Blender (software)

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Blender (software)
Logo Blender.svg
Blender 2.79
Blender 2.79
Developer(s)Blender Foundation
Initial releaseJanuary 1998; 20 years ago (1998-01)[1]
Stable release2.79b (March 22, 2018; 7 months ago (2018-03-22)[2]) [±]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC, C++, and Python
Operating systemLinux, macOS, FreeBSD, Windows
Size76.7 – 157.5 MiB (varies by operating system)[3]
Type3D computer graphics software
LicenseGNU General Public License v2 or later[4]

Blender is a professional, free and open-source 3D computer graphics software toolset used for creating animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, interactive 3D applications and video games. Blender's features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, raster graphics editing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, soft body simulation, sculpting, animating, match moving, rendering, motion graphics, video editing and compositing. While current versions also feature an integrated game engine, the upcoming 2.8 release will remove it.[5]


The desktop scene in version 2.77

The Dutch animation studio NeoGeo developed Blender as an in-house application in January 1995,[6] with the primary author being company co-owner and software developer Ton Roosendaal. The name Blender was inspired by a song by Yello, from the album Baby which NeoGeo used in its showreel.[7][8] Some of the design choices and experiences for Blender were carried over from an earlier software called Traces, that Ton Roosendaal developed for NeoGeo on the Commodore Amiga platform during the 1987-1991 period.[9]

NeoGeo was later dissolved and its client contracts were taken over by another company. After NeoGeo's dissolution, Ton Roosendaal founded Not a Number Technologies (NaN) in June 1998 to further develop Blender, initially distributing it as shareware until NaN went bankrupt in 2002.[10]

On July 18, 2002, Roosendaal started the "Free Blender" campaign, a crowdfunding precursor.[11][12] The campaign aimed for open-sourcing Blender for a one-time payment of €100,000 (US$100,670 at the time) collected from the community.[13] On September 7, 2002, it was announced that they had collected enough funds and would release the Blender source code. Today, Blender is free and open-source software largely developed by its community, alongside two full-time and two part-time employees employed by the Blender Institute.[14]

The Blender Foundation initially reserved the right to use dual licensing, so that, in addition to GPLv2, Blender would have been available also under the Blender License that did not require disclosing source code but required payments to the Blender Foundation. However, they never exercised this option and suspended it indefinitely in 2005.[15] Blender is solely available under "GNU GPLv2 or any later" and was not updated to the GPLv3, as "no evident benefits" were seen.[16]

The following table lists notable developments during Blender's release history:

