[Bf-committers] Blender Grant for sponsored development

Duarte Ramos duarte_ramos at sapo.pt
Wed Sep 23 18:03:53 CEST 2015

Hello Ton, thanks for the thorough response. 
When I said 'hire' i meant more in the lines of guidance or mentoring, not so much in a legally binding kind of contact with deliverables and deadlines , in hindsight it was probably a bad choice of words. I also totally underestimated the legal or financial complications that could be raised.

Anyways, I will follow your advice and set up some document with what i wish to achieve, rather than very specific feature requests and corresponding bounties. I will then share a link to it and hope interested developers will participate. It is very important to get good input because it would be in my best interest and my top priority to have it in a state that would increase it's probability of inclusion in blender official releases, both by code quality standards and feature design . 

Thanks for the wise words and advice. 
Best regards, Duarte Ramos 

Sent from mobile device 

On Sep 23, 2015 09:17, Ton Roosendaal <ton at blender.org> wrote:
> Hi Duarte, 
> In situations like you describe, it's best if a developer contacts you directly to discuss work assignments, targets and invoicing. You can always contact me (in person) to get background information to be confirmed for developers who contact you. 
> Software contracting and support is a real specialized business. I would love to see this taking off (by others :). 
> Doing this myself would mean a huge overhead in my business practices... making decent job descriptions with clients, monitoring progress and reporting back, invoicing, etc. is all stuff I have no people for who can handle that. 
> What you could do on your side is to post a very (very!) clear description of your requirements online (your own website, a public google doc, whatever) and add a reward to it for someone who does this. Make sure that the requirement aligns with how we like to see it in Blender's architecture by involving people here to review it. 
> For example, having seperate color slots for individual segments in curves is might conflict with filling curves. Could make it a confusing feature. It is usually a good trick to not tell coders what to implement, but to tell clearly what you want to achieve as end result (mockups). Who knows other methods or designs exist. 
> Lastly - Blender Foundation does not have employees or a paid staff. I volunteer for the BF - made possible by Blender Institute. The Development Fund pays people 'grants' - coders getting money for generally approved public benefit tasks (reviews, bug fixing, specialized code tasks we really need). If the BF would assign developers commercially defined and paid jobs, we have to legally reform into a limited liable company and hire the developers as employees. 
> I know that there's a grey area - but people who get dev fund grants typically don't get assignments, we just agree on a period of months of support, roughly what the work would be (the coder can write this, no hard deliverables needed) - with as only requirement a regular report on activities. 
> Another grey area exception was money we had from Epic Games, for which they would like to support a developer to work on FBX. I accepted it because we already had someone tackling the issue, and we could support him that way for a longer period. Also this was managed relatively relaxed, without deliverables or hard deadlines for the "client". 
> Hope this clarifies the topic a bit, 
> -Ton- 
> -------------------------------------------------------- 
> Ton Roosendaal  -  ton at blender.org   -   www.blender.org 
> Chairman Blender Foundation - Producer Blender Institute 
> Entrepotdok 57A  -  1018AD Amsterdam  -  The Netherlands 
> On 23 Sep, 2015, at 4:18, Duarte Ramos wrote: 
> > @Dahlia Trimble 
> > Thanks for sharing those links, that sounds like a very relevant project 
> > and will hopefully benefit any potential candidates. 
> > I am no programmer however, and my coding skills are (very) limited 
> > beyond basic copy-pasting or scripting, so I can only hope they will help :) 
> > 
> > @Howard Trickey 
> > Thanks for volunteering, glad to see there are developers interested in 
> > working on these features, all help is appreciated, maybe you could 
> > mentor/collaborate with someone else with more availability? I believe 
> > in compensation for everyone's work, so if this ever gets done maybe 
> > funding can be fairly distributed among participants? I leave these 
> > matters to Ton, I have no knowledge of how this works. 
> > 
> > About the more detailed proposal, I'll just leave it here before we 
