Blender Fork Bforartists

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Blender Fork Bforartists Version 0.9.0

Bforartists has reached version 0.9.0 now. It is feature complete. Just some smaller adjustments and mainly documentation work is left to reach version 1.0. And so it is time to announce it to a wider audience, to collect some feedback, and to make it better known.

Version 0.9.0 was mainly the merge of Blender 2.78 into Bforartists. This means Bforartists has now the same features than Blender 2.78.

Go get it here: http://www.bforartists.de/content/download

The release note can be found here: http://www.bforartists.de/wiki/bforartistsreleasenotev090

There are currently just windows binaries available. When you work with Linux or Mac then you have to compile it by yourself. The advices to compile Blender by yourself should also work for Bforartists. The linux version compiles. We cannot test the Mac version though. So no guarantee that it compiles fine. While at it we still search for somebody who can create binary version for Mac an Linux with static linked libraries.

What is Bforartists?

It's a fork of the popular 3D software Blender. Ever tried Blender, and immediately gave up at it because of the odd interface and handling? That's why Bforartists exists.

The main focus of Bforartists is to improve the user interface and usability. It is, like Blender, free, open source, and under GNU GPL license. The development started June 2nd 2015. And we started to change what was posible within the given bounds of limited manpower and the UI limits of Blender.

A feature that works in Blender 2.78 should also work in Bforartists. And the blend files are compatible and interchangeable. You can also use the Blender keymap, and work like in Blender in the very most cases. The very most addons will work too ( if not then hand me the addon over, and i will try to fix it) It is Blender under the hood. And it remains Blender under the hood.

So where are the differences?

- A brand new Keymap with Left Click select, which is reduced to just the necessary hotkeys.
- Cleaned up User Interface. More than 300 not necessary double menu entries removed.
- Extended User Interface. Close to 100 formerly hotkey only tools have a menu entry now.
- Rearranged User Interface. Some things are better accessible now, some are not so much in the way anymore.
- Over 200 new native icons, plus 80 from an addon.
- Icon Buttons in the Tool Shelf to reduce the scrolling.
- A configurable Toolbar with icon buttons.
- Improved Layouts.
- Better Tooltips.
- Better readable standard theme.
- Some neat new addons to improve usability, like the reset 3D View addon or the Important Hotkey addon.
- And lots more small details like hidable 3D Cursor or Wireframe Colors. Or that you can now delete objects and selections without the delete menu quiz.

A detailled list of the changes can be found in the release notes: http://www.bforartists.de/wiki/release-notes

But the code is just half of the show. Another important bit is the non code things.

- The Bforartists useage is centered around the graphical menu, not hotkeys. Bforartists relies at an intuitive and self explaining graphical UI in the first place. And then comes the hotkeys.
- The target audience for Bforartists is the hobbyists and indie developers. Blender tries to target professionals. But most of them don't care for various reasons.
- A better manual. The Blender manual is in big parts unsearchable, has an odd structure, and relies heavily at the Blender keymap to name just a few flaws. Which makes it of no big use for users. That's why we  rewrite it, piece by piece.
- Official learning videos. No need to spend days with searching for the one tutorial that is understandable, for the actual version and is not a spelling lesson. This is also an ongoing project.
- Bforartists is not bound to the Blender bubble. It has its own independant eco system.

Why this fork?

I am an experienced 3d artist. But i could even after years not bend my brain to some of the Blender UI quirks. Even more because i develop games too. And with that background i feel the pain with UI design quirks even in a double manner. As an experienced3D artist. And as an experienced developer who has designed more than one UI in my life.

Back in the days the Blender developers were not to convince to change the graphical UI. Everything was more important. The dogma of the hotkey centered workflow is in the way too. The graphical UI is more a necessary evil. And the so called Blender bubble with its resistance against any change is a very special chapter too. Remains the fact that the graphical UI in Blender is not in the best state. It's not all bad, but it is not good neither.

Why not simply work for Blender then you may ask, and simply fix the flaws? I tried. Without success. They didn't even see the problems. My changes would never make it into the trunk.

And so i started the fork instead.

This video explains the differences:



Kind regards

Reiner - http://www.bforartists.de














Replies

  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    nice! I wasn't aware of that project. thanks for sharing
  • cptSwing
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    cptSwing polycounter lvl 6
    I salute you! Will give it a spin soon, might finally keep blender open for more than 20 minutes ;)
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks folks. I hope it is of use for you :)
  • Powerman64
    Woah hello there,
    it's a big step   from the old super controversial BA thread.
    I'm beginning to take back everything I said.

