Blender 2.8 Beta

I'm trying out the newest beta of Blender 2.8 for the first time today, and it really seems like a big improvement in usability. The new UI is a lot more user friendly and I'm able to actually find tools I can use without having to look up and memorize all the hotkeys first. There is so much it can do that it will take a long while to learn where everything is and how it works but for the first time, I feel like it's really possible to do. I have limited use of my arms and hands so the complex hotkey system always made the software too cumbersome for me to use. While all the hotkeys are still in place, I'm finding I can use more of the features without them, which means I can do a lot more with the mouse. It's like a mix of Hexagon and Carara with hints of Studio in the mix even though it is more complex. That's my initial take on it anyway.

Are others here using it? What are your thoughts of it? How does this update compare in usability to other popular modelers like ZBrush? Do you think it might be used more as a tool to make DAZ content than it has been in the past? I'm just curious really. I think it's worth giving another try if you hated it before now. Feel free to share your tips if you know your way around the new UI already.

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Comments

  • Silent WinterSilent Winter Posts: 1,553
    edited December 2018

    I've given it a quick go and am impressed with it. It'll take a little getting used to some of the changes (I've just set my 2.79b to use left-click select so I can adapt by the time 2.8 is out of beta). I like the eevee renderer (it's not as accurate as cycles but is basically a game-engine renderer and looks good enough for most things, especially as I'd mostly use it for previews).

    2.8 should really be version 3.0 with all the improvements and wotnot - feels like a new version anyway.

    I'll still be using 2.79b for production work until 2.8 leaves beta (as anything could change) though 2.8 seems pretty stable so far.

    Post edited by Silent Winter on
  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 3,773
    edited December 2018

    I intend to check it out when I can get around to it. I've been able to use it very marginally in the past, but the interface was definitely a sticking point. Looks much better and more thought out now :). However, one of my biggest hangups about the program still exists - the switching of Y and Z. EVERY other program I use except for Blender has Y as up and down and Z as front and back. It's not a huge problem since I can always switch Y and Z on export, but I always forget the first time I export and my model comes into whatever other program I import it into on its side...grrrrrr. LOL

    Laurie

    Post edited by AllenArt on
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,188
    edited December 2018

    2.8 should really be version 3.0 with all the improvements and wotnot - feels like a new version anyway.

    Yes, it does seem so but they are saving 3.0 for a much larger project. A total rewrite of the engine. A lot of the changes in 2.8 the team was saying would be too hard to do without totally rewriting the engine.

    There was a whole discussion that got sparked from Andrew Price's post. Many of his ideas didn't actually get implemented, and most of the changes that are happening weren't listed in his take on the rewrite. His base idea of breaking Blender out of the mold it was stuck in was solid and garnered enough discussion that it pushed the Blender team to consider actually changing when they had previously dug their heels in.

    In the discussion that followed many of the changes suggested were being shot down because it was thought it would be too difficult to do without totally rewriting the base engine. I made the argument that Blender has a long history and that 'any' code at some point needs to be rewritten. It's called 'refactoring' in programming terms. The biggest indicator that refactoring is overdue is when needed improvements are being regularly shot down because it would be too hard to implement with the current code structure. The team actually got much farther then they thought they would with changes before the rewrite. The rewrite still needs to happen to go forward,  but the current changes will top off this generation nicely.

    This and other things Blender are discussed in the thread Who said Blender was Hard?

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • QuasarQuasar Posts: 89
    AllenArt said:

    However, one of my biggest hangups about the program still exists - the switching of Y and Z.

    I noticed that today as I was using the viewport movement tool. It works similarly to the one in Studio but just like you said, it visually shows the Z and Y axis being switched  I'm glad to know it can be switched back during export. 

  • PadonePadone Posts: 582

    .. that's incredible it is the first version of Blender using the lmb for selection LOL .. and apart eevee I see out of core memory for cycles the same as octane .. yes they're doing a great job indeed

  • Yeah, the big names in 3D are hurting because this will start hurting them with their big ticket priced software. What stopped most users from using and learning blender in the past was the truly horrible interface that was impossible to get your head around. Now this is getting fixed. Blender a free 3D complete suite that can compete with the big boys. 

  • QuasarQuasar Posts: 89
    edited December 2018

    This is the video I watched that convinced me to download and try the beta. His description of the new features is a good starting point for learning how to use it.

