Blender for Ipad Pro and Flamenco on any cloud provider to render on cloud

hi guys,
first
i am aware that blender currently does not have an iPad Pro version
but we can still use it using astropad studio or duet
i don’t know if this idea reach blender team, but let me just stated this…

what if blender have an iPad Pro version with support for the apple pencil and some gesture, that would be nice, and the rendering part can be done on cloud using flamenco (maybe on google cloud platform) ~self hosted or pay per use service offered by blender.

is this idea acceptable?

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do blender have an ARM version?

i don’t know, does it?

Blender is open source but don’t expect Blender Foundation to invest(waste) time on an iPad version of Blender. If you want a tablet with Blender then you can buy Surface Go or better windows tablet to use it portable.

It’s not a matter of the developers “wanting” to support the platform, it is a matter of resources. The foundation barely has the funding to build the features it is building right now. They don’t have the manpower to do that and build a tablet based version of blender.

On top of that, blender is built using the opengl graphics api. Apple has deprecated opengl, so if the foundation doesn’t switch to vulcan or metal before opengl is completely removed, there is a possibility that there won’t even be an OSX version of blender.

If that happens you can try setting your system up as a dual-boot system and running a version of linux when you need to use blender.

I personally don’t care about iPad, but I would love to see a fully touch usable version of Blender for PC systems with touch screens and pens that is usable without the keyboard. Look at the MS Surface, Dell XPS 2-in-1, Thinkpad Yoga X1 etc. for example and realise that when folded you have a nice drawing surface but no keyboard access. I would love to be able to use Blender on one of these 2-in-1 machines without the major hassle of having to fiddle around for ages, trying to disable a button I don’t want or need…

Unlike an iPad port, making Blender work with Wacom AES computers should be much less work as the architecture and OS already run it - maybe it will be possible to make some kind of Blender touch just by using workspaces…

IMHO, Blender on anything non-muscular (Read: Intel/AMD/x86/x64, or even POWER in time frame 2018-2022) like tablets and phones is quite unrealistic at this time. Blender Devs just recently with the 2.8 series updated the graphics requirement to OpenGL 3.3 and this means “DESKTOP”.

Tablets, phones and anything ARM, MIPS or Apple custom parts that uses low power processing just cannot be used as machines for Blender nowadays, since Blender is quite power hungry, and the video processors that mobile parts contain, just won’t cut it (Blender users often complains that Blender in the desktop in edit mode cannot manage more than 100000 polys (e.g.) in their precious nuclear-powered graphics hardware and in low powered hardware probably wont handle more than 100 (e.g.) in edit mode). In fact these parts doesn’t run openGL at all. (OpenGL ES != OpenGL… they are similar but ES is quite restricted, because is developed to run on quite weak devices). Only the Tegra parts have a useable GPU, but there’s almost no consumer tablets and phones based onb these parts, just the Nintendo Switch and the Shield console, but Blender won’t run on these either.

What CAN BE DONE is to run Blender on a server and just transmit the screen as a remote application. I believe that Nimble Collective at one point offered this alternative for a cost.

And for wacom tablets based on windows/x86/x64, Blender is still a keyboard driven application, and “fix” that “problem” is not easy… probably 2.9 or 3.0… if ever.

Let’s see if this changes in the future, but i don’t think you should hold your breath on it. And don’t quote me in 2022 :stuck_out_tongue:

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Not easy, but at least it’s something that can be tackled by making a workspace and presumably requires a lot less work than making Blender run on a different hardware architecture. Blender already supports pie menus, so if they could be configured to open with a touch gesture, not using the keyboard might be an option for users who are on the move and don’t have space for a keyboard. 2.8 Also has the new active operators, tools menu and gizmos bringing more to the UI, so I am hopeful it won’t be impossible to configure Blender to be usable on tablet-like devices such as 2-in-1 laptops. Anyway, this is a bit off topic, sorry :slight_smile:

seriously?
i hope not. :disappointed_relieved:

Then call up Apple and tell them that their plan to deprecate OpenGL is incredibly stupid for cross platform developers.

but will blender support metal in the future?

