So, you want to learn 3D modelling and rendering, and downloaded Blender, one of the few free 3D modelling software available on the Internet. If you’re using a 3D modelling software for the first time, it might seem pretty daunting, but it’s something made for everyone, novices to professionals alike.
What is it?
Founded by Ton Roosendaal in May 2002, blender is a completely free professional open source 3D modelling, graphics and animation suite, but in no way inferior to anything else out there. You can use to create animated movies, 3D printed models, fluid and smoke simulation, video editing, UV unwrapping, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, particle simulation, soft body simulation, sculpting, match moving, compositing, video games or even just amazing artwork. Blender shows off the entirety of all there is to 3D design. Modeling and animation along with rigging, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking. Blender even integrates a video editing and game creation system. It is helpful to know Python scripting (but not needed at all to be efficient in Blender) for customizing the application and writing specialized tools for yourself and others.
It’s available on most platforms, so that’s an extra plus. Its high customizability is pretty cool too, as you can set the display screen according to your preferences. It also has an integrated game engine.
Why should I get blender?
You start from scratch, in a neat user interface, and – unless you happen to be an Autodesk Maya expert – should expect that you are going to have to read some manuals, follow the tutorials, and do lots of homework. Lots. But since Blender is completely free, it’s worth the effort if you are serious about 3D art and animation, whether amateur or pro, and have a lot of artistic talent and perseverance.
Unlike most 3D and 2D design software, Blender seems to favor people who are gamers or programmers, by incorporating keyboard shortcuts for almost everything, making shifting through tasks a breeze.
For example, if you hit the Scale button with your mouse pointer, you will find it near impossible to scale your selected item with any precision. Use the shortcut S and you now have meticulous control.
With Blender, we can model using basic mesh shapes – spheres, cubes, cylinders etc. which we can extrude and reshape. There are tutorials to learn how to add textures and patterns, and even changing colors seems to be quite intimidating until you learn it. What you need is dedication and hard work.
Blender is well suited to individuals and small studios who benefit from its unified pipeline and responsive development process; but if you’re a novice, and hope to have your project completed in hours rather than months, Blender is definitely a better choice than painfully fishing out your wallet for the $ 3500 Autodesk Maya or even the $ 50 3D Studio.
Even if you’re a Maya user and a pro, you might get Blender (it’s free, remember?) for a spin. Blender’s ease of use is catching up fast with programs for professionals. Once you get the skill and know what to do, you can match up with what can be done Maya and 3DS Max and other high-end, high-price 3D modelling and animation programs.
Blender is an excellent 3D design software with great tools and enormous functionality. With the addition of the fact that it is completely free making it easy for anyone to jump right in and start learning adds that much more respect for the developers of this amazing app, even though it is a bit hard to start with and even harder to master. Although you will have to take your time watching tutorials or reading documentation, learning Blender will definitely be worth your time in the end.