In short, Blender is an Open Source 3D software used to create 3D models, animations, visual effects, and even games. Most of computer and video games are in 3 dimensional space. This means that you can see particular objects such as characters or buildings from more than one perspective.
All these games need to use 3D modeling software to create each and every model that is going to be used in the game. This process is quite difficult and requires high level of skills in both art and technical software features. 3D graphics creation also requires large amounts of time.
3D software is not limited to game content creation. It is also used to add visual effects to movies. For example, all science fiction movies use this kind of software to create spaceships, aliens, and other similar features. After the models are made, they also have to be animated. Animation, is a process through which the 3D models are made “alive”. For instance, if you create a 3D character to be used in a film, you also have to animate it in many ways, like add facial gestures, hand and leg movements, bending down, and so on. It has to be animated to move, talk, and do other actions in the film. Animation is a complex and artistic skill that takes a long time to learn and master.
Without 3D modeling and animation software, modern games and movies would not be what they are today.
In the rest of this little article I will introduce you to one of the many 3D software tools called Blender.
What Can Blender Do
Blender is powerful. Very powerful. It can be used to create wonderful 3D art for any use you can imagine. It can be used to create stunning 3D characters for top class video games. It can be used to make wonderful animation films. It can also be used to make visual effects for feature film, such as car explosions, flying people, aliens, building destruction, and many others. The possibilities of what you can achieve with Blender are only limited by your own imagination, skills, and time.
Since a picture is better then on thousand words, here below I present you with some of the finest art created with Blender software.
What makes Blender special?
Blender is not the only 3D graphics application. There are many others. Big ones. So what makes blender special? Well, first of all, it is Free Open Source Software. I am sure I don’t have to explain what “free” means, but Open Source might sound stracnge to you if you have not been exposed to software and computing that much.
To put it in very simple terms, Open Source software is software that is available to everyone and on top of that, everyone have the right to do what they please with it. You can download open source software for free. You can give it to your friends. You can distribute it in your website.
You can even modify it, and change everything about it. And all this is legal. Open Source means that the techniques and the actual code that makes the software tick is available to anyone, for any use. Why is it so good? It is great because it gives people freedom and also encourages learning, thinking, creating, improving, and advancing.
This is completely opposite to proprietary software that is sold for money and is completely closed, meaning that you are not allowed to examine its code, learn from its code, or improve it. So, in short, being open source is a big plus.
Companies and individuals can take it and improve it or full customize it to their needs or wants. It is also free (other similar software, can cost between $1000 and $4000).
If we talk about features, everyone who invests some time in learning Blender can say that its modeling capabilities and ease is outstanding. You use keyboard shortcut combinations to do most of the tasks, putting many of the tools just one keyboard shortcut away.
This allows you to do many tasks very quickly. Blender also has sculpting, python scripting, flexible animating tools, powerful node compositor, shading, particle system, physics system, fluid simulation system, soft body support, real-time 3D game creation, and finally, one of the most powerful UV unwrapping tools in the industry.
And did I mention that it is available for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and Mac OS X? For more features, visit the official Blender features page: Blender.org.
Besides all the power, flexibility, and its open source free nature, Blender has another wonderful aspect: its supportive community.
Even though Blender is not that widely used by studios in relation to the commercial alternatives at this point in time, it is user base is growing constantly, and Blender is gaining power by daily basis due to the effort of dedicated developers and users.