Open Source a Resource Motherload

As far back into my computer usage from the time I used a Mac in school to my personal PC computer and my first taste of the internet, for me computing is all about resources.

With open source projects I see people who are willing to build up massive software resources for just about every kind of task that we can do on a computer. With Linux we see that the emphasis is put on software and presentation development resources right with your first install. Linux assumes that you want to create and it gives you so many options to create on so many levels.

Open source software and the use of open source software makes me wonder if we as open source software users are transforming beyond the limits of our impressions of computers as mere appliances.

I still see that some computer retailers are selling computers as appliances based on the components that they offer and the type of software that’s installed.

I remember reading that originally TV’s were supposed to be a technology for offering the general populous educational as well as other resources.

What happened to that grand idea?

In my experience with open source software development operations, Blender is one of the best developments. The coders and the software users work in unison to develop great and industry current software development models. If someone starts from scratch on any level as a Blender code developer or an artist they will get many helpful responses from the communities of Blender users. This is something that is just not found in all open source software communities. I think that this is the main reason for Blenders rapid development progress. This works as an asset to all future developments of Blender.

You may not know it but others in the 3d software community are beginning take notice Blenders development. Some of these while using their retail apps see the power of an open source 3d software resource like Blender. Some have even realized the need to contribute their ideas and funds to Blenders future development.

I’m hoping that the next phase of Blender users includes many more creative computer programmers and experienced 3d artist from many backgrounds. It would be great if one major 3d studio added Blender as an in house 3d software development tool.

I’m thinking big as is numbers of users increasing. And for open source software the more as minds that are added to the development the more resources are added.

What do you think about Blenders status as an open source 3d software in the future?

hi

well it is impressive to see how fast blender gets improved.
in terms of tool set and option it lacks compared to comercial solutions.
but for most medium 3d needs it is amazing what you can archive with this free piece of software. in my opinion it looks like that there is only one way for blender: getting better.

sure this also depends on the programmers we have here. complex particle system and special effects generators in maya are created by pretty eductaed and well paid software devellopers i think. here i see a problem for blender to always be behind those comercail solutions because of their funds they have the possebility to do more research and to get more advanced tools.

and maybe also patents will make it difficult to compute similar things in blender. but as again who uses blender? do those people realy need all those high end tools maya among other offers blender does not?

it is not only to push some buttons enter some values and you have created some industry strength mindblowing cinematics.

for me for example, the lack of metal shaders and nurbs tools make it difficult for me to use blender for my work. the process of creating my work in blender for rapid prototyping is impossible. and even without metal shaders and some physical light fx i will not be happy with what blender can offer me. jewelry without caustics looks wrong. something is just missing.

on the other side for example for cartoons or so i saw some work here which is realy amazing good. there you see that blender provides the tools set this task demands.

so as a conclusion i think depending on what you want to do and what you want to achive i think blender has more or less the tools you need. and depending on the project blender can substitute comercial software or can only function as a pre-visualisation tool.

for myself i am with blender since 6 years more or less depending on my time and project. i use it quite often for some quick tests since i am soused to its workflow.

but with ongoing devellopment blender more and more provides a tool set basis which todays hobby 3d artists and pros need or could use for their work. i think it will never be able to compete with what is state of the art right now and in future but will have the possebility to make it into 3d studios who are working on a production that does not need all those tools.

but than i ask myself when they use maya for example anyway why should they spent time on training the team on a new 3d software?!

but for those artists who are getting involved with 3d and cannot or do not neeed to purchase maya etc. blender could be a realy welcome solution.

in my opinion the created work is the most important and first step for a tool to get recognized. so incase more and more pros do work with blender the 3d community will get more and more aware of it.

and finaly maybe accept it as a grown-up 3d package!

claas

I dunno… I’m going to be honest with you, I see this as a problem in most software, not just open source. Open source software is actually generally much less resource-dependant… well, that is, if you compile things the way I do.

I run gentoo, which allows you to choose which optional dependencies you compile in. I opt out of GNOME and KDE’s extra inclusion when I can. GTK-2 is just fine for developing a good, clean user interface in a program.

