Status Update

November 12, 2009 at 11:57 pm 35 comments

I may have to take a hiatus from BMesh for a while.  The donations haven’t really been enough lately, and unfortunately I can’t make enough money working on both BMesh and a real job, since at the moment I can only spend a very small part of my time doing either.  I was supposed to start a medication today that may have allowed me to be more productive, but there was a glitch and it looks like I’m going to have to wait a bit longer.

I certainly will continue working on BMesh if people donate more, but I don’t want to get a reputation for constantly asking for money or the world will end.  Either way, once I start this medication there’s a good chance I’ll be much more productive and will be able to spend time on it again.  The truth is that I need at least $1000 USD a month to maintain my current level of commitment to BMesh, and if that isn’t possible I’m going to have to work exclusively on other projects to make more money, at least until I start that medication.

 

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BMesh in Third 2.5 Release Development Update

35 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Max Puliero  |  November 13, 2009 at 5:53 am

    Hi, I really appreciate your work, but continue to ask for money is not so cool, I perfectly know that for develop a good integration of bmesh you need time, but also try to think about the people like me who donated 100euros for support you.
    Now in this post you are asking for 1000dollars per month, but, you know, this is very difficoult… So I can ask you how many months do you need if you have 1000dollars per months ?

    regards.

    Reply
  • 2. kernond  |  November 13, 2009 at 7:18 am

    I think it will help if there is a clear link for one-time donations. Currently, the “Donate” link that offers that looks like a title, instead. Change the text to read something like “Make a one-time donation” or something similar. Make it the same size and color as the other donation links, and also try putting it beneath the meter so that all of the donation options can be seen together.

    For the longest time, I thought you were only interested in monthly recurring donations.

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • 3. kernond  |  November 13, 2009 at 7:44 am

    Me again, :).

    I think the site needs a clear and constantly visible explanation of what the BMesh project is all about. Even the About page doesn’t really explain it. And don’t add a link to the wiki pages because that drives traffic away from your site. If it were me, I would add a concise explanation (in plain, non-coder/Blender-user language) to the header of the site so it’s always visible.

    Currently, only initiated existing Blender users know what this is all about. There are a lot more passers-by than current users that would likely donate because a lot new potential users find the missing functionality a key factor in their decision to use Blender or something else.

    Also, I feel like this site exists on a deserted island because if a person doesn’t know it exists, they will likely never find it. And, should they stumble upon it, they may not be inclined to read enough of the site to figure out what it’s really all about.

    You need as much traffic as possible. You could make a small url graphic for people to place on their site. Have it read something like: “Want NGons and better mesh editing features in Blender? Support the BMesh coding project.” I would gladly post the link on my site and I’m sure others would do the same.

    Right now, you don’t exist to the people that would more than likely donate.

    Reply
  • 4. Lapinou  |  November 13, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Hi Joe,

    Hope that your medication will go well. Don’t worry about the apparent lack of support, I think the regular supporters have been stimulated a lot recently, especially for Durian…
    See as an example Daniel: his bar is blocked at 28% for nearly one month, despite some bugfixes and new posts (and I’m sure 100% is maximum 200$ for him). If you see his hall of fame, most of us are little supporters, so you would need at least 5 similar donations (less than 10$) daily. You really need an impressive advertisement to rise enough atttention.. this is clearly not possible via a usual blog (sorry, I know you learn nothing from me)..
    Perhaps you should discuss with other independent blender dev about setting up a global funding, and with a permanent bar on a widely consulted site (blendernation if they agree?). The full bar (say 200€) could be attributed to a dev by voting? Sadly, I assume that they must be a lot of hassle for the person managing the money…

    take care

    Reply
  • 5. Camille Bissuel  |  November 13, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Hi, I’d like to thank you for your work, too… As an indie CG artist, I know how it’s hard to keep time for volunteer projects.

    I consider to donate, but if you tell us how much do you need (instead of a %), and to do what, it will be more easy for us to figure out how much we have to donate.
    It’s someway sad, but it’s easier for us to “donate for”, than donate in the wind …
    I know it’s all about Bmesh… but, it’s to finish 2.5 integration, to do more ? Have you ask a subvention from Blender foundation ?

