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Blender 3D (and it’s FREE!)

Finding Blender 3D

As an artist, and a graphic designer I have tinkered and played with 3d over the years.   As much as I love 2d animation, and traditional hand drawn as well, there is something very special and engaging playing around in the 3d environment.

I truly wish I had more time to devote to it.  Hours and even days can blaze by while getting engrossed in the depths of multi-dimensions, vertices, armatures and more.  Features are added just as fast as computers get upgraded

Many, many years back, a friend introduced me to 3D Max, and I tinkered with free versions of Maya, Lightwave and others.  They had hefty price tags, and I wasn’t interested in the risk or corruptions of pirated copies.  Then one day I ran into Blender 3D.  Instantly I fell in love with it.  I believe this was before version 1.0.  I think I started with it around version .79, and currently they are moving into version 2.80 decades later.

 

And it’s FREE !?!?

It has come a long way, and almost got shut down throughout it’s early versions.  Wait!!! Did I mention it’s FREE!!!! More about that in a minute.

Not only is it free, a great program, very intuitive, but it’s main backbone throughout all these years from it’s infancy to where it is today is the Blender Community.  Back in the day I would write tutorials on my previous site Cross-Eyed Media, and dig through all the other sites and info that I could find.  There were people devoted to helping others succeed with this young new program back then.  The community itself came and pulled Blender out of the ashes like the rising Phoenix as it almost ran into demise.  Even at the helm of Blender’s main man, Ton Roosendaal, leader of Blender Foundation.

I can still remember being so bummed at the time that it’s development could come to a screeching halt. Watching an online meter rise to meet it monetary donation requirement in order to keep it’s future bright.

 

Blender Has Gone ‘Big Time’!

Next Gen – First full length movie created with Blender 3d. Now available on NetFlix (released Sept. 7, 2018)

Blender has come a long way, and even just had it’s debut on a recent Netflix release as the backbone of a feature animated film.  This recent release which visually competes with big studio as Pixar, Dreamworks, BlueSky Studios and more is Next Gen.

When it first came out I had no idea, and even my son has recently been learning to “sculpt” in Blender.  It was a wonderful moment after watching it that we found out it was created with this wonderful free software that we both love and use ourselves.

 

Need More ‘Blending’ Time

I wish I had more time, and maybe I should set time aside to “Blend” more than I do.  I use it a bit at work to create products for product demos which works great.  A few years back I also used it to create background and elements for a mobile game Officer Bumble (available free for iPhone and Android www.officerbumble.com).

Officer Bumble image to look like an actual arcade machine for a promo. Arcade machine was made in Blender 3D.

A very fun project that I was fortunate enough to be involved in as a freelance designer.  Initially the plan was for everything to be hand drawn.  The company wanted a “Looney Toons” feel to it. So the characters I created were all hand drawn and animated in a very traditional style, and I had the idea all of the sudden to create the background and element/items in 3D.

I created a few test in Blender, the company got very excited about the mix of using 3d mixed with 2d characters, and I had a blast working on it.

Overall, my main point on this tangent and walk down my own memory lane, is for those of you out there using, or wanting to get into animation and 3d, is to give Blender 3D a chance.  It’s FREE, yes that’s right where other programs can cost thousands, it’s absolutely FREE!

 

Where To Get Blender

It’s available FREE at: https://www.blender.org  for documentation, samples, and to download the current version.

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