[Bf-cycles] Cycles Standalone

Thomas Dinges blender at dingto.org
Tue Aug 20 18:49:25 CEST 2013

Hi everyone,
here some information and notes about our Cycles standalone app, which 
could be interesting for external developers.
Also some ideas how we could improve it a bit.

1) What we have

* Cycles standalone code can be found here: 
* It's a pretty simple and was developed as a quick test program (before 
Cycles was integrated in Blender).
* Geometry and Settings, Shaders etc. can be passed via XML files. Some 
(probably outdated) examples can be found here: 

2) Needed fixes
* I haven't tested lately, not sure if it compiles still. As far as I 
remember the standalone app doesn't link with OSL yet.
* The XML API is outdated, basically most nodes and settings which have 
been added since 2012 are missing. But maybe we will go another path? 
See below.

3) Possible improvements
* Should we keep the XMP API and update it, or should we replace with 
something else? I am not sure what would be best for external applications.
* Maybe split import into a Settings and Geometry part, where Geometry 
loading is handled via .obj (or even alembic)?
* I guess we could make the App GUI optional, so people can just compile 
a console version, without the freeglut dependency?

Feedback and discussion on this is welcome, also feedback from external 
developers who would be interested in integrating Cycles into other 

Best regards,

Thomas Dinges
Blender Developer, Artist and Musician


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