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Why my school decieded not to use blender

Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 12:07 pm
by ideasman
At my school we use Lightwave and have been having a lot of problems that are costing the institution to resolve.

At a staff meeting the possibility of using blender was seriously discussed.

It has a lot going for it in an educational environment-
- Students can use it at home
- Fast render times (Lightwave can render slow if student don't know much about raytracer settings)
- Good user base, tutorials
- Enough features for general 3D work
- Python/Game engine etc... Are nice too.
- Portable files with packed images (home to school)

The main reasion that blender was not chosen was that it is not currently seen as an industry standard.

One thing my school does is to train students to work in the industry.

The kind of responce you would get is "Why are we using blender? Isnt it some shareware app, no one uses it in the industry, how am I supposed to get a job?"

It would help blender if there was a section on the web page showing case studdies of commercial work done using blender (as well as the pet projects)

This into is not available so when I was asked this question by another teacher I just sead that I did not know of any commercial jobs made using blender.

Also, how many people have jobs using blender? - Are there people working in TV/Animation/Games industry?

If so it would be good to have there web sites linked from if they don't have a website then a bit about them.

This has been going on with blender developers (good stuff) but it would be better for blender in education - if there were profiles of people who are now using blender as a part of there job.

I thing that blender could increase its user base if schools were to teach it.
I would have liked to see my school use blender- mabe later.

- Ideasman

Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2003 1:02 pm
by matt_e
Actually, Ton had this idea not so long ago, and we made a new section on, 'Professionals' under the 'Community' section ( ). Unfortunately it's pretty sparse right now.. we need some more links.

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 11:21 am
by modron
Probably people aren't aware of that section yet, and also it would maybe be a good idea to put something about it on the front page. For yet more publicity how about a contest with various divisions and catagories? Have professional and amatuer divisions, different divisions based upon overall time of animation, for instance, a division for under 1 minute, another for between 1-5, best overall animation, best overall rendering, most original, best naturalistic, best sci-fi, etc? Maybe this would give people more of a chance to see what blender is capable of in capable hands.

Posted: Sun Aug 03, 2003 10:55 pm
by Sutabi
I think thats a good idea ^_^

Hehe becuase I am a wanna be company who is really just an amatuer with a crappy computer wanting to make money/projects with blender. But people's sites like @ndys should be up there ^_^

But also Blender can lead people into jobs using actural apps like Lightwave. Becuase if you use blender sooner or later your going to be forced to push your 3d knowlege and once you start doing that using another 3d application is much easier

Cant' be much of an education

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 1:57 am
by millirad
It always surprises me that programs become more important in industry than results.
The money that film companies save using a tool like blender far outwieghs the
'industry standard' argument. Obviously most film companies have thier heads firmly planted
up thier own butts anyway. That's why tiny little companies canmake perfectly good movies and
get wide distribution despite them.

I'm looking forward to some really good OpenMovie(s) where things are developed completely online outside the grasping claws of motion picture companies. By the time they wake up they'll be extinct.



Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 6:22 am
by modron
haha. here's another good reason for educational institutions to adopt blender,....: Upon graduating, the students are equipped with software that they don't have to pawn their engagement ring for. It's free! How many students do you know that can afford the prices that competetive systems charge?

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 9:05 am
by ideasman
I disagree.
many students will learn maya/lw/max at school, and get a job working for companies that will supply them with software.
A good 3D job will pay enough to purchase the software anyway.

Companies use lw/max/maya because they have features that blender is missing (no flame intended)
Remember how quickly high end 3D moved from Softimage to Maya. If blender was that good, it would be widly used in industry right now.

Buying maya, lightwave or 3dsmax is not a big deal for companies.
Its often cheaper to buy the software then to pay a developer to add features to blender.

The company I work for offered to buy me 3DS MAX, but I chose to use blender. Because it is good at creating low poly realtime models with uvmapping and vertex painting.
I also chose to use blender because I already knew python and I have a soft spot for linux.

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 3:46 pm
by Pablosbrain
The price issue is less of an issue now than ever. Several good and major packages are available for less that $2k. And yeah that seems like a lot of money.. but I've seen students use their student loans for less applicable items before. I saved up the money so I could buy one. I'm thinking of buying maya in the next year as well. Money is becoming less and less an issue.

Its eventually going to come down to what the package can do or supports or how well you know a certain package and how quickly you can turn out the finished product. Even though I do own commercial software I still use blender for various things because I can install it almost anywhere and get some work done.

In my class I taught last semester I also used Blender as the 3D application of choice along with Wings3D. Its the concepts that will bring you through to the end. Not the software. An artist creates art... not a computer (the tool).

Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2003 4:07 pm
by SirDude
Just a couple of comments.

Your decision shouldn't be use what everyone else is using, thats certainly a good place to start, but the decision should be based on what can the software do, not who uses it.

Who uses it, answers what software is out there not what software should I be using.

Granted it is nice to be using an app your future employer is using. I think its pretty much a given though that they all do the basics in similar ways and it shouldn't be too much work to transfer your knowledge to other apps.

For classwork though I would say the more programs you
use the better for the students.

Personally if I were teaching the class, I would leave it up to the students and make as many options available as possible, as well as encourage them to play around with them all and decide on one they want to work with.

