Blender

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CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars

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  • 5.0 stars

    "More capabilities than I know what to do with"

    April 23, 2012  |   By Dr_Hipopotamo

    Pros

    This is a great software. I'm not much of an animator, but I've tried some things with it and it works well. I've heard that it's professional quality, which is amazing for a freeware. If you can figure out a way to learn it, go for it. This should help. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro

    Cons

    Hard to figure out. Maybe it's just me, but I'm totally new to animation software, and I would be lost without the link I provided. Also, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to export a video that I had animated into an actual video file. It seems there are plugins you can download for that kind of thing. I know you can get one on creativecow.net to export into after effects. Only problem is that the tutorial and this plugin were both made for version 2.49. The current version is newer, and some things are different. If you can understand the software and have the plugins you need, I don't see anything wrong with it. Just be warned, rendering video takes a LONG time (hours), A faster computer does help, but even then, there's quite a wait. Make sure you save a lot as asking too much of your processor can also crash the program.

    Summary

    If you have a decent-sized hard drive, I don't see any reason not to get this. It's fun to have even if you can't do a tenth of the things that are possible. Don't expect it to be easy to learn, or to do complicated things (especially rendering) quickly. If you're looking for professional-quality software, I would strongly recommend it, but then again, I'm nowhere near professional quality, so what do I know?

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3 replies to this review

  • Reply by Redbirds_dance on January 27, 2013

    You dont need a plugin to export your video hun. You just save the rendered video file to the output location you set up in render settings. If you didnt choose one, it will probably be in your temp folder.
    Check this url: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Render
    and this one: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Render/Output

  • Reply by Lloyd_Hayes on October 7, 2012

    It seems that my previous post was in error. The current Blender Basics book is only 120 pages, instead of the 900 pages that I had said. Blender has become a lot easier to use in the last few years. The book is still free and you can download it at: http://www.blendercourse.com/English/blendercourse-basics-v2

  • Reply by Lloyd_Hayes on October 7, 2012

    There are some books on using this program, including one which is free, which you can download and printout. However, at something like 900 pages, it's cheaper to buy the book rather then print it out. There are also the How-To Blender videos available on youtube. There is also a free online Blender course at: http://www.blendercourse.com/

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