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A Brand New Add-on Ecosystem for Blender 2.8?

With the highly anticipated release of Blender 2.8, there is one big question hanging in the air. What’s going to happen to the years and years worth of add-on development work put into versions 2.79 and earlier? The introduction of 2.8 is already groundbreaking in terms of shattering render times and giving artists the option of Cycles and Eevee to render their work, but 2.8 also shakes up Blender at its very core: the source code.

The API rewrite for Blender 2.8 will essentially force all of the individual add-on developers to update their add-on to be compatible with version 2.8 and up. What does this mean for the end users? This could mean an open door for new developers to enter the world of add-on development for Blender, and potentially put pressure on the existing add-on developers who have contributed to version 2.79 and below.

As new developers enter the scene, this could put pressure on existing add-ons, as the new tools have potential to be innovative, considering how different Blender 2.8 is from 2.79. This also has the potential to leave some add-ons abandoned, especially if they haven’t been updated in the last year or so. This new development environment also has the potential to push the existing add-ons that have been successful since 2.79 and below to new heights in 2.8.

At the point of this writing, this is an exciting new world that has tons of potential in either direction it moves forward. Either the existing add-ons upgrade to 2.8 and remain amazing, new add-ons explode onto the scene and take advantage of brand new features unique to 2.8, or some mix of the two. Only time will tell what the future of 2.8 will be, but no matter what happens, the future promises to be a bright one. Rock on, and happy blending!

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