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Blender No.1 animation packaged based on number of installed copies


tdw92_cover200.jpgThe new 3D World magazine came out last week (issue #92) and there is a great article on the popularity of computer animation software based on "copies installed".

The article highlights research by Pixels from their annual Roncarelli Report.

Pixels describes the Roncarelli report:

The Computer Animation Industry is once again on its historical growth trend. But it is undergoing significant changes which are reshaping the industry. It is growing and expanding in new ways and directions. You must understand what these changes are, and their future effects, if you wish to prosper. This REPORT is the only source for this information - the one the computer animation industry has relied on since 1984. All the Data, Analysis, Intelligence, Comments, and Forecasts you, and your business, need.

According to 3D World Magazine, based on research in the 2006 Roncarelli Report, Blender had 1.8 thousand million downloads last year! Making it the number one animation program based on installed copies.

Other rankings are as follows:

  1. Blender
  2. Flash
  3. 3DS MAX
  4. Truespace
  5. Strata 3D
  6. Lightwave
  7. Cinema 4D
  8. Hash Animation Master
  9. Carrara
  10. Maya
  11. SketchUP
  12. Softimage XSI
  13. Electric Image (EIAS)
  14. Realsoft 3D
  15. Retas!Pro
  16. Toon Boom Studio
  17. Houdini
  18. Animo

The issues also contains quotes from Jay Roth (Newtek), Andy Lomas (Framestore) and Ton Roosendaal (Blender Foundation) the Talking point section for their reactions on the report. In my research I even came across an interesting discussion on the Newtek forums about Jay Roth's comments. He had some harsh and encouraging comments about Blender:

Blender is a great thing for our industry; it provides access to some pretty cool features that people can get for free, as opposed to using pirated copies of professional software. I like the different approaches it takes for some user interface elements, and it will be interesting to see what, if anything, of those approaches takes hold in other applications.

I do not see Blender as a replacement for professional applications like LightWave in the production pipeline. Production people are on the cutting edge, and they need bullet-proof solutions, and support groups that are right there with answers when problems arise (which will always happen). Modelers, animators, shader writers and technical directors are very demanding, and have incredible demands placed upon them. I know of some who have experimented with Blender in the production context, but none of them have adopted Blender in the pipeline. This could change down the road, but if it does, it will likely take many years to happen.

If you'd like the issue check out your local bookstore or order it online. If you do purchase 3D World Magazine frequently in the book store you might want to consider purchasing a subscription, its quite a discount over retail value. Subscription information can be found here.

A thread has been started at BlenderArtists discussing the issue and report find it here.


  1. wow, that is incredible amount of downloads, if I understand this right, 1.8 billion downloads? Does that sound right? o.0
    Also, I can't believe that Carrara is above Maya.

  2. I think Jay Roth is absolutly right. Blender is a wonderful tool and very powerful but it wont push back the professional solutions for very high quality productions like dreamwork films away because there is need of cutting edge technology in their sourrounding, they are powerful, fast and have a very good support, nothing is more frustrating if you cant do the job because the software does not work.
    BUT in a freelancer sourrounding for commercials like banners, post cards or even small animated spots Blender can be the perfect choice. 1000-2000€ are nothing for studios like dreamworks or pixar but for a single freelancer it is expensive as hell and if you dont use it every day (like photoshop) it is in most cases not worth the money, exspecially if you have to buy updates every year and it is most likly that you do not need most of the tools in there.

  3. I believe it is obvious that those numbers doesn't really really stand for how much individual copies are installed. It sounds very high a number too. Not much people are into graphics. Heck! 80% of everyone I know is computer illiterate.

    Only a very low percentage is really into graphics. I think 1.8 million sounds credible. And even then that number should be divided by 3 because of the first loads and the updates there where last year.

    I think that only a small fraction of that number would be installation that are truly used. Whereas they other commercial packages have their placing because a big part of those users are serious about the installation.

    Face the fact, Blender is known for being abandoned the first week after a first time user tries it out. I have anyway, and years later I came back after reading digital lighting and rendering and discovered Blender's untapped power.

  4. Small typo... Tom Roosendaal?

    " ... The issue also contains quotes from Jay Roth (Newtek), Andy Lomas (Framestore)
    and Tom Roosendaal (Blender Foundation) ... "

    Unless Ton has a brother we don't talk about... ;)

  5. Blender number 1? All Blender users know it's the best of the best. I'm also pretty sure that for every Blender download a user makes, he / she also thinks about the other Open Source / Freeware software out there.

