Blender Development Fund

I hear a lot of people complaining about the slow development of Blender. This is obviously due to the low number of developers working on the program, all funded by donations.

Now after looking at the post from Ton on the Blender Development Fund, I was surprised to learn that there are only 243 people supporting the Blender Development Fund.

Compare this to the 130,000 (!!) registered users of the BlenderArtists forum alone. I imagine if only half the people using Blender on a regular basis (the one’s registered on BlenderArtists are probably in that category) were to fund 10 euro’s a month for the development of Blender it would surely become the premier 3D development tool in the next 2-3 years.

I’m amazed at what the Blender Foundation has pulled off so far with regards to the development of Blender. It’s already a tool which compares favorably to most commercial products (although sometimes requiring a bit of work around) and is totally focused on productivity instead of ease-of-use.

I myself don’t even use Blender for commercial purposes, yet I donate to the Blender Development Fund (I have a Silver subscription) because I have so much fun using it satisfying my creative urges.

I certainly hope more people will contribute instead of endlessly complaining in these forums.

A week ago were about 200, something is moving :slight_smile: I thought the same about BA number of users and actual numbers of subscribers from the first time i joined here. You say the half of this community but even a quarter of these would be an incredible boost, but it will never happen i think :confused: Reaching 1’000 subscriptions seems a more resonable goal atm.

However, productivity is tied to ease of use. Time and effort required either hinder or help productivity. Now maybe you mean capability rather than productivity. It is more productive to accomplish the same result easily and intuitively, with less steps involved, than to spend longer doing more steps for the same result. Think about how technology in our everyday life has helped make it easier and faster, without losing the complexity or capability.

As for the funding, I think it requires a more active user base set on acquiring funds, not just giving on a personal level. I would hope the Blender Foundation can get to a point where they can get grants and funds from governments/universities/business…ect As Blender grows in use, the logistics and approach needs to adapt and or evolve into something a bit more businesslike to acquire and make use of larger amounts of funding.

I think the system with an Icon on profile with something like “blender supporter” would be nice to have… and that would make people think about it more. And they should actually make more accessible and even more irritating that donation button… it’s no crime to advertise it, because software is free afterall.

Funding for Blender is largely based on active participation in using the software itself. Blender has a huge following, yet many don’t actively use the software extensively. I think the developers understand this well enough.

Well, if people are ready to spend money for tutorials and citizenship on cgcookie… why aren’t they ready to pay for development…? Probably because of lack of advertising.

Advertising no… its more simple than that.

Consider this:

  1. Immediate result. If you buy a tutorial or get a citizenship on CGCookie, you get something back right away. With Blender donations you get nothing back, no immediate result. For this reason, often donations are bundled with virtual gifts or goodies as a form of thanks.

  2. Why are people giving to get tutorials and general help? It goes back into the question, is Blender user friendly and intuitive? If it is difficult to learn or use, or even figure out how to make good content…before they give to fund development, they will want to learn how to get good results from Blender, thus giving to learning material over development.

There definitely is way too little money in Blender and foss development in general. People just tend to be rather apathetic with donations, and I don’t think that you can judge the potential funding volume based on user numbers. I wager there are a ton of hobby users who just don’t give a crap whether blender develops furthter or not.

What might be much more effective is developer driven fundraisers for very specific features. That gives the feeling that users are directly contributing to something important for themselves. The feeling is bound to be less significant with generic donations to “blender”, that may or may not produce features that the users want to have. Judging by kickstarter success stories, this appears to be rather successful tactic. Of course the issue is that developers are more interested in developing than fund raising, so these drives are rather scarce.

I agree to all your arguments, but you can’t ignore the fact, that nobody is talking about attracting more funds and people to donate. A big button should be on the first page of Blender with attractive visual explanation why should you care.

As stupid as it sounds, marketing is needed for open source too.

I agree wholeheartedly. When this was brought up elsewhere in this forum, it was met with some level of distaste though. Some users dont want Blender to compete or act like a business…even though I believe thats entirely what Blender could use. Marketing shouldnt just be limited to donation buttons, but really selling Blender every chance it can get. Some degree of this does happen (Siggraph booths) for example, but I wonder how effective it is overall.

Well, if I make money with blender, in any case I will give help to fund development. But it will be when I make money with blender. If I want to help, I will buy films made with blender. So, in any case blender will win in future, if blender people will grow.

Well… siggraph is a “must be there” for Blender, but I feel like it’s not helping to get funds, because professionals who go there, are ready to pay already… Open source, GPL projects can be successful only by participation and interest of masses, who are ready to pay a little money for benefit of all.

Or produce useful code or fix bugs.

I love it when a dark horse arrives out of the blue and makes something wonderful, like BroadStu did with the hair patch. Nothing like this is ever going to happen with commercial products. But eventually the development will have to be more structured. There are tons of Feature Requests in the BlenderWiki which need addressing.

But people should put their money where their mouth is and fund Blender development if they use it on a regular basis. I mean, why register if you can read all forum posts anyway? I’m therefore pretty sure that most BA registered users are pretty regular Blender users, even if they don’t make any money from it.

I must say that the marketing for Blender is horrible to be honest. What ever happened to Andrew Price’s suggestions on improving Blender’s appearance, the main website and all that?

About the development fund in particular, he had a genius idea about showing your fundlevel right below your BlenderArtist username. “GustavN - Silver Funder”. That way you would get recognition for donating and other people would be intrigued to do so as well. Trust me when I say that that would tripple the funding in matter of days.


I think the Open Shading Langauge website is guilty of this too,they should tell me what OSL is right on the homepage,I shouldn’t have to navigate or click on menus.They seem to be bad at this (I hope no offense is taken dingto,just healthy criticism) andrew price was spot on with his presentation.

Question (which is related to funding)

is BF actually in contact with a lot of developers around the world? Like, do they have a list?

how good is their networking with devs?

I say because i’d rather donate money for specific features,like…a cycles fund for instance.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but being someone who got into Blender around the 2.48 version, I’ve seen quite a few of the advancements in developement. And even though I, as a user am just a hobbiest, I have been, and will continue, to make contributions in the form of making purchases through the Blender Store, which in turn, alots a percentage of that money to the developement fund. Putting that in perspective, I don’t think, outside of T-Shirts, there is anything left for me to buy. However, after covering residual hostpital expenses, I have been planning to donate some cash to the foundation on an automatic payment schedule every month. My point is, I’m going to do that because I just want to see Blender progress, and not because I want “virtual goodies” or any kind of recognition whatsoever. Don’t need another “label”. But I do agree that there could be more of the Blender Community making donations once in a while but I think the vast majority are young users that just don’t have a regular income or the extra cash laying around. Just my 2 cents.

From my point of view the Blender website looks just fine, although the gallery might be updated with some more recent work (most of it is still Blender Internal stuff).

I’ve funded many individual projects such as the Ocean Simulator and the OpenCL Compositor Nodes to name a few, ussually with 50 euro’s or so. On the condition that it’s open-sourced, off course.

Blender is spending NO money on marketing?

And yet how many hundreds of thousands of users download Blender?

I fail to see what the marketing problem is all about.

Good point. :smiley:

There have been at least 1 million downloads IIRC.