    Post edited by Quasar on
  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 7,833
    Padone said:

    .. that's incredible it is the first version of Blender using the lmb for selection LOL .. and apart eevee I see out of core memory for cycles the same as octane .. yes they're doing a great job indeed

    yeh, I've already switched it back.

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 3,773
    nicstt said:
    Padone said:

    .. that's incredible it is the first version of Blender using the lmb for selection LOL .. and apart eevee I see out of core memory for cycles the same as octane .. yes they're doing a great job indeed

    yeh, I've already switched it back.

    It's nice that they left the option to switch it back in there so already experienced users can use it the way they always have...lol. To new users tho, the LMB select is the path of least resistance...heh.

    Laurie

  • VyusurVyusur Posts: 1,372

    What a pity that only left click can be switched back, but some functions are lost forever. I guess I'll have to stay on the old version permanently.

  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,986

    I've tried Blender several times before, and never really got into it because it simply was not intuitive enough for me. I spending a bit of time with it, I always realized that I would need to really devote some serious time to learning it, something that just never happened. It was always easier to go back using something I knew, even though blender offered so much more in a single package.

    Finally with 2.8 I can actually use Blender sort of intuitively!! I was able to import a huge landscape model (39 million polys), move around in the interface intuitively (well, to be honest, not really intuitively, actually it was "intuitive" from learned behavior from using other 3D software that have more or less standard UI designs), and actually go into the sculpting tools and start sculpting this huge model without having to look up a tutorial on sculpting!!! Before, I'd try to do something simple in Blender (without a tutorial), then end up rather disappointed and just closing it because I would realize that to do most anything I would need to do some basic tutorials/training first. Now I can do most of the basics intuitively, and build skills as I need them.

    For me that's huge! To use some basic functions in Blender without spending hours learning how to do the basics in it first, wow. I'm really looking forward to learning it now. Just these "simple" changes in the UI makes a world of difference for me (yes, the changes were obviously far from simple to implement, but the concept of why they were needed is pretty simple). Now I am looking forward to learning Blender, doing really fun projects with it.

    I'm sure though for long time users, this will be a huge change, and a lot of re-learning. Not so great for them, but for me, I'm really excited about 2.8.

  • will Sensii format work with it too or is that now moot?

  • InkuboInkubo Posts: 690
    Vyusur said:

    What a pity that only left click can be switched back, but some functions are lost forever. I guess I'll have to stay on the old version permanently.

    In case it helps, right on 2.8's splash screen there is an option to select the Blender 2.7 interaction mode.

  • andya_b341b7c5f5andya_b341b7c5f5 Posts: 359
    edited December 2018

    will Sensii format work with it too or is that now moot?

    That's a paid addon, yes?  One of the issues with making sweeping changes is that it has broken a great many addons, because the API had to change.  The built-in addons will mostly be fixed already, or before it comes out of beta, but for others like Sensei Format it'll be up to the author(s) thereof.  I'd guess that if where addon authors is making good money of it, or think they can in future, they'll do the work needed to make them compatible with 2.80.

    Happily, the author of Diffeomorphic is updating it even though it's free.  For my (zero) money, the best tool to import Daz figures into Blender.

    Post edited by andya_b341b7c5f5 on
  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 1,986

    will Sensii format work with it too or is that now moot?

    According to their website, Sensii will be migrated to 2.8, and all of their plugins will be as well. The major changes to 2.8 also requires most (all?) plugins to be updated (as already noted by andya - I'm always a day late and a dollar short frown). So that may be one big downside to 2.8, anyone who rely's heavily on a plugin may either have to wait a while for it to be usable in 2.8, or stay with 2.79 if the plugin isn't updated.

    If you've invested a lot of time/effort in learning Sensii Format, then staying with would probably be a plus. However, it might be worth checking out 2.8 to see if it clicks with you or not. It clicks with me so far, but that might not be the case for everyone.

  • Inkubo said:
    Vyusur said:

    What a pity that only left click can be switched back, but some functions are lost forever. I guess I'll have to stay on the old version permanently.

    In case it helps, right on 2.8's splash screen there is an option to select the Blender 2.7 interaction mode.

    Strangely, I don't see that option on the splash.  I see different types of new files, recover last session, a few recent files and links to the release notes and the development fund.

