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What is Blender 3D for VFX?

      "Digital Media" is arguably the most important development to Audio Visual Communications, in the past 25 years. The ability to capture non degradable, high resolution media on your computer, & also to be able to redistribute this media without having to physically reprint or record it, has completely changed the Film industry, & global communications. Along with this type of digital, data processing capability, we need the appropriate tools to capture & precisely manipulate or modify these digital images. Enter, CGI & 3D imaging platforms.

            Now,  I have to make an important distinction here, when mentioning 3D images, I'm not talking about 'Stereoscopic 3D' & effect's that pop out of your screen while wearing special glasses. What I am talking about is Computer Generated Images & virtual forms, that exist within a 3 dimensional, "X,Y, & Z axis". An environment that understands 'Height, Width, & Depth' & lets us affect all points within that environment.  This capability has become the basis of all modern day Visual Effects, (VFX).

             These visual elements, allow us to tell, & greatly enhance our stories. 3D VFX are incorporated into every aspect of modern day movie making.. Titles & Credits, Sets & Environments, Props, Characters, Stunts & dynamically enhanced visual sequences, are often created entirely within 3D graphic programs. Traditionally this type of 3D image integration is very complicated, time consuming & expensive. The practical solution to these challenges, is the Open-source 3D program, Blender.

      Basically, Blender is a major 3D Visual Production, Post Production & Effects Composition Platform. It's capable of handling large workloads, & Feature Film projects, all within itself. It can be used to color grade & re-size footage, edit shows w/ banners & effects, or to generate images & content, entirely from scratch. Blender is a powerful 3D Modeling & Animation suite, for making CGI Characters or High Res, photo realistic Special Effects. This also includes a 'Video Sequence Editor' for editing footage, and a 'Node Compositor' for complicated, high content, effects. Blender also has a 'Game Engine', for making & running, simple or high res. interactive video games. It also has internal 'Physics Simulators' for effects such as Particle Swarms, Smoke, or Liquid flow & motion. Of course, all of these visual effects can be imported directly into your Games or Films.

      One of the most stunning factors of this tool, beyond its HD & 4K, graphical capability, is that, like GIMP, it is "Open-source" & completely free... You can download it for Linux, Windows or Mac, In three simple mouse clicks, right now! Any time, anywhere. Blender is absolutely free & available to use privately or commercially. In Fact, because it is open source, you can even modify or add code to push it further & make it do more. Blender is truly unlimited.

      Blender was originally developed by Ton Roosendaal, in the Netherlands, as an 'In House" 3D program, for a professional VFX Studio. The first 'Open-source Release' of Blender, was in 2002. Since then it has continued to grow & evolve through many iterations & updated versions, expanding its capabilities & also cultivating a large, international user & development community. Experienced Blender artist span the Globe, working on most continents. This community is connected & active, sharing resource & expertise. There are many educational materials & Video Tutorials freely available all over the world, in many languages.

        To see examples of Blender's visual capabilities, simply search YouTube for Shorts or Tutorials. There are many contributions, from Artist & Filmmakers everywhere. Here are some great examples produced by the Blender Foundation itself..

'Sintel' 2010,

'Tears of Steel' 2012,

          As the community & program matures, many professional Artist & VFX Studios are integrating with & switching to the Blender platform. Blender also imports & exports many other 3D & Image file types, making assets & resources abundant!

         I'll tell you, I have Maxon- Cinema 4D, and also the full Adobe, Creative Suite... Premier, Photoshop & After Effects. This is a well designed professional package, that I pay a monthly fee for. There are only a couple smaller procedures available to me with Adobe, that Blender hasn't had, & in the latest release, Blender has implemented those new tools.Occasionally, a procedure in Adobe or Cinema 4D may take me 3-5 selections or mouse clicks, while I find Blender may require 4-7 clicks, but I really don't find any limitations to what I can accomplish with the software, & it seems to be less demanding & more stable on my system. In time, I've come to prefer Blender and GIMP as my primary tools of choice, for image & motion media processing.

           Here are the stories of two working, professional VFX Artist!

*Ahmad Nabeel  
        "I'm currently working as a freelance artist. I've worked on short films, animated shorts, music videos, TV commercials, and VFX shots for a TV serial. I exclusively use Blender for all my work. I started exploring Blender with v2.48 and switched completely to Blender with v2.65, ( I started my career using 3ds Max, although I did use Maya here and there for a few projects). I think Blender's a FANTASTIC tool which is ideally suited for my particular way of working. What I love the most is that I can do all my 3D stuff, rendering, compositing and editing, all in one environment, without having to jump around from one software to the next. The community is SUPER friendly and helpful. It was the community which helped me understand Blender better.

*Jim Craig
       " I produce planetarium programs with lots of animation. I started with 3DS Max but found it too limiting.
          It was a struggle to get past the odd user interface for Blender but now I don't use anything else. I even use it for non-linear editing of video because it just works so well for that. 
           Between GIMP and Blender, I can work on any computer (Windows, Mac or Linux) and port my work around. And my bosses like the fact that we don't have to pay for software licenses for every computer. It's a win-win there."

       As an Artist & Filmmaker... ideally,I want "unlimited creative freedoms". As a Producer & a realist, I understand that all of this has a cost & expense. Blender is a tool that freely gives me truly unlimited visual horizons & story telling capabilities. It enables me to accomplish any & every visual shot or effect I can imagine, as precisely & exactly as I choose. Coupled with GIMP, I use Blender for my initial development & pre-visualization, all the way through story boarding & production, to post, VFX & final Edit. Its not a developing tool of the future, it's fully capable now, working & playing, in our present day industry. Blender is being used on Feature Films, major Commercials, Television Shows, Music Video's, & animated Cartoons.

        Anyone involved in VFX, Independent Film making & Media Production, really ought know about the full capabilities that are freely available in Blender!

        Interested In seeing the source yourself? You can see Blender, or even download it, right now!