Blender Foundation announces plans for 2012

One would expect Blender Foundation to tell about their plans for the next year at Blender Conference this October, but SIGGRAPH came first. Essentially, the plans cover both technical development, marketing and social networking.

On the technical side the plan is to start releasing 2.6x versions with features such as BMesh, nurbs tools, Cycles rendering framework, motion tracking, particle nodes, GPU/CPU tile-based compositing etc. That means integrating code from past and ongoing Google Summer of Code projects and “3rd party” development efforts like compositing rewrite by Jeroen Bakker.

The marketing plan includes releasing Blender Proceedings — a quarterly technical magazine that will summarize what’s new in Blender development. It is planned to fund the magazine via subscriptions for printed and PDF versions.

Last but not least Blender Foundation is planning to launch Blender Network — a professional social network for Blender developers and artists. The network’s primary objective is to streamline organizing business deals with Blender professional for academic and commercial organizations. This could be considered as the next step after last week’s announce of centralized subscription-based donations system.

You can find full details in the presentation slides. All in all, Blender Foundation’s approach to organizing self-supporting development and creating a vivid community seems exemplary for such a relatively small organization. Hopefully more graphics, video and sound orgs will follow in their footsteps.