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Japanese anime studio Khara moving to Blender (blender.org)
937 points by robin_reala on Aug 16, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 225 comments

>Not only with Autodesk but also with other companies, we keep requesting improvements. However, it takes time for those improvements to make it to proprietary software. We expect faster improvements by using open source software.

That's pretty cool. I wonder what kind of anime-focused features will come to the next version of Blender as a result.

>I wonder what kind of anime-focused features will come to the next version of Blender as a result.

Work is currently being done on the LANPR branch as part of the GSoC. This branch is meant to replace the Freestyle system which is currently used for line rendering. [0]

Otherwise we already have the "Shader to RGB" node which is extremely useful to create NPR shaders.

There's also an add-on which can be used to deform a mesh based on greasepencil strokes, I assume 2D animators would love this. [1]

If you're interested in blender NPR news I highly recommend following the BNPR Show on youtube. [2]

[0]: https://wiki.blender.org/wiki/User:Yiming/GSoC2019/Updates

[1]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3nmEjum8kg

[2]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38ETYyzrTzM&list=PLSMetEtY22...

Oh damn the thing in [1] is NICE. It’s tempting me to spend some time trying to learn Blender/modeling/rigging to see what I can do.

(I am a 2d artist who spent some time in the 2d animation world around 200x.)

Wow. Thank you so much. Non-photorealistic rendering is now so amazing. Real-time!

I've been long out of the loop and am delighted to see it's come so far. Ages ago, I had the notion for kid friendly games, contingent on NPR. But I didn't have the maths or design chops to implement it.

Now that the NPR heavy lifting is done, perhaps my notion is feasible.

Again, thanks for the links. Amazing works.

I hate the "shader to rgb" node. I really wish osl nodes would work in eevee.

Dude, I was an EXPERT in Autocad from 1992 on....

I was the fastest ever to complete the ACAD design challenge (3 - hour test, finished it in 33 minutes)

I was the only person to have ever completed the autocad design interview test at the first architectural firm I worked at.... (8 minutes)

I came is second in the US CAD Olympics (only second because I skimmed the notes and it also required me to draw a bolt and I didnt notice that req in the directions)


I love autodesk --- but I hate their arrogance. They have lightened up a bit with 360 and such....

But I am rooting for Blender.

The amount of amazing talent around the world that will blow shit up is immense.

We will see some guy from freaking thailand or something just come out with something unbelievable.

I was asked to design a rendering factory in asia for lucas film some years ago... (I was the designer for the Lucas Presidio Complex's Data Center) -- their comment was "US 3D designers are over-paid pre-madonnas and complain too much"


So, I hope blender kicks some fucking ass and that we see some amazing shit come out from a completely unknown person as of yet.

Heh, the term is "prima donna".



> In linguistics, an eggcorn is an idiosyncratic substitution of a word or phrase for a word or words that sound similar or identical in the speaker's dialect (sometimes called oronyms). The new phrase introduces a meaning that is different from the original but plausible in the same context, such as "old-timers' disease" for "Alzheimer's disease".[1] An eggcorn can be described as an intra-lingual phono-semantic matching, a matching in which the intended word and substitute are from the same language.

Yes, but still pre-madonna was an amazing mix up, creativity wise :)

If you have been working in 3d modelling pre-Madonna you deserve to be a prima-donna and paid very well.

It sounds like a sophisticated real metaphor: Madonna about 40 years ago, before she became famous, whom I imagine as a very interesting character: more or less a prima donna, but without the excuse of being a celebrity.

You’ll get a kick out of this then. Sort by top, all time.


> I love autodesk...

I sure don't. Buying up the competition and killing it off (see Softimage). I would migrate from a proprietary package to Blender just to make sure Autodesk can't get its paws on it and wreck havoc to my pipeline once again.

Oh holy fuck! I forgot abt softimage being killed by them

I went to mesmer animations labs school for softimage... (all still on SGI machines.

One of the best pieces of software ive used.

I was really good at building bodies on metaclay.

I built the entire human muscular system with meta clay, and was able to animate its movements in natural form. In 1995.

Sadly we had a tape backup system for all our data (these were all done on SGI machines) and after several years i lost that tape which hd all my projects on them.... i cant recall what format the backups were in.


Also, whatever happened to Poser and Kai's Power Tools -- what are those groups upto these days?

Speaking of SGI, did you notice the sticker with SGI logo on Hiroyasu Kobayashi's photo in the article? I thought of it as a fun easter egg.

Hmm, but it's actually a spoof of the SGI logo. It's not one continuous line tracing the edges of a cube any more, it's several shapes in the same general arrangement as the original. And the text seems to say something like Animation Graphics or Innovation Graphics or Evangelion Graphics?

Good catch! I didn't check the logo well enough. I regard it as homage, not as trying to "appear as the real thing".

I love that you have also read Illuminatus!

Check ouy what I just bought at an art exhibit last week:


Don't blame Autodesk. Blame Avid for selling it to them. Avid never quite understood how to position it in its' lineup, and sold it at 1/10th the price it paid 10 years prior.

Avid are world leaders in buying and ruining software suites. Looking through their lineup you see a sad list of software that either used to be good, or could have been great.

HAHA You know where AVID came from?

Lucas film!


AVID adapted the Edit Droid into their editing system...

Not to mention Autodesk used to be proud of having their tools being used to destroy the environment [1].


Reading the bit of that thread with the Autodesk CEO, I disagree with your assessment of their position. The CEO's response, in a nutshell, was that they aren't responsible for what people build with their software, but also that they provide free software for and support initiatives by green startups. He even said that Mr. Lemercier's passions was "appropriate and necessary"

What's more, Mr. Lemercier's asked that Autodesk no longer sell their software to dirty companies like the ones they were discussing. "Policing couldn't be easier...Don't accept their money."

Without even getting into the question of what Autodesk should or shouldn't do, I do think it's completely unfair to elide the difference between (declining Mr. Lemercier's idea) and (actively endorsing the environmental destruction found in Autodesk's downstream).

Contrast this with free software (eg blender which is gplv3) where the license grants users the freedom to use the software for any purpose, even purposes that the software authors do not approve of. So it seems silly to say autodesk is evil because of who they allow to use their software in a comment on an article about software which explicitly chooses to make no restrictions on their users.

In a different sense one could say that Autodesk is worse than Blender because its licensing model does allow the authors to make decisions on who might be allowed to use it.

A truly undervalued property of free software is that nobody can exert pressure on you for using it. Users can stay ideologically uncompromised.

Since we're having fun with eggcorns, the term is "wreak havoc."

360 is directly in response to open source pressure though, I imagine.

That tool forces use of their cloud, which they have said they inspect the contents of to verify claims of hobby (free) use.

It also uses dark patterns to hide exports to standardized formats.

I hope blender wins.

360 isn't in response to open source pressure. It's competing with Solidworks/Onshape,etc. but trying to capitalize on the hobbyist market that grew when 3D printing became viable. The only FOSS equivalent is FreeCAD, but that was not good enough when I tried it.

