The top 3 collaborative editing tools for Blender

For a long time, outside observers have had the impression that 3D animators work in a vacuum. The idea of an editor hunched over their keyboard, eyes pressed on three different screens is a pervasive image in popular culture.


Of course, zooming back in on reality, that's not at all how a project comes together. Whether you're virtually staging a room for a real estate listing or building an entire world for a new game release, you are constantly collaborating with other team members to bring your project to life, whether they’re in the studio or not.


What makes the animation tool Blender so appealing to many 3D animators is the fact that it's open-source software. This means you can add on additional tools to expand the program's functionality to suit your specific needs. 


So now that you’ve selected Blender as your tool of choice, are there any tools you can use in tandem to help you collaborate more effectively? Many creative teams are spread out across the city, or even across the world, but still need to work together to ensure their projects live up to their full potential. 


In this article, we'll highlight some of our favorite tools and Blender add-ons that make it easier for you to work together with your team in real-time to create exceptional 3D designs.  



The top three collaborative editing tools for Blender

Here are the top three options when you’re looking to collaborate with your team in Blender and enhance your creation suite: 


#1: Mixer


Mixer is a Blender add-on designed to add the ability for multiple Blender users to work on the same project simultaneously. Created by Ubisoft, this add-on is a must-have for any teams that require real-time collaboration to edit the same project or asset. 


Features: 

  • Allows multiple users to edit on the same Blender project at the same time
  • Allows multiple users access to most available tools (with some limitations)


Usability: 

Mixer is an excellent addition to Blender for any team that likes to roll up their sleeves and work together.However, one key thing to keep in mind is that this is also an open-source application, and they are regularly working out bugs and adding and subtracting functions. 


That being said, while the plugin may not work perfectly 100% of the time, it expands your team's ability to co-work on a project. Instead of sending files back and forth, you can implement them together in real-time.  


#2: Multi-User Add On


The appropriately named Multi-User Add On is another great addition to your Blender setup. It works in a very similar way to Mixer by allowing multiple users to work on the same project at the same time over a network. 


Features: 

  • Allows multiple users to edit on the same Blender project at the same time
  • Allows multiple users access to most available tools 


Usability: 

This add-on is constantly in development, which means that just like Mixer, features may be added or taken away as the app develops. Suppose you plan on relying on having the ability to edit projects with your co-creators simultaneously. 


In that case, we'd recommend installing both this program and Mixer so that if you're having challenges with one, you can use the other as a backup. 


Now, both Multi-User Add On and Mixer lack a way to actually talk to your collaborators on the same device, in the same program. You can edit the same project at the same time, but you'll have to use a separate program like Zoom if you actually want to talk through the changes you're making. 


This can be an annoying and clunky way to work. Thankfully, there's a platform that pairs perfectly with these add-ons and allows you to chat face-to-face, even from a distance.

#3: Evercast


Evercast takes co-collaboration to a whole new level. It allows you to stream your workspace in full HD while live video-chatting with your team. It also includes tons of tools for note-taking and feedback so everyone can contribute to creating the best possible final project. 


Features: 

  • Allows you to stream Blender workspace (or any other creative workspace) in full HD
  • Allows you to video chat with collaborators
  • Includes tools for on-screen annotations as well as timestamped chat messages for easy feedback


Usability: 

The previous programs we've mentioned allow you to edit together in Blender, but from behind a screen. As a collaboration platform, Evercast brings your team members front and center with built-in HD camera chatting. This means you can talk and edit as if you were all crowded into an editing suite together. 


If you have one of the previous add-ons installed into Blender already, you can all talk and edit together in real-time while making notes and working through roadblocks as a team. Short of being together in person, this combination is the next best thing. No lag in the conversation while your work renders.


Final thoughts

Collaboration truly is key if you want to get the best results possible, whether it’s an audio or video editing project. Thanks to the availability of tools like these, technology is enabling us to work together even when we're apart. 


We believe collaboration is the magic behind unlocking your full creative potential, and better collaboration starts with software that works with your team, not against it.

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