Blender, or not blender, that is the question

Hello

I have one doubts, i dont know if this question is in other thread. If is before can give me the link please.

OK the question:confused:

I know the capabilities of Blender, i buy Elephant dream, and i belive blender is a very good program but…Before learn in deep blender, i need know why is not more used in profesional fields?

Thanks,
Miquel

How long have you got? :smiley:

On the one hand: It is used in professional fields, just not to the same degree as other applications. As well as starting as an internal project with a ‘professional’ organisation, I, along with many other members of this website, use Blender professionally. Problem is, that certain applications have a foot hold in certain industries - Lightwave / Maya in cinema, Max in games etc. (not totally and absolutely, just greater percentage)

On the other hand: There are lots of reasons why it does not see greater use, and most of them are all about education, not lack of capabilities (now or potential).

i. You get what you pay for. An adage that is common across all ‘free’ software’ (not just Blender) is that many companies believe that they get what they pay for - hence, why most companies use MSOffice rather than OpenOffice. Things gradually change as companies have to justify expense, but that will probably not happen in the Graphics world as a lot of money can be made that offsets the cost of licensing.

ii. Training. Companies can pay for training for their employees, as well as many already having training out of colleges and universities. Blender training and education is still in its infancy. On top of this, companies that produce applications for sale also often sponsor training environments. My local college for example has a course on 3D Design (not necessarily CG) and use Maya for that process - despite everything that I’ve heard saying that Maya does not have a particularly good modeler and caused the Lighwave > Maya pipeline to develop (what I heard, don’t quote me on that).

iii. Exposure. Despite the great work that ED and lots of others do with Blender (don’t just fixate on ED), Blender still does not have the visibility of ‘professional level’ and ‘professional length’ animations etc. I seem to recall that in the last two Expose’s for example, there is no work credited to Blender (though I seem recall from reading on this site, that there is at least 1 in Expose 4).

iv. Development. Blender, until recently, was still in its infancy. There are lots of additional functions over and above the basic 3D mesh building that are needed in a professional application. In other applications, these are provided by plugins and other applications - many produced by third-parties, and nearly also needing their own licenses (i.e. more expense). That has been gradually changing in Blender, and it’s now out of its diapers. Many of these plugin equivilents are now available.

TBH. The above are just a few reasons, but they are all changing. What is required is more education of buyers, more visibility of Blender with professional quality work, and more options for ‘official’ Blender training.

It will come - and that’s the view of a company owner / professional artist, not just a ‘Blender Believer’.

Blender has the makings of a world-class CGI application and its probably already 90% of the way there - we just need to convince the rest of the CGI world of that.

I’ll have to agree…there are many things that blender can’t do yet, for instance, cloth simulations, high res fluids (unless you have a FANTASTICALLY powerful computer) and particle dynamics to name a few. Professional grade software has these.

Simply put :
other apps have a HUGE headstart, not only on features but also on the pro user base side.

Time only will tell what Blender will become but if the last 2-3 years of development mean anything…
:slight_smile:

Thanks for explanation.

In my opinion the problem is the lack of work examples with high quality, expressing all the power of blender. For example i see only one animation with a good character animation (one of a mechanic chair)
Elephant dream is very good short film, but the animation is poor. (in my opinion)

i think the docoumentation in blender is good, but we need more of course.

Can someone give some links with good animations :slight_smile:

M

Some can be seen by going to the home page of this site, then going into the gallery > animations. I have loads on my HD, but I tend to download and forget the original web addresses.

The siggraph reels have some good examples however - if you can get your hands on them. Try the usual ‘official’ blender websites for them.

Blender has the makings of a world-class CGI application and its probably already 90% of the way there - we just need to convince the rest of the CGI world of that.

I agree Its there but not complete…wait another a few more years and then it should be capable to compete with some of the higher end applications…but since its free which can be an advantage for some companies especially for small businesses…since they lack the same reasources as a larger corporation…I say blender should help the little guy first…

There is lack of artist behind Blender, and that’s the real reason. People just don’t belive, that anything not paid for can work as espected. But I believe it will change very soon…

>>> i need know why is not more used in profesional fields

probably for pipeline compatibility and definitely for existing investment in the toolset and public image.

(e.g. if you already had Nuendo, and use it for - say - simple tasks, would you take on running Audacity even if it does multitrack etc? and risk ppl coming to your shop questioning “will this really work”)

the picture, otoh, radically changes if you plan to do your own stuff…

It’s never going to be ‘complete’ and will probably never ‘compete’ with the big apps on a feature vs feature basis. But that’s not all that interesting anyway - the big question is, “is Blender capable of doing what you need it to do, in order to create what you want to create?”. I think the number of people who can say “yes” to this grows with each release.

This is my opinon and just an observation (and by no means meant to start a flame war) but, if you search the news section at CGTalk for Blender, you’ll see that with every announcement, the subject of User Interface comes up.

With very little effort, I am generally able to open Lightwave, Maya, XSI or Cinema4D (actually a licensed LW user) and at least for modeling, am able to get the basics done within minutes. I have a basic set of things I try with every app and with Blender, it took me significantly longer to learn to do them.