Hm I don’t know these other tools well but if the trend is FOOS is growing in 3D modeling, I don’t see why 360 couldn’t be seen as heading off that threat

The best open source 3d modeling tool is blender but its not a great solid modelling tool. Fusion 360 is a solid modelling CAD/CAM program aimed for 3d printing/milling. The open source scene there is pretty bad.

To echo LegitShady, FreeCAD is the only open source tool that even aspires to be anything like Fusion 360. Blender is essentially unusable for precise modeling since it doesn't have a constraints engine or a proper history. For example, you can't (easily) draw a 2D sketch of a rectangle with 5mm fillets, extrude that into a cuboid, drill a hole in it, then go back later and change the rectangle dimensions or the size of the fillets.

Wings3D I think is also used by the hobbyist 3D printing community because it's solid modeling, right?

Nice note; I hadn't heard of that program before.

However, that's also not the same type of program as Fusion 360. Fusion 360 is a parametric modeler, which means it's used for create precise mechanical designs, rather than artistic pieces or animated figures. For example, you might use Fusion 360 to design a adjustable desk or car part. Fusion 360 also has built in CAM features, which allow you to automatically generate commands for a CNC mill, lathe, or router.


I'd love to hear your war stories. Glory years.

Some of us are still pissed that Autodesk tubed Generic CADD.

As for arrogance... You probably didn't work with Bentley Systems or their MicroStation. As a long time AutoCAD nerd, I made the switch for a gig (1993), because it's the work that matters, right?

Huge mistake.

As a kid, it was a cold shower introduction to the arrogance of the phenomenon of the willfully ignorant. I was invited to participate on their product steering committee. Big honor, right? Total waste. I don't think the Bentleys ever used, or watch someone use, their products for real work.

but blender isn't CAD, right? it's not a replacement for cad software (such as openSCAD, autodesk, etc...)

You can use Blender for some CAD work... But it's not a solid modeler like solidworks/inventor. It doesn't have many of the precision and parametric tools.

Blender's internal representation of objects is vertices (defined with IEEE single precision floats) connected by lines, and faces --just the shell of the object, and no real curved surfaces (just more and more faceted to approximate curves, and smoothed normals to look curved.) It also does not have guaranteed precise measurements. Blender can do some parametric and Boolean operations and many of the same things, but sometimes it fails and the limitations get in the way.

Some have built CAD tools into Blender, but it's a hack on an artist's tool. For some types of CAD projects, it'll do great, particularly in some very creative directions, but I'd start with the other tools you mentioned.

I export Inventor models to Blender for better rendering and animation.

I think now you can define circles and extrusions parametrically. I'm sure I've seen videos of people adjusting circle radii and facet count and it adjusted the parameters and re-tesellated based on the new parameters. Visually you see the polygonal representation you asked for, but at least some things do seem to be parametric underneath if you define them in the proper way.

I also believe I read about parametric model definition being something they are working on more, since so many folks are asking for it. I do hope that comes to fruition. A free parametric modeler would be absolutely lovely.

Yes, there's some parametric things you can do in Blender. You can have a beizier curve that you can later change the facet count on... and you can use a spin modifier on a shape, but you're not going to get a perfect tangent line off a perfect circle like you can in a proper CAD tool for example. and you can boolean with another object, are you're not able to add a perfect fillet at that intersection.

In Blender, with care and if you're clever, you can do many of the same things you can with a CAD program... good enough for many cases. But Blender is still more of an artist tool than an engineer tool. For serious uses you're going to run into the limits.

There are free cad parametric modelers. FreeCAD is one.

Yes, there is FreeCAD. It crashes constantly and is very difficult to use. ..it doesn't really count, in my mind; if it isn't usable, it may as well not exist at all.

You can use it for CAD, but most traditional CAD users won't feel comfortable in an environment like blender which goes straight to 3D.

Traditional CADers work in 2D and "lift" or "project" the 2D work to 3D.

I sometimes go between Inkscape and Blender with that exact process. I could do it all in Blender, but I am used to Inkscape for 2d curve drawing.

People don't use autocad for art, do they? I don't think Autodesk and Blender are really competitors. I could be wrong, though.

Autodesk also develop 3DS Max and Maya, both major players in the 3D animation world.

Yes, but the comment specifically mentioned Autocad.

Well, the commentor specifically wanted to make it about themselves regardless of what the context originally was.

I'm an EXPERT in internets and can confirm you are correct here ^

That’s true

> People don't use autocad for art, do they?

Why not? You could use anything, including AutoCAD, to do art. Wim Delvoye likes it, for instance:


I would consider the above link NSFW.

After scrolling through the first five or so images I assumed you work in a twelfth century monestary... and then I got to the x-ray.

Autodesk, the company, releases not only Autocad, but also 3Ds Max and Maya, two 3d packages which are arguably the most popular in industries like gamedev and 3d production.

A lot of anime have hyper-realistic buildings and backgrounds; I would expect that these would be built with the same CAD tools as real buildings.

> We expect faster improvements by using open source software.

As a long-time consumer and contributor to open-source, I would caution one to temper their expectations when it comes to velocity. Glaring problems (like CVEs) get immediate attention, but features are another story - remember that open-source projects are a democracy and the loudest guy in the room often gets their way...

I don't think anyone switches from proprietary to OSS with the expectation that asking for features will cause the new features to come into existence. Rather, they expect to hire software engineers to write those features, which is not possible with proprietary software and is merely "very difficult" with OSS.

Indeed, animation and special events shops are along the most likely to do so. They often create custom add-ons for the commercial software they use so they have the in house skillsets already for this in many cases.

Yes but think of this. With Blender at least they can make the modifications themselves and use it while waiting for it to be up-streamed. They could even keep the work in-house. On the other hand Autodesk has no open source. So this studio would have to make a request to Autodesk to include this feature. Then wait for Autodesk to make the change and then wait for a version to include this change.

With Blender they can create their own fork and Blender will merge their work if they like the code.

One business model they wait for Autodesk and the other they make their own modifications to Blender.

I would conclude they are on the right path. With all the money they save on licensing fees they can hire developers. No more dongles.

Feature velocity is all over the place in open source. GIMP is glacial. Blender is pretty good. Just a few weeks ago in 2.80 they added: totally revamped UI, brand new realtime renderer, hugely improved grease pencil, etc etc. And if you really want a specific feature you can hire someone to write it for you and upstream it.

If you're not paying for it, sure. But even in open source, money talks.

Blender has a solid history of having paid development. If they need a feature really bad, they can pay someone to implement it. This is not an option when using closed-sourced applications.

Instead of paying X dollars per year in licensing costs, you can spend that money on getting features you really need.

Check out https://www.blender.org/press/industry-support-for-blender/

Several companies have paid devs working on specific areas of the program that they want improvements in.

That's such an exciting sentiment to hear, that open source could beat the economic incentives of propriety software. It's so far from what you would have heard in 1999.

