How does the Blender Foundation work, since it does not make any money?

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

REPLY TO THREAD
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  12 December 2017
Originally Posted by cgsena:
So in short , if one think like this ----- You know I can do this in Maya by pressing "f" key ...... How can I get it done in Blender ? ---- pressing the period . 


On that note - what's the status of Blender in formal education? Are colleges and univs. adopting it? Or will they in the future? What's going on?
 
  12 December 2017
I am looking forward to the UI overhaul, trying to decide whether to dive in now or put it off until then.  But I do wonder if the changes that are planned are in any way related to the things I want to see changed.  I work at home, sometimes in low light... I don't like to have one hand on the mouse and the other tied to the keyboard, and I don't care how much faster it is once you have learned the shortcuts.  I want a navigational widget, something like the one that Truespace introduced (i believe) and which was copied by a handful of other programs around that time (Carrara, 3DCanvas/3DCrafter).  Or maybe an arcball for rotation, as I found that to be an easy to use, and underused, way of manipulating a camera.  But mainly I would just like to know how a one-handed person is expected to use the program, as that is how I would prefer to use it myself.  As the only real alternative to pricey commercial 3D suites, I think they could try harder to accommodate users from all over, not just those used to Max/Maya but those coming from Poser/Daz, Wings3D, AC3D, Carrara, 3D-Coat, zBrush etc. I know of know other design program in which keyboard shortcuts are the expected manner of working for new users.
 
  12 December 2017
*Shameless plug* Bforartists already has a overhauled UI */Shameless plug*

Don't hang your hopes too high for UI changes in Blender. They may never come. They have just before a few days postponed the announced UI changes for 2.8 again. And we know what postponed means in Blender development. Just think about wireframe colors ...

They call it workflow release, and remove the workflow issues ... XD


Quote: Therefore we are removing from current 2.8 technical targets:
* Top bar
* Manipulators
* Tools
* Workspace specific keymaps, add-ons.
* 101

https://lists.blender.org/pipermail...ber/048909.html
__________________
Free Gamegraphics, Freeware Games http://www.reinerstilesets.de
Die deutsche 3D Community: http://www.3d-ring.de

Last edited by Tiles : 12 December 2017 at 07:21 AM.
 
  12 December 2017
Originally Posted by Tiles: *Shameless plug* Bforartists already has a overhauled UI */Shameless plug*


Thanks, for the info... I suppose waiting on a future change is a bad reason to keep putting off learning any program, especially blender.

I tried Bforartists, but the first plug-in I wanted to use would not install because of some difference between Bforartists and the official blender release. Had I not encountered that snag right off the bat I would have maintained interest in trying it more thoroughly. I do not want to have to depend on the Bforartists team to update and maintain Bforartists specific versions of every current and future plug-in I might want to use.
 
  12 December 2017
I picked up Blender over the past few months and found that with about 15 minutes spent in the preferences, I had no issues with the ui at all. Once you have the hotkeys down, its like working in Maya in expert mode. The only thing that keeps me from completely switching over is that I am much more efficient in Maya, kind of like learning a new language, I always default back to that which is most comfortable.

That said, enough people complain about the ui that there is probably some merit there. 
__________________
www.clappy3d.com
 
  12 December 2017
Originally Posted by Clappy3D: That said, enough people complain about the ui that there is probably some merit there. 
I think it's probably one of those things where the people who are comfortable with it, who do get the way its supposed to work, don't want to see it changed in a way that makes it harder for them.  I get that and I totally agree that they should worry more about the users they have than someone like me who hasn't committed to getting on board...

But, and this was the problem I ran into with Bforartists, the changes that would need be made to accommodate me should not need affect the way the program already works.  Like shortcuts?  Fine, blender has those.  Like to point and click and drag in a workflow that more resembles a traditional discipline? Learning blender in its current form might seem an insurmountable challenge.

Even a friend who got farther with blender than I have yet managed once said to me "they can make it bring up a list of shortcuts, so why couldn't they make it so you could just click on one of them?"

