Chapter 1

Discovering Blender

In the world of 3D modeling and animation software, programs have traditionally been expensive — like, thousands-of-dollars-and-maybe-an-arm expensive. That's changed a bit in the last few years, with software companies moving to more subscription-based ways of selling their programs. The entry cost is lower, but paying each month can still add up pretty quickly. There are some valid reasons for the high prices. Software companies spend millions of dollars and countless hours developing these programs. And the large production companies that buy this kind of software for their staff make enough money to afford the high cost, or they hire programmers and write their own in-house software.

But what about us, you and I: the little guys? We are the ambitious dreamers with big ideas, high motivation . . . and tight budgets. How can we bring our ideas to life and our stories to screen, even if only on our own computer monitors? Granted, we could shell out the cash (and hopefully keep our arms) for the expensive programs that the pros use. But even then, animation is a highly collaborative art and it's difficult to produce anything in a reasonable amount of time without some help.

We need quality software and a strong community to work, grow, and evolve with. Fortunately, Blender can provide us with both of these ...

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