But other than that, most of the programs I use are quite minimalistic. Having my mail program, blender, the GIMP, my window manager (of course… I use ion, which is very minimalistic, though incredibly functional (more so than most WM’s, I would argue) once you learn how it works… and change the keybindings to the window key instead of the alt key), my browser, a chat program, several terminals, and some artwork I’m working on in the GIMP, and emacs… I’m only slightly over two hundred megs of ram consumption… and at when I’m not typing, gkrellm says I’m fluctuating between two and three percent of my processor usage. (2.8 gigahertz pentium 4)

My friend running windows XP says this is about the same as his OS requires when he isn’t running anything.

Those are some great point’s cekuhnen. And I always like to see people making use of Blender in some part of their work as pro’s or as casual artist.

I also like the fact that Blender is outside of the current marketplace of the mainstream retail 3d software. I think that this gives Blender an edge as Blender won’t get caught up in some of the pitfalls of market driven developments.

Often 3d software features are developed only for the sake of competition and maintaining certain clients. And for years some of the users main production issues are not addressed even though new features are added but not requested that may not suit the needs of every core user of that app. With open source this will never happen. No matter how powerful a feature is in the app, it will only be developed if the main user base accepts it. This will make Blender a leaner and meaner app as time goes on. If you want to please your software user base you have to give them what they really need.

I have seen 3d software users accept their apps new features with reluctance but they suck it in and snuggle up in the bed that they brought as they have to live with their investments. But it’s good to see the open source mind set rubbing off on some app developers as they are taking more interest in the needs of their user base. But this is hard to do when you are the only one dishing out the code as a developer and your users have very little impact on final development decisions.

That why some see a need for the open source software option. So that you can have your tightly packed reliable retail solutions and your wild card resource option made possible by open source apps like Blender.

Eventually I think that a more alternative group of 3d developers and 3d artist will emerge from the Blender developments. Why follow the crowd when you have your own style of working and creating?

Every page has two sides.

Also of the hardware side open source software developments are seen as more robust and ready to adapt to newer forms of hardware. Blender developers may see a way to make use of hardware in ways that closed source developers are not able to provide.

Let’s not assume that movie making and TV production is the only way to present creative ideas to the world. Ton doesn’t limit his developments to those areas and neither do many other Blender 3d content creators.

Or am I wrong in not assuming that all of the best 3d jobs and markets are linked to film, gaming and TV production?

Blender developments focus on providing us with great general 3d content development tools. With a little push this way and that we can take Blender in whatever content development direction that we choose.

I hope that Blenders core development never gets pushed in the direction of one type of 3d content structure like the other 3d tools that we may use for this type of 3d content or that.

well yah you are right, i refered mainly to tv and film production, cause most times there you have the highest demands for realism and perfection.

all i ment to say is that expect this things i think blender is in good shape.
well ok nobody wants to to serious industrial design in blender. so no one does in maya eather. you use a real ID app for that.

what i find very interesting and i think this could also be a valuable option for studios, blender is open source that means they can change blender a way it fits better to their needs. i am not a programer but what i see at the tuhopuu site is often very exciting to see.

not only free software but also the right to change and enhance it on your own are two big points. think about the mumy or other movies. quite often they use also some inhouse tools as well to do their job!

when blender gets some metal shader or a better shader system in general, i could use 3delight but i am not a coder nor do i have the time or skill for that, and some more enhanced model tools (nurbs) i would love to use it as a free ideation tool.

claas

In the future I would like to see a form of Blender operate as an application on a web server. One of my ideas for this is to have access to Blender as a website server based app for image creation using client side php/python driven interfaces. This could serve very useful in many ways. I know that most 3d app developers would not see a need for this kind of operation of their software. But anything is possible with Blender.

Open source means no limits.

The only limit that we have with Blender is our own creativity.

mh a web based 3d image system,

well i can see your point but isnt it better to dl the app to your pc anyway?

i could see your point when it would be a web based render farm for blender!
that would be quite amazing. blender org could connect few pcs of them and set up a farm we could use. we only need to set rules so people do not overuse or useup recources.

claas

I’m talking 3d image content creation for a website and rendering the images up on the web server and storing and accessing the images from the server. The client interface could make use of the clients opengl card for working in a 3d viewpoint, maybe some java coded 3d interface. I thought of something like this because I would like access to Blender for image creation even on my web server.

