Thursday, July 13th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Check out Goo Engine: Blender for 3D anime

DillonGoo Studios has released Goo Engine, its own custom build of Blender, tailoring the open-source 3D software for use on animation work – and particularly for creating 3D anime.

The fork, which is free to compile from source, adds new features to Blender, particularly to Eevee, its real-time render engine, including new shader nodes for non-photorealistic rendering.

The software was actually released last year, but we haven’t managed to cover it until now, and it has just been updated to support Blender 3.6.

A specialist fork of Blender tailored to creating and rendering 3D anime
Founded by former RoosterTeeth animator Dillon Gu, DillonGoo Studios creates online 3D anime, including Demon Slayer CATS, CyberKatsu and Avatar: The Last CATbender.

Goo Engine (originally named Goo Blender) is its in-house version of Blender, adding new features to the software’s animation and rendering toolsets.

New features in Eevee, Grease Pencil and the Graph Editor
The initial release added four custom Eevee shader nodes for non-photorealistic rendering (NPR), and support for alpha blending in the Holdout shader, making it possible to use it on semi-transparent objects.

Subsequent updates have added node-based light groups, and the option to isolate individual F-Curves in the Graph Editor.

The most recent updates Goo Engine to Blender 3.6, released late last month, and adds new features including the option to control viewport line width.

There are also several improvements to Grease Pencil, Blender’s 2D animation toolset, including the option to randomise textures across Grease Pencil strokes, and to close strokes automatically.

Free to compile from source, but compiled binaries cost money
Goo Studio can be compiled for free from source – the build requirements are the same as for Blender itself – but compiled binaries are only available by subscribing to DillonGoo Studios’ Patreon.

On its website, the studio says that it doesn’t push the changes to Blender’s master branch as “many of [them] would not be accepted as they are and may destablize other features like Cycles”.

“We only use Eevee for NPR so we prioritize specific features which the Blender Institute understandably can’t afford to make compromises for.”

Price and system requirements
Goo Engine is a fork of Blender, source code for which is available under the GNU General Public Licence. Find system requirements in this story.

Compiled binaries of Goo Engine are available for Windows and macOS by subscribing to DillonGoo Studios on Patreon, which currently costs £4.50/month.

Read more about Goo Engine on DillonGoo Studios’ website

Download source code for Goo Engine from GitHub