At Embark we use Blender across the studio as our go-to tool for 3D and environment art. Just now, we also renewed our gold-level sponsorship of the Blender Development Fund another year. In this post, Daniel Bystedt details why Blender is great for game development and lets you in on a specific use-case.
Hair rendered in Blender’s real-time render engine Eevee. The character here is procedurally generated from a scan data set.
My own history with Blender dates back to 2015. Blender has evolved tons since, but even back then I was surprised to find how capable this free software was, with its fantastic modeling toolset and non-destructive modifier system.
It made me fall back in love with 3D modeling again, and soon upon discovering Blender, I found myself using it for most of my tasks. Over time, I also became an active member of the Blender community. Nowadays, I’m involved in some of Blender’s development processes as a commissioner for various projects.
Embark’s embrace of Blender was in fact how I discovered this studio in the first place and a big reason why I work here today (in addition to our work with machine learning and proceduralism). At Embark, we’re constantly looking for new and effective tools and solutions to solve problems, and Blender truly speaks to what sort of studio we want to be. As a free and open-source tool, it also contributes to making game development more accessible and collaborative.
Given that Blender is an unfamiliar tool for many of our new artists, we’ve been working actively to make sure everyone here gets the know-how and support they need to quickly get up to speed. Many who were skeptics at first are now some of our most active Blender advocates, which has been fun to watch!
As we celebrate our first year as a Blender sponsor, we wanted to share some of this know-how with all of you in the Blender community too. So in this post, I’m going to describe to you in a bit more detail some of the specific reasons we think Blender is great for game development, and describe a specific use-case, as we’re now working on our first games.
So let’s get into it.
Blender has a lot of amazing features, but some of the most important ones for us at Embark is the approachable and non-destructive modeling tools and modifiers. The realtime viewport Eevee is also priceless when it comes to evaluating your model and textures before importing them into Unreal Engine. We also love Blender’s constant updates and development cycle and that the Blender Foundation is so transparent about its development process.
Blender is also very pipeline-friendly and allows us to effortlessly implement tools and applications into our pipeline. Blenders’ data management of file content provides flexibility
Blender allows any type of data to be stored on almost all types of data types inside the file. Custom properties can be stored on scenes, objects, meshes, collections, etc. Custom properties can hold basically any type of data such as float, string, list, dictionaries, and more.
For example: switching to the scripting tab and writing this example in the python console in Blender
bpy.context.active_object[‘my_string_property’] = “<3 Blender"
will give you a custom string property on the active object, that you can expose in objectContinue reading