Manuel Bastioni Lab, turns Blender in a laboratory for 3d humanoids creation

What you really need is a team @Manuel because it is obvious the project is way too big to for one person and even if you had the funds im sure it is too frustrating to see small amounts of progress after so much effort. Wheras if there was a team of 10 people, the amount of progress would be so satisfactory that the first thing to be done when awake is check for new updates. I completely agree with your decision to throw the project on the floor because of lack of funds and weight on your shoulder, but it would be best to consider the possibility of picking the project back up if others and I are willing to work together. What I propose is the following:

  1. Allow me to build a new site with community platform and private repository clone like gitlab
    (armory 3d has a solid community who contributes every day from simple things like the websites not just a news update of a product, but rather an interactive community)
  2. Get a team together which are not only developers but community members who can talk about ideas, experiences, bugs, and also contribute content and expand the product overall
  3. Set up a patron for funding or even set up and integrate a donation platform within the site community.
    Simply as that, I used to always check on your site updates as they used to be more frequent so I had completely missed your announcement for help. I see a lot of other people also did not have the chance to see your call for assistance so you must also take that into consideration to not take it so personal. I am willing to dedicate my time building anything we want including things like video conferencing for team meetings ect. I will work at no charge and assist in putting together a team and funds to keep the project going. If you agree and are willing to not be a one man army reach out to me and lets put in some work, i have no doubt many people will pull together to keep the project moving as it really is a vital piece of open source software.

@Manuel please, at least acknowledge us all at BA, it’s okay if you don’t do anything.
Just please… let us know you read it!

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Oy !

I have the feeling that the issue isn’t a lack of community support and the single week of “testing” (at least not only), but also a lack of communication.

According to this thread, and also this other one, it seems that a lot of potential supporters weren’t even aware of the cal for support.

If it was me, if I needed such support, I would talk about it on every platform where there’s interest on my work. It takes some time, but if that’s needed to reach out a fair fraction of my community, it’s worth it.
Also, if the support is vital for the project to survive, I would say it right away with strong letters that the project NEEDS your support RIGHT NOW to SURVIVE.

Yet it looks that the only communication has been done on Facebook, Tweeter and the official website, which is a good start, but those are usually watched only by a very small fraction of the userbase, the kind of hardcore ones. Especially for a tool like this one, which is just installed once in a while and you don’t need fresh news all the time to use it all day long.
What about blenderartist (nothing on this topic ?), blendernation, blender today, polycount, … There are a lot of users spread out on these platforms, each have a lot of influence, it’s suicidal to not use them.

Also, the communication itself has been done in a very casual way IMHO:

The development of the lab is an hard work. It requires hundreds of hours spent in modelling, researching, coding and testing. Your contribution is very important to make it possible. Here is a cool way to support the project!

It’s just described as “important” and “cool way to support”. To me, that doesn’t look like a vital need, it sounds casual. To me, it’s sold like an almost symbolistic tip support to kindly thanks the dev, like a lot of other addon devs do.
And, yeah, usually those kinds of support don’t get a lot of benefits, because it’s advertised as casual, not needed to survive but a kindly support and only some fortuned or charitable people would do it.
However, when a financial support is advertised as vital, urgent, it surely gets more, because people get more concerned because it’s vital and urgent. Look at armory, look at blender code quest… And they also took time.


