What is happening to Blender with 2.8 release ? from everyday user perspective... and more

(uriel) #1

Hi guys,
i had to open this discussion, because it seems to me that there is a big change in the Blender world, i am not talking about the new UI (wich is only a UI redesign at final) or Evee… i am talking about the community change and the non-profit spirit.

To give an overview of the context, i have to say that for professionnal blender users, we will not move to 2.8 before longtime… why ?

1- because working people use 2.79b and it works like a charm :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
2- 2.8 will be stable… when ? nobody knows…:thinking:
3- we have to adapt our pro script… take some times :sob:
4- all new scripts for blender 2.8 seem to be commercial ones :frowning:
… and so on…

we are (pro users) a bit sad about the direction of some devs, regarding the futur of our beloved Blender… yes, it was for nearly 15 years, a free spirit for a free app, a sharing tools as well as a learning tool… but i see in the futur, a long list of “addons” (238 in the market to be exact) that you will have to pay to use them… and then ?
well, if we have to buy many plugins, it will cost like a commercial software… at the end !
i made some calculation, based on general tools and scripts that we are used to process during our project management… and as i get the result, it will cost us more than 300$… minimum…

is that the way that everybody want to go ? because for the price, you can get a commercial app with similar tools included !!! so, i wondering what is the point !

i dont critic blender, as i use it from 2002, i was admin of blender-pro com in 2005… and i teach it in university from 2009… i love Blender as it was in the past, a bridge between artists and coders, a bridge between freedom and creativity.

i dont really understand why most of the news plugins are going commercial… before the official 2.8 release !!! it doesnt make me confident in the futur of blender :frowning: sadly)

so… we will continue to use the 2.79b… and in case, the 2.8 become a profit-based app… we will definitely not make any more promotion of Blender, to schools or companies the same way as before… i dont want to spend our time talking about spirit when the only objectiv is to sell addons… at the end… seems capitalism to me :frowning:
have a nice day of Blender work !
uriel

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(Luis Riera) #2

2.8 free plug-ins arent there yet because developers wouldn’t want to work on a beta software, and they are waiting for the beta to be over to spend their free time and money on it

Paid plug-ins developers need to attract new clients and retain people testing 2.8, so they will invest time and money changing their code As many times as needed.

You just need to be patient and understand this.

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#3

Okay… .so what you’re trying to say is that you and other “pro users” aren’t going to use blender 2.8, because you feel that it’s become profit driven, and you think that because addons are becoming paid?

…okay

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(English is not my native language) #4

Well, nothing prevents that from being that way. Nor does anything prevent people who have bought any of these addons then share them for free online (as long as the license allows it). So I guess commercial add-ons for Blender is not a very safe business, this only works because the Blender community is respectful. But if addons start to become very expensive, I’m sure some kind of “allowed piracy” will begin.

I would be worried if it would start generating some suspicions if Blender does not start incorporating built in fundamental features that any 3D software have, to become only a free base program that must be complemented with a lot of external commercial add-ons, which the foundation could be making a profit selling code indirect or directly. You need a decent retopo workflow, buy an addon. You need a decent asset manager, buy an addon… You need fast render engine, fluid simulation, etc etc, buy addons. If that happened, a user should put on the scale if it really costs cheaper to use Blender, or buy licenses of other software.

BUT… Nothing indicates that this is really going to happen… When 2.8 is released, all Cycles developers will possibly have more time available to return to work on it. After 2.80 we will have built in asset manager and possibly better workflow for retopology. In addition particles and simulations will have a great improvement officially incorporating porojects such as All Nodes, Mantaflow and Fracture Modifier.

So it’s good that then addons to achieve extra things are commercial, mainly to be bought by those who are making money using Blender as a tool. So I would not worry much about that with many doing commercial things for Blender for now.

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(artell) #6

Hi Uriel,

While I partially understand your position, I think it’s important to explain the situation from an addon’s developer perspective.
I’m the developer of the Auto-Rig Pro addon. Honestly, i’ve started to code this addon for my personal needs (i’m pro Blender user who regularly donate to the BF funds by the way), initially I had no plans to make money with it. Then I thought it could be useful to other Blender users, so I’ve put it online on the Blender Market. Releasing it as a paid addon allows me to spend more time to support customers, develop new features, bug fix, I would not be able to do all of that at this “pro” degree if it was a free addon (we don’t live yet in a free world). Also, a part of each sale is donated to the Blender funds, so it contributes directly to the Blender development. Apart from that, I also release free addons or help maintaining existing addons, you can download some of them on my github page:

Now, I don’t think you need to buy any addons if you don’t need them. Blender itself is very powerful without addons. Addons are simply “extension”, conceived by Blender users like you and me, who propose their work to the community.
And what about the costs? A Maya license is $1600 a year, $250 a month, even if you buy for $300 of addons (perpetual license), it’s nothing compared to Autodesk prices.