Only a few years later I tried to tell people how big Wikipedia would get. When it had tens of thousands of articles, everybody told me how it was pointless and would go nowhere.

People used to say the same thing about the WWW.

To be fair, people have said that about many things and they were mostly right

Also the pet rock and Vanilla Ice.

Blender has had a pretty incredible run. Their built in tenderer is so good (and open source) that a particle sim company ported it to Cinema4D


A tenderer is like a renderer, but it adds soft focus effects.

That's awesome. Combine this with Epic's recent investment and it looks like the modelling community may be mobilising behind Blender as an alternative to Autodesk tools.

Ubisoft too. Blender is really gaining a lot of momentum! I'm not even in the industry, but I'm very excited by this.

2.8 already has the vastly more useful version of grease pencil, and the demo the foundation commissioned was amazing. I love how seamlessly they mix the 3D in with the direct illustration. It shows what skilled animators can do with a tool like Blender.


How did they come up with the name "Grease pencil"? It's not descriptive at all.

Historically, you'd mark up a drawing or schematic with a grease pencil (1) on top of a velum sheet or similar. The original implementation of grease pencil in Blender was similar -- it was for non-permanent markup on top of your scene. This gradually evolved into what, in Blender 2.8, is a full on drawing tool that can be used in part to create (with Blender's other tools) entire 2-D animated features. I agree they should change the name soon. :)

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grease_pencil

It's from before, when it was a tool for marking up the scene, not an artistic tool. It's retained the name since then.

Some friends of mine recently launched the pilot episode of their independent series, Culturesport, all done completely in Blender. https://youtu.be/UEcNEO3fVF8

They've been proselytizing Blender for years now, seems like the tide is rising.

Thanks for sharing this pilot episode made with Blender.

Woo, what a trip! Great use of colors and sounds.

I recognized some Scheme code scrolling by in the futuristic synthesizer.

Amazing lighting although one of the characters looks exactly former British prime minister John Major which broke the immersion

Just watched it. That was brilliant. :)

Must have taken tonnes of effort.

Wow, what a coincidence! I saw a live screening of this in NYC -- nice to have a permanent way to see it again when I please.

That was pretty mind-blowing.

As someone who worked in a similar section (animation), this is great news. Autodesk tools (especially Maya) are way too expensive in what they deliver. I'm glad many big studios realized this in that they either build their own tools (Pixar/Dreamworks) or they adapt Open Source (Blender) and help improving it.

There is still other tooling (Cinema4D, ZBrush) but those are actually working.. Maya has failed me so many times, I cannot recommend it in any way other than it is still (sadly) used very commonly among studios. And artists do not like to learn new toolings, that I also know from experience.. edit: grammar

I’m quite excited about Blender’s growing popularity.

But, FWIW, I used to animate effects at PDI/DreamWorks, and we were using Maya. Today I think it’s Houdini. In my time, modelers were using Maya as well. We had an in-house character animation tool mainly because the character rigs were custom, evaluated with an in-house scripting language, and Maya couldn’t evaluate them.

While costs are always scrutinized, the decision to use Maya had very little to do with the price of a seat of Maya. It was just a tool that many people knew already (which is a huge factor in cost, BTW) and it also did most of the things we needed to do.

All the in-house tools were constantly scrutinized for cost, and usually the question was not whether we could reduce costs by building in-house, it was the other way around: can we reduce costs by purchasing off the shelf software. Remember that each and every developer is a 6-figure salary, which can buy a lot of seats of Maya. Note this applies to contributing to Blender too... it’s very expensive to contribute to Blender, so it really has to be appreciated when it happens!

> I'm glad many big studios realized this in that they either build their own tools (Pixar/Dreamworks) or they adapt Open Source (Blender) and help improving it.

Places like Pixar/DreamWorks developed proprietary tools because they didn't exist when they started. Disney/Pixar heavily uses Maya. Disney was one of the first places to use Maya before it was released in the late 90s. Like many other places they heavily modify it. DreamWorks uses a lot of Maya and Houdini, but have proprietary rigging, animation, and renderer.

I haven't seen any of those places contribute much to Open Source unless they're driving development.

I haven't used Blender much at all. Apps like Maya, Houdini, and Nuke have a lot of under the hood architecture necessary to use in large studios that I hope Blender has, too. Photoshop, for example, is very difficult to build that kind of pipeline around.

Sculpting in Blender is already pretty good, but there is also a work-in-progress sculpt branch that should make it even more of a competitor to ZBrush, once it's merged in. https://code.blender.org/2019/06/sculpt-mode-features-branch...

Good to know that they're working on it more. I used it the while back trying to learn digital sculpting.

I remember reading that Blender's Sculpt mode was far behind the commercial sculpting tools such as Zbrush because they have things like Sculpting Layers.

> Autodesk tools (especially Maya) are way too expensive in what they deliver. I'm glad many big studios realized this in that they either build their own tools (Pixar/Dreamworks) or they adapt Open Source (Blender) and help improving it.

Cost isn’t the issue, it’s mainly the fact that Autodesk effectively put Maya on life support. Pixar is paying hundreds of software engineers in the Bay to develop their proprietary animation tools, which is most definitely not cheaper than a few hundred Maya seats per show.

This is a gross misunderstanding of everything in the industry.

Maya is far, far from being on life support. There are hundreds of studios around the world that use it, and autodesk do substantial development in Maya till date including updated adding USD, Bifrost and parallel graph evaluation.

The fact that Pixar have their own animation package (Presto) has nothing to do with Maya whatsoever.

The first ancestor to Presto effectively predates Maya. They've developed a lot of custom tooling and workflows around it for animation. They still use Maya for many aspects outside animation like modelling etc...

Similarly DreamWorks and rhythm and hues also had their own proprietary animation software (premo and voodoo) for similar reasons but still use Maya for other purposes.

Your comment is completely off base.

Autodesk laid off the entire R&D staff of Maya (outside of Bifrost, which was an acquisition a few years ago and is now a one person show, mainly) and transferred ownership to their maintenance engineering division, if that isn’t life support I don’t know what is.

Funny how they're actively hiring Maya developers now then right?

This is clearly some made up FUD

I think saying it's far from being on life support is really pushing it...

Maya's USD support so far is effectively just Animal Logic's open source stuff bundled with Maya, Bifrost is indeed the one place they're actually still doing development (as they still have that R&D team), Parallel graph evaluation in 2019 and 2020 are really just riding the coattails of work they did a few years ago. Improvements to rendering infrastructure (Arnold) are orthogonal as far as I'm concerned as it's done by the SolidAngle team they acquired a few year ago.

They're effective keeping it running (moving to newer Qt versions and the future Python 3 version for VFX platforms in line with other DCCs) as far as many people are concerned, which at a stretch could be construed as "on life support".

> Cost isn’t the issue, it’s mainly the fact that Autodesk effectively put Maya on life support.

