Getting support: the Blender community
Being freely available from the start, even while closed source, helped considerably in Blender's adoption. A large, stable and active community of users has gathered around Blender since 1998. The community showed its support for Blender in 2002 when they helped raise €100,000 in seven weeks to enable Blender to go Open Source under the GNU GPL.
The community spans two widely overlapping sites:
The Development Community, centered around the Blender Foundation site. Here you will find the home of the development projects, the Functionality and Documentation Boards, the CVS repository with Blender sources, all documentation sources, and related public discussion forums. Developers contributing code to Blender itself, Python scripters, documentation writers, and anyone working for Blender development in general can be found here.Go to http://www.blender.org
The User Community, centered around the independent BlenderArtists site. Here Blender artists, gamemakers and fans gather to show their creations, get feedback, ask for and offer help to get a better insight into Blender's functionality. Blender Tutorials and the Knowledge Base can be found here as well.Go to http://www.BlenderArtists.org
These two websites are not the only Blender resources. The worldwide community has created a large number of independent sites, in local languages or devoted to specialized topics. A constantly updated list of Blender resources can be found at the above mentioned sites.
IRC chat channels
For immediate online feedback there are three IRC chat channels permanently open on irc.freenode.net. You can join these with your favorite IRC client:
- #blender Community support channel
- #blenderchat for general discussion of blender
- #blenderqa for asking questions on Blender usage
- #gameblender for discussion on issues related to game creation with Blenders included game engine
For developers there is also :
- #blendercoders for developers to ask questions and discuss development issues, as well as a meeting each Sunday at 4 pm Netherlands time
- #blenderpython for discussion of the python API and script development
- #blenderwiki for questions related to editing the wiki
Who uses Blender?
The Blender community is made up of people from all over the world, with novice and professional graphic artists, occasional users and commercial houses. This manual is written to serve the wide array of Blender users. You might be interested in using Blender if you are a:
- Hobbyist/Student that wants to explore the world of computer graphics (CG) and 3D animation.
- 2-D artist that produces single image art/posters or enhances single images as part of an image post-processing lab.
- 2-D artist or team that produces cartoon/caricature animations for television commercials or shorts (such as “The Magic of Amelia”).
- 3-D artist that works alone or with another person to produce short CG animations, possibly featuring some live action (such as "Suburban Plight").
- 3-D team that produces an animated (100% CG) movie (such as "Elephant's Dream", "Plumiferos", "Big Buck Bunny" or "Sintel").
- 3-D team that works together to produce live action movies that include some CG.
2D and 3D teams that produce movies and animations often specialize in certain aspects of CG. Some of these specific jobs that could use Blender include:
- Director - Defines what each Scene should contain, the action (animation) and shots (camera takes) within that scene.
- Modeler - Makes assets for the production. Specialties include Character, Prop and Landscapes/Stage modelers.
- Cameraman, Director of Photography (DP) - sets up the camera and its motion, shoots the live action, renders the output frames.
- Material Painter - paints the set, the actors, and anything that moves.
- Animation and Rigging - makes things hop about using armatures.
- Lighting and Color Specialist - Lights the stage and sets, adjusts colors to look good in the light, adds dust and dirt to materials, scenes, and textures.
- Special Purpose talent - Fluids, motion capture, cloth, dust, dirt, fire and explosion.
- Editor - takes all the raw footage from the DP and sequences it into an enjoyable movie.