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Blender 2.65 Released

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the check-it-out dept.

Open Source 93

skade88 writes "Blender 2.65 has been released. Here is a quote from the Blender team: 'The Blender Foundation and online developer community is proud to present Blender 2.65. We focused on making this the most stable release in the 2.6 cycle yet, fixing over 200 bugs. Fire simulation was added along with many improvements in smoke simulation. In Cycles, motion blur, open shading language and anisotropic shading support was added. For mesh modeling, the bevel tool was much improved, a new symmetrize mesh tool was added, and new Laplacian smooth, decimate, and triangulate modifiers are available.'"

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Old News (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314333)

2.65 has been out for a week. Slacking, Slashdot.

Re:Old News (5, Funny)

HexaByte (817350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314563)

2.65? My blender goes up to 9. I think that's puree.

Re:Old News (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315507)

Our blender is 50 years old. It has two settings, "Usually enough" and "Always enough". The thing is built like a tank. I love it.

I have wanted to learn Blender (the software) for a long time. I've been an on-and-off avid POV-Rayer for more than 20 years (mostly off these days), and as much as I love POV-Ray, I wouldn't mind learning a powerful modeller with modern features, but every time I've sat down and started to mess around with Blender (or pretty much any other 3D package), I am quickly overwhelmed, and happy to go back doing everything with scripting.

I'll give it a whirl again some day, and maybe stick with it enough to make some progress. Blender is an amazing project and it would be great to be able take advantage of it to do cool stuff.

Re: Old News (4, Informative)

dylan_- (1661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316529)

With 99% of software packages you can indeed just "mess around with it" and pick up the basic usage. Not with 3D packages. Install Blender and then do the Complete Newbie tutorial. You'll be glad you did!

Re: Old News (2)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42322113)

Amen to that! I'm ten hours into the tutorial for 2.5 and it still feels like gibberish - and I used to use Shade so it should be easy enough but it just ain't.

Re: Old News (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42325781)

Well, someday I will give it another shot _with_ tutorials. I've known that tutorials exist and that I'm going to really have to use them, it's just that 99% of software can be figured out, as another poster said, by messing around with it.

Re: Old News (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42325741)

Thanks for the encouragement. I will definitely have to check out the tutorials.

And I totally understand about "messing around with it". I'm working on a contract fixing bugs for some network management software. I've only been there for 4 months. One of the support people I'm working with was asking me recently if I'd had any training in the software. My response was something to the effect of "Heck, no, I've just messed around with it." (Actually, I probably just laughed.) Yes, I don't know much and need to learn more, but that hasn't stopped me from fixing several bugs already... a couple of which have been plaguing them for months.

Re:Old News (1)

SB2020 (1814172) | about a year and a half ago | (#42323819)

I say stick with it, do a few basic tutorials to get the hang of manipulating stuff. I made the decision to knuckle down and learn it about two weeks ago as I'm doing some games stuff in Unity and need to create some animated characters. The learning curve for Blender is initially pretty steep but once you've got the hang of the interface it seems a lot less daunting (leaving you on a plateau surrounded by many steep peaks!)

In a nutshell - use numberpad for view manipulation, ABC for selections, tab to switch object/vertex edit mode, RSG for rotate, scale and er.. go (translate)? Get used to these basic and you're well on your way.

I've already managed to model, IK rig and animate a few simple characters. Crappy quality due to my skills but they are getting better with each iteration.
My 3D grounding was also with POV-Ray cira 1990, it's remarkable what is possible with Blender today.

Re:Old News (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about a year and a half ago | (#42325707)

Thanks for the encouragement... it's definitely something I want to do... in my ever-shrinking free time.

I also know a couple of my kids would get a kick out of using it as well. One of them has done some stuff with Google Sketch and some other simpler tools. We have several times commented to each other that we would love to try to conquer the basics of Blender.

Re:Old News (1)

PCK (4192) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316229)

Your blender only goes up to 9? Mines goes to 11.

Re:Old News (1)

HexaByte (817350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42317001)

Well, it looks like I need an update. Where can d/l that from?

