Thoughts about a smartphone app


So, I’m wayyyyy out of my element here and just wondering whether something like this might be possible. Unfortunately, I would not be the person to do it since I’m not a programmer but (if it is possible), perhaps it might spur the imagination of someone else.

I think a lot of people would love to do something Blender related on their smartphone, but obviously a full version of Blender is not possible. However, what about the nodes from cycles?

For myself, I’ve often thought I’d love to have a way to play around with different node setups while away from my computer. This seems like something that is limited enough in scope that it could be done on a smartphone, but I wonder about the computational power it would require.

What I envisioned is a basic primitive object (perhaps a UV sphere) and then all the nodes. This would allow the user to work on different node configurations and play around with things. I suppose it would be possible to allow the user to load in images from their photo album, but that might get out of control with computation.

Is this just wishful thinking? Or would it be possible? I assume the main problem here is computational power - but would the limitation to a primitive object reduce the power needed enough that it could be done?

Just a thought. I see threads on here from time to time about completely unreasonable ideas and perhaps this is one of those. On the other hand, I’ve been trying to think of some way to have an app on my phone that would let me do something CG related on my phone.


It is not unreasonable. There is an active port to get Blender running on Android and phone hardware is getting faster all the time. Almost all smartphones today have GPU’s built into them so in theory the GPU accelerated techniques that Cycles uses could be ported over. All the Android and iOS phones support some OpenGL ES which is actually more feature rich and advanced than the version of OpenGL that Blender uses for its basic UI.

The phones have the power and the APIs they need to do something like this. There would be some big challenges with being able to edit/manipulate the nodes on such a small screen. Between that and the “sounds fun. But how useful would it really be?” question I think you would have to find a very special developer to tackle this “for fun”.