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Friday Hangout: How do YOU promote Blender?


Blender users are a passionate bunch, and most of us love to promote it wherever we can (well, at least, *I* sure do ;-). I'm curious: did you ever have an extra awesome opportunity to introduce Blender somewhere or to someone? How did it go - did you 'convert' them? And what was it that convinced them?

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. All I can say, is that promoting blender has become much easier these days :
    Step 1) Send a video/image made with cycle/tomato
    Step 2) Let them be stunned
    Step 3) "Oh, did I mention it was made with the free open-source, lightweight, community power-fuelled, highly ergonomic Blender?"

    (Additionally, the fact blender still need to "prove" it worth it (ironic, ain't it?) makes me wanna learn even harder and makes me wanna push it further, just to show what can be done with it)

  2. Gottfried Hofmann on

    * creating tutorials outside the blender eco-sphere
    * writing for magazines
    * giving workshops (for example at fab-labs)
    * helping running a local BUG (blender user group)
    * creating awesome stuff ;)

      • Gottfried Hofmann on

        The Fab-Lab here in Erlangen just opened and I did not hold the course yet, but I plan to present basic modeling + how to use different measurement-tools. What are you presenting when doing fablab-courses?

        • I haven't presented yet, but usually what I talk about is the advanced material types that we offer for 3D printing (steel, silver, ceramics etc), the new possibilities for designers (new structures, opening a shop on our site and making money that way) and the impact that 3D printing will have on society.

  3. I use it for projects at school. Someone always asks where I downloaded the images for my Powerpoints--sometimes even the professor. It's a perfect setup for my pitch! GOTCHA! haha :)

  4. I send many interesting posts to createdigitalmotion and thanx to that blender gets fesatured there every once in a while to other folks that not necesarely 3D heads but a bit more experimetal dudes...

    also to friends who like 3D... but i must admit that i tell them that its not yet an industry standard and i love it and use it, but for looking for a job cinema 4D,maya or even 3DMax might be better... but i prefer blender so its up to them.

  5. I constantly update my movie making friends on Blender developement, espescially tomatoe! Saying something like: 'Hey you need a multitrack video editor for cheap? Well Blender has that!' or 'Cg compositing and realistic robots for our next movie? Well Blender has the capabilities for doing that!' and then I have to repeat the fact that it is free about four times. Then they are amazed and go home and send me an e-mail: 'Hey do you think you could do the vfx for this movie I'm making?' and I remind them that Blender is free and that they could do it themselves.

  6. I mainly do it by creating animations for school projects and stuff, and telling people about how it was made by Blender.

    Problem's not so much getting people to try Blender, as getting them to stay. Most of the people who I've told ran away because:
    1) It was just plain too intimidating
    2) They didn't know any place to find absolute beginner tutorials
    3) Both 1&2.

    • Hmm, you may have a point there. We used to offer the 'Blender Learning Path' back in the days when I worked for Not a Number. It was a roadmap of the best tutorials for beginners. Does something similar still exist? 

          • Nicholas Rishel on

            That might be an issue of nothing is good for everyone. There is a certain point to which Blender can be simplified and still be so versatile and I think the above links are where it's at for the moment, and I find those quick starts faster than anything I have ever seen from Maya or 3dsMax.

            Maybe your peers simply won't ever get into 3d? Or maybe you should introduce them to SketchUp and work them into Blender? I find this to be a good progression, as SketchUp is simple enough and introduces many key concepts of modeling to bring over to Blender.

        • That in-software tutorial idea isn't bad.  You could even put a link to it in the splash screen (with the option to hide it for those of us who no longer need it) so people won't get intimidated right off the bat.

  7. - I gave a workshop at college for highschool students multimedia/graphic design
    - Also gave a workshop at college for college students

  8. I teach classes and give demos a lot. I also have the Blender Logo on lots of stuff I carry including my computer bag and reusable grocery bag. (Sadly, it is the same bag.) I email links to Blender Nation whenever an article comes along that I think will interest any of my friends whether or not they currently use Blender. I have organized local art shows for digital art and most of the work submitted has come from the Blender community. I have also organized a couple of Blender conferences here in North East Tennessee.  I show what I am working on at meetings of the local arts organizations. One of the local artists drew my picture wearing a Blender T shirt.  I love Blender and love talking about Blender with everyone I meet.

  9. I'm in the process to create a web site (long term project) about Blender stuff. I will try to make something different from the other Blender related site... 