Maya isn't on life support, it's simply that so many studios augment Maya with their own tools & pipeline that it's not necessary for Autodesk to update it with the same frequency that Alias did. It's effectively an OS for 3D content creation for some of the larger shops.

An interesting point of view, which entails an important question: in which ways is Maya superior to Blender in such a platform role? Is Blender going to catch up?

If Maya is only adopted because of habits and ongoing projects, investment in training and customization, and network effects it has no future.

If Maya is on life support, then is 3ds Max the only actual product Autodesk intend to develop?

Autodesk is doubling down on CAD and engineering (their leadership has even said so publicly) — VFX and animation is just a much smaller market. I personally think this is very short sighted.

If it allows blender a foothold, I’m for it.

Don't listen to the person you replied to. They're completely full of it.

Pixar have always developed and used their own in-house animation tools, it's a big part of their culture. I seriously doubt they'd be using Maya (or anything else) regardless of how advanced it was.

Maya is indeed used at Pixar, as is just about every other package out there. Their pipeline is set up to allow work to be done in a variety of tools.

Maya is still used in Pixar’s characters department for modeling, I believe, and maybe a few shading-related (UV layout?) tasks here or there.

You'll find it anywhere someone wants to use it. Some effects people still love doing quick simulations with nCloth, for example.

Very cool! Glad to see Nucleus still getting some love, Jos would be happy — I was talking to a Pixar effects fellow at SIGGRAPH and was under the impression that Houdini’s constraint solver thing had spread like wildfire in that department.

Autodesk did recently release Maya and Max Indie which is roughly $300 for the first year. Pricing after that is ambiguous right now unfortunately.

where did maya fail you ?

I love this thing to bits, so .. basically blind to its defects, tell me

Maya is a huge program. So any frustrations will probably be around which parts you use. There's a quippy quote about programming languages, "There are two types of programming languages. Those people always complain about and those nobody uses."

Often at large studios, the pain points I've seen with Maya are scaling. For rigging it can be difficult to manage complex rigs. When the number of nodes in the scene increase things slow down a lot. The architecture isn't that great at being procedural or modular compared to something like Houdini. There's similar scaling issues with lighting on a large project (I haven't used the new render layers, but I doubt that will fix core issues). The larger studios have spent years working on their own wrappers to manage lighting large shows, but they're still are looking to other apps like Katana or Houdini.

I was recently talking to an fx artist who started in Maya and moved to Houdini about 5 years ago. They were saying the number of times they got corrupt scene files (on crash) was breathtakingly smaller in Houdini--I think they said 0 or 1 ever. That alone was a huge win for them.

Personally, I hate opening a geometry heavy scene (or one that requires computing a lot of things) just to change an attribute and resave. I've been on a few projects where it'll take an hour or more to open a scene to start working. (here and there if it's a MayaAscii file and I can edit the text)

I'm saddened that after all these years heavy file loading is still a problem...

And somehow not surprised that houdini rocks.

An hour? Jesus Lord. I’m pretty to work in C4D with lowish polygon counts for motion graphics.

Yep. It's not like "scaling" is a 1 dimensional thing, either. On one project it'll be 1000s or millions of space ships, on another it'll be 1-5 photo real creatures with closeups, on another it'll be an environment the size of NYC. You do you best to cheat, but often you get handed something awful from another department with no time to redo it.

Just never close Maya and pray it doesn't crash or leak too much memory =)

I needed 3D software to create a bunch of models for a RealityKit demo and the only usable version of Maya was $200 per month (Maya LT doesn't support plugins).

I gave Blender another shot (Blender 2.8 to be specific). The new UI is just fantastic! And it's actually usable with a touchbar-only setup.

I wish GIMP progressed so much—*nix environment + Adobe CC are the two main reasons I'm sticking to MacOS.

I've given up on GIMP in a sense, Krita is the closest to what I actually want it to be but it's still missing some key stuff for me when it comes to vector selections and font work (but font work on GIMP was also less than great). It's much closer to what I've wanted GIMP to evolve into, so I've been crossing my fingers there.

Photopea is much better than gimp in my opinion. It works really-really well for a web app.


Oh wow that also works on my phone! This is amazing.

Krita's also active and improving rapidly, unlike GIMP. I have high hopes for it.

I hope Blender will include more GIMP features in the future

Such as? I get annoyed as well coming back and forth for simple tasks in image manipulation.

I've made a switch almost year ago from Linux (and OSX earlier) to Windows - thanks to WSL it's like being still on *nix system but with running painlessly .exe applications ;)

Creative cloud runs wonderfully on a cheap gaming PC.

I think they're saying that they want to use Linux exclusively. So running CC on Windows is just as bad in their mind as running it on Mac.

(Actually, now I think about it, it's worse than running CC on Mac. Because on Mac at least they get a *nix based OS.)

On Windows you get WSL.

You also get all the baggage that comes with windows.

Very few people that are hanging onto OsX for Photoshop are wanting to switch to Windows.

What an amazing story of human cooperation. One on hand, everyone wants to make boatloads of money, on the other hand, sometimes we realize that if we all pitch in to a shared resource, we can make something better and cheaper than otherwise possible.

There are so many things I wish humanity could apply this to, glad to see it working in practice!

All things are made this way... Not because of money. It's just that in order to make them often you need money before the fact, and people with money get ownership and credit. The workers never make boat loads of money or get acknowledged for actually making it happen.

Pretty sure blender started out as the product of a company that went out of business in the 90's, for whatever reason, they decided to open source the product instead of let it die.

I'm not countermanding you. Blender is awesome, the volunteers who make it perpetually better are awesome.

Yep, however ton bought the rights by crowd funding it. part of the agreement was to open source it.

The one that kills me is textbooks. I mean... WTF.

Probably the most compelling feature of Blender being open source with a significant community is that it's the one 3d tool that Autodesk can't simply buy out.

I like this comment too much. I pretty much steer clear from Autodesk ever since they detonated softimage.

> 3ds Max is an excellent tool and one of the industry standards, but in some cases it causes a “lack of artists” due to its high costs.

A liberal non-commercial offering from Autodesk would at least help. Houdini realized this. Unity and Unreal are both essentially free to learners and hobbyists.

You need a pool of talent. And it needs continually refreshing.

I think the two subreddits (/r/Maya and /r/blender) for those products really illustrate the point further.

Blender usage exploded around 2.6 with the first UI revamp, and it seems to have swelled even more as 2.8 approached.

I keep hearing that blender's UI is no longer the domain of dark wizards ... between the cost of the paid products, and the funky UI of older versions of blender, I could never quite get into 3d modeling and design. Maybe it's time to revisit?

I don't mean to sound mean here - 3D art is like any other disicpline here. No software package is going to make good art easy to achieve. Just like any form of programming, making sure that the mesh is rigged correctly, and looks aethetically pleasing, and animates well, takes a lot of hard work.

No amount of UI revamps are going to compensate for those who want to do 3D art, but refuse to do the hard yards to make things look good.