N-gons? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314373)

Have they added the ability to disable N-gons yet? In the up and coming world of 3D printing, being able to create proper Geometry would be a boon...

Re:N-gons? (5, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314761)

Blender is not a CAD/CAM software. It is a 3D animation software. Use the right tool for the job.

Exactly (2)

mapuche (41699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42321795)

Blender is a blend of tools: modeling, animation, rendering, video compositing, game engine, and video editor.

Re:N-gons? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315039)

... and what is wrong with n-gons? You know a square or a triangle is an n-gon right?

Re:N-gons? (2)

Artraze (600366) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315473)

> Have they added the ability to disable N-gons yet?

Haha, this is wildly ironic considering that many have been waiting a loooooonnnng time for N-gon support and it was only added in 2.63. Moreover, N-gons are needed to actually "create proper Geometry" in many cases, so I'm going to have to figure you're trolling :).

Anyways, I'd be quite surprised if you can't convert N-gons to tris/quads using the usual tools (Mesh->Faces->???, or Alt+J, IIRC). Odds are it'll happen automatically when you export to a tri-only format like STL. If your 3D printer 'supports' a format that allows N-gons (OBJ is one) but it chokes on them, that's a stupid bug on the printer's part; triangulating N-gons is trivial.
(Disclaimer: I haven't tried Blender's N-gons yet.)

Re:N-gons? (1)

artao (648799) | about a year and a half ago | (#42319823)

re: "N-gons are needed to actually "create proper Geometry" in many cases," ... no ... just .. no
N-gons are a shortcut. They are BAD geometry. They are FAR to easy to make them non-planar, at whichpoint the rendering engine (regardless which one) has diffuculties shading it properly. They can be useful, but ONLY if you keep them 100% planar. If they are non-planar, you need to go in and re-topo for good edge flow and loops.

Re:N-gons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42322539)

Are you assuming polygon models? If you are making subdivision surfaces, there are some good reasons to use N-gons and it doesn't matter if they are nonplanar.

Re:N-gons? (1)

artao (648799) | about a year and a half ago | (#42319785)

STFU!!!! Peole have beeen clamoring for N-gons for YEARS!!!! and now Blender finally has them ... and YOU want them disabled??!!! JERK!! Anyhow, in blender N-gons don't STAY n-gons. Everything is ultimately converted to tris for rendering. Besides which, no one is FORCING you to model with n-gons.

Oh, sweet (3, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314389)

I was fiddling around all last week to try to get a decent fire in Blender using particle systems.

This should make it a snap.

3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (5, Informative)

stepdown (1352479) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314397)

For those wondering what Blender is, according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] it's "a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, interactive 3D applications or video games" with a built-in game engine.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (4, Informative)

gman003 (1693318) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314441)

Or in fewer words, Blender is to Maya what GIMP is to Photoshop.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (4, Informative)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314663)

Or more accurately, Blender is to 3DS Max what GIMP is to Photoshop.

Blender is based around the modifier-stack philosophy present in 3DS Max, which is probably my biggest complaint about it tbh. Max is, and always has been, very inflexible compared to Maya. It's great for getting some stuff done quickly, but if you're not careful, you can easily run up against the boundaries of what's possible with the software. Maya is a very different beast in this regard (along with XSI & Houdini). It's organised around a node/attr dependency graph which can easily be reconfigured to solve whatever problem needs solving. If you hit a problem in Maya, there is always a way around it (which may be horribly hacky, but at least there is a workaround). That's the main reason Maya/Houdini/XSI are used extensivley within the VFX world, and why you'll never find anyone using Blender or Max.

That's not to say Blender isn't good at what it does, but it's not something that can really compete with Maya. It's great in the games arena (especially indy games), but it's core level architecture is not an approach that would work nicely in VFX world sadly....

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315123)

If you don't like using a modifier stack, you are always free to 'apply' the modifiers as soon as you find the parameters you want. It's just one extra step...

