dbBlender: Integrating MySQL in Blender

When working on detailed animations or stills, scenes can grow very large. These large datasets can get unwieldy to work with, searching will be difficult, and inevitable hardware limits will start playing a part in the production of large projects. Also, teams may get assembled in a multisite fashion, putting higher requirements on data availability and management. It only makes sense to use a database to support this and give proper tools for managing all of the data and users with access to it.

MySQL can bring a production environment the basis needed to create the tools for managing large datasets. Searches can be implemented in an efficient manor and the database lends itself for collaboration between multisites. dbBlender is a project to integrate MySQL in Blender to solve many of the problems with large datasets and multisite projects. The focus is currently on:

  • integrating the database fluently into the Blender .blend format
  • creating basic search functions
  • implementing a browser to the database
  • implementing simple asset management

An overview of the work done will be given, along with a project outline for the future. A short demo will also be presented to give a taste for how the integration currently works.

Work done contains:

  • implemented datablocks
  • browsing interfaces
  • updates
  • loading

At the end of the talk will be a short discussion on the future of this project and the needs from the CG industry and other users.

Photo of Nathan Letwory

Nathan Letwory

Blender Foundation

Nathan Letwory is a Dutch Blender developer, who has been living in Finland since 1997. Nathan joined
the Blender developers in 2003. He has worked on different areas of Blender, such as the Visual Studio
projectfiles, texture IPOs, SCons build system integration, Verse support, PyNodes and DbBlender. In
2005-2006 Nathan participated as a remote support developer for the Elephants Dream open movie
project. As a professional software developer Nathan works with C#/.NET, SQL and relational databases
and with DVB middleware in the past. Nathan likes to use C, Python, Lua, C# and other languages and
tools for his programming needs.
Nathan works now integration of MySQL in Blender in an attempt to enable large datasets and simplify
collaboration in open source CG built on a solid basis for data storage and retrieval provided by MySQL.
When Nathan is not sitting behind his computer, he loves to spend time with his wife and son.

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