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Who is Blender for? Comparing Blender to other 3D software

kat · 6 · 15525

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Offline kat

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It's a simple question, right?

In all this talk about Blender this, and Blender that, no-one seems to have ever answered it. And ironically it's fundamental to this entire discussion on changes to the UI, knowing who your intended audience is informs every decision made. So...

Who is Blender for?

P.S. "the user" doesn't cut it as an answer because that defines nothing.

P.P.S. A much longer and expansive post was being written on this but had to be stopped because, without knowing the answer to that basic but so fundamentally important question, everything, and one does mean everything, in this conversation about 'change' is largely moot; one might as well change things arbitrarily because they can be changed rather than because doing so would serve a specific purpose outside of "oooo something's changed in Blender.. cool". In affect, what difference does this all make to the hobbyist compared to the freelance or studio based professional? If Blender is changed to service the former what effect does that have on the latter, and vice versa?

When putting all this into context and looking at the below, there is no 'right' and 'wrong' here; only contextually 'better' or 'worse' ways to do things, i.e. making things more efficient.. but then back to square one. For whom?

[EDIT 11 Oct]Here's the problem.. to a professional the only thing that matters is "time = money". To everyone else it's ostensibly about enjoyment; of the process, of the final product. What this means is that professionals have an entirely different mindset with respect to their use of any application which is underpinned by how quickly and easily something can be done. From an application standpoint this equates to how well a tool functions not specifically how easy it is to use or access (the two are not necessarily synonymous); the latter is a 'training' or 'documentational' issue - knowing where something is and how to use it - rather than one of efficacy, which is entirely skill/experience driven (subject to the tool feature complexity etc.) - typically the more skilled or experienced a user, the quicker something can be done (again subject to fundamental tool complexities).

This is what's meant by asking the question; "who is Blender for".

Incidentally, Lightwave (see below) uses RMB selection ;)




Offline kat

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(Re)defining Blender goes some way to answering "Who is Blender for".

Quote
The official Blender Foundation goal is worded like this:

Provide individual artists and small teams with a complete, free and open source 3D creation pipeline.

In this simple sentence a couple of crucial focus points come together.
  • Artists and teams:
    We work for people who consider themselves artist – and who work on creating 3D individually or in small teams together. The definition for “artist” can be taken quite wide – to include engineers, product designers, architects or scientists. But each of them can be considered to have a serious interest in working with 3D software to create something related to that interest. “Blender is for artists” also means that’s it not a programming API or scripting environment, these are secondary to this goal.
  • Complete 3D creation:
    Blender should work for making finished products, without requirement to purchase or run other programs. Its output should satisfy the users sufficiently to share their work in public or market it as part of a living.
  • Pipeline:
    We are aware of how CG production works (for animation, film, vfx, games) and we want Blender to work sufficiently in each and every aspect of such creation pipelines. This to to make complex creations possible and to enable people working together.
  • Free and open source:
    And not only should Blender be a complete production system, we even want this to be free and open source!


Offline ratty redemption

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that wiki page by brecht was very interesting. he's fixed a few of the obscure ui bugs i keep finding. i also like that he's not as defensive about the blender code as some of the other devs.


Offline kat

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Agreed. He has an extremely pragmatic approach to the entire UI issue and is fully aware of what it actually means in terms of implementing any sort of change. Personally I tend to waver towards the type of change he discusses, that 'low-hanging fruit' should be looked at first - which includes consolidating and/or unifying certain aspects of the UI and interactive feedback (buttons using the same metaphors depending on the type of input allowed for example).


Offline kat

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In relation to Tons post on (re)defining Blender he gave an interesting talk on the points raised in that post. It's an hour + long but if time is available it's worth a listen (starts around 8:30 in).

Note the audio is a bit on the loud side so lower volume before playing