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There’s huge costs to using a non-standard choice like Blender over 3dsMax or Maya. They both have loads of proprietary tools (and are constantly adding one more every couple of cycles or so). 3D DCCs are not equivalent to each other. Financing Blender is indeed a good move for Epic if they believe (and there’s good reason to) it might make Game production toolsets more available.

I was under the impression that Blender was fairly common in the modeling industry. Not a de-facto standard like Microsoft Office or Creative Suite, but one frequently used option among many.

Not true?

Not at all. Blender is an important piece of software because it is open and free, which helps lower investment 3D uses like research, but its interface and usability is about as bad as it gets. It takes heat for its interface yet still not enough in my opinion.

You have to experience trying to actually get something accomplished to truly understand how incredibly unintuitive everything from names to button placements to object movement to component selection etc truly is. I've used a lot of different 3D programs in a lot of different domains and nothing comes close to blender. It almost seems to go out of its way to make the most basic excersize a puzzle for the user.

The money for commercial programs is completely necessary in a professional context, since time is money and people have expectations.

Have you tried using the Blender 2.8 release candidate UI though? As someone with approximately zero artistic skills and minimal 3D background, I was also turned off by Blender's inscrutable UI patterns 10 years ago.

But with the 2.8 RC news on HN last week I recently tried it again and I have to say that now it seems like the UI is pretty decent. Left click select, a move tool that works like every other move tool in paint, a clear hierarchy view with obvious nestable layers - it seems like many of the weird things I remember (like "drag the divider between the viewport and the menu bar down to see a secret option pane") are gone or redesigned now.

Check out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBqYTgaFDxU for some example usage or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPVpg4_POww for a preview of the UI/UX changes.

I have not used that particular new version. I hope blender is getting more refined and finally picking all the low hanging fruit. That being said, I have seen this cycle many times over the last 15 years. People say blender is working on its interface, I try it again and my mind is blown by the decisions all over again.

I have high hopes for 2.8 hopefully I’ll get along to testing it soon.

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