Recently I learned that there are several initiatives to make Physically-Based Shading available on Blender. One of these is the development of a Cycles Disney BRDF.

I have a couple of questions on installing this Blender development on my computer.

  1. Is this Blender Branch Windows only ? I would like to install it on macOS.
  2. As I have a Windows machine too .. how would I install such a branche on my Windows machine

Edit: after reading the answer of @aliasguru I understand that GraphicAll makes new developments available without having to compile code ?

enter image description here

If I push that download button what am I downloading and how do I install that as a experimental feature to my Blender 2.78 installation ? Is this possible for macOS ?


1 Answer 1


Tech Stuff first

As most Blender Branches, they are cross-platform and can be compiled for any supported operating system. Since support for compiling Blender is out of scope of BSE, I won't go into detail on how to do it. However, the documentation gives a very good starting point: https://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Dev:Doc/Building_Blender Note that for adding the Disney Shader, you'll need to checkout a branch with GIT that actually contains the code. One such branch is the Experimental one.

Easy solution for quick evaluation on Windows

Some people actually go for the extra effort and provide self made Blender Builds on a dedicated website called GraphicAll. You can search for keywords there, Disney will give you this page as a result: http://graphicall.org/1192

Just download and unzip it to your hard drive (this is a Windows Build), and run blender.exe from that folder directly. You'll find the Disney Shader in the Add section of the node editor, together with the Diffuse, Glossy, Anisotropic,...

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Just realised the second part of my answer is pretty redundand, apart from the info that you don't have to install anything. Unzip and run works fine. MacOS builds I haven't tried yet, but if I can get hold of a machine I'd like to give it a shot. $\endgroup$
    – aliasguru
    Dec 21, 2016 at 14:55
  • $\begingroup$ you say "need to checkout a branch with GIT that actually contains the code. One such branch is the Experimental one.". I am not a programmer and not familiar with Blender Development and I cannot find some documents that make things understandable for me. So, if you don't mind, what is GIT ? what is a branch ? Where can I find Experimental ? $\endgroup$
    – user13877
    Dec 21, 2016 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ About GraphicAll ... is this not "official Blender development" ? You name it self made Blender Builds ... I thought that this Cycles Disney Brdf is part of the Blender software ? $\endgroup$
    – user13877
    Dec 21, 2016 at 15:33
  • $\begingroup$ @OldMan You're mixing up two things: a) the source code, and b) compiled binaries of the source code, i.e. applications that you can run. GIT is a version control system which helps programmers to keep track of changes in code. A branch is something like a spin-off version of a code. 'Experimental' is a name of a Blender Source Code branch. If you download a stable release, you are indeed running the branch called 'master'. 'Experimental' is a branch which has been changed, in this case one of the changes is the implementation of the Disney shader. $\endgroup$
    – aliasguru
    Dec 21, 2016 at 15:54
  • $\begingroup$ @OldMan Unless you have at least some understanding of coding and/or using version control, you'll find it really hard to get a first self-compiled Blender up and running. But again, the docs I linked are a step by step guideline which helps you through. Regarding braches, there is lots of them. The purpose is to enable developers to test things without doing any harm on the master branch. $\endgroup$
    – aliasguru
    Dec 21, 2016 at 16:04

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