[Bf-funboard] Mango Targets...

Campbell Barton ideasman42 at gmail.com
Wed Jan 4 08:44:14 CET 2012

On Wed, Dec 21, 2011 at 10:24 AM, David Silverman
<silvermindyarr at gmail.com> wrote:
> One of the most time consuming parts of production is to remake work (not
> reuse). A model can take anywhere from a few hours to a week or more
> depending on the amount of detail required, especially when you add on time
> for UV editing and texturing. Even a few minutes per small object can add
> up to a lot of time lost. (I'm sure I'm not the first person to remake a
> silly box, because I didn't think it would take as long as looking for the
> file)
> *Blender already has the ability to link and append files, but this is a
> limited workflow for reusing assets.*
> *Problems:*
> -No previews of assets
> -User must remember if something already exists, and know which file
> contains it
> -Organizing assets takes time
> *Suggestion:*
> *It may pay to create a basic framework with limited functionality in order
> to efficiently reuse resources, especially from  past open movies.*
> *Most Basic Version:*
> - Created as an add-on, this protects blender the most from
> problems/bugs/regressions
> -User sets asset library location
> - New UI Panel with file browser and buttons for export/import of assets
> (Not necessarily fullscreen)
> ----Saves out a screenshot, material preview, texture preview of the asset
> when exporting (Can use sameNameAsFile.png)
> *Less Basic version:*
> - Created as an add-on, this protects blender the most from
> problems/bugs/regressions
> - Export to asset manager functionality
> ----Include children option
> ----Include materials option
> ----Export materials
> --------Export textures
> - Browser functionality, able to see at least(easiest implementation)
> opengl screenshot, or open the file in another blender seesion (does not
> interupt current session)
> ----Filter/Search by type of asset (can be done by tagging)
> --------Material
> --------Character/Rig
> --------Texture
> --------Animation strip
> --------Particle Effects
> --------Whatever a user can think of, etc.
> -Handles archiving and compression
> ----Can be as simple as keeping a folder somewhere with blend files, and
> later make more sophisticated
> *Future:*
> -Make pretty
> -Make work with internet sites like blendswap or whatever else might be
> usefull
> -Replace Link, Append Dialogs
> -Part of blender package?
> *
> *
> This is a piece of functionality that any artist would be hungry for, it
> may be more of a question of resources though.
> For some inspiration: http://shadertools.tuxfamily.org/  (an add-on someone
> created for keeping material library)
> *
> *
> Thanks,
> David

Hi, your mail covers many topics so Ill try summarize my reply...

Firstly I disagree that remaking models is such such an issue -
artists on these projects are doing it every day and know the files
well enough not to forget and start re-making things.
Nevertheless asset manager is important! :)

By the end of durian I remember thinking it would have been good to
have an asset manager but Im not sure this is as big an issue as you
are making out *(artists would also have valuable feedback here I'm

But I'm wondering if this is quite as big an issue as you are making
out, probably if the project was a full feature length it would
_really_ be important but for a few min movie think its not such an
To put another way - artists complain a LOT - but I dont remember them
asking for better asset management.

Also, an asset-brower branch has just been started which Elubie and
DingTo are working on.

For large, long term features I think we really best have these
developed as apart of blender, and since we have volunteer developers
to do this, Im not sure its worth having it as apart of mango target.

However this also means the work may not be finished by the time we
need it for Mango, so this means we could have a hired dev work on
this full time for a while or do some other stop-gap measure probably
a py script.

For a stop gap measure I think it could be enough to have a server
render off images for 'Group' assets and have an addon which allows
easy linking from these images.

As you suggest- these images can also be useful to find regressions.

For the *Less Basic version:*, you suggest sounds like it would
replace subversion which is OK but a MUCH bigger project.
I think we better focus on making library linking nice to use with
previews and not try solve data managment backend stuff that
version-control-systems do already. While I realize SVN isnt ideal for
blender projects - it really too big a project to replace it IMHO.

- Campbell

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