  10. Mohamed Almonajed on

    I was a Maya user,but when I had the chance to make a glance at Blender! I was surprised!! and I started reading the Wiki and learning from the Blender community,and I convinced my partner to damp Maya and switch to Blender and he asked me WHY? and I answered him Blender is a complete studio and you don't have to have a billion softwares from Modeling to Sculpting,Texturing,Rendering and Compositing and guess what it's for FREE.He was pretty shocked!! :D

  11. YES!

    5. semester at university there was a course "computer animation". The prof. did 3ds max. I had asked him before the semester started if I could use Blender and so it came that I could use Blender to do the whole course. At the end I had hold a session about blender and showed what I did and what it is capable of. Worked really nice.

    A year later a friend made an equal course. He tried to work with 3ds max. The final work he started with 3ds max. But time after time he got more and more frustrated and I helped him to use blender. He got really quickly into it and that was his outcome:

    On Monday I and a companion will hold a presentation and tutorial on the blender game engine at university. Other teams had Unity and UDK, CryEngine and Trinity Vision will follow. As a final piece of the course everyone should make a marble madness clone. Maybe I can convince some to use BGE for that ^^

  12. Tomorrow, I'll make another conference in Toulouse (France) about using Blender for VFX shots. Sunday, I'll make a 3 hours Workshop to learn how to crash a small UFO, with a lot of debris using Blender 2.6 ... ;o).

    This conference will take place during anUbuntu Party, and I will be with "David Revoy" who present a conference about Gimp and MyPaint. If you're in France, you can check the program of the Week-End here :

    Cheers ... ;o)

    François "CoyHot" Grassard
    Website :
    Blog :
    Mail : [email protected]

  13. -by creating tutorials aimed both to beginners ,as well as,to more advanced users.
        >>> I cannot emphasize more on this : we all (the,let's say,more "experienced" users) should help the guys who just downloaded Blender,for the first time,not to get frustrated when facing a daunting,"airplane cockpit" like interface!
    Let's help them overcome this initial fear,some amongst them may become the future experts of Blender and,this way,greatly help in further promoting and developing our beloved software!
    -by creating tutorials for those (already experienced) who are ready to migrate from another software ,since I have worked with a multitude of them,in the past.
         >>> If you manage to "translate" the "other software" terms and concepts into the ones that Blender uses,then this could greatly help those who are trying the transition from another package.
    -by participating to various forums and non-"Blender specific" CGI sites and delivering articles and tutorials.
    -by presenting/teaching Blender as a great  3D content creation software to my students (mainly architects/civil engineers but,also,from other fields)

  14. Zacharias Reinhardt on

    I started last year to create german blender tutorials especially for
    beginners. So here in Germany many new users have started using blender,
    as they told me in e-mails and comments.

  15. Just came back from STRP festival in Eindhoven promoting Blender to a small group of interested people. I told about the difference between free and open software, about how new things are added, support, difference with commercial products and the learning curve.

    Most small studios are converted when you talk about followers (financial reason to use blender) and leadership (strategic choice to use blender).


  16. One of the most important things is advising people to use Blender, when they want to get started in 3D, or ask professionals if they also do Blender.

    Because at Thorworks, we use Blender as the main tool for modeling, game design etc, we have to ask the people who send in their Resume if they also have experience in Blender, this most of the time leads to interesting questions and situations.

  17. Sharing my work with my creative friends. I admit it's not easy to get into initially, but it's my chosen 3d package and i've found more and more people starting to recognize Blender as a capable 3d package in the entertainment industry. 

  18. Martin Eschoyez on

    - i run workshops in the University
    - i teach 3d fundamentals with it in two institutes from 5 years ago. (and introducing people to F/LOSS ;))
    - i produce some nice artworks and commercials with it.
    - i run my own project of Esxperimental Open Movies plus some mini tuts about it (
    - i organize Local User meetings (
    - i organize and contribute with another Open Movie project (
    - i help in forums.
    - i told anybody about it :D


  19. When participating in our local Game Jam for the last two years, using Blender to finish assets and sometimes gameplay demos before most people are still firing up their other 3d suites.

    First try, almost finished an entire game in two nights, using only Blender and Gimp :)

  20. and i wrote a new addon for blender 2.6 to import and export MilkShape3D models for a Future Pinball community...
    so they don't need to buy a MilkShape license anymore to build models for their pinball table... :P

    PS.: i still want to share my addon on the script page, but i don't know how... and nobody will answer me to my question on how to do that... :(

  21. I am putting together information on using Blender for archviz. I'm not making tutorials at this point but I think a place solely dedicated to archviz with Blender could influence people in this field to shift from the max/sketchup/vray combo that they can't afford or use well.

