Historia de Blender

In 1988, Ton Roosendaal co-founded the Dutch animation studio NeoGeo. NeoGeo quickly became the largest 3D animation studio in the Netherlands and one of the leading animation houses in Europe. NeoGeo created award-winning productions (European Corporate Video Awards 1993 and 1995) for large corporate clients such as multinational electronics company Philips. Within NeoGeo Ton was responsible for both art direction and internal software development. After careful deliberation Ton decided that the current in-house 3D tool set for NeoGeo was too old and cumbersome to maintain, and needed to be rewritten from scratch. In 1995 this rewrite began and was destined to become the 3D software creation we all know as Blender. As NeoGeo continued to refine and improve Blender it became apparent to Ton that Blender could be used as a tool for other artists outside of NeoGeo.

En 1998, Ton decidió fundar una nueva compañía llamada Not a Number (NaN), derivada de NeoGeo para comercializar y desarrollar aún más Blender. En el centro de NaN estaba el deseo de crear y distribuir una aplicación 3D compacta, multiplataforma de forma gratuita. Hasta ese momento, este era un concepto revolucionario, ya que la mayoría de las aplicaciones 3D costaban miles de dólares. NaN tenía la esperanza de ofrecer herramientas de modelado y animación 3D de nivel profesional dentro del ámbito de la computación pública general. El modelo de negocios de NaN incluía proveer productos comerciales y servicios al rededor de Blender. En 1999, NaN asistió a su primera conferencia del SIGGRAPH, en un esfuerzo por promover a Blender más ampliamente. La primera convención de Blender en el SIGGRAPH fue un gran éxito y reunió un tremendo interés, tanto de la prensa como del público presente. ¡Blender era un éxito, y su gran potencial estaba confirmado!

Siguiendo el éxito de la conferencia del SIGGRAPH a principios del 2000, NaN se aseguró la financiación de 4.5 millones de Euros a partir de capitalistas de riesgo. Esta gran entrada de dinero, le permitió a NaN expandir rápidamente sus operaciones. Pronto NaN dispuso al rededor de cincuenta empleados trabajando al rededor del mundo, intentando mejorar y promover Blender. En el verano del 2000, se lanzó Blender 2.0. Esta versión de Blender agregó la integración de un motor de juegos a la aplicación 3D. Al final del 2000, el número de usuarios registrados en el sitio web de NaN sobrepasó los 250.000.

Unfortunately, NaN’s ambitions and opportunities did not match the company’s capabilities and the market realities of the time. This over-extension resulted in restarting NaN with new investor funding and a smaller company in April 2001. Six months later NaN’s first commercial software product, Blender Publisher was launched. This product was targeted at the emerging market of interactive web-based 3D media. Due to disappointing sales and the ongoing difficult economic climate, the new investors decided to shut down all NaN operations. The shutdown also included discontinuing the development of Blender. Although there were clearly shortcomings in the then current version of Blender, such as a complex internal software architecture, unfinished features and a non-standard way of providing the GUI, the enthusiastic support from the user community and customers who had purchased Blender Publisher in the past meant that Ton could not justify leaving Blender to fade into insignificance. Since restarting a company with a sufficiently large team of developers was not feasible, Ton Roosendaal founded the non-profit organization Blender Foundation in March 2002.

El objetivo principal de la Fundación de Blender era encontrar un modo de seguir desarrollando y promoviendo Blender como un proyecto basado en la comunidad, y de código abierto. En Julio de 2002, Ton logró que los inversores de NaN acordaran con el único plan de la Fundación de Blender que buscaba liberar Blender como código abierto. La campaña «Liberen a Blender» llegó a recaudar €100.000 para que la fundación pudiera comprar los derechos del código fuente de Blender y los derechos de propiedad intelectual de los inversores de NaN y subsecuentemente liberar Blender a la comunidad de código abierto. Con un entusiasta grupo de voluntarios, entre ellos varios ex empleados de NaN, se lanzó una campaña de recaudación de fondos para «liberar a Blender». Para sorpresa y deleite de todos, la campaña alcanzó el objetivo de los €100.000 en solo siete semanas. El Domingo, 13 de Octubre del 2002, Blender fue liberado al mundo bajo los términos de la licencia GNU GPL. El desarrollo de Blender continúa hasta el día de hoy, dirigido por un equipo de dedicados voluntarios al rededor del mundo, liderados por el creador original, Ton Roosendaal.

Logros de las distintas Versiones/Revisiones

¡El comienzo!