i want to help you and the lab to get a good community-communication - and with this comes constant financial income!! is not that hard, i have some good experience in this field! pls, dont feel sad… what you done with tubosquid could not work out. i exactly know why… really. let it behind we can do better! is my tutorial-site (for 8 years now) i am a successful and totally independent german tutorialmaker, 3D-Artist and hardcore-blenderlover :slight_smile: totally community based full time working!!! works great if you do it right.
so, a week of turbosquid-selling some props is a really bad idea to begin with… let me tell you that. dont be sad that this didn’t work out! thats not the way… ask yourself… would you buy it to donate to a dev? no?
best solution imo:
all you really need is proper paypal-donate-button and also sell the lab-addon (as is) on blendermarket.
facebook & twitter & website is very bad communication… for reasons… i wont go into here.
youtubes, tutorials and blendernews-sites is the way to go - to get a large community involved.
also you need some tutorial-makers (like myself) that do free lab-tutorials regulary and get people to donate/buy. Also a Lab-Tutorial-DVD would sell great, i can guarantee that!!! really!
please get in contact with me, i would love to help you to get permanent connection to the users & with that comes constant money for years…
the lab is just one of the most popular addons i have ever made tutorials for… its huge… the blenderusers love it so much. if i tell my german blenderhilfe-community (many many thousand of people) to donate for theyre beloved lab addon, they will do that. and for years this will be like that. (YT-videos get constantly new users in)
also for sure you need an english-tutorial-maker that do the same for english userbase (i could do that too for your channel btw)
so PLEASE YOUR HEAD UP AGAIN & GET IN TOUCH with me… you find a KONTAKT-Form in the menu of my website or write me a msg here on BA or skype:blenderhilfe
i would love to hear from you and help you get up & running … to connect you to the community in a strong way - with the knowledge from past 8 years of my blender-journey.
!!! PLEASE DONT SHUT DOWN YOUR DREAM !!! dont be sad and just end it, what a waste of talent & time !!!
we are a HUGE pile of people & love your work, so pls consider - you & the lab have a huge fanbase - lot of us will also pay/donate if we have a good chance and the right infos.


Seriously, @Manuel, please give us SOME indication you’ve read (and hopefully considered) what everyone here is saying.
It’s been almost a week (the same amount of time you apparently gave us to save the project) and we haven’t heard anything from you.

Hi guys.
Thank you for messages.
I’m sorry, I did my best, but I cannot continue the development of the lab.
I will use Blender as artist, since Blender and its community are part of my life.


Hi @Manuel, i respect you 100% but why?
2 weeks ago you had obviously a totally different mindset for the lab.

just a thought:
why dont you pause lab-dev for a while to rethink the plans.
1.7 was to big of a goal for sure… little steps my friend. little steps… like one feature at a time. to get people and also develpment exiting…
while you pause and rethink dev-plans you could get money from just sell the lab 1.61 on blendermarket and get a freaking paypal-donate-button. thats both not hard to set up and could get you multilpe 10th of thousands for future dev in a short time… its a really popular addon you know… i can help a ton there and surely other tutorial-guys will too, if we ask them.
if its just the money for the development, this can be relatively easy fixed (maybe read my private msg too)
i would make (with you as tech-mentor) a tutorial-series-dvd about the actual lab and get you good money from selling that. its one of the greatest addon for blender ever made!
new users will constantly get in through regular free tutorials - and so they will buy the addon, donate or sell the training-series.
also you/we could sell huge and nice proxy-librarys. (on blendermarket and maybe on my german blendersite too)

lets team up man, and we will also find a huge english tutorial guy who do regular shout out tutorials on youtube - like i did on german community for makehuman and the lab. (check out tutorial-menu an my site)
i would really love to do that together, currently i do some similar thing with the fracture-modifier-team.
my physics-workshop-dvd is in the working atm and i teamed up with the devs for this, very nice collaboration - no joke.
next i would love to do a character creation dvd with you as tech-mentor.
i could also help with the “marketing” stuff - community-work and future dev-planning - as friends of mine say i am magicaly good at this.
maybe thats a plan you like? what do you think? i know from experience it would work out…

please get in touch and lets speak about that freely, take your time… but please just freaking do it if you can.
all the best and just that! Tobi


I understand and appreciate your efforts. May you find more satisfaction in future endeavours. Be well :slight_smile:


He’s in his right to do so but still sounds like there are a lot of information missing on all this


One more great project for creating and rigging characters is gone. Sad to know. Thank you Manuel for your work. I’ve took many ideas you invented with your lab! especially bendy bone muscle rig. Wish you good luck!

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Agreed. Really weird, and leads to several questions.

  • Why was a funding effort made without announcing on Blenderartists or Blender Nation?
  • Why was the cut-off point only one week to a funding announcement that’s been literally coming for over a year?
  • Why, after not seeing desired performance (again, for only one week), just outright shut down project that’s been running for years instead of making an effort to actually make the announcement visible to a large number of Blender users?