Last edited by moogaloonie : 12 December 2017 at 06:25 AM.
 
  12 December 2017
I think because most 3d apps are designed with production demands in mind, and hotkeys definitely speed things up.

Have you tried the pie menu addon yet? You would still have to press a hotkey, but then you can click on the menu items once it pops up.

Hope you find what your looking for!

Cheers,
Matt
__________________
www.clappy3d.com
 
  12 December 2017
May i ask what addon refused to work? We are after this addons to fix the problems

Chances are that your trouble addon already works again. We had some problems with not working addons in earlier days, caused by the menu redesigns. That's development. First you break it, then you make it work again. But they are fixed. Currently there are just two known addons that still makes trouble in Bforartists. The one is the Amaranth Toolset, which doesn't work in Blender 2.79 neither. So away with it. And the other is the Renderman for Blender addon. But this one loads fine and works at least partially. Just render in a window, and not in the viewport.

Quote: Like shortcuts?  Fine, blender has those

Bforartists has the complete Blender keymap onboard. You just need to switch to it. And then you can work like in Blender in the very most cases. You can even follow Blender tutorials that way. And we have understood that the users cannot be bothered to invent their own full keymap. A future version will have a full Bforartists keymap available too. It is currently in development.

But keep in mind that Bforartists is not Blender. When there wouldn't be a difference then the fork would make no sense. Bforartists is no Blender branch. It has the same feature set, but it is a different software. Change is why we have started the fork at all. We want to improve the UI, not deliver yet another messy Blender version with all its usability flaws.

And it is still in development and under permanent improvement. We haven't reached version 1 yet, even after two and a half years of wading through the Blender UI mess. But we getting closer with every release

Kind regards

Reiner - Bforartists Head
__________________
Free Gamegraphics, Freeware Games http://www.reinerstilesets.de
Die deutsche 3D Community: http://www.3d-ring.de

Last edited by Tiles : 12 December 2017 at 08:18 AM.
 
  12 December 2017
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: How does the Blender foundation works?
Ho do they get the MILLIONS of dollars needed to do ongoing development on a mayor 3d app, and the give it for free?
How does that work?
And will this revenue stream be a permanent one,? If not will blender be ALWAYS free?

Getting back to Roberto's original questions...

I think it's important to remember that free, open source software development has a different philosophy, goals, methods, and resources than commercial software development. The link that someone posted above for the foundation info page does provide several tidbits of relevant info: https://www.blender.org/foundation/

To begin, the Blender Foundation does make money (in the sense of having sources of income, not profit). Being a nonprofit brings two financial advantages: no need to send a significant portion of the organization's income into the pockets of owners and investors. If the laws of the Netherlands (where Blender Foundation is located) allow it and they follow any requirements, they also probably don't need to pay taxes to the government.

Second, you don't have to pay all your developers because many of them will help develop your software for free in their spare time. See this list of top 30 Blender developers for last year, and notice that only a handful of them are actually employed by Blender: https://www.blender.org/development...evelopers-2016/

Third, you can ask your users for donations and other contributions to help generate income. As someone mentioned already, there is the Blender cloud (monthly fee in return for some products and services), and the Blender development fund (monthly donation dedicated to development) that anyone can contribute to. The cloud is a fixed monthly rate, but the development fund allows for all kinds of amounts. See this page for the top contributors, and also a description of many of the grants they receive: https://www.blender.org/foundation/development-fund/

Fourth, you can get sponsorships and grants from government and industry. Many of the past Blender open movie projects received grants from the Netherlands cultural/media fund or whatever they call it. They also continue to receive sponsorships from a variety of companies, not only in cash but also in labor. AMD and Epic Games have contributed money and development work recently.

That should cover your first three questions. To answer the last two:

Nothing is guaranteed in this world, but I would say the trend indicates that the Foundation's income stream is not only sustainable, but likely growing.