  • 1.00 – January 1994: Blender in development at animation studio NeoGeo.
  • 1.23 – January 1998: SGI version published on the web, IrisGL.
  • 1.30 – April 1998: Linux and FreeBSD version, port to OpenGL and X11.
  • 1.3x – June 1998: NaN founded.
  • 1.4x – September 1998: Sun and Linux Alpha version released.
  • 1.50 – November 1998: First Manual published.
  • 1.60 – April 1999: C-key (new features behind a lock, $95), MS-Windows version released.
  • 1.6x – June 1999: BeOS and PPC version released.
  • 1.80 – June 2000: End of C-key, Blender full freeware again.
  • 2.00 – August 2000: Interactive 3D and real-time engine.
  • 2.10 – December 2000: New engine, physics, and Python.
  • 2.20 – August 2001: Character animation system.
  • 2.21 – October 2001: Blender Publisher launch.
  • 2.2x – December 2001: macOS version.

Blender se transforma en Código Abierto

13 October 2002:
Blender goes Open Source, 1st Blender Conference.
2.25 – October 2002:
Blender Publisher becomes freely available, and the experimental tree of Blender is created, a coder’s playground.
2.26 – February 2003:
The first truly open source Blender release.
2.27 – May 2003:
The second open source Blender release.
2.28x – July 2003:
First of the 2.28x series.
2.30 – October 2003:
Preview release of the 2.3x UI makeover presented at the 2nd Blender Conference.
2.31 – December 2003:
Upgrade to stable 2.3x UI project.
2.32 – January 2004:
A major overhaul of internal rendering capabilities.
2.33 – April 2004:
Game Engine returns, ambient occlusion, new procedural textures.
2.34 – August 2004:
Particle interactions, LSCM UV mapping, functional YafRay integration, weighted creases in subdivision surfaces, ramp shaders, full OSA, and many (many) more.
2.35 – November 2004:
Another version full of improvements: object hooks, curve deforms and curve tapers, particle duplicators and much more.
2.36 – December 2004:
A stabilization version, much work behind the scene, normal and displacement mapping improvements.
2.37 – June 2005:
Transformation tools and widgets, soft bodies, force fields, deflections, incremental subdivision surfaces, transparent shadows, and multi-threaded rendering.
2.40 – December 2005:
Full rework of armature system, shape keys, fur with particles, fluids, and rigid bodies.
2.41 – January 2006:
Lots of fixes, and some Game Engine features.
2.42 – July 2006:
The nodes release, array modifier, vector blur, new physics engine, rendering, lip sync, and many other features. This was the release following Project Orange.
2.43 – February 2007:
Multi-resolution meshes, multi-layer UV textures, multi-layer images and multi-pass rendering and baking, sculpting, retopology, multiple additional mattes, distort and filter nodes, modeling and animation improvements, better painting with multiple brushes, fluid particles, proxy objects, Sequencer rewrite, and post-production UV texturing.
2.44 – May 2007:
The big news, in addition to two new modifiers and re-awakening the 64-bit OS support, was the addition of subsurface scattering, which simulates light scattering beneath the surface of organic and soft objects.
2.45 – September 2007:
Serious bug fixes, with some performance issues addressed.
2.46 – May 2008:
The Peach release was the result of a huge effort of over 70 developers providing enhancements to provide hair and fur, a new particle system, enhanced image browsing, cloth, a seamless and non-intrusive physics cache, rendering improvements in reflections, AO, and render baking, a mesh deform modifier for muscles and such, better animation support via armature tools and drawing, skinning, constraints and a colorful Action Editor, and much more. It was the release following Project Peach.
2.47 – August 2008:
Bugfix release.
2.48 – October 2008:
The Apricot release, cool GLSL shaders, lights and GE improvements, snap, sky simulator, shrinkwrap modifier, and Python editing improvements. This was the release following Project Apricot.
2.49 – June 2009:
Node-based textures, armature sketching (called Etch-a-Ton), boolean mesh operation improvements, JPEG2000 support, projection painting for direct transfer of images to models, and a significant Python script catalog. GE enhancements included video textures, where you can play movies in-game, upgrades to the Bullet physics engine, dome (fisheye) rendering, and more API GE calls made available.

Blender 2.5x – The Recode!

2.5x – From 2009 to August 2011:
This series released four pre-version (from Alpha 0 in November 2009 to Beta in July 2010) and three stable versions (from 2.57 - April 2011 to 2.59 - August 2011). It is one of the most important development projects, with a total refactor of the software with new functions, redesign of the internal window manager and event/tool/data handling system, and new Python API. The final version of this project was Blender 2.59 in August 2011.

