[Bf-committers] The future of FBX and/or other formats in Blender

Fergal Gribben fgribben at gmail.com
Wed Feb 10 16:13:14 CET 2016

I agree with Fabio and David - if industry users are so reliant on FBX
support within Blender, then crowdfunding/hiring a developer to work
specifically on FBX support is probably worth investigating. From what
Bastien has said, keeping up with the latest FBX format sounds like a major
pain, and from what I can tell, focusing efforts on supporting glTF or USD
would be time better spent.

A professional Unity license costs $75 a month, a 3DS Max subscription with
basic support costs €238 a month, and a Maya LT subscription with basic
support costs €35.70 a month

If lacking FBX support in Blender would cause people to switch to
expensive, proprietary software, is it too much to ask that they instead
donate to FBX development within Blender? If industry users were to donate
a fraction of the aforementioned licensing costs on a monthly basis,
perhaps that would be enough support for a dedicated FBX developer?

I believe EpicGames donated €10k to the development fund for better FBX
support in the past (
https://twitter.com/tonroosendaal/status/485431565447868416) - is that too
ambitious a goal for crowdfunding?

And just to weigh in with my own personal experiences as a hobbyist game
dev: the FBX format terrifies me! :) Personally, I couldn't make sense of
the file format, especially when it came to animations, so I instead
decided to create my own file format for my game engine. At least that way
I know exactly what information is available to me, and I know that any
bugs I encounter are related to my game engine's implementation, and not
due to how Blender has exported the scene. The same applies to a lot of
other hobbyist/home users I know, either they get by with the .obj format,
or they roll their own. Furthermore, any inconsistencies with my own file
format are easily identified and fixed, whereas FBX to me was a bit of a
black box.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, the FBX format seems much more important
to users who work in the industry, rather than home/hobbyist users, and I
think if the demand was there as much as industry users have conveyed, a
push for donations/crowdfunding would be enough to achieve better FBX

On 10 February 2016 at 14:57, Vicente Carro <vicentecarro at gmail.com> wrote:

> Well, instead of crowdfunding, that I think it's not going to work, I would
> suggest to officially (Ton) talk with Unreal, Unity, Valve and maybe some
> of the blender partners and expose the problem to them. If possible make
> them talk all together. Since all of them have some interest in FBX working
> in Blender probably they can agree to have a guy maintaining FBX for
> Blender or to give us other solution.
> Vicente
> On 10 February 2016 at 14:48, David Fenner <d4vidfenner at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 2016-02-10 11:28 GMT-03:00 Fabio Pesari <fabio at pesari.eu>:
> >
> > > , but if it "dies" in
> > > terms of fewer contributions due to poor funding, it will be exactly
> > > because of people who would rather buy* expensive proprietary programs
> > > than donate at least 1/3 of that money to Blender. Why the double
> > standard?
> > > * = in some cases, rent, because many of those other programs use DRM
> > >     and are subscription-based.
> >
> >
> > Talking about double standard here is waaay too idealistic. Users buy
> > software when they need to, and when open source software meets all their
> > needs, they donate when they can or want. Still, having thousands of
> users
> > using blender is still better for the software, since studios do develop
> > for blender for time to time, they also contribute bug reports, ideas,
> > sometimes money, and they spread the use of the software, which makes big
> > studios start to develop also for blender. Is an ecosystem based on
> users.
> > Sadly, people don't appreciate what they have until they can lose it, and
> > that's what I'm saying that maybe fbx export should be crowdfunded.
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