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How Blender can Become industry Standard

Today we are going to talk about Blender and how it can become industry standard, we are going to discuss 8 points that will strengthen Blenders position in the industry.

1_Proof of concept that Blender works in Studios.

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one of the most important steps of Blender toward becoming an industry standard is a proof of concept that it can work perfectly in real professional productions where stakes are high and consequences are serious. big Vfx and AAA Video game development studios are not willing to through away software that works perfectly fine in a pipeline that has been around for years. they need to be convinced, they need to have a good reason for using Blender instead of the 3D package they are using right now. i personally don’t think like big studios are going to start using Blender just like that out of the blue because i believe it is going to be a gradual process that will take place over the years.

i think that small and medium sized studios are going to integrate Blender gradually in their pipelines first which is happening right now with studios like “BarnstormVFX” which is an effects studio specializing in high-quality digital effects, design, and production. also “goodbye Kansas studios” which does a lot of professional work for the film, TV and video games industry.

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when more studios like these start using Blender and generate amazing results it incentivizes the other studios to use it because it is easier to do so if you see dozens of studios using it and getting their work successfully.

this will create the phenomenon that is called the snowball effect, and when Blender becomes a thing in the industry i believe big studios will start paying more serious attention to it. But even now it seems like some big companies like Ubisoft, Nvidia and AMD are paying serious attention to Blender as i mentioned in previous videos by investing in its development which is a great thing that can play as a shortcut for it to join the industry faster.

2_When Blender is taught in schools.

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in my opinion, having Blender taught in art schools and educational institutions, in general, is a very important step for Blender in the fight toward becoming an industry-standard Software.

All big industry-standard software developers like Autodesk that owns 3Ds Max and Maya, also Maxon that owns Cinema 4D understand that winning the battle in schools is one of the major reasons why they are winning in the industry because the students of today are going to be the professional artists of tomorrow. Autodesk and Maxon are giving their 3D software for free for students which i think is a very smart move even though it does not make financial sense in the short term.

Especially Autodesk, it is fighting so hard to get their software used in many qualified educational institutions as possible because they know that this is a crucial step that allows their software to stay industry-standard in the long-term. and also it allows them to get more clients in the future due to the fact that it makes sense to keep using the software that you were taught in school generally speaking.

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I think that Blender needs to join this battle too because it very important in this particular stage of its life cycle. Studios need to believe that Blender is qualified to join the industry even though they know that it is a great piece of software with amazing features that can do professional work, but they also know that the industry is run on the shoulders of professional artists that went through the right training to become qualified for working in the industry.

3_Technical Support.

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Having a support team that aids artists in studios to solve problems is necessary for Blender to have if it wants to join the other 3D Software as an industry-standard because artists, especially in studios, are going to face problems that they want to solve quickly, and in order, to that, they call the support team of the company that owns the 3D software.

Blender right now does not have a giant corporation behind it that has hundreds of employees, it is just 15 to 20 developers working on its features and making it better every year.

a lot of professional artists love blender and use it for their personal work and when asked about the possibility of becoming industry-standard almost all of them agree that technical support for Blender is one of the major reasons that will make it harder for studios to adopt it as part of their pipelines because often” time and money “go hand in hand.

this is very true for big studios since they are working under tight deadlines and the time they spend figuring out solutions for problems on their own they prefer to not waste it, and what they do is calling support to give them feedback on the issue they are facing and guide them through it successfully in the shortest amount of time possible.

4_Blender needs to be known for Something

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There are a lot of 3d software used in professional productions just because they are excellent when it comes to doing one particular thing. For example, Zbrush for sculpting, Houdini for effects and simulations, substance painter for texturing,  nuke for compositing and so on.
So in order for Blender to have a place in the industry it needs to be known for something that distinguishes it from the rest of the software and gives studios a reason to integrate it in their production pipelines.
As for right now Blender advantages is that it is free for commercial use and it is a package that does almost everything in a production pipeline which is great.
For the time being a lot of small, medium studios and indie devs are using blender basically for those reasons, and of course due to the growth and development of Blender in the recent updates of version 2.8 and beyond. But the big AAA video game devs and large vex studios are not easily impressed and they are not going to throw away everything they have build just because Blender is free and it is going to save them $200,000 or Something like that is usually paid for licenses of Maya & Max.

