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Updating the Pakset to Blender 3.x

Started by Matthew, June 15, 2022, 08:29:57 PM

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Matthew

At the moment, the .blend files for this pakset can only be opened in Blender versions <2.80, because they use the Blender Internal renderer, which was dropped (without an upgrade path!) in 2.80. In addition, the .png files must be created using a Python script which uses the Blender Internal API, so it is not expected to work with 2.80+ (though I don't think anyone has actually tested this).

This is unfortunate, mainly because Blender 2.7x has the worst user interface in the history of GUIs. Blender 3.x is intended to be easier to use.

Another minor issue is that we can't re-use models or materials created in the more modern Blender renderers (Cycles and Eevee), even if they have suitable licences.

I was ranting about this on Reddit and a kind redditor has said that they might be able to help us with this. The thread begins here, so please do look in and comment over there if you can help or you see me getting things wrong.
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jamespetts

Thank you for looking into this. I do not know Blender 3.0 as I stopped upgrading once the change to 2.8 occurred, so my information may not be accurate for any changes in 3.0 that were not in 2.8.

The basic problem is not that the old .blend files cannot be loaded, but rather that it is no longer possible to render the images in a way that is visually consistent with the existing images rendered using the internal renderer. I cannot now recall whether the scripts worked or not - I suspect not. I do not think that I looked into the scripts too much because the more fundamental step of getting consistent graphics was not possible.

Lack of consistent graphics means either that all newly created graphics will look inconsistent with all existing graphics, which will ruin the look of the pakset, or that every last item in the pakset will have to be re-rendered using Evee, which will be such an extreme task that it is overwhelmingly unlikely that anybody will ever want to commit enough time to doing this, and that is without taking into account the fact that there are some graphics for which the Blender sources are missing. It is only if Evee rendering can look exactly like the internal renderer that we can then render new vehicles/buildings with Evee without having to re-render every last existing vehicle and building in the pakset.

I hope that this clarifies the problem?
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Sirius

It's just a matter of time until we have to move to a newer version in any case.
So if anyone can assist in the migration process from blender 2.79 to something newer, by setting up cycles or eevee in a way that doesn't look exactly the same, but close enough to images rendered by the old renderer, then I'd totally welcome this effort.

Some years ago, the rendering has changed to render new images with alpha channel. These don't look exactly the same as before as well, but it did not ruin the look of the pakset.

So if anyone can achieve such a rendering which is not exactly the same, but doesn't look too inconsistent, then I'd clearly welcome the effort!

Blender scripting is quite strong. It might even be possible to automate the migration process, at least for those objects that have a blend file.