    Good job
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks :)
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    There is also a youtube channel for Bforartists. It is still a bit empty at the moment. To create more documentation is part of the 0.9.0 release cycle. But we have a Quickstart video series that covers the basics and goes up to uv mapping already. The rest will follow





  • [Deleted User]
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    [Deleted User] insane polycounter
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Swordslayer
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    Swordslayer greentooth
    Well done! With the just announced Autodesk companywide move from maintenance with permanent license in case you ever stop to full rental which goes with a price increase and no permanent license anymore (have to keep paying more to use the software with no right to use it if you ever stop), this is the best time to get new users on board and increase the exposure!
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks :)
  • DeadClown
    Coming along nicely! Didn't expect it when you started it, but it seems to be progressing well.
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    I do my very best :)
  • DerekLeBrun
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    DerekLeBrun polycounter lvl 9
    Will this be kept up to date with the current official releases so that it works with popular addons like HardOps and BoxCutter?
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Yes it will. But not at a daily base, but just with the mayor versions. Means the next merged release will be Blender 2.79.

    There are a handful addons that will not work anymore like in Blender since i removed for example the add menu. But i have already fixed the included ones. And when you stumble across an addon that doesn't work in Bforartists, then give me it, and i will try to fix it then :)
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5

    Quick update. Bforartists Version 0.9.1 is a bug fix release that fixes some show stoppers. So this release is rather small.

    Bforartists did not compile at Linux because of wrong Python version. The addons in the Testing category didn't show. And quite a few addons didn't work anymore.

    The hotkey map was here and there flawed. And not loger in sync with the manual. This keymap manual part is also updated to the latest version now. Affected is the chapter 2.1 Bforartists Standard Keymap.pdf  . Most important change is that the Q key now toggles the 3D widget. While the former to Q assigned rectangle zoom is not longer hotkeyed.

    The download can be found in the download section: http://www.bforartists.de/content/download

    More info can be found in the Release Note: http://www.bforartists.de/wiki/bforartistsreleasenotev091


  • kanga
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    kanga polycounter lvl 10
    This looks great. Downloading the latest version now. Does it work with the GoZ addon?
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Haven't tested it yet, sorry. Just try it :)
  • wizmann
    awesome, I did not know about bfartists before i came here. I will definitly take a look at it. 
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    A new Version is available.

    Bforartists Version 0.9.2 is around cleaning up the menus and connecting some loose ends. It adds some more tools to the toolbar editor. We have over 50 new icons. Again quite a few double menu entries were catched and removed. Some more tools made it into the tool shelf. The Toolbar type View is gone, and replaced by the Toolbar Type Mesh Edit. It also brings a few important fixes. The Mac build now compiles. The Player and quite a few other missing things is now onboard too.

    And we have again some vital changes at the keymap to remove some conflicts and inconsistencies. Most important one is that Move and Rotate in the Viewport is now switched to be consistent with the rest of the editors. Now the Middle Mouse button pans the view like in the Image Editor. And Right Mouse rotates the view.

    The download can as usual be found in the download section: http://www.bforartists.de/content/download

    More info can be found in the Release Note: http://www.bforartists.de/wiki/bforartistsreleasenotev092

    Laters

    Reiner


  • JohannTheCreator
    This is very cool. Personally, Blender was the first 3d modelling software I tried and since then have modified it to my liking so I'm pretty comfortable with it. But this is perfect for people looking to switch to blender from other software because I've heard it just doesn't feel right for people already accustom to software like max and maya. 
  • SpaceRogue
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    SpaceRogue polycounter lvl 2
    I haven't put a lot of time in this and its been a few days, I just wanted to say that I love the idea behind it tho, however there are a lot of simple tools that I use all the time and wasn't able to find while playing with B. meanwhile the menus seems to sport a lot of tools that I'v hardly had any use for. 
    I know I'm coming from max so I'm probably spoiled (especially after having worked in Rocket 3F for a few days) , but having the simple tools like 'weld vertex/edge' or 'bridge' directly available seemed the most logical thing, yet I did not manage to find them. 

    Personally I think that if you're trying to make the most accessible UI for any 3D app you should very much consider looking at how Rocket 3F and Modo are set up. 
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks for your feedback :)

    We have of course an eye at other apps. But we are limited to the Blender UI solution. So we cannot do everything that we would want to.

    The problem that you mention is partly a name issue. Weld is merge in Blender and Bfoartists. And this one is already at top level Ui in the toolbar. It's a dropdown box. But we are also still not completely through with sorting the tools into most used ones and rarely used ones. Bridge Edgeloops is still hidden in the header menus in the mesh / edges submenu in Edit mode. And may indeed go into the sidebar too. Which tools goes where needs further experiments though. We cannot throw everything into the sidebar. It's already pretty crowded.