> > continue off-list so everyone can grab a basic idea, these would 
> > eventually need to be shared properly somewhere like the Blender Wiki or 
> > something. 
> > Anyway this was pretty much a relatively incoherent 'dump' of all the 
> > requests I collected throughout my time with Blender. Many will likely 
> > need clarification (let me know and I'll explain or even illustrate if 
> > needed), and these will definitely need aggressive scrutinizing on both 
> > technical and practical feasibility. 
> > Blender Sponsored Development for Curves 
> > <http://www.duarteramos.pt/media/share/Blender_Sponsored_Development_for_Curves.html> 
> > Check the lower section "Full Proposal" 
> > 
> > Let me know what you think! 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > 
> > On 23-09-2015 00:37, Dahlia Trimble wrote: 
> >> Hello, 
> >> 
> >> I've written some code in the past which can generate extruded shapes and 
> >> meshes in a manner which may be near to what you describe. The intent of 
> >> the code is to generate meshes for "Prims" as used in Second Life ( 
> >> http://secondlife.com/ ). The code was written primarily to generate 
> >> collision geometry for OpenSimulator ( http://opensimulator.org ), but it 
> >> has since been enhanced to add material faces for use for 3D display. It 
> >> can also use arbitrary paths for extrusion which could be generated by 
> >> bezier curves. It was originally written in the C# language but has been 
> >> ported to several languages, including c++ and Python (for blender). I'm 
> >> not sure if it would serve your purpose but I thought I'd throw it out 
> >> there in case it may help those developing the features you describe, or 
> >> perhaps serve as inspiration. 
> >> 
> >> The C# sources exist at 
> >> http://forge.opensimulator.org/legacy-projects/PrimMesher 
> >> 
> >> There was a c++ port done by the RealXtend project for their "Naali" 
> >> graphical client. I can't seem to find the repository offhand but I believe 
> >> a few of the RealXtend people monitor this list so perhaps they can reply 
> >> with the location. 
> >> 
> >> I believe the RealXtend people also ported it to Blender python and I think 
> >> this is the location: 
> >> https://github.com/b2rex/b2rex/blob/master/scripts/b2rexpkg/tools/primmesher.py 
> >> 
> >> 
> >> 
> >> On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 10:48 AM, Duarte Ramos <duarte_ramos at sapo.pt> wrote: 
> >> 
> >>> Sorry for the double email, the previous one bounced back, this is the 
> >>> actual address I use for the committers mailing list 
> >>> 
> >>> Bezier Curve tools revamp 
> >>> 
> >>> Hello to all members of the Blender Developers mailing list, especially 
> >>> Ton Roosendaal and all blender developers and contributors, my name is 
> >>> Duarte Ramos, and I am seeking a way to sponsor Blender development of a 
> >>> specific set of features regarding Bezier curve tools  by making a 
> >>> monetary donation for a development grant. I wish to inquire about it's 
> >>> feasibility and whole way to go about accomplishing it. 
> >>> 
> >>> TL,DR: 
> >>> 
> >>>   - Do you (Blender Foundation) accept/manage sponsored development of 
> >>> this nature? 
> >>>   - To whom and how should these matters be addressed? 
> >>>   - Does improving bezier curves and tools fit in the whole development 
> >>> process and global vision for the future roadmap? 
> >>>   - Are the features asked for feasible (from both technical and 
> >>> ideological point of view)? 
> >>>   - Are there any available developers willing/motivated/capable of 
> >>> working on such features? 
> >>> 
> >>> The long version 
> >>> 
> >>> I have been a Blender user for about seven years now, closely following 
> >>> development and lurking around the mailing lists and commits logs. What 
> >>> started out as an experiment mostly just for fun and curiosity, ended up 
> >>> becoming my main source of income for my freelance work. I am an 
> >>> architect working mostly in arch viz and rendering of architecture and 
> >>> interior design (you can see some of my early work here 
> >>> http://www.duarteramos.pt/home.html#ArchViz); for a long time I used it 
> >>> simply as a hobby, but lately I find myself relying more and more on 
> >>> Blender for my commercial work. 
> >>> Bezier curve editing clearly is not on the same level of refinement as 
> >>> other areas of modeling, which is totally understandable given Blender's 
> >>> main target audience for whom what we currently have is probably more 
> >>> than enough. I however would love nothing more than to see them 