    Reply
  • 6. Mal_CanDo  |  November 13, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Hi Joe,

    I just donated $100, but the donation image didn’t update ( it might be worth having this as a real-time image when donations are made ).

    At the moment, it’s coming from…

    Hopefully you get enough donations to allow you to get this into Blender 2.5 asap, but of course make sure your health takes priority.

    Mal

    Reply
  • 7. Allan Middleton  |  November 13, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    Hi Joe,
    Rest assured of continued support from me. I am in the poorest %10 of Canada but I love supporting a great project. Besides my recurring donation I can add some extra at the end of this month.
    Re. Max’s post. I believe that intense Bmesh development is only scheduled for a few more months until it can be merged into the 2.5 project. Bmesh can also be viewed as part of the animation short in progress. The Durian team will provide feedback to Dev’s like Joe…a good synergy…artists helping coders helping artists. Gotta love it!
    I am almost certain to focus my donations on other projects AFTER Bmesh has been integrated and two months of debugging have past.
    Keep your spirits up and thank-you.

    Allan

    Reply
  • 8. Matt Henley  |  November 13, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Max,
    I think that what he is saying is that he has x number of hours per month he can work at this point. He needs y dollars per month to live. He can get that by working a paying job or by donations. Due to health issues, he has fewer total working hours available, so it becomes an either/or situation. This is becoming an accepted way for software authors to spend scarce time to work on popular projects, such as Ardour where Paul Davis has a monthly goal of 4500 because he has a family to support. Instead of 100, its better to give 10/mo for a year (120) because then he has a predictable stream of income.

    Reply
  • 9. Massimiliano Puliero  |  November 14, 2009 at 3:42 am

    The problem are not money, I love blender and I need Bmesh too much.
    Ju st I wish to know status update more frequently and know where my money go. Just that 🙂

    anyway, I really appreciate the work of this guy, and I think that also Blender foundation could help to develop in the final stage of integration. Meabe next month I have some money to donate.

    Tankyou

    max 🙂

    Reply
  • 10. n-pigeon  |  November 14, 2009 at 9:49 am

    Joe I wish you health and luck. 🙂
    Answer for your question, more progress posts == more interest == more donations and site views.

    Reply
  • 11. Lapinou  |  November 15, 2009 at 8:13 am

    Hi Joe,

    For advertisement, I would suggest you to produce concise (mew. 20 s) yet very informative video (i.e on vimeo) for each feature and to put them in a special “features” section. This way, you can attract more donators through your i.e. vimeo channel (natural insertion in wordpress with #### (id of the video)). If the videos are very short (compared with the very good video from Michael), viewers will watch them till the end. At the end of the video, put something meaning that this will hardly be completed if people are just waiting…

    Reply
    • 12. joeedh  |  November 16, 2009 at 3:59 am

      I’ve thought about this. I’d have to find a good desktop capture app for windows though, and probably buy something better then the ancient web cam I have.

      The main problem is I’m not sure just how effective this would all be. I already somewhat everextended myself pushing bmesh to the testing stage, and I’m not sure I can afford to devote more time to it. I don’t think I’d be away from bmesh for long, maybe a month or two.

      I’m not certainly going to let the project die. My obsession survived two failed attempts at this, and I’m certainly not going to let the third one fail when it’s so close to success.

      Reply
      • 13. Azmisov  |  November 28, 2009 at 5:57 pm

        I’m sure some of us bmesh enthusiasts will make the videos for you if you provided the test builds and quick instructions on the feature. You could make a blog post on it and see how many people would be willing to help out with it.

  • 14. Max Puliero  |  November 16, 2009 at 4:43 am

    “I’m not certainly going to let the project die”

    This is what we want to hear 😀

    thankyou!

    Reply
  • 15. Halffull  |  November 16, 2009 at 7:19 am

    You might try a kickstarter project

    http://www.kickstarter.com/

    The benefits being a cool platform that would automatically give you a funding percentage etc, as well as having complete strangers not familair with blender pledging money (people apparently cruise kickstarter and pledge to projects they’re interested in).

    Reply
    • 16. Halffull  |  November 16, 2009 at 7:21 am

      and I’m sure you could also get a mention of the kickstarter project on blendernation if you asked nicely :).

