[Bf-committers] Render Plugin Development

Bobby Parker sh0rtwave at gmail.com
Wed Aug 15 17:11:17 CEST 2007

I wasn't suggesting that it be put in place immediately, but that some
initial planning (and idea bantering) be done. We all know how
software development and design works, and how hard it can be to
force-fit something designed for one thing into a different
model/paradigm. So I think while we have the opportunity to influence
the design process to create a system that's as flexible as possible
(within the bounds of what blender's intended for), that we should
take that opportunity.

> * As for render specific settings, I always imagined an extra panel that
> would be used to select custom renderer settings.
> However, the downside of this is the user would be faces with a large
> number of settings and only a small number would be used in the final
> output.

>From the renderman perspective, not just render-specific settings
(i.e. scene global) but object-level settings will need to be added
for truly flexible support, so that would be *two* extra panels, if
not more. I'm not terribly up-to-date on what other renderers might
need, but I see the possibility for a range of object-level options,
not just when it comes to Renderman.

I don't know if the argument of a "large number of settings, and only
a small number would be used" is necessarily correct. Depending upon
the scene, they could all be used...but I have a suggestion:

Instead of a panel that contains *all* settings, why not allow a user
to ADD a given setting to an object's "custom properties" panel? ID
Props provides us a usable framework to effect this, so we'd be
dealing with a simple extension of that, perhaps by having a
"RenderPlugin" subcategory of ID Props.

I think about it working in much the same way you can add actions and
constraints in the gaming engine.

If we allow the export plugin to register a group of options that show
up in a combo-box or something, the user can then choose the option to
add, and voila', done. This will keep "option bloat" to a minimum and
maybe result in a less cumbersome UI...not to mention it'll be less
visually complex when troubleshooting a scene.

Bobby Parker
sh0rtwave at gmail.com

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