    Think of Elephant's Dream.... proof that you can put together a cinema ready animation using nothing but Open Source software, and that's the value of Blender. This is just the beginning of the the Blender REVOLUTION!!!!

  6. how many!??!?!!!?!?!?!!????!?!!?!?!?!????
    1,800,000,000 !??!?!!!?!?!?!!????!?!!?!?!?!????
    That's full 27.2727272727... percent of persons, living on this planet!!!

  7. I've experienced the differences between an expensive commercial package (3ds Max) and Blender first hand. Currently Blender can't rival the big players in terms of performance and third party support. In certain situations, when the budget is huge and time constraints are extreme, Blender can't compete with what commercial packages have to offer.

    And it'll be interesting to see when it leaves it's dent in Hollywood. Big studios like to modify and customize their tools and they have big budgets AND lots of time, so Blender might one day be the better choice for them.

    It's the extremly large markets of TV commercials and architectural visualization where Blender still falls short.

    I've completed various small scale productions with it and wouldn't want to miss it. In the freelance and small studio market it will likely replace the relatively cheap tools like Cinema 4D, Truespace and Carrara. Especially the possibility to legally deploy numerous copies on various platforms proved very useful time and again.

    It is already an integral part of my workflow and it will steadily creep it's way into more and more production pipelines.

  8. I've used 9 out of the list of 18 in a production environment, and while my choice would still be Maya if I had unlimited funds, I still find myself using blender as the main program or support program in all my professional projects.

  9. I'm not sure about the number, but maybe half of them just download, got confuse with it, not sure what to do with it and never touch it anymore. But at least they hear about blender and got curious with it.

  10. 1.8 billion is not really impossible... if it counts the upgrade downloads. However, even then, it is still a bit improbable to be such a high number IMO... Either way, I'll be one who had downloaded Blender three times in the past year (computer issues). ;)

    Anyway, congrats to Blender! ^_^

  11. I always checkout the newest version from CVS (have to co from svn because of the transition...). I guess checkouts are not counted?

  12. Then again packages like 3dsmax and maya circulate illegaly in rather high numbers. And then won't show up on the stats I think.

  13. I don't think Blender will take over the commercial packages, but it could happen. What I think deters some from adding Blender to their pipeline is support. With the large commercial packages when something goes wrong you can phone up and get support. Blender doesn't have this, and for many businesses that is a key feature.

    Great to hear so many installed copies of Blender! I wonder though, how many are getting used?

  14. This Roncarelli report is really strange. I mean: who is telling them about installed copies? Is Autodesk giving information like "3ds max is sold 500000 times in 2006 but Maya is getting old and no one wants to buy it anymore...".

    Where do this numbers come from?

    And even if they are true or believable: what do they tell ? If I'm into automotive visualisation should I use Blender just because it's in the pole position? "No trimmed class-A NURBS in Blender, but Maya is only number 10 in this Roncarelli report so let's use Blender for everything... No GI in Blender? So let's try Yafray instead of Mental Ray..."

    Sorry, Blender is really great open source software and has features (today) some high end apps lacked some time ago. But if you look at cgsociety or highend3d and other 3d sites, you get the impression, that most of the pros use 3ds max, Maya, Lightwave, XSI, C4D (in this order) and most also use tools like Zbrush or Mudbox, Deep Paint or Bodypaint, VRay, Finalrender, Brazil, Maxwell, Fryrender, etc. Check the galleries of professional 3d sites! You wont find Blender & Yafray/Sunflow/Indigo at them to often. They are all powerful, but most pros need a little bit more or invested a lot of time in learning Max & Maya 5-8 years ago, when Blender was still to young.

    BTW: the 1800000000 Blender copies are right - if you count every Linux distribution that comes with Blender ;-)

  15. I've got the article here, the sub-headline reads:

    "With 1.8 thousand million downloads last year, Blender has made it to the top of the 2006 Roncarelli Report animation software charts"

    What we should remember is that there is all these people who fetch the updated builds, and so on too. Also it's been about for so many years. Though 1.8 thousand million is a huge figure. Interesting article. Newtek basically name-dropped some of their projects (I can think of countless thousands that didn't use LW) and Andy Lomas, CG head of Framestore CFC, said that it's not going to impact the dominance of the main packages ( no mention of LW there ;) but is keeping a close eye on it. which is pretty much what most studios in the real world I imagine are doing.