It makes perfect sense to me as a quick way to add powerful image content during live web development. With css quick web design layout is not a problem and this setup would work perfectly.

Well I guess this is something to aim for in my own Blender coding experiments.

I was talking with a few coders who work with web server side software development code. Part of this idea for adding Blender to a web server as a server side 3d app came from viewpoints about the future of server side software. I thought hey Blender is a small enough app that wouldn’t take much more space than other server side apps. I remember running Blender on an old 486 PC quite nicely. Our web servers today are far more powerful than those old PC’s.

I also thought of many applications for generating images from a web server. cekuhnen motioned rendering services which is good. But I was thinking along the line of 3d scene file image content repositories that web clients could access and adjust to their own needs. Limits would have to be set like only allowing clients to access blend data files that are stored on the server and instead saving a file sending the finial renders out to specific areas of website content.

In this aspect alone Blender could serve very useful. In a way this idea of usage of Blender seems very powerful, even more powerful than having a “static” 3d player as a form of website 3d content. Anyway if this idea was never proposed for Blender you heard it first here on this forum from me.

I wonder what other ideas we could come up for using Blenders code outside of our PC’s?

AFAIK Blender can be run in command line mode, this way it could run in a CGI context as well. So all that funky python, perl, PHP, imagick … stuff is possible.

But i doubt it is a good idea to use the CPU(s) of a webserver for rendering.

BM

What about rendering scenes at a limited poly size? I’m not talking a million plus polys here per scene.

I personally have many scene files that make use of Blender materials and have polycounts of main scene objects under 10k without subsurf and no more than 40k with subsurfs. The other scene data like surrounding walls, tables, floors, etc. are not subsurfaced to a complete scene poly size of less than 100k.

This is still just an idea at this point, but theoretically, can anyone speculate as to what a web Xeon server with about 8 gigs of Ram, array of multiple gig hard drives, etc could handle in the case of Blender rendering a scene of about 100k polys? What are the facts as to memory and data management capabilities for an application database on a SQL etc. data server running on a machine like this?

I am not too knowledgeable on server tech, but could you set up a dedicated server for 3d rendering?

hey my name is claas by the way.

a internet renderfarm is in my opinion kick ass but webbased 3d generation until it is not used for automatic chart creation or some how i think will not make it because the way people work i think they will prefer to have the application on their desktop!

this also means that it is a lot faster to access tools etc because the code is loaded from the disk and not from the server! adn this delays will cuase the main issue in my opinion.

other webbased services like networkstarting etc. just use techniques where pcs log into a mainframe and execute tasks there but they have a direct link to the apps and do not use an interprete like php which is between the user and the server side application.

claas

'nuff said

Sorry, claas I’m so used to using folks usernames on forums. I was thinking of putting Blender up a server as some service app and less of a tool as in the way that Blender is now used as a desktop app. I mean the client interface could only have camera selection, camera panning, rotating, etc., output webpage selection and a render button.

This sort of thing would be great for web galleries that could allow the visitor to render up a new angle of a 3d scene render.

But maybe your right and a form of (render only rights) Blender could be coded into a tool like shockwave and reside on the clients desktop with java/php connection with access rights to files on the web server. Then when the user visits the gallery with the blends on the server Blender could render up a picture and place it on the server as a newly rendered image in a webpage gallery.

This usage of Blender may be easier to code also.

hi i was thinking if blender would be java based so comunicate directly with the server side application it would do the job you like! but php will result into the problme i mentioned. you now as faster pcs get the more we get inpationed when there is a slow down which is actualy faster than slowdowns on slower pcs!!!

there are java based web office solutions as far as i know and i think in companies it works quite fine.

if the rendering could be passed to a backboned renderfarm that would be awesome. but at the same time it would be kick ass if you hit render in blender and the file get send to a renderfarm on the net. and you get an image back!

claas

If Blender was made in Java, we’d waste so much time type-casting that you could probably paint each pixel of a render before the program finishes it…

Martin

i did not say it will be fast !
for word processing etc its perfect!

Now that would be something, forreal. Anything is possible with Blender.