Blender

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Blender
060814 express hmed 3p.standard
Blender comes in 4 different colors.
Developer: The Blender Foundation
Stable release: November 34, 2073
Latest release version: 2.54.72.05.1.1.1.1.1.1.01.9c
Operating system: iPod and other, Linux v4.2.3.12 128 bits, 3G network
Genre: 3D computer graphics/cooking/abomination/happines

“It's so complex, it's impossible”
~ Oscar Wilde on Blender, the one

“A toaster, you put toast into. A Blender, you put cats into!”
~ Alf on Toasters

The Blender is an open source application that may be used for advanced 3D modelling, animating, composing and rendering, however many people claim to have actually seen one in their kitchen (though the FBI has not yet investigated these claims). Blender is commonly mocked for being free, and therefore less capable than paid products, especially those that cost $6000 USD. It has been used in three films for which no one was paid. These three movies, Psychedelic Elephant, Plump Ferrets andHot Chick With a Dragon are all of similar quality to an Uwe Boll film.

History

The Blender is a 10,000 pound explosive. It is carried in planes and dropped at heights of 30,000 ft. or higher. It creates such a crater that in 1907 it was ruled unfit for military use. Since then many rebel forces have tried using these to wipe the United States of America off the maps for good - but failed horribly. They are in fact alien technology that came from the Roswell Incident, which the Americans covered up. This incident of a cover up was letter brought to light by a very angry hippie named Adolf Hitler. After the wolrd found out just what exactally a "blender" was a widespread panic set in. The rebels who had tried to earlier use the blender rekindled their movtives and decided to make a final attempt during the time of absolute choas. They were sucsseful at retriving the device, but since not one of the rebels had an education level higher than grade 9 no harm came from this. they were later apprehanded by the FBI and sentenced to death by "Snoo-Snoo". the blender now sites it the museum of war in Paris, France.

Target Audience

Blender Screenshot
The default screen of Blender. The main 3D view is just below the top left.
Blender is a software designed for pros (they are also known by the nickname "professors"). The rationale is to make the user interface as cluttered as possible - then, we know for sure that anyone able to use it is definitely a pro.

This is also said because of the utter lack of any help within the program, and any new user will find himself simply staring at the screen for hours upon end attempting to guess at the program's functions. In fact, just to rub it in, newer versions of Blender have tooltips that pop up and give you utterly meaningless statements that serve only to further confuse the new user.

In this manner the surviving user of Blender becomes very adept at guessing where a feature might be. Every single function is encrypted in a way that needs about 4 hours of guesswork to learn, and will NEVER, repeat, NEVER, be taught to you within the program. Blender also has a higher than average level of users with more than two hands or more than ten fingers. This is because Blender maps every single function it can perform to a keyboard key, which unless you have bought the 'Official Blender Keyboard' (which contains over 72,000 keys) requires the use of a lot of key combinations. Many users have suffered massive memory problems trying to remember what each key combination does, especially as keys can change function depending on where the mouse is, what platform you are running it on, the day of the week, and the random movements of a quark someplace in the center of the Universe.

In short Blender is aimed at multi-limbed superb guessers with amazing memory skills.

Elephants Dream

To demonstrate the "capabilities" of Blender, a short "movie" called "Elephants Dream" was created. The choice of the title is highly significant, because while the movie features neither elephants nor dreams, no one understands what happens anyway.

Most users were blown away by how well Elephants Dream captured the essence of the Blender spirit, which everyone agrees is one of confusion. Although the learning curve of Elephants Dream is not as steep as that of Blender itself, it is a very good representation of the software.

Interpretations

In the movie, the character Proog, as his name indicates, represents the Blender Programmer. As it is very quickly seen, he is insane.

Emo, on the other hand, represents the artist that wants to express his emotions through Blender, however the programmer kills him in the end when he complains about the user interface. [Note, it is often questioned whether Emo is a transvestite or not. And the answer is yes.]