      • Yes that's a good site with useful information I follow. What I have in mind is to put together more focused information that could help people new to Blender trying to get a clear picture of what can be done with it in archviz and get a feel of how it works in a real workflow. Blender3darchitect is more like a news site for those already using Blender, it doesen't have a gallery, difficult to search through the articles, lacks information about Blender BI, actually promotes the ideea you can't work archviz without using other renderers which I don't agree to and is discouraging to begginers. His book is good, I bought it and used some of the stuff in it. Unfortunately with Blender constant upgrading the book is soon outdated but some info will hold for a while still. I'm not sure I'll keep up with Blender upgrading either but will try :)

  22. I rave about how crap maya is at UV mapping and how useless at organic modelling, as compared to Blender which is kicking its ass at that...Then I promote it by just making things with it and screenshotting them in Blender, white its texture painting, uv-ing or modelling.

    Then as others here, just show a cool new feature that Blender has , that while not always 1-upping existing such in proprietary software, is still amazingly simple and non fiddly compared to what you get in proprietary software.

    Cycles is selling blender like hot cakes atm, making mental ray look like a pain in the arse

  23. I started a website ( offering monthly tutorials for blender and other stuff like gimp and photo shop, so hopefully people going to my website for non blender related stuff will see the awesomeness of blender and start blending. I also got my two younger brothers to use blender. :D

  24. Nicholas Rishel on

    With the help of a local videogame development organization we have been running Blender tutorials on my campus. Recently taught how to model a companion cube.

    Increasingly I have been seeing the Blender icon appearing on desktops around Indianapolis. I make a point to talk to these people and gauge their interest. Increasingly I believe there may be need for an Indianapolis BUG.

  25. Starting a company for movie and game production using Blender and master suite cs3 to get people started making stuff and using their talents to go somewhere.

  26. I work as a popular science writer ina basque language science magazine. And I like to include Blender made images whenever I can't show a photograph of the topic I'm writing about. And people around me like the result. Anyway, getting them to learn using Blender is not easy.

    In december, I will also run a one-hour-and-a-half session at University in a workshop called "free software in University". It is very very very very little time for doing something with beginners and even people who don't necessarily know Blender at all. So I'll make a try following a simple idea: "Let's play around with a cube". I will need to be lucky... I don't know who will come, but I guess there's a wide interest among architecture students.

  27. Just finished a 6 weeks class training here in Udine Italy (100Km North-East of venice) with 14 students (Architecture students, 3D enthusiasts and also some high school students) ..and tomorrow at the Open Source Day (still here in Udine - ) starting at 14:00 I'll have a 45 minutes presentation of Blender and a quick modelling demonstration...Also I've almost completed my company's transition to lot's of blender aircraft's should arrive soon!! ;-)

  28. Currently I write tutorials at
    But ...
    It looks like I will be teaching blender soon at Natcoll!!!!!
    (That's the place that teaches maya to Weta Digital around the corner)
    So there is potential to teach blender to Weta Digital

    Now wouldn't that make it more "Industry Standard" :D

    • From the words of my classmates it must have bin.
      As I did Blender all the way I didn't really follow the lessons. Just looked what they did (or tried to do) and tried to get the same done in Blender.
      Win for Blender - and for me :D

  29. I'm a student Digital Arts & Entertainment, focused on games and animation. Officially we only use 3DsMax but this summer i picked up Blender and since then did most of the things in Blender for school, unless i had to send in a .max file or something. They won't diverge form the max standard because they say it's industry standard and it's hard teaching to students using different programs.Well, I've already converted someone fully who had been working with max for 6 years, and is now crazy crazy in love with blender. And 2 more are checking it out fervently. And I just learned it thoroughly myself since a few weeks! I plan on organizing some after school meetups for those interested to get them started in Blender. My school is currently the hub of 3D artists for Belgium (we now have 300 students) and if I manage to introduce Blender officially here in school It'll probably flow directly to the industry here. Next year our 3D incubator center will also be complete, with massive funds from the EU, for students, start ups and existing businesses interested in 3D. I can imagine those start ups will want to consider keeping costs low and quality high and I'll make sure they know where to look!

  30. If you think that all your expectations from using Blender are limited to just grabbing some prefab models,the way DAZ suggests and putting them in a scene,eventually getting mediocre and uninspired results (all the models will end up looking just about the same,some time..) then,what can I say?...go ahead and do it...
    but,please do not start complaining if at a given time,in the future,your job will become dependent on your access to those libraries there that you are,now,praising...
    yes,indeed,those libraries can "boost your productivity" ,as you say,but they do so by stealing your inspirational potential and your ability for creating some original  artwork,that's the tradeoff...
    the same thing happened with the "prefab loops" libraries in music,resulting in the absence of worth to remember musicians lately.
    if you want to become a good CGI artist you got to be a REAL artist first...
    so please do me the favor and think twice before sacrificing your independence as an artist just for an ephemeral "boost in productivity"
    friendly and with all my respect
    PS...btw,have you ever heard of something called blend swap?...

