There are many options for learning 3D art, animation, or sculpting. Some of these applications used on Youtube are seemingly complex, while others are simple in their design. Some of these applications are free, while others can force you to take a loan because they are so expensive. But where does Blender fit in when it comes to cost?
Blender 3D is a free, open-source modeling suite accessible to artists from any region with no obligation to pay any fees to use it. Better still, Blender will also be free as it is protected by the GNU General Public License and Copyleft law.
Just because it is free does not mean that the paid options will be better, as Blender can go toe to toe with the best 3D modeling applications on the market. But the story behind Blenders’ non-existent price tag is more interesting than it first appears.
Is Blender A Free Application, Or Is There A Catch?
Blender is free to use and accessible in just about every sense of the word. You can download Blender directly from the blender.org website simply by pressing the blue button on the homepage and then selecting the blue button again on the download page.
Once you’ve downloaded it, you can then begin to install blender. At this point, sometimes, you may require a license key to install and begin using a 3D application successfully, but this is not the case with Blender. No license is required to use the software.
There are many ways in which you can be required to pay for using a software application, including a one-time purchase, subscription, or yearly licensing.
But none of these apply to Blender, and all you need to use is an internet connection for the initial download and a computer that meets the minimum requirements to run the software.
Yes, Blender truly is free for everyone. But why is this the case? Why is this not at risk of changing any time soon?
What Was Blender Before It Became Open Source?
The 3D modeling suite was not always free to use for the global community. It was initially designed as an in-house program for NeoGeo, a 3D animation studio founded in 1989 by Blender creator Ton Roosendaal.
Blender was not developed until January 1994 and was designed to help meet pain points within the pipeline so that animators could make changes to projects where applicable.
It would not be until a year later that the first complete version of Blender, version 1.0, would be released.
A considerable reason Blender would eventually become open source would stem from its parent companies’ financial challenges, as NeoGeo would eventually go out of business in early 1998. Around this time, Blender would be made available to the public as SGI freeware.
Blender and NeoGeo founder Roosendaal would start up a new company in June of the same year called Not A Number technologies (NaN for short). Blender development would continue under the NaN banner as shareware until 2002, when the company would eventually fold.
Why Blender Would Eventually Become Open Source?
After the dissolution of NaN in early 2002, Ton Roosendaal decided to found the Blender foundation, which was a nonprofit organization that had the single purpose of funding the continued development of the Blender software.
At this point, Blender became a software built for the global community, as Roosendaal started a crowdfunding campaign called free Blender to raise $100,000 to fund the continuation of Blender’s development.
By September of 2002, enough money had been raised so that the source code to Blender could be made accessible to the public, allowing artists to make changes to their Blender builds to suit their needs.
In February 2003, version 2.26 of the Blender software was released, and this is considered the 1st incarnation of Blender that was genuinely open source. Blender has remained that way with every successive update over the last 20 years.
Why You Will Never Have To Pay For Blender?
Even though Blender has been an open-source software application for nearly 20 years, the question is often asked if we will ever have to pay for Blender in any form. The answer to that question is resounding. To paraphrase Roosendaals opinion on the topic, ‘Blender is free, forever.
Blender will never be sold to the become as a product or through licensing or subscription fees. And one of the key reasons why is the licensing.
Blender falls under the GNU General Public License. With this license, Blender and its source code are made openly available to the public so that you can download and modify Blender for your purpose, as stated in section 6 of the terms and conditions of the license cited below.
6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients’ exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.gnu.org
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