I was going to point this: It is simply a too complicated workflow. No amount of UI revamping will solve the issue of "having a shit ton of actions that can be done and parameters that can be tweaked". One just needs to bear with the process of learning until it becomes second nature.

I had the same "issue" when I was learning music production on a tracker-inspired daw: Renoise. Really steep learning curve, Lots and lots of buttons because you have lots and lots of doable actions. You just need to do it badly enough until you are okay with it. It becomes second nature, part of your hands, really.

I don't think anyone is pretending that 3D modeling and the like are able to be made simple just by UI changes: any proper craft requires practice and perhaps combined with some innate knack for the discipline.

But with computer applications, I think it is pretty fair to say that there are certain expectations of behaviors for applications (or groups of applications) across various OSes which correlates to the intuitiveness of the application itself. Vim and the like are powerful tools, but if someone feels like they're battling it from the onset (or still after a few hours), they may be discouraged from continuing to try and use it and stick with something more akin to what they're used to like edit or nano or something else entirely.

As such, the artificial barrier to entry of an obtuse UI and mannerisms (for one, iirc, Blender has/had an opposite behavior for mouse buttons) may've kept some people from using that otherwise would've been inclined to do so. Now it becomes a case of whether they can get over the learning curve of the subject matter itself which, who knows, time will tell I suppose. But at least now, presumably, the application itself won't be the thing that prevents them from digging deeper.

(EDIT: I'm going to preface this comment by saying I'm a failed 3D artist, but it's not because Blender has traditionally used right-click to select).

The mouse button argument is utterly ridiculous and has been going on at least for as long as I've used Blender, which is over 10 years. The number failed 3D careers I've read about online that are blamed on that choice of "right mouse button click to select" is hilarious (note: left click is the default as of 2.8 so there are no more excuses). It is a minute problem compared to the learning curve of defining a good silhouette, 3D modelling, sculpting, topology, UV layout, rigging, triangulation and animation etc. If people are still getting stuck at the select button being on the wrong side of the mouse, they really don't have the interest.

I suggest taking a look at ZBrush UI if you haven't already. Yes it lets you select subtools (meshes) with a left click. In nearly every other way, it has one of the most unconvential UI you will see in nearly any piece of desktop software. It actually works in its favour once you get to know it, but its much more intimidating than Blender, at least for those starting out. You don't hear many complaints about it, well, because ZBrush is not cheap.

Yet a massive amount of meshes for 3D games, film, etc are created in ZBrush. Apologies if this comment comes across as brusque but I'm tired of this specious complaint about Blender's UI.

I’m kind of shocked by this. Careers torpedoed because of being unable to get past the UI (presuming they didn’t come from Maya or some other system)? Would seem that’s the first hurdle before getting to the core of the discipline. Like I’d say it is too early to say that an inability to figure out Visual Studio or Xcode tanked a programming career.

Again, I’m saying that if an application doesn’t at least behave in a way that is expected from coming from other applications (either similar ones or common behaviors of applications for a particular OS), it’s going to deter some: perhaps in a way it acts like a gut check of sorts, but it probably eliminates a few that just can’t wrap their heads around the UI.

ASP.NET WebForms I don’t think anyone is going to say is God’s gift to web development, but it worked in that the barrier to entry was low for WinForms developers so it allowed companies who wanted to take their desktop applications and move to the web a little easier. If not for it, who knows how many (small) companies would’ve had to shift direction entirely.

I wouldn't take the "careers" comment too seriously - it was intended to be a little tongue in cheek, but I forgot the quotes. I'm pretty sure too that those 140K readers on the Blender subreddit didn't all come from the Maya subreddit either (with only 20K users).

But you wouldn't know it from all the complaining over the years on the Blender subreddit about how it "could never compete" with the incumbent commercial offerings with right-click select. Anyone who ever looked at the art gallery on blenderartists.org would know this was bunk.

A common retort from right-click fans was frequently "can you show us any of your work you've done using left click select in Maya?". Almost all of the time, the response was crickets. When it wasn't, they'd be told how to change it, and they'd get on with dealing with the rest of the differences between Maya and Blender (because there are plenty).

Personally I never found right click select difficult at all, it's just a muscle memory thing and I retrained my self to the default left click select in 2.8 in about 5 minutes. I do appreciate that I am not everyone, and that some people, particularly new users, are much more put off by it.

The developers acknowledged all this by making left click the default in the dev branch nearly a year ago. In the stable branch, it's been possible to change it with four (left) mouse clicks after opening Blender since 2.60 was released - in 2011. Eight years ago, and people are still going on about it.

I acknowledge you want to repeat the argument that user interfaces should be as uniform as possible between all applications on all platforms. That's a fine goal from an application or software developer point of view. But working artists (in my experience) are generally way less bothered by this kind of thing. They tend to overcome small obstacles like this because they are really driven to create. Those people actually look at the Blender docs since 2011 and realised that they could change the setting with four clicks, and went on with their life and got shit done.

Or as per my other example, ZBrush, which is really difficult to use it well in mouse mode. The interface is completely different to anything because it's designed to be used on a drawing tablet, with the menus rolled up/down with the pen. It's an extremely fluid experience for 3D sculptors, but at first sight it looks ghastly, and frankly even most Blender users would run from it.

I'm not trying be rude, I just think this issue is extremely old news, and overplayed. Blender has long accomadated the masses, now it has kowtowed to them, and that's fine. The massive increase in usage over the last 10 years though seems to suggest that changing the setting wasn't really a problem for most people who really wanted to make 3D art.

This wasn't really necessary to point out ... I'm not a 3d artist, I don't need to do this, which is why 1) not free professional tools and b) non-intuitive free software UI, was enough of a barrier to keep me out.

I'm familiar enough with the 3d workflow/pipeline, so it has nothing to do with an ignorance of what 3d art is and what it takes to accomplish ... but I've mostly stuck with making 2d games when I make games because pixels are easy to push around, and there are a plethora of software out there to do so.

See asutekku's comment in this thread regarding Autodesk giving out free student licenses for Maya. I don't know how true it is, or how to go about it, but if the Blender UI is really what is keeping you from pursuing 3D art as a hobby, perhaps that could be a solution.

I'm not a student :)

The same arguments apply to programming — but many people entered the field when JS became easy to fiddle with in browsers.

UI is important in terms of cost slope, and easy UI allows people (like GP) to dabble — even if they aren’t going to make a masterpiece (or become professional programmers).

Your comment strikes me as incredibly elitist: we should want anyone who wants to dabble to be able to, even if they don’t meet your standards for “good art” — just like we want people to have access to scripting languages, for their own purposes, even if they don’t meet our aesthetic preference of “good software”.

We do allow it. I pointed out right at the top the number of Blender users vs. Maya users. You can download Blender for free right now, either from the website or through Steam. Left click to select is now the default in 2.8, and going back to 2.6, it was configurable. Now that the left-click argument has been shot down, I'm waiting to hear what the next significant complaint about the Blender UI is.