No one knows, but it’s asking a lot of an organization like Blender’s to put in a development effort in order to support a special platform-specific specification like Metal compared to the number of users who would benefit, especially when OpenGL already exists as a cross-platform solution. Were I the one in charge of the decision, I’d say that the ball is squarely in Apple’s court, and if they won’t budge, I’d tell Mac users that they backed the wrong horse.

It is possible to target many graphics API’s. Look at Armory. It targets Vulkan, Direct3D 9, Direct3D 11, Direct3D 12, Metal, OpenGL, WebGL, Canvas & Stage3D.

It does this by using an intermediary SDK (Kha) which abstracts the system graphics API’s, which makes Armory super portable.

Blender could move to an architecture more like this, to abstract away specific system-level graphics APIs using an SDK like Kha.

Saying “just abstract the graphics engine out” for an established project like Blender is like saying “just redo all of the plumbing” on a historical building. OpenGL is Blender’s abstraction tool: it’s a graphics API that runs everywhere that Blender wants to be able to run with minimal platform-specific maintenance. Game engines only abstract further because they have to assume that they will need to target platforms where something like OpenGL doesn’t exist, like consoles. Abstracting an established system (especially with Eevee just being finished up) is a massive project, with the same cost-benefit analysis: are the headache and manpower requirements necessary to abstract or support Metal worth sating the relatively small pool of Mac users? As someone who personally leads a small team of developers every day, my response would be “not a chance”. Ton may decide otherwise, but his initial responses on the matter seem to imply that he sees the effort as a time sink as well.

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Well… not the ipad pro exactly, but somebody tested Blender 2.79 on a far more muscular and better hardware: The surface Go.

The surface uses an Intel HD 615 which is SLOW but supports openGL 4.4 on windows and it seems Blender 2.79 runs nicely on that machine.

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And for the Hardware abstraction layer… well… is posible, sure. and i believe Blender 2.8 already has code that abstract some OpenGL code. But honestly i wonder if that’s will be worth the effort to support quite weak and/or outdated hardware Apple likes to use (i still wonder why people pay quite the money for it. Not worth IMHO, but then again, i just ragequitted and almost destroyed a unit not so long ago, so to speak).

Maybe using kha as a base library way will be a better bet. But then again, you need to mantain it.

I did not imply that it is a small easy task, just to say that it’s possible to structure things differently to make an app much more portable across many different graphics API’s. The Armory architecture is smart, because supporting all those API’s comes for free, and the app doesn’t need to be rewritten for all the various supported platforms.

OpenGL is reaching the end of its life. It’s an outdated API that wasn’t designed for multithreading and incurs lots of overhead leading to slower performance.

If we want Blender to stay relevant into the future, at some point the reliance on our old friend OpenGL will need to be reconsidered. The only question is when.

i don’t know about how blender would react to this situation…
but i assume that they will support metal if we support them (a.k.a funding for the development just like coming soon 2.8 version)…

we refer to the mac user who use blender

but, so far, everything that apple deprecate will be followed by other companies or at least they support apple new approach or technology…

Nevermind the performance. That seems like hell to work on with that thumb interface. Blender is not designed for touch interfaces. Not even counting the underlying complicated code that would have to be redone, the interface design work, which already is a controversial topic on desktop, is a tremendous task as well.

This video made me more confident that Blender could definitely run smoothly on the very powerful iPad Pro or whatever other proper tablet.

There are lots of users that use Wacom pens instead of the mouse (some might just use the pen for sculpting and painting, but I use mine for everything), and it works fairly well. The only problem is that there needs to be some major modifications to the UI in order to make Blender comfortable to use without a keyboard, but perhaps all that is needed is a custom workspace with a few addons. Kinda needs multi-touch and gesture support though, which might not be possible with python.

If I get a 2-in-1 laptop, I definitely want to start investigating the possibilities in tablet mode, as having a portable machine that can run Blender properly without needing to be set up on a desk would be nice, and the same UI setup would also work on regular tablet devices such as the iPad. As I mentioned before, Blender 2.8 now has a lot of extra UI customisation potential (workspace, favourites, tool menu, improved gizmos, not to mention 2.7x series things like pie menus), so it’s not inconceivable something quite comfortable to use, if not as fast as the normal keyboard controls, could be made.