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42324481)

I think you've completely missed the point. If you are setting up a large procedural animation, the second you 'apply' modifiers, you've lost the procedural control. Usually we want to keep that history around (just incase the director changes his/her mind)

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42325541)

I don't get it. You want both ways?

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315233)

I use Maya professionally and Blender personally. I love that there 's powerful and free 3D software, and for my own creative uses I like how Blender has odd little features that can turn wonderfully abstract in a flash (array modifier I'm looking at you, lovingly).

However, when doing work that other people are telling me to do, it's Maya all the way because you're going to get to the point where you need, *need*, NEED to hack it to get it out the door and Maya never lets me down there.

(The one exception is text. I used Blender once in actual production to create text objects which were exported to Maya. Anyone who's tried to use Maya's text will know why.)

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42316023)

As someone who only ever used 3ds max at school and blender at home (hobby 3d artist), could you explain in what situation Blender is limiting? I probably didn't work on complex enough projects to reach the boundary of its limitations.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315325)

Blender is use a lot in the pro world. I suggest you check out their website and read up on who is using it.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

pieisgood (841871) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316209)

Assuimg VFX includes modern game development, then you'd be wrong about max in a very extreme way. Especially when Crytek uses it for it's 3D assets.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (2, Informative)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316221)

I don't think Blender is much like any of the Adobe products. The entire orientation of the development effort is different.

The Adobe products are designed for industrial use, where perhaps a hundred different artists are working simultaneously on the same 5 second animation scene, each doing some small piece of the whole. Blender is designed for an individual artist who exerts total control over every aspect of the work for as long as it is in his hands. That does not mean that Blender cannot be used collaboratively; it does mean that the collaboration has to be done consciously, between equal partners. Whereas with Adobe products there is the expectation that each minion will be walled off from all the others and there will be a rigid hierarchy of managers determining who will have what kind of access to which detail.

With Blender, the entire database for a sequence of scenes is wrapped up in the .blend file. And anyone who has access to the .blend can use it as a library of objects, meshes, textures, even reference images, exporting whatever they want into their own work. That is not true of Adobe, which is used in situations where industrial espionage is a concern. Pixar is not going to let the casual employee hired for a week to make the scales of the dragon more irridescent steal the walk cycle that has been 8 months in development and sell it to a competitor.

Big Corporate Art cannot afford to use Blender, except in certain corner cases. Blender is for the individual artist, not for big productions built by hundreds of minions.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42322555)

"Pixar is not going to let the casual employee hired for a week to make the scales of the dragon more irridescent steal the walk cycle that has been 8 months in development and sell it to a competitor."

You have no idea how a place like Pixar works, do you? Given that they don't hire people for a week to do look development on a dragon, those who do have full access to the data for the whole film.

The level of access in a .blend file isn't any different than the tools used by places like Pixar.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

robthebloke (1308483) | about a year and a half ago | (#42324495)

I don't think Blender is much like any of the Adobe products. The entire orientation of the development effort is different.

Adobe doesn't make any 3D modelling or animation packages, although Autodesk do....

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (2)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316339)

Blender retains the modifier stack approach, but it is also increasingly adding nodes as an alternatve. As parent post points out, stack modifiers are easier to work with, while nodes are more versatile.

My own use of Blender is relatively simplistic; I don't attempt anything on the scale of __Tears of Steel__ or __Sintel__. For real estate fly-throughs, architect modeling, and most other commercial work, the limitations of modifier stacks do not get in the way.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42324017)

Nodes in blender are currently only for shading and compositing. There are no geometry nodes, for example. Maya is a lot more flexible in this regard and all nodes are treated as equal. A float can be plugged into any float. A vector [polyextrude.com] into any vector and so on. As long as it make sense to you and give you the result you want -- go for it.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314741)

That's a pretty rough association. Blender is actually good.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315493)

Except it's actually a viable alternative.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

suso (153703) | about a year and a half ago | (#42320597)

Or in fewer words, Blender is to Maya what GIMP is to Photoshop.

What's Maya? You mean those calendar people?

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (2)

Deus.1.01 (946808) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314447)

Oh goodie! Now can you tell me what this Firefox thingy is?

