Blender is a free 3D modelling and animation suite. When I say free, I mean completely free, no added cost at all. It is open source freeware so it costs absolutely nothing to use. I will try to keep this review precise and to the point so you can skim over it and decide whether Blender is for you or not.
It can be used to create animated movies, 3D printed models, video games or even just amazing artwork. Although it is a free software, it is in no way any inferior to any other software out there. Before we go into an in-depth review on Blender and its various functions, here is a little movie made using blender so you have and idea of its capabilities. The movie was made in 2010 and there are various newer ones out, but I chose this particular one because I thought it was pretty enjoyable. Whats the point in a bland review?
Blender is more or less available to every platform out there today. It works on Windows XP, Windows 7, Mac OS, Linux, etc. So you don’t really have to worry about if your computer can download the software or not. Blender is cross platform and runs equally well on Windows, Mac and Linux. If however, you want to be even more concise, this list of supported platforms show which OS’s Blender will definitely run on (though it is not limited to this list).
3D Design Capabilities
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.
Blender is basically free to use, share and modify and the Blender Licence’s 5 main points below:
- You can use Blender for any purpose
- You can freely distribute blender
- You may modify the Blender software
- You may distribute altered versions of Blender
- Whatever work you create with Blender is your sole property
However, for a more detailed and in-depth description on the Blender License then click here.
The user interface in Blender is probably one of the neatest I’ve seen. At default it uses a grey theme consistently throughout the software which gives it a minimalist feeling making the software look all the more pleasing. Although the user interface looks quite daunting at first, it isn’t actually that hard to understand, you will pick it up a lot faster than you think.
Along with that, you wont need to bother remembering where everything is. Thanks to Blender’s numerous shortcut keys, sifting through Blender functions is a quicker than it may first seem.
In addition, Blender gives you the ability to alter the default screen allowing you to customize to your will. However, I do not suggest customizing any shortcut keys or mouse controls as when it comes to working on other computers, you will not have to the time to constantly change the keyboard controls to our convenience.
Cons of Blender
I have been rattling on about how Blender is such an amazing 3D design software but as they say, nothing is perfect. So what could the letdowns of such a good software?
The main, and probably most obvious con to Blender is the fact that it takes an enormous amount of time to master. Even people who are proficient in these types of software will not be able to just jump in an expect to get results immediately. However, if you have the time and can put the effort in, then you will most definitely find your time was well spent.
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. Although you will have to take your time watching tutorials or reading documentation, learning Blender will definitely be worth your time in the end. Happy Blending.