Welcome to Blender! The documentation of Blender consists of many parts: this user manual, a reference guide, tutorials, forums, and many other web resources.
The first part of this manual will guide you through downloading Blender executable and installing it, or downloading the source files and then building an executable file that runs on your machine.
Blender has a very unusual interface, highly optimized for 3D graphics production. This might be a bit confusing to a new user, but will prove its strength in the long run.
We highly recommend that you read our section on the interface carefully, both to get familiar with this interface and with the conventions used in the documentation.
What is Blender?
Blender was first conceived in December 1993 and born as a usable product in August 1994 as an integrated application that allows the creation of a broad range of 2D and 3D content. Blender provides a broad spectrum of modeling, texturing, lighting, animation and video post-processing functionality in one package. Through its open architecture, Blender provides cross-platform interoperability, extensibility, an incredibly small footprint, and a tightly integrated workflow. Blender is one of the most popular Open Source 3D graphics applications in the world.
Aimed world-wide at media professionals and artists, Blender can be used to create 3D visualizations, stills as well as broadcast and cinema quality videos, while the incorporation of a real-time 3D engine allows for the creation of 3D interactive content for stand-alone playback.
Originally developed by the company « Not a Number » (NaN), Blender continues to be developed as “Free Software”, with the source code available under the GNU GPL license. Development is now conducted under the leadership of the Blender Foundation in the Netherlands.
- Fully integrated creation suite, offering a broad range of essential tools for the creation of 3D content, including modeling, UV-mapping, texturing, rigging, skinning, animation, particle and other simulation, scripting, rendering, compositing, post-production, and game creation.
- Cross platform, with a uniform OpenGL GUI on all platforms, ready to use for all versions of Windows (98, NT, 2000, XP, Vista, 7), GNU/Linux, OS X, FreeBSD, Irix, SunOS, and numerous other operating systems.
- High quality 3D architecture enabling fast and efficient creation work-flow.
- More than 1,000,000 downloads (users) of each release worldwide.
- User community support by forums for questions, answers, and critique at http://BlenderArtists.org and news services at http://BlenderNation.com.
- Small executable size, easy distribution.
You can download the latest version of Blender here.