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314539)

It's an experiment in consuming as much computing resources as possible to do nearly as much as a 30-year-old DOS machine in an effort to keep shitty web developers (redundant, i know) feeling relevant and lusers upgrading. hth

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314571)

According to UrbanDictionary.com, it's an

Internet browser by Mozilla. Uses next-gen technology to make the best browsing possible with such features as pop-up blocking, useful extensions, custom themes, passowrd manager, an easy to manage download manager, and many more great reasons that make Internet Explorer absolutely obsolete.
"Firefox makes Internet Explorer look like complete crap."

IHTHY

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314609)

For those wondering how to get easy karma, post a wikipedia link to shit that should be obvious.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314899)

Karma? I think you're lost.

Re:3D Comp[uter Graphics Software (1)

wed128 (722152) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315207)

Nope...there's karma here too.

Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (0)

dryriver (1010635) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314451)

The Cycles renderer in Blender 2.65 is coming along nicely. One can set it to render a viewport in realtime, which is cool. You make changes to your 3D scene, and Cycles will render them almost in realtime. That said, Blender still has a crappy, annoying, confusing UI that should be re-engineered from scratch. Blender has so much potential, but the commercial 3D apps trump it in terms of ease-of-use and good UI design. So Blender foundation... bite the bullet already and please give Blender a much needed UI redesign. I promise you that the number of Blender users will quadruple, or maybe octuple if the UI is redesigned to be more user friendly. My 2 Cents.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314545)

They just did a full UI redesign with 2.6.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (5, Informative)

grumbel (592662) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314583)

confusing UI that should be re-engineered from scratch.

They have done exactly that while going from 2.4 to 2.5 (or something, don't remember the exact version numbers). The GUI of current Blender is completely new and reorganized and has very little resemblance with what was there before.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (1)

Dracos (107777) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314691)

If I could find the 2.4 key mappings for 2.5+, I would use it more.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (3, Informative)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314963)

Yes, was indeed from 2.4 to 2.5, and was long due.

Right now I'd say that it's a lot easier to use, though for a newbie it still takes some time to get used to the whole swapping around of the left- and right- mousekey.

Blender is one of the few open source tools where in the long run I could see myself permanently switching to it (currently also using 3DSMax/Maya). For now it suits me perfectly for making renders, but game compatibility still seems to be a chore. One of the downsides of it being open source, or better said: free, is that a lot of plugins aren't made commercially, and as such no support is to be expected. It happened a few times over the years where I was working on a game/modification, and a new version of Blender would completely break a plugin (for instance, for properly exporting animated MD3-files), and no official update of said plugin would be made. Thus having to choose between working with an outdated modeling app, or going back to 3DSMax. I hope that the future will bring more dedicated plugin writers; or better, native exporting support for the various games on the market.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (3, Insightful)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314595)

Less reliance on video tutorials in lieu of documentation would be nice, too.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (1)

Psyborgue (699890) | about a year and a half ago | (#42324027)

The wiki [blender.org] is a lot better than it used to be and probably 95% complete, but you're right. There is still a lot of work to be done and far too many blank sections in the documentation.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (1)

michaelbuddy (751237) | about a year and a half ago | (#42408419)

The wiki is not really 95% complete.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315345)

You must not use Blender much.. they redesign the UI every release. It's a way to keep people buying their books. A book on blender you bought 6 months ago is useless with the next release.

That is my biggest complaint, STOP FRIGGING REDESIGNING THE UI!.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (1)

mapuche (41699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42319735)

You don't have to spend a dime on trainig. They have excellent, free documentation all over the internet.

Re:Great Renderer, Lousy UI... (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42320987)

The UI has not changed drastically since the 2.5 release.

Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

Metabolife (961249) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314461)

As nice as Blender is, studios can still save money in terms of time by purchasing a multi-thousand dollar suite. Shadowing in particular still takes longer with Blender.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (4, Interesting)

oGMo (379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314661)

I'm not sure this is the best argument (as I am sure there are others), since a multi-thousand-dollar seat cost is probably easily outweighed by investing in more render nodes, which you'd probably end up wanting anyway.

