Why Blender Isn't Industry Standard

Hey Guys, we’ve been getting a lot of requested for this topic on the FlippedNormals YouTube channel, why Blender isn’t an industry standard tool. I hope this can spark some discussions about this and how to get closer to that end goal :smile:

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You guys have made some good points but i think the new generation of Artists have the responsibility to change the Industry not just with Open Source but with the mindset to improve the quality too.
It’s in our hands to do that, so i hope we live to see it in our lifetime.

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All imho, currently hobbist again.

Blender just have to do what they did in the last 10 years. A steady development for all users out there (not just vfx stuff). Beeing experimental, open to usual and unusual workflows ( my favorite is using subdivision edges as a spline cage (but without the disadvantages of splines…wich opens a whole “new” modeling aproach), or the whole grease pencil development). I’m not that much interested in blender adopting industry standard workflows, but adapting them by improving them.

I think blenders best step into the “vfx industry” is, as a secondary application you got at hand to solve specific problems. and in areas where the pipeline is not as fixed (matte painting / concept art, partly modeling, depending on pipeline). And thats a good thing… because that way it can grow without beeing a such big dependency to the production. I think a slow adoption if more fruitfull on longterm

As for using older / different versions of blender…well thats currently the modus operandi…sorry…Having 5-6 versions of blender on harddisk is not unusual, it would be really interesting to see how and if studios would adopt to that.

As for technical support…I’ve got a handfull of bugs reported where I could dive myself in the code and pinpoint the problem code wise, and it speed up offical bugfixing significantly. (Bugfix done in half a day).
…and even if not (wich happened one time, since a major rewrite of that feature was planed) I could still use my fix locally. Blenders source is quite good to read / getting into it for most parts. The big hurdle for custom blenders is keeping your own local modifications in sync with blenders git for a longer period of time. (Also interesting to see how studios would adopt to the fact)

Also as you said, its not about “winning”, eg not “beeing the best in something.” but its all about “beeing good enough” where blender is currently gaining ground and where it creates the userbase and workflows. Like beeing good enough for industrial visualistation, archviz etc.

Also the term “Industry standard” is not a monolithic as it sounds, as said in a previous posts, the pipeline in studios are obviously opening up to other software. As for modeling you can see a growing number of job ads wich are very indifferent towards the software used. Once you open up a pipeline for one program its a lot easier to add others. So adding blender to a pipeline is easier then it was 8-5 years ago.
Wich is a good thing: we should use the software we experience the most fun in. Not beeing asked to use a specific tool (Yes I’m dreaming)

so not disagreeing to your obersvation, just adding my 2 cents on this. Maybe because I’m reacting a bit allergic to the term “industry standard”

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It will be interesting to see what happens. I’m pretty optimistic that Blender will be a common tool in pipelines in the next 3 years or so. Just based on the rapid development, and the amount of people picking it up. In my experience, the tech industries change a lot faster than people think.

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It’s simply a question of years of deeply entrenched autodesk pipeline in many studios around the world.

Many studios have written ton of in house plugins made for these pipeline and changing to something else for many is simply out of the question.

The other main reason is imagine having 500 employees that know only autodesk for years to train them to a complete new package!

I am pretty sure the big studio will incorporate Blender in their pipeline gradually but they will also keep what took them years to build.

I live in the capital of video games and what we hear a lot around recently is the edit mode performance issue and undo that keep them from giving Blender a try, many said they are following and once these issues are iron out they are willing to give a shot.

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The term industry standard is just nice to throw in there because it gets us on the same page I think.
Immediately we know what’s being talked about.

I think it’s great to hear about the use cases in archviz as I used to work in that field before. I would have loved to switch from Max to Blender back then if we had 2.8 back then!

But like we mention in the video, I think it’s a question of time. We’re already seeing more adoption, and the more attention it get’s from bigger outlets as well as funding from serious players, the more people will start to use it.

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Personally, from being in the trenches and seeing how slow companies are to even upgrade to new versions of a software, I think it’ll be closer to 10.
It really shouldn’t be underestimated for larger companies the amount of dependencies they have with in-house pipeline tools.
I would love to see it faster, I’m just not sure it’s gonna happen that fast.

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I’m pretty much on board with this as well.
I see Blender being introduced for smaller tasks in the beginning in various departments.
And I think it will slowly grow from there.

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Where Blender will truly shine and this has already start a few years ago is in the indie game development sector and independent movies.

This will explode as Blender development goes on!

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Every company that does (anything-at-all) in CG is going to select “some tool-chain, some workflow,” and then … use it forever. That decision might be mandated by the technical requirements of the project(s) for which they are a subcontractor, or by their upstream/downstream requirements. It might partly be a product of “what was the best thing that was available at that time.” But, from that point forward, they are quite-naturally going to be change-intolerant. The business risks of fundamentally changing “a process that is known to work” will almost never be overcome.

All that having been said, "Blender today bears precious little resemblance to Blender yesterday," and for lots of very good reasons. Plenty of CG shops today have standardized their workflows around Blender. (And, once again, will now be “change-intolerant” regarding it.)

Yes exactly, and there’s definitely a change happening.
But I’m truly curious to see how it will evolve.
At present I’m struggling to see Blender “overtake” the other standardized software, just because of companies reliance on previously developed in-house tools.

It would be interesting to see if there would ever be a business version developed that would allow companies to talk directly to the blender org to try and push blender forward

what do you mean? Blender’s goal is to be for everyone… f**k the industry.
Goal achieved since ages.
Let’s keep it that way.

Corporate membership sponsors get personal attention from the Blender team. Plus, the software is Open Source. Studios can just modify it themselves as if it were an in-house tool. Cryptomatte, for example, was developed by Tangent Animation for their movie NextGen.

