Can Blend Swap be integrated into Blender ?

Hey!
I’ve got a weird idea and wanted to ask you guys.
Is it possible to integrate blendswap site to blender? Wouldn’t it be nice to upload and download models directly from Blender ? Do you know any other software that can do similar thing ? Having a model database directly in software ?
Maybe Blender could be first on this topic :slight_smile:
Maybe someone should ask BlendSwap guys do they think it’s a good idea.
I think it would not only increase the overall model count but it would help to advertise blender as a software with a huge free model database.
Of course it’s just an idea and there are several problems to overcome (do everybody agrees, how to do it technicaly, how to construct browersing window to easily search for models etc.) but what do you think about that? Is it possible ? Is it worth to do so?

Do you know any other software that can do similar thing ? Having a model database directly in software ?
Like 3D Warehouse in Sketchup ?

I don’t know how it works in Sketchup. Do sketchup present a good solution to search for models ?

We’ve thought about this quite a bit at Blend Swap but once you start tying to figure it out you run into huge technical snags, such as APIs, how many million of requests would the site get, the infrastructure needed to serve all those requests and downloads. Etc, etc… I think it’s unlikely to happen unless smarter people than us can figure it out.
matthew/mofx

Maybe, but there could be a direct link in the help menu, (like the link to the blender e-shop), that would be easy to do. BA could go in there as well, maybe under “community resources” - just a thought

Blender’s py api doesn’t allow for creating custom editors, and there’s little freedom with layouts. So it would need to be written in C/C++, and built into the official blender releases.

Easier than that, one could add a menu entry (File > Open BlendSwap in Browser) and let it open an overview page of blendswap online, in your default browser. (This is possible through python, see the help menu entries!). A dedicated search page is better than a built-in online browser if you ask me. Or maybe just a simple grid with previews and a search field, and a click opens the browser?

Regular .blend download would be sufficient I guess, otherwise one would need to register a stream handler with blender (blendswap://uri). Blender would need to handle the call, like loading the data and opening the file browser within the .blend (with data in memory), so you could append or link to your current scene. But I wouldn’t recommend that.

i don’t think it’s such a great idea, i mean, i can’t think of any better UI for blend swap then just what it is now, is it not good enough? it’s quick,simple, and accessable; what more do you want? and even if it’s intergrated into blender, do you want it look exactly like on the internet version? or just a cramped text version with no preview pictures?

There you go:

bpy.types.INFO_MT_help.prepend(lambda self, context: setattr(self.layout.operator("wm.url_open", text="BlendSwap", icon='BLENDER'), "url", "http://www.blendswap.com/"))

I imagine it would be possible to build a file browser in Blender that looks at Blendswap directly. I’ve also thought it would be interesting if Blender was hosted on a service like Steam (as many software packages are being hosted now), it could get both automatic updates and access to the Steam Workshop API which is pretty great. That’s one of those things that I would never expect to happen but is conceptually intriguing.

If the file browser API was exposed to allow the user to override the methods for search, directory operations and listing, then yes, it would be easy (ish). To be honest, given the number of Blender users, followed by the default disabled state for addons, I can’t forsee bandwidth being of major cause for concern, especially with reduced resolution previews etc.

Yeah if we were big as the google itself then it wouldn’t be aproblem. Maybe in the future though. But still I think that blendswap should be more promoted and workt toghether with blender. It would be for the good of both. Blendswap is a great place, the site itself could be a bit better but overall it’s a great thing.

I think more of a concern would be getting Elubie’s asset browser project finished, then you could have a single .blend file with all of your Blendswap models (and your own) to act as the model and content warehouse for new projects (just drag from the asset list to the scene to place).

Otherwise, you would have to look through the .blend files for the one where you have a Blendswap model and append it if you need it again, not quite as streamlined.

What if the downloads were done via BitTorrent? Wouldn’t that alleviate the concerns about overloading the servers?

It would still need a tracker. And with bittorrent, you’d add more complexity and security issues.

Houdini can do this with it’s asset store.

You may want to ask the Blendswap owners first. I know bandwidth is a big concern for them. If you write an AddOn that starts pounding their site, they may just block it.

Atom has it right, if you take the amount of Blender users pinging our web server from Blender I think the site would crumble under the pressure. I would be much more interested in an easy efficient import/export system and Library system in Blender. This would make sharing Blends, materials, node setup, etc faster, easy and more efficient. Don’t get me wrong I would love to see something like Houdini has, I just don’t think it’s doable at this point with the way Blender and Blend Swap works. Would love to see it as a link in the official release of Blender though, that would be cool.
matthew/mofx