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(kabu) #7

Imho, better to have some more costs and be in the range of those “respected software tools” out there like Maya than to go on with this moaning about “good old free times” and be looked at the way crappy things are…
But I’m a new user, you know, I may be missing the spirit…

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(Grzesiek) #8

I see this will be purely a personal perspective, and each of us will have different and at times totally oppotie views.

My current project is the last I want to do in 2.79, which lets be honest, has it’s crashes at time.

When experimnting with 2.8, I have about as equal amount of crashes as 2.79 (lestest beta)

So it purely depends on the projects you do. 2.8 bring sufficient features that for my modeling purposes has too many advantages to not use and learn right now.

But again I fully understand that not everyone will have same or similar view as mine.

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(uriel) #9

for me, this direction is offencing those who were working for years, contributing freely to blender, to become this awesome software… or, the new generation who just want to make money out of it ! i agree on patience, but as you may know, when you are working with a tool every day, patience arent the point, you have to produce 3d contents…

we have invested lot of time into Blender dev and addons script for years… and we never expected a return… because that was the point of the open source community…! the exchange with the fundation, based on their investment… “Ton made the software, the fundation guard and developp the system, and we, users, we are promoting, teaching others, diffusing the app in offices, in school, etc…”
it is too easy to take a free software, and start to make money on top of it… too easy and dangerous for the futur of Free pro app…on my point of view

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(Luis Riera) #10

Reminds me of Modo (Luxology), software price was advertised as cheap but they used to sell their official tutorials -not sure if they do this anymore- unlike Autodesk or Houdini. C4D does that to an extent (they don’t sell Maxon tutorials individually, but they linked their Cineversity tutorials through the MSA - maintenance subscription)

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(Luis Riera) #11

im only saying people are more inclined to work for free on making plugins on a finished product rather than a beta, you said you need to invest 300 dollars in plugins because those plugins were free before and now they cost money, would you point me the names of the plugins? Im new to Blender but I have seen a quite useful amount of free plugins for 2.8 - actually Im using the free car rig plugin in 2.8 at the moment, as well as some plugins that are preinstalled in Blender.

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(sundialsvc4) #12

I think that all of us need to bear in mind today that the economics of the Internet are really not what we let ourselves believe twenty(!) years ago … when we let ourselves imagine that everything could and should be “free.” That there was no place for “economics” at all.

But – the demands that we place upon “open source,” and upon various kinds of internet-public services and sites – have grown to the point where, in order for our needs to continue to be met as we wish them to, “economics” has to become a factor. A Blender Foundation has to exist and to operate as a business – complete with a subscription model that is still optional, but which allows the Foundation to have a predictable revenue stream.

Producers of “plug-ins” face the same reality: it takes revenue. If thousands of users want to use your successful plug-in and are hammering you for bug-fixes and enhancements, it becomes a full-time job or at least a part-time one that demands salaries. Users are no longer satisfied with your “labor of love,” because they have become dependent on it now.

So – we have to face what the needs now are, and then build for those needs. We must provide for the money.

The term that I prefer to use, instead of “open source,” is: cooperative software development. Individuals and corporations cooperate to produce something, and they are able to do so because that sharing is legally enforceable. But the thing that is being cooperatively developed is still “a product” – and it certainly(!) is not “free.” Instead, it is economically viable and self-sustaining, again through the mechanism of cooperation.

“Cooperate” does not(!) mean “volunteer!”

“Viable economic sustainability” really is what we demand of the cooperatively-developed products that we now use every day. Whether or not we participate in their development, we need to be willing to step forward to (voluntarily) do our cooperative economic part. “It does take money, folks.”

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#13

That’s the case for everyone. So before you switch to 2.8x, you have to test whether your use cases are covered and the scripts you need are working.
As you mentioned, 2.7x is working very well, so just wait until 2.8x is ready for your use cases.

My impression is that the quality of the paid addons is overall better, especially when it comes to usability. I am not talking about simple addons, but especially quite dedicated ones. It takes a considerable amount of time to develop those and the maintenance should also not be neglected.
You are also allowed to use them, even if you didn’t support the developers by purchasing it. That’s a very good improvement in my opinion, as it makes it more likely that those addons are continuously maintained and even further developed. Everyone profits from that.
I am aware that it is not anymore the same spirit, but as professional, you should definitely be able to directly profit from this as well.

