2022-05-05 Pipeline, Assets & I/O Meeting

Everyone is welcome on the Google Meet linked below every other Thursday, at 17:00 CEST.

Present: Aleš Jelovčan, Antoine Grasset, Bastien Montagne, Demeter Dzadik, Iyad Ahmed, Julian Eisel, Michael Kowalski, Pablo Vazquez, Sybren Stüvel

The meeting covers the pipeline & I/O module in a broader sense, including some topics hosted in other modules (e.g. some I/O python add-ons, or overrides and .blend file I/O from the Core module).

Links

Flamenco

Sybren makes a quick presentation/demo of the new in-progress Flamenco.
One of the key changes from user side is a much more responsive UI, with automatic updates etc.

USD

Micheal was away from Blender tasks in the past couple of weeks, so not much news on that project. Short term plans are still to integrate into master some more changes from the development branch.

Overrides

Bastien reports that features scheduled for Blender 3.2 are now all in (mainly from the Usabilty step of the project), there are still some more tweaking needed though.

A first prototype of ‘favorite properties’ (//working name//) is also being worked on, target for this feature is still Blender 3.3.

Asset Browser

Project Status:

  • Julian does a quick recap of the Asset browser project. It’s at a state where the first version of the entire system is working. Most of this was part of 3.0. Some further improvements were done since then (e.g. indexing and collection support).
  • It is limited and many usability issues are known and expected. But even at its still early state, the system is useful for many people, and the development team can incorporate feedback early.

Ongoing and further development:

  • Intention is to open the project up for more community involvement. There are many things to do in the project, and developer resources are lacking. While Julian has to focus further on core functionality, contributors could help out with many tasks, especially on the usability side.
  • The asset browser UI code needs updates to better deal with large sets of assets, and to solve a number of common issues. Julian has started working on a UI rewrite to address these. This separates the Asset Browser from the File Browser (which it is currently using internally), and makes it based on the proper (in progress) asset system instead.
  • The asset project is far from over and a lot of further developments are planned. One important example is asset pushing (which got discussed a bit further in the meeting).
  • Asset pushing: This is to allow saving assets to external libraries (as in, select material → Save to Asset Library). Basic issue is that Blender is not allowed to touch external .blend files, and make decisions for users (like, how storage and dependencies are handled). Discussed was, if this should be solved by a default “Asset Toolkit” Add-on, or if this can instead be core functionality, with specifics configurable per asset library.
  • In the coming days, Julian will focus on bug fixes and stabilization for 3.2 release.
  • Aleš is advocating to get the patch to add Grease Pencil assets. Needs design review, but time in the meeting was short for that. Julian will check on another way to do this soon.

How to help out?:

  • Antoine asks where to give feedback and how to further help the project. Julian is thinking about opening a feedback thread on devtalk dedicated to the project.
  • The main issue right now is lack of developers. Plenty of things could be done by developers from community.
  • Antoine also proposes his help for documentation, visualizations, examples etc. This would be helpful!

Other Topics

Iyad is working on new C++ IO code for STL, he quickly presented his work so far (old patch: D13745). He will create a task to keep track of his work.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be on Thursday 19th May, 17:00 CEST/Amsterdam time (your local time: 2022-05-19T15:00:00Z).

The provisional meeting agenda will be linked in the #pipeline-assets-io-module channel before the meeting.

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