You're blocking ads, which pay for BlenderNation. Read about other ways to support us.

7 Important discoveries from the 2009 Blender Conference


front_door1-540x405Andrew Price wrote down the 7 biggest 'discoveries' of the Blender Conference 2009.

Andrew writes:

This years Blender Conference was one of the biggest ever. With over 200 attendees, 40 presenters, and topics ranging from 2.5 updates to protein expressions, there was a lot to take in.

So here are the 7 most important topics discussed at this year's conference…


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. My favorite part: „5. Enthusiastic users are scarying away the public"
    Ton was talking about blender community, but it can be applied to anybody else.
    Fanboys are just annoying.

  2. Ah! That's all good stuff.

    Yip I have experienced first hand what it's like to be a new Blender user and not know how to use it and get frustrated. However there are so many tuturials out there, but they are scattered. It's best to buy one of the Blender books, but with 2.5 out, that could change as the interface does.

    Actually I learned Blender by following the Noob to Pro, and that's something I think should be updated as it really did teach me a lot!!!!! Anyhow, good to hear that noobs are being thought about now, and I hope they get the care they deserve! :)


    I also found out what it's like to be battered and flamed by people when I mention something non-Blender.

    I will not post who and where here, but I once mentioned ZBrush, Microsoft Windows and Photoshop in the same sentence on a Blender forum (not the main one so don't bother looking) and nearly had to run for my life when a massive flaming war started because of it!!

    I kid you not as a new Blender user I was so shocked!

    I only asked if someone had developed a good work flow using Blender, ZBrush, Photoshop under windows. The reaction was nothing short of scary!!

    I mean people actually said things like "Why use Photoshop! It's overpriced scamware!" and one person actually said something like "Blender can do everything ZBrush can and more, you don't need ZBrush!"

    Honestly, I was shocked, clearly some of these people didn't use either PS or ZB but still chose to flame me for using them? Not nice.

    I very nearly quit Blender all together, but in those early days I stuck with it. I have never been so glad I stuck with something, but I think the Blender community in parts needs to be less cult like sometimes.

    I remember a VERY nasty flame war that started right here at Blender nation when Microsoft contacted Ton about open source software. EVERYONE went like a bunch of fanatic paranoids and we nearly lost a very important person in the Blender community because of it.

    Blender is mind bogglingly awesome! It really is amazing, and most of the people in the community are wonderful kind and helpful people. But people need to be a bit more flexible if Blender is going to take over the world and be used in studios everywhere. (insert irony here) ;)

    I fully believe that commercial studios can be put off by the reactions of certain blender fanatics and that's not good.

    Embrace the love people, it's all good! :)

  3. Hi,

    Great report by Andrew! He did make a mistake though; the talk about 'etiquette' was an initative by Tom Musgrove, and although his talk topics made a lot of sense, I'm personally not worried at all. Blender has been getting bad PR forever, and our fanbois have been bashing other programs forever too. I'm used to it, and can only witness it gets less even. :)


  4. Awesome report!

    dusty, sorry to hear that. I can say I have personally seen blender users take thrashings for years in other forums. So I guess it has become a bit of a war. However Ton is right, it is getting less and less.

    Thanks again!

    EDIT: I just saw you mentioned the famous Microsoft post. Now there is one flame war I will jump into.

    Microsoft sucks!

    OK go at it boys and girls! :)

    ccherrett grabs the popcorn!

  5. Thanks for writing up a report, Andrew, I enjoyed the read very much!

    I don't understand the part about the documentation, though. I actually find that Blender is one of the best documented free software package out there.

    We have a whole wiki with a manual that covers nearly everything about Blender, certainly enough to get a new user started. Some sections might apply to older Blender versions, but most of the info is still very helpful. I'm referring constantly to it and am very greatful to the people who give their time to work on the wiki.

    Most of the questions I see in #blender on freenode are easily answered if the people would just bother to read over the introduction chapters, alfter all. Help -> Manual gets you there.

  6. The blender etiquette was a good idea, it's difficult though!
    Probably the reason people pop up and put down certain elements
    of blender is just because they are frustrated new users of blender.

  7. @dusty: I made (and make) the same experience about the Blender society!!
    Sorry guys, but you are the most intolerant among the CG-users!!
    And it's a sad thing to see that you have to get education in good habits!
    You can even go on a Autodesk event and say you are using Blender!! All is OK!
    But go in a Blender-forum and say you are using other tools than Blender!! That's often dangerous!!
    We all live on the same planet! So PLEASE be more tolerant!

  8. I just gotta hate point 5 on the this meant as some kind of educational correctional statements that people are trying to convey there....
    well if u like to see blender as the bad kid of 3d suites and its users as some kind of rowdies wich need to be spanked for their loudmouth, well go ahead :(

    I don't get it...the first thing now to happen is that any unrelated user will come along and blow the whistle that blender users are generally some dorks wich just complain about expensive software packages while holding up some demo software wich can'T do crap and even worse comes from the netherlands :S ( i know its worldwide;))
    I don't care wich software someone uses and what he had to afford to make it work...the result is whats important not a political statement toward some software....
    tho i like blenders statement about open source and community, but thats a personal preference

    Finally we got to the point where 3d packages turned into a subject involving hooligans,
    I m not sure if this will help alot.

