Expert-oriented GUI, yet comprehensive documentation
Blender is more oriented towards advanced users, and the seemingly complex user interface is proof of that. Fortunately, this software comes with a well-structured user manual and tutorials.
Plus, because Blender is open-source, there is a vast online community that can help you get familiarized with it. If you are a curious amateur interested in 3D graphic editing, you can easily lose yourself in the documentation.
Tools to take advantage of at your fingertips
One of the most important aspects of Blender is the fact that it lets you view all the tools and features, without making you drag anything around. As a result, you can add modifiers (e.g. array, boolean, edge split, mask, mirror, multi-resolution, lattice, mesh deform, smooth, wave, collision, explode, smoke), render an image, undo and redo your actions, take a screenshot or screencast.
Additionally, you can customize themes in the settings menu or by modifying the script in Python, yet also use the grease pencil, UV unwrapping, texture painting, vertex paint, halos, shading, physics, a game logic editor, rigging (armatures, skinning, posing), world and ambient effects, and many more.
Performance and conclusion
We were not able to find any errors or bugs in this program; however, we were able to tell that it uses a high amount of CPU and system memory, which is normal when you consider its level of complexity.
To sum up, if you want to get a first-hand look at a professional 3D graphic editor, give Blender a shot. Power users, with vast knowledge of graphic editing, are certainly at an advantage. If you are interested in bypassing the installation process, you should know a portable edition is available, called Blender Portable.
Reviewed by Elena Opris, last updated on October 22nd, 2014
Also available: Portable Blender
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- Cycles GPU rendering supports Volume and Subsurface Scattering now. The User Interface comes with optional Pie Menus now and the Tooltips have been improved. For Modeling, a new intersection tool has been added in Edit Mode. Texture painting workflow has been streamlined with easy access to painted images and UV layers. The Compositor now comes with a Sun Beam node. Freestyle NPR rendering is now available with Cycles as well. Additionally, Blender 2.72 features three new addons.
- Cycles Rendering:
- Volume rendering and Subsurface Scattering are available on GPU, Volume and Glossy sampling was improved, new Ashikhmin-Shirley distribution for Glossy and Anisotropic BSDFs, memory usage during rendering was lowered, faster OSL rendering, Anamorphic Bokeh support, and better control over caustics.
Application descriptionBlender is designed to be an open source and handy software that has been created to be a solution for rendering, anim...