Anyone that’s shown interest in 3D modelling has likely heard of Blender. Despite criticisms that it isn’t very beginner-friendly, the software seems to be getting more attention now than it ever did.
Blender Boasts Big Numbers in 2020
Blender has dropped its annual report for 2020 [PDF], and in it, we learn that the 3D graphics software was downloaded over 14 million times last year.
Having rolled out four major releases during the year, that’s an average of 3.5 million downloads per release. “This is a significant increase across all operating systems,” the report reads.
Perhaps you could attribute this growth to what appears to be a recent increased interest in 3D art (and seemingly every other creative endeavor, due to the pandemic), but it certainly helps that the official website is no longer only place you can download Blender.
The program is also available through a few digital distributors, such as the Microsoft Store, Steam, and Snapcraft.
Over the course of the year , this release [Blender 2.83] has been updated 10 times, and will keep getting updates during 2021. Since it’s targeted at a specific audience, the LTS release has significantly less installs, mostly through distribution platforms such as Microsoft Store, Snapcraft and Steam.
It doesn’t seem to be the same handful of artists downloading Blender over and over again, either. Blender is actually reaching new audiences—its website is more popular than ever, with the blender.org website and its subdomains receiving a combined total of 23 million unique visitors.
Majority of those who visit blender.org are from the US, composing a perfect fifth (20 percent) of all website traffic. Netizens from India are the second largest group of visitors (7.7 percent), with the UK and Germany not far behind (4.7 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively).
What Is Blender?
Blender is a free and open source 3D creation suite for Windows, Mac, and Linux. You can use it to create animated films, interactive applications, computer games, and more.
Initially released in January 1994, Blender is one of the oldest yet most reliable and accessible 3D programs available.
Examples of its use in the industry include NASA’s many publicly available models, and some promotional artwork for Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U (an artist revealed to CG Cookie).
Learn to Use Blender Today
If you’re interested in learning how to use Blender, you can refer to the tutorials section of the website. The Blender Foundation also makes videos that show you how to use any new features that get added over time, which you can watch on the official YouTube channel.