  16. Well, as long as you don't go to everybodys homes and look on their computers nobody can tell about INSTALLED or USED copies. It maybe the number of DOWNLOADED copies (how do they get this number?). I suppose there are 'normal' Blender users who download a version of Blender several times a year and _use_ the software. Lots of newbies will download, install, try and forget the whole thing. Even more will install Blender without any notice as part of a Linux distribution. So which number is really interesting? I further suppose that there are very few users of commercial software who buy a copy and do not use or even install it then!

    You should not compare apples and pears (german saying), that is downloaded Blender copies with bought and propably installed and used 3DSMax/Maya/XSI/... copies.

    I love Blender, but lets be reasonable ...

  17. "Blender had 1.8 thousand million downloads last year!"

    And 1.7 thousand million uninstalled it after staring at the default cube for three hours. ;-) It's nice to know that we have a lot of downloads, but very few people actually persist with overcoming Blender's learning curve.

  18. The meaning of the numbers is hard to make a lot of sense of, but one thing that is clear is that a lot of people have begun taking an interest in Blender. This news is terrific publicity for Blender.

  19. Out of the top 14 it looks like you can buy versions of all the software for less than $1000 -- except the two autodesk ones (Maya at $1999 and 3dsMax at $3495).

    To me it seems like 3ds Max is overstating their numbers, being so high on the list -- but maybe they're including 30 day free trial and that other free version they give away for game development.

  20. rpgsimmaster on

    The number doesn't sound that unreasonable - users may have more than one version installed on multiple PC's (I myself have 6 versions on 1 pc, 2 on a flash drive, and 1 version on another PC, not to mention I have access to Blender at school, which has been installed both on the server, and on the hard drives of 200+ workstations)

    I'm also not surprised that Carrara is used more than Maya - if we are talking about the Pro version of each. Carrara is cheaper than Maya, but still has enough features to be used privately by professionals. I'm also not surprised that 3DS Max and Maya are both in the top 14, despite costing more than $1000 - they are (currently) the most often used professional package, especially 3DS Max for game development.

    And yes, this publicity is great for Blender... let's hope there's more to come...

  21. hah jay the numbers speaks for themselves, if a lesser percentage of users of blender become professional them we will still have a great margin of advantage over other packages, and that includes support ;).

  22. Blender User on

    Don't forget that for example Knoppix Live-CD and maybe other distros have blender pre-installed. Maybe not the big numbers but if you take 4-5 releases of each of these distro's theres quite a few downloads there...

  23. Is this not unlike the "record" number of downloads of IE7 wherein the operating system downloads IE7 via the system updates? Someone with any old linux distro with a good repository and software distribution system would surely update and download blender releases, as and when they are published?

  24. Sure we all like Blender, but that number is waaay off. 1.8 billion is like the number of people on the planet who use computers. Lets say 1% is into 3D graphics, and knowing people that is actually a very high estimate, maybe 0.5% would be better (out of lets say the 50 people that I know best who use computers NONE do 3D graphics). And 20% from that %-age that actually tried out Blender... that would be 1.8bill * 0.005 * 0.2= 1.8 million. That's more real. Of course I myself have contributed at least 30 official version downloads (all versions since 1.72) and hundreds of CVS versions. Plus I'm nut sure if (and if yes, than HOW???) they counted all the pirate copies of 3Dmax, Maya, etc...

  25. dont forget that blender has SVN versions and many custom builds out there.
    if you have in one year for example 20 daily builds and you are an experimental person who loads every new version, one person alone get 20 downloads per year. Then we have custom builds (for example i have 3 blender builds installed: 2.44, 2.44 with SSE2 and 2.44 with the new particle system) and if we think about new installed systems who have to download blender again because they did not save their blender folder you can easily reach this high number. then there are many hobby game programmer who are using blender for the creation of their test models, even if the tree is only a cylinder and a sphere they still got a blender version. then of cause there where two RC versions and a bugfix version last year so the number can be right. i downloaded blender last year 8 times:
    one time because my hard disk crashed, then one time because i got a new PC, then the RC1, then the RC2, then the official build, then the SSE2 version, then the bugfix version and the SSE2 version of the bugfix

  26. Good article brian!

    Downloads does not mean installs (multiple downloads of multiple versions) and does not mean users of even first time users or that it stays on the machine after the first glance at it.