    • I agree completely that if you want to be a CGI artist, you can't depend on cut and paste addon models. Still, there's a vast group of people -- most of the Poser and Daz community -- who don't have the time and/or the interest to become CGI artists. They're not lazy, they just want to tell stories in a visual medium, and they direct all their efforts to that end. To them, any shortcut they can get their hands on is a good thing, and the KISS principle (keep it simple, stupid) applies in spades. I've created content for some of them in Blender and use Reddog's Poser/Blender prop import/export addon all the time. Believe me, Poser users love it when they can drag a directory tree containing.a .cr2 they had a hand in designing directly into their Runtime, where they can just double-click on they thumbnail to load it up in their 3d view.

      And yet, despite all of Blender's many advantages over Poser and Daz, and even with the relatively recent capability to convert Poser props to Blender objects, I still can't recommend Blender as the program for them. The pieces they need the most to meet their needs, ready-made, realistic people and clothes, aren't in Blender. If that ever happened, by way of conversion from Poser or Daz characters, or by way of a large repository of realistic Blender figures and clothes, there'd be such a flood of people jumping to Blender, the sucking sound from Daz and Smith-Micro would make your ears pop.

      • think I can get your point and I thank you for thoroughly describing how things have with Poser users...
        can call me a romantic guy...but still,sadly enough for those Poser
        guys,the equivalent of their output ,in terms of artistic value,would be
        as if Michelangelo had used stickers for his frescoes in Cappella
        and this is exactly the difference between animating a character and animating a discounted puppet
        CGI artists are not "directors" of any sort,since directors have to deal with real humans and personalities.
        the other CGI artist has to give a "personality" to his character,by
        dedicating himself to creating something unique and worthy,this is( or
        should be) the most quintessential part of his job...
        purchasing a prop made by a third party,independent and not related to
        the team artist,instead of putting some effort to create their own
        one,they have granted half of their artistic integrity,the outcome will
        be no more worthy than a discounted "replica" of their initial
        expectations.And there should be no discount when it comes to telling a
        good story.,I think...
        the real problem,though,is not that they don't care about that but they don't know why they should,instead...
        my tuppence worth...

  31. In the school of Architecture of Grenoble where I teach it, after showing to the teachers how awesome was Blender, the final thing that made them lauch the course (I think) was the fact that they could have as many computers as they want with Blender. No more three students per license as with 3DS

  32. i do promote blender by doing some stuff and explaining people who are using 3dmax about pros of blender. I love comunity so i do help to new users at #blenderchat, #blender irc chanels, i think having immediate irc support helps to new users keep on using blender, and don't drop it at the begining.

  33. When I publish my work, for example on deviantArt or somewhere else. In the desription I always write that it was made with Blender + version and renderengine.
    And if someone asks me what 3D program I prefer, I say Blender + LuxRender. :D
    For beginners maybe Blender Internal would be better than LuxRender.

    If you want to see some of my work, check out it is not high end quality and there is some older and newer stuff. I think it can only get better.^^

  34. It isn't the best argument but in my last job, I used to say that autodesk softwares don't work correctly and we have paid for it. (without count the time and the money to  fix the scenes ).

    The tired developer.

  35. I introduced a friend to Blender. He was using SketchUp before. He loves physics, so he plays around with simulations a lot (now he's playing with Tomato). Our school newspaper has a video "department" now, and he's in charge, so he uses Blender for that as well.

  36. I created a game solo at the last ToJam Game Jam in Toronto using the game engine. People were shocked that one guy could put together something that used 3d in only 48 hours (and thanks to the speed of the GE for putting things together I even had time to do the sound as well :) Would be awesome to see more people hacking on the game engine. Integrating Ogre for the renderer would just make it kick ass. I know it would be a big job, but damn, I'd pay into a funding drive to get it done...

  37. Nothing special here. Just doing my part to spread the word. :)

    In more detail... Well, in my case, I've mentioned it to my friends who have at least an interest for any art, but there's just that they already know Max so they're really not interest to learn a new program. Or they're not 3D modelling type and only few times tested blender. Well, It's not like I could force a city folk to farm a land if they're happy in a city. XD

    People who can draw are more easy to convince to try it out I think.
    DeviantArt is the place where I've been telling about it. From time to time, people tend to ask what program I'm using and I've answered. Sometime throwing a link to blendercookie "new to blender?" videos, showed a nice examples from youtube and hope for the best. I'll gladly help people around with Blender. People in DA are pretty curious too. I've put up a "Made in Blender"  sign to the descriptions of my pictures lately.