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(colkai) #14

TBH I’m somewhat baffled.
The paid addons which are being worked on for 2.80 are the SAME paid addons which are available in 2.79. Oh, and the paid addons I use are being developed for 2.80 with no extra charge to existing customers, FYI.
The developers have chosen to jump onboard early and, speaking personally, I am glad they did. Those addons are leveraging the power of 2.80 to make the addons easier and more powerful.

How you tie in 2.80 becoming a profit based app to the development of 3rd party addons is quite frankly, unfathomable.

Other developers who do it for free are simply not wasting time constantly re-fixing the addon as Blender itself evolves, as a “labour of love”, it’s just not logical. I was a software develoepr for over 30 years, I would be doing the same, wait until the final release of 2.80 and I’m sure you’ll see plenty of free addons being updated, not to mention, (if I were a betting man), quite a few new ones.

If a falsely perceived POV of Blender becoming the “capatalist software”, (not like at all), is stopping the OP taking advantage of the power of 2.80, I would say “shooting oneself in the foot” springs to mind.
I move between to 2.80 and 2.79 and to be honest, I get frustrated in 2.79 as some of the workflow is just so much more fluid in 2.80, can’t wait for it to develop further!

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(colkai) #15

This. Very much this. I am using 2 such addons, Hard-Ops & Box Cutter, I can tell you, they are flat out fun and intuitive to use in 2.80 compared to 2.79 and far more powerful.

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(Ace Dragon) #16

There’s still plenty of free, yet useful addons that come bundled with Blender, especially if you use buildbot builds.

One of the things about the commercial addons is that it has allowed the creation of addons that wouldn’t exist before (because like it or not, money is a big motivating factor in development). Believe it or not, it takes a lot of money to get a really good FOSS application (see the development fund) because the only way to keep up with the major commercial vendors is paid developers.

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(John Malcolm) #17

I don’t see the issue. Blender 2.79 is free. Blender 2.80 will be free. There are free addons for 2.79. There will be free addons for 2.80 when released. There are paid addons for 2.79. There will be paid addons for 2.80.

Expecting all addon developers to work for free seems a bit much. Some do, for which we should be grateful. Official Blender developers get paid for their work. Buying addons from places like Blender Market means, in many cases, some money also goes to the Blender Development Fund.

Calling paid addons “commercial” is a bit much. There’s a difference between commercial, which most people would class as making a profit, and a developer getting some reward for their work. Some fantastic addons cost $20 or less for lifetime updates. I consider that a price worth paying.

Which free addons from 2.79 are you concerned will become “commercial” for 2.8? Have you contacted the addon developers?

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(Michael Jones) #18

Let me (and a many more) be the balance… We for example make no money with Blender AND we pay into the Development Fund… How crazy is that?!
That side of the coin exists too…

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(mathieu) #19

After trying 3 model types to develop for Blender (free, donations and paid), I can tell you the paid model is by far the best in regard to development pace. It allowed me to give Blender development much more time than the other 2 models.

Regarding the features given by addons, it’s a plus. If they were not paid, they most certainly just wouldn’t exist or be way less user friendly, stable and feature packed. And I’m pretty sure a big part of the interest and thus fund the BF gets is thanks to the addon ecosystem Blender has, paid addons included. There have never been so much paid addons available and the development fund also has never been so high.

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(Pasquale Pasqualone) #20

but i have seen that many people ask money also to teach how to do with this sofware, taking from the blender site some tutorials or manuals and translating all …so now i can not find any pdf about some tutorial but only video for free so to know something it needs to watch all site and get the
fleeting moment…
these people have never created anything with this software, but only copied and translate what the developers have done.I don’t think something will change but i am sure that many sharks with the new version of Blender will arrive here too

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(Kogomat) #21

I need to chime in minimally.

I don’t think OP thought paid addons were the main problem. As I see it there is nothing wrong with developers having a return on their effort; but I become concerned at what including more and more paid features would mean for the software and the community. This is where the spirit comes in - as long as there is something other than money that the developers and community focus on a measure of quality is guaranteed. As soon as fund-oriented practices take hold the development will be halted in favour of marketing strategies. This means new features will be held back for future releases to generate hype, low ROI features will be badly developed and not updated, glaring bugs will not be adressed until critical… basically it will just be another soulless corporation.

I’ve seen this happen with some free software already; I also wrote
a blog post you can find here. It’s a litttle seedy, but point is that there is a clear distinction in quality of software given its “spiritual” foundation. It is one of the reasons I believe open source is the best long-term investment (for erffort and time), because people who develop it will do so because they want to improve it.

Again, I have nothing against developers being paid. I pay into the fund when I can, and I can’t wait to join the cloud again, and I will always be the first to say that devs shouldn’t be pressurred. Just saying “spirit” is not such a stupid concept as some would think.

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