    That said I would not be surpriced if it's the #1 installed 3d application on all computers in the world.

    i think Jay Roth is doing a little wishfull thinking over there. Blender will definitely step into and take over his market share. Max and Maya are very strong for it's programmability without knowing any C and with it's strong API for people who do know C++ in a customers position. Making it easy extendable without having to know any of the core software.
    The level of control in Maya and Max are far beyond any of the blender tools. Not only for polygon modeling but specially for the animation tools, not even mentioning all the special render tools big companies need.

    For hobbiest, the people at home, the single image (art) people, the small image company, the small movie studio, the artist, the game model creator, and... the programmer, the developer, any one who needs a 3d framework: Blender is or will be the prefered tool.

  27. 2 things :

    - This indicate that Blender has became the "standart" 3D animation tools, with the special hability to be well in view on the desk of lots of kids and teens, at school or at home, thus being the first learning tool for 3D.
    And thus having the hability to be the first semi-pro 3d app for all the young in the future, including young small studios...
    It only needs ... teachers.

    - This is the superposition of 2 phenomenon : free software (0 $/€/...) and opensource community driven development. the first being responsible for the number of download, the second responsible for the speed of development since blender was freed from closed licence that has kept Blender in the top for usability and features. (without which it would have stayed 2nd zone software)

    Blender is still "young" in its opensource form, and I think the industry has not already took the risk for the 3D part, but some has already for the 2D... cinepaint ands OpenEXR are ILM/pixar tech, blender could be part of the workflow without doubt... they have the ressources for internal dev, and could easely adapt at their need.

    The Asian and African "makets" are also very developing now, with budgets smaller and needs for small/easy/reusable software, blender is realy well adapted for that.

  28. Wow, 1.8 thousand millions is a huge number, even if it is not that unreasonable and even if it's only about downloads and not the actual installations - but remember, even if only 1% of these downloads are actually used, it is most impressive.

    Jay Roth tells the truth, in my opinion and as far as I can judge it, but I also think, that he may underestimates Blender's future of development - it seems to be speeding up at the moment, which adds good features and therefore attracts more users, which most likely leads to an even better / faster development. Exciting times for us Blenderheads...

  29. Þiðrekr on

    Well, the first thing that came to mind is the fact that this statistic is based on number of installations, rather than number of active users. I'd say that it does make a practical distinction in that you'd imagine that every paid installation of 3DS MAX, Maya, etc. is being used for professional purposes. Blender, on the other hand, since it is free, can be installed by anyone, productive or otherwise.

    That's not to say that that's a bad thing, per se. Blender has allowed far more people exposure to high-quality 3D than ever before, and, if needed, most of these skills can be transferred to the other programs. But I'd just say that all these statistics really end up showing is that there are far more industries using certain softwares than others. Maya, for example, may be #10 on that list, but that's because there's fewer companies that require Hollywood-grade special effects, which is what that program is known for, and Maya costs a lot of money correspondingly. Those with different needs, such as broadcast television stations, are using the cheaper programs like Cinema4D and 3DS MAX, and there are far more of these people spread around the world than there are Hollywood special effects houses.

  30. 1.8 Billion (for Europe = Mrd.) downloads sounds very much.
    But devide it by the number of releases!!!
    I think then its only a usage by 600.000 users at maximum.
    So the meaning of the statistic is very useless!

    On the other hand it applies to 3D-Tools that quality weights more than quantity!

    Can I earn money with such "bad" articles too???

  31. Lord Thaddius on

    I have to say I'm impressed with the media coverage of Blender. I looked at blender when it first opened it doors and .. well, honestly I just walked away. But it's come so far since then. I've downloaded it myself about 10 - 15 times just in the last few months for friends (noobs with no internet!) or because I keep losing my downloads ...

    Honestly though, I only have it for the hobbiest in me. I'd love to say I use all Open Source stuff, but Blender doesn't compare to 3ds max or zbrush or mudbox ... it is the BEST open source software out there. But it has a ways to go to become a heavy hitter such as those programs.

    Long way to go .. yet the rate these folks are running, it shouldn't be too long until they're making huge splashes.

    I rented Pixar's 'Toy Story' a few weeks ago for my son. I was watching it and thinking .. "Dang, Blender could have done this so much better ..." and it's true. When that movie came out it was the WOW of all movies. But .. watch it now and you'll nearly laugh. ESPECIALLY the movie short about a baby and toys. The baby was .. well, scary looking. NOT very good. But look at their stuff now ... a decade later and kickin butt. Gives me a huge hope and excitement when looking at Blender and knowing that just in th epast few years they've made massive changes that took other companies longer ... and Blender is STILL free!!

