’t guarantee that the Aqueduct blender addon will work with versions of blender > 2.83 (I. e. 2.9+). Time is limited and we can’t stay up to date, because we would have to test every new release.

The Desktop App being a standalone C++ application is completely unaffected by this.

>> Blender 2.93 stable LTS will release April/Mai 2021 which we will support again.

I will update the first post to include this information sorry for not being clear enough on this!

1 Like

it works fine for me in 2.92 alpha, apart from the mentioned console spam that doesn’t seem to cause any problems

Hi @Mark_Ferguson,

sorry for my delayed reply. I missed your message. Seems there is some problems with the addon on windows then?

@Carlosedubarreto
If you still experience this error and can reproduce it consistently, I would really appreciate it if you could post detailed info with the steps taken to get the error to pop up.

An Example:
Error Message: Error from Blender Window or Console
System: Windows + Version/ Linux + Distro/ MacOS + Release
Blender: Version

Steps to reproduce:

  • Click object
  • Press Hotkey: Shift + Ctrl + A
  • Click Export Object
  • Crash Occurs

if anybody else finds any errors i would also appreciate you making a post here or adding an issue to the Github Repository of either the Desktop application or the blender addon: