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Feb 18

A glimpse of the future

icon1 caedes | icon2 Development | icon4 02 18th, 2008

Blender showing some cs object with parallax shader

It should be about time we comment a little bit on integration improvements which will be worked on for blender and cs.

Basically improvements should come from three main areas:

  • cs preview inside blender
  • better integration of b2cs ui in blender
  • generic node ui for logic, animation and shaders

The first means we will have a real cs view in blender, that will be used for preview of lighting, materials, testing logic in sandbox, previewing animations… this should help to get rid of the “export, change, export” workflow.

Second is about going further into the direction of a blender total mod, we should have better integration with the blender ui in general by devising better ways to extend blender. Ie, instead of having to put everything in overlay interface we aim for real (b2)cs panels that look just like the blender ones. For this we depend a lot on blender 2.5 development, so it is still uncertain how far we can get there during apricot.

And finally, about the node editor thing, the idea is to make or choose some generic node framework for editing different stuff. Yes, blender has a node thing for materials, but we want it also for animations and logic (at least). It’s uncertain if such a generic framework exists or can be made, but certainly we’ll try and of course feedback is appreciated.

Now about screenie… its first correct renderings of cs inside blender showing a parallaxed object, and as such first outcome of collaboration of the main coders here (Frank providing the opengl and cs sweetness, Campbell providing more and more python hooks into blender guts, and Pablo doing all the monkey work). Nice? Well, thats nothing compared to whats coming ;-).

Enjoy the week!


36 Responses

  1. oblenob on

    Brilliant WOW

  2. Grafixsuz on

    Great to hear you guys are on a good start. Keep the updates coming.

  3. dusty on

    OH! I did not realise just how closely these two would be working with each other. In that case, GOOD LUCK AND SUPPORT FROM ME!!! Now I just need to find some money for the DVD. Hmmmmmmm

  4. sem on

    Some links about existing logic node frameworks:




    hiasm (free but documentation only in Russian)

  5. Baum on

    Very intersting.

    If possible: keep it as general as possible, so that it is possible to integrate other engines into blender.
    I think there are many people who would like to see this working with Ogre3D.

  6. mutze on

    Now when I realize how closely they will work together I will buy a copy as soon as possible! And this seams to be exactly what a 3DS Max using friend of mine is looking for. Maybe I finally can make him use blender instead? 😉

  7. Clint on

    Looks fantastic — thanks so much for the encouraging update! It looks like you guys are really going to rock this out — I’m looking forward to receiving my DVD! 🙂

  8. mal on

    Nice work – I agree with Baum, in that it should be tested with at least one other popular 3D engine ( eg OGRE3D ) – by having 2 tested and working examples, this will ensure that other commercial companies could easily integrate their custom 3D engines.

    For example, I’d like to see about integrating a Shockwave 3D live preview – so the setup should also allow to communicate with a closed graphics system, but where the coder can program events to handle eg receiving the 3D scene, and change events.

    Keep up the great work ( and the postings! )

  9. kattkieru on

    I think the one thing that would help with engines aside from Crystal Space is full FBX support. The current exporter has a few issues and does not support certain FBX features. Export from Blender to, for example, Unity, produces jumpy animation. And without an FBX importer Blender can’t really be a full part of the pipeline.

    I really hope you guys get the animation nodes working, though. Plugging rotate x from one object into rotate y for another, through a mapper that changes the values, would be awesome.

  10. Cyberdigitus on

    I remember a pdf? file a while ago (or a few years maybe?) from someone who made a comparative study of blender GE logic buttons and other realtime engines with a visual flow programming style. I’m not sure if it’s still somewhere on the blender site or wherever, but might be worthwhile to dig it up. One of the applications that have such visual node programming is Virtools. Another is Kismet in the unreal 3 engine.

    nodes for animation… would that mean you can layer interactive, script and preanimated sequences, like in source and unreal, where you can have a lookat constraint for the head, ik for feet, and attach props on the run?

    very interesting seeing the engine’s viewport in blender already.

    Oh, and bring on 2.5 !!!

  11. Cyberdigitus on

    concerning the logic nodes, i suppose every active object would have a network of nodes attached. grouping nodes would be important, like you already can with material/compositing, so you could have a complex setup with some prefab nodes, some script nodes, group that and just expose the value sliders, again with some simple nodes.

    would be nice if the outliner or some new list type would show all objects having logic on them then.

    What is important with such an aproach is that you have a few standards in how to do stuff, ie give the user full freedom with the tool, but find out what are best ways in practice, since with code on objects, you can quickly get in a situation where it gets all over the place and get’s difficult to manage.

  12. gaalgergely on

    wow, great job frank, campbell and pablo! bge is not really my most favourite part in blender but you guys make me more curious about it. :O

  13. caedes on

    To Cyberdigitus:

    Of course i have read that pdf, and its deeply rooted in our plans ;). Also virtools and kismet are on the target.

    I didn’t want to span conversation about the logic system actually, but just to let you know, i intend to do another post on the logic system we intend to use and possible interfaces soon-ish.

    About animation nodes you got it right, the idea is something like unreal too, although i’m not working on it directly, but thats it if i understood.

  14. caedes on

    About other engines. Our intent is to go as far as possible with cs and cel, and as such, we will be laying the ground for other engines who would want to do similar stuff in the future.

    Ie, everything possible will be kept general. So.. do you want rt view, do you want nodes? custom windows? custom drawtypes? better outliner? blender 2.5 to be more game engine friendly? then this is your project 😉 (of course don’t take all of this as a contract… some targets are still uncertain).

