How does the Blender Foundation work, since it does not make any money?


Before I get dragged to the mud, I am good friends with Jason Van Gumster the man who literary wrote the book on Blender.
So I got a question.
How does the Blender foundation works?
Ho do they get the MILLIONS of dollars needed to do ongoing development on a mayor 3d app, and the give it for free?
How does that work?
And will this revenue stream be a permanent one,? If not will blender be ALWAYS free?

I am looking forward to answers.


I’d be curious to know too. How many people are actively working on blender? Does it have more resources and funding than Maya or others?


Blender does make money. Enough to feed paid developers. The business model is just a bit different from some commercial software.

The software Blender will remain free. The income is mainly generated by donations and cloud subscriptions. They also have a shop where you can buy things like shirts.

And the addons are a money making source too nowadays. A fixed amount of the generated income goes to Blender Institute. Officially the Blender Market is not connected with Blender Institute. But the makers are not only involved into the Blender market.They are Blender developers too …


Sorry - what do you mean “cloud subscriptions” in this context? Cloud subscriptions FOR what? To render stuff in the cloud, or is there some plan afoot to have Blender itself run inside a browser(!!!), and make it “rentable” as has been discussed on here before… (regarding other CGI software)?


don’t panic :slight_smile:

access to tutorials / ongoing projects and other material. Like other projects it was established to get a constant (planeable) revenue stream


Roberto, heres a link with some details


Ah OK. Thanks, tischbein :slight_smile:




Here’s how the Blender foundation works:

Users: “Can we please, please, please get a new UI design for Blender that works more like conventional 3D software?”
Blender Foundation: “No. Blender has the best, most ultimate, most genius UI in the world. We cannot change it for that reason.”

That, in a nutshell, is the Blender foundation. Year after year they fail to give Blender a UI/UX overhaul. Each time their existing UI is “too good to change”. :rolleyes:

Ton Roosendaal failed to make Blender stick as a commercial 3D soft many many years ago because the UI was shit - yes, I actually tried Blender way back when it was a commercial 3D soft.

The man is incapable of learning from that mistake. He’s doing it again with open source Blender and losing tens of thousands of potential users along the way.


I agree. The UI needs work.

15 years ago in college I jumped around from app to app and it was all great because they seriously were all different. As time went on though, eventually all the apps started converging on a few universal conventions - sometimes giving the user the option to switch back to the older way.

Blender needs a new UI and a checkbox in the preferences to make it run in “legacy UI”

Houdini in a way is in a similar bind. They’ve been trying, but it still takes effort. Maybe they’ve had better luck with people migrating in that everyone knows it’s a difficult and serious app that does things no other app can do. They give it their full attention and put up with it because it will lead them to the job they want.

Seasoned people won’t do that for Blender, especially if learning it is a 100% optional thing for them.


I’m not sure I agree with you guys’ point of view, and it has nothing to do with Blender. If someone is trying something new, he/she should be ENCOURAGED. The only question to be asked about it is the quality of the software - ie. can it do cool stuff, what you want it to do? If the UI is a little different, maybe some time spent on learning it would NOT be such a bad thing…?
Diversity is a good thing. After all, if all 3D apps were the same, there would be no reason for so many of them to EXIST, right? :slight_smile:

I agree, it can lead to problems on the job front…


diversity is good up to a point. A good UI should be partly intuitive and used to what people are familiar with. If it differs greatly, it better offer something really good in return.

Part of the reason I think people don’t want to invest time learning the UI is the perception of it being a free tool that likely won’t result in any job.

Something like linux is an industry standard for the server, high-performance computing market, and used a lot in VFX so the time to learn its basics is worth the effort.

People don’t think blender is worth the effort right now because of the job market. Maybe that will change if the market turns on its head and suddenly there’s a great motivation to learn blender. Until then, people will complain because blender’s payoff isn’t worth the effort. If it had a more standard UI similar to the rest of the industry conventions, people could chip away at it in their spare time and slowly build up fluency in it. But that isn’t happening much is it? The UI is a barrier right now.


Ahem … I am a little disagree on this. I have started learning Blender since last year. I am saying this “Its PAIN in the A** in the beginning” . Hell yah till you click the right button of your mind. I used Maya and 3Ds Max for a decade . I used to teach those softwares also. May be from my classroom experience I realize No one is a software user from their mothers womb. SO it is all about the mindset. First 2 month I had no clue how to look to anything or what , then It happen one fine morning.

