Whenever you’re looking to download any type of software, regardless of its purpose, one of the initial questions that you’re going to ask is how much space does the installation of that software take up on your device?
When downloading the stable version of Blender, you will be required to have around 200 megabytes of storage available on your computer. This can vary based on your choice of operating system. You can also download the source code itself, bought as little as 40 megabytes.
Compared to many other applications of a similar type, Blender is actually very light in terms of the amount of memory that is required to install it. But there are many different versions of Blender, so are there differences between each version in terms of installation size?
How Large Is The Blender Installation Size?
In recent years, the installation size for the stable release of the blender software typically finishes around 200 megabytes. But the comment stable release of Blender which at the time of writing, is Blender version 3.0 the installation size is approximately 203 megabytes.
This is far less than some of the comparable applications that you may be looking at. For example, Autodesk Maya will require a minimum of four gigabytes of free space to install. That’s an incredible 20 times more space than what Blender requires.
Autodesk 3DS Max requires even more storage space to install. It requires you to have at least nine gigabytes available on installation.
The procedural modeling application Houdini effects requires around 3 gigabytes for installation.
Game engines such as Unreal Engine four can be even greater than this. Unreal Engine can use up as much as 10 gigabytes of storage space.
There are some exceptions to this, however, and Gordo, which is an open-source game engine, actually allows you to download and install it. We’ve just 50 megabytes of storage required. That’s even lower than Blender, but in most cases, you will find that blender is on the smaller side when it comes to installation.
Why Is Blender So Small In Size Compared To Other Applications?
There are a couple of reasons why Blender has such a small installation size compared to other applications like Maya, 3DS Max, and Houdini.
One reason why Blender’s size is so small is that it allows for the use of add-ons. An add-on is a custom-built script using the Python programming language to add to the original functionality of the software. You can download and install add ONS from many different sources on the Internet such as Gumroad, and GitHub.
Another reason why Blender has such a small install size is the use of its programming language, which is Python 3.0. Python is an extremely versatile programming language that is perfect for creative applications like 3D modeling.
This brings us to the next reason why the blender install size is so small, and that is the methodology of coding the actual software. Blender is an open-source program that needs to be not only easy to use, but the code itself needs to be easily accessible so that anyone can manipulate their version of Blender however they want.
As a result, the code itself is clean and small and this allows for a minimal amount of storage space on your hardware.
Compared to other applications such as Maya, the methodology is very different as it’s all about making that software as versatile and as powerful as possible, and as a result of this, the actual structure of the code is not really taken into consideration.
That code still has to work, of course, but it doesn’t have to be clean enough for anybody to use it because Maya is not open source and the vast majority of users are not going to be accessing that code.
Does The File Size Change With The Operating System?
Different operating systems have different requirements when it comes to using and installing different types of software. As a result of this, Blenders installation size actually alters a bit depending on the operating system that you are downloading it to.
If you are downloading Blender to a Windows device then you will at the time of writing require around 203 megabytes of storage.
If you are using a Mac device, you will require a slightly higher 207 megabytes of storage.
But if you are using a Linux based device then you will only require approximately 177 megabytes of storage to install Blender.
If we go to the download page of the blender websites and then click on the menu option directly below the download button, we will be able to see all the different ways in which we can download blender to our device, and with some of these options, we will be able to see how much storage space is going to be required.
You will see from this menu that not only are we able to download from the various operating systems, but we can also download the base source code of Blender, which you can see is less than 40 megabytes.
And we can also download the blender libraries alongside the source code. And this is where the installation size can increase because we not only looking to gain access to the source code but all of the libraries as well, which is a lot of additional information used to run Blender.
This installation size is set at around 640 megabytes. However, most of us would likely not require access to the source code anyway, and will only need to download the base version of the Blender software to begin using.
Is Blender The Smallest Application In Terms Of File Size?
Of all of the 3D modeling applications that we have tested over the years, Blender comes in as one of the smallest, if not the smallest application in terms of file size.
As we have already mentioned above, Blender is far smaller than the likes of Maya, 3DS Max, and Houdini. But there are a lot of other alternatives besides these that may not be as well known.
Cinema 4D is another 3D application that requires a fair bit of space but does not require as much as Autodesk Maya or 3DS Max and only needs one GB of storage.
Z Brush is an incredible application for creating your 3D objects using sculpting toolkits, but its installation size in order to use all of its features is frankly ridiculous. It comes in at a whopping 100 gigabytes of required storage space if you want to use it to the best of your ability.
SketchUp is a more lightweight application compared to the alternatives, but still requires a minimum of 700 megabytes of storage to install on your computer. Below we have a table of the various applications that we have tested over the years and we have also listed their current installation size in comparison to Blender 3D.
Are Older Versions Of Blender The Same Size As The Current One?
Different versions of Blender will likely require different installation sizes, and this is true going back many years. In fact, if you were to download an older version of Blender today, you would likely find that it is a much smaller installation size than the current version.
To download an older version of blender go to the download page on the Blender website however instead of clicking on the go to the header bar at the top of your website and then select where it says previous versions.
This takes you to another page on the website where you will be able to access an index of all of the previous versions ever released for Blender 3D. We selected Blender version 2.76 as an example and downloaded it onto our machine. The installation size came in at just 68 megabytes.
For this installation, far below the 200 megabytes or version 3.0. As time progress is even, Blender will continue to increase in terms of the amount of storage space required, but the developers have done an outstanding job in the last few years at keeping the storage space required down to around the 200 mark which it has been for some time now.
Does Downloading Blender Overwrite The Previous Installation?
If you are downloading the same version of Blender that you already have on your device, then Blenders installation wizard will attempt to overwrite the previous install that you have.
You may find that you are given a menu during the install phase that will allow you to change or repair or modify your installation of Blender.
You can even choose to remove the installation entirely from this menu. On the other hand, if you are downloading any other version of Blender to your hardware. You will find that you are able to do so without overwriting the previous installation.
Every single version of Blender that you download is an independent version with slightly different code. It’s possible to have every single version of Blender on your machine at the same time, but you can’t have two instances of the same version.
Are Experimental Builds Larger Or Smaller Than The Stable Release?
Experimental builds focus on specific toolsets that developers plan to introduce. Some point into the stable version of the Blender software. Because these are experimental builds, there is less of an emphasis on the structure of the code and more of an emphasis on the functionality of the software.
As a result, for these experimental builds, you can have higher install sizes than the traditional version of Blender. However, these experimental builds can also get rid of older tool self sets, which reduces the potential file size.
For example, we downloaded an experimental branch version of Blender 3.2 that focused on refining the navigation process, and this install size came in at 238 MB.
Thanks For Reading The Article
We appreciate you taking the time to read through the article and we hope that you were able to find the information that you were looking for. We have compiled a list of additional topics that you may be interested in reading which you can see directly below.
- Which Is Better Between Maya And Blender?
- Can Blender Be Used For Animation?
- Creating An Overlay For Videos In Blender
- Learn To Use Tools Faster With Blender Shortcuts
- Assigning A New Blender Shortcut To A Tool
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