10.000 $ Question.

Hi All,

Im a happy Blender user through almost two years now, and work professionally
with 3D Animation/art, though using Maya, 3Ds Max and alittle bit XSI as the
industry mainly uses those in their pipelines.

So I use blender at home and on freelance jobs i get from time to time (where the
client dont care about what 3D application i use) When ever i talked to other artist in
the industry (the ones who have heard about blender maybe even tried it but dont use
it) One question keep coming back that i cant answer which is …

How come Blender takes up 12 Mb but can still do so much, eg. Have a video
seq. modeling, texturing and animation tools, renders, etc etc. Where Maya /Max
/XSI typically takes up 400 + Mb ??

Im not a programmer but would love to know why, cos In my experience 1 out of 3
people who dont use blender use that fact/argument against blender. I know it’s
ignorance at its best, and why do i care ? well cos its a question worth knowing the
answer to …

So any who can explain it to me and i would appreciate it !

Thanks !


PS No im not preaching Blender to everyone i meet in the industry, It usually comes
up when we have problems that could be solved using blender . Like convert from
format to format, that being either 3D files or just picture files.

Blender doesnt have examples bundled with it’s installation, no textures/models/animations.
Also no Help file, instead it has an online wiki.
big commercial products also use full library’s instead of stripped down ones like Blender, i’ve read that before FFmpeg was included they first stripped it down and left only the things Blender needs.

so i think most of it is because of the fact that Blender doesnt include allot of junk in it’s installer and just makes it available online though wiki’s.
(ow yeah, 3dsmax usually ships Mental-Ray with an install adding a few more MB)

The good thing about having it online is that stuff gets improved over time, tips/tricks can get added.

I have spent time a few years ago to learn Maya5PLE. Now I am learning/doing everying in Blender. I am enjoying. Its so nice and helpfull package. Anywhere you stuck, just post a question and in the forum, and the answer is there in an hours. I am using daz3d and poser5 also. But I love blender.

I think Blender is coded in C, which gives a much tighter and smaller executable, especially when using non-Microsoft laden compilers. When you code something in Visual Studio, a ton of libraries and OS-specific routines get bundled in whether you need them or not.

You can do research maybe to see how big the wiki would be if it were on-line. I know I have 1 gig worth of wiki stuff on my hard disk.

Thanks for the answers, makes sense with the Help/documentation being on wiki.

However im still amazed/wondering how its possible to get all the functions (modeling,
render,animation,video Seq. Texturing/Materials) into 12 Mb (!?)

I was told by the coders from my previous job in a game company that C is a pretty
fast and makes smaller executables as PapaSmurf also said. But if its because of it
being written in C then wau … C is really sweat !

Then how come not many write in C ? Maybe thats a new thread but thanks for all your answers, really relevant !


I think pretty much all major 3d modeling packages are coded either in C or C++ so the language isnt the issue here…

I’d say a big component is the interface. Those apps (not sure about XSI) are native windows apps that hook into the usual interface API of windows - requiring all the peripheral dlls that Papa mentioned. Blender’s use of OpenGL for its interface “drawing”, while it may have its detractions, certainly contributes to code efficiency. (no expert, tho - only guessing.)

On a side note if those people say blender is inferior because of it’s installer size maybe you should ask them if they only use hammers that are large and heavy when they want to put a nail into a wall.

Fortunately, you said “I think”.

I think pretty much all major 3d modeling packages are coded either in C or C++ so the language isnt the issue here…
c++ often makes much bigger executables than c especially when using templates since as far as i know code gets duplicated for every type a template class gets used with.

I think a big part of it is the libraries: material libraries, sample libraries, libraries built by the compiler, etc. If you look at the actual executable, it’s a lot smaller.
And I know for a fact that 3ds max is compiled in C. It also doesn’t need to be transferred over internet protocol.

Like Cessen (a Blender developer) said in the CGtalk forums: It’s the other way around: how come the other apps are so big???

I totally agree. I used to program in Assembly (Yes, I’m that old). I made a 50 page assembly program once. My finger hurt from all that typing. It was a program that does a lot (including graphical stuff). After compiling the program was a mere 50kb.

Remember the Amiga and Atari ST days? One single floppy of 720 kb could hold a huge game that was graphical attractive with many many levels (including some voice samples). AND the Amiga had a mere 512 kb internal memory.

After Assembly, C is the most compact language. It’s very close to native code. The other apps like Max are much older than Blender. Blender used to fit on a single floppy. Now it is 8 Mb big! Besides, with consecutive Max releases, I don’t think they’d go back every time to the core/ kernel to give it an overhaul like had happened to Blender before.

Blender is gradually growing in size. I remember about 10 years ago when you could fit the Blender installation file on a 1.44 MB floppy disk!! It’s amazing how much functionality could be squeezed into such a small package. :slight_smile:

Edit oops I just read toontje’s post, well I guess it’s repetition for emphasis! hehe.