Trivia

  • It is believed the reason why the main character constantly repeats the word "Emo" is to ease lip syncing. Wait... there is no reason.
  • During the planning stages one very confused member of the crew hired an actual elephant and bought a truck load of sleeping pills as research for the film.
  • Many of the Render-Node set-ups in Elephants Dream were designed by throwing a bowl of spaghetti at the wall.
  • Because no-one knew what else to do with the elephant, the animal was allowed to fiddle about with the software. It turned out to be better than most of the animators there, and it is estimated about 70% of the finished movie was made by the elephant.
  • The current record for least number of times watched before the film was understood is 187. This record is occasionally considered dubious because only the one person has ever claimed to understand the film, thus making it impossible for anybody to verify whether or not the alleged record holder actually understands the film at all.
  • A young man from Utah attempted to write a plot synopsis of the movie. He now resides in a mental institution and does nothing but sit in a rocking chair staring out the window muttering "purple waves".
  • A sequel called "Pigs Snore" is planned. It is unknown whether or not it will include actual pigs.
  • Blender is not to be confused with Blender of Featurama or Bender from Futurama.
  • If you watch Elephants Dream backwards enough times, you will start to see an animation of Suzanne (Blender's own personal built in monkey), sadly repeating the words "Ton is dead" over and over again.
  • Elephants dream has been dubbed in Spanish. What is said in the Spanish dub is currently unknown, but it is rumored to be a touching drama about two homosexual men and their impossible love for each other.

Features

Fassionmodeling
Maragrita seen here ready for the Blender

Blender is a relatively small application, yet filled with many features that put it up to par with some much more expensive applications.

It also makes a fine Margarita.

Modelling

Blender's modelling system is fast, functional, and widely criticized as being stupid and non-conformal. The biggest complaint is that of ease of use. Just about every important function can be easily accessed by a conveniently named hotkey, in theory. For example, pressing F creates a face between edges or an edge between vertices... however, all of the other hotkeys were created by a guy who speaks Dutch as his first language, so...learn Dutch and you may be able to figure them out. If you cannot speak Dutch, the key to do what you want must be guessed. They are made hard to use remember on purpose, such as G for movinG objects (but definitely not "Grab." Its movinG. Really.). That right there is where former (or current) users of applications such as 3DS Max have a problem. Clearly, a program with easily accessible hot keys is completely inferior to one which requires digging through five layers of menus to find the function you need.

Some users take issue with the fact that all the most convenient hotkeys are mapped to the most infrequently used functionality. For example, the "parent" functionality which causes a child object to adopt the transformation parameters of the parent object is frequently used, but requires several keys to be pressed simultaneously (namely, Ctrl-P). When a user fails to use the correct metakey sequence for parenting and instead presses the "P" key alone, he inexplicably finds himself in the game engine. This is a feature which has never been intentionally used by any Blender user, and typically crashes the program (until the aforementioned user overcomes his/her evolutionary stupidity and gain the enlightening knowledge that pressin "Esc" exits the Game Engine). Also, a perverse idea is to use the Alt key to undo or break the connection that was made with the Ctrl key. For example, selecting the child and then pressing Alt-P breaks the parent-child link. Go figure.

Blender has also been seen at fashions shows strolling down the catwalk, modelling.

Lighting

Blender has a very wide range of lights that can be used in a range of ways. Unfortunately due to the way Blender is programmed every time you add another lamp, an extra 40 watts of electricity is required by the computer. This has caused people to suffer very high electricity bills, especially if they use a Hemi light which requires the same wattage level as the Sun. This issue has in turn caused many Blender users to build large power plants. Recent theorists have theorised that this is the reason we have global warming, and that Blender may in a few years be banned worldwide - except in Holland, of course.

Physics Engine

Blender integrates the Bullet physics engine, which is a giant leap from the previous Arrow, Stone, Sling, Sword, Ballista, Chewed Paper Wad and Pointed Stick physics engines.

Combined with one of the standard models available, Suzanne (an ape's head, rumoured to actually represent Ton Roosendal), the physics engine allows for advanced faeces-flinging simulations, complete with collision detection, real-time lighting and splat sound.

Rendering

Blender contains a very powerful renderer, complete with its own built in compositator, allowing people to use nodes for extremely complicated procedures. There are Render Layers and then there are render layers. Each render layer saves which render layer's render layer stays on. There is never any confusion whatsoever. No need to go back to the drawing board on the interface or on the analogies. NO! Because it's FEATURES that guarantee more downloads, not better functionality! Win, lose or draw, you always WIN with the Blender.

Sometimes when you are using the compositor, a lot of weird stuff happens. Like it starts raining cats outside the window. Except that you wouldn't give an arby's French dip about that because as long as the spooge inside Blender works, it can start raining tetrominoes: no problem. There are special umbrellas for that, just like for the cats. Just ask Rhianna. Also, there are special hats you can wear, if you start becoming homicidal. It's basically a thick glass helmet with a sharp helix of blades on the top part of the inside. if you get fed up, you just turn it on and it spins your grey matter so you can finally rest. I already ordered mine.