Earlier I was saying " It is very DIFFICULT"

Now I say … “it is DIFFERENT”

The architecture, UI , everything , just different approach . Like a new system all together. Its your choice how you deal it. Well I dont say everything is perfect , but No one is perfect.

So in short , if one think like this ----- You know I can do this in Maya by pressing “f” key … How can I get it done in Blender ? ---- pressing the period . SO there is a way but it is different. If anyone can accept it the transition period is a cakewalk.


I think Blenders problem is the it is so different about doing the same old thing.

At least with Houdini you are doing stuff you can’t do with any other off-the-shelf 3d software.
Hence why its the only one that is entrenched along side maya in most large studios today.
I will say the smartest approach to successfully introducing Houdini is to hire an experienced Houdini TD to build assets and help
newer artists get up to speed. Using a purpose built digital asset in Houdini isn’t much different than using a tool or plugin in other DCCs.
Its the building an all new digital asset from scratch thats harder. But probably still easier than if you had to script it.

This is a big leg up over Blender IMHO Studios already depend on it. Also Side Effects do have a real road map for the future with
richer feature updates than anyone. Blender development-by its open source nature- has to be much less defined and chaotic even…who really gets to say what
Blenders big picture will be?! Because of this-how dependable is it? And except for being open source-what does it do that I can’t do anywhere else?


Ton and the main developers are the ones who make the decisions on where to go. Here is a current roadmap on the 2.8 development:

As far as the UI goes, Blender had a major UI upgrade in version 2.5. The next major UI upgrade is happening with 2.8 which isn’t out yet (although you can try out the daily builds). And yes, the left mouse button select is slated to become the default in the UI if it isn’t already, I just set it in the preferences. As a hobbyist, I can’t justify the other DCCs, they are just too expensive. I can’t trust them either as they can change their licensing at any time. For Blender’s licensing to change it would require a complete rewrite of the software, something I don’t think is going to happen anytime soon. With Blender I can spend my time learning the software and not worry that it’s going to drop out underneath me like other DCC’s have.



On that note - what’s the status of Blender in formal education? Are colleges and univs. adopting it? Or will they in the future? What’s going on?


I am looking forward to the UI overhaul, trying to decide whether to dive in now or put it off until then. But I do wonder if the changes that are planned are in any way related to the things I want to see changed. I work at home, sometimes in low light… I don’t like to have one hand on the mouse and the other tied to the keyboard, and I don’t care how much faster it is once you have learned the shortcuts. I want a navigational widget, something like the one that Truespace introduced (i believe) and which was copied by a handful of other programs around that time (Carrara, 3DCanvas/3DCrafter). Or maybe an arcball for rotation, as I found that to be an easy to use, and underused, way of manipulating a camera. But mainly I would just like to know how a one-handed person is expected to use the program, as that is how I would prefer to use it myself. As the only real alternative to pricey commercial 3D suites, I think they could try harder to accommodate users from all over, not just those used to Max/Maya but those coming from Poser/Daz, Wings3D, AC3D, Carrara, 3D-Coat, zBrush etc. I know of know other design program in which keyboard shortcuts are the expected manner of working for new users.


Shameless plug Bforartists already has a overhauled UI /Shameless plug :slight_smile:

Don’t hang your hopes too high for UI changes in Blender. They may never come. They have just before a few days postponed the announced UI changes for 2.8 again. And we know what postponed means in Blender development. Just think about wireframe colors …

They call it workflow release, and remove the workflow issues … XD

[quote=]Therefore we are removing from current 2.8 technical targets:


Thanks, for the info… I suppose waiting on a future change is a bad reason to keep putting off learning any program, especially blender.

I tried Bforartists, but the first plug-in I wanted to use would not install because of some difference between Bforartists and the official blender release. Had I not encountered that snag right off the bat I would have maintained interest in trying it more thoroughly. I do not want to have to depend on the Bforartists team to update and maintain Bforartists specific versions of every current and future plug-in I might want to use.


I picked up Blender over the past few months and found that with about 15 minutes spent in the preferences, I had no issues with the ui at all. Once you have the hotkeys down, its like working in Maya in expert mode. The only thing that keeps me from completely switching over is that I am much more efficient in Maya, kind of like learning a new language, I always default back to that which is most comfortable.

That said, enough people complain about the ui that there is probably some merit there.