2021-08-20 Asset Browser and 3.0

Attendees: Bastien Montagne, Dalai Felinto, Jeroen Bakker, Julian Eisel, Sybren Stüvel.
Special attendance: Ton Roosendaal - was present in a few moments to reiterate the vision for the asset bundle, the Blender 101, and share his expectations for 3.0.

This meeting happened at the Blender Institute. Its goal was to organize the priorities for the institute developers for the 3.0 release, and to make sure the asset browser will be ready in time.

Topics:

  • Asset browser
  • “Good to have” 3.0 asset features
  • Asset bundle
  • Data-block only assets
  • Monkey Blender 101
  • Work organization

Asset browser

Asset browser (and pose library) is in master as experimental. The shortest path to make it release ready is to strip out the features that are not fully implemented. After that any further improvement can be made incrementally keeping Blender (and the asset project) always ready to be released.

The following is a list of targets which are must-have features, and their suggested order of implementation. It starts by making pose library fully release-ready.

  • Pose Library master-ready (Julian)
    • Remove categories.
    • Remove file browser options.
    • Remove “Mark Asset” for all but pose library
    • Remove from Experimental.
    • Minor Polishing (e.g., forbid edit meta-data for non-local assets).
  • Catalog (Sybren)
  • Technical debt in preparation for materials and object
    • Handle dupli-ids (Bastien - after he is done with must have tasks for library management)
    • Asset view UI template - support multiple templates displayed in parallel (Julian)
  • Material (Jeroen - after the initial Blender 101 exploration)
  • Object (+ Collection?)
  • Geometry Nodes node groups.

“Good to have” 3.0 asset features

There are a few features that would be nice to have for 3.0, but that are not deal breakers. Those tasks are also good candidates for community involvement.

  • Dynamic catalogs
  • Filters (e.g., tags)
  • Batch edit tags.

If there are more developers interested in helping than tasks to be tackled this list can be expanded accordingly. Also if there is spare time before 3.0 after the core features are done.

Asset bundle

There is no one overseeing this at the moment. We need someone that can handle curating or creating the needed assets to be shipped with Blender 3.0.

  • Separate download, a few GB would be fine.
  • “Turn Blender in a great out of the shelf experience: setups, node groups, materials, models”.
  • The idea is to get people something fun to play with.
  • The 3.0 bundle can happen separately from the development of the asset browser.

Data-block only assets

Part of the initial requirement for the asset project was to find a way to integrate matcaps, HDRIs and other presets. This started by supporting pose library. This is enough for the scope of the 3.0 release. After that the other non data-block assets can be tackled.

Monkey Blender 101

  • Proof of concept of a Blender with everything stripped off but:
    • Column with a few assets (monkeys) to add to the scene.
    • Column with very tools.
  • No option should be available (viewport drawing, …).
  • Nothing should be available that wasn’t deliberately intended to be made available.
  • The proof of concept is intended to find out how far we are from making that possible, and map out whether we can make this a 3.0 target.
  • Jeroen will be responsible for the initial work on this.

Work organization

  • Friday 14:00 CEST meeting to present the Kanban board for the project.
  • Community involvement for the non-essential targets.
  • The team’s Summer holidays need to be factored to make sure everyone can work without disruptions.
  • Different parts of the project will have a developer owning the problem. They are not responsible to implement everything themselves, but to help coordinate the related tasks.
  • The Asset Bundle still needs someone responsible and artists that can contribute to it.
10 Likes

@dfelinto I’d like to help out with this.

  • Who should I get in contact with?
  • How’s the review process going to be?
  • Is there a list of assets already?
  • Are there any technical considerations to decide what goes into the bundle?
3 Likes

Duplicate ID cleanup sounds good and the concept of a rolling release with sector based experimental additions to the browser sounds really good.

I also noticed better filtering which is very very welcome, which I am looking forward to it. Search needs to improve (can’t search collections by name) and node groups are lumped in with materials, and there is no way to tell which node group is for what editor.

Also… auto thumbnail generation for collection like objects would be nice, and custom thumbnails for node groups would be very welcome also.

3 Likes

That’s great! I have some links for you:

You are welcome to join the #asset-browser channel in the chat.

6 Likes

Thank you Julian! I’ll check them out tonight to see how I can help :slight_smile:

1 Like

I love the idea of an Asset Bundle !

I always though that some shader were missing “out of the box” with Blender.

For instance…
-Few liquid shaders : Water/ocean, choco, juice, milk, slime…
-Mantaflow : Good looking smoke/fire shaders
-Lots of procedural brick, wood, marble, ect shaders to quickly texture an archviz scene or a model

I wonder if there could be a more official way to sudmit asset in the future, maybe on the Blender website to bring those to the “official pack”. Just provide a quality check list that must be fill.

There could even be exclusive Materials and Geo mode modifiers on Blender Cloud, in the future :slight_smile:

Edit - Just see @julianeisel post above. Thx !

@JulianPerez thanks. This is a topic for mid-August. I will keep name around once I figure out how we will handle this.

2 Likes

This is a very good idea.

In the same way a programmer can submit a patch and that patch has to be reviewed, fixed and reviewed until it’s ready to be commited, could be great to have a place where users can send assets, then they can be reviewed by B.A.S. artists or by volunteer approved artists to a big official library, not sure if it’s viable in the short term, but good idea for the mid term I think :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Like any part of Blender the asset bundle is open for community contributions. Just don’t look at it as something that is planned to grow and grow - it is not supposed be a large database of assets in competition to online asset services. Idea is more to get to a well sized set of generally useful assets to help users getting started or get some quick scene mockups done quickly. And I think a certain stability over versions is important there: You wouldn’t want that gold material that you use all the time to suddenly disappear on the next Blender update. So we have to choose a bit carefully and commit to it.

What I would expect is that we start with a good bunch of assets, add some more until it seems comprehensive enough, and then basically just keep maintaining it (adding new assets as new features become available). It would be problematic if we’d keep getting a continuous stream of submissions of people trying to get their donuts, fantasy characters and what not in.

But really, first I’d personally like somebody to get in touch with some of the greatest Blender artists to get some amazing assets into the bundle. I’ve talked to a few already that are more than happy to provide some assets for the bundle.

4 Likes

Does the Adobe Mixamo plugin tie into the Pose library, or is that planned?

On the Pose Library blog, it suggests that “animation snippets” withing the action strips are not supported. Are the complications for implementing animation hairy?