Minimal Blender Build

Ok. I have followed all the instructions in downloading the latest Blender version from git hub and successfully built it. I expected 2.85 or 2.90, but got 2.91 alpha. Seeing there are 145 visual studio projects and god knows how many files in each, this is the largest build I have ever done that actually worked without a hitch. Which brings me to the heading of this query.

I will not explain too much, and not the reasons other than trying to understand how the most basic things in Blender is done, and to evaluate if I can indeed make a contribution with code from a project I have just concluded. I want to create a build of blender with the minimalist of code necessary to create a mesh object, perform key frame animations and render it.

That means, no non critical addons, or things like mantaflow, openVBD or even grease pencil etc.

I have looked at the code trying to decipher how blender just stores data for a scene, the objects within it and how those objects in turn are defined. It was not easy to find the code where these are located, but once found, it seems Blender have these as a C structure types, not a C++ class which I have my own objects defined as. With so much code and no documentation it is difficult to find oneself around such a project and work things out. So a build with the minimalist of code to get Blender going would be a great start for one like myself unfamiliar where everything is ,and not needing all the extra stuff to get started in any kind of Blender development and evaluate if indeed one can make a contribution.

Is there any kind of information of any kind to create a minimal build, or if such a minimal build exists, somewhere one can download.

Thanks in advance for any help.

We have @LazyDodo to thank for that. Thanks @LazyDodo!

make lite instead of make
I just ran make debug lite nobuild
Double clicking on the Blender.sln to launch MSVC shows that this configuration has 98 projects instead of 145.
The lite build folder is just over ~1.3 GB instead of the 9 to 10 GB of my regular build folder.


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Adding to EAW’s comment, you may add features gradually if they are necessary for your purpose. the list can be found in build_files/cmake/config/blender_lite.cmake. Cycles would be required for rendering, Eevee works in lite though. Opensubdiv would be required for the modifier.

Lite build is great for navigating code for Mesh and BMesh.

You may see Bug fix help: Object visibility out of sync with the outliner for a similar discussion with a new contributor.

Brilliant !

Much easier and better than expected, and I apologise for missing the above mentioned URL link as I went straight to the building Blender on windows web page. Had I read the Customization section of Building Blender web page, I would have picked this up and not need to ask this question.

I have created the minimal build, everything is working and will start looking at it tomorrow when I have more time.

Thanks very much.

Thanks, this advice is how I intend to approach things. Much appreciated.

All the best.