Hello and welcome back fellow Blenderheads,
The next Blender Conference is getting closer, and this year i would like to present the new particle system developments. Over the past months i have steadily been developing new node features for nodes in general and tested various particle node approaches. Recently i made another attempt at introducing dynamic buffers in the existing particle systems and, even though maintaining the old system proved ultimately infeasible, it has produced a reusable dynamic buffer implementation that will greatly increase the power of particle systems.
However, i have to pay bills like everybody else. For this reason i would like to start a little fundraiser campaign over the course of the next three months (until BConf 2011), which will enable me to work on this project full time and finally create a working particle node system. The final targeted result has been split into different stages, to allow a measure of progress:
Stage 1 (500 €):
- Detailed design documents
- Particle base structures
- User interface
Stage 2 (1500 €):
- Simulation node API (time stepping)
- Render node API
- Parallel processing (multithreading)
- Point cache integration
Stage 3 (2500 €):
- Usable set of base nodes to reproduce current features:
- Newtonian physics
- Force fields
- Basic rendering (billboards and object duplis)
- New nodes for:
- Custom attributes
- Splitting and merging particle flows
- Particle groups
- Presentation at the Blender Conference 2011
- User and developer documentation
In addition to these features there will probably be a couple of spin-off node features that other node-related projects can benefit from. In particular it will be possible to define many nodes purely in Python, which makes rapid prototyping much easier. A bunch of other “under-the-hood” improvements are also ready for trunk merge in 2.6.
Donations above 100 € will get special mentioning on this site (if desired). You can find more detailed information about the individual topics on the new wiki pages. These will be extended and updated as development progresses.
If this fundraiser reaches its goal we can think about extending it to cover further integration and more node components. There are many more areas in Blender that would benefit from modular, node-based design, which also means lots of opportunities for coders.
Thank you very much for your interest and support, the community is what keeps Blender alive and the community is you!