A recognition shared among the dev team members is that as of this writing, the Freestyle branch is in a state good enough to allow users to produce reasonably useful results, even though a bit of care is necessary to work around known instability issues and missing features. The Freestyle renderer, which was originally a stand-alone NPR application program with external dependencies (i.e., OpenGL, Qt, lib3ds, and so on), has already been fully integrated into Blender and no longer depends on any third-party software components. Stroke rendering is implemented solely based on Blender’s internal render pipeline, meaning that stylized strokes can be easily combined with raytraced images through render layers and the compositor. Although the branch still needs a considerable amount of work to address the instability and recover the missing features, all the dedicated work since the beginning of Maxime’s 2008 Google Summer of Code project is a great accomplishment.
After having brought the Freestyle integration work to this height, Maxime informed me (T.K.) of his intention to discontinue his involvement in the project. In his last blog post, he has explained the aim of the withdrawal as to devote more time and energy to his software engineering career and work on different matters closer to the fields he is working in. His leave is certainly a big loss for the Freestyle integration project as well as for the Blender community, but still his decision is acceptable and I totally understand what he intends to mean. Honestly I don’t have enough words to express my appreciation for his huge commitment to the project. Without his talent and longstanding dedication, Freestyle for Blender simply cannot exist.
Maxime and I have agreed with two things. One is our position that the Freestyle branch is not production-ready yet and should not be merged into the trunk (Blender 2.5) at the moment. The time when the merge will take place should be determined by the level of robustness being achieved at that time. The other thing is the migration of the Freestyle blog from Maxime’s personal hosting service to here at WordPress.com, just to minimize maintenance costs on his side. All past blog articles have already been migrated to the new venue.
The dev team welcomes new team members who are willing to help the Freestyle integration project. Anyone on developers’ and/or artists’ side is encouraged to participate in the collaborative work. Bug reports, patches, suggestions, comments, and any kind of feedback are highly appreciated as well. Thank you for your interest on Freestyle for Blender.