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Embark Studios, AMD and Adidas are all now supporting Blender development

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The team behind the free and open source 3D creation suite, Blender, are once again celebrating as they've managed to secure even more funding from some interesting names.

First up, Embark Studios announced today they have become a Corporate Gold level patron of Blender meaning they're pledging at least €30K a year which isn't exactly a small amount. Speaking about why they did so, their team wrote a little love letter Medium post. Additionally, Embark announced their plans to open source some of their own Blender tools which you can find listed here. The two current tools listed are on GitHub under the MIT license.

On top of that, it seems AMD didn't want to be left in the dark by NVIDIA sponsoring the project so they've also thrown some money into it. AMD are pledging at the Corporate Patron level just like NVIDIA, so they're giving the Blender Foundation at least €120K a year. Speaking about it on Twitter, the Blender team said:

Today AMD joined the Blender Foundation Development Fund at Patron level. We will invest it in general development, Vulkan migration and to keep AMD technologies well supported for our users. Thanks a lot!

Another that we missed recently that was announced last week was Adidas also joining in, although at a much lower Corporate Silver level of funding, so they're pledging €12K a year.

You can see more information about Blender's funding on this dedicated page.

So in the space of a single year that's NVIDIA, AMD, Embark Studios, Adidas, Epic Games and Ubisoft. I have to say, I'm genuinely amazed that all these companies are suddenly realising how essential open source programs can be to their workflow so they wish to actually help protect them. Happy to see this happen and since Blender has great Linux support, it's just good news all around.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Apps, Misc, Open Source | Apps: Blender
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Shmerl 23 Oct, 2019
Then it would be good to know exactly what they are sponsoring.
Shmerl 23 Oct, 2019
According to this, it's for support of Nvidia's ray tracing ASICs: http://www.cgchannel.com/2019/10/nvidia-backs-blender-development/

QuoteThe backend enables hardware-accelerated ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards, with Blender’s benchmark scenes rendering 30-100% faster on a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti than using Nvidia’s older CUDA API.

Still lock-in though, until such extensions become portable. For Nvidia, it's trying to lock the 3D creators market.


Last edited by Shmerl on 23 October 2019 at 9:56 pm UTC
fagnerln 23 Oct, 2019
Blender is a pretty powerful tool, but I don't get why a lot of big companies start to support suddenly for "no reason", the interval between the articles about a big company supporting is little.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I hope that even more companies support it, it's just curious, maybe there's something big that we don't know yet.
razing32 23 Oct, 2019
Quoting: fagnerlnBlender is a pretty powerful tool, but I don't get why a lot of big companies start to support suddenly for "no reason", the interval between the articles about a big company supporting is little.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I hope that even more companies support it, it's just curious, maybe there's something big that we don't know yet.

Maybe this counts as charity and they can add it as they close the fiscal book for 2019 ??
Wendigo 24 Oct, 2019
On the one hand I am happy to see blender development gaining traction due to a lot of new sponsors.
On the other hand I am sad that this happens right after the blender game engine has been removed because they didn't have enough developers to support it.
I hope they will also invest the money into the promised new game engine although I haven't read anything about it any more lately.
sub 24 Oct, 2019
Quoting: ShmerlAccording to this, it's for support of Nvidia's ray tracing ASICs: http://www.cgchannel.com/2019/10/nvidia-backs-blender-development/

QuoteThe backend enables hardware-accelerated ray tracing on Nvidia’s RTX graphics cards, with Blender’s benchmark scenes rendering 30-100% faster on a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti than using Nvidia’s older CUDA API.

Still lock-in though, until such extensions become portable. For Nvidia, it's trying to lock the 3D creators market.

Btw, how good is the OpenCL support on Nvidia's side?

For many years they didn't support newer revisions and didn't optimize what they offered.

Ofc, it's hard to interpret that in any other way than them wanting to hurt OpenCL and thus further push CUDA. At the same time bringing up business slides how usage shows how customers prefer CUDA over OpenCL.

With the many resources they have, bringing up OpenCL support on par would've been no issues at all.

I really despise the business practices of Nvidia and how they manage to make the Linux folks even praise their actions.
Asu 24 Oct, 2019
I love blender!
mao_dze_dun 24 Oct, 2019
Christmas wish - somebody does this for GIMP and Inkscape.
Philadelphus 24 Oct, 2019
Wow, this is great. Can't wait to see how Blender develops in the future with more develop hours able to be dedicated to it.
Power-Metal-Games 24 Oct, 2019
Plus also Tangent and Khara animation studios in recent months.

To understand a little better why it's a easier for these big companies to invest in Blender rather than to develop their own tools, here is the video of Tangent CEO explaining how they worked on NextGen animation movie and why it's a better for them to invest money and developers in Blender:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZn3kCsw5D8
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