Today Blender 2.55 was released to the world (although, unfortunately, the 64-bit linux version is not up yet). For those that are unaware, Blender is a Free and Open Source 3D Content Creation Suite. That’s right, you can create 3D graphics content without paying thousands, and make your content look amazing. Of course, its still going to take a good bit of artistic ability and hard work to create the next CGI movie, but Blender provides the tools.
For myself, I’ve only fiddled around with Blender a bit, as I am not an animator. I can say that since the last stable release, Blender 2.49, there has been a significant improvement (from my view) to the interface, and I can only assume to the capabilities. The primary reason I even know about Blender 2.5 is OpenShot, our Non-Linear Editor of choice, now integrates Blender 2.5 into the editing process as a Animated Title creator, complete with OpenShot’s own set of templates and an interface to make things very simple and easy to create animated titles.
Of course, what speaks for the software better than anything else, I think, is what it can produce. And what better demonstration than a movie made by the Blender team to promote Blender 2.5?
Warning: While there is nothing too objectionable in this video, there is some animated violence. For that reason I’ll give a Parental Guidance advisory.
Sintel was produced early in the 2.5 project, which is a non-official release of Blender (its in Beta). Since its creation there have been several additions and improvements. When 2.6, the next official release, will come out is anyones guess at this point, but much can be done in the beta releases as you can see from the movie above (released under Creative Commons, I might add).
If you haven’t figured it out already, you can get Blender 2.55 (or 2.49) from blender.org, or from the Ubuntu Software Center if you are using Ubuntu. For us at PMC, Blender 2.49 came pre-installed with Ubuntu Studio. Of course, Blender is also available for Windows and Mac OS X.
UPDATE: The 64-bit version of Blender 2.55 is now up and available from the Blender.org site.