Welcome to Blender All-in-One For Dummies, your introduction to one of the most well-known free programs for creating 3D computer graphics. With Blender, you can create characters, props, environments, and nearly anything else your imagination can generate. And it's not just about creating objects. You can set them in motion, too. Tell a story in an animation, walk people through a world of your own creation, or add a special effect to some video footage. It's all possible. They still haven’t quite designed a way for Blender to give you a foot massage if you’ve had a bad day, but in all seriousness, it’s difficult to imagine a task in computer animation that you can’t do with Blender. And just think: the developers of Blender have included all these features in a package you can download for free and run on nearly any computer. Crazy!

Blender sits at a very unique position in the world of 3D computer graphics. In the distant past, to get into 3D modeling and animation, you had only a few options, and most of them were too expensive, too limiting, or — ahem — too illegal for people just trying to see what this whole 3D thing was all about. Blender circumvents all those issues because it’s free. And not just zero-cost free, but freedom Free. Blender is open source. A world full of developers and users regularly contribute code and documentation to this project, adding enhancements and improvements at a mind-boggling pace.

Of course, 3D computer graphics is a complex ...

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