Blender 2.43rc1 review

by on

Blender, the open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback.

License: Freeware
OS: Mac OS X
File size: 11245K
Developer: Blender Foundation
Price: $0.00
Updated: 15 Jan 2007
0 stars award from

Blender, the open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Blender offers a wide range of filters to help your efforts.

Here are some key features of "Blender":


Revolutionary non-overlapping and non-blocking UI delivers unsurpassed workflow
Flexible and fully configurable window layout with as many screen setups as you prefer
Undo support on all levels
Powerful built-in database system allowing instances, scene management, and dynamic linking multiple project files
Anti-aliased fonts with international translation support
Windows for animation curves/keys, outliner, schematic scene diagram, generic node editing system, non-linear video sequence editing, character animation action editor, non-linear animation mixer, image/UV editing, file/image selection and file management
Built-in text editor for annotations and editing Python scripts
Graphical user interface for Python scripts
Custom themes
Consistent interface across all platforms


A range of 3D object types including polygon meshes, NURBS surfaces, bezier and B-spline curves, metaballs, vector fonts (TrueType, PostScript, OpenType)
Very fast Catmull-Clark subdivision surfaces with optimal iso-lines display and sharpness editing
Modifier stack deformers souch as Lattice, Curve, Armature
Mirror modifier with middle vertices clipping and automatic deletion of inner faces
Non destructive real time Boolean and Array modifiers
Mesh modeling based on vertex, edge and/or face selection
Editing functions such as extrude, bevel, cut, spin, screw, warp, subdivide, noise
Smooth soft selection editing tools for organic modeling
Python scripting access for custom tools


Armature (skeleton) deformation with forward/inverse kinematics
Auto IK allows posing FK chains easily
Non-linear animation editor for mixing individual actions created in Action editor
Automated walkcycles along paths
Animated constraint system
Vertex key framing for morphing, with controlling sliders
Edit and create new blendshapes from existing targets
Character animation pose editor
Animated deformers (Lattice, Curve)
'Ipo' system integrates both motion curve and traditional key-frame editing
Audio playback, mixing and editing support for sound synchronisation
Timeline offers fast acces to many playback functions, autokey, help markers
Python scripting access for custom and procedural animation effects


Fast skeleton creation mode
Interactive 3D paint for vertex weighting
Fast envelope based skinning
Mirror editing (bone creation and weight painting)
Bone layers for better rig organization
B-splines interpolated bones
Constraint stack for IK solver setup and other constraints


Very fast inbuilt raytracer
Oversampling, motion blur, post-production effects, fields, non-square pixels
Tile-based and fully threaded
Render Layers and passes
Render engine tightly integrated with the node compositor
Halo, lens flares and fog effects
Vector motion-blur post-process effect (using node compositor)
Edge rendering for toon shading
Interactive preview rendering panel in any 3d view
Ambient Occlusion
Radiosity solver
Integral support for the famous Yafray render engine
Export scripts available for external renderers such as Renderman (RIB), Povray, Virtualight, Indigo


Diffuse shaders such as Lambert, Minnaert, Toon, Oren-Nayar, Lambert
Specular shaders such as WardIso, Toon, Blinn, Phong, CookTorr
Node editor for creating and mixing complex materials
Material previews rendered by main render engine
Tangent shading to give any shader an anisotropic effect
Versatile procedural textures system
Environment maps
Normal maps

UV Unwrapping

Conformal and Angle Based unwrapping methods
Interactive transform of UV maps by vertex pinning
Proportional falloff editing of UV maps for smooth transformations
Seam based unwrapping
Cube, Cylinder, Sphere, View projections
Catmull-Clark subdivition of UVs for less distortion
Minimize stretch tool allows to reduce area distortion

Physics and Particles

Particle system can be atached to any mesh object. Control methods include weight painting, textures, curve guides, wind and vortex effects. Particles can be deflected by moving geometry
Hair strands can be created by a static particle system, supporting all particle control methods
Fluid simulator with fully animated inflow, outflow, obstacle and fluid objects. Gravity and viscosity settings can also be animated. Supports vector blur and is integrated with the particle system
Realtime soft body solver integrated in mesh, lattice, curve and text objects. Supports collision detection and particle field effects like Wind or Vortex, soft bodys can also be baked for faster playback/rendering
Game engine rigid body physics can be easily baked into animation curves

Editing and Compositing

Compositor tightly integrated and aligned with the rendering pipeline
Composite nodes souch as Render Result, RGB Curves, Mix, Hue Saturation, Alpha Over, Z Combine, Normal, Vector Curves, Filter, Blur, Vector Blur, Color Ramp, Time
Preview panel to define the portion of interest. A composite then only happens on this part
Threaded and memory efficient
Near realtime sequencer can edit hours of video
Waveform and U/V scatter plots
Open and write many audio & video file formats using ffmpeg(linux only at the moment, FFMPEG for Windows/OS X is scheduled for next release)
Can render using frameserver-support directly into foreign applications
Supports float images as well as regular 32 bits images
Curves tool allows you to create a mapping from the float range to a displayable result (for HD images)

Realtime 3D/Game Creation

Graphical logic editor for defining interactive behavior without programming
Collision detection and dynamics simulation now support to Bullet Physics Library. Bullet is an opensource Detection and Rigid Body Dynamics Library for games, free for commercial use including play station 3
Shape types: Convex polyhedron, box, sphere, cone, cylinder, capsule, compound, and static triangle mesh with auto deactivation mode
Discrete collision detection for RigidBody simulation
Support for in-game activation of dynamic constraints
Full support for vehicle dynamics, including spring reactions, stiffness, damping, tyre friction etc
Python scripting API for sophisticated control and AI, fully defined advanced game logic
Support all OpenGLTM lighting modes, including transparencies, Animated and reflection-mapped textures
Support for multimaterials, multitexture and texture blending modes, per-pixel lighting, dynamic lighting, mapping modes, GLSL vertexPaint texture blending, toon shading, animated materials, support for Normal Maping and Parallax Mapping
Playback of games and interactive 3D content without compiling or preprocessing
Audio, using the SDL toolkit
Multi-layering of Scenes for overlay interfaces


Save all scene data in a single .blend file, even images, sounds or fonts can be packed for easy transportation
.blend format supports compression, digital signatures, encryption, forwards/backwards compatibility and can be used as a library to link to from other .blend files
Read (R) and write (W) support for many other 2D and 3D formats
TGA, JPG, PNG, OpenEXR, DPX, Cineon, Radiance HDR, Iris, SGI Movie, IFF, AVI and Quicktime GIF, TIFF, PSD, MOV (Windows and Mac OS X)
3D Studio (R/W), AC3D (R/W), COLLADA (R/W), Cal3D (W), DEC Object File Format (R/W), DirectX (W), Lightwave (R/W), MD2 (R/W), Motion Capture (R/W), Nendo (R/W), OpenFlight (R/W), PLY (R/W), Pro Engineer (R), Radiosity (R/W), Raw Triangle (R/W), Softimage (W), STL (R/W), TrueSpace (R/W), VideoScape (R/W), VRML (R/W), VRML97 (R/W), Wavefront (R/W), Wings3D (R/W), X3D Extensible 3D (W), xfig export (W)

300 MHz CPU
128 MB Ram
20 MB free hard disk Space
1024 x 768 px Display with 16 bit color
3 Button Mouse
Open GL Graphics Card with 8 MB Ram

Blender 2.43rc1 search tags