Will Blender 2.8 be more adopted by AAA industry, changing perceptions ?

Blender was seen in the AAA industry as something unreliable. If you want to get into industry, you have to learn Maya. Because now we have more info about Blender 2.8, the question is- could it change this perception, of a software for hobbyists ?

Now I return to one of my older threads. Hopefully this one doesn’t turn in software war, like that one

Now, we know that Blender 2.8 will feature templates and workspaces. Both templates and workspaces will be fully customizable by users. They could even be shared over a network, so all the studio could share the same workflow.

Now the question is, if the community or Blender Foundation itself provides a template specially designed for Maya users, will AAA studios adopt Blender ?

 In my oppinion, I could say that Blender 2.8 has the potential to be a game changer. Here are other reasons:
  1. Learning Maya interface and keymaps might be a challange. Pros don’t like to change their habbits, so a template would provide them a seamless transition. For people wanting to get into the Industry, Blender might become a great alternative to Autodesk educational softwares. It a student would like to build a model to sell or use in a game, he could easily switch to Blender, keeping his habbits.
  2. Blender 2.8 will have better wireframe view, so you won’t get disoriented
  3. Custom manipulators make things easier and faster
  4. Viewport - you could handle a lot more pollys in 2.8, and Eevee render engine would make modelling a what you see is what you get experience in pipelines with game engines like Unreal 4
  5. The new Depsgraph has the potential to bring animation to Maya or Max level.
  6. Rigging and Animation could get their own separate workspaces, so no more confusion.

I find it annoying that you have to create a controll rig in order to animate. ( yeah…in UE4 pipelines, this gets complicated, and you get angry soon when things start to fail)

What do you think ?

What do you think ?

Unlikely, any chance in fact would be a near impossible task for the BF.

The massive enhancements coming to Blender in 2.8 is not enough, the reason why is that many in the AAA industry would only convert their pipelines to a completely new piece of software if it was the best (as in, Blender was beating the commercial solutions in every conceivable manner). The BF doesn’t even have close to the amount of resources needed to topple Max and Maya in every possible area.

Even if Blender became the best and even if the developers did everything right, it may still not happen because of Blender being GPL (so they wouldn’t be able to use their favorite proprietary tools, and by now is a license which is impossible for the BF to get out of).

In short, when considering all of the facts, courting studios like ILM and Weta would pretty much be a quixotic endeavor and the BF shouldn’t even try. The best that can be done is the continued expansion of Blender use in small and medium-sized studios (along with increased use in schools) and (eventually) you might see little bits of Blender in major productions.

What I heard from a guy who wrote a good chunk of Weta’s rendering engine is that the management in Weta doesn’t really like Blender (‘hate’ would be, in fact, a more appropriate choice of words in one particular case).

I work in the game industry and know several people who use Blender as their main tool. One of them used to work for Capcom, but was recommended Blender by a colleague, but in general, larger companies use commercial tools, since the artists are mostly trained to use things like Maya and ZBrush before they enter employment, so it makes little sense to convert them to something like Blender. Also, for a large company, paying artists thousands of dollars a month, another $100/month on tools is a bargain if it helps them do a better job. In addition, there is a company that can be contacted for support if needed, whereas it would be a lot trickier for a large company to rely on the Blender Foundation or the community for support as no professional support plans exist (afaik).

Personally, the only issue I have with using Blender at work is fbx support. Fbx is widely used in the games industry, and although Blender does support it, we have an artist/animator in a different location who only uses Maya, and importing and exporting files that he has worked on can have sometimes give incorrect results. Static meshes are usually not problematic though, which is a relief, since that’s what I am working on most of the time. To be honest, importing usually seems fine, but I just don’t have the confidence in Blender’s fbx support to re-export someone else’s work after tweaking it, so I just keep hands off and ask him to do it. Still, from what I hear, supporting fbx is apparently a complete nightmare when you can’t use the official implementation because of the gpl-incompatible license, so I remain thankful to BF that there is fbx support at all.

