The future of blender in the industry

I have been a user since 2.49, And i am indeed proud of how blender and blender community has grown over the years. But for now i think blender need to make a huge jump than ever not just with the everything nodes and new animation tools and rigging system in 2020.

I am actually tired of see blender been looked down upon from the industry and you p much cant use it unless you freelance.

most of the arguments for not using blender is that its not an industry standard so why bother ? or that blender takes ideas from other softwares and perform not as good. or why should sculpt in blender if you can do much better job in zbrush…

Like i really want to see blender do something other softwares do not do… there is so many devs out there with great ideas and there is just so much potential that out grow every software there is.

Am sure you can do everything in blender at this point but not to the standard of the industry …

I want to know whats holding blender back ? what blenders devs and the community needs to do ??

and how much money we should raise to get blender going faster ??

I want to spark a genuine discussion and looking forward for everyone opinion.

I think Blender should focus on 3 things:

  1. Make the software easier and more intuitive. For example, reach a point where you can easily put whats on your mind into the software. I know thats very absctract to say, but I hope you get my point here

  2. Add new features. That must be a constant and considering the other softwares I think blender devs are doing a great job. But then you softwares like SP appear and they take a while to be absorbed by blender devs

  3. Remove steps that one day - I hope - can be automated. Retopology for example. Imagine if Blender could create a perfect version of ZRemesh, that would be huuuuuge and a big differential

All in all, I think a lot of studios are using blender, and the ones that dont is because that it would require time and effort of their teams to fully migrate and studios are always after deadlines, so thats a big problem

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Blender has only recently started to dain so much development traction. Development fund five months ago still was at around $7000 per month, just as all these years before that. Now it is more than $33000 per month. We must wait atleast several months to see first outcomes of that drastic change.

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from a feature VFX/modeling point of view -
I guess it’s about user base. Most big VFX studios are building their pipeline around Maya (or Zeno in ILM’s case) and the only thing that’d bring a change is more people using Blender on a daily basis. Right click select, hotkey layout and interface was something throwing me and many others off in the past.

I’ve been trying to get to like Blender since 2006ish and only managed to stick with it since last summer, mostly due to eevee, grease pencil, Jama’s tutorials and boxcutter/meshmachine. Most people in the industry are working 10+ hours a day so they won’t have the patience to get used to, or learn something vastly different without a good reason.
I think 2.80 is definitely a huge step forward, and I firmly believe it’ll be industry standard one day. I’m pretty sure noone wants to uninstall maya more than me. :slight_smile:

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Maybe not an answer to your question directly, but…I’d love to see cool AI features in Blender :slight_smile:

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This statement:

Followed by this statement:

Together, they illustrate a particularly interesting dichotomy of thought. Over the years, Blender has done a lot of things other applications don’t do… and has been regularly derided for that effort.

As someone who’s been using Blender for a long—looooong—time, my recommendation would be to champion Blender in your own work as best as you can. If some industries (or segments of industries) adopt it into their pipelines, great. If they don’t, that’s fine, too. Blender will continue to get developed and its userbase continues to expand. It gains popularity in an overpopulated niche of industries despite criticism and “not being standard”.

Granted, I speak as someone who’s been fortunate enough to use Blender professionally for almost 20 years now (yikes!) in a few different industries. So maybe I just see things differently than most folks.

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I agree with @Fweeb and @dan2 .

I think Blender has become a force to be reckoned with, especially since the arrival of version 2.8.
I’ve also been in the 3D industry for a lot of years, starting professionally with 3ds Max in the late 1990s. I own a range of high-priced 3D products (editors, renderers, etcetera), and nothing equals or supersedes Blender in terms of completeness. It’s becoming my go-to all-in-one solution more and more as time passes. I used to switch back and forth between Blender and ZBrush a lot, but with the right set of Blender add-ons to enhance Sculpt Mode I am now rarely resorting to ZBrush, keeping it all inside one coherent environment.

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Time.

Mostly developer time.

But also learning time, the time it takes a studio to revise a pipeline, the time it takes a seasoned artist to switch over from their app of choice, the time to review patches, and the time to adopt new techniques and technologies.

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These are good points actually, specially the learning time …

was looking at the unreal engine YT channel and they usually live stream alot of updates and clear tutorials ( not as simple but you get my point ) were they just sit down and talk and showcase every new thing and how it works … maybe we need stuff like that i think regarding that ?

but for anything else, its not a big deal if you look how much cash you gona save for the next 10 years or so right ?

There’s a YouTube podcast named Blender Today (run by respected long time expert Pablo Vazquez) that is exactly what you describe.