    @ slurpy

    i think your statements is quite general could almost say its intolerant :P
    Its fine to know that someone even can go to a autodesk presentation who is using blender will not be shot at sight or expelled from the room as soon they know about it, this somehow has this..'and nobody gets hurt' feeling to it.
    I'm often roaming tutorials sites for maya and max too ( cuz I think the techniques are often applyable in any package) and theres too people around wich suck, its like that in the whole world and is no blender exclusive!!!

    "But people need to be a bit more flexible if Blender is going to take over the world and be used in studios everywhere.''

    isnt that exactly the type of bs that u tried to criticize ??? i guess this was meant sort of ironicly..

    best regards
    ( today kinda deprived, and labeled one of the most intolerant users in the cg world) Nixon

    i thought about the free being a selling statement point..
    (free and selling is kinda opposite anyway)

    my conclusion is that its being open source and flexible in terms of usage (proteines, fire saftey etc.) wil allow people , organisations maybe even states to work on issues wich they without it might not be able to afford a commercial product for. So this is indeed a strong point and shouldn't be overseen.

    Think of the applications wich could help poor countries or social entities. Its a pro of open source in general that it enables everyone to approach subjects even if they can't afford major packages. I like that even poor governments are able to use linux to run their comps and maybe manage to get a better health care systems or whatever....

  9. @Nixon
    LOL!!! Yeah sorry, it was supposed to be an ironic comment. But as there are no inflections in text... well you know.....

    And I guess that kind of adds to the flames some days.

  10. Sorry just to clear something up, I just want to repeat a line in my first comment on this page:
    "Most of the people in the community are wonderful, kind and helpful people."

    and I really meant that!!!

    I just wanted to emphasise this. ;)

  11. @ slurpy

    These days it seems people are not so willing to attack blender in other forums. Not so long ago it was not this way. Check the old release posts for Blender on CGTalk. People would rush in to make sure everyone knew blender sucked. Well they are coming near the end of the list for being able to say that so it has become easier to say everyone get along. But some people remember how nasty it was.


  12. @ dusty
    Didnt mean to offend i just didn't understand the line at first / or on the whole..and i completely agree with your 2nd statement :)

    might definetly be a point..i can't remind the times however been approached by rl guys who tried to convince me better not to start with blender at all since other packages are more common...they usually been very persistent and I didnt see the point especially when themselves weren'T very much educated in terms of 3d suites at all and seemed to repeat some general statements :/
    now I'm happy i didnt listen!

    Gimps great too! Sometimes people even seem to complain more when somethings open source than about the shortcomings of something they had to pay decent ammount of money for.
    After all this is brought to us by people wich have a sense of fariness and develop things with passion for the software even tho they can't be sure that it will pay off monetarily in the short run!
    Somehow this boils down into the open source-PR discussion.
    For me i know wich side i prefer :P

  13. Point 5 - worst point - ever. As much as I like Tom ( and love his serious, dedicated enthusiasm and hard work)
    that point still shocks me.

    I'm still in shock.

    Blender was BUILT on enthusiasm!

    I do NOT want elitism to take over Blender. Blender is the PEOPLES tool, everyone who wants to
    use it, everyone who wants to promote it, play with it, make GREAT art with it, fall in love with it!

    I refrained from writing an opinion on point 5 for hours, just to calm down - but I can't. Point 5 is the most obnoxious, stuck-up elitist piece of crap I've ever heard. Sorry for those harsh words, but I can't express it clearer than that - my bad!

  14. point 5 tweaks me a little too... but I DO agree in general. My peeves are more with a few of the bullet items.

    " talking about incomplete or unreleased features?" Uh, if so isn't that somewhat counterproductive for an OS app like blender? For instance a dev log/blog updating the status and a "roadblock" that one coder comes up against can be (maybe quickly) overcome by someone with more experience.

    Focusing on free bothers me a little too. Yeah, it's not THE selling point, but it IS an attractive "gateway" to new younger users interested in such things. Look at Colin, he was doing this at what, 13? What kid can slap down a few hundred dollars for a program that they may or may not stick with? Even if it's just a hobby how many of the big names in blender coding started early? Lets face it, in terms of the professional world money is money and time is money. If Blender can develop a bit further and fit into workflows it will be adopted and gain more of that "professional" clout that attracts positive attention as well as possibly more developers, which lead to a better program in the end.

    The "bash everything else attitude", as well as the "everyone should apply my viewpoint to what is made with blender" being big negatives. I'm all for enthusiasm as long as it's somewhat grounded in reality, if you're going to preach the wonders of blender at least honestly compare, whenever possible through hands on use, the differences, pros and cons, of other software. Label opinions as such and be polite. I know it's the internet, so that's a stretch. There are people in this, as well as every other community, who misbehave, but some of the attitudes in the blender community are worse than spoiled children throwing a tantrum, more then other communities.