  • wolf359wolf359 Posts: 2,156

    "Yeah, the big names in 3D are hurting because this will start 
    hurting them with their big ticket priced software. 
    .......... Blender a free 3D complete
    suite that can compete with the big boys. "

    This is a very common misconception most often made by people
    who have never worked  in the VFX  industry on any major production.

    First, I just watched the 3 part series by Andrew Price
    and 2.8 beta looks great!!!,I will personally dump all previous versions of
    blender  and not look back when a stable full release of 2.8  goes live.

    On the matter of the "big Boys being worried", Just ask anyone
    who has worked on a major film production with Full 24 hour tech support
    from SideFX or Autodesk ,if they would like to "Save money" by dumping
    their 24 hour  phone access to a programmer at one of those companies
    in favor of googling for a solution  to some critical pipeline blender failure
    that enthusiastic , clueless hobbiests & fanboys  have never encountered.

    Blender is great, however it does dont really do anything better than any of 
    the Major 3DCC programs.
    Not in the area of modeling, Character animation or Visual effects such as fluid sims ,smoke& fire etc.

    However its ability to intergrate with existing pipelines, is Dismal to put it charitably

    Of course if you have your own team of skilled programmers to trouble shoot
     intergration like the makers of the "Nextgen" film did ,with custom code to bring
    in smoke & pyro from Houdini ,you will be fine.

    But of course those programmers cost money and will have no option
    to Phone "Manny" at Autodesk who will get two Maya TD's on the line
    and have custom a patch built and delivered to fix any production issues.

    With blender you are left to the online community whom are mostly hobbiests
    working only in blender.

    The actual software license cost is the least expensive factor for a company Like
     "The Framestore"(Avengers Infinity War)

    The true costs come from Labor and any time lost with unproven software stopping
     production is not worth the risk.

  • bluejauntebluejaunte Posts: 1,136
    wolf359 said:

    "Yeah, the big names in 3D are hurting because this will start 
    hurting them with their big ticket priced software. 
    .......... Blender a free 3D complete
    suite that can compete with the big boys. "

    This is a very common misconception most often made by people
    who have never worked  in the VFX  industry on any major production.

    First, I just watched the 3 part series by Andrew Price
    and 2.8 beta looks great!!!,I will personally dump all previous versions of
    blender  and not look back when a stable full release of 2.8  goes live.

    On the matter of the "big Boys being worried", Just ask anyone
    who has worked on a major film production with Full 24 hour tech support
    from SideFX or Autodesk ,if they would like to "Save money" by dumping
    their 24 hour  phone access to a programmer at one of those companies
    in favor of googling for a solution  to some critical pipeline blender failure
    that enthusiastic , clueless hobbiests & fanboys  have never encountered.

    Blender is great, however it does dont really do anything better than any of 
    the Major 3DCC programs.
    Not in the area of modeling, Character animation or Visual effects such as fluid sims ,smoke& fire etc.

    However its ability to intergrate with existing pipelines, is Dismal to put it charitably

    Of course if you have your own team of skilled programmers to trouble shoot
     intergration like the makers of the "Nextgen" film did ,with custom code to bring
    in smoke & pyro from Houdini ,you will be fine.

    But of course those programmers cost money and will have no option
    to Phone "Manny" at Autodesk who will get two Maya TD's on the line
    and have custom a patch built and delivered to fix any production issues.

    With blender you are left to the online community whom are mostly hobbiests
    working only in blender.

    The actual software license cost is the least expensive factor for a company Like
     "The Framestore"(Avengers Infinity War)

    The true costs come from Labor and any time lost with unproven software stopping
     production is not worth the risk.

    Not only that, but the pipeline that these big Studios have built around the "big boys" software like Maya is so deep and customized with thousands and thousands of man hours worth of tools and utilities, they cannot just switch to Blender to save a few bucks of licensing costs, which is going to be a super small sum compared to all the other costs anyway. And boat load of 3rd party software that they use on top doesn't exist for Blender either for various reasons. One being you cannot easily port a commercial software to a GPL license short of running your own branch of Blender like Otoy does.

  • marblemarble Posts: 3,168
    edited December 2018
    Quasar said:

    This is the video I watched that convinced me to download and try the beta. His description of the new features is a good starting point for learning how to use it.