Blender needs to be part of KDE or GNOME

Posted: Wed Aug 06, 2003 2:44 am
by zinc_chameleon
The point with Blender is it needs to align itself with the emerging desktop systems in wide use in the film industry. Once Pixar is all Linux, there's no reason for a open-source 3d graphics program not to be a part of the best GUI. Imagine if Maya came installed with Windows XP; that's the kind of market penetration Blender needs now.

I've posted this before, and it upsets people, but, if you want Blender to have a future, it's got to be a common as GIMP and as easily accessible.

Linux is going to kick M$'s butt this year; SCO or no.

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2003 2:07 pm
by ideasman
I think that the great thing about blender is that it does not depend on any particular OS/Hardware (Yes software openGL does work)

When big brand 3D apps support Linux + Windows (Softimage and Maya) it is a big deal, but blender runs on most os's and platforms.
This will be really good for intergrating blender into existing industries.

Blender needs industry standard features.
I think that seemless Renderman support will push Blender a long way in commercial areas.

Others such as unlimited layers, more then 18000 frames (What if I want to make a movie that is longer then 1/4 of an hour?)
- Not meaning to flame but if blender was every bit as good as max/maya/ls more people would be using it.

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 12:48 am
by nuance9
Can OSS compete in "the industry"? Absolutely.

Just look at the success that CinePaint (formerly Film Gimp) has achieved.

Here is some info from their webpage:
Studio Users

CinePaint is known to be in use at these studios.

* Rhythm & Hues: Harry Potter, Cats & Dogs, Dr. Dolittle 2, Little Nicky, Grinch, Sixth Day, Stuart Little, and Planet of the Apes
* Sony Pictures Imageworks: Stuart Little II
* Hammerhead: Showtime, Blue Crush and 2 Fast, 2 Furious
* Flash Film Works: in production on Duplex (Danny Divito director)
* Computer Cafe: in production on an unnamed film (Sean Connery)

Studio Developers

Some developers contributing code to CinePaint work at studios, but no studio currently sponsors CinePaint officially.

* Rhythm & Hues
* Sony Pictures Imageworks
* DreamWorks
To me there appear to be two big differences between CinePaint and what I have seen with Blender, and I could be completely wrong.

First, some of the team over at CinePaint seem to have industry connections. Forget quality of product, knowing the right people helps open doors. So what connections does the Blender community have that might be valuable? Could a dialog be opened with CinePaint?

Second, it seems that CinePaint is making it very clear that they WANT the studios to use CinePaint. And they are willing to work with studios to make CinePaint into the program that "the industry" WANTS and NEEDS.

If I was a business person and someone came up to me and said that they wanted to give me a piece of software that was tailored to my specific needs, allowing me to produce more work, at higher quality and less cost - and that I could have it for free - I just needed to help define what I wanted so that the final product would be "just right" - I would probably be at least interested in hearing more. Than I would probably need to be convinced that person making me this offer had the ability and resources to follow through on the proposition so that I wouldn't be wasting my time.

So what do we do? How can we help Blender achieve the same succes as CinePaint?

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 3:55 am
by matt_e
Not to beat on the Gimp, since it's quite a capable piece of software, but a major reason that Cinepaint has had its industry connections and success is that it's all they've had access to on Linux. These effects companies have been transitioning to Linux to use Maya and/or their proprietary in-house SGI software that they've ported over, mainly for cost reasons. As part of the conditions of going to a Linux setup, they've had to leave Photoshop/Amazon Paint (only announced a Linux version in 2002)/whatever behind. So they - originally mainly devs from rhythm & hues - picked up Gimp and started extending it with 16bpc colour support and other such features.

If I'm not mistaken on my history, it's not a matter of Cinepaint trying to reach a target market (effects studios) by working with studios - it's the studios themselves that created Cinepaint in the first place because the Gimp developers weren't interested in the modifications that the studios wanted to make to it.

At least that's my take on the situation anyway. I'm not sure how it relates to Blender either :P. It's a lot more difficult to push the open source "do it yourself" angle, especially when other apps like Maya, Houdini are so easily extended with scripting and plugins that you don't really need access to the source code.

Posted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 6:43 pm
by nuance9
broken wrote:It's a lot more difficult to push the open source "do it yourself" angle, especially when other apps like Maya, Houdini are so easily extended with scripting and plugins that you don't really need access to the source code.
Broken -

So I guess my question is, as I have been asking over on Elysiun: What do the Project Leaders want Blender to be? If the main attraction of Blender is going to be "Hey, it's free". Fine. But I want to know that.

Personally I am brand new to 3D. But I am not just learning 3D with the idea that "hey this is kind of neat". I am thinking, "hey this is kind of neat, and I wonder if I could make some money at it someday". If I can, the cost of Maya, etc. really makes little difference. Additionally Maya, XSI, Houdini ALL have free learning editions which would allow me to do the same thing I am doing now with Blender - learn 3D.

I'm not trying to bash Blender. I think it is an amazing product and project. But I would like to have a clearer picture of where the product is going, and I think a bunch of other users would too.

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2003 3:42 pm
by modron
I've seen some amazing things in Tuhopuu. Meta-Shapes, among them. And there is the real time radiosity render Blender. Blender is highly compatible with Yafray, a ray tracer. I am curious to see what the next version will bring. Frankly I see no reason not to use Blender. It's simply a good piece of software.