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

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Wed Feb 10 16:44:52 CET 2016


Money is very welcome. Industry users can do two things:

1) Let their company sign up for the development fund:

(We get about 100 grand per year, which is 1% of what C4D users give to Maxon annually).

2) Hire developers yourself! Or assign your own developers part time on IO for Blender.

A crowd-funder for 1 feature only is very risky. What precisely do we define to fund? Who would crowdfund a developer to just fix bugs and maintenance for 2 years? I doubt people would pay for that. I wouldn't even know where to find such a coder...

For 2.8 we can do a big fund raiser, and include this on the work planning. I think professionals rather see us to keep working on the whole pipeline, starting with good PBR shader editing in viewports. 


Ton Roosendaal  -  ton at blender.org   -   www.blender.org
Chairman Blender Foundation - Producer Blender Institute
Entrepotdok 57A  -  1018AD Amsterdam  -  The Netherlands

> On 10 Feb, 2016, at 16:13, Fergal Gribben <fgribben at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
> support.
> 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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