This just doesn’t seem to add up. Almost even feels like the creator just wanted an excuse to stop working on the project altogether. Which… would certainly be weird, but the situation’s not making much sense.


I don’t think there is much merit beating the dead horse here. Manuel has clearly read the options available to him as he’s responded here stating (in essence) “I hear you, but I still have to stop working on this”.

If Manuel wants to pursue the other funding options, he has the details for doing so. If Manuel wants to better communicate his funding needs, he knows now how to go about it. So given that, and the fact he’s still quitting, it might be best to thank him for his efforts and let him move on.

The good thing about the plugin is that it’s open-source. Others can pick up where he left off and/or take what they need from his work and add it to their own. MBLabs was nice but it’s primary (only?) contributor is moving on and obsessing as to what other reasons he might have to do so won’t bring him back. Someone else, though, might be encouraged to take it up.

MBLabs is dead. Long live NextVolunteerLabs. :wink:


Really sad to hear you are giving up on this awesome project. Was always excited when a new version came along. Honestly I didn’t check your website every week so your request went under the radar. When I last checked there wasn’t much encouragement helping other than no-brainers like spreading the word (reading FAQ). So my guess is, that because updates (and news) weren’t that frequent, many people hadn’t the time to notice and react. One week is just too short. Anyway, I don’t think (like others) that is the whole story. Best of luck to you and thank you for sharing one of the best addons.


I’m really terribly sad to hear you say this. I hope you change your mind. I hope you take realtronix up on his offer. And, seriously, I think you should consider how much your “marketing” or whatever you want to call it is the issue.

Your project is solid and does some really impressive stuff. But your videos always made it seem like it was more in an experimental phase than a ready-to-use phase. Not because of the features or what it could do, but because of how you presented what it could do.

Honestly, I think if you just actually had a voice for your videos, it would have made a huge difference.

I really think you could generate lots of support, both financial and otherwise, if you engaged the community differently. Or rather, if you found someone to help you engage the community differently. Marketing and advertising is a particular skill, and lots of developers and artists don’t have it. But there are people in this community that do. And you’ve already got offers.

It is, of course, your choice. But I have to ask, even if you do stick with your decision, why didn’t you ask for help first? Why did you only ask for money on Facebook, wait only a week, and then give up without once asking anyone in the community how to generate support? If you want steady community support, you have to steadily engage with the community. That includes posting everywhere the community exists when you’re struggling.

Well, now that we know that Manuel is quitting his contribution to the addon’s development, it is time to gather a team of people to continue where he left off.
Off the top of my head, it sounds like we would ideally have:

  1. At least one character modeller
  2. At least one rigger
  3. At least one programmer working on the modelling system
  4. At least one programmer working on the proxy system
  5. A website/funding/PR manager

You forgot at someone who can make a good shader and texture.
The models (geometrie) are good enough for most purposes (except very close-up). The weak point in the chain is the skin-shader. If that was better the models look even better.

On my best:


Thank you very much for your effort, were pleasant moments of good entertainment to play with your addon and follow its development.
My best wishes for you and your new projects.


Dear Manuel,

I fully respect your decision, and at the same time I wish there’s some window for reconsideration. Your research and development in human character modelling is going to play a key role in my next animation project, and I hoped to be soon using your future development in asymmetrical faces, as well as all your future improvements and new technologies. It’s already great in its current state, but I really hoped my new animation project would grow in parallel with new versions of your tool. Isn’t there any slight window for reconsideration?

Thanks a lot for all your hard work all these years!

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Manuel – thank you so much for working on this project. I’ve gotten a great many hours of enjoyment from it, and I’ll continue to do so with the state the tool is in now. While I wish that you would continue to develop it, I understand the time and effort required to keep it going without some financial help. You are one of the people that makes this community better with your work. My best wishes for you and I know you will be highly successful in your next endeavor.


Salut Manuel,
C’est dur de ne pas recevoir la juste rétribution pour son travail surtout quand on est attaché à developper des outils libres et gratuits pour le plus grand nombre. Je comprends ta déception.