    Not really commercial ready on a large pipeline .. but, if I can figure out this dag GUI I think I'll put it in my daily programs to use.

  32. That baby movie is called Tin Toy and it is was released in 1989 or so I think? Back then we had 16 bits computers with crappy 8 colours sprite. Rendering a shiny metal ball on a checkerboard took an hour and a half to render on a Amiga 500. Tin Toy was great for its time because it was the first time they really used organic shapes. And the shaders are ok. Pixar really set the standard back then. The drool, the cellophane window of the box, those were all effect way ahead of their time. Of course now it is totally laughable.

    Toy Story can be done with Blender, but due to the nature of Renderman being a Reyes renderer with subpixel displacement, I highly doubt it that Toy Story could be made with Blender that easily as you think. Furthermore, everything was Nurbs, so resolution independent. Yes it can be done, but if you watch carefully at how the use shaders, textures etc, it won't be easy to do such a thing in Blender.

    I hope that Blender one day soon will knock every competition of their socks. It seems production ready now (Elephant Dreams, nodes, EXR etc), but there are some things missing or incomplete to make it a feasible choice for big studios (even better rigging tools, better render engine, programmable shaders, LOD etc)

  33. I agree and disagree with the article.

    The number of downloads doesn't shock me at all. What I have a problem with is the comment concerning blender's competitiveness with "pro" apps.

    He obviously does not understand what Open Source is all about. Not very long ago they said the same thing about Linux. Now Linux and Open Source Software is the main server software on the planet. All of the big players use it. Once the user base swells to the proportions that blender has reached, real and rapid progress happens with it. You will see. The trick will be to stay up to speed with its development. You will not have to worry about it stagnating.

    I still have the version of blender that required a "C" key before it went FOSS. I'm very grateful that Ton had the COURAGE to open blender up and that there was a community of users willing to pitch in to purchase the IP. I have one of the original copies of the first blender 2.3 guides (with the horrible misprinted graphics and page fauxpa). It will be worth its weight in gold in no time. You will see.

  34. @Lord Thaddius:
    You say,"Toy Story can be done with Blender". But you're comparing apples with pears!
    First is that "Toy Story" is from 1995 and was the first completely animated Hollywood movie.
    Things like "Elephants Dream" were possible with f.e. Maya in 2000.
    Today Pixar animations take a rendertime of roundabout 35 hours for 1 frame!

    Many people think Blender will get the same level with tools like Maya in 1 or 2 years.
    I know Blender-user who told me 3 years before - in 2004!!
    But that will never will be. There are many reasons for that. And I will not write them down here (it would take 3 pages!!).

    Blender is a good tool for getting in the world of CGI.
    But it will never replace the commercial tools.

    The reasons for the ranking are different. One tool is for free, the second is cheap, the third is a tool for movie-animations. Flash is from Adobe and there's only 1 (!) product like this! Houdini is too expensive for hobby-users. For the other rankings I would find reasons too.

    If I would be the owner of 3d World, I would never publicate this subjective report!!!
    this because it reflects not the reasons and the reality. 3DSmax f.e. has over 1 Billion (in Europe = 1 Mrd.) REGISTERED users!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. @Lord Thaddius:
    You say,"Toy Story can be done with Blender". But you're comparing apples with pears!
    First is that "Toy Story" is from 1995 and was the first completely animated Hollywood movie.
    Things like "Elephants Dream" were possible with f.e. Maya in 2000.
    Today Pixar animations take a rendertime of roundabout 35 hours for 1 frame!

    Many people think Blender will get the same level with tools like Maya in 1 or 2 years.
    I know Blender-user who told me 3 years before - in 2004!!
    But that will never will be. There are many reasons for that. And I will not write them down here (it would take 3 pages!!).

    Blender is a good tool for getting in the world of CGI.
    But it will never replace the commercial tools.

    The reasons for the ranking are different. One tool is for free, the second is cheap, the third is a tool for movie-animations. Flash is from Adobe and there's only 1 (!) product like this! Houdini is too expensive for hobby-users. For the other rankings I would find reasons too.

