Rebrand Blender

Hey Everyone,

In response to Andrew Prices latest podcast, I have just started a tumblr called It’s a website for members of the blender community to submit ideas, comments, and advice on how Blender could be rebranded and pushed into the professional world. Any comments and suggestions welcome.


I obviously haven’t listened to the podcast, but what would the point be of rebranding Blender?

Anyone, including professional users, can use Blender with its current branding…

There’s too much brand equity in Blender as it is now for a rebrand to be worth doing.

The podcast is here. I don’t agree with a lot of what he said, but it’s worth listening to.

Edit: Also this one, at around the 30min mark.

I actually have to agree with all of Andrew’s points. I think these things are very important. But I think it’s only half the battle. The other half is making it more comfortable to people who use other 3D software. And yes, before anyone jumps on me, it is easy for the most part to edit Blender to make it behave like you are expecting. However, a new user knows nothing about this and there’s not a lot of readily available information about it. Sure you can click on the Maya preset in the splash screen but then all your hot keys are messed up and when you go to learn about how to use Blender, the keys are all different from what you see in the tutorials. For instance, W is the specials menu but in Maya it’s move. How does that user find the specials menu now?

So, it’s more than just rebranding in my mind. But these points are very valid just the same.

hahahaha, rebranding blender :D:D:D
and we need new features :smiley:

sorry folks, blender community (yes, you) will kill blender…

I suspect somebody’s absorbed too much sauce.

I don’t know - in the overall view, I think the BF is already moving this direction. I don’t agree with some of the pervasive ideas that Blender need be a clone of x software to be usable in pipeline, but I do agree that it is necessary to make it easier for new users to get around and figure things out - along the lines of the idea of re-defaulting the lmb as select, etc.

That said, at Theory Animation we already have a team of animators that have come from Maya and Max and are getting along with the current Blender, so improvements would just make it that much easier to get people trained.

While I’m in general support of Andrew Price’s efforts to promote Blender, I have to say that Blender has gone too far and has attracted enough attention to necessitate a rebrand.

You look at CGTalk, you look at this community, you look at the Blender Network, everyone knows Blender as it is right now, to suggest a full-on rebranding risks creating confusion and at worst, the alienation of users who has stuck with Blender since before the 2.5 rewrite.

Besides that, I don’t think a rebrand would do a whole lot in pushing Blender in the professional community, more like things like more sophisticated and expansive hotkey presets and better documentation (maybe even some of that built into Blender like a hotkey comparison guide if one is using the Maya preset, the Max preset, or their own).

My problem with the rebrand idea: it hints that Blender could turn into commercialware if rebranded.

How so? Do you mean that there would be people selling Blender itself, or that there would be people selling addons and tools like currently happens, or people selling services and training like already exists? If you mean that it would be closed source, I disagree with that.

@Craig, there have been people selling Blender through rebranding and tricks in the not so distant past :

Doing this is technically impossible, because it would mean that Blender would also need to be re-licensed when it gets re-branded.

Blender is currently distributed under the terms of the GPL and to give it a commercial license so as to close the source would require the approval of every person who contributed code over the last eleven years. Tracking that many people down conversely would be difficult to begin with and even then it’s likely that some may not want their code to be commercialized with the program.

On top of that, Ton has stated before that he is going to keep Blender going as free software, you can’t even start the commercialization process without his approval, but do remember that this thread is about re-branding, which is different and is more akin to putting on a new coat of paint in an effort to make it look more professional.

Rebrand doesn’t necessarily mean rename. Andrew’s opinion is that Blender needs to be “sold” better. He likes all that marketing stuff. Lots of bullet points, testimonials, charts that tell you that you’re saving money by spending it; stuff like that.

“All that marketing stuff” is how successful businesses and non-profits alike gain broad following, respect, and funding. I’ve done marketing for non-profit organizations and you wouldn’t believe the difference in public perception and support that can be made simply by things like updating to a modern looking website and writing good copy. Being taken more seriously outside our own community would go a long way toward getting the kind of funding and support needed to keep improving Blender itself.