Version Release[17] Notes and key changes
Old version, no longer supported: 2.03 2002 Handbook The official Blender 2.0 guide.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.26 August 20, 2003 First ever free version.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.30 November 22, 2003 New GUI; edits are now revertible.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.32 February 3, 2004 Ray tracing in internal renderer; support for YafaRay.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.34 August 5, 2004 LSCM-UV-Unwrapping, object-particle interaction.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.37 May 31, 2005 Simulation of elastic surfaces; improved subdivision surface.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.40 December 22, 2005 Greatly improved system and character animations (with a non-linear editing tool), and added fluid and hair simulator. New functionality was based on Google Summer of Code 2005.[18]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.41 January 25, 2006 Improvements of the game engine (programmable vertex and pixel shaders, using Blender materials, split-screen mode, improvements to the physics engine), improved UV mapping, recording of the Python scripts for sculpture or sculpture works with the help of grid or mesh (mesh sculpting) and set-chaining models.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.42 July 14, 2006 The film Elephants Dream resulted in high development as a necessity. In particular, the Node-System (Material- and Compositor) has been implemented.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.43 February 16, 2007 Sculpt-Modeling as a result of Google Summer of Code 2006.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.46 May 19, 2008 With the production of Big Buck Bunny, Blender gained the ability to produce grass quickly and efficiently.[19]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.48 October 14, 2008 Due to development of Yo Frankie!, the game engine was improved substantially.[20]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.49 June 13, 2009 First official stable release 2.5. New window and file manager, new interface, new Python API, and new animation system.[21]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.57 April 13, 2011 First official stable release of 2.5er branch: new interface, new window manager and rewritten event — and tool — file processing system, new animation system (each setting can be animated now), and new Python API.[22]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.58 June 22, 2011 New features, such as the addition of the warp modifier and render baking. Improvements in sculpting.[23]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.58a July 4, 2011 Some bug fixes, along with small extensions in GUI and Python interface.[24]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.59 August 13, 2011 3D mouse support.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.60 October 19, 2011 Developer branches integrated into main developer branch: among other things, B-mesh, a new rendering/shading system, NURBS, to name a few, directly from Google Summer of Code.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.61 December 14, 2011 Render-Engine Cycles, Motion Tracking, Dynamic Paint, Ocean Simulator.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.62 February 16, 2012 Motion tracking improvement, further expansion of UV tools, and remesh modifier. First version to include the Cycles render engine.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.63 April 27, 2012 Bug fixes, B-mesh project: completely new mesh system with n-corners, plus new tools: dissolve, inset, bridge, vertex slide, vertex connect, and bevel.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.64 October 3, 2012 Green screen keying, node-based compositing.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.65 December 10, 2012 Over 200 bug fixes, support for the Open Shading Language, and fire simulation.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.66 February 21, 2013 Rigid body simulation available outside of the game engine, dynamic topology sculpting, hair rendering now supported in Cycles.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.67 May 7–30, 2013 Freestyle rendering mode for non-photographic rendering, subsurface scattering support added, the motion tracking solver is made more accurate and faster, and an add-on for 3D printing now comes bundled.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.68 July 18, 2013 Rendering performance is improved for CPUs and GPUs, support for NVIDIA Tesla K20, GTX Titan and GTX 780 GPUs. Smoke rendering improved to reduce blockiness.[25]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.69 October 31, 2013 Motion tracking now supports plane tracking, and hair rendering improved.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.70 March 19, 2014 Initial support for volume rendering and small improvements to the user interface.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.71 June 26, 2014 Support for baking in Cycles and volume rendering branched path tracing now renders faster.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.72 October 4, 2014 Volume rendering for GPUs, more features for sculpting and painting.
Old version, no longer supported: 2.73 January 8, 2015 New fullscreen mode, improved Pie Menus, 3D View can now display the world background.[26]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.74 March 31, 2015 Cycles got several precision, noise, speed, memory improvements, new Pointiness attribute.[26]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.75a July 1, 2015 Blender now supports a fully integrated Multi-View and Stereo 3D pipeline, Cycles has much awaited initial support for AMD GPUs, and a new Light Portals feature.[26]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.76b November 3, 2015 Cycles volume density render, Pixar OpenSubdiv mesh subdivision library, node inserting, video editing tools.[26]
Old version, no longer supported: 2.77a April 6, 2016 Improvements to Cycles, new features for the Grease Pencil, more support for OpenVDB, updated Python library and support for Windows XP removed.[27]
Older version, yet still supported: 2.78c February 28, 2017 Spherical stereo rendering for VR, Grease Pencil improvements for 2D animations, Freehand curves drawing over surfaces, Bendy Bones, Micropolygon displacements, Adaptive Subdivision. Cycles performance improvements.[28]
Current stable version: 2.79b September 11, 2017 Cycles denoiser, Improved OpenCL rendering support, Shadow Catcher, Principled BSDF Shader, Filmic color management, improved UI and Grease Pencil functionality, improvements in Alembic import and export, surface deformities modifier, better animation keyframing, simplified video encoding, Python additions and new add-ons.[29]
Latest preview version of a future release: 2.80 Under development, expected early 2019 New UI, EEVEE and Clay engine renders on OpenGL 3.3+, workbench view port[30] and much more [31][32][33][34]
Old version
Older version, still supported
Latest version
Latest preview version
Future release
Ton Roosendaal, original creator of Blender.



