Freestyle integration into Blender

August 8, 2008

lib3ds removed

Filed under: Notes, Update — The dev team @ 9:23 AM

As of today, the integration is technically achieved: Freestyle runs natively in Blender without the use of any of its former libraries (Qt, SWIG, lib3ds). There are still remnants of libQGLViewer in the code, but they can considered part of Freestyle. This is great news as you should now be able to compile and test my branch on about every platform that Blender runs on. One thing to note is that only vlak-based shapes are supported. That means that strands or halos cannot be rendered by Freestyle yet (sorry, no BBB rendering this month…). I’ll see with Ton how to support these shape types.

Because I am going to SIGGRAPH tomorrow for a whole week and the Google Summer of Code ends on August 18, this is all that I would have been able to produce this summer. Looking back, I greatly underestimated the amount of work needed to replace SWIG. Removing SWIG and lib3ds took me about 5 weeks altogether, while I had only planned for 2-3 weeks. I also wasted two weeks trying to make renderbuffers work within Blender, which wouldn’t have been useful for the project anyway (strokes are to be rendered by Blender’s internal engine eventually).

I am proud of how far the project has gone but I am not totally satisfied. A lot more needs to be done:

  • a good amount of code needs to be refactored.
  • the last remaining style modules have to be supported.
  • Stéphane’s corrections have to be incorporated.
  • it would great to support a list of style modules, rather than just one.
  • the background paper texture should be removed eventually.
  • removing the need for an environment variable would be appreciated by non-technical users.

I’ll start making these changes today and I’ll continue again starting on August 18. Once I have strokes rendered by the Blender’s internal engine, I’ll continue implementing the original project proposal’s features, which will allow Freestyle to be manipulated and tweaked directly in the compositor via Python nodes.

Finally, due to requests, I have opened up comments on the blog. I won’t be able to monitor it much for a week so I hope it won’t get bogged down by spam…

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