Larger company uses commercial software for the immediate technical support and because their clients are only willing to pay top dollar if the facility uses expensive software. However, a lot of artist uses a lot of secondary software like Blender at work everyday. Nobody care if you use Blender or Maya for modeling and UV, as long as you get the job done and can bring it into one of the major software pipelines. With Alembic and FBX, that isn’t a problem anymore. Nobody cares if you use Substance Painter or photoshop to texture as long as you can switch between apps using PSDs. PBR Material with Metal Roughness is making materials between apps more compatible. However, that doesn’t work so well with animation, simulation, compositing, etc. No real compatibility in those area.

How so? The GPL pertains to Blenders code not content or interop / other apps.

True, but Blender could find a spot in the AAA pipeline if it had some feature it really excelled at, tall order still, but a far cry from beating everything else in everything.

Not following this reasoning, GPL only kicks in during distribution, the AAA industry can use Blender together with all their proprietary stuff as much as they want during their production.

Of all the replies I think its Mr_Flamy who gets closesest to what I have experienced.

Its about pipeline integration and lack of a dedicated technical support. Especially around more advanced studio pipeline areas. Also lack of detailed documentation in this area. Possibly there could be something like this set up in the near future that pro users and studios could pay into like the Cloud.Or could this become a feature of the cloud?

I dont think its about the quality of the tools. Blender is developing so fast now. All I’m experiancing right now is a lot of buzz and enthusiasm from people. I use it all the time myself now in a work environment simply because its just become my favourite app for so many things. I think the days of Blender being looked down on as that free one are fast disappearing. Although I’ve hardly ever encountered that attitude myself and the last time I did was quite a few years ago now and just from one person.

I also dont think its the interface or key map. There is always room for improvement. But most people in the industry are pretty adaptable and will learn something if its worth it. As long as there is the time.

Its pipeline integration that needs most focus. If the pipeline side gets more clear then I think the rest would follow very quickly.

It does feel like the momentum is building now though. Several animated features are being made on Blender pipelines and isnt that one of the aims of the Agent project too?
I thought this was also one of the main aims of project Gooseberry as well. To help develop a more clear and reliable studio pipeline for Blender and developing better workflow tools for coordinating teams and studios across the world. But sadly the funding didn’t come together that time.

Peoples opinion is their own, if they think Blender sucks and is a freeware piece of crap that is their perception. I said this before on the forums I worked in a studio where Max,Zbrush and PS was used. The custom engine had its own binary export format and the exporter was only for Max. So I did everything in Blender then exported to Max and re-weighted or copied weights and exported. After I left there, the artist group grew in number and people which used Maya was added to the mix. At that point the lead programmer who maintained the exporter for max had too much work to do and didn’t want to mess with implementing an exporter for maya so what did they do ?

The lead told his team to use FBX SDK to implement the format to the engine. Maya people exported to fbx and max people exported to the custom binary format. (Max to FBX had some issues apparently so they stuck with the old way of doing things…)

So during my time out of 30 artist 1 was using Blender (me), now out of 40+ artists 1 is using Blender (another artist)…

If it weren’t for this fbx issue a lot of medium sized studios would implement Blender some way or another…

More Alembic and Python integration too would have a big impact. It’s true that Blender seems at least very good at exporting static meshes to other 3d apps in fbx though and that is such a useful feature. Imagine if it went further than that. But it’s still possible to export animation to game engines like Unity right ?

But this is surely the main issue now ? Plugging Blender into a studio or small team pipeline. Being able to string everything together for multiple users, machines and processes. People are doing it, but it only seems to be in heavily customised workflows with a lot of in house tech support. This sort of workflow needs to be more widely and easily accessible.

As a stand alone generalist app to do everything Blender is pretty awesome already.

Sure, but that only applies to the technology they build in-house with no plans for distribution.