In January–February 2002 it was clear that NaN could not survive and would close the doors in March. Nevertheless, they put out one more release, 2.25. As a sort-of easter egg, a last personal tag, the artists and developers decided to add a 3D model of a chimpanzee head. It was created by Willem-Paul van Overbruggen (SLiD3), who named it Suzanne after the orangutan in the Kevin Smith film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.

Suzanne is Blender's alternative to more common test models such as the Utah Teapot and the Stanford Bunny. A low-polygon model with only 500 faces, Suzanne is often used as a quick and easy way to test material, animation, rigs, texture, and lighting setups and is also frequently used in joke images.[citation needed] Suzanne is still included in Blender. The largest Blender contest gives out an award called the Suzanne Award.


Due to Blender's open source nature, other programs have tried to take advantage of its success by repackaging and selling cosmetically-modified versions of it. Examples include IllusionMage, 3DMofun, 3DMagix, and Fluid Designer,[35] the latter being recognized as Blender-based.


Steps of forensic facial reconstruction of a mummy made on Blender by the Brazilian 3D designer Cícero Moraes.

Official releases of Blender for Microsoft Windows, MacOS and Linux,[36] as well as a port for FreeBSD,[37] are available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Though it is often distributed without extensive example scenes found in some other programs,[38] the software contains features that are characteristic of high-end 3D software. Among its capabilities are:

Deprecated features[edit]

  • The Blender Game Engine was a built-in realtime graphics and logic engine with features such including collision detection, a dynamics engine, and programmable logic. It also allowed the creation of stand-alone, real-time applications ranging from architectural visualization to video games. In April 2018 it was removed from the upcoming Blender 2.8 release series, having long lagged behind other game engines such as the open-source Godot, and Unity.[5]

User interface[edit]

Blender's user interface underwent a significant update during the 2.5x series

Blender's user interface incorporates the following concepts:

Editing modes
The two primary modes of work are Object Mode and Edit Mode, which are toggled with the Tab key. Object mode is used to manipulate individual objects as a unit, while Edit mode is used to manipulate the actual object data. For example, Object Mode can be used to move, scale, and rotate entire polygon meshes, and Edit Mode can be used to manipulate the individual vertices of a single mesh. There are also several other modes, such as Vertex Paint, Weight Paint, and Sculpt Mode.
Hotkey usage
Most of the commands are accessible via hotkeys. There are also comprehensive GUI menus.
Numeric input
Numeric buttons can be "dragged" to change their value directly without the need to aim at a particular widget, as well as being set using the keyboard. Both sliders and number buttons can be constrained to various step sizes with modifiers like the Ctrl and Shift keys. Python expressions can also be typed directly into number entry fields, allowing mathematical expressions to specify values.
Workspace management
The Blender GUI builds its own tiled windowing system on top of one or multiple windows provided by the underlying platform. One platform window (often sized to fill the screen) is divided into sections and subsections that can be of any type of Blender's views or window-types. The user can define multiple layouts of such Blender windows, called screens, and switch quickly between them by selecting from a menu or with keyboard shortcuts. Each window-type's own GUI elements can be controlled with the same tools that manipulate 3D view. For example, one can zoom in and out of GUI-buttons using similar controls one zooms in and out in the 3D viewport. The GUI viewport and screen layout is fully user-customizable. It is possible to set up the interface for specific tasks such as video editing or UV mapping or texturing by hiding features not used for the task.[40]

Hardware requirements[edit]

Blender hardware requirements[41]
Hardware Minimum Recommended Production-standard
Processor 32-bit dual core 2 GHz CPU with SSE2 support 64-bit quad core CPU 64-bit eight core CPU
Memory 2 GB RAM 8 GB RAM 16 GB RAM
Graphics card OpenGL 2.1 compatible card with 512 MB video RAM OpenGL 3.2 compatible card with 2 GB video RAM (CUDA or OpenCL for GPU rendering) Dual OpenGL 3.2 compatible cards with 4 GB video RAM
Display 1280×768 pixels, 24-bit color 1920×1080 pixels, 24-bit color Dual 1920×1080 pixels, 24-bit color
Input Mouse or trackpad Three-button mouse Three-button mouse and graphics tablet

