There’s a reason the saying “all the best things in life are free” rings true – at least when it comes to 3D modeling software. There are dozens of hyper-inflated kits of creativity out there, but there’s only one Blender.
Over the years, Blender has gone from humble beginnings to standing toe-to-toe with some of the industry’s hardest-hitting heavyweights – and all while doing it for free. 22 years ago, the software popped up as one of the first crowd-funded programs after being developed as an in-house program for the now-defunct Dutch animation studio Neo Geo.
Since then, it has gone from being one of the first community-supported programs into an industry-standard tool for many animators, VFX artists, game developers, and 3D modelers and animators.
Blender’s reputation is not without merit. For an open-source program, it is not only teeming with features, but also with continuous support, development, and iteration.
Want to make a photorealistic render? You can do it in Blender. Want to animate an ultra-cartoony short for your next project? You can do it in Blender. Want to make killer game assets for your next game? You get where we’re going with this.
Check out this awesome vintage helmet from @victorvdr9! 😱 • Submit your artwork by using #blendercommunity in your next render and have a chance to be featured on our page! • Cool Blender sites to check out: blender.org wiki.blender.org blender.stackexchange.com blendernation.com cloud.blender.org • Happy Blendering! • Blender 3D is made possible from it's sponsors. Donate to the software and become a proud supporter at blender.org/foundation/donation-payment/
Over the years, the suite has managed to develop a Photoshop-like reputation within the 3D modelling community – if you can think it, Blender can probably help you do it. Being open-source, many features that have been desired by the community have been implemented by them.
Rather than wait on the approval of the developers, anyone is free to make builds and adjustments and upload them for others to test out and bug fix.
Although Blender has much to offer, it doesn’t do the program any favors due to its famously unwieldy interface. For those interested in jumping into the world of 3D, Blender is a logical choice, but it’s going to make you work for it.
Video and text tutorials will be your bread and butter until you learn how to navigate the often-unorthodox shortcuts and workflow, but once you do, everything starts to click into place.
Many 3D modeling suites run upwards of thousands of dollars to license and use for commercial and education purposes – and Blender runs none. There’s always the option subscription service called Blender Cloud, which for a membership gives users a treasure trove of blender course content and access to premade models and assets for experimentation, but none of Blender’s features are locked behind any sort of paywall.
The continued permeance of Blender in a market rife with premium programs and vast designer suites is a testament to both its usability and reliability. With feature-laden versions endlessly churned out, we can’t wait to see what the community and dev team have in store for us next.