|Latest Version||10 May 2012|
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Blender is a cross-platform, open source 3D modeling and animation suite developed and maintained by the Blender Foundation. Blender offers many powerful features normally associated with commercial 3D applications. Blender has a large user community and is arguably among the best free software packages of its kind.
The Blender Foundation and user community operate a comprehensive Blender wiki with a huge range of information, tutorials and other resources. You can find this wiki at http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Main_Page.
Blender is available on all major platforms (Windows, Mac OS X and Linux).
As of version 2.63a, Blender's interface has been translated into English, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Simplified and Traditional Chinese. Many other language translations are currently in progress.
Blender has a fast subsurf implementation and good quality basic polygon tools.
Blender has basic metaball and metaelement support
Blenders NURBS support is quite limited and provides only very basic NURBS functionality
Blender has one of the best UV mapping tools available - its uv mapping is based on the ABF++ algorithm, which is more advanced than pelt mapping (most older tools), and LSCM based mapping tools
Blender has a node based materials system which can be used in addition to or as a replacement for its older non node materials system.
Blender has 2d and 3d painting tools - however they have historically been too slow and imprecise for precision work, thus requiring external paint tools for detail.
Hard Body Dynamics
Blender has multiple integrated physics engines/solvers, however the currently most used is the Bullet Physics engine.
Soft Body Dynamics
Blender has an integrated fluid dynamics solver, which can be used for liquid fluids such as water, oil, and honey.
Blender has basic crowd dynamics provided through a free plugin called 'BlenderPeople'
Node Based Compositing
Blender has an integrated node based compositor, which is integrated into the rendering pipeline.
Non Linear Editing
Blenders 'sequencer' provides basic non linear editing capabilities.
ScanLine and Hybrid Raytracing
YafaRay is a powerful raytracer, released under the LGPL license. It enables you to create fantastic images and animations of a photorealistic quality.
YafaRay makes it possible to iluminate scenes by means of a complete global ilumination system, using Montecarlo and Quasimontecarlo aproximations. To solve the ilumination problems that arise when inside interior spaces, we can rely on a photon mapping system, that together with irradiance cache and shadow refinement, produces high quality results.
Indigo is a new, free, actively developed, unbiased render engine.
Employing advanced features such as Metropolis Light Transport, Spectral light calculus, a virtual camera model, physical sky and more, Indigo can achieve much more realistic results than traditional GI raytracers.
Indigo does not need any render parameters like GI samples, AO samples, AA samples, Soft shadows, etc, and complicated lightning setups to achieve realistic results. Indigo is free for non- and commercial use, but as of writing is not open-source.&amp;amp;amp;amp;quot;
Blender has python based scripting. Blender is also 'open source' which means that coders can add features directly to the core code base or even rewrite core pieces of functionality, or expose additional parts of the internal API to the python scripting base.
Importer and Exporters
As of Blender 2.42a, these are the default Import/Export Options:
3D Studio (.3DS) AC3D (.AC) Biovision Motion Capture (.BVH) Collada 1.3.x &amp;amp;amp;amp; 1.4 (.DAE) DEC Object File Format (.OFF) DirectX (.X) DXF (R12 and R14 work the best) Google Earth (.KML &amp;amp;amp;amp; .KMZ) LightWave (.LWO) MD2 (.MD2) Nendo (.NDO) OpenFlight (.FLT) 2D Path (.SVG &amp;amp;amp;amp; .PS &amp;amp;amp;amp; .EPS &amp;amp;amp;amp; .AI &amp;amp;amp;amp; .XCF) Pro Engineer (.SLP) Radiosity (.RADIO) Raw Faces (.RAW) Stanford PLY (.PLY) Stereo Litography (.STL) TrueSpace (.COB) VideoScape Wavefront OBJ (.OBJ &amp;amp;amp;amp; .MTL) Wings 3D (.WINGS) VRML 1.0
3D Studio (.3DS) AC3D (.AC) Biovision Motion Capture (.BVH) Collada 1.3.x &amp;amp;amp;amp; 1.4 (.DAE) DEC Object File Format (.OFF) DirectX (.X) DirectX8 Mod 1.3.1 (.X) DXF Extensible 3D (.X3D) Lightwave (.LWO) Lightwave Motion (.MOT) MD2 (.MD2) Nendo (.NDO) OpenFlight (.FLT) OpenInventor (.IV) Radiosity (.RADIO) Raw Faces (.RAW) SoftImage (.XSI) Stanford PLY (.PLY) Stereo Litography (.STL) TrueSpace (.COB) VideoScape VideoScape with Vertex Colors (.OBJ) Wavefront OBJ (.OBJ &amp;amp;amp;amp; .MTL) Wings 3D (.WINGS) VRML 1.0 VRML 97 (.WRL) Xfig Export (.fig)
Most of the format support is via bundled python scripts that utilize the included python interpreter. However some scripts (for instance Collada) require a full python installation.
Blender can also read and write most 2D (still image and video) formats, including DPX, OpenEXR, Cineon, and Radiance HDR. It can also write straight to the system frameserver if it is available.
1. Modelling a Porsche
Note: This tutorial is in French with an English translation on the left-hand side.
This tutorials explains how to model a Porsche using blueprints and extruding planes. This is a very descriptive tutorial which is more about learning the technique then step-by-step production. I recommend this tutorial for people interested in making more toonish cars.
Recommended For: Beginner - Intermediate (Have basic Blender knowledge)
2. Blender Course
Note: This course contains many tutorials in PDF and Video format.
These tutorials are perfect for anyone that is just getting started with Blender. It is also useful to those already accustomed with it. It helps explain basic aspects of modelling, texturing, lighting, rendering and animating. After taking the course and watching all the videos, you will be much more knowledgable in the Blender field.
Recommended For: Anyone interesting in Blender
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