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:

The release note can be found here:

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:

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 -


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