With a lot of studios using Linux now, I think the “opposed to free software” conspiracy theory is not very accurate. Studios are always looking for ways to cut costs and I’m sure that the less money they have to spend on software licenses, the more appealing it is but, as the old saying goes, “Time is Money”. Again, if the artist finds that what he’s doing takes significantly longer to accomplish in Blender over something like Maya, what’s the benefit of switching?

I’m not knocking Blender… just summarizing my observations of what others have said.

The interface will be enhanced, little by little but don’t expect a Windozed interface, ever : the option of having it a little difficult to learn but much faster to use will stand, I’d bet my last… now what do I have left to bet…

Education, Education, Education…

blender doesn’t have an entire row of books in barnes and noble
or dvd training sets or websites where you get one on one training with a “professional” for a price.

and blender is always developing

Faster to use than what / how / why? Example(s) ?

That seems to be a cliche’ or maybe Blender’s “motto”.

I’ve used Maya, Max, XSI and Houdini and don’t find Blender any faster (or slower) to use than the rest.

I’m also only a novice-intermediate user with all of these packages.

All of these packages are “big” with big learning curves.

Mike

Oh boy ! This could be the start of a long, fastidious debate and I tell you right now that I have no intentions to dwell in it very much. Nevertheless I centainly owe you an explanation, even if sticking the ‘cliché’ word in my face wasn’t very nice : I’m worth better than that.

For one can go fast with Blender because the use of the keyboard is almost mandatory. Shortcuts exist in other apps, customizable ones in many of them which is a big plus, but they are rarely… erm… ‘offered’ to the user from the get go the way they are in Blender.

I never have to fight with overlapping windows ; something that makes Blender really faster than anything for me is the fact that I can create just the right set of screens that will fit perfectly my workflow for any given type of project.

Its hierarchicas datablock organization is also a big plus. For an example, I can work with a basic model for most of the project and instantly change for a more complex one when I finalize. It is also great for trying stuff like different types of doors and windows, different molding, different materials and so on, all done in two clicks. Unfortunately I am not a master at using the datablocks structure and I feel that I am still missing many opportunities. Maybe Efbie’s tutorials will take me one step further.

Hope this makes that clearer.

Quoted for agreement. While education is certainly an issue w/r/t new users I think you don’t find a lot of professionals gravitating towards Blender because the interface is not only difficult to pick up (make all the arguments you want about the speed once you do pick it up, it’s still a P.I.T.A. to learn) but completely unconfigurable. It’s great that we Blender users think that you should have to click ‘b’ to box select but pretty much every other application in the history of man uses left click. I have been using blender for many months now and still end up moving the 3d cursor instead of selecting. Not only that but it comes off as a little … how to put this delicately … arrogant, to insist that the way it is done in this app is better than what almost every other app on the planet agrees is the way to select something. And to not allow that to be changed? If it weren’t for the fact that I have mostly gotten used to the way Blender works and I weren’t poor I would have given up Blender a long time ago.
Education certainly helps, especially newbies like me. When choosing an app it is an important consideration. But the awkward interface keeps many people from trying it for more than a moment. I hear this consistently and believe it. I don’t want to come off as inflexible either; I can live with the fact that you can’t separate the different views into different windows like most other apps and other small things. I would even keep most of the key mappings. But I have repeatecly heard people defend the Blender way of doing things nearly to the death rather than admit that other ways may be better or at least preferable. And I think it is losing users because of this. I don’t want to disparage Ton in the least but it sounds, from various posts I have read over time, that he pretty much likes working one way and doesn’t want to bring in a bunch of different developers etc. But what may have worked when it was coders working tightly with artists is not helping the general usability for everyone else. I know he is open to changing how the interface works but it is definately not at the top of the list for Blender improvements. This is frustrating in that if more new users came into Blender feeling like they could master it then there would be more tutorials and learning tools.
Just my 2 cents it’s just something that has been on my mind a lot lately and I feel pretty strongly about it.

oops I duped.

If I was starting a company I would definitely go for a commercial product. And the reason is very simple: training & support.

Sorry that you took the word ‘cliche’ personally, or found it offensive.
(Is your first name Ton ?) :smiley:

It just seems that every time someone (usually a new user) coments on Blender’s “odd” interface, the response is typically “yeah but it’s faster to use”. But I’ve never seen anything more on exactly what makes it faster.

While the other packages I mentioned all have many of their commands in Windoze type menus, they also have their quirky “non-windows-standard” type u.i. elements. An experienced user of any of those packages is proabably likely to say that “their” u.i. is faster to use too :slight_smile:

I think the only way any of these programs are faster to use, is when the user gets familiar enough with the package.

Something I find missing with all of the packages is context level help system for almost every button/setting etc. Zbrush, another package that I’ve played a bit with, does have a pretty good help system, but then, to me, I find Zb’s interface extremely confusing.

I haven’t used the datablock structure (intentionally) at all, other than to rename an object :slight_smile: I’ll look for ‘Efbie’s tutorials’ (do you have any links handy?)

Mike

I sure hope they don’t start messing around with the interface too much now… Once upon a time I might have wanted to select with left click, and I have no opinion on whether anything is innately faster than anything else, but I do know that you get used to what you use. (Now I just gotta get out of the habit of trying to move my Photoshop canvases around with Shift-Alt-LMB…)