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

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.

Exceptions were made to models produced by the official version of the lab that allowed them to be used in a variety of applications.
However if you were to make a derivative product or expand on the lab, the viral license would spread to anything created with it.
This renders any derivative of lab created by other users unusable for most purposes, even for research purposes, unless the entire work product or at least the portions of the work product related to using the characters created are open source.
Alternatively, an interface can be developed that can inoculate the proprietary portion of a codebase from viral assets, but for most projects using skeletal meshes it is difficult to create such an interface.

The solution to this might be if Manuel changed the licensing so that end products created with derivatives of lab can also be licensed under creative commons or otherwise changed lab to a more permissive license.

Agreed: Licencing will be a huge pain unless we at least get Manuel’s blessing/cooperation in the development of any community-made updates (first of which should be making sure it can still run in 2.8).
If we (as a community) decide to take up the task, we’ll want a thread for development suggestions, demos, etc.

Also, in terms of a development team, we have a few potential structures, the ideal structure of which is probably different in various areas of the addon.

Structure 1: Dedicated team.
Exactly what it sounds like. You have a small team of skilled contributors who are in charge of the development of the addon. Community involvement in Master is limited to bug reports and feature requests.

Structure 2: Community-managed.
Primary development is left to the community as a whole, and simply managed by a dedicated team. Things tend to get messy pretty fast this way, but it might be okay for some of the ‘simpler’ things (such as shaders).

Structure 3: Hybrid.
Primary development is left to a dedicated team, but the community is still very involved with Master. The team selects, improve on and implements some community modifications. Of course, the team also does so with their own ideas.

By department/task, I think it might break down by:

Modeling: Dedicated team / Hybrid
Shading/Texturing: Hybrid / Community
Rigging: Dedicated team / Hybrid
Programming: Hybrid / Dedicated team
Website/PR: Dedicated team / Hybrid

1 Like

Sad to see Manuel go like this. This is a great project.
Is the latest code available? I would love to pick this up in some small capacity if others are involved. Would be a shame for this to go down the drain.

Surprising end, what a pity! Like many others I also didn´t notice the call for support. Maybe give us the second chance?

Anyway, thanks for your job @Manuel, it was always fun to work with the add-on.

Alright lets pick this up then, cc0 model generation is too important. First step we need a new name, lets get some ideas going and then ill take the first steps in creating a new site, repository, funding, and community forums ect. Going from makehuman, to manuel bastionis lab, to what now… Need something everyone likes. DNA molecular structure is made of nucleotides, what about Nucleos? Nucleo Studio, DNATION, Humanatomy… Maybe something with ma"nuel"s name, or something third gen as in the next step of the software.


I created a Github repo, although I am not claiming anything I just wanted to get something going. It is intended to have contributors for sure, I am not the best programmer by any means, my forte is lighting and shading. I named it MB-Lab for now though that can change too. People are encouraged to join and help.


I think the first step is porting for blender 2.8

1 Like

Actually, I think the very first step would be to politely ask Manuel if he would relicence his code.

Unless you want AGPL3 models that is.


I would be glad to help. But… I offered before and Manuel gave the impression that he had a nasty experience of collaborating previously (MH?) and would avoid it at all costs. So I suspect he would not easily be persuaded to change his license.

When I tried running mbl in 2.8 previously I got missing obj importer complaints so porting to blender 2.8 will probably need to wait for other addons to be fixed.

PS I should also like to add my thanks and respect for @Manuel’s work. I’ve cloned the suggested repo above but won’t do anything until there’s a statement from the original author as to how to proceed.


Manuel, Are you okay?

Thank you for developing this addon.


It’s actually hard to understand what has driven Manuel to take this decision, because this is the kind of project where the talent, skills, and determination of an individual shine. It’s the kind of project in which you have nothing to lose, and no hurries either. You do it because it’s something you love, and because you enjoy sharing it with all users across the world, while at the same time it adds a huge value to your portfolio (honestly, Manuel shouldn’t have any problem joining a high-end studio if he wished so, having this tool in his portfolio). You don’t have any hurry, you keep enhancing it at your pace, depending on your life possibilities year by year… it’s your “pet project”.