      Reply
  • 17. Lapinou  |  November 16, 2009 at 7:39 am

    Understood…. but perhaps some extracts from Michael’s video?
    take care

    Reply
  • 18. Bupla  |  November 17, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Videos may be a good way to explain what is BMesh, what works and what will work.
    Joe doesn’t have the time to do these, but we can help him on this maybe? Money is important, but we can bring something else.

    I can do some short videos. But the problem is that I don’t really know BMesh, so I would need someone who could sum up the features, pros & cons, etc.
    Some a la cgguerilla for example (http://www.guerrillacg.org/).

    Reply
  • 19. Justin  |  November 23, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    I wish I had the funds to do another donation, I want Bmesh as much as anyone else, but not at the expense of ones health. I hope your financial and physical situations improve.

    Reply
  • 20. Wolvenmoon  |  November 23, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I thought that the movies the blender foundation sold helped to pay the developers?

    You might try becoming a hostgator affiliate, you can make some good money just putting up a passive banner, and they do have easy blog+gallery setup – something blender users could appreciate.

    You don’t even have to be a customer.

    If this is all your code, and it can do things outside of blender, you might offer dual licensing to commercial / closed source suites.

    Lastly you might ask for blender artists to have a ‘bake sale’ of sorts and take a commission / make a model and sell it for you.

    I wish I could help you with donations, but I’m quite poor myself. I got into blender not because I believed it was the better suite ( I believe it’s comparable now ), but because I have zero money to invest into my modeling hobby. =(

    Reply
  • 21. Redbeer  |  November 24, 2009 at 1:54 am

    I donated before, a decent lump sum, a few months ago, but now I’m unsure this is going to be finished in a reasonable time frame. I’m sorry to hear about your health, but I don’t know you well enough/your situation well enough to be motivated to the point of philanthropy.

    It seems like you don’t have a very good grasp of the time this will take to complete, or exactly what must be done, that or you’re stringing people along, neither of which builds a lot of confidence.

    Regardless, my advice is, what I used to do when quoting freelance engineering projects, post a fixed price for a fixed scope or work, then stick to it. Take pledges from people who will donate after the work is completed. I’d be on board for this.

    I can afford to donate, but I’m not exactly rolling in cash, I “don’t” go to the pub, don’t own a new car, fix my own car outside in the rain if need be, don’t own a house, have basic living expenses that are the majority of my salary…but I can afford to donate “some” I just don’t like pissing money away for a project that can seemingly go on as long as you allow it to.
    I’d be more inclined to donate again if I could be sure if and when this will be finished, and/or to the Blender Foundation directly if they’d put this officially on their schedule for the 2.5 project scope and commit their own coders to this as I know it will be finished if they take it on board.

    In other words, this blog post from you is exactly the reason people are hesitant to donate in the first place…

    Reply
    • 22. joeedh  |  November 24, 2009 at 12:23 pm

      I’m working virtually on slave labor here. This isn’t like freelancing at all, where you actually make some money. I don’t really have any control over how long the project will take for the reasons I wrote in the blog post. I’m not stringing people along, I’m doing the best I can with incredibly tight resources.

      Reply
      • 23. Redbeer  |  December 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm

        You’re right, it’s not anything like consulting. You ask for money, and you have exactly ZERO responsibility to deliver anything in a timely manner, only your own moral obligation that you set for yourself. You don’t have or need to make a schedule, you don’t have to finish, you don’t have to have a plan, and don’t have one, and people send you money, albeit not much, but money nonetheless.
        Where does this $1000 go? You can live for a month on $1000? If so, then I’d say that’s very fortunate for you, $1000 doesn’t even pay my rent in a crappy basement apartment that has flooded three times since I moved in 6 years ago.

        Look, the bottom line is, if you are sick, then take care of yourself and drop the project, rather than working for “slave wages” if that’s truly how you feel about it.
        Just do the right thing and transition the project to someone else by writing some detailed information about the status, what’s written, what’s not, how it’s done, etc. Looking at the wiki, that seems out of date, is a tesselator written, that was the last comment on the blender site? Is the core done and it’s just integrating with all the existing tools (or rewriting them) that is left?