    I'm no perfect but I think being nice will have pretty big effect on how people will see blender too. Just don't showel it down their throats. XD

  38. I taught 3DS Max in a CGschool and gave a few Blender trainings there as well.
    A few trainees got very involved, and some others ran away from it, it matched their liking of 3DS Max: as much as those who felt bad in 3dsmax felt relieved to have an alternative, those who felt Blender was too odd got more involved into max. So it was a positive experience for all of them. Some of them liked being able to do a few things that Max couldn't like fluids.
    About job placements, two of the students were hired on longer term contracts than the others who did get any job at all, out of thes two, one works with Max, the other with Blender.

    In some trainings I gave, people most easy to convert to Blender were experienced freelance 2D artists, because those really realised the value of the package and how the skill is more important than the tool.

    People I failed to convert were experienced 3D artists working in maya. because they knew too much about the importance to use the tools that a production pipeline asks you to use. The good thing is that it's probable that one day soon, they will be asking for Blender :-) so get  ready, because learning takes some time and ther will be huge competition! 

  39. I began my own conversion in 2008 and really pushed myself to learn Blender. Having taught basic 3dsMax and Maya before, I used the same methods and applied it in Blender. Like many of the passionate Blender users here, I use the latest Blender demos and open movies to convince my students that Blender is far more capable than they think. It is hard convincing industry people who are entrenched with the mindset of using Max or Maya. Just because the industry uses them, they felt that my students are "Cheated" when they learn Blender instead. I will explain that whatever 3D application you learn, the principles are the same, a student of Blender will be able to pick up 3dsMax or Maya easily should their future employer require them to use it.  In order to prove to my students that Blender is powerful and relatively easy to use, I produced my own youtube Tutorials and get them to watch. A lot of them are based on older tutorials I developed for 3dsMax and Maya. Inadvertently, I'm slowly building a global audience for my videos. Here's my channel

  40. I am a student aged 13 and I have been using blender for 2 years now, I promote blender in my school by just working on it in the IT rooms, people ask what I'm up to and what software I use and I say "Its Blender It's free, open source and has piles or tutorials and did I mention I'm happy to help you out and also it runs on every computer system" And that gets Blender a lot of attention in my school

  41. "How do you promote Blender?"  One person at a time......the kid who bags my groceries, or the one who delivers my pizza, or
    my UPS driver.....whoever I think would enjoy being creative with a computer. =)
    Almost every time I go to the store, I ask, "Do you like using computers?" ....if "Yes", then, "Do you like creating graphics?"

    What I need to do is make up some business cards with some of the main Blender links so I can just hand them out to
    anyone who's interested. Who knows? It may change someone's life. So many kids don't know which end is "up" (like I was)
    and Blender could be something that would lead them to a career.......or at very least, a lot of fun. =)

    BTW, if anyone is interested, here is a zip that has 18 variations of a CSS menu I created as a browser home page to make it
    easier to go to tutorials, forums, and resources.

    And here's a sample of one of the pages (all have the same links....17 vertical, 1 horizontal layout)

  42. While introducing opensource to student (5 years after french bacchelor), I show them blender, and what it can do.
    They usually are stunned !

  43. I am a member of the Terni GNU/LUG, the Linux User Group of my town, and at each Italian Linux Day (about the third week of october in Italy) we organize talks about many aspects of the opensource, included Blender. Every year for that day I have a computer showing blender while I use it, to impress the people walking by and this year another LUG member and I made a brief intro tho the interface and the main functions and commands.
    In addition to this day, every time I hear someone talking about 3D graphics, renderings and architecture I tell them to try blender, explaining its powerfulness, that it's an all-in-one package, showing them some renders done, saying it's opensource and multiplatform and that you can find a lot of resources online.

    But I have to admit that I often have no success: Italians are lazy and don't want to learn another program.. and don't know English enough to learn a program which is not in their language and that if it doesn't cost more than € 2000 it has no value as a 3D graphic software :(

  44. I told all my fellow students to switch to Blender for years. Some did, alot didn`t.
    I use it at work and i am trying to convince everybody that comes around.

    I gave Blender courses at the University for the lower grades (i studied architecture and use it for archviz). I believe the complexity of the software scared the hell out of most of them. They found it useful but most of them got stuck with SketchUp or the build in 3D-CAD-Stuff (ArchiCAD, AutoCAD, Nemetschek, ..).

    Then theres the usual LINK on my website with some of my blender-works.
    Last but not least theres the big Blender-Sticker on my car.. :).

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