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How Blender started, twenty years ago…



Ton started writing Blender during the holidays of 1993. He found his earliest backups and based on their timestamps, he has announced Blender's birthday to be January 2nd. Next year, Blender will turn 20!

Ton writes:

I’ve managed to find the oldest backup of Blender, a snapshot of the first code I wrote to start a new project to replace the in-house tool “Traces”.

This started in the Christmas / New Year holidays of 1993, and with the first code working around new-year’s day.

The backup is from January 8, 1994.


About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-)


  1. I love that screenshot, one small step for a man, one giant leap for 3d! I remember being a demo artist for StrataVision3d at MacWorld in January of 1994, never dreaming that Blender was percolating a continent away.

  2. Lawrence D’Oliveiro on

    Unfortunately, it references some other source files, in /usr/people/trace/ and /usr/people/frank/source/, without which it cannot build...

  3. Are there any copies of the original (compiled!) blender (traces) floating out around there? It would be neat to try and run and see how primitive/awesome it is!!!

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