Blender is a free and open source 3D content creation suite available for many operating systems including Linux. It used to be developed commercially, but is now released under the GPL.
Targeted at media professionals and artists, Blender can be used to create 3D visualizations, stills as well as broadcast and cinema quality video, whilst the incorporation of a real-time 3D engine allows for the creation of 3D interactive content for stand-alone playback. Blender has a huge variety of uses including modelling, animating, rendering, texturing, skinning, rigging, weighting, non-linear editing, scripting, compositing, post-production and much more.
Blender has a robust feature set similar in scope and depth to other high-end 3D software such as Softimage|XSI, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max and Maya.
The software contains features that are characteristic of high-end modelling software.
- Modeling: 3D Object types including polygon meshes, NURBS surfaces, bezier and B-spline curves; Multiresolution sculpting capabilities; Modifier stack deformers; Mesh modeling; Python Scripting.
- Rigging: Skeleton creation code; Skinning; Bone layers; B-splines interpolated bones.
- Animation: Non-linear animation editor; Vertex key framing for morphing, Character animation pose editor; Animated deformers; Audio playback; Animated constraint system.
- Rendering: Inbuilt raytracer; oversampling, motion blor, post-production effects, fields, non-square pixels; Render layers and passes; Render baking to UV maps, Effects including halo, lens flares, fog, vector motion-blur post-process, and defocus post-process; Export scripts for external renderers.
- UV UnWrapping: Conformal and Angle Based unwrapping methods; seam based unwreapping; Proportional falloff editing of UV maps.
- Shading: Diffuse and Specular shaders; Node editor; Subsurface scattering; Tangent shading; Reflection maps.
- Physics and Particles: Particle system can be attached to mesh objects; Fluid simulator; Realtime soft body solver.
- Imaging and Compositing: MultiLayer OpenEXR support; composite node filters, convertors, color and vector operators; 8 processor support; near realtime sequencer; Waveform and U/V scatter plits.
- Realtime 3D/Game Creation: Graphical logic editor; Bullet Physics Library support; Shape types: Convex polyhedron, box, sphere, cone, cylinder, capsule, compound, and static triangle mesh with auto deactivation mode; Discrete collision detection; Support for vehicle dynamics; Supports all OpenGL lighting modes; Python scripting; Audio.
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