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.