With as far as Blender has come from its early days, though, I'm guessing the day is coming when it will simply be the best. The Free(tm) nature and easy extensibility could make it the preferred target for academic and other research.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315419)

Lets not forget the python scripting.

I may just not know of it, but letting you script at all is a feature relatively unique to Blender. But to choose something so powerful and 'easy' as python... yea.

You just don't. (3, Informative)

oGMo (379) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316509)

Plenty of scripting (and python) to go around:

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (0)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316481)

Blender is unlikely to fill the needs of Big Studio Productions, for the simple reason that there is no good way to handle security with it. In an environment where $$millions are invested in the product and the product involves development of new animation techniques, the risks of industrial espionage have to be managed. Blender is not designed with that kind of management in mind. Adobe's products are.

Blender will become the best software for a 3D artist, if it is not already that. But it is not being developed to fit the needs of Big Studios.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42321047)

What a load of absolute bollocks. No good way to handle security? I'm going to postulate that you're trolling. Care to give citations, examples or....well, anything?

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42321557)

There is no convenient way with Blender to give just the one piece of a project to some day worker while withholding access to those parts that need not concern him, and which he should not have access to. That is inherent in the Blender database, which is a single file all neatly zipped up and without any mechanisms for password protection or other security.

You hire some monkey off the street to do a week's worth of work for you and keep things on schedule while the artist who should be handling that piece is recovering from his appendectomy. You do not want that monkey to get his paws on anything other than the immediate task.

Maya's approach of splitting the database among umpteen zillion different folders that can each be secured separately makes a lot of sense to a business that wants to stay in business. Your network administrator can put a password lock on all the textures, and another on all the lighting setups, etc. (Actually ACLs. Access Control Lists, would probably be used.) Your one-week wondermonkey won't be able to get his paws on anything other than what you let him work on, and when he leaves to take a job with your competitor, he will not be able to carry any of your company's proprietary secrets with him. And all this is done without impacting anyone else on the team. No artist needs to be involved; the security is done by the network technician.

The closest you could get to this in Blender is to have an artist prepare a special, limited .blend file every time you bring in a temp for some small piece of the project. You would also need an artist to merge the new work in with the main flow when the temp is done. These tasks have to be done by artists who understand Blender's internals; the network technician would be of no use. Along with tying up precious artist resources with mundane admin work, it would be an error prone versioning nightmare. And it would not be long before its continuing costs were much greater than the cost of Adobe licenses.

Blender's approach moves a lot of database management crap out of the way of the artist, which is A Really Great Thing To Do when the artist is working by himself, or in partnership with other trusted artists. It just does not scale to Big Studio productions where there are always dozens of artists working simultaneously on different parts of the project, and maybe thousands of artists who have touched the product at one time or another during its development.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42321801)

There are definitely ways. Look past the convenient default way blender does things, and look at linked and proxy objects. Blender is very good at this IMHO. If you want to take care of a ton of files, use something like git.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42321997)

Is it not that the smallest level of granularity that git works with is the individual file? Is there some way that git can manage changes to records within a single file object-oriented database like a .blend file?

I agree that Blender proxies could be used within a .blend file that was specially prepared for a temp employee. I don't see any other way of doing it. As to using links, they would expose as much as append does.

But it remains true that you need to use an artist who understands Blender to prepare that special file, and burn up more artist time when the work the temp has completed needs to be merged back into the main development flow. And you still have versioning issues without any good version control at the object level if there are ever two or more temp workers on the payroll at the same time. And it remains true that the network technician you need anyway to manage a dozen or more workstations is fully capable of managing the security details of an Adobe product workflow, without any impact on the more costly artist time, and probably without any impact on any overhead (since you have to pay the net tech anyway).

Basically all that parent post has done is to clarify details of a process that cannot work at a corporate level, without addressing the problems that make it unworkable for anything but individual artists and partnerships.