    If I would be the owner of 3d World, I would never publicate this subjective report!!!
    this because it reflects not the reasons and the reality. 3DSmax f.e. has over 1 Million REGISTERED users!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. Knax alternative 3D app report - based on counting gallery entries
    at cgsociety and highend3d (12/2006)

    Why this was deleted as being not "constructive" ? Blendernation not happy with this statistics?
    Not enough Blender in it? Wanting free software but no free speech?

    general 3d apps:
    3dsm: 97
    Maya: 35
    C4D : 18
    LW : 15
    XSI : 12
    Carrara: 4
    Shade: 2
    Viz: 2
    Vue: 2

    tools & modelers:
    Zbrush: 38
    Rhino: 2
    Poser: 2
    Wings3d: 1
    xfrog: 1

    BodyPaint3D: 5
    DeepPaint3D: 3

    MR: 28
    Vray: 35
    Brazil: 10
    finalRender: 3
    Maxwell: 2

    Highend3D: most viewed gallery, 722 pictures in total

    general 3D apps:
    Maya: 215
    3dsm: 190
    XSI: 40
    LW: 39
    C4D: 28
    SI3D: 26
    Blender: 6
    VIZ: 6
    Modo: 2
    Shade: 1

    Zbrush: 33
    Rhino: 15
    BodyPaint: 8

    Vray: 42
    Lightscape: 19

  37. LightWave a bullet proof application? Well, one or two years ago a lot of users complained about many crashes and an application that was far away from being stable. So it may be something like ... cotton proof. ;) Don't know if the latest release is better now.

  38. @Knax: Thank you!! That's what I am saying!!
    Both websites are the most important platforms for CGI in the web.
    Blender???? What is it??? Where is it???
    @Xtra: The LightWave community is very big!!

  39. blenders great but its not number 1. I'm not sure there is a number 1. Make more pretty pictures to get the word out. this sort of thing is meaningless.. that said it is nice to see blender downloaded so much

  40. Why should it be important if Blender is "number one" ? It may be important for commercial applications to have enough paying customers as a user base. But Blender Foundation is not getting more money (for more paid developers or support) only from downloads.

    If you want to help them, buy the books and stuff or donate!

    Blender has one big plus as an open source tool: it can't vanish any more. Maybe Newtek or Maxon is gone in some time or get's bought be Autodesk... and them LW or C4D is gone and there are no updates anymore and you have to invest time in learning another app. This can't happen to OSS. If there is nowone developing Blender any more: well you could do it yourself, you've got the code.

  41. I think Jay Roth talks vacuous shite. As you would expect from someone in the vested interest industry.

    >"I do not see Blender as a replacement for professional applications like LightWave in the production pipeline."

    If it wasn't for Blender I wouldn't even have a professional 3D production pipeline.

    >"they need bullet-proof solutions, and support groups that are right there with answers when problems arise (which will always happen)"

    If problems will always arise then it's hardly a bullet proof solution then is it?

    'Professionals' have to use 'professional' software because every other 'professional' uses 'professional' software. Which is not necessarily a refletion on the quality of that software.

  42. Casey R Williams on

    Yes, what indeed is up with that cube? The first time I tried blender, I thought it was part of the interface like a widget or something. I know I've downloaded many version of blender (I even have a few books!), but everytime I try blender it does exactly the opposite of what I want it to do. The camera and mouse buttons seem especially counter-intuitive. No one ever wants to admit this about blender, but it's particularly hard to learn coming from almost anything else. Lightwave to Truespace? No big deal. Maya to Max? No big deal. Anything to blender? Ack!

  43. >"Yes, what indeed is up with that cube? The first time I tried blender, I thought it was part of the interface like a widget or something."

    So it never occurred to you that it might just be a cube? Oh dear.

    >"No one ever wants to admit this about blender, but it's particularly hard to learn"

    It's funny how now one ever wants to admit that they might be particularly hard of learning.

    >"Lightwave to Truespace? No big deal. Maya to Max? No big deal."

    So you want all 3D software to operate the same way so you don't have to think? Never considered that there may be a different, or possibly better way of doing things?

    I had never used a 3D prog before Blender and I found it very intuative, logical and quick to pick up.

  44. >"Yes, what indeed is up with that cube? The first time I tried blender, I thought it was part of the interface like a widget or something."

    Did you never think it might just be a cube? Oh dear.

    >"No one ever wants to admit this about blender, but it's particularly hard to learn"

    And it's funny how no one ever wants to admit that they might be particularly hard of learning.

