Blender

Blender (32 bits) 2.66a

Truly amazing modeling, animation and rendering

PROS

  • Incredible variety of features
  • Extensive online help
  • Non-overlapping interface

CONS

  • Aimed at advanced users
  • Sheer degree of variety is overwhelming

Very good
8

Put simply, Blender is a 3D content creation suite.

That said, you’d be hard pressed to say that anything else about this program is simple - reviewing Blender was like one of those nightmares where you suddenly realize that you are in deep water, but don’t know how to swim.

Full of features

Amazing in its variety, flexibility and features, Blender is huge, and a single review just doesn't seem to do it justice. For the uninitiated, the interface is overwhelming. There are bunches of panels and bars, all full of explanations and icons, with tooltips for everything. It is also completely customizable, as you can add and remove sections as desired, as well as moving them around and resizing.

Beneath the options menus are Blender’s functions, ranging from rigging and modeling to animation and game creation. In fact, Blender 3D has so many features that listing them all here would take hours, so take a peek at the definitive guide here. Among the more surprising elements included in the program are a built-in text editor, audio playback/editing and a game engine.

Steep learning curve

Blender has no configuration options to speak of as all the program's features can be toggled from the main interface. It is really a program for experts, or for users who hope to become much more proficient. Although there are good Blender tutorials on the website, this 3D modeling program is not something to casually play around with. Beginners would probably be better off, in fact, having a look at something more accessible, such as Google SketchUp.

If 3D creation is your thing and you don't have a copy of Blender, you're almost certainly missing out.

Blender is a hugely impressive 3D modeling program that is likely to scare off the uninitiated.

Some menus crashed on 'enter', and a lot more!

Changes

  • Some menus crashed on 'enter', and a lot more!

Blender supports the following formats

2D: TGA, JPG, PNG, OpenEXR, DPX, Cineon, Radiance HDR, Iris, SGI Movie, IFF, AVI and Quicktime GIF, TIFF, PSD, MOV (Windows and Mac OS X)
3D: 3D Studio, AC3D, COLLADA, FBX Export, DXF, Wavefront OBJ, DEC Object File Format, DirectX, Lightwave, MD2

Blender offers a complete range of tools to thoroughly develop 3D animations and design. Its revolutionary, non-overlapping and non-blocking UI delivers unsurpassed workflow. The powerful built-in database system allows instances, scene management, and dynamic linking multiple project files. Anti-aliased fonts feature international translation support.

The modeling aspects of the program are various. A range of 3D object types including polygon meshes, NURBS surfaces, bezier and B-spline curves, metaballs, vector fonts (TrueType, PostScript, OpenType) are available. 'Smooth proxy' style catmull-clark subdivision surfaces with optimal iso-lines display and sharpness editing and mesh modeling based on vertex, edge and/or face selection give you many possibilities. Editing functions such as extrude, bevel, cut, spin, screw, warp, subdivide, noise, smooth complete the modelling aspects.

Animation and rendering include armature (skeleton) deformation with forward/inverse kinematics, auto skinning and interactive 3D paint for vertex weighting. Oversampling, motion blur, post-production effects, fields, non-square pixels are just a few other of the choices you have.

Realtime 3D/game creation, a graphical editor defines interactive behavior without programming. Collision detection and dynamics simulation are included. The program features Python scripting API for sophisticated control and AI, fully defined advanced game logic. It supports all OpenGLTM lighting modes, including transparencies, animated and reflection-mapped textures.

You can save all scene data in a single .blend file. .blend format supports compression, digital signatures, encryption, forwards/backwards compatibility and can be used as a library to link to from other .blend files. The program reads and writes TGA, JPG, PNG, Iris, SGI Movie, IFF, AVI and Quicktime GIF, TIFF, PSD, MOV (Windows and Mac OS X). Native import and export for DXF, Inventor and VRML files, with python scripts are available for many other 3D formats. You can also create stand-alone executables containing interactive 3D content or play back with the 3D web browser plugin.

Blender

Download

Blender (32 bits) 2.66a

User reviews about Blender

  • Wendy Knaap-Roemer

    by Wendy Knaap-Roemer

    It's not working. Won't even start..
    Tried to install several times. But the program won't even start..   More

  • by Anonymous

    Very valuable free application also for professionals..
    Free, but very valuable software with with a lots of fea...   More

  • by Anonymous

    Best 3D modelling program ever!.
    Best 3D modelling program ever! It is an all-in-one software, with video editin...   More

  • by Anonymous

    overwhelming.
    I tried it and found it overwhelming; also I downloaded lots of models to try but Zero luck findin...   More

  • by Anonymous

    Good Replacement For A More Expensive One.
    Amazing because it is free! Other 3D animation and modelling programs...   More

  • by Anonymous

    still getting used to it.
    All I can say is if you want to use blender be prepared to spend years learning how to...   More