  15. Jonny on

    I’d like a Ogre3D integration, too! The features you are writing for blender, will they be integrated in the next blender release or are they additions that have to be loaded from the dvd/the project site?

    By the way! I really, really like the idea of these fruity projects 😀 !


  16. Mark on

    Owww, really really nice.

    Being able to see what you develop in blender in the engine you use is always a huge huge pro.

    Love to see this one in upstream blender 😀

  17. verb on

    Very nice, you have my support 🙂

  18. caedes on

    to Jonny:

    Everything goes to upstream (and is actually already in svn’s). Basically… its nothing new really, this was mostly already possible in blender (at least what you see in that screenie). We will document everything so other people will be able to do similar stuff with their own engines or whatever, but of course feel free to ask other questions.


  19. Franciisco Ortiz on

    Great work guys! I know that you have just six mouths but i would like to see this sistem integrated to:
    -A web plugin
    -A flametrower
    -a Jet navigation sistem!

    :))Just keep up the good work.

  20. Kirado on

    excellent news.. you’ve got my support.. will have to find someone with a credit card to help me buy a dvd 😉

  21. youaresomean on

    to kattkieru:
    my hopes are on collada improvements which sees wide adoption in the games industry.

  22. paul on

    Same here, I think COLLADA is the way to go. Though in addition to that, full FBX support would be obviously great. 😉

  23. wayne on

    Wow.. there are a lot of strange comment requests here.. !

    I know that Pablo and Jorrit have been working on this for some time.. nice to see a focus on it.

    I read in an earlier post that you were thinking of bagging genmesh and creating a whole new skeletal animation system. Is this true??

  24. MistaED/Alex on

    Wayne: more like enhancing/replacing genmeshanim2 to the whole new skeletal animation system. This will also be a replacement for the aging/unmaintained cal3d. I personally CAN’T WAIT FOR THIS :D!!!

  25. Sequence on

    Wow!! Now This is some great news (!!). I’ve been working with bender and cs for a long time, but some of the problems that b2cs has (had 😉 – well, once this is open for others ), have been a real pain as far as creating ‘worlds’ and exporting them. It’s good to know that the compatibility between both is going to increased. 🙂 – Thank You (!!) to all that are involved, keep up the great work (as far as i can see from the screenshot. 😉 ), please keep us informed, take care (to all that read this) and have fun.

  26. Alexandre Rangel on

    Way to go guys!

  27. Kristofer on

    Any thoughts on using blender-db as a component in this integration? Using a db as a back end would give other possible benefits like smooth integration with CMS-systems like or similar for nice story boarding features.

  28. LOGAN on

    I really would love to see logic bricks be replaced with logic nodes.

    And ofcource I myself would like to see support for other realtime 3D render engines (Quake3 and the coming quake 4, Irrlicht, Ogre, etc. open source engines)

    I think if you’re serious about having Blender integrate into mainstream game developers workflow it’s important to offer ways so projects made with Blender (and CS) would not be locked into GPL releases only. Else even the independent shareware developers can not use it.

    I did not order the DVD because early descriptions suggested Blender only being used as modeling / texturing tool.

    I hope this will lay the way for good level edit tools so I could export levels that are directly playable into Quake… or other engines.

  29. LW on

    I agree with Logan, don’t lock developers into the GPL, otherwise it will never sail with anyone trying to do a commercial product.

  30. jorrit on

    To LOGAN and LW: who is locking anything to the GPL? CS is LGPL anyway. That allows commercial usage.

  31. darek on

    There is no problem with GPL/LGPL + commercial usage. People misunderstood that licenses.

  32. caedes on

    Stop the FUD with the (l)gpl please XD.

    You can make your own commercial or privative product based on cs or blender (btw, commercial doesnt mean you keep the source code privative, also.. privative doesnt mean it has to be commercial). PLEASE inform yourselves you will benefit greatly (actually, you just discovered you can use GPL and LGPL stuff for commercial, doesnt it open a huge world?).

  33. caedes on

    Ah, one more remark on the license thing… note you will even be able to use all textures and models for commercial projects also, not just the tools or code.


  34. Digital FX Artist on

    It seems like modeling and animation nodes would work together pretty well. The way I thought of to do this is make every tool a node(i.e. extrude, sub-divide faces, etc.). By doing this you would create a construction history, allow developers to easily create new tools simply by creating new nodes, and easily integrate animation and logic right into the node/construction history. If you have any questions, email me at

  35. Ron on

    looks great. :>
    how did u integrate cs view into blender???

  36. Nate on

    You mentioned a node based system for logic animation and for shaders. Check out Unreal Engine 3.0 they have all 3 systems in node based form and its works really good. The animation system is now node based and can be directly piped into the inputs and such from the logic system. This is also useful with the shader system being node based my only gripe about their node based shading system is that the light model is not broken out from the material and is instead integrated directly with material. For many reasons to long to list here that is a bad setup as a case and point you can not have more than one light model for a particular surface which is a bad deal if you are trying to simulate dirt on top of metal because you have to go with one light model or another and you can not get an accurate representation. Another system that is node based for game development is Virtools. I personally think Unreal Engine 3 system is better. For a more advanced real time node based shader system you can have a look at Mental Mill which is a free node based program for creating real time shaders from mental images. I would also like to see Ogre 3D working with Blender along with CS. That would be a good test. You can get your hands on Unreal Engine 3 by buying a copy of Unreal Tournament 3. Here is a link to the how to Wiki tutorial for the Unreal Engine 3 editor.

    A lot of game studios are going the direction of the node based method. This would be in keeping with industry the direction that you guys are headed.

    Hope this helps,