Saturday, May 29, 2010
Why I Love Blender
This might seem odd to you but I'd just share it anyway.
Blender, over the past few years had grown significantly in terms of usability, support, functionality, and elegance. It might seem like just another 3D application to users passing by, but there's more to it than just that. As a digital artist, I was introduced to ways on making pixels on your screen work in a blending behavior such that it holistically creates a visual and understandable image and story. But as artists, we tend to associate these things to emotions (which is what basically drives every human being on Earth). Changes happen, it might be for the good or for the worse. And this, in relation to my career as an artist, has become a standpoint with my preference for software.
Simplicity can be defined in many ways but plainly speaking, it is the absence of complexity, of chaos, of scatter. This, in turn had been one of my inspiration in choosing and sticking to applications I use for my everyday needs.
Many friends had been wondering and asking me why I prefer open-source applications as compared to commercial ones. Unfortunately, I haven't had the composure to give them answers that were right on. Instead, I would just tell them this phrase: "Because I love it". That's pretty vague isn't it? But as much blur that there is to it, when you look deep down, there's meaning to this "love". By this, I meant I am comfortable with it, I'm happy, I'm not worried, and it gives me what I want. GIMP, the open-source image manipulation program, is exactly that. Then as I went on with my digital art journey, I came across this rather confusing piece of 3D application called "Blender", which at first sounded like some joke to an appliance. But since I had the time back then, I played around with it and guess what happened next? I got bored. Just that. So I went on with my life without having Blender in my arsenal of tools. But every now and then, I couldn't resist the temptation of visiting the forum and checking for some cool stuff that might make my day, back then this website was called Elysiun which is now BlenderArtists (http://www.blendernation.com/elysiun-changes/), and I always had my jaw open everytime I browse through the wonderful collection of artworks presented there. I got envious and gave Blender
another try, this time with a much more planned approach: reading manuals and tutorials. Finally, I found my way through it (the hard way) and was very happy that I could navigate around my basic shapes and give them some color and then eventually have something to see afterwards (the render). I must admit the earlier versions of Blender back then was visually poor and hard to understand, it's like sitting on a spaceship dock not knowing which buttons
does what. But with its open nature, Blender developed and developed and catered to the needs of patient and frustrated users. But what I like most about Blender was that it grew with me, as I developed as an artist, so did it. As I went on, it already became a part of me which I would probably cry over when someone took it away from me. :)
One more aspect of software design that I love about Blender is it is constraint-free, what I mean by this is that it doesn't tell you what to do, instead it's you who tells it what to do. You have all your freedom to do what you want with it.
If I may, I don't want to call it a great application, but rather a well-engineered tool.
I might not have gotten to my point clearly enough, but that's about it. ^_^
If you wanted to surprise yourself, go ahead and check the work-in-progress Blender at www.blender.org and www.graphicall.org.