Blender - two official branches proposal

Based on the discussion I’ve started some days ago in topic “Blender- what is wrong”]( (and discussion started to derive from original intent) I would like to start new topic where we can discuss pros and cons of possibility to create two official Blender branches.

I am deeply convinced, Blender deserves Pro’s interest. There is lots of guys and companies, who do 3D for their living, in my surrounding. They are desperate of Autodesk’s activities of several last years. And they are willing to do the switch to Blender. But, current state of Blender is not making it any easy. Quite the contrary.

In discussion “Blender - what is wrong”, I’ve expressed my opinion, saying now it is the best time for Blender to attract the attention of Pro’s community. But Blender is not doing it, or at least, not in a right way. The problem is following:

There is large community of Blender users, which are deeply coadunated with Blender and it’s philosophy. Moreover, most attempts to approximate Blender closer to industry standards, a welcomed badly, and basically denied. ( I have to say, I fully understand this - when Autodesk killed Softimage, I felt like they chopped my arm off. But, I was “blessed” by having a chance to use XSI, and undergo the experience with this ingenious piece of software.)

And then there is a large community of potentially new Blender users, which have vast experience in other DCCs. These people are used to work within some industry standards, which are not on par with current Blender experience. But they see the potential, and they are willing to not only jump on Blender train, but seriously support it as well. Those guys and companies are for some reason hated by first group, and they possibly take them as a threat.

This applies vice versa. Second group sees old Blender pals like strange morons, unable to adapt, and accept any changes.

So, it is clear, these two groups will never come to any good conclusion.

My proposal for Blender Institute is:
Let’s solve this situation to win-win. Create two Blender branches.

First branch: - in fact, this would be current Blender. Blender that is adored, and celebrated by true Blender fans, companies, and enthusiast, who are satisfied with current and future heading of Blender and it’s UI and UX philosophy.

Second Branch: - the branch dedicated for newcomers from other DCCs. Under the hood this will be the same Blender, but with UI and UX modified according the specific requirements.

How this could work?

Second branch would be free, just like the first Branch. But, there will be subscription system. Fixed price (for obvious reasons). All the subscribers users will have a right to vote, for features and changes in the UI and UX they want to have in Blender. According the number of votes, the features will be sorted and implemented. So, subscription will be a way to influence second Blender branch development (Blender democracy, hmmm… sounds good to me…). Subscription money will be used to pay programmers, and UX designers.

Why I propose this branch to be official, under the wings of Blender Institute?

Because, there is already amount of branches. But if this second Branch will be “institutionalized” by Blender institute, it will get much more weight. Also, development will be much more focused. But most of all, this is the best way how Blender Institute can show respect for their long term users, and well as respect for Pro newcomers from other DCCs. If Blender Institute will create adequate promo for this branch, I am pretty sure, the subscription money can easily cover several programmers and UX designers. In the end this will cost BI almost nothing, but outcomes are great - Blender will start to spread much more massively, and penetration to studios will be inevitable… (and Ton will be the Hero (:-)).

Creating two official Branches will definitely have positive impact on both of them. Blender will have two official sources of ideas, which can be shared in both branches. This will for sure speed up development.
So. This is my proposal. I would like to start the discussion, hoping, it will be considered in Blender Institute. Am I too optimistic? Probably yes, but everything starts with an idea…

I am kindly asking you to start constructive, hate-free, rational debate, about pros and cons of this proposal. We are on the same boat, why not turn it into catamaran? It is more stable, and fits more people.



When I understood the idea correctly, the proposed idea exist(ed?) already in form of a specific application template for newcomers or casual users with a reduced UI and a more traditional keymap. When I have not totally mixed things up this idea was called “blender 101”.



man, apart from some inconsistencies that must surely be placed in blender, I suggest you throw in the trash the paradigms of other sofware where you are used, and throw in the heart of the philosophy of blender and because in some aspects is structured in a certain way … .
believe especially in the heavy and complex workflow, there is nothing faster and power user of blender perhaps we approached a bit xsi and houdini for the rest there is no story.
Deepen the heart of his philosophy and do not be deceived by appearances and work in progress where it is currently blender 2.8


You are talking about hiring several programmers and UX designers from your suggested subscription model. What kind of rough numbers do you have in mind (expected subscribers, subscription fee, …)?

I honestly don’t think this is necessary. Maintaining several branches is too much of a burden - developers are already stretched as it is.

We have plans to solve many (most?) of your problems. Most of them will be solved by the Industry Standard Keymap, which, due to some technical issues, still cannot be property implemented yet.

That said, Blender is of course open source, so in theory there’s nothing stopping anyone from making custom branches.

