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Intel has boosted their commitment to Blender as a Corporate Patron

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Intel was already a pretty high backer of the free and open source 3D creation suite Blender but now they're going in for even more as a Corporate Patron. ICYMI: recently Blender 3.0 was release.

Previously down as a Corporate Gold member, this increase will see Intel give at least €120K a year to the Blender Foundation to better support one of the biggest and most important FOSS projects around. This means Intel joins the ranks of AMD, NVIDIA, AWS, Epic MegaGrants, Unity, Facebook and Decentraland at the same level (with many more in lower funding levels).

From the press release:

“Intel is extending its collaboration and commitment to the Blender open-source community. We are already incorporating the oneAPI cross-architecture, CPU- and GPU-driven features and performance of Intel® oneAPI Rendering Toolkit libraries into Blender to benefit creators of all kinds. We share the Blender Foundation’s mindset to make world-class visual technologies available to everyone through open-source software and open standards.” said Raja Koduri, Intel senior vice president and general manager of the Accelerated Computing Systems and Graphics (AXG) Group.

See more about Blender funding on their website.

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Kimyrielle Dec 21, 2021
Wow, Blender is raking in the money these days! Good for them (and us)! :)
Bumadar Dec 21, 2021
Anyone know a good readup about this oneAPI? The programmer in me keeps thinking why the heck would you want one huuuuuuge api that does everything instead of an api for a specific task... but maybe I am getting old

Last edited by Bumadar on 21 December 2021 at 6:40 pm UTC
gradyvuckovic Dec 22, 2021
So many companies out there now directly supporting Blender with substantial money and offerings of code to help Blender take advantage of CPUs and GPUs.. Intel, Apple, Unity, NVIDIA, AMD, Epic, Facebook, AWS, Microsoft, Adobe, Google, Valve, Activision.. I had a ZBrush user complaining to me the other day about how Blender gets 'the first class treatment' in Unreal Engine with tight integration and support, and ZBrush seems like a second class citizen by comparison.

There can be no doubt now, that the industry considers Blender an 'industry standard tool'.

Once Intel get their OneAPI support into Blender, will pretty much be able to use Blender on every device and every platform with the best API support available on that platform. HIP for AMD GPUs, Metal for Apple computers, OneAPI for Intel GPUs, CUDA/OptiX for NVIDIA. x86 and ARM support.

3.0 massively boosted the speed of Cycles, in 3.1 there will be additional Cycles features added. Light linking is coming, a long awaited feature, there's already an improvement for Cycles for fast refractive caustics in the works that will be likely merged for 3.1.

Eevee improvements on the way too, possibly in 3.2. Total rework of the engine to use Vulkan, allowing for thousands of light sources, screen space global illumination, etc..

Real time compositing support is still coming too.

That's barely scratching the surface of the stuff the Blender team have planned for 3.x, if you want to read about everything they have planned, check out the blog post.

It's very quickly becoming harder and harder for a company like Autodesk or Disney or Maxon to justify their licensing costs for their software/render engines. Not when there's a very well supported, powerful, open source, free, easy to use alternative spreading throughout the whole industry, and most likely what all your new junior CG artists already know how to use and started with.

Going to be very interesting to see how those companies respond in a time when there's more pressure on their business model than ever. Will they step up or just step out?

Last edited by gradyvuckovic on 22 December 2021 at 4:39 am UTC
Philadelphus Dec 22, 2021
QuoteThis means Intel joins the ranks of AMD, NVIDIA, AWS, Epic MegaGrants, Unity, Facebook and Decentraland at the same level (with many more in lower funding levels).
Wouldn't that be Meta?

But seriously, that's great news.
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