Blender Community Update: 2024 Project Goals and Developments

2023: A Year of Many Projects

As 2023 closed, the Blender community witnessed a flurry of activity. The year was marked by starting new projects, continuing ongoing ones, finalizing several, and postponing others. This pattern of managing multiple projects simultaneously proved challenging, leading to concerns about energy and attention being spread too thin.

2024: A Focus on Completion and Quality Enhancement

Looking ahead to 2024, the focus shifts towards finishing projects. The first quarter is dedicated to completing major projects such as the Extensions Platform, GPU-based Compositor, EEVEE Next, Grease Pencil 3.0, and Brush Assets. While projects like Geometry Nodes and Vulkan are on hold, high-priority issues and community patches for these will be addressed weekly. The Character Animation project remains a primary focus for the Animation & Rigging module.

Key Projects and Developments

  1. Extensions Platform: The Blender Foundation is set to launch a community-moderated website for add-ons, themes, and asset libraries. This project includes an online platform and Blender integration, aiming to enhance user experience and creativity.
  2. GPU-based Compositor: This new backend utilizes GPU acceleration for real-time interaction, improving efficiency and performance in final compositing.
  3. EEVEE Next: The evolution of Blender’s real-time rendering engine, focusing on compatibility with the latest hardware and incorporating new features like screen space global illumination.
  4. Grease Pencil 3.0: A complete overhaul of Grease Pencil is underway, promising increased performance and new features, including early integration of Geometry Nodes.
  5. Brush Assets: The asset system in Blender 4.0 will now fully support brushes for painting and sculpting, enhancing the ease of use and sharing among the community.

Upcoming Plans and Releases

The second quarter of 2024 looks promising with projects like Pipeline & Assets, Sculpting & Painting, Physics & Simulation, Tablet Input Mapping, and GPU Projects lined up. Three Blender releases are planned for 2024 – versions 4.1, 4.2 LTS, and 4.3. Additionally, the first North American Blender Conference is scheduled for April in Los Angeles.

Long-Term Vision

Looking further ahead, there are ideas for Blender Apps, Layered Texturing, and a move to Vulkan. These are subject to resource availability and are expected to start in the latter half of 2024.

For continuous updates, the Blender community is encouraged to keep an eye on the Blender Code Blog. Here’s to a productive and innovative 2024 in the world of Blender!

Join the Post-Production Community Now! Connect, Network, and Showcase Your Talent. Elevate Your Craft with Industry Pros. Explore & Share Today! Sign Up

Related Articles