    I really wish that the DAZ Studio viewport had that intersecting outline that is shown in Video 2. Always a problem for me to know when things like furniture or feet are just touching or sinking through the floor (espcially if both surfaces are dark).

    Post edited by marble on
  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 29,758

    ...large professional studios have the big bucks to afford high end commercial software (and have a staff to write their own in house tools like Pixar has done) as well as top shelf state of the art hardware to run it on that we can only drool about in our dreams.  These are companies that can afford to run their own (or lease time on) huge render farms.

    Yeah, the big software houses have nothing to worry about.  However for us, a significant update like this is gold (yes, I watched the video).

  • wolf359 said:

    "Yeah, the big names in 3D are hurting because this will start hurting them with their big ticket priced software. 
    .......... Blender a free 3D complete suite that can compete with the big boys. "

    This is a very common misconception most often made by people who have never worked  in the VFX  industry on any major production.

    On a major production level, maybe, but the closer Blender gets to things like Maya and 3DS Max, the more likely some smaller potential customers are going to weigh the cost of subscription against the potential lost man-hours and find the scales tip the other way. (Of course, that may then push the cost of those suites higher in order for Autodesk to redress the balance, thus changing the scales again). The more capable that open-source software gets, it obviously does impact on these companies to some extent. (Even if it's just that fewer people choose to pirate it!)

    ~~~~~

    Personally, I'm holding off on Blender 2.8 for now, as I know that many of my plug-ins simply won't work with it, and any talk of new, more user friendly interface overhauls just means that everything is going to be somewhere other than where I expect it.

    I'm seriously surprised at how much the left-click thing has been an issue for people. I personally like the right-click select, as many programs really don't take advantage of the mouse having multiple buttons to separate and therefore reduce the ambiguity in how the computer tries to interpret your gestures.
    But aside from that, who are these people who've only used one program? Anyone who'd used more than one program would know that no programs ever agree on control layout anyway. cheeky

  • bluejauntebluejaunte Posts: 1,136
    wolf359 said:

    "Yeah, the big names in 3D are hurting because this will start hurting them with their big ticket priced software. 
    .......... Blender a free 3D complete suite that can compete with the big boys. "

    This is a very common misconception most often made by people who have never worked  in the VFX  industry on any major production.


    But aside from that, who are these people who've only used one program? Anyone who'd used more than one program would know that no programs ever agree on control layout anyway. cheeky

    They do all agree on left-click select though ;)

  • Matt_CastleMatt_Castle Posts: 220
    edited December 2018

    That doesn't necessarily mean it's actually better. Right-click select is no more difficult once you get used to it, and it does have some significant advantages in this case.

    I had to make a similar design choice with some tabletop game rules I wrote,  changing a mechanic from the standard industry approach to another method that is only objectively worse in that it's not what most people are used to. Once you actually internalise it, it removes the need for large amounts of maths, massively speeding up the rules without having to lose any detail. (I'll admit that it did take even me a few games to completely wrap my head around, but I've not actually in the long run had anyone who can argue that the original system was actually better for game-play)

    Standard doesn't necessarily mean best. I mean, at one time, the controls in the Model T Ford were the dominant approach for car layouts, but thank the gods that didn't stick.

    Post edited by Matt_Castle on
  • VyusurVyusur Posts: 1,372
    Inkubo said:
    Vyusur said:

    What a pity that only left click can be switched back, but some functions are lost forever. I guess I'll have to stay on the old version permanently.

    In case it helps, right on 2.8's splash screen there is an option to select the Blender 2.7 interaction mode.

    All those splash screen suggestions, as well as 2.7 behavior, means nothing but only appearance. In attempt to adapte the software for noobs, some functions and tools were spoiled entirely.

     

  • Vyusur said:
    Inkubo said:
    Vyusur said:

    What a pity that only left click can be switched back, but some functions are lost forever. I guess I'll have to stay on the old version permanently.

    In case it helps, right on 2.8's splash screen there is an option to select the Blender 2.7 interaction mode.

    All those splash screen suggestions, as well as 2.7 behavior, means nothing but only appearance. In attempt to adapte the software for noobs, some functions and tools were spoiled entirely.

     

    What's not working at the moment? (they're not finished yet, and I believe more functions are coming, including some 2.79 options).