The GPL can still be seen as a problem for studios that make use of tools like FumeFX, Realflow, Thinking Particles, Vray ect… and don’t want to abandon them just so they can do everything in Blender (at least they cannot be integrated in an efficient way with no need of hopping between special builds or relying on slow Python-based connections).

As much as I like the fact of Blender not becoming a sort of base where you need to spend thousands on additional tools, it’s a different story for some studios that treat a DCC app. as just that.

Big companies have big pipelines and if you want to work for them you just have to know the software they use inhouse.
Period. This is really not a hard questions.

If you know Max but they use Maya well learn Maya - get a trial since Autodesk is very friendly in that regards.

However poly modeling in Blender is like in Maya is like in 3DMax so knowing the concepts is good.
Knowing more apps is also good. Knowledge can be transferred.

I have 5 students doing an internship at Ford Motor company they got in because of their good modeling skills and
quality portfolio work. At work they learn Maya and it is pretty easy for them.

Agree absolutely with what you just wrote Cekuhnen. If you work in the industry you end up needing to know lots of different apps at one time or another. It’s best to focus on core universal skills and the foundations are all the same. They are tools for creating. Each new app gets easier once you have the core skills.

It’s good these days to try to keep as software agnostic as possible if you want to stay employable. But as well as that. Knowing more than one well, I feel also makes it easier to help keep a sense of perspective about these things.

All the best.


yeah the size and style of the company is also important. Ford uses Maya for car subD modeling while as it seems Tatar Motors realized that you don’t really need the industry standard (laughing here) has to be used because Blender can do the same faster better is free and can be further developed.

But Tatar unlike Pixar is making just concept models to evaluate - later the design will be made in a proper CAD app anyway.
So Blender is a middle ware here.

But also for freelancer like myself or smaller studios Blender can be just all you need.

What’s really an industry standard - that term is fluid and today I would consider Blender not be what Monlight 3D and K-3D are (nice projects) but rather a pro grade mid-level authoring tool.

A very good example of some technology that is established or at least is getting adapted by the industry is Allegorithmic’s Substances. They are widely used, but a tight integration in Blender seems almost impossible due to the license restrictions.
If a company is using Substances, they can’t use Blender. Of course it is possible to convert Substances into images, but a lot of flexibility is lost like this and as such one of the strengths of the technology.

Even though Max and Maya are still the kings in the hood, most of the features they add aren’t that useful for daily workflow. A guy told me that he is still sticking with some basic functions for everyday use and those rather “exciting” features are maybe used 0.05% of the time. The funny thing is, that Blender does the same, but faster and still it isn’t accepted from the Industry xD
I do hope (and everyone) that 2.8 will hit it like a train. Hopefully.

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Because in the end when you need those special functions Blender just does not have them.
that cancels it out form the start.

Your correct. And It’s shameful.
Not being accepted and getting some respect in the Industry is pissing me off and Im sure Im not the only one. Though Im a chilled person ^^

I find it interesting that people can pull off cool art with MS paint vs Photoshop. It’s still based alot on Skill imho.

Except the whole “it’s the artist not the tool” argument has not only been debunked for a while now, but the widespread use of it back in Blender’s early days tried to work toward the prevention of the development of important features such as Ngons, GI, and others. It has done more to block progress than to facilitate it.

Sure, a person could make amazing art in MS Paint, but a person with access to advanced 2D painting tools can bang out the same work much faster (even if the person in question had a lower level of skill than the guy using MS Paint). 3D can also be a completely different animal in this regard because a new feature might allow the easy creation of something that used to be very difficult, if not impossible (try simulating things like hair manually and see how far you get).

I do find it a bit hard to believe that Blender is just unavailable, too. There are some things Blender does very well, and I’d think it would be sort of odd to limit an artist if Blender is the best tool.

I don’t necessarily see Blender being used as the primary application though. Big studios have too much invested in Maya. Not only in Maya itself, but also in their custom toolsets. Even if porting these tools into Blender would be possible, I can’t imagine this would be cost effective.