Blender 2.79b

Free graphic and design app for Windows 7 that hosts a wide variety of tools for seasoned 3D designers

  • Category:

    3D Design

  • Version:

    2.79b

  • Works under:

    Windows Vista / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows XP

  • Also available for:

    Mac

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    7.0 (250)

Blender is a fully featured 3D modeling program. It is distributed as open source software. This means the application is free to use and download. Blender has a long history. It started as a commercial application for creating professional 3D graphics and animation. It was converted to open source some years later. It is now developed and improved by a dedicated team of programmers and 3D modeling community members. Unlike most other free modelers, Blender has the complete set of features you would normally see on commercial or industry applications.

The main purpose of Blender is to allow users to create 3D models. It has several different functions that allows for the construction of basic geometric shapes like cubes and spheres. It also has freeform vector tools that make it possible to create complex shapes from scratch. There are logical tools that allow for combining, excluding or performing other operations on groups of objects to form geometries that are more intricate. Several tools in Blender make it possible to create organic shapes fast. This is all on top of the typical modeling tools like extruding, cloning and mirroring.

The blender interface is unique among modeling programs. Users need to master a complex set of hotkeys and key modifiers in order to work efficiently in the application. Many commands require a combination of keystrokes and mouse movements to operate. These commands are not intuitive at first. Many functions are actually buried or excluded from menus so that it is difficult to use them if the corresponding hotkeys are not known. Something that might confuse first-time users is that the Blender screen initially has only one view of the scene as opposed to the four-pane layout most people are used to. Changing the layout is possible although it is not an easy process.

Blender includes many advanced tools beyond the basic modeling functions. A complete texture editor makes it simple to develop new textures or to apply image maps to models in real time. The program supports inverse kinematics so that it becomes possible to skin and bone a model for animation or use within another program. There is even a collection of animation tools built into the application. The animation functionality is difficult to use at first. It is also somewhat limited in comparison to commercial 3D animation packages. It is still possible to create fairly complex animations within Blender.

Blender does include a render as part of the default package. The render performs well in certain situations and for static scenes. It is not as impressive when rendering animations or complex scenes with multiple subtle light sources and intricate textures. Fortunately, Blender readily integrates with external renderers. Additionally, plug-ins are available that can extend what Blender can do. The plug-ins allow Blender to load other popular 3D file formats, handle effects like hair and automate some processes for animation. Blender is one of the best free 3D modelers available today if users are willing to take the time to learn the interface.

Pros

  • Powerful collection of tools
  • Open source and free
  • Amazing flexibility

Cons

  • Difficult to learn
  • Interface is not intuitive
  • Built-in renderer is not great

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