I like Blender. I have tasted Maya, and I do not like it. Among other things, Maya requires setting up that nest of folders that makes it so easy to guard the corporate jewels. I don't need that, so why should I have to fuss with it when I have Blender? But Blender is not the answer for Big Studio work. It may well prove to be the death of Big Studio, since its approach can allow a small partnership of Blender artists to steal a lot of the work that currently goes to Big Studios.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (5, Interesting)

goruka (1721094) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314807)

I have worked with plenty of small animation and videogame studios that use and love Blender (in fact Blender is so well integrated to Unity that it's the modelling package of choice). They do so because of the love for the software and the productivity advantages it provides.
The problem with Blender in business is not so much the features. At this point, Blender is superior to most other 3D packages in tasks such as poly modelling, rigging or uv mapping and the Cycles renderer is awesome. The ability to model while, at the same time, having GLSL and Cycles viewports is also far beyond what is available in other packages, and the integrated sculpting tools are very mature.
The real reason why Blender is not adopted in large studios is because of the support contracts provided by Autodesk. When you sign with them, they provide from software licenses to render farms, all covered with phone support. There is no way the Blender Foundation can compete with that unless they become more like RedHat.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315571)

Is it? hmmm...just googled this: "The Rebus Render Farm instantly provides you with 1,700 XEON CPUs to render your animations and still-images. No matter which 3D-application you're using: Our Render Farm supports them all! 3ds Max , Maya, Cinema 4D, Softimage ,Maxwell,MODO,Lightwave, Blender"

source: http://www.rebusfarm.net

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42321305)

Keyword: support contracts. The renderfarm may support .blend files - but I'm not sure that they're going to give you deep insights or support into some small glitch you're having with your render on their farm.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315773)

The real reason why Blender is not adopted in large studios is because of the support contracts provided by Autodesk. When you sign with them, they provide from software licenses to render farms, all covered with phone support. There is no way the Blender Foundation can compete with that unless they become more like RedHat.

I disagree with that, in my opinion Blender has most of it's growing potential in beginners and start-ups, so it couldn't be too much affected by this kind of bullying.
From my experience Blender, has a lot of drawbacks for this category of users, with functions scattered all over the place and all sorts of awkward notions and it doesn't show any signs of improvement on these concerns.
You can't ask a user to experiment further when he's repelled twice with one mouse click:
you don't do things with LMB the way you're used to;
you can't move back that crosshair thingie with Ctrl-Z. RTFM got it?

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

rochrist (844809) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316875)

How is providing support in any way, shape, or form, bullying???

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42321311)

Complete Undo-redo support is coming within the next two point releases.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

socceroos (1374367) | about a year and a half ago | (#42321323)

To give this context - blender propogates many new point releases in a calendar year - every one packing major features.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315821)

I work as a 3d artist in a game company. My take on this is as follows.

For the time being I'd say the main barrier to entry for blender is simply finding people who use it. Schools teach mostly Maya or Max, and anyone wanting to work in the industry is going to focus on learning what the industry uses so they can get a job. It's a catch 22 that means a studio that wants to make the switch basically has to make a conscious decision to absorb the productivity cost of having their team learn a new tool. Which many won't do when they already have a functioning operation. Also, the people involved might also not be interested in making the switch.

So this is either going to happen in small studios as a statement of principle, or as a way to save on software. And possibly work it's way up to bigger companies as it becomes more present in the ecosystem.

So far I'm very impressed with the speed at which the program is improving and innovating. The latest round of FX tools floored me. Also the Cycles Renderer shows so much promise. The only thing that keeps me from using it on personal projects is that selection feels clunky to me, which throws me off. Otherwise, it already does 90% of what you're going to need in a studio, And it's evolving at 50 times the speed of any autodesk product. There's going to be a showdown soon I think.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316033)

There is no way the Blender Foundation can compete with that unless they become more like RedHat.

They should. This is exactly the kind of software which could actually make some money from selling support while producing the software as open source at the same time.

they used to, sort of (1)

l00sr (266426) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316605)

Old fogies like me remember that back when Blender was commercially developed, they had an odd business model consisting of giving the software away for free (as in beer) and selling the documentation (see the old review here [linuxlookup.com] , for example). Documentation is now one of the weakest points of Blender, IMHO.