        The other alternative is, finish the project, and I’ll be happy to throw you some cash upon completion, a decent percentage of $1000 for sure.

    • 24. Hot Rats  |  November 24, 2009 at 11:35 pm

      http://www.blender.org/development/release-logs/blender-250/

      its on the road map, as beta 3… “modeling focus” it was also discussed in the mailing lists! However, i think what joeedeh is trying to say is that due to his unfortunate circumstances hes going to have ALOT of trouble making the schedule.

      I suppose if it doesn’t get longterm support…well then, I guess Bmesh will just have to wait a while longer.

      Hope your health improves man!

      Reply
  • 25. Dread Knight  |  December 1, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Great job so far!

    I’ll try to donate as well as well when I’ll make some money soon 🙂

    But seriously, you should add a one time donation button and a real time counter, because otherwise many people will hesitate to donate and consider this a scam.

    Cheers!

    Reply
  • 26. Klesus  |  December 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Sorry to hear about your medication and as others have said before me, your health comes first.
    However, I want you to know that I really appreciate your work even though I haven’t donated any yet (low income), but I suppose I could donate once or twice when I have money to spare.
    But I hope I can encourage you to continue by noting that because the project you do is of a volunteer kind of work, it’s possible to accept donations even after the project is finished.
    I know that might be tough on you financially in the beginning but at least it might motivate you knowing that you might receive money even after the project is finished.
    People like to know what they are paying for and in that way it’s easier to donate for something they have in their hands. It’s like a way of saying “thanks for the amazing work, you’re awesome” more than donating during development is like saying “keep up the good work, hope it turns out like I want”.

    Reply
  • 27. NRK  |  December 3, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    You are an incredible inspiration. Do what is right, if there is no joy in doing it then back off. I develope software, but have never had the time to undertake blender because I work for someone who helps me put food on the table. I honestly think you should back off of blender until the joy returns and I support you in whatever decision you make. Everyone here should realize that ANY update to blender is a free and wonderful gift. Any donations given to this individual have already been realized in the amazing commits he has already done. Get well, get rest…. God then Family then work….then hobbys like blender. Priorities are important and thank you for your selfless service.

    Reply
  • 28. Dux  |  December 3, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    You´re doing great work, Joe! Don´t let anyone else tell you otherwise. I have full confidence in you finishing it.

    Just imagine how many people will migrate to Blender because of you´re work=)

    If you need to take a break because of health issues, just do it – we know you´ll get back to it as soon as you´re better. Cheers!=)

    Reply
  • 29. GpoN  |  December 4, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Yeah, is not fair to put pressure on someone that has to sacrifice his free time, while most of us are comfortably doing nothing about it, and just screaming “I need it, I want it!”.

    If Joe asks for support, well, at the very least is completely fair. Anyone can decide if they will support.

    If we don’t decide to support, we have two options: respecting Joe’s times and needs, or learn how to do it ourselves and do it.

    Reply
  • 30. Marcus  |  December 5, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Stop bashing this dev.

    If so many people “need” and “want” this feature desperately, I wonder why he doesn’t get enough donations every month.

    I mean, do the maths: we need 100 people to give 10 dollars each month, or 200 people giving 5 dollars a month.

    If that is too much for this community, people should ask themselves if they are supporting those few people enough who really invest lots of time of their lives to serve the blender project.

    Reply
    • 31. Max Puliero  |  December 6, 2009 at 4:58 am

      @Marcus

      and for the people that donated 100euros ? (like me)

      the people have to donate per a LOT of features, like particles, like,smoke effect, like freestyle integration etc… so The community of course support the development, but I think that Blender development would be first of all passion, I use blender for work, so I donated 100 for every project in development, But I can’t donate eery month, especially if I dont know is those project have a and.

      Reply
  • 32. jay  |  December 6, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    Investing in anything is never a sure thing, stocks, 401K, social security, college, whatever. This project is really fun, and if anyone has played with a bmesh build they can see how cool it is- personally I didn’t care about bmesh until I tried it and found that it’s really a pleasure to use.
    joeedh has been up front and honest with the community, and has brought this project a huge distance already. $20 a month is only $5 a week, you don’t even feel that. Think of what stupid crap you buy each week for $5, at least in this case you can help advance a tool that has an impact on people around the globe.