Other weird things that happen (or don't) with the compositator:

AlphaOver only composites its input images when you render each in an entirely indecipherable and totally strange order, which seems to change every new time you open the file, even though you didn't modify it. And of course, you can't have a big "alpha over" that can take in more than two inputs, right? No! Why? You have to append them two at a time, so your node editor screen fills up like a thomacuffer.

However the right amount of ice, tequila, and lime will render a perfect Margarita. After several of these everything will seem to work wonderfully.

SSS

A Blender function called SubSuface Scattering.

In essence this allows Blender to turn the relationship between the user and the software into a bad joke. As in "In Soviet Russia; Blender uses YOU".

YafRay

Blender has built in support for the YafRay Render engine, because the silly name makes the developers laugh. As with the internal rendered Blender, it's configured to render the part with the mistake in it last, so you can see just how bad it looks in comparison with the rest of the image. Next time fix the mistake, fool.

This also refers to the sound you make after too many Maragritas.

Python

Blender has a innovative Python API that is designed so new programmers are confronted with as many ways to execute the task as possible. For instance you can use object.getLayers(), object.layers, object.Layer and object.Layers which all work in exquisitely different ways.

Another feature is that there are multiple ways to access mesh data with Blender.NMesh, and Blender.Mesh. Using Python, you can create all sorts or wonderful objects, partially, so that, when accessed through the intuitive User Interface (which really does look like 3DMax), they instantly crash your Blender session and lock up your machine. Other features include file corruption, disappearing objects and easily accessible infinite loops. A completely inconsistent set of methods and names keep the fun in programming. Thankfully, tantalizing snippets of code are provided here and there on various websites which provide just enough information to keep you confused, thus ensuring your continued coding efforts. Using the bpy, you never have to worry about actually finishing a project.

NMesh stands for New Mesh, however because of its slow operations of mesh data the Mesh module was added for faster mesh handling. Luckily NMesh is used by default, so any unexpected speedups can be safely avoided.

Operations like:

object.data.name = 'Cube'

will convert the entire mesh into a new and inefficient Python Mesh, assign its name, and then forget about it, not even adjusting the name of the mesh it came from, so the safety of your data is assured. If you die while programming, your heir can donate your code to the Blender Python Scripts Repository, where it will stay safely preserved for all eternity.

Community

Websites

Blender has had for a long time a very strong community of following websites devoted to all artwork made by, near or at least thinking about Blender. Most websites support Blender by having feedback threads and allowing people to post scripts and ideas that could be used in future releases of Blender, they also support Blender by spreading Blender's name across the internet or by distributing high quality artwork across the internet. Some of the Spanish websites organise animal burning rituals to rally support for Blender in less developed areas or Europe. In Latin America the first Blender church has been founded: they believe in the Blenderton that will bring about Instrumentality by blending everyone together into a new being (named Suzanne); their holy book is the Orange book, written in Python; and they repeat Blender's keyboard shortcuts mantra three times a day - in Dutch - while looking towards Amsterdam. On Thursdays, they gather to watch Elephants Dream and discuss their true meaning. The official Blender forum for artists consists mostly of people pondering life and existence, arguing about NURBS, sacrificial leaders putting shrunken heads in holy blenders, people who think they are dragons and people saying things like:

"Plinith hasnt BERSERKED FLAPPITY FROOTLOOPS Before nietchez's sweet piccolo FLOSSED BILL CLINTONS CAN O WHOOPASS misguidingly disguised as CHUCK NORRIS in abe Gorilla WINDEX PEEL of KNOSSES. "I CONCUR" says NAPOLEAN damminite "ANEMONIES!!! ANENOMIES!!!" THOU BEATEN FROGS of holy DEVOUR buttcheeks of POOD POISONING. "ANEMONIES!!! ANEMONIES!!" food allergens for NOOBS! "ANEMONIESS!!! ANEMONIESS!!" SPATCHULA of britain!!! FORLORN bata ELEPHANT FRIT! I frisk thy VAT chemical IMBALANCES YOU."[1]

This quote was taken directly from the forum, and is a typical codic language consisting of seemingly random words that translate into the works of Shakespeare.