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (0)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316689)

For hobbiests, and also for individual artists, Blender is top notch.

But to meet all the needs of Big Studios, Blender would need some serious redesign. Much of which would destroy features that are good for individual artists.

For instance, the .blend file is THE database that holds everything related to the scenes it contains. It is designed as a library so that an artist can easily take ("append" in Blender terms) something from his prior work and put it into his current work. Like a texture, or an armature, or a mesh, or a walk cycle-- anything and everything can be extracted from any .blend file you have access to. Now think for a moment about the risks of industrial espionage that are implicit in this approach.

For this and several other reasons that have to do with the business aspects of Big Studios, Blender as it stands is not acceptable. And there is no way that Blender could be redesigned to meet the business needs of Big Studios that would not destroy its value to individual artists. At best it would end up being no better than what Adobe's products might someday become.

Somewhat off topic (0)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year and a half ago | (#42318251)

Parent post, and two others of mine on this thread, have been modded down as "over rated". Which is the clear sign of a cowardly moderator, since none of these three posts had been modded upward at all.

I can think of two possible reasons for being downrated in such a way

  1. the moderator objects to my argument that Blender is unfit by design for Big Studio work since it is instead designed to meet the needs of individual artists, which cannot be reconciled with some legitimate business needs of Big Studios; or
  2. the moderator objects to my implicit distinction between working as an individual artist with tools like Blender, versus working as a mere minion with Adobe tools in a Big Studio setting.

I have occasionally posted stupid things that deserve to be down rated, since sometimes I think I know more about a subject than I really do. I accept those without comment, and as soon as I'm done fussing over the ego bruise, I am kind of glad for it, for it is a learning experience. But that is not what is happening here; if that was the case I would have seen a reply pointing out the error of my ways.

Sometimes I get down rated because I have trampled on someone's astroturf. I accept that there are persons abusing Slashdot by attempting to use it to control mind share of the audience, rather than rationally discuss issues or expounding upon their emotional allegiances. I also accept those without comment, since like wharf rats at a busy port, astroturfers will always be skulking about slashdot.

But I speak up here because I cannot determine whether I have been down rated by some freak Adobe astroturfer--- I am not even sure they exist--- or by some over-zealous defender of Blender as the True, Right, and Only Way. Maybe this post will trigger a response that helps clarify things.

Re:Somewhat off topic (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42321837)

"But I speak up here because I cannot determine whether I have been down rated by some freak Adobe astroturfer--- I am not even sure they exist--- or by some over-zealous defender of Blender as the True, Right, and Only Way. Maybe this post will trigger a response that helps clarify things."

Keep in mind that there are at least a few asshats here on Slashdot who will disagree with you in print, then login with another account or as AC and mod you down (or the other way around). I have been the victim of that more than once. That kind of sockpuppetry is disgusting, however, and on a couple of occasions I actually caught who was doing it.

Re:Somewhat off topic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42323553)

I can't speak to the moderation. But I work at a one of the "Big Studios" and the "industrial espionage" you keep mentioning really hasn't been a factor that I've seen.

First, there's a fairly large amount of trust of invested in all of us. Being fairly open (e.g., I have root on my group's machines) tends to keep things running efficiently and boosts moral. We all worked hard to make it to this level and there's little desire to jeopardize that (or the financial incentives when the studio does well.)

Second, it's a relatively small community and a lot of us have friends at other studios. There's a comraderie that trancends corporate boundaries. I enjoy seeing a competitor's movie and cheering when the names of friends I went to school with or formerly worked with roll by. I certainly want my own studio to do best, but I'm happy when my friends succeed as well. We might be in competition but I want it to be fair; I'd refuse anyone who came to me with stuff stolen from them. My colleagues with *their* friends elsewhere seem to feel similiarly.

