Blender

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  • 5.0 stars

    "Blender: The Hidden Surface"

    May 16, 2007  |   By genotypewriter

    Pros

    Blender has a lot of features and it's free but one of its best known facts is its steep learning-curve. As usual, there's more to Blender than what most people see...

    Being in the field of education and having been a student, I know how hard it is for emerging educational institutions to budget licenses for expensive high-end professional software. In the rapidly moving (no pun) field of 3D animation, this is an even bigger problem when having to invest such large amounts of money to purchase packages such as Maya (single retail $7000 on 16/5/2007) for large numbers of students when new versions get released very quickly. In some parts of the world, the course fee can be many times cheaper than the license of the software itself.

    With open-source digital art packages like Blender, artistic freedom can finally reach everyone. Now the competition need not only be between the rich. This is also good news for commercial application developers as now there are lesser reasons for people to pirate their software and there is potential for a growth in the industry. Open-source still has an advantage even if commercial software is available for free since the GNU GPL makes the source code available to everyone so people can become developers of such powerful software instead of just being users.

    Cons

    Nothing is perfect

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2 replies to this review

  • Reply by Panther66 on May 16, 2007

    Listing one of Blender's major problems within the "Pros" area is a bit confusing. I am referring to the learning curve. The steep learning curve which is in part tied to what in my opinion is a very poor user interface. The cons of "Nothing is perfect" is the understatement of the year (of course this is only May, so we have a ways to go). I have multiple 3d apps that I use (some free, others commercial) and each has it's own learning curve and quirks. Nothing approaches Blender in the level of frustration and I did aquire the Blender Book to ease this.

    I have found that although it's free and yes still on my hard drive, it is seldom used. I keep working with the other apps and come back to Blender now and then to see if what I have learned is of use to me in Blender. The interface is something I can't seem to overcome, I find it more of a hindrance than a help.

    Educational institutions looking for software to use for an introduction to 3d would be better off with Wings 3D. It's limited, but for a beginner in one semester it's all they would need. Or Silo at $109 isn't very expensive.

    Bottom line, Blender would be way too frustrating for people new to 3d.

  • Reply by Panther66 on May 16, 2007

    Listing one of Blender's major problems within the "Pros" area is a bit confusing. I am referring to the learning curve. The steep learning curve which is in part tied to what in my opinion is a very poor user interface. The cons of "Nothing is perfect" is the understatement of the year (of course this is only May, so we have a ways to go). I have multiple 3d apps that I use (some free, others commercial) and each has it's own learning curve and quirks. Nothing approaches Blender in the level of frustration and I did aquire the Blender Book to ease this.

    I have found that although it's free and yes still on my hard drive, it is seldom used. I keep working with the other apps and come back to Blender now and then to see if what I have learned is of use to me in Blender. The interface is something I can't seem to overcome, I find it more of a hindrance than a help.

    Educational institutions looking for software to use for an introduction to 3d would be better off with Wings 3D. It's limited, but for a beginner in one semester it's all they would need. Or Silo at $109 isn't very expensive.

    Bottom line, Blender would be way too frustrating for people new to 3d.

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