[Bf-committers] Understanding the dev process

Pablo Dobarro pablodp606 at gmail.com
Sat Jul 6 06:08:16 CEST 2019


Maybe I'm going off-topic and I'm probably a little bit biased...

I think the main problem in the development process of some areas of
Blender is feature incoherence. I feel like some times there are
discussions, design proposals and commits implementing new advanced
features on areas where the most basic functionality for an artist is still
not right. The sculpt/paint module and the tool system are heavily affected
by this.

This is a tricky problem to solve. We can't really expect artists to make
useful bug reports about brushes or tools behaving incorrectly. For most of
them, it would be nearly impossible to formulate the problem pointing at
the exact technical detail for a developer to fix it. These kinds of issues
are really obvious for an artist who has been working with these tools for
years, but developers may think that the tool is working at it should. This
communication problem often ends in misleading bug reports, proposals and
discussions going nowhere while trying to fix the wrong thing.

The thing is: in some cases, those issues can be fixed by changing just a
few lines, so we can expect artists with a coding background to fix them.
But there are a lot of cases where a whole redesign of an area is required
just to fix one those issues (that is essentially the problem of the sculpt
branch). Some users are creating non-commercial addons to bypass these
limitations by recreating entire systems through the Python API instead of
contributing it to Blender, probably because they consider that a task for
a core developer.

I think we should be extra careful about this when doing big refactors or
creating new modules. In my opinion, the core team should focus more on
designing the new systems in a way that makes the life of new contributors
easier (who can probably take care of this) instead of making a final
product with a planned set of features. We should put a little more effort
to make sure the foundations are right from and artist perspective

Currently, some of those issues so bad that, in my opinion, they should not
be considered as a feature request. They should probably be handled as a
high priority bug, blocking a release. They make the experience of some
areas much worse than Blender crashing every 10 minutes. This ends up
hurting the opinion artists have about Blender and all the technical work
that is behind it.

As an example, the Grease Pencil team spent a lot of time designing and
tweaking the behavior of each brush, and that clearly shows. The result is
so impressive that it almost feels like a pixel-based drawing software. An
artist is not going to care about modifiers, effects or animation features
if they feel that the brush engine is broken just by doing one brush stroke.

If we only focus on long term interesting technical projects and bug
fixing, Blender will be able to paint PBR materials across multiple UDIMs,
while using the current brush engine on a 2D view that does not rotate or
flip. In my opinion, we should not touch a single line of the 3D texture
projection code until the 2D view and the default brushes are absolutely
perfect to a level they can be used for serious illustration work. Probably
the sweet spot is in the middle of these two points of view.


El jue., 4 jul. 2019 a las 15:38, Nathan Letwory (<jesterking at letwory.net>)

> Hey all,
> As you all may know by now I've been asked to help coordinate and manage
> the Blender development.
> To get a better understanding of what these days is going on, and to
> prevent me from just acting through my personal preferences, I'd like to
> hear from the blender developer community how they see the current dev
> process.
> I'm most interested in finding out how devs perceive the process: what goes
> well, and even more so what causes trouble.
> An open discussion by anyone on this topic is of course welcome, but I'd
> like (and also a bit expect) input at least from those who are listed on
> the Modules [1] page.
> Cheers!
> /Nathan 'jesterKing' Letwory
>   [1] https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/Modules
> _______________________________________________
> Bf-committers mailing list
> Bf-committers at blender.org
> https://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-committers

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