The question about whether Blender will always be free is something else entirely though. They have no choice but to keep it free forever because of the license under which all the developers wrote their code for Blender. The GPL doesn't allow any practical avenue to close the source code and make the product proprietary. No one can buy it or destroy it (other than using really underhanded tactics like poisoning the community, organization, etc).

The only ways anyone would be able to make a non-free, open source copy of Blender would be to ask and get permission from every developer who ever contributed code to switch their license (very difficult and unlikely), to get a group of paid developers to rewrite all the code from scratch (even more difficult and less likely, as I recall seeing an estimate that the source code is worth many millions of dollars), or a combination of the two (get permissions for some of the code and rewrite the rest). The thing is that even if someone went through all this herculean effort, anyone else (literally) could just pick up where they left off and continue to develop Blender as free, open source software.
 
  4 Weeks Ago
Quote: does make money ... Being a nonprofit

Makin money means imho it is a profit oriented company. This doesn't mean that the goal is to become rich. But the project must create enough income to be continued in development. And Ton and a handful paid developers makes a living  out of Blender.

I think that's one of the misconceptions when it comes to open source. Open source can be a valid business model. And in many cases it is. Blender, Mozilla Firefox, Linux, they all are profit companies. With the business model of open source and free software and a share of unpaid volunteers who does the job for free and for fun. There are even commercial companies who relies at this búsiness model. Unreal for example. And open source doesn't automatically mean free neither. Quite a few blender addons are just available when you buy it at the Blender market nowadays.

The really big difference is that commercial software orients at the user needs. No buyers of the software means you cannot pay your developers, means end of project. While open source orients at the developers needs. Make the volunteers happy so that they continue to develop.

Regarding GPL, the license doesn't permit to sell the software. The Blender institute could sell Blender when they want to. But they have to deliver the source code to the buyers then. Like already done with the addons at the Blender market. If they would find enough buyers then is another question. Being the only free 3D suite is what made it so popular ...
__________________
Free Gamegraphics, Freeware Games http://www.reinerstilesets.de
Die deutsche 3D Community: http://www.3d-ring.de

Last edited by Tiles : 4 Weeks Ago at 07:43 AM.
 
  4 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by Tiles: The really big difference is that commercial software orients at the user needs. No buyers of the software means you cannot pay your developers, means end of project. While open source orients at the developers needs. Make the volunteers happy so that they continue to develop.

Which also explains some idiosyncrasies at the expense of user experience and feature development. If you are not answerable to anyone you get to do what you want but not what anyone else wants.
It might be dumb luck if the two merge at random points.
 
  4 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by Tiles: Makin money means imho it is a profit oriented company. This doesn't mean that the goal is to become rich. But the project must create enough income to be continued in development. And Ton and a handful paid developers makes a living  out of Blender.

I think that's one of the misconceptions when it comes to open source. Open source can be a valid business model. And in many cases it is. Blender, Mozilla Firefox, Linux, they all are profit companies. With the business model of open source and free software and a share of unpaid volunteers who does the job for free and for fun. There are even commercial companies who relies at this búsiness model. Unreal for example. And open source doesn't automatically mean free neither. Quite a few blender addons are just available when you buy it at the Blender market nowadays.

The really big difference is that commercial software orients at the user needs. No buyers of the software means you cannot pay your developers, means end of project. While open source orients at the developers needs. Make the volunteers happy so that they continue to develop.

Regarding GPL, the license doesn't permit to sell the software. The Blender institute could sell Blender when they want to. But they have to deliver the source code to the buyers then. Like already done with the addons at the Blender market. If they would find enough buyers then is another question. Being the only free 3D suite is what made it so popular ...

I don't know how to split quotes in the new editor, so unfortunately I need to respond in a block here:

Profit is different from revenue or income. Profit means extra money that can go to owners and investors after all expenses (including salaries - profit does not equal a salary) are taken out. In other words, making money does not necessarily equal making profit. All non-profit organizations need to make money, or else they won't exist for long. What they can't do is make a profit for someone (owners or investors), or else they would rightly lose their non-profit status.