The success of Blender has mostly been down to the enormous support they have received from these websites and the people who organise them, mostly slightly obese, donut-loving people who tirelessly maintain law and order online.

Blender Church

In fact some fans got so crazy that they claim that they were called by the holy Susanne as a prophet and Blender's witnesses. This movement has recently grown into new church called "The Church of Blender Soft of Latter-day Renders". They say that their mission is to spread the word of faith in Blender across the globe and also into new dimensions (they actually say that in Alpha Centauri star system they saw how greys were using 3ds Max so they're now a new object for conversion).

The church has few ranks of believers. Most common rank is called Blender witness. These people go from house to house (or from forum to forum) spreading the word of Blender. They can be recognized by fine orange suits, mole-like eyes and most commonly holding their holy book: "Blender 2.3 Guide" (now this book practically is not very useful, but many of Blend-believers believe that in this book is coded a secret message for upcoming Blender generations). Another rank is prophets. These people most of the time spend to create a new visions for Blender usage and future. Also they create new websites, that become as shrines for all believers. There are more ranks in the Blender church, but cause of the mysterious nature of the church these ranks are held in secret.

Every normal church believer is significantly influenced by Blender spirit. There's a very effective way to recognize a Blender church follower: if a suspected believer is nearby you must to begin to act like a vocal proponent of 3D Studio Max: "3Ds max rules..."; or "I'm using 3d max for 10 years"; or "3ds max has made my workflow significantly faster". After that these people will start to try a conversation with you and will give you a free copy of Blender, a free flyer about how Blender saved their lives and will also add a free cookie (by far the most useful part of that conversation). They will meet you again soon and will ask you if you are ready to wash your sins from Autodesk crap and join their "community". If you refuse it then they can begin to use violence.

Cult of Noob

The Blender community has evolved to the point where, like many other multicultural societies, it has developed syncretic systems of belief. Forum archaeologists have dug into BlenderArtists and found a great mass movement from its first age (known by experts as the Age of Elysium) -- a movement unified by the worship of certain Poly-Vertex deities. This movement, known as the Cult of Noob, grows each day, almost constantly feeding its numbers from new arrivals. The collective name given to its members, Noobs, is believed to stem from the Chant of Warning issued by Elder seekers, the intoned mantra "noooo bee esss!"

Many of the ancient texts have been recovered from arcane stores (i.e., earlier versions of MySQL). Most accounts agree that the cult of Noob searches for the Perfect Render -- the Holy Grail of Blenderdom. Toward this end, cult members invoke their deities; they worship in a virtual Parthenon of Poly-Vertex gods. There are many levels in the cult, with each level gaining knowledge over the previous one. Scholars have attempted to quantify these levels:


Level one Noob: This is a Noob, which upon learning the power of Add – Mesh, does invoke the sprit of Suzanne in her raw state. Suzanne (the monkey sprit), does rid the Noob’s blue “world” of the Unholy Grey Cube. Once the Suzanne is invoked, the Noob is most often found to chant to all that will listen, “Behold: I have brought forth a monkey”.

Level two Noob: This is a Noob, which upon contemplation of Suzanne, finds the power of Set Smooth. Thus Suzanne is invoked in a second, clearer state. Noobs of this level often also find the power of the material buttons and bring forth Suzannes of many hues.

Level three Noob: At this level the Noob has invoked Suzanne in her smooth state, he has given color to Suzanne and thus embarks to make Suzanne more complete. In doing so, he discoveries the power of Sub-surf. Sub-surf is a strange magic, which the Noob does not fully understand, but loves none the less.

There too is a slightly more advance level three. This is the Noob which discovers the power of vertex groups and thus gives color to the eyes of Suzanne. Here the worship of Suzanne is left, with Suzanne in her third state. However, higher orders of Noob sometimes pay homage to Suzanne by imparting new magics to her. These Noobs will offer particle hair and crudely formed appendages to Suzanne and they will call her Great.

Level four Noob: This is the first level that seeks other deities beyond the monkey sprit. They leave the solace of Suzanne in search of brighter gods. At this level the Noob discovers the power of Ray tracing. With this new knowledge, they invoke one of the most insidious of all the poly-vertex gods, it which is called Chrome Sphere. Chrome Sphere both reflects and distorts the world of the Noob. The Noob finds it hard to keep their worship of Chrome Sphere a secret. They are thus compelled to show there chrome idol to the world. But the world says, “your god is too simple.” So the Noob, searches for new knowledge, new magics to invoke Chrome Sphere in a new state, which all will worship.