Cuda Requirements: Compute Level 2.0+, NVIDIA Fermi, better Kepler or later

OpenCL Requirements: OpenCL 1.2, better OpenCL 2.0, AMD GCN 2nd Gen. or later with OpenCL 2.0 recommended since 2.79 (GCN 1 on Blacklist) or NVidia Kepler or Later (Cuda with more Performance).

Actual recommended for best performance: Actual Intel Xeon or AMD Ryzen (8 to 32 Proz.), 64 GB RAM, NVIDIA GTX 1080 or better, AMD Radeon RX 580 or better, fast SSD, Display: Dual 3840x2160 30-bit Color.

In Version 2.80 OpenGL 3.3 is minimum and higher is recommended for additional Features.

Supported platforms[edit]

Blender is available for Windows Vista and above, Mac OS X 10.6 and above, Linux and FreeBSD. Blender 2.76b is the last supported release for Windows XP.[41]

File format[edit]

Blender features an internal file system that can pack multiple scenes into a single file (called a ".blend" file).

  • All of Blender's ".blend" files are forward, backward, and cross-platform compatible with other versions of Blender, with the following exceptions:
    • Loading animations stored in post-2.5 files in Blender pre-2.5. This is due to the reworked animation subsystem introduced in Blender 2.5 being inherently incompatible with older versions.
    • Loading meshes stored in post 2.63. This is due to the introduction of BMesh, a more versatile mesh format.
  • All scenes, objects, materials, textures, sounds, images, post-production effects for an entire animation can be stored in a single ".blend" file. Data loaded from external sources, such as images and sounds, can also be stored externally and referenced through either an absolute or relative pathname. Likewise, ".blend" files themselves can also be used as libraries of Blender assets.
  • Interface configurations are retained in the ".blend" files.

A wide variety of import/export scripts that extend Blender capabilities (accessing the object data via an internal API) make it possible to inter-operate with other 3D tools.

Blender organizes data as various kinds of "data blocks", such as Objects, Meshes, Lamps, Scenes, Materials, Images and so on. An object in Blender consists of multiple data blocks – for example, what the user would describe as a polygon mesh consists of at least an Object and a Mesh data block, and usually also a Material and many more, linked together. This allows various data blocks to refer to each other. There may be, for example, multiple Objects that refer to the same Mesh, and making subsequent editing of the shared mesh result in shape changes in all Objects using this Mesh. Objects, meshes, materials, textures etc. can also be linked to from other .blend files, which is what allows the use of .blend files as reusable resource libraries.

Import and Export[edit]

The software supports a variety of 3D file formats for import and export, among them Alembic, 3D Studio (3DS), Filmbox (FBX), Autodesk (DXF), SVG, STL (for 3D printing), VRML and X3D.

Video editing[edit]

Video Editor (VSE)

Blender features a fully functional, production ready Non-Linear video editor called Video Sequence Editor or VSE for short. Blender's VSE has many features including effects like Gaussian Blur, color grading, Fade and Wipe transitions, and other video transformations. However, there is no multi-core support for rendering video with VSE.

WebGL authoring[edit]

Blend4Web, an open source WebGL framework, can be used to convert whole Blender scenes with graphics, animation, sound and physics to work in standard web browsers. Export can be performed with a single click, even as a standalone web page.[42]

Verge3D, a real-time renderer and a toolkit for creating interactive 3D web experiences, works on top of Blender and 3ds Max.[43]

Armory, an open-source 3D game engine with full Blender integration, can create WebGL applications and games.[44]

Rendering and ray tracing[edit]

An architectural render showing different rendering styles in Blender including default Cycles

Cycles is the path-tracing render engine that is designed to be interactive and easy to use, while still supporting many production features.[45] It comes installed as an add-on that is available by default and can be activated in the top header.