    Another issue. Andre Lauzon was so nice to build a Mac Binary of Bforartists 0.9.2. So we have now also a Mac Build available. It can be found in the Download section.

    Many thanks Andre Smile


  • lluc
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    lluc polycounter lvl 8
    Hey there is some good ideas there, I'm really use to Blender and I don't have any problem with it. One of my favourites with bforartis is the icons bar like Maya. There is a easy way to bring that to normal blender, is just a script that i can borrow to use in blender official or its more complicated than that?
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Thanks :)

    It is much more complicated than that. It's a new editor type. Lots of C code involved. And so it cannot be made as an addon. I fear we will not see something similar so fast in Blender. But that's why you have Bforartists :)
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5

    Fjuhec was so nice to build a Linux  Binary of Bforartists 0.9.2. So we have now also a Linux Build available too. It can be found in the Download section.

    Many thanks Francesc :)

    https://bforartists.de/content/download


  • floon
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    floon polycounter lvl 6
    Awesome! Will definitely give this a spin!
  • Michael Knubben
    lluc said:
    Hey there is some good ideas there, I'm really use to Blender and I don't have any problem with it. One of my favourites with bforartis is the icons bar like Maya. There is a easy way to bring that to normal blender, is just a script that i can borrow to use in blender official or its more complicated than that?
    Maybe this would work for you? 
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Hi Michael,
    This addon is really nice. But it is still bound to the Blender UI limits. You can do a lot with it, but you can't do the icon bar with it like in Bforartists. And be it alone because most of the icons are not in the Blender iconsheet ^^
    In the end you can't let the users design the UI. This will imho not work. They are not the designers, they are the users. And every customization makes it harder to follow tutorials then. That's why good defaults are so important.
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    While at it, Bforartists 0.9.4 is ready. Currently there are just the Windows binaries available. But Linux and Mac builds should follow shortly. You can grab it in the download section: https://www.bforartists.de/content/download

    The new version brings all the goodies from Blender 2.79. Like Denoiser, PBR Shader, Shadow Catcher, Flimic Color Management, etc. . Please have a look at the Blender 2.79 release note at the Blender page for the new features. Important is the compatibility note. Blender 2.79 is not fully backwards compatible to earlier version anymore. And this affects of course Bforartists 0.9.4 too.

    The changes in Bforartists itself since the last version sums up to over 100 changes again, but are each rather small. The last weeks and months were in big parts spent at documentation and tutorials. Unbelievable how time consuming this chapter is. That's why Bforartists 0.9.3 brings mainly fixes and some small changes and cleanup operations. And we had some inconsistencies in the hotkeys again. F2 to call the console is removed since it conflicts with Linux build. The Properties sidebars now all opens with Ctrl T, not longer with N. And we have readded the hotkey to Loopcut and Slide, since it is a fundamental modeling tool, and often used.

    For the changes please have a look at the Bforartists 0.9.3 release note. Version 0.9.4 was an emergency release because of a showstopper, and fixes just one bug. The release notes can be found here: https://www.bforartists.de/wiki/release-notes

    There is also a complete quickstart tutorial series available now to get you started:



    Have Fun

    Reiner



  • alt_sdb
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    alt_sdb polycounter lvl 4
    I already give them a spin, little awkward because of my muscle memory with blender..but this give me hope to return to blender where my refusal of it UI and system made me i never pass rigging tutorial. Thank you Tiles  :)
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    You're welcome :)


  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    It took a while. But now Bforartists 0.9.6 is here. The Windows versions are already up and running. You can find it in the downloads section. Mac and Linux versions will hopelfully follow soon.

    You can find the download at the usual location: https://www.bforartists.de/content/download

    The Bforartists 0.9.6 release brings the changes from Blender 2.79a. Which are around 200 fixed bugs. Bforartists adds around 260 resolved tasks on top of it.

    The biggest change is that it brings around 450 new Icons. Now nearly every menu item has icons. It brings also updates to the addons. We have removed quite a few double menu entries again. And quite a few properties have moved from the header menus into tool shelf and properties sidebars.

    We have again some changes at the keymap. We mapped Y, X , C for mesh select mode to X, C, V instead because of the american layout issue where Z and Y are flipped compared to the european keyboard layout. Lasso select works with LMB now everywhere. The hotkey to view selected is assigned to D now. This one was formerly Numpad 0, and is now much better to handle. The caveat is that we ran into another hotkey conflict that way, which we still have to fix. Holding D is also grease pencil draw.

    Another big redesign ist the whole nodes toolshelf. It comes now with icon buttons. We have reduced the tabs from 13 in Blender to three tabs in Bforartists. And the categories have become panels. This is now much better organized, and you can easier find what you are looking for.