    Reply
    • 33. Redbeer  |  December 7, 2009 at 12:45 am

      “especially if I dont know is those project have a end”

      This is the point.

      I sent 50 last time. I won’t do recurring. I quite frankly don’t care how “talented” he is, or how little money people “perceive” it to be, the project has been going on for years now, and it doesn’t ever seem to get to the point where it’s actually thrown in the schedule for implementation. So it’s unfortunate for Joe, but part of the problem is the Blender Institute itself, even todays meeting…the answer was “well…we’re doing modeling…but there might be too many bugs to integrate it, and thus…we yet again don’t know if we’re just tossing money to some stranger on speculation”. $1000 a month is is cheap for a professional programmer, but FAR more than I could ever make as a “student”, but then again there was no internet to ask for donations when I was in college.

      I’ll be happy to send even more than my first donation, when this actually looks like it will make it into the program. Call it what you will, but “whole programs” can be purchsed for 50 or 100. I paid only 100 for Carrara a couple years ago. I looked at the code for Bmesh, the project isn’t that big, there’s no excuse for it taking this long, other than a lack of support from the powers that be at BF and Joe’s personal schedule/health concerns.

      Until someone steps up and says “ok let’s do this”, it’ll have to be tough luck, Joe will have to work a crap job full or part time like I did in college to support himself. It’s tough, I know, I majored in engineering and worked full time during school, and 80 hour weeks all summer long, sometimes living in my car for a few weeks because my parents were “uninvolved”. It sucks, but supporting a complete stranger is not my problem, I have a kid of my own off to college in a couple years to the tune of about 1/3rd my gross salary I’m sure. I’d love to see this in, but I don’t like pissing away money on something that may not happen for another year, or more.

      Reply
      • 34. Wolvenmoon  |  December 7, 2009 at 3:59 am

        Be a bit nicer. Apparently the medical problems are of a variety he isn’t comfortable discussing. For me, I have carpal tunnel/RSI and have to limit my productive day on the computer to 2 hours before it’s too painful to type for long.

        In fact, it’s at a ‘5’ on a 10 point pain scale right now.

        He could be dealing with any number of issues, possibly even psychiatric – and those medications will screw you over worse than alcohol.

        Putting pressure on him after donating 50 dollars is reasonable! Try to be respectful reagardless.

  • 35. Redbeer  |  December 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Nothing nice or not nice about it, I’m merely stating my opinion of the project as a whole, in fact, if you read my last post, it barely talks about Joe himself.

    That said, if he’s “that” sick, then I will say again, perhaps he should stop working on the project. I’d just request that he get the project to a state where someone else can get off the ground running as quickly as possible. He should focus on taking care of himself, but if that is the case, stop asking for donations for this project as there is no way he can ever promise an “definitive end” to it. That’s being disrespectful to those that have donated, probably not intentional, but the result is the same.

    Let’s put this another way, the first time I saw a big push for donations was in June, if everyone had kept up with 1K per month since then (which I’m sure they haven’t) that’s 6K by the end of December, I’m sorry, but, looking at what has been done, that’s excessive, and the sad thing is, it’s mostly NOT Joe’s fault, they just never “pull the trigger” at the Blender Foundation to get this code in place in the trunk, so this goes on and on and on….for whatever reason.

    Plus…at least 6 people, here or on the blenderartists forums, have said recently that they donated, and yet the counter hasn’t moved. Ten dollars is 1% of 1000, and yet it’s still at 30% and has been for weeks now. So what’s the deal, those people donated 50 cents or less or lied? Makes no sense.

    He also mentioned putting up a thank you post with the names of those that have donated in his blog months ago, that hasn’t happened either.

    Again, I’m sorry to hear that you are ill Joe. I’ve had a lot of people close to me recently that have been sick, a friend at work who got cancer but had to continue working, he died last year. My mother got cancer last year and I spent half of the summer taking care of her as she went through chemotherapy and mended a broken leg from a car accident on her way to work. Another good friend with colitis/chron’s disease that was on this up and down medication plan involving steroids that was beating the crap out of him. In all cases, I can say that taking care of themselves is/was/should have been their utmost priority.

    Reply

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