Freestyle integration into Blender

December 21, 2009

New to-do list

Filed under: Notes — The dev team @ 12:58 AM

According to the recent change in the organization of the dev team, we think we need a new plan on how to proceed toward the merge into the trunk (Blender 2.5).  As a matter of fact, the merge itself has been agreed with Ton, who has contacted us once in a while with regard to the status of the branch.  The merge will take place when the dev team considers the branch is ready for production use.  The question is when the branch is considered production-ready.  It is hard to predict exactly when, but in my humble opinion, the branch will be ready for production use when most known instability issues are addressed and missing features are recovered.  Here is a list of known issues that should be fixed before the merge into the trunk:

  • Bug fix regarding the view map creation
    Most instability of the branch comes from bugs in the view map creation that detects feature edges (e.g., borders, crease edges, ridges/valleys, and suggestive contours) from a given scene.  A serious bug here is that objects behind the active camera cause a crash.  We have been working on a fix of the bug.  This seems closely related to a system design question of whether or not feature edges are clipped by the viewing frustum.
  • Bug fix regarding the Blender file loader
    As far as we known, the current Blender file loader (to feed meshes to the view map creation) does not correctly deal with several types of meshes (e.g., cloth and softbody).  The dev team has also been working on this issue.
  • Orthographic camera
    This is also part of the view map creation instability.

Here is another list of missing features to be reimplemented before the merge:

  • Textured strokes  
  • Transparent stroke colors
  • Z depth information
  • Stroke density information
  • Steerable view map

Both instability issues and missing features are listed in the descending priority order.  In addition, additional improvements and new features are anticipated (all with low priority, though).

  • Freestyle Python API improvements
    This has been almost done and existing style modules are expected to be rewritten according to a new, more Python-like iterator syntax.
  • Better feature edge detection
    If time permits, we consider improving the view map creation in two directions: 1) to detect feature edges at intersections of faces; and 2) to detect feature edges between two faces with different materials.

No specific deadline is specified for each item due to limited human resources.  Those Freestyle users who eagerly wait for the merge, thank you for your interest and for your understanding.



  1. Before you think about merging it, you need to re-think your GUI integration in 2.5. The options for freestyle are scattered in far away places from each other.

    Comment by anonymous — December 21, 2009 @ 1:16 AM

  2. :) go go go go

    Comment by dd — December 21, 2009 @ 6:14 AM

  3. !!! looking forward to an even more stable and merged freestyle in blender 2.5. Thank you for your hard work!

    Comment by Blenderificus — December 21, 2009 @ 7:37 AM

  4. As a pro-tip from fellow developer, I would suggest that you concentrate on removing bugs and limit the scope of features you would like to have, otherwise you never going to finish it, especially not on time for 2.5 release.

    For example:
    # Textured strokes
    # Transparent stroke colors
    # Z depth information

    These are nice to have, but are they really absolutely obligatory for Freestyle to be considered production ready? I believe they can be added later, in consecutive iterations.

    Were I the project manager behind Freestyle, I would consider that the most important is to have working core functionality and a set of brushes, preferably tweakable. Then, and only then, when there are no bugs and stability issues within the core, would I proceed with adding more functionality.

    Comment by Barts — December 21, 2009 @ 12:56 PM

  5. […] Filed under: Update — The dev team @ 12:32 AM Now that the instability issues listed in the new to-do list have been mostly addressed, the next target is to recover missing features enumerated in the to-do […]

    Pingback by Weekly update February 1-7 « Freestyle integration into Blender — February 9, 2010 @ 12:33 AM

  6. […] the next weeks, we move on to Freestyle Python API improvements as described in the new to-do list.  This time we are going to finish the new Python-oriented API syntax and remove the old […]

    Pingback by Weekly update March 29-April 4 « Freestyle integration into Blender — April 7, 2010 @ 12:41 AM

  7. I just wanted to say how much I LOVE this freestyle! Its extremely necessary to my work.
    Is there much support for this presently? I recently saw that there is not a forum available for Freestyle. Personally I’d like to have prefab settings for line types and style.
    Will this be integrated into the new Blender 2.5 eventually? Please email me. As a thanks I’d like to give you free access to the Illustrations I turn out using freestyle. Maybe you can use them as examples. Which reminds me…user galleries! Need those too.

    Comment by Leo — March 5, 2011 @ 12:59 AM

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