Hello there my name is esmiles and today we are going to answer the question is blender enough for making 3d content, and by 3d content I mean anything and everything related to 3d, that’s including visual effects, games, vr, architectural visualization and more. So instead of giving one broad answer like yes or no, lets break down the types of 3d content, look at what has been done in that area using blender and where blender struggles sometimes. So buckle up its gonna get wild.
#1 3d modeling
This is the easiest to answer as you just need to headover to artstation.com or instangram or twitter and you will see turns of really good models all done exclusively in blender, and if am to rank blender in this area I would give it a solid 10/10 because anything you can model in 3ds max, maya, cinema 4d or any other professional 3d software you can model in blender
Sculpting usually goes with modeling but its so different from other ways of modeling that it deserves its own comparison, there also more than afew applications dedicated just to sculpting, and yes there are more than one way of modeling if you where not aware of that these include polygon modeling which is which involves manipulating polygons, nurbs modeling which is not very common unless you are in the car design industry and then there is sculpting.
In sculpting, here blender 2.81 scores 7/10 because of the improvement in the sculting tools but because it can’t handle high polygon counts its score is low and also because in this space zbrush is still the king.
#3 Rigging and animation
Maya has been the industry standard when It comes to rigging and animation but we are not talking about industry standards here we are talking about You, is blender enough for you to make everything so though it does not beat the customization, tools and control maya gives you for rigging and animation blender still competes and you can still archive the same results anyone would get with Maya using blender, so for this Blender scores a 9/10
#4 Motion Graphics
When you talk about motion graphics the first thing that comes to mind is Cinema 4d, so If we are making any comparisons here it would be against Cinema4d, blender here struggles abit as it has no tools dedicated for motion graphics, cinema 4d on the other hand has mograph, so blender 2.57 and below scores 4/10 here, nothing has changed just yet in blender 2.81 so the score remains 4/10. Its only when you bring in blender animation nodes that’s when you start seeing some competition but animation nodes is still a work in progress and its not an official branch of blender so we are not sure when it will become part of blender or if it will ever be part of blender, what I understand is that is, a plugin made by blender fun but its not worked on by the official team at the blender foundation, so because of that the score is 6/10
#5 Motion tracking
This is a 8/10 straight out, there is a dedicated motion tracking tool shipped with blender unlike most other 3d applications so blender wins this one.
#6 Vfx and simulation
This is also another area blender struggles abig, blender can do a lot of simulations its shipped with bullet physics which lets you simulate high fidelity rigid body simulations, you can simulate water, cloth and the developer team is promising mantaflow which will replace the current fluid simulation system to produce better and faster simulations.
All this is good, the problem is luck of finner control over the simulation, you can simulate everything just alright but you don’t really have artistic control over the process, this is where Houdini thrives, it gives you a lot of control for example if you want a specific pattern for how you want glass to shatter, there is a tool for that, if you want to delete a single particle from a simulation there is a tool for that.
so blender here scores a 5/10 but no worries it seems the control we need is coming with everything nodes but until that comes the score stays 5/10
#7 particle simulation
before we start on this area, I will first take away 1 point from blender just because they removed reactor particle system during the shift from 2.4 series to 2.5 series I understand there must have been a good reason for that but its been 8year or more and still nothing to replace it am still hurt.
Blender’s particle system works fine but like the physics simulation system it still lucks the fine control that other applications give, Houdini has the best particle system, 3ds max has thinking particles though it does not ship with the application by default it could be a plugin its been long since I used 3ds max.
Final score is a 7/10 minus the 1 to get a 6/10, there is hope though like many things on this list there is hope, a lot of work is being put into new tools and new branches of blender have been created so as to make development of such tool abit faster and more organized, the particle system to my knowledge will be getting a needed update with the functions branch which promises to give more functionality and control over particles and the demos really look good, but until that comes in the score remains 6/10
Because of eevee I will give blender 11/10, so let break this down abit, all applications come with there default render engine so does blender, it comes with cycles, a raytracing render engine capable of producing both photo realistic and non realistic renders so in that area we are covered but it also has eevee this is something very few applications have, lets you develop the look you like, preview your materials as you are working on, and if you have a cheap PC you can just use it as your final render.
This list can go on for ever as there so many things that can go in here, texturing, uv mapping, editing, lighting, shader creation, scripting, creating game content, baking and more, and unfortunately we don’t have the time to cover all of it.
Most things you need to do as an independent artist, you can do inside blender without needing any plugins or addons, addons can help speedup your workflow or add more fuctionallity but for the most part everything can be done inside blender, for a studio this is true to as we are starting to see more and more studios swithching to blender now.
So yes blender is enough for creating 3d content though with somethings it might take longer, be abit harder but you will get there.
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