Manuel Bastioni to discontinue Manuel Bastioni Lab
Developer Manuel Bastioni has discontinued development of Manuel Bastioni Lab, his free Blender add-on for creating customisable rigged human characters, citing a lack of community support.
The news has clearly come as a surprise to many users, with fans posting on social media and in CG forums to say that they were unaware that Bastioni was actively looking for funding.
Development stopped because of ‘neglibible’ community contributions
First launched in 2016, the Lab received steady updates for two years, adding new skin and hair tools and even a basic muscle system.
On 31 October 2018, Bastioni launched a scheme to support future development of the software by selling add-on assets, but withdrew it a week later, saying that contributions had been “negligible”.
“The roadmap for version 1.7 is gigantic and would require an incredible effort and motivation,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, it seems that nobody cares about supporting the lab.”
“A [tool like this] cannot survive without a community that supports it. The lab project stops today.”
More support available than the initial response suggested?
The news has clearly come as a shock to many users, several of whom have posted comments on Bastioni’s Facebook post to say that they were simply not aware of the funding program in the week it was online.
Others have posted to say that they would be willing to support a more conventional crowdfunding program, such as a Kickstarter or Patreon campaign.
If you fall in either of those camps, you may wish to add your own feedback, although we’d encourage you do to so sensitively.
In his announcement, Bastioni says that he is “not writing this message to ask more contributions” and that “short [term] help will not change things”, and clearly, the decision is solely his to make.
However, Manuel Bastioni Lab is an application that many people will be sorry to see go – and one, we imagine, that many people never knew was actually looking for community funding.
Updated 11 January 2018: The Manuel Bastioni Lab website and Facebook profile are now offline.