Not really for everyone if your attitude is “f**k the industry”. Not everyone is a hobbyist. Only good things can happen for blender when the “industry” also partakes in the project. Keep in mind, developers like Brecht (Cycles) have also worked for what you would dub, “the industry”.

You can only hurt blender if we start attacking industry folk. Blender users had a bad reputation in the past due to such behavior, lets let that stay in the past.

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Well Said, couldn’t agree more!

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Two responses:

  • Above all, I feel very strongly that Blender should never “fork.” Don’t try to create a “business version.”
  • In my experience, “computer software never ‘overtakes’ computer software.” Because, at the end of the day, we’ve all got contracts to fill, and deadlines to meet. We develop processes (yes, including a fair amount of “in-house tools”), and thus create both a tool-chain and an entire repeatable process that “delivers the freight.” And if that involves license fees, we simply charge those off to the appropriate accounting category.

At the end of the day, there is and there always will continue to be a selection of “professional-grade 3D software options.” However, today, it can honestly be said that Blender has fully joined their august company. Blender has arrived. It can indeed stand alongside all the rest as a viable software platform upon which one could make a business.

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I didn’t read that as a request for a “fork” so much as a division of the Blender Foundation that is set up to deal with the kind of support a larger business might need and that they, the businesses can buy into (buying = funding the hiring of those who can provide high end support).

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They could have used same arguments, 10 years ago.

Blender is now a standard. It is not “the” standard for Hollywood.
It does not mean that is not used by artists in big studios.
It does not mean that they never had heard about Blender.
The simple fact that nobody omits it into a discussion about “what are 3D Software applications available ?” means that it is a standard.

OK, there is not a lot of documentation about 2.8 and tutorials using 2.8 UI.
I have a piece of news for you : 2.8 UI is a WIP like 2.5 was.
2.81’s file browser is a lot different than 2.80’s one.
2.81’s Outliner is a lot different than 2.80’s one.
2.8 workflow is a WIP.
2.80 is not able to display different Collections into two 3d Viewport without creating two separated windows. You can do it in 2.81.
You have no Library Override in 2.80. You will have them in 2.81. There will be some feedback and they will probably be different in 2.82.
So, currently, people who are making tutorials, don’t expect them to be still valid in 6 months.

There will be a moment when workflow will crystallize. But It is really hard to say when because of huge amount of projects that have been launched.
When most of big concepts like everything nodes will be a reality in official release ; that would become a lot more easy to make in depth tutorials.
But currently, something like multi-object editing is new stuff for everyone in Blender community. It is hard to think about exploiting such changes, fluently ; when it is partially working or you are simply not used to it, yet.
There will be a lot of tutorials when people who knows Blender will be fluent in 2.8.
But for the moment, they are waiting for missing 2.79 features, for 2.8 original design additions, for community improvement suggestions or bugfixes.

You will not produce a tutorial about Hair Editing as long as tools to cut hair are broken.
You will not take pleasure to create a tutorial about textures with its unsatisfying UI and convoluted way of baking textures. And if you know that Pablo and Lukas have plans to improve them, you are more inclined to wait.

During 2.5x series, UI changes attracted a lot of people. But reality is that for 2.4x users, a decent workflow was only restored for 2.6x series. And after that stabilization, Blender was recognized as a standard by many people while 2.7x series. (If you are not convinced by that, just take a look to Blender youtube channel. There was already many talks at Blender Conference in 2016).
2.8 initiated another cycle. But now, the scale of Blender community is a lot different.
And if your project is ignoring several areas of Blender, you can produce an A to Z tutorial with 2.80.
At last year conference, Juma Jurabaev explained how he used Blender 2.8 without knowing lots of basics of Blender.
He made tutorials about Grease Pencil v.2 but don’t expect him to produce tutorials about motion tracking.

OK. There is not always a person teaching Blender in every art school.
But, nowadays, if you pretend yourself being an artist interested in concept art or previz ; and never had open Blender : you will probably be seen as a young, ignorant or arrogant guy.
Probably as much as if you never heard about Unity use in same domain.
If during a discussion, you say : “I open it, did not understand anything, tried to follow a tutorial, felt uncomfortable and abandon it.” : that is fine.
But if you spread an opinion about Blender without having tried it : nobody will take you, seriously.
That is the big difference between current situation and old situation that was existing, years ago.
People were just repeating opinion of their teacher without really understanding what forged that opinion.

We succeeded to invert that being most frequent behavior. Students are trying Blender and they don’t understand why it is not used everywhere. Well. Reason is simple : it is far to be perfect for every task and they still have things to learn.

But at the end, everybody have to try Blender. It is widely used. So, it became a standard.

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Let me just mention that I’ve heard from a trusted source that the ‘industry standard’ marketing efforts of Autodesk are much more comprehensive than the actual worldwide amount of officially licensed Maya and 3ds Max users. Appearances can be deceptive.

I was a 3ds Max user since the late 1990s, and was also an official Autodesk beta tester for several years, until in 2012 I had become fed up with the stalled feature innovation, the software instability and the high pricing.

After switching to Blender 2.5 it didn’t take long to discover that Blender is constructed very logically. 2.8 has made Blender more accessible to new and switching users, but it was already a powerhouse deserving to be discovered and appreciated by the masses. It’s great that Blender has now become a rapidly rising star in the 3D world.

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Their marketing efforts are working I guess. The perception can be half the battle.
Especially when you look at Blender and what the general professional perception of it has been for many years now.
But I do believe that is changing.

I wouldn’t say any software as such deserves anything. But I love how accessible Blender makes 3d for everyone! I have no love for any particular software, but I do have a love for 3d. And if we can spread that to more people, then I’ll be satisfied.

It’s great to see so much innovation coming to Blender, especially, like you say when Maya has been stale for a long time.

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