In early April, I wrote about Blender, a free, robust open-source application that can be used for 3D modeling, eye-catching logos and other still graphics. As we covered on OStatic, Blender is now out in a much-improved version 2.49. You can find announcements of the many new features here, and videos of the new features in action here. There is a lot to like.
Blender is an excellent 3D modeling tool. You can find a gallery of the types of still graphics that Blender is capable of here. It has even been used to create full-length animated movies. There is also a free, online book on Blender that will give you a good sense of whether it may be a useful application for you. Many people use it to create splashy logos for use on web sites and blogs, including animated logos. Here’s a good tutorial on using it for logos, including illustrating how to create the logo seen in the screenshot above.
The new version of Blender includes Projection Painting, which lets you paint directly onto 3D models you create without taking the intermediary steps that were previously required. Blender has always had a healthy set of extensions, and for the new version, you can get many scripts written in Python that automate graphical tasks in the application. Also, if you use Blender for video tasks, there are a number of video improvements. The new version also supports the high-quality JPEG2000 image format throughout the application, and is noticeably faster than the last one.
In addition to being a useful addition to anybody’s graphics arsenal, Blender is a lot of fun to use. You can download the new version here.
What do you use Blender for?