Not just folder icons but file icons as well. A new release of Blender is always special to all fans and users of this open source 3D software, me included, but this release has an extra incentive for me to be excited — it includes a new and improved image browser and most of the standard icons in this new browser are designed by yours truly.
More than a year ago, Andrea Weikert(Elubie) put out a call for icons for the new image browser she was developing within Blender. Blender had previously had an image browser window to select bitmap textures and such, but with changes in the code it had become unstable and unreliable with time. While the functionality remained in more recent versions, it was kept hidden from the general user due to quality issues. Andrea took on the task of updating it and improving this orphaned part of the Blender code so that it could once again become a useful and fully functional part of the Blender workhorse.
I’ve been using Blender for quite a few years now, but I’m not much of a hardcore programmer. When I heard of the return of the image browser and a chance to contribute to Blender development, I offered my services. There were some nice ideas in the discussion thread, especially Falgor’s — little wonder that he contributed the bookmark icon to the final release. My file and folder icon designs did fit in very well with the rest of the interface, and I tried to create as complete a set of icons as I could, and the discussion petered out there.
A few months ago when release notes for the new version started to be prepared and test versions were making the rounds, I was quite surprised to see my file and folder icons in the screenshots and test images. I’m even more surprised that they have now made it into the final release. Needless to say I’m grinning maniacally whenever I think about it.
You can see the icons above, and in the latest Blender 2.46 release if you are curious. Blender is a great piece of open source software, and simply a great piece of software period. I’ve used it for enough personal and commercial projects, both as the main tool and as a supporting tool, to appreciate its brilliance and its quirks. I’m thankful to all the developers for contributing so much of their time to continue to improve this excellent tool on such a regular basis.
My special thanks go to Andrea for working on this very useful part of the Blender code. It’s not the sort of thing that has the same public glamour as some of the high-end fancy graphical parts of the software’s functionality, but it’s functions like the image browser that make Blender a joy to use for regular day-to-day purposes. Also a shout out to Falgor for his bookmark icon design.
Enough release fever for now. To all the fans of Blender 3D and curious strangers, I suggest you go out and play with the new Blender release. That’s what I’m going to be doing … although I can’t promise to not sneak an occasional self indulgent peek at the new folder icons when no on else is watching. 🙂