GPU rendering[edit]

Cycles supports GPU rendering which is used to help speed up rendering times. There are two GPU rendering modes: CUDA, which is the preferred method for NVIDIA graphics cards; and OpenCL, which supports rendering on AMD graphics cards. Multiple GPUs are also supported, which can be used to create a render farm – although having multiple GPUs doesn't increase the available memory because each GPU can only access its own memory.[46]

Supported features[47]
Feature CPU CUDA OpenCL
Basic Shading Yes Yes Yes
Transparent Shadows Yes Yes Yes
Motion blur Yes Yes Yes
Hair Yes Yes Yes
Volume Yes Yes Yes
Smoke/Fire Yes Yes Yes
Subsurface Scattering Yes Yes Yes
Open Shading Language Yes No No
Correlated Multi-Jittered Sampling Yes Yes Yes
Branched Path integrator Yes Yes Yes
Displacement/Subdivision Experimental Experimental Experimental


The integrator is the rendering algorithm used for lighting computations. Cycles currently supports a path tracing integrator with direct light sampling. It works well for various lighting setups, but is not as suitable for caustics and some other complex lighting situations. Rays are traced from the camera into the scene, bouncing around until they find a light source such as a lamp, an object emitting light, or the world background. To find lamps and surfaces emitting light, both indirect light sampling (letting the ray follow the surface BSDF) and direct light sampling (picking a light source and tracing a ray towards it) are used.[48]

There are two types of integrators:

  1. The default path tracing integrator is a pure path tracer. At each hit it bounces light in one direction and picks one light to receive lighting from. This makes each individual sample faster to compute, but typically requires more samples to clean up the noise.
  2. The alternative is a branched path tracing integrator which at the first hit splits the path for different surface components and takes all lights into account for shading instead of just one. This makes each sample slower, but reduces noise, especially in scenes dominated by direct or one-bounce lighting.

Open Shading Language[edit]

Blender users can create their own nodes using the Open Shading Language although it is important to note that there is no support for it on GPUs.[49]


Materials define the look of meshes, NURBS curves and other geometric objects. They consist of three shaders, defining the mesh's appearance of the surface, volume inside, and displacement of the surface.[45]

Surface shader[edit]

The surface shader defines the light interaction at the surface of the mesh. One or more BSDFs can specify if incoming light is reflected back, refracted into the mesh, or absorbed.[45]

Volume shader[edit]

When the surface shader does not reflect or absorb light, it enters the volume. If no volume shader is specified, it will pass straight through to the other side of the mesh.

If one is defined, a volume shader describes the light interaction as it passes through the volume of the mesh. Light may be scattered, absorbed, or emitted at any point in the volume.[45]

Displacement shader[edit]

The shape of the surface may be altered by displacement shaders. This way, textures can be used to make the mesh surface more detailed.

Depending on the settings, the displacement may be virtual, only modifying the surface normals to give the impression of displacement (also known as bump mapping) or a combination of real and virtual displacement.[45]

Demo reels[edit]

The Blender website contains several demo reels that showcase various features of Blender.[50]

Rendering engines[edit]

Engines included in Blender:

  • Blender Render (Blender Internal) — Will be removed from Blender in version 2.8[51].
  • Cycles — Included in Blender from version 2.61[52].
  • Clay Render — Included in Blender from version 2.79[53].
  • EEVEE — Render engine has been nicknamed Eevee[54], later coined backronym — Extra Easy Virtual Environment Engine[55]. Currently in development, it will be available in Blender from version 2.8[56].

External renderers, free and open-source:[57]

External renderers, proprietary:


A cloth simulation made in Blender
Physics fluid simulation

Blender can be used to simulate smoke, rain, dust, cloth, water, hair and rigid bodies.[71]

Cloth simulation[edit]

A cloth is any piece of mesh that has been designated as 'cloth' in the physics tab.