    And finally we have fixed a few bugs.

    Another change is that we switched to Inno Setup to build the Windows installer. We loose the ability to connect the *.blend file association with Bforartists while the update process. But we win with a much simpler update process.

    At this point as usual a big thanks to the whole Bforartists crew, which made this release possible. Many thanks folks.





  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5

    Bforartists 0.9.7 is ready. The binaries can as usual be found here: https://www.bforartists.de/content/download

    The release note can be found here: https://www.bforartists.de/wiki/bforartistsreleasenotev097

    The Bforartists 0.9.7 release brings mainly small tweaks and improvements. All in all we have 100 changes in this release. We have added some missing icons, made some panels more compact, and so on . And it comes with the changes from Blender 2.79b. We have added two new addons. One for the VSE. And one to create a primitive with adjustable subdivisions. See create tab in the tool shelf. Most tools are now in the tool shelf too. And not longer in header menus. The biggest change is the new Full keymap. Now you can use the navigation from Bforartists with most hotkeys from Blender. Big thanks for creating this keymap goes to Draise here. This one took months.

    As you may have noticed, we have moved to the Github tracker. As a consequence the release note now not longer contains links to the issues. The listed titles in the release note are the commits.

    It's also a milestone release. We getting close to version 1.0. Most of the initial development goals are reached. What is now missing is some last changes and fine tuning. And this means this version should be functional enough for production. As a consequence this release is not longer marked as Pre Production. 

    There are surely still some problems around. But there aren't this much big changes ahead anymore. At least not in this development cycle, Blender 2.8 is a completely different beast then.

    Many thanks to the team! And have fun with the software Smile

    - Reiner



  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    A new version is ready. We are getting close. 

    This version is a release candidate for the upcoming version 1.0.0. It marks the end of the initial development cycle. Nearly three years of work comes to an end. And most of the initial goals are fulfilled.

    The download can as usual be found in the download section. https://www.bforartists.de/content/download

    We have as usual first the Windows binaries ready. Please be patient.

    There aren't this much changes in this release. Just around 40, and most of them small ones. The Bforartists 1.0.0 RC1 release is mainly cleanup work and last fixes to prepare the final version. We have catched a few bugs, extended the material library vx by more materials, added some last icons, and did some last changes. There were for example still two "are you really want to delete" dialogs around.

    A note to Cuda in the 32 bit Windows version. GPU rendering may or may not work for you. Cuda 9 doesn't support the outdated 32 bit architecture anymore. I have compiled the 32 Bit version with Cuda 8 now. But it throws still an error with my Nvidia 1060. So expect GPU rendering not to work in the 32 Bit version. Please upgrade to a 64 Bit Windows in this case. It is more than time!

    The further road map is to wait until the Blender 2.8 development at the UI is finished. Makes no sense to change something that is under a permanent change anyways. A first incarnation of Blender 2.8 should arrive at the next Siggraph. And then we can have a look at it, and will continue the development. But we don't run out of work. We need a new homepage since Drupal 7 is now EOL. And at the documentation front there is years of work waiting.

    As usual, a big thanks to the team!

    - Reiner


  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    And this is it. Version 1.0.0 is gold. This development cylce is finished. Many thanks for all the help and support. Thanks to the team members. Enjoy Bforartists :)

    The download can as usual be found in the download section. https://www.bforartists.de/content/download

    We have also as usual first the Windows binaries ready. The Mac version will most probably follow this weekend. We have unfortunately still no good news for Linux. No maintainer anymore. But you can always build it by yourself. The source code is at Github. And the advice how to compile Blender works for Bforartists in the same way.

    The changes between RC1 and the full version aren't really worth mentioning it. We just catched two last minute things.

    I have still to point at Cuda in the 32 bit Windows version. GPU rendering may or may not work for you. Cuda 9 doesn't support the outdated 32 bit architecture anymore. I have compiled the 32 Bit version with Cuda 8 now. But it throws still an error with my Nvidia 1060. So expect GPU rendering not to work in the 32 Bit version. Please upgrade to a 64 Bit Windows in this case. It is more than time!

    - Reiner





  • FourtyNights
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    FourtyNights polycounter lvl 4
    Bforartists looks kinda interesting from its UI standpoint, that I'd be interested to try it... but I'm SO used to the original Blender's keyboard shortcuts and functionality that they've scorched deep to my muscle memory and mind, haha.
  • Tiles
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    Tiles polycounter lvl 5
    Then Bforartists isn't made for you. No problem :)

    You could of course simply switch to the Blender keymap ^^
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