What is Blender (3D)?

What is Blender?

Blender is a free 3D modelling software suite with a monkey named Suzanne as a mascot. It can be used for creating animated images, video animation, 3D print models, video games and much, much more. Sounds like fun?

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Background

Blender 3D logo

Blender has been around the block for many years now. Since its first version released way back in 1998, it has been developed into a professional suite that competes with paid 3D modelling software such Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max. The latest version is 2.79b (Mar 2018).

Hardware & software

Versions for Windows (32/64 bit), Mac (64 bit), Linux (32/64 bit) and Steam can be downloaded and is easy to install. Blender can be used with or without a 3D graphics card and multiple GPUs (graphics cards) can be used simultaneously to speed up renderings. At the time of writing only Nvidia graphic cards are supported. AMD cards are apparently in the pipeline.

Resources

For most, Blender will be used to beautifully render 3D scenes. Being quite comprehensive, the learning curve will be tough for most users. I strongly recommend taking the Blender Essential Training course on Lynda.com. After that, apart from more courses from Lynda.com, there are various tips, tricks and tutorials on the internet.

For 3D printing

Although there are many, probably much easier to use, software packages available to make 3D models, Blender model files can be exported for 3D prints. Blender can export files to be used by Wavefront (.obj) and STL, amongst others.

About the author
Renier busies himself with improving his English writing, creative web design and his websites, photoshopping, micro-electronics, multiple genres of music, superhero movies and badass series.
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