Fluid simulation[edit]

Physics Fluid Simulation[edit]

The fluid simulator can be used for simulating liquids, like water hitting a cup.[72] It uses the Lattice Boltzmann methods to simulate the fluids and allows for lots of adjusting of the amount of particles and the resolution.

Particle fluid simulation[edit]

The particle physics fluid simulation creates particles that follow the Smoothed-particle hydrodynamics method.[73]


Game engine GLSL materials

Since the opening of the source, Blender has experienced significant refactoring of the initial codebase and major additions to its feature set.

Improvements include an animation system refresh;[74] a stack-based modifier system;[75] an updated particle system[76] (which can also be used to simulate hair and fur); fluid dynamics; soft-body dynamics; GLSL shaders support[77] in the game engine; advanced UV unwrapping;[78] a fully recoded render pipeline, allowing separate render passes and "render to texture"; node-based material editing and compositing; and projection painting.[79]

Part of these developments were fostered by Google's Summer of Code program, in which the Blender Foundation has participated since 2005.

Blender 2.8 Project[edit]

Official planning for the next major revision of Blender after the 2.7 series began in the latter half of 2015, with potential targets including a more configurable UI (dubbed "Blender 101"), support for Physically based rendering (PBR) (dubbed EEVEE for "Extra Easy Virtual Environment Engine") which shall bring improved realtime 3d graphics to the viewport and thus also upgrading the game engines rendering engine too, allowing the use of C++11 and C99 in the codebase, moving to a newer version of OpenGL and dropping support for versions before 3.2, and a possible overhaul of the particle and constraint systems.[80][81] Blender Internal renderer will be removed from 2.8[82]. Code Quest was a project started in April 2018 set in Amsterdam, at the Blender Institute. [83] The goal of the project would be to get a large development team working in one place, in order to speed up the development of Blender 2.8.[83] By June 29th, the Code Quest project ended[84] , and on April 2nd, the alpha version was completed.[85]


Blender is extensively documented on its website,[86] with the rest of the support provided via community tutorials and discussion forums on the Internet. The Blender Network provides support and social services for Blender Professionals. Additionally, YouTube is known to have a great many video tutorials available for either Blender amateurs or professionals at no cost.

Use in the media industry[edit]

Blender started out as an in-house tool for NeoGeo, a Dutch commercial animation company.[87] Blender has been used for television commercials in several parts of the world including Australia,[88] Iceland,[89] Brazil,[90][91] Russia[92] and Sweden.[93]

Blender is used by NASA for publicly available 3D models. Many 3D models on NASA's 3D resources page are in a native .blend format.[94]

Experience Curiosity: taking a picture

NASA also used Blender and Blend4Web (later converted to Verge3D for Blender[95]) to develop an interactive web application to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the Curiosity rover landing on Mars.[96] This app[97] makes it possible to operate the rover, control its cameras and the robotic arm and reproduces some of the prominent events of the Mars Science Laboratory mission.[98][99] The application was presented at the beginning of the WebGL section on SIGGRAPH 2015.[100]

The first large professional project that used Blender was Spider-Man 2, where it was primarily used to create animatics and pre-visualizations for the storyboard department.

As an animatic artist working in the storyboard department of Spider-Man 2, I used Blender's 3D modeling and character animation tools to enhance the storyboards, re-creating sets and props, and putting into motion action and camera moves in 3D space to help make Sam Raimi's vision as clear to other departments as possible.[101] – Anthony Zierhut,[102] Animatic Artist, Los Angeles.

The French-language film Friday or Another Day (Vendredi ou un autre jour) was the first 35 mm feature film to use Blender for all the special effects, made on Linux workstations.[103] It won a prize at the Locarno International Film Festival. The special effects were by Digital Graphics of Belgium.[104]

Blender has also been used for shows on the History Channel, alongside many other professional 3D graphics programs.[105]

Tomm Moore's The Secret of Kells, which was partly produced in Blender by the Belgian studio Digital Graphics, has been nominated for an Oscar in the category "Best Animated Feature Film".[106]

Plumíferos, a commercial animated feature film created entirely in Blender,[107] was premiered in February 2010 in Argentina. Its main characters are anthropomorphic talking animals.