As I've pointed out in another comment, the 3D industry is full of professional software with "unconventional" user interfaces (eg. Zbrush, Syntheyes) that don't have a lot in common with other 3D software, let alone desktop applications in general. Those expensive packages are used by professionals who occasionally bitch about the interface, yet they still manage to produce astounding works of art with them.

I'm a rubbish 3D artist. But I understand it is because I'm not prepared to put in the amount of work required to get to a level where I'd like to be. I don't blame my tools.

I think your comment is a little disingenuous; I never suggested that only "good artists" understand how to use Blender. Like being a good programmer (which I am also admittedly not), becoming a professional 3D artist is a 10,000 hour (if not more) kind of problem, except for those with extraordinary talent.

The reason we hear these comments so frequently about the Blender UI is that it is free, so many people download it, and when they realise that it will take more work than they expect to become proficient, they take they easy way out and blame the UI (IMHO).

Definitely going to have to check out the newer Blender. Anyone remember the "hidden menus" you had to know which part of the window to drag them out of?

Absolutely. I just tried it recently after years of shunning it for its UI and it looks and feels fantastically better. It should’ve been like this ages ago but there you go, they’ve finally changed it.

2.8 is packing so much good stuff and new features it does not even feel the same software anymore, they made some amazing work.

20k vs 140k, respectively. That's impressive.

A “public secret” is that autodesk pretty much gives free non-commercial student licenses to anyone, no relation to an actual education institution needed. Advertising it better would definitely help them I think:

If you can't sell the art you make with an design application, you would be a fool to invest time in learning it using a student license.

Unless you thought it'd get you a job.

Sell your first commissioned piece of art, use that money to buy the license, (re-render if necessary for higher output), have no money from first sale, continue using that version to create more art.

Quick look at Autodesk's website lists Maya as costing $1,500 per year. Depending on what your commissions cost, that might not be trivial -- especially since you can't build up to that. You can't do 5 small commissions over the course of two months, you need that money up-front.

Plus, you're betting on your commission rate being steady. If your commission rate drops off with Blender, no big deal. If it drops off with Maya, you have to make a decision now about whether it's worth it to renew your subscription, or whether you should drop Maya and start over learning a brand new program.

If you value your time at $20 an hour, you could spend 75 additional hours learning to get good at Blender instead of Maya, and you would still break even. And then every year after that for the rest of your career you'd get to save $1500. Take that extra money and put it into buying a better desktop computer, or into upgrading your GPU, or into getting a good drawing tablet, or into buying professional textures, all of which will probably have a much bigger impact on your productivity than Maya will.

It's this actually a student license in their terms? If it is, then there's no difference (legally) to getting a pirated version if you're not a student.

(Checked - it is for students/educators)

Lots of places offer student licenses, but any barrier is indistinguishable from the company telling you they don't want you to have it.

The other frustrating thing is student licenses usually require some affiliation with a formal school as if that is the only way folks in the world are learning.

Really? For like a decade they had a PLE (similar to Houdini's Apprentice). As a tech guy in vfx it was awesome that I could fire up a new version at home so I could quickly see if they fixed some long-standing bug or evaluate a new feature. They stopped 3-4 years ago. I remember schools still paying for their educational edition (10-20 years ago) and haven't heard of a free offering--only the discounted LT version. I've only seen the 30-day demo, which I avoid using in case I need it in the future.

Adobe, back a decade ago, was quite liberal on that front - the stuff was easily crack-able, keygens whever one would look. As a result, whenever I ask colleagues with Photoshop skills how they acquired them, the answer always is "with 14 and a Photoshop crack".

Clever move to not stand in the way of cracks for amateurs too much until they introduced an affordable (!) subscription.

This is still reasonably true for Adobe and C4D (Maxon in particular seem to do virtually nothing to stop piracy)

> A liberal non-commercial offering from Autodesk would at least help

Granted, my 3D experience is limited to making some custom planes for Flight Simulator 10 years ago; but is that not what Gmax is/was?

> Unity and Unreal

Unity and Unreal are Game Engines, not 3D Software. Yes, It's possible to use U and U for 3D modelling, but nobody with a chopchop brain do it. If you work with U and U you create the model in Blender/What ever and import it to the engines for the programming backend.

I think that's not the point the parent is making: his point is that the difficulty of finding people able to use it (because of the cost of the software) could be solved by either offering a free option, with the example of Unity and Unreal, which both have a free option, so you find a lot of people who have used them.

I know exactly what they are. But my point is still valid across related disciplines.

Trans{cription,lation} of the image https://www.blender.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/khara_02....

> Blenderの開発基金への賛同について

Regarding the approval of the Blender development fund,

> 本社並びに、本社関連会社の株式会社プロジェクトスタジオQは、オープンソースの

> アニメ‐ジョン制作ツール開発をサポートするため、 Blender開発基金賛同いたします。

This company, as well as this company's affiliated (incorporated, public) company Project Studio Q, in order to support the development of the open source animation creation tool, are approving the Blender development fund.

> 今後の3DCGアニメーションの発展を期待しております。

Hencerforth, we look forward to the advancement of "3DCG Animation".

> Blender財団の発表

Announcement from the Blender foundation:

> https://twitter.com/blender_org/status/1154003846718468098

Autodesk is responding to all this blender news by releasing full versions of Maya and 3dsMax for $250/yr for indies. It's the full versions not the LT versions.

I think too little too late.


"Currently, this pilot offering is only available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. We are currently piloting indie versions of 3ds Max and Maya so that recent graduates, freelancers, hobbyists and those starting out in the industry have a more affordable option to use our tools. We hope that this pilot performs as expected and can be expanded to other countries in the future."

No thanks

If you don't turn off the auto-renewal, it actually charges you for a full year of NORMAL priced Maya.

I think it's because they threw this whole thing together in a panic and they are not sure if they are going to keep the indie option.

My guess is they will continue the indie program and this wont be a problem, but ya if they don't then that would suck to have to upgrade to full price.

> Your annual gross revenue from design work must be less than USD$100,000/year

$100K gross....

That basically means you are self-employed and undercharging, you are going broke, or you are a startup using some creative accounting.

Yeah, it sucks (dealing with licensing sucks from the producer and tech side). But Houdini has had that structure for awhile: https://www.sidefx.com/buy/#houdini-indie

You may be living in a bubble if that is your sense of things.


Even in the Bay Area the average is $83k: https://www.glassdoor.com/Salaries/san-francisco-3d-modeler-...

If an employee is getting paid an average of $64K, they are very likely costing their employer another $36K in taxes, unemployment, worker's comp, 401k matching, insurance, vacation time, etc.

If you run your own business, you have to account for these things and more (accountant, equipment, advertising, etc). Staying under 100K gross seems almost impossible unless you plan on running yourself out of business.

You're right. I misread that as income from an employer. Sorry.

