[Bf-committers] ICE

Randall Rickert randall at rickert-digital.com
Fri Oct 31 18:01:16 CET 2008

I just attended a Softimage seminar where they demonstrated ICE. Some  
of you will already be familiar with it, but if you haven't seen it  
yet, it's a graphical node-based extension system. Imagine the  
functionality of Blender's Python API being available through the  
node system now being used only for material/composite nodes, and  
you'll have a pretty good idea of what it is. It was conceived as a  
way to make a better particle system and grew to expose the whole  
API, so it can be used to create new tools, modifiers, effects, etc.

Aside from giving access to the whole API, most of the features the  
lecturer was excited about are already part of Blender's node system,  
such as automatic type conversion where nodes are connected (such as  
vector to scalar or scalar to vector) and ability to group a  
collection of nodes so it can be treated as a single node and easily  


The two most interesting things I heard in the seminar (and why I  
thought it would be interesting to Blender developers):

1. It's already being used by a few game studios to prototype games.  
Sound familiar? The screenshot in the ICE page above even shows state  
machine nodes.

2. The Softimage rep claimed that ICE was the reason Autodesk decided  
to acquire Softimage.


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