  45. Some questions to consider:

    When many more users are using a program, do they have the potential to change the nature of the market and the software, especially if it's open source?
    Can users become developers and/or production-house owners too?
    Would they suddenly get rid of the software they're most familiar with if they did?
    What if more and more production-houses started using Blender?

    What does cutting-edge really mean anyway?
    Is open source cutting-edge?
    If you can modify a program and share it, is that cutting-edge?
    Is $0 cost for a program and upgrades amount to a kind of cutting edge (such as in terms of cutting-edge economic competition)?
    Is "cutting-edge" for some things sometimes more about marketing, (need-creation) and advertising than anything else?
    Can one enjoy the fruits of something that's less than so-called cutting-edge?
    Does quality of end-product/service always depend on cutting-edge?
    Cutting-edge what? Service? Accessibility? Ease-of-use? Flexibility? Community-involvement? Number of users ;) ?

    Is a corporation, and dealing with one, cutting-edge? Or is it going backwards?

    "One central theme of the documentary is an attempt to assess the 'personality' of the corporate 'person' by using diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV; Robert Hare, a University of British Columbia Psychology Professor and FBI consultant, compares the modern, profit-driven corporation to that of a clinically diagnosed psychopath."

  46. Hernan Tapia on

    I think at this point, that the number of downloads show us that Blender have a lot
    of potential users. Now the way we use to show them how Blender works quickly is more important, thinks like "I opened the app, see the interface, feel shocked then closed" is a chain from the past that Blender still carrie.

    Blender don´t need to replace Profesional Aplications, the true power of Blender is to be usefull in the first steps of the works (is only one of the many tools we use to accomplish any project), like a "enapkin (electronic napkin)" to figured out an idea (I´m thinking about many designers that have brilliant ideas first drawing in napkins).

  47. Casey R Williams on

    "I had never used a 3D prog before Blender and I found it very intuative, logical and quick to pick up."

    Then yours is the experience I was referring to. I was speaking of blender in terms of industry acceptance, attracting new users and whether or not the majority of people who download it actually use it. I maintain, simply, that it is much easier to learn blender if you aren't coming from another, more "industry-standard" program. You can't do your own thing all of the time and then blame everyone else for "not getting it".

  48. The statistics show in my opinion that many people are coming into the market through Blender.

    The statistics don't say anything about Blender being better, nor any other program.

    The question is tho, in years to come will Blender become a standard for the amount of people that use it as a stepping stone to get a job in the graphics industry?

    Who knows that might mean 3DsMax/Maya/Lightwave/... may have to redesign their interfaces to suit what more graphic artists are comfortable with... the Blender interface.

  49. Hello, guys there.....

    I think, one thing making this statistic this contraversial is the evaluation manner of Blender. I mean, apparently, there are some people here, who want to draw from the stats an idea that Blender is super or competitive against other commercially successful apps in its 3d/animation capability/performance aspects also, not that it is just free and popular.

    In fact, I am a Blender fan, and therefore, wish to be frank and sincere about Blender.
    While I am not a professional graphic man, I long for being one, and have tried other
    representative apps like 3ds Max, Maya, True Space, XSI in their demo versions, and relatively minor ones like Shade, Wings3D.

    I then found that Max and Maya are great, but are not affordable. To be precise, they are great but lack the balance between the cost and performance/features to me, and probably for many people also. And Blender may not be catching up at this point of time, unfortunately.

    However, the uniquely great and invaluable aspect of Blender is that it has opened the would-otherwise-have-been-long-closed door to the 3d world for tons of 3d graphic lovers and fans around the globe. And, in my opinion, Blender was able to do it because - not especially because it is free, look at other free apps in this genre - it has some attractiveness in itself. And the attractiveness is made up of more than one elements. The first element is its modern level of 3d graphic performance and features implemented by enthusiastic and intelligent developers, and the 2nd is, which I think is very important, the Blender's user interface ( although it may need further improvements ), and the 3rd is its adequate stability, and 4th is open source - and maybe more. All these features combined are making Blender the world's most popular ( installation base ) 3d graphic application.

    To me, and probably to lots of people, Blender is a wonder and a tool that lets us join in the 3d graphic art creation without any reservation or restriction, instead of keeps us only accepting/enjoying other people's artworks. Blender has increased, and will keep on increasing, the number of people involved in 3d artwork creation and subsequently the number of potential great artists, which definitely contributes to the development of 3d graphic world itself and has not been done by other expensive 3d apps.

