[Bf-committers] Render Plugin Development

Matt Ebb matt at mke3.net
Thu Aug 16 05:18:29 CEST 2007

On 8/16/07, Campbell Barton <cbarton at metavr.com> wrote:
> Hi, taking the completely separate material settings route would work
> but, opens up some issues.
> Blenders material will still exist under the render material, where will
> object colors in the 3d view come from?

That's a minor issue, but perhaps you could standardise on some sort of
conventions like at least a 'DiffuseRGB' property that is looked for by the
OpenGL display drawing. How much of an externally rendered material can be
approximated in the 3D View is another pandora's box entirely, especially
with the GLSL project on the horizon too...

Conversion from a blender material is fine. but whats the best way to
> convert back, or is this needed?

As an example, a user might have a model for architectural rendering,
and want to see how it renders in a number of engines.

you could get into situations like...

> "Id like to switch back to use blenders internal to render an animation,
> but I dont want to have to set up all my materials again"

Well, a backwards conversion capability would definitely be nice, but in
terms of priority I think Blender->External is far more important
(especially since such functionality would be reused, when rendering blender
materials in external renderer).

If you're going to be switching renderers and experimenting, by definition
if you use renderer-specific features, they won't be able to carry across to
other renderers. If you want to be able to switch around freely, you use a
lowest common denominator - the Blender material.

Having non-separate materials would not alleviate this situation, in fact it
would be much worse, since if each renderer is reusing each Blender's
settings to mean all sorts of different things per renderer, there won't be
that lowest common denominator (Blender standard material) that you can rely
on to get similar results, and you'll have to just try and remember, for all
of the different renderers what weird interpretations they are each using.

I think you've got to realise that different renderers work in completely
different ways (especially nowadays when you've got such conceptually
different renderers such as Indigo and Maxwell, or even something like
Freestyle), and that there can't be a one-size-fits all solution. I think
the best we can do is to provide a base level of support via converting a
blender material at render time, but still allow people to use the
capabilities of their renderers in full.


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