A lot of the posts on this thread already sound like people haven’t actually listened to the points they’re trying to discuss. Rebranding has nothing to do with licensing or changing the name or anything like that. It’s simply about presentation. No one is talking about literally selling Blender, as in making it a commercial product. This is about selling in the sense of convincing people, not literally exchanging money. Selling people on an idea. Listen first. Discuss after. Don’t argue based on assumptions. This thread is already derailed from the original point by people arguing against things that no one was actually arguing for in the first place.

I think marketing gimmicks can easily make your site look untrustworthy. 3DMagix for example seems to be based entirely off notes taken at a marketing seminar, with almost zero website design knowledge.

Where I disagree with Andrew’s assertion is to me the problem doesn’t seem to be in the marketing. Blender is mentioned everywhere. One of the most popular threads on the Modo forum is a Blender thread. Most professional 3D artists at some point seem to at least try Blender. The part Blender struggles with is retaining them.

The reputation Blender’s brand has is that it is really difficult to pick up and learn. Professionals look for things to increase their productivity speed, and Blender has an initial productivity drop that is rather substantial for a lot of people. Even if Blender rebranded with different marketing, it won’t solve this problem.

That’s fair. But Blender is easier to get into than it has been in the past, though it’s still got a long way to go before overcoming its workflow speed limitations. Part of rebranding though is changing attitudes within. When Target rebranded in the late 90s and early 2000s, it was by changing how clean and inviting the stores were. That required changing the way they did things. Any real rebranding effort on the part of Blender would absolutely have to go beyond a website facelift; it would have to involve making Blender easier to integrate into an existing workflow.

Talk about derailing a conversation…I think I just invited another UI argument. puts on his helmet and dives into a foxhole

This is a serious problem with “Marketing” which in today’s world is a more polite way of saying propaganda. Enough already! Not everything has to have a brand. Sure there are better ways of promoting Blender and adding some polish this is true but forget the PR campaign. Blender is an excellent tool and doesn’t have to be spoon-fed to the public, if someone is genuinely interested in a powerful / free / open-source 3d package they’ll come:)

Rebrand Blender

Hopefully just bad choice of words, because that sounds moronic (no offence). It’s getting a bit much this obsession with wanting to push Blender into the “professional market”, as if Blender isn’t anything worth (yea, well…) if it isn’t used by ILM or Naughty Dog, or that Blender would suddenly gain tons of “professional” developers and features “if only it works like Maya per default”…

Look at how awesome Blender has developed since it was liberated, and how many users started using it, especially after 2.5x. The target audience already know about Blender by now, whether they want to use it or not. A pretty webpage won’t change their mind. Nobody’s validation of it matters really, except your own. And if you still want “Hollywood’s” answer, haven’t you read Ton’s Siggraph report? It takes time, always, no reason to feel entitled to a specific preference now! Bmesh took forever, but we have it now, YAY! Am I a fanboy? lol whatever. Relatively soon (1+ years) we’ll have Open{Subdiv,VDB} and maybe Alembic, PartIO, etc. But booo, it doesn’t support proprietary formats and plugins and the license sucks, so everything else is irrelevant, right?

It would be fun to see, just if primary studios switched to Blender today and had a guarantied seat to anyone who mastered it, how fast many who now thinks it isn’t “industry standard” would learn to love RMB select and the 3D cursor :wink: Totally unrealistic yes, but we would learn to use their inhouse software no doubt, or follow if they pick up Houdini. Maya keybindings won’t make learning/understanding Houdini any faster… Who knows if/when Blender will play a larger part of a summer blockbuster, and if that will change “new pro users” perception of something that doesn’t mimic their current workflow. Does it really matter? If it takes 4 years for mainstream adoption, would you wait learning Blender until then? Does it matter if it takes 4 years? 8?

I don’t understand why somehow people expect the BF to do the heavy marketing push. I would rather all income to the BF is used on development, and not on campaigns trying to “sell” Blender like some consumer device. This is a community, it is up to us to spread the word, like BlenderGuru, CG-Cookie, BlenderNation and many more are already doing. Maybe someday we’ll get corporate sponsors that are willing to pay for “professional” marketing, like with the members of Linux Foundation, but until then if you think Blender needs “Rebranding” you are free to become a more active member and participate in the process (and risk becoming a fanboy!)