    Many thanks to Blender developers and supporters, and wish them and Blender good luck and bright future, while hoping that Blender will rival other currently great commercial apps in a near future...

  50. r4f4: "great……,blender is the best 3d software."

    Blender may be the most cost effective 3d application. No cost - tons of features.
    It's surely not the most feature rich 3d app (all of these have more features:
    Houdini Master, Maya Unlimited, XSI Advanced, 3ds MAX, Lightwave, Cinema 4D Studio) .

    It's not the 3d app with the best renderer. (Mental Ray, PR Renderman, VRay, Maxwell, ...)

    But it's surely the best open source general 3d app. There are also lots of exporters for
    oss (or freeware) renderer with features the build in raytracer lacks (different kinds of GI,
    HDRI, ... or SSS until recent release).

    I think Blender is a useful add-on for even professional CGI pipe-lines. There are some features
    like fluid simulation that are really really cool, even if you own a license for C4D or LW
    or even the "smaller versions" of Maya or XSI.

    Some modelling capabilities like multi-res sculpt are also very promising. May not be an
    alternative for Zbrush 3 or Mudbox, but new modellers like Silo 2 and Hexagon 2 have to
    justifiy their price/feature ratio... (ok, Silo is no big investment and the workflow seems more
    streamlined than Blender to me; but Hexagon may be at a dead end since the Eovia tekeover
    through DAZ (as the Hexagon (Amapi) dev team is with e-frontier now)).

  51. Some of us seem to talk about features as if every single one of them are used or needed...
    You can create a perfectly fine animation with Blender using half its features.

    Others seem to equate free (gratis) with "less-than-professional", and expensive with "professional".
    You can create a perfectly professional work with Blender-- again using half its features.
    (And then there's retro 3D.)

    Consider this:

    "Software development activity is (much) more than for 'software for sale'

    Many people believe that the majority of software development activity is involved in creating software for sale. This is a very long way from reality. Whilst the statistics are hard to pin down, almost every estimate places this 'software for sale' activity at under 20% of total software development - and some figures place it below 10% of all software development activity.

    So, if 70% to 80% or more of all software development activity is aimed at creating software that is not for sale, what software is being produced?

    Unsurprisingly, it is in-house development - creating software to meet the specific needs of an organization - that results in the majority of software development activity...

    Using open source methods to reduce the costs of in-house development has considerable potential for many organisations." --

    Enter Blender. :)

  52. @Tatsu: Your statement is about a hobbyist. You didnt work with any other application!!
    You should go to a roadshow of Autodesk, Houdini, LightWave or XSI to see what the full-versions offer.
    The PLEs are at the most the lowest basement!!
    I know what I am saying, because I am working with Maya for now over 4 years.
    But Blender is also installed on my system. Although there's no reason for me to work with it.
    One reason is the incompatibility to (all) other tools and Blenders bad GUI. Its the most bad I've ever seen.
    This is a more objective position than yours! Sorry, guy!

    @Knax: Thank you for your balanced opinion!

    I dont think Blender is that "bad".
    And I am very disappointed that in Blender-Forums all the Blender-Users say that other tools are the badest.
    For the Maya-Community Blender is OK, but not the primary thing (of course)! The peoble there are more liberal to Blender than you folks are to other tools!
    Go and make money with Blender or dont talk cheap about commercial software!

  53. "Blender may be the most cost effective 3d application."

    If it really is, then it will definitely find a place in commercial pipelines, because cost effectiveness is the name of the game in business. But right now, it's not actually the most cost effective, certainly not to switch over to, because the cost of training and finding skilled people is very high, and still the vast majority of professionals are skilled in other applications besides Blender.

    That's a big reason why Blender will take time to get into industry. But with the massive expansion of young "pre-professional" Blender users, this will change fast over the next couple of years, and this will create a big challenge for commercial apps. Of course in a few years Blender's features will also have continued to improve. As other apps' prices drop, so do their R&D budgets, so I think it's pretty much inevitable that the feature gap will narrow.

    One of the milestones Roncarelli predicts is a feature film being released in Blender, and indeed, that is about to happen.

    Also, as others (including Jay Roth) have mentioned, professional level tech support is key for Blender's adoption in big projects, and I think there will be an increasing demand for that in the future. All you Blenderheads wondering whether you're going to be able to get jobs with it? That's your cue...

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