Special effects for episode 6 of Red Dwarf season X, screened in 2012, were created using Blender as confirmed by Ben Simonds of Gecko Animation.[108][109][110]

Blender was used for both CGI and compositing for the movie Hardcore Henry.[111]

The special effects for the TV series The Man in the High Castle were done in Blender, with some of the particle simulations relegated to Houdini.[112][113]

Blender was used for pre-visual effects in Captain America: The Winter Soldier [114] and many of the visual effects in the feature film Sabogal were done in Blender.[115]. Director David F. Sandberg used Blender for multiple shots in Lights Out [116], and Annabelle: Creation.[117][118] Blender was used for parts of the credit sequences in Wonder Woman[119] and for doing the animation in the film Cinderella the Cat.[120]

Some promotional artwork for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U was partially created using Blender.[121]

The experimental hip-hop group Death Grips has used Blender to produce music videos. A screenshot from the program is briefly visible in the music video for Inanimate Sensation.

Next Gen was fully created in Blender by Tangent Animation. A team of developers worked on improving Blender for internal use, but it is planned to eventually add those improvements to the official Blender build.[122][123]

Open projects[edit]

Big Buck Bunny poster
Sintel promotional poster
Tears of Steel promotional poster

Every 1–2 years the Blender Foundation announces a new creative project to help drive innovation in Blender.[124][125]

Elephants Dream (Open Movie Project: Orange)[edit]

In September 2005, some of the most notable Blender artists and developers began working on a short film using primarily free software, in an initiative known as the Orange Movie Project hosted by the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMk). The resulting film, Elephants Dream, premiered on March 24, 2006. In response to the success of Elephants Dream, the Blender Foundation founded the Blender Institute to do additional projects with two announced projects: Big Buck Bunny, also known as "Project Peach" (a 'furry and funny' short open animated film project) and Yo Frankie, also known as Project Apricot (an open game in collaboration with CrystalSpace that reused some of the assets created during Project Peach). This has later made its way to Nintendo 3DS's Nintendo Video between the years 2012 and 2013.

Big Buck Bunny (Open Movie Project: Peach)[edit]

On October 1, 2007, a new team started working on a second open project, "Peach", for the production of the short movie Big Buck Bunny. This time, however, the creative concept was totally different. Instead of the deep and mystical style of Elephants Dream, things are more "funny and furry" according to the official site.[126] The movie had its premiere on April 10, 2008.

Yo Frankie! (Open Game Project: Apricot)[edit]

"Apricot" is a project for production of a game based on the universe and characters of the Peach movie (Big Buck Bunny) using free software. The game is titled Yo Frankie. The project started February 1, 2008, and development was completed at the end of July 2008. A finalized product was expected at the end of August; however, the release was delayed. The game was released on December 9, 2008, under either the GNU GPL or LGPL, with all content being licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.[127]

Sintel (Open Movie Project: Durian)[edit]

The Blender Foundation's Project Durian[128] (in keeping with the tradition of fruits as code names) was this time chosen to make a fantasy action epic of about twelve minutes in length,[129] starring a teenage girl and a young dragon as the main characters. The film premiered online on September 30, 2010.[130] A game based on Sintel was officially announced on on May 12, 2010.[131][132]

Many of the new features integrated into Blender 2.5 and beyond were a direct result of Project Durian.

Tears of Steel (Open Movie Project: Mango)[edit]

Derek de Lint in a scene from Tears of Steel

On October 2, 2011, the fourth open movie project, codenamed "Mango", was announced by the Blender Foundation.[133][134] A team of artists assembled using an open call of community participation. It is the first Blender open movie to use live action as well as CG.

