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Will it Blend? A Look at Blender's New User Interface

Jan 26, 2011, 01:34 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

" The 3D powerhouse Blender is arguably the most complicated piece of desktop software in the open source world. It handles every part of the workflow used to create a CGI film or a 3D game: creating objects, rigging them to move, animating them, controlling lighting, rendering scenes, and even editing the resulting video. Each release packs in more new features than most people can understand without consulting a textbook (or two). One of the down sides, though, is that over the years Blender has developed the reputation of being difficult to learn. Fortunately, the latest release takes on that challenge head-first, and makes some major improvements.

"One reason Blender continually adds so many features is that The Blender Foundation funds its development by using it in real-world animation projects like Elephants Dream and Big Buck Bunny. Each movie is run like a commercial studio project, and whatever the animators need, the developers work on adding in to the next version of the app. The latest release is dubbed 2.56a, and is the result of the foundation's recent Sintel movie project. Blender's version numbering system is a bit quirky; all of the 2.5x series are officially tagged as "beta" releases; the "a" on the current version marks it as a minor bug-fix to 2.56."

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