> >>> improved, and to such end I am willing to make a monetary donation to 
> >>> help in the development of new functionality, so I would like to know if 
> >>> the Blender Foundation would be willing hire/mentor a developer to work 
> >>> on such features; also since I am led to believe that you maintain a 
> >>> relatively open policy about who works on what based at least partially 
> >>> on personal interest, I guess it's also relevant to ask if there are any 
> >>> available developers or programmers, knowledgeable enough and motivated 
> >>> to work in such areas. 
> >>> 
> >>> While modeling for architecture I find myself often using bezier curves 
> >>> as an actual modeling tool and final rendering geometry (lots of 
> >>> extrusion or path based geometries), my main aim here would thus be 
> >>> improving workflow by reducing the need for destructive operations like 
> >>> converting bezier curve objects to meshes. For now what I would 
> >>> initially like to propose would be: 
> >>> 
> >>>   - The ability to assign material slots to curve segments, 
> >>>   - The ability for the 'derived mesh generator' to use said material 
> >>> slots directly from curve object or from a bevel object in the generated 
> >>> mesh. 
> >>>   - Material slots for built-in bevels and rims, perhaps a system akin 
> >>> to the one used with the solidify modifier, with material index offsets(?) 
> >>> 
> >>>  From the user interface point of view this would likely 'just' require 
> >>> making curve segments selectable (like mesh vertex, edge, face selection 
> >>> modes), and the ability to store material slot data to those segments. 
> >>> The 'derived mesh generator' would then have to be able to read these 
> >>> and apply them to the created mesh geometry (with bevels, extrusions and 
> >>> fills). 
> >>> 
> >>> I have prepared a more detailed and complete list of improvements all 
> >>> related to Bezier Curves that I'd like to share. Most are probably too 
> >>> extensive or out of scope for this limited funding, and would likely 
> >>> break backwards compatibility, yet the time seems right for these topics 
> >>> seem to fit well into the 2.8 Workflow Sprint ( 
> >>> http://code.blender.org/2015/07/blender-2-8-the-workflow-release/ ) and 
> >>> the upcoming 2015 conference discussions, with more time to plan and 
> >>> less urge to keep backwards compatibility, allowing for deeper more 
> >>> radical changes. Depending on your opinion about the feasibility of this 
> >>> project and the developer time this limited funding could 'hire' maybe 
> >>> more topics can be tackled, or perhaps instead make some groundwork and 
> >>> set some solid foundations as basis for further improvements in this 
> >>> area if time/funding allows. 
> >>> 
> >>> I was hoping this e-mail would also serve as publicity to get the 
> >>> attention of any additional potentially interested users or companies 
> >>> who may want to contributing with additional funding that can grant more 
> >>> development time. 
> >>> I regard these changes as general improvements that will benefit every 
> >>> user, or at the very least not disrupt whoever doesn't need them. 
> >>> Hopefully they'll be valuable for numerous more artists outside 
> >>> architecture or construction industry, like professionals in the Motion 
> >>> Graphics industry like television, publicity, 2D graphic animation (for 
> >>> example 
> >>> 
> >>> http://blenderartists.org/forum/showthread.php?295010-Blender-text-conversion-improvements-wishlist 
> >>> ), especially if these improvements also affect text objects, or perhaps 
> >>> people in industrial design ( 
> >>> http://plus.google.com/101076135528517730950/posts/DHGBFYHoBcA )or 
> >>> precision modeling. 
> >>> 
> >>> Only additional request/condition I would set is that all this gets made 
> >>> in a manner conducive to it's inclusion in Blender main development 
> >>> trunk, preferably within the time-frame for the 2.8 release if feasible. 
> >>> I just want to avoid seeing these features buried in some lost 
> >>> development branch, or have to use some outdated obscure custom build to 
> >>> take advantage of new features. 
> >>> 
> >>> I apologize for the wall of text, I am very enthusiastic about this and 
> >>> eagerly awaiting to hear your opinions on these matters. Looking forward 
> >>> to your reply 
> >>> 
> >>> Best regards 
> >>> Duarte Ramos 
> >>> 
> >>> _______________________________________________ 
> >>> Bf-committers mailing list 
> >>> Bf-committers at blender.org 
> >>> http://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-committers 
> >>> 
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