That said, as far as learning time is concerned, I don’t think more or better documentation is necessarily what is lacking. In my humble opinion it’s down to Blender’s very nature - It’s a 3d DCC, which probably makes it some of the most specialized software on the planet by itself, but also Blender strives to be, shall we say, “closer to the metal” than other software.

That is, it makes no effort to hide the inherent complexity of the task at hand, or the relationship to the hardware it’s running on, and it trusts the user to know what he’s doing, perfectly happy do let him do dumb shit if he’s so inclined. This is not a fault. It’s precisely why I love Blender. But it also requires the user to live up to Blender’s expectation of competence. It’s kind of like Linux in that way.

Blender today is great but its limited in away tho, things are more rushed and for new users its hard to get on it unless you keep track of every update ( i know they are busy with spring and 2.8 but hop you got my point)

and yes i agree with the second point you made actually.

I also think the marketing is bad or not marketing per say but it needs to be used and shared by a lot of professionals, and of course am aware that many started but not in a huge scale i would say.

20 years !.. impressive indeed, I really want pros like you get to be interviewed or publish somewhere your experience in blender as i think more people need to know that it is being used in a professional manner and not just a gate to 3d world for beginners alone.

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Blender has it’s limitations, but so do other software programs. I personally think that 2.8 has a chance to make some ripples, if not waves, in the industry.
For a long time, Blender had some issues with being different. A User Interface that was different in ways that made it difficult for people to adapt, etc. I believe that 2.8 has the chance to change that perception, as the interface, in my opinion, is drastically improved in both function and, most importantly, intuitiveness.
The ability to sit down and scan the interface, open a couple menus, and within less than a minute find what you are looking for is important when considering whether or not you should switch to it.
With Lightwave (circa 8.0), and Modo (between 501 and 901), I spent very little time looking for a given tool (full disclosure: I’m primarily a modeler, so I have no clue if lighting/animation are just as intuitive). When I first tried Blender (2.49b), I spent what felt like an eternity, just trying to figure out how to create a new box. It felt, at the time, like everything was all keyboard commands, and that the mouse was just there to annoy me with the swap of the right/left buttons. Through the years, the interface has improved. I was less likely to split a screen and not understand how to fix it and so on.
As a new person, that can be frustrating. As someone who, at that time, had a decade of experience modeling as a hobby, it was infuriating.
Yes, some of it was learning curve, some of it was high expectations, but I was not the only one having issues with the UI at the time.
2.8, again in my opinion, is a hug leap forward in bringing intuitiveness to the program. I haven’t once needed to open the manual or do a net search to find a given tool/button/setting. The times that I have, it has been the result of slight differences in terms/naming. Unlike older versions, I find 2.8 fun to work with, even though it’s still in beta.
In the end though, Blender doesn’t need to be the “industry standard”. You’re always going to have some large corporation making sweet deals with art colleges to push their product and call it “industry standard”. What will move Blender forward to become the hidden standard is it’s use in unexpected projects that do well in the public eye.
More than ever before, independent individuals/groups have the opportunity to make movies, games, and other content with software like Blender and Gadot, etc. and to compete openly with companies that have invested thousands in software.
It won’t happen over night, and 2.8 still needs to be officially released, but I do not doubt that it is on the right path to where it will become a contender on it’s own merit for the “industry standard” title.
Yeah, I know. A lot of words from someone who is no more than a bit of plankton in the pacific ocean that is the CG world, but I’m going to glow with all the hope I can for where this software is going. :slight_smile:

It might have more of a chance than we thought, Modo users report Autodesk is prepping a big 20 percent price-hike for Max and Maya users not on their subscription service (ie. stop paying, lose access to your files. Not to mention the always-online DRM).

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When maya became a very expesnive subscription based program, lots and lots of professinal artist left maya. The application they picked up was blender, with blender having been majured at the time. As a result, blender started getting more donations, along with community support.

Blender might not have the expensive fancy math that the million dollar 3d applications have, but it’s free for the masses. Blender’s price tag is why it’s been around this long. Not only is it free, it has a license that keeps everyone feeling safe about it. Blender gives it’s users the domanion power and authority, while the other programs make the artist slaves.

