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Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Blender

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Blender is a free open source 3D graphics application, available under the GNU General Public License for the Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, OpenBSD and Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Blender's features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water and smoke simulations, skinning, animating, rendering, particle and other simulations, non-linear editing, compositing, and the ability to create interactive 3D applications, video games, animated film, or visual effects. More advanced tools include rigid, realistic body, fluid, cloth and softbody dynamics simulation, modifier-based modeling, character animation, a node-based material and compositing system, and embedded scripting in Python.

Features
Blender has a relatively small installation size and runs on several popular computing platforms. Official versions of the software are released for Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, and FreeBSD. Though it is often distributed without extensive example scenes found in some other programs, the software contains features that are characteristic of high-end 3d software. Among its capabilities are:

1.Support for a variety of geometric primitives, including polygon meshes, fast subdivision surface modeling, Bezier curves, NURBS surfaces, metaballs, digital sculpting,outline font, and a new n-gon modeling system called B-mesh.

2.Integration with YafaRay, a free software ray tracer.

3.Internal render engine with ray tracing, indirect lighting, and ambient oclusion that can export in a wide variety of formats.

4.Keyframed animation tools including inverse kinematics, armature (skeletal), hook, curve and lattice-based deformations, shape keys (morphing), non-linear animation, constraints, vertex weighting, soft body dynamics including mesh collision detection, LBM fluid dynamics, smoke simulation, Bullet rigid body dynamics, particle-based hair, and a particle system with collision detection.

5.Modifiers to apply non-destructive effects.

6.Python scripting for tool creation and prototyping, game logic, importing and/or exporting from other formats, task automation and custom tools.

7.Basic non-linear video/audio editing and compositing capabilities.

8.Game Blender, a sub-project, offers interactivity features such as collision detection, dynamics engine, and programmable logic. It also allows the creation of stand-alone, real-time applications ranging from architectural visualization to video game construction.

9.A fully-integrated node-based compositor within the rendering pipeline.

10.Realtime controll during physics simulation and rendering.
Use in the media industry

Blender started out as an inhouse tool for a Dutch commercial animation company, NeoGeo.[citation needed]

Blender has been used for television commercials in several parts of the world including Australia,  Iceland,  Brazil, Russia  and Sweden.

The first large professional project that used Blender was Spider-Man 2, where it was primarily used to create animatics and pre-visualizations for the storyboard department.
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"As an animatic artist working in the storyboard department of Spider-Man 2, I used Blender's 3D modeling and character animation tools to enhance the storyboards, re-creating sets and props, and putting into motion action and camera moves in 3D space to help make Sam Raimi's vision as clear to other departments as possible." - Anthony Zierhut,Animatic Artist, Los Angeles.
The French-language film Friday or Another Day (Vendredi ou un autre jour) was the first 35 mm feature film to use Blender for all the special effects, made on GNU/Linux workstations It won a prize at the Locarno International Film Festival. The special effects were by Digital Graphics of Belgium.
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Blender has also been used for shows on the History Channel, alongside many other professional 3D graphics programs.

Tomm Moore’s The Secret of Kells, which was partly produced in Blender by the Belgian studio Digital Graphics, has been nominated for an Oscar in the category ‘Best Animated Feature Film’.
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