Part 1: Inception

It all started at a typical, wild, late night Blender Conference party in 2019 — sitting in front of a laptop, staring at Blender, or code, or both.

Jonas and Luca, in the company of notorious Blenderers Thomas Beck and Aidy Burrows, found themselves in an electrifying node-off, reproducing the local flooring (you can imagine the tension).

It was inspired by this, that the very next day, Jonas came up with the idea for Nodevember, the event that — unbeknownst to them at the time — would end up changing the world of nodes forever.

Part 2: Development

One more day had passed, and the conference was coming to a close. A quick search revealed that no such event had yet taken place (#nodevember was dominated by a NodeJS event that hadn't happened in a few years), so, with everyone to whom the idea was pitched getting suitably hyped, Jonas bought this very domain then and there, at this very lunch table.

A group of people sitting at a lunch table.
From left to right: Sean Kennedy, Jon Denning, Gleb Alexandrov and his wife Lena, Jonas Dichelle, Luca Rood, Christopher Gearhart, Aidy Burrows, and Alan Melikdjanian (better known as Captain Disillusion's assistant)

There was no turning back. With just four days before the beginning of November, and the launch planned for October 30th, what followed were three days of frantic late nights that went by in a blur.

Jonas and Luca teamed up to organise the event — create a logo, build a website, set up social media, create promotional materials, and more importantly, come up with 30 prompts (shoutout to Simon and Alex who helped out on this front)!

Part 3: Response

The day had come, October 31st. Against all odds, everything was ready. The prompts were out, and all the hype during the Blender Conference paid off, the event was shared widely, and by the time November started, the two-day old Twitter account already had over 1k followers.

The response to the event was immense and overwhelming, and we at the Nodevember team cannot thank this incredible community enough!

Part 4: Confusion

On October 31st, the unexpected happened. It came to our attention that the previous day, just hours after we unveiled the prompts, The Mentor Coalition, in partnership with Substance 3D, had announced a node contest for the month of November, called, you guessed it, Nodevember!

As it turns out, Joshua Lynch (of The Mentor Coalition) had made a few procedural pieces during November of the previous year, part of a concept that he called, yes, Nodevember.

In 2019, he partnered with Substance 3D, to turn it into a proper event. As you can imagine, once they published their own prompts on November 1st, this caused some amount of confusion within the 3D community.

The two homonymous events would end up running in parallel for that year, mostly split between the Blender and Substance 3D communities. Though the shear size of the Blender community, and perhaps the earlier release of the NodevemberIO prompts, would end up cementing the popularity of this variant of the event.

Part 5: Resolution

For the second edition of Nodevember, in 2020, Substance 3D approached the NodevemberIO team, in the interest of promoting a single consolidated event.

We were also joined by other procedural applications in promoting the event, such as SideFX Houdini and Shade, who brought their own vibrant communities into the mix.

This made for a much smoother event, with an ever growing community. This was further enhanced by our partnership with Codevember, which ran jointly with Nodevember in 2020, sharing the same prompts.

That was also when we additionally launched the event on Instagram for the first time, and were joined by Irina, who works on improving the Nodevember website, and also manages the Instagram account.

Part 6: Future

Our intention is to keep bringing better and better editions of Nodevember to the community.

Through our interaction with this amazing community, we hope to improve and expand the event every year.

We welcome everyone from all corners of the node-sphere, from shaders to 3D models, from images to music.

We hope to see you there!

The team

Jonas Dichelle

Idealiser, co-founder

Luca Rood

Organiser, co-founder

Irina Anichina

Web-dev, Instagram account maintainer