I have been a user and fan of the Blender tool for quite some time. There is a KickStarter project looking for less than $250 to complete the bidding process for the project. If you believe in Open Source and education for the masses then help Kris complete this project. Whether you are a low level developer, artist or just someone who like doing this stuff for a hobby (like me) then this is a great project to learn from.
I have written about this software a few times and often go in and play with it. Unfortunately I do not have the time to take the software seriously because it is so darn complex and powerful – it is almost a full time job. I have created very basic pictures and animations but boy what I could do if I could spend hours with this thing. One of my favorite things to do is check out the gallery of pictures created by the Blender community on their site.
Old Guy by Kamil (maqs) Makowski
Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite, available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.
For those that really want to get into animation and digital art you have to watch Sintel. It was created with the OpenSource and free Blender application. The capabilities of this amazing tool are just shocking, watch the video and see for yourself. You can follow BlenderNation on their blog to get updates and information about the Blender community.
I love the open source community. The amazing Super3Boy has a really good set of tutorials and is extremely popular in the Blender community. Following his 24th tutorial video I was able to create a basic explosion. In the end, after playing with the many settings it looks more like a gravitational pulling apart video, or something like that, then an explosion but anyway, its pretty cool.
Today I sat down with my eight year old and showed him a little bit about Blender. After the first video he immediately took interest and I also showed my two oldest kids the video and pointed them to the YouTube tutorials by Super3Boy and Blender site so they could play around if they wanted. In the end, Nathan came up with the animation below. I helped by doing the actual work but he pretty much directed the entire animation – which was cool. He seemed to have a pretty good interest level. You can do a Save As on this link if you want to download the blend file.
There is a side of me that has a huge interest in virtual reality, 3D modeling, and gaming. It has always has been a hobby to do this kind of stuff and as the open source community grows and the tools and techniques are becoming better and better the interest level increases. I took some time and went through a few Blender tutorials – which I am amazed how large the Blender community is. Bottom line – if you like graphic arts, 3D modeling or animations then Blender is an amazing tool to start with or get involved in. There is even an artist site where people who have created graphics with Blender collaborate on.
The first tutorial I went through showed how you can easily animate a bouncing ball. This tutorial shows you the basics of the animation concepts with Blender. I created a bouncing ball but then did a few more things to play with movement and rotations. Here was my first Blender animation:
The output of Blender is very nice. I was first having the output be a series of JPG’s until I changed the output settings. I ended up just choosing AVI and then uploading that to YouTube (the video you see above).