    One thing that got me was that 'A' is now select-all but not deselect-all (alt-A for that) but you can click 'all toggles' or something in the options to restore the 2.79 behaviour. I just find it faster to double tap (or triple sometimes LOL) 'A'

  • bluejauntebluejaunte Posts: 1,136

    That doesn't necessarily mean it's actually better. Right-click select is no more difficult once you get used to it, and it does have some significant advantages in this case.

    I had to make a similar design choice with some tabletop game rules I wrote,  changing a mechanic from the standard industry approach to another method that is only objectively worse in that it's not what most people are used to. Once you actually internalise it, it removes the need for large amounts of maths, massively speeding up the rules without having to lose any detail. (I'll admit that it did take even me a few games to completely wrap my head around, but I've not actually in the long run had anyone who can argue that the original system was actually better for game-play)

    Standard doesn't necessarily mean best. I mean, at one time, the controls in the Model T Ford were the dominant approach for car layouts, but thank the gods that didn't stick.

    True, but right-click select wasn't a good solution for the problem IMO. We can't forget there are other ways to achieve the same thing. Another way to select-through the tool handle, maybe CTRL-click, a sticky key to hide the tool handle temporarily etc, all of which wouldn't have thrown out one of the most common behaviors in all of mouse based computing history. What's also a little bit funny is that a proper pre-selection highlighting would have solved the issue or at least most of it more elegantly. If you don't have to move the cursor on top of a vertex that is behind something and instead get to just go somewhere close to it it, with customizable radius, get it highlighted before you click so you know you'll get it. Not only are you selecting much more comfortably, you also solve this occlusion issue.

  • VyusurVyusur Posts: 1,372
    Vyusur said:
    Inkubo said:
    Vyusur said:

    What a pity that only left click can be switched back, but some functions are lost forever. I guess I'll have to stay on the old version permanently.

    In case it helps, right on 2.8's splash screen there is an option to select the Blender 2.7 interaction mode.

    All those splash screen suggestions, as well as 2.7 behavior, means nothing but only appearance. In attempt to adapte the software for noobs, some functions and tools were spoiled entirely.

     

    What's not working at the moment? (they're not finished yet, and I believe more functions are coming, including some 2.79 options).

    One thing that got me was that 'A' is now select-all but not deselect-all (alt-A for that) but you can click 'all toggles' or something in the options to restore the 2.79 behaviour. I just find it faster to double tap (or triple sometimes LOL) 'A'

    Just load Genesis 8 obj file into Blender 2.8 and try to make some morphing on it. X mirror doesn't work anymore, as well as topology mirror.

     

  • RAMWolffRAMWolff Posts: 8,829

    will Sensii format work with it too or is that now moot?

     

    Happily, the author of Diffeomorphic is updating it even though it's free.  For my (zero) money, the best tool to import Daz figures into Blender.

    Thanks so much for this mentioning.  Googled, found and downloaded!  

    https://bitbucket.org/Diffeomorphic/import-daz/downloads/

  • Vyusur said:
    Vyusur said:
    Inkubo said:
    Vyusur said:

    What a pity that only left click can be switched back, but some functions are lost forever. I guess I'll have to stay on the old version permanently.

    In case it helps, right on 2.8's splash screen there is an option to select the Blender 2.7 interaction mode.

    All those splash screen suggestions, as well as 2.7 behavior, means nothing but only appearance. In attempt to adapte the software for noobs, some functions and tools were spoiled entirely.

     

    What's not working at the moment? (they're not finished yet, and I believe more functions are coming, including some 2.79 options).

    One thing that got me was that 'A' is now select-all but not deselect-all (alt-A for that) but you can click 'all toggles' or something in the options to restore the 2.79 behaviour. I just find it faster to double tap (or triple sometimes LOL) 'A'

    Just load Genesis 8 obj file into Blender 2.8 and try to make some morphing on it. X mirror doesn't work anymore, as well as topology mirror.

     

    As you may know already, there is an open, confirmed bug in 2.80 beta about the X-axis mirror mesh option (https://developer.blender.org/T57852). So it should be fixed, at least before it comes out of beta, I would guess sooner.  That feature hasn't disappeared.

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 3,773

    I'm certain that some features that were in 2.79 but are lost in the beta will be coming back. After all, that's why it's still in beta...it's still being worked on. I wouldn't give up on it just yet ;).

    Laurie

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