Filming for Mango started on May 7, 2012, and the movie was released on September 26, 2012. As with the previous films, all footage, scenes and models were made available under a free content compliant Creative Commons license.[135][134]

According to the film's press release, "The film's premise is about a group of warriors and scientists, who gather at the 'Oude Kerk' in Amsterdam to stage a crucial event from the past, in a desperate attempt to rescue the world from destructive robots."[136]

Cosmos Laundromat (Open Movie Project: Gooseberry)[edit]

Cosmos Laundromat – First Cycle

On January 10, 2011, Ton Roosendaal announced that the fifth open movie project would be codenamed "Gooseberry" and that its goal would be to produce a feature-length animated film. He speculated that production would begin sometime between 2012 and 2014.[137] The film was to be written and produced by a coalition of international animation studios. The studio lineup was announced on January 28, 2014,[138] and production began soon thereafter. As of March 2014, a moodboard had been constructed[139] and development goals had been set. The initial ten minute pilot was released on YouTube on August 10, 2015.[140] It won the SIGGRAPH 2016 Computer Animation Festival Jury's Choice award.[141]


Caminandes is a series of animated short films centers on the llama Koro in Patagonia and his attempts to overcome various obstacles.

  • Caminandes 1: Llama Drama (2013)
  • Caminandes 2: Gran Dillama (2013)
  • Caminandes 3: Llamigos (2016)

Glass Half[edit]

The Blender Institute produced a new 3 minute cartoon short with a simple story, snappy animation and rendered in a non photo-realistic style. The focus was on short form storytelling, good design and clear animation.

Two amateur art critics meet in a gallery and argue passionately about the pieces they see, until finally they find a piece on which they can agree…

The characters are 3d animated and have been rendered in real-time using OpenGL shaders.

Agent 327: Operation Barbershop[edit]

Agent 327 is investigating a clue that leads him to a barbershop in Amsterdam. Little he knows that he is being tailed by mercenary Boris Kloris…

This three-minute teaser for a full-length animated feature is based on Dutch artist Martin Lodewijk’s classic comics series Agent 327. The Blender Animation Studio is currently developing the story and seeks for funding to bring this adventurous comedy animation film to an international audience.

Release in May 2017.


Hero is a showcase for the upcoming Grease Pencil in Blender 2.8. Grease Pencil means 2D animation tools within a full 3D pipeline. In Blender. In Open Source. Free for everyone!


Spring is the first Blender Open Movie directed and written by Andy Goralczyk. It's a poetic short film about a mountain spirit and her little dog. Together they bring spring to the valleys after a long and dark winter in the mountains. The film's art direction is in the hands of David Revoy - who worked on three of our short films as concept artist before. For Spring we'll stay very close to David's creative universe - presenting a universe influenced by European and Asian folk tales and myths.

The 7 minutes film will be made possible thanks to Blender Cloud subscribers, and will be produced by the studio of Blender Institute in Amsterdam. Production time is predicted to be 8-9 months, aligning the film with work on Blender 2.8. Just like how Sintel made 2.5x stable, we will use work on Spring to give Blender 2.8 a full production test before it gets officially released.

Online services[edit]

Blender Cloud[edit]

The Blender Cloud platform, launched in March 2014 and operated by the Blender Institute, is a subscription-based cloud computing platform and Blender client add-on which provides hosting and synchronization for backed-up animation project files.[142] It was launched to promote and fundraise for Project: Gooseberry, and is intended to replace the selling of DVDs by the Blender Foundation with a subscription-based model for file hosting, asset sharing and collaboration.[143][144] A feature of the Blender Cloud is Blender Sync, which provides synchronization between Blender clients for file changes, user preferences and other features.[145]

Blender ID[edit]

The Blender ID is a unified login for Blender software and service users, providing a login for Blender Cloud, the Blender Store, the Blender Conference, Blender Network, Blender Development Fund and the Blender Foundation Certified Trainer Program.[146]

See also[edit]

  • ManuelbastioniLAB, a free and open-source plug-in for Blender for the parametric 3D modeling of photorealistic humanoid characters


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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]