Paid and close source software are expensive. Especially 3D software. In my country (Malaysia) a full version of Maya is RM 15k that is about 4 full months of medium to high paid wage. For the 4 months you’ll have to drink morning dew, eat air just to buy a 3D software, which will cause you your life if done as told. /trolling_face
Thank God to Free Open Source Software (FOSS) and GNU General Public License (GPL), we are free from Autode… ahem. 😄
I found Blender way back in 2002, it was when it 1st released its source code after NaN went out of business. Back then Blender was like “what the heck is this?” But with time and with major community contributions Blender has became a powerful 3D application in line with the big guys in the industry.
With major User Interface (UI) overhaul of Blender 2.5, it has made Blender be more customizable than ever before.
To download the latest release of Blender, please click this link.
After installed, you’ll get Blender default UI as above. Not bad but too many lines to scan and might scare the “bajizz” out of most newbies (and that maybe you… XD).
Well you can go into File>User Preference>Themes(tab) and change all the outline to match Windows color (use eyedropper). This way you have less lines to scan which makes scanning for a particular function very quick. Click “Save as Default” if you want to save the theme, or if you screwed up the color and want to recover to default theme click the button next to it.
But I have gone further to change Blender’s theme to something cool and fun. For me the default theme is too bright (mainly because I work in a darker room) and has been causing “retina burn” with long hours usage. The 2nd reason why I come up with this theme is Blender’s default theme lacks ENERGY.
This theme has few convention in it. To look for a big topic (ie: Dimension) you scan WHITE, then you can look at ORANGE color for detail settings you want to change (ie: Start Frame). This build up on the fundamental of finding things quickly.
scan WHITE >> scan ORANGE >> MAKE CHANGE and automagically DONE
Another cool thing about Blender, if you want to find and change a setting, it is always maximum 4 clicks away. If you are on the same properties menu as the change-you-want-to-make you’ll just have to click twice to your setting.
This is very fast compared to 3ds MAX or Maya and the lot.
ie: Click on drop down menu [click #1], select item [click #2, scan #1], menu pop-up [at the wrong location… ERRR!!!], drag menu to have better view [click #3, drag #1], switch tab [click #4], scroll down [scroll #1, scan #2], make change [click #5], confirm change [click #6], window disappear. /wipe_sweat
Above is the latest official release (as of writing) which has new motion capture tools, motion tracking, new rendering engine (Cycles) and ocean simulator.
If you have noticed, I have shown you many Blender versions. Because Blender is open source you can have many version in your system. I use 2.59 for Project Falcon, 2.60 for Freestyle (anime outline for work) and bmesh (multi vertex polygon beta kernel version), 2.61 for testing new features, hobby and work. The best part is you don’t have to install any version. Download the ZIP file (portable version) and place it in your HDD (or flash drive) and create a shortcut for each version on your desktop.
That’s about it for this brief intro to Blender Energy, FOSS Power.