Blender and Android: will there be love between them?

With the advent of tablet computers (and some of them are really little beasts under the hood) which mostly run on android OS, I was wondering if Blender will be able to run on Android. As far as I understand, Android is Linux - based (I actually downloaded version of it which was supposed to work on a PC from a USB - but I couldn’t make it work… However I noticed folder that had name ‘ubuntu’…)

I intend to eventually buy one of android tablets for reading, but If Blender and Android agree, maybe it would be wise to buy some more powerful model for Blender use on the run…

Android is based on Linux but the apps are written in java and run in the Dalvik Virtual Machine so I’m guessing the answer is no
not to mention the video hardware in a tablet isn’t likely to be anything you’d want to run Blender under
It might be possible to run it in native mode but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it :wink:

I have not really any experience with android, and making programs run on them, but if drobbins is correct (and I’m assuming he is :slight_smile: ) and you would really want to run blender on a tablet, you’re probably better off getting a windows 7 one.

There are a lot of automated c(pp)2java translators, it might be worth a try, however I guess cleaning up the mess afterwards would be more work than rewriting it in java :smiley:
My guess would be a basic version without fancy addons and functionality should be doable - a tablet isn´t really meant for physique simulation, heavy compositing or hardcore rendering.
Somethin like a sub-d prototyping blender for android :wink:
Another challenege will be to make all the OpenGL calls to OpenGL ES functions.

I say the question is not if it is doable, the question is who will dare to try it =)

Should be possible actually - you can write native android apps in c or c++ rather than java using android NDK ( as opposed to the SDK ). Android also supports OpenGLES, so graphics commands are mostly taken care of. I was half thinking about trying to get blender running on my phone until i came to my senses :slight_smile:

I agree though - it would be a total nightmare to implement, but you wouldn’t have to translate the source code to java at least ( that would be crazy! ).

Or wait for a Meego tablet, some will use Wayland but others will keep on running Xorg, also uses rpm package system … so as you could see its more like other Linux distro.


I thought the NDK was intended to allow apps written in java to call libs written in C or C++ for higher performance. Will it also let you write full blown apps that run natively? Does it provide function calls into openGL?
I’ve never played with it, I’ve only played with the SDK a little


There was a project to port Blender 2.49 to Java, but it seems it was discontinued, since wasn’t well received (and the published binary wasn’t really useable at all).

Also, OpenGL ES is not the same as OpenGL: is a subset and lacks many things that Blender relies heavily (glbegin, glend, and all inmediate modes instructions) and is very limited. You can port any application that uses openGL ES to openGL with more or less caveats, but you can’t really (without quite some effort) port openGL to openGL ES.

(Fair warning, this is an opinion given by a friend of me, that is a professional coder)

Meego uses debs, it is originally based on Debian (Although I have heard that the package management is one of the only things in common).

Someone got Blender 2.5 working on a Nokia N900 (Meego) already, there was a video a while back. As for Android, I don’t think that there is actually much preventing a Blender Android build (For experimental use only probably), after all it is basically just Linux.

You should check out Nokia n900 features a full linux system on it,
that should be able to run blender just fine from what I can tell.

Just need to compile blender for an arm cpu, I suppose.

edit: eh, not sure if there are any maemo/meego tablets yet,
I know asus is coming out with a windows 7 running one though.

I actually thought that Blender might be able to run from a repository, the same way as with other Linux distros… well…

I would never dare to try to recompile blender or adapt it for something that has limited usability anyway…

As for the 12’ eee tablet (or whatever they are calling it now) from Asus - it looks very promising, but its price is a bit too steep (999$ in pre-order) - it is actually full fledged tablet PC… however, I was able to run (and use) Blender from a netbook - OpenGl in GE looks strange (not working), but performance is good enough and if one doesn’t mind its tiny screen, you can model and even animate with it…