Agreed that open source is a valid business model, as proven by many companies. Unreal is not really an example of true open source software, however. They make their source code available, but you can't redistribute it, you can't contribute back to it (AFAIK), etc.

I think the idea that open source software doesn't orient to users' needs it not entirely correct. Sure, OSS orients much more to developers' needs than commercial software does, but open source software that entirely disregards users' needs doesn't last very long or get very far. I would say that in OSS there's more of a balance or give and take between developers' and users' needs and wants, which is perfectly valid and acceptable.

GPL does in fact permit selling GPL software (https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-fa...heGPLAllowMoney). The only requirement is that you need to make the source code freely available as well. As an example, look at Red Hat Enterprise Linux. It's GPL, but you can't actually download a running copy of RHEL. However, you can download a clone of RHEL in the form of CentOS, which uses the GPL source code of RHEL but without the Red Hat trademarks.
 
  4 Weeks Ago
Originally Posted by circusboy: Which also explains some idiosyncrasies at the expense of user experience and feature development. If you are not answerable to anyone you get to do what you want but not what anyone else wants.
It might be dumb luck if the two merge at random points.

I'm not saying that you're saying this with this intention, but I think that this is a common smear against open source software developers and projects. If you look at the facts, most popular open source projects are very responsive to users' requests. Of course they don't respond to every whim and whine from users, but I've seen open source developers (including Blender's) regularly and frequently modify their software due to user feedback. They wouldn't be very popular software if they didn't. However, of course you can't force developers to do what you want if you don't have strong financial power over them. But that's worked out OK for the most part so far.
 
  4 Weeks Ago
Quote: ... Regarding GPL, the license doesn't permit to sell the software ...

Quote: GPL does in fact permit selling GPL software

Yikes, typoe at my end. Of course it is allowed. That's what i wanted to say. I even gave an example then, with the Blender Addons.

Thanks for correction

Quote: But that's worked out OK for the most part so far.

Not for usability unfortunately. A sometimes weird UI design and the "i do it my way" mentality goes like a red thread through nearly all popular non profit open source projects. Linux with its thousands of distributions is an excellent example here. And it is system made. It is simply more sexy to write the next killer feature compared to change something at the UI or UX design. Remember, here you have to make the developer happy, that's what pays him as a substitute for money. UI UX design is in big parts a boring repetitive job with the danger to burn the community with this changes.

Add to this that the more experienced a developer becomes , the bigger the chance is that he wants to earn money with what he does. And not longer work for free in a open source project. When you are really good at something, then don't do it for free.

But it gets better nowadays. UI / UX is not longer a heavily ignored field in open source.

Either way, the resistance against UI improvements at the Blender side is legendary. They promised a change at the UI when they invented the UI task force with the Andrew Price incident five years ago. Nothing happened, asides from a few new alibi tabs. Then they announced to have a Workflow release with 2.8 two and a half years ago. They just postponed everything workflow related before a few days from the initial 2.8 release. No top bar, no 101, no left click select, no ... . Once more it is more sexy to develop the next killer feature instead.

And UI cleanup, like to optimize the workflow with the GUI, or to remove the hundrets of double menu entries ( a so easy to correct beginner mistake ) , was never part of the plan anyways.
__________________
Free Gamegraphics, Freeware Games http://www.reinerstilesets.de
Die deutsche 3D Community: http://www.3d-ring.de

Last edited by Tiles : 4 Weeks Ago at 09:12 AM.
 
  4 Weeks Ago
I have to assume that there was some financial arrangement between blender foundation and Smith Micro when the latter decided to integrate Cycles into Poser...
This is probably a stupid question, but if Cycles is GPL as part of blender, shouldn't the Cycles source need be available through SM? I'm seeing all kinds of stuff based on open source work and always wonder if people are honoring the part of the arrangement that requires source be made available. I seem to recall some allegations against a few large companies for not doing this.
Also, if a change needed be made to Cycles in the process of adapting it to Poser, is that change still under GPL as well?  Do they have to put their changes where the blender folks can access them?
 
reply share thread



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 01:38 AM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.