> Kobayashi: “There are currently some areas where Blender cannot take care of our needs, but we can solve it with the combination with Unity. Unity is usually enough to cover 3ds Max and Maya as well. Unity can be a bridge among environments.”

Does anyone know how they're using Unity? I'd be curious to hear more about gamedev tools being used in animation.

Star Wars: Rogue One used Unreal Engine for a few parts where they could get the same fidelity to Renderman output.


>Not only with Autodesk but also with other companies, we keep requesting improvements. However, it takes time for those improvements to make it to proprietary software. We expect faster improvements by using open source software.

This is ironic considering that along with Softimage, Maya is the history of CGI, written in software. Most of the features and paradigms we see as classic today have been developed in TAV/TDI Explore/PowerAnimator/Maya and accompanying software either by request of leading animation studios, or by the studios themselves. However, they slowed the cycle down significantly even before they've been bought by Autodesk.

Before it was sold to Autodesk, I mean, invaded by barbarians, the Roman Empire was the history of European civilization, written i roads and cities, then it "slowed the cycle down significantly" and began shrinking.

This a good video overview of the new features and improvements to Blender 2.8 - whether you're a new user or an existing one:


Blender, despite its "odd" UI, is the best open source GUI software out there. I don't use any other GUI open source software -- I pay for Microsoft Office and Adobe Applications -- but I find Blender to be useful, productive, and complete. It's solid, and has a very good community. Unlike other open source "alternatives" to commercial software (like, say Gimp or Open Office), it's actually _better_ in many ways, and not just FUD or useful to casual users.

Version 2.8 addressed the odd UI issue didn’t it? I think they have a fully supported “industry standard” keybinding mode now.

That and they've made some of the modality visible (different workspaces for different modalities, on a sort of menu thing). These were always the dealbreakers for me: it required a sophisticated mental model to do the smallest things, and almost everything was hidden. You just had to know it by heart. It sounds like they have specifically attacked that as a problem (they used to embrace it, as a uniqueness)

Yes it did. Much improved.

Blender is an amazing open source success story and deserves to be advertized as such.

It's an amazing tool. It was always powerful, but used to be very un-approachable (vim-like), but they have made tremendous progress to fix this.

The integration with external renders has also been amazing. I am a fan of luxcorerender which - these days - is almost unusable outside of blender.

If you like doing 3D work, spend the time to learn Blender, it's a long term investment really worth making.

It looks like this company is mostly interested in the 3D aspect of Blender, but what's gotten me really excited from viewing the demos is Grease Pencil. I wonder if anyone out there is using it professionally for traditional 2D animation. I also wonder how much attention this cool tool will get in the future.

Perhaps a better title should be phrased like that the studio producing Rebuild of Evangelion is moving to blender.

I hope somebody is still actually producing it. The final episode has been "in production" for almost 7 years now.

Well, there have been teasers recently, and I think a 2020 release date is confirmed

Not only that but the first 10 minutes of the film were released during a special projection in France and Japan.

I'm sure Anno has another project to direct in between.

He directed Shin Godzilla at least, and was the voice actor for the main character in Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises.

Should it? I don't like the trend of referring to companies/organisations/individuals as "those who made X thing". People aren't defined by one specific thing they did and also I think people would generally do well to be somewhat more aware of who actually makes the things they like anyways.

The new blender is pretty slick though. They have really cleaned up the interface and made it more user friendly and something that industry artists on other platforms will be more familiar with. I suspect we will probably see a lot of people switching to blender.

Blender would give Maya a real run for its money if it had an API.

That's just for scripting. A proper C API is needed for plugins that do more than the simplest edition operations. At one point I wanted to write a plugin that let you model distance field fractals and would make meshes from them, but there's no way I'll write something that computationally intensive in python. And if I do it in C with a python bridge, it would have meant copying mesh data to and from blender over python. That's not even going into stuff like custom intersectable primitives.

Blender would really benefit from exposing its inner data structures in a way that lets people write high performance plugins.

> Blender would really benefit from exposing its inner data structures in a way that lets people write high performance plugins.

Not that I want to dismiss the benefit of plugins, but why not just work on getting the new features merged in instead if the Python API isn't sufficient for the task? Unless you have something the maintainers really don't want to deal with long-term there's little benefit to keeping your functionality out-of-tree.

...or you could do a C to python bridge and use the C++ API like cycles does.

I worked a bit on a "proper" API but there was zero interest from anyone so found something better to do with my time.

You do have the C API in the form of source code. You just can't distribute your changes as a plug-in.

Not sure why you think it doesn't have an API ... The entire thing is accessible via Python. If that's not an API, I'm not sure what you mean.

I love Blender, but knowing how to use it is a real profession. So many functionalities ... Even reading a book on Blender is not enough.

"I love $PROFESSIONAL_SOFTWARE_TOOL, but knowing how to use it is a real profession. So many functionalities ... Even reading a book on $PROFESSIONAL_SOFTWARE_TOOL is not enough."

In our current age of endless SaaS tools that bill themselves as being made for professional use, it's somewhat frustrating encountering this attitude that things are too complex or "overkill" to be worth learning.

I understand that isn't the intention of your comment, but it's something I've struggled with at my work where co-workers seem to have no interest in learning new and powerful tools if it might take them more than a day to master.

I work IT and have the same issues, coworkers dont want to learn new tools. This is a huge issue, if your employer wants you to learn a new peice of software, that is your job.

It annoys me here at work, i go home and watch videos, download demos and put the effort in (and it is noticed at work) and some of my coworkers dont and then get annoyed when they dont understand how the new software works. it is just frustrating, glad it is not just where i work.

I don't want to watch videos and read books when I'm going home. I have a thing called life and actually love it. If a PM wants me to learn a new tool (I'm thinking especially of useless migrations to Grunt, Gulp, Broccoli, Rollup, Webpack ...) or the f*ing js framework of the day, I had to do it during my working hours. I'm with your coworkers.

The comment you responded to was not about "learning in billable hours" Vs "learning in your spare time" but about the willingness to learn at all.

Except they also explicitly talk about learning new tools on their own time. I'm not paid to learn new tools. I'm paid to write software. If someone on my team tries to convince everyone that some tool they learned on their own time is great and everyone needs to start using it yesterday, either the company needs to let everyone bill hours to learn the new tool or we're not using it.

The comment very much does come across as being mad at coworkers for not putting in time after-hours.

> I'm not paid to learn new tools. I'm paid to write software.

All fine, if your contract has the "I am a robot" clause or if you happen to write COBOL for a living. The rest of us will have to learn to stay up-to-date, just like carpenters, doctors or gardeners. Because nobody wants to hire someone who missed all progress since graduation...

Well, I write Java and C++ for a living. Maybe that's the same as COBOL if you're a front-end JavaScript developer? What, exactly is there for me to "stay up to date" on?

I'm not saying that you should never learn anything new. For example, I really hope that I have a chance to ditch C++ and Java both for Rust one day, but I can't just go and do it today and that's fine. Change does not need to happen at the pace that some people seems to think it does.