To those wishing to continue the project: It’s not as easy as taking a programmer, a modeller, an animator, and a texture painter. You don’t need a “team”. What you need is a person whose main working interest is representing human models as perfectly as possible. Manuel is the kind of man you need. Don’t look for a “team” for substituting him: it won’t work. You need somebody who is thinking in human modelling as their number one goal in their work. Not easy to find a person suitable for the task.

I’d really love to see Manuel taking his project into life again. No hurries, no stress: it’s like making the house of your dreams: brick by brick, at the pace that it best suits your life. That’s it.

1 Like

I was completely under the impression the models generated were CC0 and the code was AGPL3. I have to tell my clients a model I deliver them is by Manuel Bastioni?.. The software should be for saving time, not charging less for he work we produce. I agree with @Kirtai and I believe the first step is to request that Manuel finds the will to re-license the models generated so we can use the software professionally.

Substituting would imply hes working on the project… Manuel is not replaceable, however im sure im not the only person who needs to avoid using Daz3d / iclone models for creating large amounts of character bases. Finding people who can contribute algorithms for random generation, improve shaders, and revise base models can be done… while finding funds to invest in a software the community uses the same way a company invest in its private software also can be done and should be done for this software.

Whether Manuel works on it alone, Manuel opens to a team and actually opens a funding campaign, or whether the community takes the software forward are the only options other then letting this project die.

@Manuel I strongly believe blaming the community for the death of the project needs a little more input on your behalf. Less then a week, without even a funding page is ridiculous. There are people like me who are apart of the community for years and dont write messages and probably would have donated without typing text to you saying they would. And there are so many others apart of the community who aren’t even on blender artists forum found in a hidden Manuel Mastioni lab thread or following your facebook… Come on man, sounds like the lab had premeditated murder.

1 Like

Yeah, I have a hard time believing that’s the actual story. I think there’s a bigger story here we’re not being made aware of. The way this project was shut down so quick without real effort to get funding doesn’t make sense at all.

  1. Was the author really just secretly hoping his project is just so popular that people would overwhelmingly come out of the shadows in a very short time to fund a project he’ll barely announce then felt crushed when it didn’t happen that way?
  2. Did the author feel crushed within one week because not many people supported the project, then realized he made a mistake of not announcing it where it counted but found it’s too awkward to go back on such a big, public decision…?
  3. Or is the author trying to generate a huge interest in this project with announcement of shutting down so he can do something down the line that would generate bigger support than it would have without it…?
  4. Or something else altogether??

Questions, questions.


Having known Manuel during a short collaboration on the MakeHuman project, I know for sure that this kind of speculations are completely off. He proved himself to be devoted to the project and very, VERY generous towards this community, so please stop assuming things that are really far from the gentleman he has always been. Thanks.


robl - Just saying that while I do feel like Mr. Bastioni didn’t leverage the community to its full potential, I in no way think he’s done any less than his absolute best for this project. I think it’s important that he understand how people like me who admired his work were given the impression that he neither needed nor wanted any support or input by his periodic silent videos that always seemed to show things in progress rather than at a stopping point. As someone not prone to crowing, I know how easy it is to go unnoticed and how hard it can be for some to get noticed. We’re not all Andrew Price. But if someone who has done as very much for the community as Bastioni has needs help promoting their project, I’d bet there are enough like him in the community that it makes sense to ask for help making noise.

I’m speculating as a way to air my frustration because the story isn’t adding up given that Manuel doesn’t strike me as incompetent at all. Manuel has done really great work, but there is now great confusion as to why a beloved project like this was shut down so prematurely.

His last post on Facebook makes it seem he quit merely because his pride is hurt and there’s a part of me that wants to believe that’s not the case.

You’re saying you know for sure my speculations are completely off, so if you actually have facts to shed light on the situation, please share as I’d love to know.

the answer you gave is not exhaustive and is not useful for anyone

la risposta che hai dato è poco esauriente e non è utile per nessuno.

Thank you for this great addon and your work. Good luck

1 Like


In this post it is reported that makehuman community has opened a patreon account, and a new release has been publicated few days ago.

For now it seems that makehuman is still an option.

I really hope the lab does not die.

1 Like

I don’t think speculation on other reasons behind the decision to stop developing ManuelBastioniLAB are helpful or warranted.
I understand that Manuel can come off a little abrupt, but I guarantee he doesn’t have some grand scheme to generate support and popularity with a stunt like shutting down the project just to reopen it.
If there are bigger, personal reasons behind the decision to stop development, they should remain personal.