Support for Blender 2.92 is Coming
The very keen amongst those using our addon might have realised that Blender 2.92 alpha refuses to render with Crowdrender. After recently publishing V0.2.9 to, amongst other things, provide compatibility for Blender 2.91, I decided to download Blender 2.92 and see what new fun awaited me.
Needless to say it broke first try, and the reason can be seen in the file diff above. Those of you who are non technical need not read any further unless you like 'this sort of thing'. Just be reassured we know what broke and we know how to fix it. There will be a new build coming out, V0.2.10 most likely, to solve this.
So what happened?
A picture is worth a thousand words, the file diff above shows exactly what happened, cycles changed from 2.91 to 2.92. This seemingly innocuous difference was all it took to cause our addon to fail. Mainly it failed because we expected something to still be named the same in 2.92 as it was in 2.91.
This is fairly common to expect things to keep their names, like in everyday life, it would cause no amount of confusion or chaos if some things suddenly got their names changed. Imagine everybody's name changing on their birthday or maybe Mondays for example, it would be hard to keep up.
This particular change unfortunately means we do need to change our code, since we use a name that has changed. In fact, several variables in the cycles addon code went from the old format, pass_crypto_*something*, to pass_cryptomatte_*something*. Since we interface with cycles, we use these names.
Whats it gonna take to fix it?
Basically we will have to write some code that will assess which name to use. Since some people will be keen to try 2.92 and still use 2.91, 2.90 and the LTS 2.83 versions, we can't just change the references in our addon, since then we'd break all the earlier versions than 2.91.
This is fairly straightforward, but needs good testing across all the affected versions so we know you can use 2.83, 2.90, 2.91, 2.92 etc. We're also looking into how to protect against this where possible in the future. We obviously can't stop blender devs from changing the name of things (though it would be very handy if we could). But we can try to avoid relying on using Blender's variable names explicitly where possible. Though it may actually not be possible in this case.
Until then, Crowdrender is still working in 2.83, 2.90 using the latest publicly available release, and 2.91 with V0.2.9 which is the latest early access release. Blender 2.92 is currently in alpha so its not yet the official release and as a result we're not rushing this fix.
Until then, a huge huge thanks to all of you supporting our project right now, its been a hell of a year and to all of you who stuck it out, we have nothing but praise and thanks for you :). You all made 2020 possible for us, and thats something I hope will make you smile and your heart glad :D