I cannot provide any examples for your languages of choice but mine (CL) is older and I do check out new libraries.

And yes, I would be pretty irritated to find anyone in my team who thinks there is nothing else for him/her to learn, even in their field of expertise.

Who said anything about "nothing else to learn". There's always lots to learn, or I wouldn't have a job anymore. That doesn't mean I spend any real time reading or using other peoples code. Most of the actually interesting work I do involves things for which there are no libraries. The less interesting thing (e.g. a REST service using Spring) do their job just fine and are so utterly boring I can't imagine why anyone would care enough to rewrite the whole service in some other framework.

I do go looking for libraries when I have a need for some functionality, but I don't seek out new libraries to replace other libraries or my own code when the existing solution works. It's the frequent rewriting of working code to use some new tool/framework/library just because it's new and sexy that I find problematic.

Have to agree with this. I'd rather spend only work hours on tech du-jour.

I spend plenty of my own time on math/CS/<techs that I'm personally interested in>, and I think companies benefit from those as they make me a better programmer - but most/all? companies don't really appreciate and never reward those efforts 'cause those aren't the latest fads <sigh>.

I felt the same way about 3DS MAx when I discovered it in the 90's. I then realized that I didn't have to know how to use every feature in it but just what I needed/wanted to do. That at the time was simple model creation and keyframe aninmation

> knowing how to use it is a real profession

Actually ... with things like Google, youtube and stackoverflow, that's not really true anymore.

These days, whenever I want to do something non-obvious with blender, I always find an online tutorial.

Hiroyasu Kobayashi is the tiredest looking animator I've seen captured in a photo.

And all the coffee cups around everyone ...

wheres my anime with programming language gangs who summon mystical spirit animals based off the logos?

Mr. Hiroyasu Kobayashi’s t-shirt is a total swag

Anybody from the industry know how much better is the closed source modelling software like lightwave, 3DS, Maya, Softimage compared to Blender. I know they are all different but is blender a peer a step above or a step below?

Blender 2.8 is on par in most areas, better in many. For example, the sculpting tools available right inside of your standard modeling package rival dedicated sculpting programs like ZBrush, and you never have to leave Blender.

Likewise, the Cycles render engine is built into the package, without the need to go to VRay or Octane. The texturing pipeline in the modern PBR era make most rendering environments much more of an apples-to-apples comparison.

There are other features like particle systems and cloth simulators that are bonuses to have inside of the 3d package, although the best in the business like Houdini are as available to Blender users as they would be to Max/Maya.

I think it's hard to say which is better, each software has quirks that will drive you insane.

In 3ds Max; simple things like selection are broken. You double click to select an object and its children in the Hierarchy (contrary to single click in every other software ever made), the problem is, this is laggy; you get a loading spinner when selecting objects!

In blender despite the UI refresh in 2.8, the interface is still horrible. There are hundreds duplicate menu entries, and many functions without any menu entry at all, accessible only by keyboard shortcut.

The only software I've use that doesn't drive me mad is Cinema4D, but it's missing some features from other softwares.

> many functions without any menu entry at all

This has been solved since version 2.5. In blender versions prior to 2.8 hit spacebar and start typing the operation name. In 2.8 and later the default keybinding has moved to F3.

If you're criticising blender at least use up-to-date nitpicks instead of stuff that has been fixed literal years ago.

If I was a large VFX studio in 2019, I would not spend a cent on proprietary stuff anymore.

With an OpenSource base like Blender, anything you need to add to your pipeline can be grafted on top of blender by a small team of coders, and you are guaranteed that it'll keep on working for the next 10 years.

having the option between free maya on an educational license and blender, i still chose blender. before 2.8 the ui in blender wasn't fantastic, but it's always been better in terms of features (at least as long as i've been doing 3d), and the community is super friendly.

lightwave, Softimage are pretty much dead.

3ds max and maya are both owned by autodesk. So the former is better for architectural stuff and product design, the latter for modeling, rigging, animation etc. Blender is fairly close to both. Especially with useful addons. A lot of major players customize things like their rigging so in that sense blender is far from being able to remove maya's position. Objectively, I would say blender is even slightly better at things like modeling. Blender's animation tools are good, rendering... is in some ways really good with the new eevee engine. Cycles is horribly slow.

I would say the real standouts are probably Houdini and Substance3d with kind of zbrush. Houdini is just a step up in simulations and particle effects. Its insane how good it is at the things it does especially with its procedural workflow. Blender's materials and painting system is there, but even with tweaking its only somewhat as good as designer+painter let alone the extensions that allow to export materials to unity/unreal. Even though the painting is primitive, the material node system is fairly powerful if used with textures instead of procedural generating everything. So depending on the workflow its still pretty powerful and can achieve the same results.

I mentioned zbrush for sculpting, and it just has a way higher ceiling. I don't know if most people will reach it, but zbrush can handle way more polygons and is just a way better tool for sculpting since that's what its main purpose is. Blender's sculpting can still be used to sculpt complicated things, but it probably has to be planned a little bit better by separating the mesh up. It has things like dynotopo to add details and the brush engine can do a lot of the things zbrush can do so its possible to make things. But you quickly have to start using textures and normals to simulate details whereas I've seen people just sculpt those details directly in zbrush.

tl;dr Blender is a jack of all trades and covers a lot of bases fairly well. Its good now, but it will be an absolute beast once the kinks get ironed out with eevee and the painting + sculpting tools get improved.

Neat, another company exploiting the free work of others.

I am sorry to be the guy who does that, but do you know what does Khara mean in Arabic? this brings back memories of the app that went successful in Brazil because the name meant something "naughty".

Khara is the name of the Japanese anime studio, not the tool. The tool is called Blender.

I'm not sure why Khara would care what their name means in Arabic.

According to them it's meant to be the Greek word for Joy. Interestingly, in their native Japanese katakana notation, カラー is indistinguishable from the English word "Color" due to the lossiness of katakana sounds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khara_(studio)

(Though they do care what it means in Greek, since that's where they took the name from. It also happens to be spelled the same as "color" in kana.)

> The name khara comes from the Greek word χαρά, meaning joy.

Funny aside: Khara means "shit" in Arabic. I don't think it affects Studio Khara's market that much but they'll have to change their name if they want to sell Evangelion in the Middle East.

Ironically, it would seem that their name Khara was derived from a greek word (χαρά) meaning "joy".

Not sure if this was intended, but interestingly, the company name in the native Japanese katakana notation, カラー, is indistinguishable from the English word "Color" due to the lossiness of katakana sounds. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khara_(studio)

Nice to know, but it's kinda unfair of how it's gleefully perceived by many as a success of OSS. I mean, I'm also inclined to feel that way, but every time I remind myself, that except for programming-related stuff there are basically just 2 OSS software packages of competitive quality: Blender and Krita. And Blender was originally created by actual for-profit company and open-sourced later. After 30 years of GNU and all that stuff there's hardly anything else. That's kind of telling.

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