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blender somehow has the same approach as arch linux …
has had an insidious initial learning curve, but once that threshold is exceeded, it allows you to run like a lightning bolt, because it is as if you yourself become an integral part of blender, and of its comunity because it forced you to memorize and adapt to that mechanism which was essential to then have a workflow and a philosophy entirely focused on speed flow … a large part of it has always been used by small professionals with few budgets who had to make do with their various projects, be all-rounders and achieve results as quickly as possible …
I hope that this characteristic that blender has from the beginning is never lost …

I also believe that the various blows of revolution during the course of the years, which is also in common with the maturation of the internet, is because the community itself arrives at the step of maturation which they then transfer to the program itself …
it is as if there are periods in which functionality is added in a chaotic way and then it comes to points of reorganization and simplification and clarity once the techniques have matured (blender 2.5 - blender 2.8)

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I left autodesk in the right time and i am so happy i can do everything in Blender.

For us Canadian thing are becoming tricky since our dollar value is getting slaughter so now i feel better since i don’t have a 2000$ US bill to pay anymore.

I will also commit to donation to the blender foundation since they save my game.

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“I am actually tired of see blender been looked down upon from the industry”

Its actually not looked down upon as much as you might think, especially now that its gotten better. 2.8 is attracting quite a bit of attention. Quite a few professionals, even in professional environments, have either began to switch to blender or continuously try it out to see how far it has come.

One VFX house I am familiar with (they have done some Marvel related work, just to show you where they are on the industry ladder), has Blender installed on most of their work stations. While this does not necessarily mean the software gets used by everyone, it is still present to some degree.

Most of the flack Blender has gotten on an industry level occurred because of two things in particular.
The first was that Blender was designed in such a way where it rejected industry standards, it was simply too difficult to use or unnecessarily convoluted. Right click select was obviously a big downer for many.
The second was the user base. Lets face it, Blender’s user base in the past pissed a lot of people off. They were simply obnoxious on a fanboy level, and it left a bad impression. There is a reason there is a stickied thread here about not being a fanboy. Thankfully, that is largely in the past, and the community has not only attracted some familiar figures, but has also grown up quite a bit internally.

Both of those issues are things of the past, 2.8 is a great representation of that. This leads to the next point: Blender’s success.

Once the bad impression over the community went away and Blender became more industry standard, smarter on a design level, magically most of the resistance towards it went away. Now all you have is appeal. Really all it took was some good art work, some solid plugins + industry standard concessions and some feature that were at or surpassed industry expectations.

As long as Blender continues the path its taking with 2.8, seriously tries to compete with existing (often times stagnating) applications, it will continue to grow exponentially.

Users want to stop using Autodesk products, they would love to find alternatives to the software they use now for the most part. They just won’t make the switch if their productivity will take a hit, and that is largely diminishing.

As for Blender doing something different, it really doesn’t have to. In fact it should try to match and surpass whats out there now, however that alone makes it different due to the development culture. It is open, where as everything else is closed. That alone sets it apart.

Don’t worry about Blender’s future, it will grow as long as the developers do not go back to old habits. =)

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I worked with many colleagues who thought so …
We say that at the time it was a continuous fist fight …
The blender user was not a fan boy, he was angry because the program was snubbed for his Free philosophy as “free = not good” …there was a lot of prejudice …
And then having used many industrial applications, and both blender, I knew the potential of both … Blender in some things was and continues to be superior, but it has always been difficult to make him understand for his initial curve of non-standard that “the lazy ones” didn’t want to experiment …

Anyway, it was right that it went like this, it makes sense that being a free platform, first you go through a chaotic structure that then reaches maturity and is rearranged and made clear …
Order and Chaos, just like the creative and intiuitive minds vrs the structuring and hierarchical minds … two human characteristics …
Someone wrote about cathedrals and bazaars
For this to the base, many have loved blender and at the same time many have hated it …
welcome aboard the monkey’s ship :wink:

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Hmm lol… Well at studio I work at we use perpetual licence of 3ds max (good old 2016) but even here I should put perpetual like “perpetual” bec AD is acually trying to push it out (it is dissapearing out of your account so for example reinstalling this licence is more and more difficult and there goes the word perpetual).

On topic : I think that there is atleast one unique thing that Blender offers over other software and that is it’s price. Not just because Blender is free so you free up your expenses but the fact that you can use it freely, meaning you can add it up to you current pipeline without any problems, you can set it on how many computers you like, you can do only things you want to do with it without care to pay any aditional money. In that sense Blender is truly free and that is something to take account (and cannot be ignored).
Also it is very light and easy to install and transfer all your settings everywhere you want (another pc). It is almost like a parasite that sticks to another being and slowly is taking over the host. You get Blender together with your primary software and slowly start to use it for small tasks and ends up with doing more than half your work in Blender because you actually find it better to work with.

Blender strategy is as it is brilliant in it’s own way :slight_smile:

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