Last Tuesday there was a little video conference call between those members of the Animation module who were in a compatible timezone. Present were Alexander Gavrilov, Hjalti Hjálmarsson, Sebastian Parborg, and myself. It was good to see each other face-to-face, and we discussed some module business.
Renaming the Animation module to Animation & Rigging
Currently ‘rigging’ is not explicitly part of any module, at least according to the Modules page on the wiki. On that page ‘constraints’ is also not mentioned; maybe it’s meant as part of “Animation Editors & Tools”, but that’s not clear. To clarify this we propose to rename the module to Animation & Rigging. If there are no major objections to this before 2019-12-13 we’ll go ahead and start renaming the module (at minimum this involves editing the wiki Modules page and the project name/description on developer.blender.org).
Update 2019-12-10: @dfelinto approved the change this morning, so I just went ahead and renamed the module.
Plans for the Constraints system
The current constraints system has certain limitations, most notably the rigid order in which transforms are passed from one constraint to the next. We agreed that D6297: Action Constraint: introduce a mix mode setting is going to be the last feature we introduce in this area. We envision a new node-based constraint system, which will provide new flexibility and more importantly better understandability of constraints.
Of course this is open for discussion, but we think it’s a good idea to start putting energy into a fresh, modern constraint system that does what it needs to do in a clear way, rather than trying to add yet more options and behavioural complexities to the current system.
Tool System for Animators
Hjalti reminded us of the missing T-panel for animators. The new toolsystem introduced in Blender 2.80 removed a panel that was used to house tooling for animators, and we should start making plans & designs for a suitable replacement. Such a replacement should work at least in the 3D View, Graph Editor, and Dope Sheet, and include a way to add & remove tools there based on personal preference. This is something we’ll discuss with Dalai and Nathan as well.
Attracting more Developers
There are only few developers working on the Animation & Rigging systems, with recent activity only from Alexander Gavrilov, Sebastian Parborg, and a bit from myself. If you are interested in helping out in this area, let me know!