Video: Desde Blender 1.60 hasta Blender 2.50

Blender 2.6x to 2.7x – Improvements & Stabilizing

2.60 – October 2011:
Internationalization of the UI, improvements in animation system and the GE, vertex weight groups modifiers, 3D audio and video, and bug fixes.
2.61 – December 2011:
The Cycles renderer was added in trunk, the camera tracker was added, dynamic paint for modifying textures with mesh contact/approximation, the Ocean modifier to simulate ocean and foam, new add-ons, bug fixes, and more extensions added for the Python API.
2.62 – February 2012:
The Carve library was added to improve boolean operations, support for object tracking was added, the Remesh modifier was added, many improvements in the GE, matrices and vectors in the Python API were improved, new add-ons, and many bug fixes.
2.63 – April 2012:
Bmesh was merged to trunk with full support for n-sided polygons, sculpt hiding, a panoramic camera for Cycles, mirror ball environment textures and float precision textures, render layer mask layers, ambient occlusion and viewport display of background images and render layers, new import and export add-ons were added, and 150 bug fixes.
2.64 – October 2012:
Mask editor, improved motion tracker, OpenColorIO, Cycles improvements, Sequencer improvements, better mesh tools (Inset and Bevel were improved), new keying nodes, sculpt masking, Collada improvements, new skin modifier, new compositing nodes back end, and many bugs were fixed.
2.65 – December 2012:
Fire and smoke improvements, anisotropic shader for Cycles, modifier improvements, the Bevel tool now includes rounding, new add-ons, and over 200 bug fixes.
2.66 – February 2013:
Dynamic topology, rigid body simulation, improvements in UI and usability (including retina display support), Cycles now supports hair, the Bevel tool now supports individual vertex beveling, new Mesh Cache modifier and the new UV Warp modifier, new SPH particle fluid solver. More than 250 bug fixes.
2.67 – May 2013:
Freestyle was added, paint system improvements, subsurface scattering for Cycles, Ceres library in the motion tracker, new custom Python nodes, new mesh modeling tools, better support for UTF-8 text and improvements in Text editors, new add-ons for 3D printing, over 260 bug fixes.
2.68 – July 2013:
New and improved modeling tools, three new Cycles nodes, big improvements in the motion tracker, Python scripts and drivers are disabled by default when loading files for security reasons, and over 280 bug fixes.
2.69 – October 2013:
Even more modeling tools, Cycles improved in many areas, plane tracking is added to the motion tracker, better support for FBX import/export, and over 270 bugs fixed.
2.70 – March 2014:
Cycles gets basic volumetric support on the CPU, more improvements to the motion tracker, two new modeling modifiers, some UI consistency improvements, and more than 560 bug fixes.
2.71 – June 2014:
Deformation motion blur and fire/smoke support is added to Cycles, UI pop-ups are now draggable, performance optimizations for sculpting mode, new interpolation types for animation, many improvements to the GE, and over 400 bug fixes.
2.72 – October 2014:
Cycles gets volume and SSS support on the GPU, pie menus are added and tooltips greatly improved, the Intersection modeling tool is added, new sun beam node for the compositor, Freestyle now works with Cycles, texture painting workflow is improved, and more than 220 bug fixes.
2.73 – January 2015:
Cycles gets improved volumetric support, major upgrade to Grease pencil, MS-Windows gets Input Method Editors (IMEs) and general improvements to painting, Freestyle, Sequencer and add-ons.
2.74 – March 2015:
Support for custom-normals, viewport compositing and improvements to hair dynamics.
2.75 – July 2015:
Integrated stereo/multi-view pipeline, corrective smooth modifier and new developmental dependency graph.
2.76 – November 2015:
Pixar OpenSubdiv support, Viewport and File Browser performance boost, node auto-offset, and a text effect strip for the Sequencer.
2.77 – March 2016:
OpenVDB support for caching of smoke/volumetric simulations, improved Cycles Subsurface Scattering, Grease pencil stroke sculpting and improved workflow, and reworked library handling to manage missing and deleted data-blocks.
2.78 – September 2016:
Cycles support for spherical stereo images for VR, Grease Pencil works more similar to other 2D drawing softwares, Alembic import and export support, and improvements to Bendy Bones for easier and simpler rigging.
2.79 – September 2017:
New Cycles features: Denoising, Shadow catcher, and new Principled shader. Other improvements were made to Grease Pencil and Alembic. Support was also added for application templates.

Blender 2.8

Blender 2.8 is the next phase in Blender’s development seeking to bring an improved viewport and a better workflow allowing artist to use Blender faster and easier. Currently, Blender 2.8 is still in development and will probably be released in late 2018 however. You can find out more information by visiting the 2.8 webpage on blender.org or you can download test builds that can be found on Blender’s test build website.