Blender ever changing versions

This is not a beef about blender, it is just a question on why every time a new version comes, things change on how to do things. It is hard to keep up with changes every time a new version comes, I can see that for the most part it is improving the last version to make it easier and more professional looking objects, but sometimes there are things that are no longer available from the last version, like the star field. I know how to do the stucci work-around to make it look somewhat like a star field, but it is not good. I love Blender, I came from Lightwave after many years, but with Blender I was able to do things that were hard to do in Lightwave. I am in my late seventies and do this for a hobby to keep me sane.

Generally speaking, things change all the time. Tools, requirements, situations, opinions, etc change and can keep on changing, you’re still able to adapt because the fundamentals stay constant. There is a separation on what you’re doing and what you use to get there, and there usually are multiple options to choose from.

What to do when you’re making an omelette but the whisk is in the dishwasher? Use a fork. A real life example on how to adapt without even having to think about it much. Your recipe for the omelette didn’t change, basics of cooking didn’t change, you’re just using a different tool in your workflow.

Blender has a lot of changes in every release but those changes spread out to multiple parts of Blender. Tools you use frequently might not see many changes in a long time and/or the changes can be very subtle for what you’re doing. Release notes are a great way of checking what changes (for the worse or better) and then learn and adapt accordingly.

I know what you mean…I come from a long line of Amiga users way before you were born…I had other things in life to worry about so I only used 3-D application whenever I had the time. Even though I am not as good as others I did have a fault by learning Lightwave and then used Blender…so learning application and jumping to another is tasking…

It’s a very good question and people should ask it more often. “What to do when things change?”. I don’t mean just in 3D, which is special kind of hard, but software in general.

I’m pretty sure it has nothing to do with age or being better or worse at something than others. I think it’s about lessons learned and taught. Considerable amount of time, money and effort is used to teach people Microsoft Word for example, and when a new version of MS Office sinks in and the old version fades away, people can’t adapt to that because they were taught the earlier version. They were taught MS Word, not word processing. Same thing with MS Powerpoint, they learn the program, not presentation.

Quite many tutorials teach Blender in a similar fashion. Press this, go over here, and then press those and change that, and hey presto we have our space bunny with red nipples. Never once did the tutorial mention what, where or why those steps were needed or how to do the same thing differently. And then we have people asking if someone knows a tutorial on how to make a space bunny with green nipples.

I’m sure it’s easier to make and watch a tutorial like that. On the other hand, tutorials like Bartek Skorupa’s take a different approach where he really pushes information through so that you know what is happening, not just what steps to take in Blender. Sometimes even switching applications from Blender to After Effects to make a point. Those are the kinds of tutorials that can give you a headache or several, but if the lesson is learned, Blender node system can change and it’s still possible to achieve same or similar things in changed versions without much trouble.

Sure, switching from one 3D package to another would be hard and painful to anyone. But even when staying with one software, things will change. Changes in Blender happen fast but I still see it as a good thing. If Blender development would halt for some reason, people would jump ship because the thing isin’t moving anymore.

I guess we must be thankful for the tutorials, if it wasn’t for those that do them, I would be in world of hurt. I know there is the manual to look at, but sometimes it is hard to understand them. Some tutorials are not very good, some are. If I was planning to make a living doing animations I would have already paid for lessons, but since I do it for fun, I will just have to “Bite the bullet” and just try to understand them.

Something that is interesting with Blender is that new versions do not replace old versions, meaning that you can keep a Blender 2.69 (i think it’s the last one that featured the Stars) and have the latest version too next to it so you can load your blend in 2.71 to use the new tools when needed, then load back your blend into 2.69 to render with the Stars tool if you want.

Change is the curse and the salvation of open-source software.
The curse is the change, the salvation is usually the change is for the better.
If you’re in your 70’s then look at it as a mental exercise to keep the mind young.
When it gets too frustrating, just stick with the current version of Blender that you feel comfortable with.
Nothing to be ashamed of there. In fact in one Blender Podcast, I forget who, but a very talented artist (and I believe studio) was
still using 2.49.
ps. by the way, I miss the star-field too.

In this particular case, Stars was removed because it was crappy, didn’t show up in reflections, had no parallax, and pretty much everyone was using a method using particle systems instead. It was also becoming increasingly difficult to maintain for a pretty niche feature that was essentially hacked into place from the beginning.