Just keep in mind that, with custom Templates and custom keymaps, you can already customize Blender an awful lot without a completely different branch.

Also note that Blender’s license does not permit closing it’s source code. If you make a derivative, you must keep distributing the source code. While you could still have a subscription model, the source code has to be made available, making it more of a patronage.


I do not see need to create two official branches. To test certain things are already created additional branches. Users of other software as maya or max, must learn to use blender as it is and learn to love it as it is, and realize that in many ways is even superior to other softwares.

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in reality, with the presets and custom workspaces the 2.8 interface is already divided into several sub-categories modelling - sculpting - 2d design and animation - vfx - video eding etc…
what do you need more?

Unfortunately, Blender 101 seems to be dead, according the fact, there are no news easily reachable on the internet.

Maybe I was not clear enough. I am not talking about implementing new features. I am talking about rationalizing user experience, and about making it much easier for Pro newcomers to to use Blender.
My idea is - take the actual blender with all the features it have currently, and change / improve:
1 - left click selection Blender wide.
2 - selections logic (proper use of ctrl, and shift, rationalize left/right click selection, click blank to deselect… properly working selection types… )
3 - right click for dynamic context menu (in other words,remove 3D cursor manipulation from direct right click, in order to make better use of right click, find different shortcut for using 3D cursor)
4 - super easy manipulation with origin of one, or group of objects.
5 - Origin alignment
6 - universal snapping (possibility to snap on all checked the elements. not just polygons, just edges, just vertices…)
7 - Shortucts logic
8 - preferences switch for using transform manipulators/or direct manipulation by shortcut.

As soon as basic manipulation and logic will be working in viewport, the it can be logically interpolated to animation, node, and shader editors…

But these are just few of my preferences. It does not mean, that all of the guys who do not like current blender philosophy, feels the same… I used them to illustrate what kind of changes would be welcome on my side to make Blender more friendly. I would like to see some other suggestions here… That’s why I created this topic

Of course, no numbers for now. All depends on user’s will to support this branch. If there will be no will, then nothing will happen.

Blender 101 is not dead, depending on how you define it. The main part of that project was application templates which were included in 2.79, and are now more prominent in 2.8.

Another major part of it is active tools and gizmos which are a big part of the 2.8 project.

The third part, which are paired down templates for specific tasks, is not done yet, but builds upon the first two.

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As I’ve said multiple times, almost all of those points are covered by the Industry Standard Keymap. :slight_smile:

See below, do you think only customization will solve those issues?

Below what?

You say, why don’t you do X. I say, we will do X. Then it repeats :slight_smile:

sorry, we replied almost at the same time…

@MarekHolly 2 versions of blender is a completely dumb idea, besides needing more engineering resources it will dilute development efforts.
2.8 is not yet complete so i suggest waiting for 2.8.2 … 2.8.3 if you want more features / UX to be complete.

If you really feel that blender needs improvement in specific areas, get in touch with the blender dev team and see what resources ( developers and cash ) will be needed. Start a Code Quest fund that can help achieve that.

But if these “improvements” are just so pro DCC can get their “workflow” into a free software… IMO No

For me blender’s no 1 feature is that its free software (GPL, free as in beer) accessible to everyone from pro to novice.

Ok, in fact Industry standard kebyoard is really looking promising. Is there any release date?

There are a few small technical nibbles that needs to fixed in order to get it to work. But if we can get those sorted out, this should be included in 2.8 when it is officially released.

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Ok, some of the most crucial things for me is working with origins - easily relocate, snap, and orient. WIll this be addressed in industry standard keyboard? I could not find any info about this…

No, the particular part would not be addressed with a keymap. That is a feature that would eventually be nice to have for all Blender users. Many Blender users have requested something like that over the years. It’s a bit of a weak point currently, you are right, but this kind of thing is also more a feature request than a UI topic.

Same goes for more advanced snapping and architectural precision tools. The main difficulty with this category of thing, is how to integrate it in a natural way that fits with Blender.

The industry standard keymap will help with:

  • Left click to select
  • Right click for contextual menus
  • QWER for enabling select, move, rotate, scale tools.
  • Hotkeys always enable gizmos, not direct manipulation
  • Standard hotkeys, such as Ctrl-A for select all, Space bar to play animations, F to focus on item, that kind of thing.
  • Clicking in a blank spot to deselect, Dragging over items to select them. Shift to select more, etc.

I also don’t want to over sell this either. It won’t make Blender behave exactly like X application, and won’t magically add any missing features to bring feature parity with what you are used to. Blender will continue to be different in certain ways, but at least the basics will feel more familiar.

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