View Full Version : Some specific questions about Blender

12 December 2008, 05:48 PM
Hi all. I am a XSI user and unhappy with Autodesk EULA limitations, i am considering options and that includes Blender.

I will appreciate if you can answer me this questions:

1-How easy is modeling from the perspective of a car modeler. I mean cutting doors/panels without messing underlined mesh flow. etc.

2-Can i slide of points/edges following surface mesh, this one of best things i like in XSI.

3-Car animation: Any rigid body dynamics or any other option for car animation.

4-Matchmoving: how good is Syntheyes exporter and how many alternatives are there? The objective is car integration.

5-Sea animation: any sea simulation with Fluids or any integration with Realflow or other application?

6-Real time shaders: I am looking for real time reflections. Does it have?

7-Importing/Exporting formats: How good is it importing Nurbs?

8-Blender futur developments:
Where you think Blender is heading. I mean what will be the emphasis. And how frequent are its updates?

Thanks for your time.

12 December 2008, 07:34 PM
1 - I'm not a car modeler, but I would not see any issue here. You can cut edges quite easily with knife tool or by using shortcut keys. Blender, once you start to grasp the UI, has an very fast workflow.

2 - Edges - Yes. Points, I'm not sure, but there is a "retopo" feature where you can remake the topology of any object fairly easily.

3 - Yep, Blender has rigid body dynamics and softbody dynamics.

4 - No idea on this point.

5 - Blender has it's own fluidsim comparable with realflow

6 - Yep. It has this.

7 - Nurbs support is limited in blender - but there is a group working on bringing it up to speed as we speak. Almost all major 3d formats are supported. (Including many game related formats)

8 - The big 2.5 release is being worked on now. Hopefully this will be a huge upgrade in the UI department and in window management. (I personally love the UI, but some panels are disorganized and it is often difficult to tell if certain options are selected or not). Often times Blender is leading edge in developing new Siggraph papers into the code base. New stuff in development (note: being open source, you can get your hands on development code right now! Check
As for updates - You basically can download the newest codebase at any time. Major updates to the frontpage occur every couple of months.

New stuff
-Volumetrics (
-Projection Painting
-Freestyle NPR rendering (Artwork look instead of realism)
-Amazing Smoke ( (
-Texture Nodes
-New rigging tools (
-More then I can list here

12 December 2008, 08:08 PM
The part that actually worries me about your comment is that I know what you are like at blenderartists, how fanatical, and I have a hard time believing you are only joking...
I might have even found it funny otherwise...

About blender's modeling...
I don't know XSI's workflow, but I know that it is different from max for instance, and it requires a bit of a "change in your state of mind" you can model anything in blender you could model with another application, but you just go about a number of things in a different way. Once you make that click you're flying high.

1. I don't know, I model from the perspective of whatever I need to model, be it mechanical, characters, whatever. Since blender does not do ngons currently, cutting will cause tris to appear, but once you know how to use the tools, you can anticipate and/or use this. I haven't modeled any cars yet, but I do plenty of mechanical modeling.

2. You can slide edges, you can do a retopo, by drawing a grid and/or by manipulating vertex. I don't know if it's as fluid as you expect like in XSI.

3. Bullet physics, it should do what you need, but you will have to research how and what.

4. matchmoving. i have no idea, since i've never used them. There are several nicely done movies/projects around which have used matchmoving in blender, so it should be doable.

5. I do not know, but I doubt blender's fluid sim has any integration with other applications. You can bake it to vertex animations, and export that to other applications. Some users have done that, with lightwave I believe it was.
There was/is an ocean sim integrated in blender, or at least it was in a certain branch. It was developed by promotion studios, makers of the "lighthouse" short.

6. GLSL is your best bet I guess.

7. I don't think you can import nurbs, not without converting them. Nurbs in blender are very poor, but there is a lot of interest in reviving nurbs in blender, so it will likely be there at some point in the future.

8. Blender will develop as frequent and according to a pattern as the people who use it and work on it dictate. Updates have been very frequent recently, and most updates are significant. Some of them are ment to be just bugfix releases, but they always cram at least 1 cool and usefull new feature in. This trend doesn't seem to be fading.

One of blender's major problems to me isn't as much about it not being capable blahblah enough, it's about keeping up to date with all the tools and possibilities. because new things get added before you fully explored all the old "new" stuff.

12 December 2008, 09:58 AM
Thank you guys. I have been seeing Blender lessons in car modeling and it appears that Blender can at minimum make the modeling and i liked very much the retopology tools which btw is a bit different from tweaking sliding of XSI but it wil be very helpful.

If anyone still have a bit more info, please feel free to add.

12 December 2008, 09:13 PM
One of the key things to realize about Blender is that it is being cooperatively developed by some very-experienced CG folks who are also great programmers. As they say, "a rising tide lifts all boats."

I seriously think that these developers are showing all of us that "working together toward a common objective" really does allow many more useful things to be accomplished, in less time and at less cost, than any group of developers who are locked in to a proprietary environment.

Obviously, that's not going to make any of the already-established players "go away," but it certainly has enabled Blender to join the company of "established players," and to produce final results that are second to none in its intended field.

12 December 2008, 01:45 AM
1-How easy is modeling from the perspective of a car modeler ...

Blender's strength is primarily in organic modeling, but it has the tools necessary for mechanical stuff too. Most complaints in that area relate to it's sub-standard NURBS, lack of N-gon support, and no real-world measurements (it uses a generic unit).

2-Can i slide of points/edges following surface mesh ...

Points, no; edges, yes - it's called Edge Slide in Blender, and can be accessed through the [Ctrl+E] hotkey.

3-Car animation: Any rigid body dynamics or any other option for car animation.

Yes, the RBD solver is Bullet (

4-Matchmoving ...

Not sure about this one. I would try a search over at the BlenderArtists forum (

5-Sea animation: any sea simulation with Fluids ...

The current official release has a fluid simulator (, and a displacement-based ocean simulator has been developed (it can be used now with special ( builds ( of Blender).

6-Real time shaders ...

Look into the new GLSL shader feature ( (I don't think it supports reflections though).

7-Importing/Exporting formats: How good is it importing Nurbs?

Not sure, but based on the internal NURBS, I wouldn't expect it to be great.

8-Blender future developments: Where you think Blender is heading. I mean what will be the emphasis. And how frequent are its updates?

The updates are frequent, and usually very good feature-wise. As for it's development, it won't be long before it's widely used alongside of the mainstream apps. I imagine the emphasis will be on that - getting it to a professional level in all areas, and fitting in with existing tool-chains.

12 December 2008, 02:47 AM
Just to fill in the blank...

4- Matchmoving:
The syntheyes to Blender export works a treat!

12 December 2008, 05:56 AM
and no real-world measurements (it uses a generic unit).

XSI also is like that and i could live with it. The main problem is importing stuff.

4- Matchmoving:
The syntheyes to Blender export works a treat!


Thank you all.

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