Natron State of Development Update?


#1

Hi there folks!

I’ve been exploring Natron and experimenting with it as a potential replacement for Nuke when working on small freelance or personal projects ( that quarterly rental for Nuke is yikes ;_;). Bar a few issues and missing features it’s been a great experience and the potential is certainly there. I’ve been using blender for years so I’m definitely a fan of open source software.

There is something that I’ve had a tough time finding and I’ve looked everywhere I can think of. That would be the current state of development for Natron and an updated roadmap for features in progress or planned features. It doesn’t have to be constantly updated, something like a Trello board would be great. I’m sure that there are folks out there who would also love to know what the 3.0 roadmap looks like and what we can look forward to in future updates.
What are your thoughts on this?

Keep up the hard work folks, you’ve got something great in the works!

Kind Regards,
Alan


#2

Hello Alan !

Yes indeed, one of a very great thing with blender fundation is that they are very communicative and transparent about their roadmap, and their projects in general. This in fact push the community to get very supportive and also more patient. As we can clearly see they doing their best and take good decisions. Feature are lacking but we can follow them, knowing that it’s just lost in a giant todo list and eventually it will get there.
Being able to access weekly reports on BF activity is very great too.
In fact being comunicative for blender is a necessity, with ~100 peoples contributing to the code it’s a true need to keep everybody in sync and also motivated.

I think Natron actually took too much time for dev’s to invest time in community management and comunicate about their plans. The other thing is that the roadmap evolves too much . Some features that was planned long ago are still not there and other ones appears (like tools related to optical flow, shadertoy) .
That said Alexandre sometimes make some reports on current dev when asked on the forum . Natron 3.0 is a big step in the core tool (rendering engine, .ntp format ect…) If I understand correctly it’s more about laying out a strong bases than getting lots of new features (even if these changes will also allow more possibilities).

I guess we need to give Natron a bit of time to let things like this organised. Indeed Alex and Fred are already doing their best and work a lot on Natron. Once it get’s used and properly funded comunication will improve too.

Blender was also open sourced with a kind of kickstarter (to buy the code source from NaN) (they already build a strong comunity at that time) Then communicate with these people who paid to free blender was also part of the game from the start.
I think for now with Natron it’s up to the comunity to get organised and suportive too. That’s the least we can do.
One could for instance send a mail every 2/3 week to Alexandre and ask for a brief summary of what as been done and make a blog post about that. I’m sure it will be benefic to many and may chill the fears that people can have without knowing what’s going on…


#3

The last month we received a mail saying all our build instances (virtual machines on a build farm) were lost because of a bad update. I had to re-build all virtual machines myself (linux 32/64 windows 32/64 and mac) and re-install all the build environment with the right libraries version to build Natron.
Once they have been up, it was time to fix the test projects so that they can all pass on Natron v3. Currently more than 200 tests pass and something like 20 don’t pass. We are close to a more stable version.
I think I already wrote a post on another thread with the improvements in Natron 3.
It could be up for testing in not so long, for now its only used internally. You could build the master branch from scratch yourself if you wanted to give it a go.


#4

Thanks a lot MrKepzie, that’s very much appreciated !
Too bad for that virtual machine issue , but other than that that’s really great news !
Indeed you’ve already sum-up Natron 3.0 features, I can try to retrieve that post if someone is interested and ask nicely :smiley:

I wasn’t aware that Natron 3.0 was that close to first testing release, that’s awesome !
These kind of news/feedback on the development process are very important to me, I guess for other people too.
From user POV without knowing what’s going on we always ask “why it takes so long…” but once we know a little more it gets obvious and indeed you do everything that’s possible and it’s worth waiting !

Keep up the good work, Natron 3.0 is gonna send poneys to space !


#5

Thank you kindly for the update! I’m sorry for the issues that you folks have been facing but glad that you’ve been making progress :smiley:

I’m definitely patient enough to wait for a build, so I’ll give the build process a skip. I am super grateful that you shared that information though ! :smiley:


#6

Hey there Sozap!

Thanks for the lengthy response. The first version of blender that I used was 1.8 back in 2000, so I do remember a time when their communication and organization was less than stellar :slight_smile: I think a community managed trello board could be helpful in combination with a brief development summary once a month or so from the devs. They certainly deserve plenty of respect and credit for the scope of work being done on the project given that it’s just a couple people.


#7

Hey there ChromaFlux, I’m a long time user of Blender too. I started in 2.21, about a year I think before the big crowdfunding. I was a sophomore in high school. Nice to meet someone else who’s been around a while.


#8

Likewise!
I was also in highschool at the time :smiley: