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Blender new developer quick start guide

Welcome, you are wanted here.

You might be here because you like Blender and want to make it better. You might be a programmer who found a bug to fix or you are an artist who wants to learn to make an addon to improve your workflow. No matter who you are, the question we get all the time is “Where do I start?”

Here! You start here, as this page is created to help you get started quickly and find your way to writing code. We know it can be very hard to get started so we hope these resources will help.

Before we get started, we are excited you are here because the future of Animation could be in your hands…watch the video below to find out how.

Start here

This is where you will find how to build/compile Blender on your system and it is what you will need to do to test your code and create patches to submit Blender code.

New Developer Introduction

Building Blender

Steps to build Blender from scratch for each operating system. from Building Blender

Getting started with Blender development

Beginning developer workshop *class

This workshop is meant to demystify Blender’s code base by walking participants through setting up their development environment, making a small change to Blender, and compiling their own build.

Beginning developer workshop
While the core of Blender development takes place with the Blender Foundation/Studio, a substantial amount of development happens with coders who are either independent or affiliated with another organization or studio.
The amount of developer energy and interest in Blender is large and growing. Unfortunately, Blender’s source code is enormous and Blender’s development pipeline is not something that everyone is familiar with. This workshop is meant to demystify Blender’s code base by walking participants through setting up their development environment, making a small change to Blender, and compiling their own build. In addition, participants will also learn how to submit a patch and navigate the patch review process on Gitea.

Blender Developers Live: Dive into the Graph Editor is a live demo on how to look at and work on the Animation Code in Blender.  Sybren will be diving into the Graph Editor code. The purpose is to figure out how it works, make some modifications, and show the patch submission process.

*Links from the stream: Be sure to check out the description at the video for links to setup files and other resources.

Check out Blunder blog https://blunder.training/ to follow some tips from our friend Nate about his first steps in getting started helping fix code in Blender.

Also recommended Some anti-patterns

Hello fellow devs,

While reviewing code, there are some patterns that I frequently stumble upon. To me, they are clear anti-patterns, but the fact that I see them so often suggests people have different ideas about this. I would like to have a discussion about two of those (from my perspective) anti-patterns.”
Read the document to see how to improve this.

Sharing a fix for everyone, your first patch!

Yay! You are ready to send in a patch with your code, but before you do please review the guidelines and be patient.

How to contribute code https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/Process/Contributing_Code 

Example: Animation & Rigging Module: Code Review

Before submitting a patch, read through Contributing Code.

When a patch is to be reviewed by the Animation & Rigging module, do the following:

  • Make sure the patch description follows the Ingredients of a Patch guideline.
  • Add developers and artists from the Animation & Rigging module as reviewers. Be sure to pick at least one developer (when in doubt, add Sybren) as blocking reviewer. That way artists are free to approve any changes in functionality and user interface, without the patch immediately going to “Approved” state.
  • Tag the patch with the ‘Animation & Rigging’ project. This can only be done after the patch has been created, so you’ll have to edit it after creation.

Note: Some of this process is going to change and be improved as they move to a better patch and code management system called Gitea.

Stay Involved

That is all there is to getting started! If you want to be more involved and come talk with people about your code and or ask about the review status, check out how to stay involved.

Animation Module Chat: This is where we are talking about all things Blender Animation https://blender.chat/channel/animation-module and you will find links to upcoming open meetings to introduce yourself and talk about animation tasks or read about past meetings.

Here is more general information on getting in contact with developers.
Also more information on what is in development in Animation and Rigging

Follow the official Blender development channels for first-hand news, blogs, live streams, and more.

Tips and tricks for new addon developers

Sometimes building and fixing core Blender is too much and you just want to build a small tool to help your workflow.

These are the free chapters of Scripting for Artists, in which Sybren teaches how to automate things in Blender.

The entire Scripting for Artists training series can be found on Blender Cloud at https://cloud.blender.org/p/scripting-for-artists/

Great example of some very simple scripts to help save a huge amount of work in very practical examples, great after you start understanding the basics of scripting. His talk goes great with https://www.braverabbit.com/braverabbit/tools/toolshelf/ to quickly store code and run it in Blender without having to save out and install addons.

Inspiration

Maybe you want to make awesome 2D animation tools for improving Grease Pencil

Maybe you want to make some amazing NPR rendering tech for 3D animation to look like crafted hand drawn work like the team from DillonGoo Studios is doing. If you want to test their build, you will want to know and understand how to compile and build their version of Blender.

You can download it here https://github.com/dillongoostudios/goo-engine

Maybe you want to get more involved in a bigger part of Blender. Check out this behind the scenes look at the development process of Geometry Nodes and to see if it is something you want to take part in.

There are many ways to get involved and we hope this information here helps you get started.

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