I need input on new online collaboration tools for Blender

I was thinking about making online collaboration tools for blender.

It would give multiple 3d artists the ability to be able to view and edit the same thing (.blend) at the same time, although they may be spread around the world.

Some proposed specifics:

Each modeler’s physical representation within the work space would be a camera which would represent where and at what angle the modeler is working from. I could jerry rig the algorithm that is used when the user wants the active camera to be aligned to their view. The other users would see the camera as it follows the modeler’s perspective.

The sessions may be started by an externally hosted server, but the main communication will be P2P (not through a server, only from modeler to modeler). If there are more then 5 people working on an object, then it would be too crowded.

There would be a chat box window for users to communicate with.

VOIP could be used with an external application, since it would drastically expand the project if it were within Blender.

Any tips, requests, or suggestions? Best thing since sliced bread? Garbage? Tell me whether you think that you and other modelers would be able to use this.

Would it be similar to whats here?

It’s a bit more complicated than that. In order for a truly collaborative environment, you would have to create all kinds of locking mechanisms within the code to prevent collisions and to keep everything atomic. Not an easy thing to do.

Also, P2P would be very inefficient.

The problem with search engines is that it does not work for phrases since search engines only search for words not meanings. So “online collaboration tools for blender which involve simultaneous editing and viewing” would not have returned a relevant project that does not need to be copied.

Computers manipulate symbols, not any underlying meaning. For a computer to work with the underlying meaning, the underlying meaning would need to be represented with symbols, which is usually impossible. It would be impossible to quantify curiosity.

This is a complex way of saying, “Oh crap, sorry about posting such a dumb thing.”

Blender even has a project page for this http://verse.blender.org/ . I could not find it from the home page.

Be noted that the Verse support is currently a bit buggy (understatement). I intend to work on a much improved support of it in Blender when Blender 2.5 stabilizes more. Maybe we can get the proposed specification changes for Verse also implemented in both the reference server and ultimately Blender.

For virtual 3d environments, you might want to check out opensim.org. There is an idea to implement a Verse client for it, so that might work together with Blender (whenever it has good verse support again)…


well judging from my experiences from trueSpace 7.x the whole collaboration is a gimmik…it is a severe PITA to model some thing while someone is trying to texture it etc etc… as the UV’s are always changing or you both try to model or whatever…this is just my opinion, I prefer the online collaboration to be through asset management and learning…
-just stuff to think about, and this is just my opinion.

I think it would be a gimmick, but not if it were possible to combine it with a game. However, after saying that, I remember the fun I had modelling and building maps in saurbraten. If it’s to work, it has to be really easy to use, and has to keep several save states, so that one annoying person just doesn’t wipe everything.

If it’s involving the game engine somehow, i’ve heard talk that dynamic loading would be required. 2.5 feature right there.

basically, if you want to, have a go. If it’s easy to use, i’ll probably use it.

IMO collaborative editing of a 3D scene would be great for fast, brain-storming designing of the layout of a 3D scene. For more in-depth detail adding, that is where you might want to lock an object / area, so that only you can work on it ( of course this would probably be possible using verse, when the new integration goes ahead ).

I am really looking forward to testing this out when work starts on re-integrating it with the new API / infrastructure of Blender 2.5 etc.