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Interesting news from Blender

http://lists.blender.org/pipermail/bf-gamedev/2016-February/000583.html

Nothing really new 3dmax is total mess in itself, Maya not so much but autodesk did not have that much time to ruin it yet.
So no wonder their file format is also **** without any real design.

Ouch… Without FBX support blender would be an island… as long some game engine supports it without using such fileformats. It seems way cheaper to donate some money instead to create and support some proper 2nd fileformat. I’m not interested in Amazons Cryengine step so far because it seems even worse with the pipelines there. It’s not that I could not pay for Maya LT and I was always impressed from the quality of Cryengine. I tried Maya LT but my workspeed feels much, much slower with it… (I hate that spacebar menu compared to my numpad and shortcuts of blender).

Related

Epic Donates to the Blender Foundation https://forums.unrealengine.com/showthread.php?16011-Epic-Donates-to-the-Blender-Foundation

Exactly this. Epic could not just drop FBX support because there are lots of Max / Maya users. But it seems 10k are too less to workaround those GPL vs non GPL-friendly proprietary standard (by design) and file format issues (like implementing the same stuff in 2 different ways for Max and Maya in one fileformat). On the other side… if some had enough money to implement a further game engine (Stingray) which costs way more than a 10k donation into their product (and which competes now with UE4) maybe others have enough money to support a further (open) fileformat in their game engine. Currently FBX export of Blender works for UE4 (so far it seems there was a step forward - especially in the later releases of Blender). Import is still messed up (which hurts but is no showstopper). Would be interesting how that affects plugins and forks around Blender like Darkblender or GEX

I was hoping for less Blender → FBX → UE problems and better integration, but they decided to ditch FBX completely… Sadface.

Maybe it’s better that they want to stop struggling with that format if it’s really broken and use something new, but UE still uses it and probably WILL use it, so for us it’s not a good thing…

So does this mean that Blender cannot export to UE4 anymore or do we just need to use a different file format?

Epic will need a Blender guru.

Whatever happened to collada ??? COLLADA - Wikipedia
The whole point was a free and open format. It clearly seems dead now…but
Seems like the industry keeps trying to invent standard formats that nobody uses…
Fbx is probably not a good choice as the industry standard :frowning:

Collada was sort of promising, but ultimately has the same issues as we see here with FBX - differing implementations and support for features of the spec, weird stuff, hard to support.

Ultimately I don’t think Blender dropping FBX dev or trying to use one of the newer Collada replacements is going to pan out - switching to a new format is usually the “go to” in this situation, and I’ve basically never seen it work out as planned. What usually happens is, the new format is just as or more annoying to deal with than the old one, and the whole cycle starts again.

Not saying I think FBX is perfect or don’t understand where Blender is coming from, but I just don’t see switching to yet another new experimental format is going to improve the situation at all.

As an aside, Unreal has one of the easiest to use art pipes I’ve ever personally used.

Edit: Well, not dropping support, but rather focusing on other formats.

FBX in Blender isn’t getting dropped or something, the developer who worked on FBX is tired of it and doesn’t want to continue developing it (to the 2016 SDK), and instead wants to experiment with open formats instead. To develop the FBX exporter/importer in Blender he had to reverse engineer it so it’s easy to understand why it became frustrating.

FBX I/O in Blender is getting maintained though so nothing should break in the Blender UE4 pipeline, and if a new coder wants to continue developing it they are free to do so. FBX export in Blender works fine at the moment and it should continue working the same way.

Aye, I got that, I was just posting about my experience with this whole file-formats issue. I fully understand the decision here, and don’t even think it’s a wrong move.

Well this was bound to happen eventually.
I think it’s a good thing(even though it’s us who’ll suffer through this).

It’s about time for Epic to either make their own fbx plugin(if that’s even possible) for blender or to adapt new file formats.

They really need to get outside the autodesk sphere of influence. It’s hurting them. And what has autodesk done? Stingray
…Not that I find Stingray good or anything, lol or even care about it.

It’s the part that confuses me the most though. Epic especially depends on fbx more so than Unity… but both really depend on autodesk for fbx.
And this year, autodesk has announced themselves as one of their competitors…

I really don’t understand why they would not be right now doing everything they can to loosen up that dependence.

I mean if you’re really going to promote yourself as an indie/hobbyist software, shouldn’t you want to have software like Blender working with yours? and if Blender can’t on it’s own… Wouldn’t you either invest in it(or maybe create your own plugins like they do for maya, if that’s even possible) so that you keep that enormous advantage. There is no other free software like Blender(yet) and especially not with so many years of development.