Thirdly, here's the big one: production at each studio is fairly idiosyncratic. There's different mixes of in-house and off-the-shelve software. Different internal tools to streamline things. Quirky behaviour and bugs. Hard coded paths to the storage systems, etc. Frankly, it's probably more work to steal than to recreate many of these things. Studios certainly share assets these days but it tends to take deliberate effort to do so.

Anyway, that's my personal perspective. Hope it helps.

P.S. Blender is more of a competitor to Autodesk's software than Adobe's. Most people at my studio who've tried Blender think highly of it. But Maya's still a big piece in our pipeline. Inertia and all that...

Re:Good, but still for hobbyists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42322605)

OMG, Stop saying this. The .blend file isn't a barrier to use at big studios. It's not really any different than a Maya .ma file or a Houdini .hip file.

Big studios will use Blender when it's better than the other choices. It's not yet better.

More than a hobbyist tool (1)

mapuche (41699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42319645)

We use commercial and open source software in my animation studio, money is not a huge problem if it helps to deliver a project on time. I'm the boss, I pick the software we buy, and the animators choose what they want to use. Blender is so fast for rigging and animation. Animation is a blast to do in Blender. Fast posing, no gimbal locks, fast keyframe repositioning, etc. Blender renders faster in Linux than in Windows, and is very stable. Something I can't say for other programs.

We just delivered 15 minutes of animation for a recent Guns N' Roses concert in Las Vegas. We're talking a lot of frames, at full HD resolution. As part of the videos. the band singer asked if we could please create and animate a white, hairy wolf, and we did it in two days (that was our time limit).

I have to aknowledge its akward interface. Even with the 2.5 tweaks it feels strange. I think this is the only major feature you can say may alienate new users.

Bender 2.65? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314851)

Blite my shiny little ass!

And yet... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42314951)

I still can't render a video. Yes blender, I know the video file doesn't exist, you're supposed to make it.

Did they fix the boolean operations? (1)

Linkreincarnate (840046) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315053)

The last time I used blender you couldn't perform more that 3 Boolean operations on a model before the blender crashed. Is it fixed?

Re:Did they fix the boolean operations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315365)

The new Boolean modifier is fantastic (based on the Carve? library). Very fast and keeps your UV coords.

Re:Did they fix the boolean operations? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315401)

There was new boolean modifier code that was put in a few versions ago. It is considerably faster, but the some of the same mathematical problems exists in the new code as well. Namely, you can't have nonmanifold meshes in boolean. ie: no open mesh, must be closed.

Before, it would just crash, now it gives errors in the console, last I checked.

Try it again I guess, just keep in mind the limitations. Also, don't be a noob and try boolean two 1 million poly cubes and wonder why your system grinds to a halt from a 20 gig swap attempt and then crashes blender from OOM ;) (You know Linux has built in default on OOM killer, right?)

Re:Did they fix the boolean operations? (1)

Linkreincarnate (840046) | about a year and a half ago | (#42331079)

I was using only models that were manifold and I know they were because they were created with openscad and then passed through netfabb to check if they were manifold. They were low poly models to begin with models with lots of polygons cause 3d printing software to choke. My problem was after performing multiple difference operations blender would crash.

Does it Ble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315095)

Nevermind, too easy.

Important question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42315531)

Will it blend?

Poorly written (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42316325)

Since most people don't know what Blender is, the press release should have begun with a statement of purpose.
"Blender, the number one open source bit masher, ..."

Any big game studios using it? (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316365)

Blender used to be somewhat lacking, but it kept getting better and better - until now it seems to be able to do everything that Max or Maya can do.
I wonder if there are any big game studios using it?

Did they change the ui again? (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316863)

I stopped using blender a few years ago as I loved it as a hobby, but the ui radically changed every 6 months. I eventually went back to light wave.

Re:Did they change the ui again? (1)

kayoshiii (1099149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42324261)

That happened exactly once in recently times in the transition between 2.4->2.5 what on earth are you talking about.

Just in time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42322523)

As we all know, the Maya license expires on Dec. 21. Or so I heard something. After that, all animators need to switch to Blender.

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