  15. A typical CGTalk Blender Announcement thread.

    person 1: Blender has just reached version X.XX... The new features are ..... check out some demos here... and download a version here....

    person 2: Great stuff - thankyou blender devs...

    person 3: Blender is the Bestest Software ever. So much better than those Proprietary programs that cost thousands of dollars... Commercial software package x sucks...

    person 4: I tried Blender once - The UI was so horrible that I ran away screaming after 5 minutes. Have they fixed that...

    person 3: What are you talking about Blender's interface is Awesome. Blender is the best.

    person5: Yes I know blenders interface is a bit much at first but it is quite nice to use when you get used to it - trust me...

    person6: Blender should use industry standard interface conventions like package X, Package Y and Package Z. It is too much to relearn all those things for one program.

    person 7: Blenders interface is not fit to wipe my bottom on. They should rewrite it from scratch.


    person 8: I have been around for a long time and used a lot of different softwares and I have found that blender is lacking in advanced functionality in a lot of areas.

    person 9: You don't need to do that... Blender is the best.

    person 10: Proprietory software X is light years ahead of Blender in functionality. Blender sucks.

    person 3: No blender is the best.. I love blender.


    person 11: hello I am a blender developer - person 8 we are well aware of the limitations of blender compared to softwares X, Y and Z. We are working on some of those issues.....

  16. Hi all,

    the notes from my talk will be online in the next day or so. Hopefully seeing the complete talk wil help to clear up any confusion.

    Point 5 I agree is a bit controversial and the bullet point doesn't convey well what I was intending. For instance I've seen numerous discussion about BMesh and other features that at the time of the discussion, the integration of the feature into a released version of Blender was 2 years in the future. Yet the person doing the discussion was talking as if it would be released with the next version.

    The point was more to make it clear that out of branch features have uncertain futures and in some cases may never make it into head (ie there was an ocean simulator) and thus when talking about them, one really needs to be clear on their status.


  17. Oh no, i started a flame war between people who liked point 5 and people who don't.

    slurpy said: „Sorry guys, but you are the most intolerant among the CG-users!!"
    Commercial sw has also fanboys. I still remember the time, when Autodesk bought ALias. Maya user were whining about how Autodesk will discontinue Maya, to make place on the market for 3DS MAX.

    @JoOngle: I am enthusiastic my self, but some people are just offensive and that's what scares new potential Blender users away. If you're trying to propagate your product by bashing concurent products, the effect can be, that people begin to hate you and your product.

    @Danni Coy:
    That's pretty much standard template for every flame war :-D

    The hottest flame war topics:
    Mac VS Windows VS Linux
    Playstation VS XBOX VS Nintendo
    Old school gaming VS Next gen :-D

  18. @Ondro,

    Yes, I agree with that, but believe it or not - those who does "bash" the other products usually
    come off as either lacking experience (this is VERY evident in the way they talk) or just "kids" who
    doesn't take well to other kids "toys".

    It's very important not to KILL the JOY that people take in Blender by showing off something
    that can come off as an elitist attitude, this is what we often see with the other commercial
    programs user-groups.

    I remember back in the days when Blender where very small, I was a bit of a Blender "fanboy" myself
    and the thing that I used to advocate "wildly" back then - was our great community that welcomes
    everyone - instead of just a lucky few.

    Often in those commercial forums - beginners without the proper license or background, where often
    ridiculed for using Open Source software like Blender, and we fought a VERY hard fight to prove
    that "little" can do it too, and that software can be an asset to each other instead of "this is the BEST toy" etc.

    Personally I've fought VERY hard for YEARS promoting Blender, especially to people who where inable
    to get a ticket into the industry - simply because they didn't have the money, software or skills.

    I made a pretty big Danish Blender Guide (for FREE, available to anyone) and there where a POLL
    in one of Denmarks biggest 3D-forums, TWICE - the first poll where several years ago and
    then Blender made 1% of the poll, now - about a year ago. Blender made a 20% userbase on the
    new poll, I somehow feel that I have a part in that too, endlessly promoting, helping, guiding
    newbees, guest-educator, even working years in the industry - using Blender - totally disproving that
    Blender would not fit in a professional work environment - producing work for Carlsberg & other big
    companies, etc. This has been a LONG battle, fun - but very trying at times.

    Blender is getting more respect now, programmers have done amazing progress with the software
    and the community has grown, people are using it commercially all over the world and it's only

    I don't want that fantastic progress destroyed by people getting too "elitist" - and that we get
    that kind of "superstar guideline" which means that you're supposed to behave like this and
    that if you want to fit in with the crowd - this is what I fought against in the first place, Blender
    is OpenSource - and promotes artistic talents in everyone who put in a little effort!

  19. The main issue with support products (e.g. user manuals, guides) is that Blender is constantly evolving rendering the old manuals as ancient text that has "useful information" which is not pertinent to the current software.

Leave A Reply

To add a profile picture to your message, register your email address with To protect your email address, create an account on BlenderNation and log in when posting a message.