Blender has a good chance of being used in top production Environments but it needs to convince decision-makers, producers, I mean people who’s money is on the line generally speaking. Blender needs to convince them that it makes financial sense and that it is a good investment that is going to bring more money.

please Don’t get me wrong here because there is a lot to making money in the industry other than using free software since changing complete pipelines also cost a huge amount of money sometimes.

They don’t care about Maya, Max, Houdini or Blender their biggest concern is whether it going to help them make more money or not.

5_It needs to play with other 3D software.

As a 3D package Blender is excellent right now but in order to join the industry, it needs to work well with the other 3D software because it is not going to be the only 3D software used by artists inside a studio due to the fact that sometimes there are artists that use 3ds Max, Maya or Cinema 4D and at some point, they have to import and export their work from software to software. a lot of professional artists working in studios say that the only issue they have with using Blender at work is FBX support. FBX is widely used in the video game development industry, and although Blender does support it, studios have artists or specifically animators in different locations using Maya only for example and importing and exporting files that they have worked on can sometimes give incorrect results. Static meshes are usually not problematic though, which is a relief since it is what most artists are using FBX for.

Nobody cares if you use Blender or Maya for modeling and UVs, as long as you get the job done and can bring it into one of the major software pipelines. However, the transferring of FBX files using Blender doesn’t work so well with animation, simulation and compositing meaning there are problems with compatibility in those areas that need to be solved, but it seems like there are some good addons that are doing a good job for importing and exporting animations using FBX for Blender.

6_When More Professionals start using it

Image by Shahab Alizadeh

Also one of the most difficult problems that Blender will face in its way to becoming an industry standard is the lack of professional artists that have industry experience. This is a kind of chicken and egg type of situation: studios don’t use Blender because there aren’t enough artists with industry experience and there aren’t enough artists with industry experience because studios don’t use Blender.

it is true that blender has the largest user base but let’s be honest here, most Blender users did not use Blender in a professional production because it is not industry standard yet and because it attracts a lot of people that are new to 3D in general.

If you take a look at the closing credits of a movie that is CGI heavy you will see an endless list of 3D artists from modeling teams, animators, effects artists and so. there are so many professional artists compared to how many professional artists using Blender right now, but i am sure that this will change in the future.

in my opinion, this problem will be solved through 3 things, small and medium studios using Blender thus more and more artists with industry experience will be available to be recruited by bigger studios.

Second, when schools, as we said before, start teaching Blender in their Curriculums i think this is going to make it easier for studios to use Blender because there are going to be more qualified Blender users that studios can trust that they can do a good job.

also, time has a big role in the process of creating more artists with industry experience.

7_partnerships and marketing

Image by Clayton Sjoerdsma

in order for Blender to be adopted faster by the industry, it needs to get more exposure to clients and there isn’t a better way than Partnerships and marketing to do this. because partnerships, for example, will allow Blender to have the opportunity to grow its customer base and improve its services. Partnerships could mean it will have access to a new market. and recently Blender is doing this successfully with Ubisoft, AMD, and Nvidia so far.

Also, marketing is a good way of letting artists and studios know more about Blender and what is capable of right now, but the budget is a big concern i guess because the Blender foundation is not a business but through more support, it will be possible i guess.

8_it’s just a matter of time.

Image by Glenn Melenhorst

also, time has a big role in the process of Blender becoming industry-standard because i think from now on Blender will go through the snowball effect even though the snowball is so small right now.

Blender is one of the fastest-growing 3D software right now and it is getting more recognition by artists, studios and big companies as well which a great thing for its future. But i personally think that time is a major factor that has to be put into the equation because things are complicated and competition is fierce. i am positive that Blender will be able to overcome those major obstacles but it might take longer than we think but honestly i don’t really know how long this will take.


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