Level five Noob: Through devotion to Chrome Sphere, the Noob rises to this new level. Here he discovers that deities can duplicate. Thus invoking twin Chrome Spheres makes the god twice as lovely. Here also a slight higher order of Noob will find the power of Array. With the power of Array, he will unleash a multitude of Chrome Sphere on to the world until Chrome Sphere has devoured all his resources.

Level six Noob: Upon reflections of Chrome Sphere and the three states of Suzanne, the level six Noob finds new goals. He says to himself, “I have invoked the great monkey in all her glory. I have brought fourth a multitude of Chrome Sphere. Surly there is no better a still image can be.” With this Statement, the Noob transubstantiates from mere CG artist to wannabe CG animator. He has seen many before him create water, which moves almost life like in a little box. Thus he searches and finds the power which is the Physics button and the Fluid Sim panel. Now, before him a brackish grey blob moves like slow water in an invisible box, and he is proud. He hath invoked the deity called Water in a box. Here too, the Noob feels the need to share his new idol with the world. Just as the world rebuked Chrome Sphere, so too is the destiny of Water in a box. The world calls to the Noob, “Have you not read the wiki? Have you not seen the Tuts?”

Level seven Noob: With the revelations of the Wiki and of the Tuts, the Noob now brings forth “he who walks”. This deity, his form that of a “man”, is called Gus and Gus is good. With the invocation of Gus the Noob is now an animator. He devotes much time to Gus. Gus can be made to perform tricks. He can be festooned in all manors. Yet Gus still drawls the adoration of the Noob and the world alike. When Gus is shown to the world, the reply to the Noob is “Good job. Yep I did that Tut too.”

Shared Beliefs

From the Faqtiqa Boreda:

In all levels of Noob, there is a shared belief in a higher magic. A power called the Perfect Render Button. The Noob has heard rumors of this button, but finds it not. The Noob devotes himself to study of the Wiki and of the Tuts, still the button is hidden. They shout at their Poly-vertex gods, “Show us, Show us the way of the perfect render!” Alas, the gods are mute. (For you see, audio in Blender is too complex a subject for even the level seven Noob.) When the gods answer not, the Noobs shout to the world, “Show us, Show us the way of the perfect render” and the world answers, “There is no button, there is no magic, you must study and work!” The Noob asks again, “Do I need an SVN build or what?”

In addition to the gods, the Noobs know of a prophet, he who is called Ton. The Noob knows little of the prophet. They are told he brought the light of Blender to the world. They know that he holds court at a Blender cathedral in a place called Amsterdam. Here Ton convenes gatherings of apostles to spread the word of Blender. In addition, the Prophet and the apostles appear to share an unnatural fascination with fruit. It is told that Ton can perform miracles. He has turned an Orange into an elephant and turned a Peach into several fury wood land creatures. The Noob awaits to see what Ton will do with an Apricot.

Conclusion

From A Ton of Epistles (or, as translated by modern scholars, Epistles from Ton):

With all the gods invoked and revelations of the Wiki and the Tuts the Noob must decide his future. Some will turn away completely from the Parthenon of poly-vertex gods. They will shun the light which we call Blender and be lost to the community forever. Some will stay trapped by the power of the gods. Thus believing, “if only Suzanne were complete”, “if only the Chrome sphere had better reflections”, “If only the water could be given more space to flow”, “if only Gus could be given a wife and kids”, then, then the gods would show him the path to the Perfect Render Button. The world pities these lost souls. Finally there are those that will throw off the cloak of Noob. They will leave the Parthenon of poly-vertex gods and embrace the full power of Blender. They will work for the Perfect Render instead of searching for a magic button and the world will rejoice in them.

I have seen the cult. I too have been swayed by the power of the poly-vertex gods. So easy is the way of the monkey, so shiny the sphere, so rhythmic the undulation of the waters, so joyful is the gingerbread man. But, I must resist.

I have noted all this so that I can beg you of the forum for help. Please, have mercy on the Noob. Lead them not to closed source, but deliver them to better Blender renders. I also ask (selfishly so), all of you more learned, all that have come before, all that have broke from the binds of the Noob, please tell me “where is that dammed Perfect Render Button already?!!”

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