Bastien and ‘team’(Mainly Bastien) already have the weight of the world on them for FBX support… all the responsibility is on them… and then add to the fact that so many keep bashing on Blender as if it’s owed to them and as if there’s some mega-team who are magically gonna ‘get this done’… They can only reverse-engineer* something like ‘FBX’ for so long anyways… especially with so little funding.

Then this:

What’s $10k in programming and software development? It’s peanuts.
Look, it was generous of Epic to give them money but that was 2 years ago and literally peanuts(especially for a file format which requires continuous maintenance).

They have the money and they’ve been spending it on way riskier investments like Dev. grant applicants which are getting way more than that and sometimes just for showing off or starting a project that doesn’t exist yet or is just videos and images(not bashing ok , **love **the dev grants, just comparing investment decisions).

But when it comes to proven software that could be practically advantageous to the actual product(the game engines themselves) they give peanuts… it’s an open source software*[edit] company driven by either sheer voluntary will or voluntary funding… The fact the Blender team has been keeping up with this for so long just shows how loveable they are.

In the end I go where my workflow permits me. And if Unreal Engine doesn’t fit in there anymore well that’s it.
I would prefer it not to be, because I love this engine but c’est la vie.

We’ll see what happens. For now we’re still ok.
Like Bastien said in the letter things will still be supported for a while, but seeing all the trouble already present with blenderFBX and UE4 …well that might be sooner than I’d like.

I really hope Epic sees the advantage that Blender gives them and find a way to make things work.
Maybe they’ll adapt the new file formats Bastien was talking about. Who knows, just hope they realize that it won’t be handed to them.

It’s something that they’ll have to pursue on their own.

Ok semi abandoned thread, but I just wanted to add something here, based on my OWN experiences, and that of others I can guarantee you, as I’ve seen it on BA forums.

Blender for all its incredible value to those of us who cant afford maya, max or name your favorite here, has many issues that for many of us in game dev, make it in several ways unusable.

THe sculpt brush doesn’t follow topology which makes it unruly to get designs that with it, are easy and enjoyable, hence why I use meshmixer for almost everything I’m done right now which brings me to the biggest issue, I and others have with Blender:

Being in edit mode, and trying to design, is impossible as the # of tris rise, say much about 68k or so, its a complete wash, and their devs know about this. I don’t recall everything tied into the issue, but I hear its being worked on, no idea of a timeframe or who it will effect, as in making things ‘usable’ again. It doesn’t affect everyone, but it you are impacted, blender is incredibly slow in edit mode.

That’s a deal breaker for m any of us , which is why I’ve been SO thankful to autodesk, for Meshmixer. Blender is installed, but I rarely use it because of those issues.

Pure heaven compared to the nightmare blender is, in edit mode for some of us .

That doesn’t help.

I felt it was relevant so I added to this conversation.

What does any of what I said have anything to do with what you said?
lol…

[Edit] What I mean is why quote me twice?

I would have thought it obvious. Blender is a wonderful program,when it works.

I was providing some neutral insight into pros and cons of supporting a given application. I didn’t notice DUP, and I have no idea how it occured but anyway, obviously I removed it, it was most certainly unintentional.

The comment was directly related to your post. For me in addition to that,it also comes under the heading of, no great shock at all.

I suggest you move on, I have and will never revisit this again.

Cheers

Well, all I can say, as a long term and exclusive Blender user for UE4, I hope that Export / Import from Blender to UE4 continues to improve and is supported way into the future. :slight_smile:

@neighborlee
Ah ok, sorry didn’t see it.
Ok, np. I don’t really understand but ok take care!

I do too.
All I really wish is if Epic could focus more on Blender on their end. It’s such a potential for them.

Although, thinking of Bastien’s letter. If a new file format does come(in the next years) that everyone including Epic ends up using and helps the flow between Ue4 and Blender that would be cool too.

Why would a company add more support/focus for a software they don’t use internally - What do you want them to do, write a FBX import for blender? sigh FBX implementation is entire up to the respective DCC software to implement Blender is not special,every software has such potential as an art tool. Blender is just a DCC app in a sea of apps. Why do some blender users feel so entitled?

IMHO, they already done more than enough by giving 10,000 USD to the Blender foundation. Some people on that mailing list said 10K is not alot of money, that might be true however they are missing the point and fail to see the gesture, Epic did not have to give any money to the Foundation they chose to do so. The bottomline is FBX implementation is not their responsibility. If you’re software doesn’t have good FBX support there are other options out there, cheap options(Modo Indie/Maya LT) so price is no excuse :stuck_out_tongue:

Why would they limit themselves to only what they use internally?
Well if you can name another as-complete, with as many developers maintaining, open-source 3d software. please let me know. until then, Blender is pretty much alone.