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About the Author

Avatar image for Bart Veldhuizen
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 ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.


  1. I have a question. From Ton's interview I can deduce that Blender is open-source but is *still* owned by the original investors. Is that true?

    Hope not :(

  2. @Hegde:

    This only applies the original code, as being GPL-ed in 2002. All additions since then were either under copyright of Blender Foundation (most of it), or under copyrights of contributors (typically libraries like for fluids or physics).

  3. I loved this - very cool. And I loved his UI explanation.
    I had some emails with Ton a while ago and he's very kind, helpful and encouraging. Not very many people who have the position he has would even bother replying to the inquiry had ...

  4. HAHAHA, Blender community is like a bunch of rednecks who wants to beat the Hollywood! Man, that was funny! I love this interview!

  5. it must feel amazing to know you're making history! you know you (devs/contributors) are making history, right? maybe not the goal, but that's how it's panning out.

    Ton must be referring to the rednecks here in the u.s.--certainly they don't have rednecks in the Netherlands!?

    cheers, and thanks for the great interview =)


  6. I like how Ton talks honestly how he felt at the beginning about the whole Open Source Blender community. I think it is always great to have a humble, but motivated leader, who knows it is important to have goals and to set the goals always a step (or two) higher.
    I don't think it will be easy for you Ton to let the "children" become the leaders - but I hope this will not be very soon.

  7. This interview reminds me that Blender is the best example of open-source I have seen yet. Ton is the coolest!

  8. Awesome interview. I'm currently learning Blender (was a 3dsmax user) and this interview made me wish I had learned the program a long time ago. I like how he figured out how to make money while still keeping the the program open and the community involved. This should be the way of the future. I want to donate for the next open movie!

  9. Ton, you are on point. Only some one that comes from an artist background can see the present world structures towards artist in it true light. Cold.

    I'm trying to give a lot this year my self .

    I use to use 3dsmax then XSI and now it's blender.

    I've seen what you said about being a pianist. Now everyone is a 3d artist and want to do it for cheaper and cheaper . This undercuts the guys will solid 3d experience as employer look only to cost cutting to make money thus making the 3d field saturated and hard to make a living from.

    Anyways cheers. Ton you are doing a good job. Everyone else (I'll try to look up the other main developers), good job.

    Oh! as for the UI it is good as is.

    Let me explain. Do not change it much. People that hire 3d artist and video editors look at them while they work and because they can follow what you do in the interface get really nasty toward you.

    Why? because the can plainly see what you do . So to them it is not special and they think can do it them selves or pay you less because to them it appears easy because they can understand what you need to do in the software.

    I would not make the UI simpler to understand as it is. ( take all that energy and help to making or motivating the Bmesh team to solve the cut tools for better modeling).

    The Editing and composting are all awesome I use them a lot as I came for a video editing background.

    Learning hot to program in c++. So maybe I can contribute in a tangible way in the future for free. :) (I'll stop my book here)

    Love the interview and cheers!

  10. @_dyf: This interview was conducted for the Wintercamp (, so all questions are related to that. I was the first interviewee for the Wintercamp anyway, so I got interviewed by Geert Lovink, and all the other interviewers sat there just to get a feel of how to conduct the rest of the interviews.

    I probably could've talked about this subject for a long time, but also I could talk a lot about development :) I might write up a larger article about my personal experiences and opinions of developing in Blender - I had a brief moment where I thought I could make it some kind of video self-interview, but we'll have to see about that ;)

    @xsinick - learn C first, the core is done in that :)


  11. Ton rules! :D
    He's one of the most altruistic souls I've met on this planet. The way he sees blender is just reflecting the way he sees life. He's a great human being and I loved the part where he feels blender as a big family. I feel I'm part of it and I'm sure all the others here using blender feel the same one way or another.
    This was a nice "virtual hug" Ton gave us all! Go and try to get that from Autodesk! lol! ;)

    Alvaro F. celis

  12. Mark Fernandes on

    Thank you for the interview.

    Being a regular contributor to the books, open source movies, and the
    open source games I was amused and delighted to see that Ton takes the
    credits at the end of the movies and on the game pretty seriously. Hey
    Ton, I am one of those guys who felt hurt when I did not see my name
    in one of those lists but I still continue to contribute because of
    the remarkable work that you and the community continues to do.
    Releasing everything as Open Content and GPL helps too! :)

    Although I do not follow Blender news on a daily basis and my work
    does not involve using Blender daily, yet I download and play with
    Blender just to see whats new. I am happy to say that over the years
    Blender has continued to becomes better and better at 3D modeling,
    animation, making games and even in learning to use Blender.

    Could we have more videos like this one on all things Blender related
    please. I liked the quality, sound and the production quality of this


    Mark Fernandes.

  13. @Mark Fernandes

    These two interviews were done for the Wintercamp, as I already noted earlier. They had a professional guy doing the production, with professional equipment.

    That said, I also like the quality of the interviews - we definitely could use this kind of interviews more.


  14. @Jitendra: yup in deed, my wife said the same. I say he looks like Doctor House ;)
    But he gives me the feeling of a huge-caring giant bear, or one of those wise trees from LOTR. :D

  15. @Nathan
    i'll be so looking forward to some sort of video presentation about some aspects of development.. they asked you mostly about the blender foundation and the institute, which Ton would've been more suitable for..


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