There are few valid arguments against giving Blender a try. The free, open-source 3D modeling, rendering, and visualization powerhouse has proven time and time again it is every bit as competent a piece of software as the likes of vRay, 3DS Max, Maxwell, and others. It continues to show the world what can be done with a passionate group of developers, and a dedicated community of contributors who want nothing more than to see their baby grow.
But, for those who still need convincing, I’m going to dig a bit deeper into what Blender does, and what advantages it holds over its competitors in terms of an architectural visualization tool. Arch vis is a very specific subcategory of the visualization industry, and requires a renderer that caiters to those needs in the most natural possible way.
Blender is the program that does just about everything well, and for those looking to try a new modeling and rendering machine, or perhaps getting into the industry for the first time, there are plenty of reasons to give Blender a try.
It’s the most obvious reason, but also the most important. Visualization software isn’t cheap, and can be a daunting hurdle to jump for people hoping to dip their feet in the world of 3D rendering. It’d be a big risk to spend thousands of dollars on software only to realize it’s not really for you. Blender is a completely open-source piece of software, and as such, doesn’t cost you a dime to download and use to your heart’s content.
Usually in life, you get what you pay for. This isn’t the case with Blender. It is a fully functional, meticulously and lovingly crafted work of art that makes the fact that it’s free that much more impressive. All it requires is your time, and you’d be hard-pressed to use it more wisely.
Under the hood, Blender is just as attractive as its price tag. The Cycles Engine is what makes the renderer tick, providing real-time viewport previewing, GPU and CPU rendering, VR support, and HDR lighting support for users. Architectural visualization, especially with the emerging importance of virtual reality integration, can benefit from these features as they make Blender fast, smart, and incredibly efficient.
For architects and interior designers, time is money. Blender and the Cycles Engine allow artists to move quickly between projects and get the most out of their computer power to produce photo-realistic presentation quality renderings.
Even though Blender has a vast and deep toolset capable of producing anything from brick walls to alien creatures, it’s basic functions are surprisingly easy to grasp. For newcomers and architectural visualizers, those basic functions are probably all you’re going to be using. However, for those looking to dig a bit further, you’ll discover Blender’s modeling prowess ranks up there with just about any other program on the market.
3D modeling is easy with Blender, but that doesn’t mean it can’t create just about anything and everything you can imagine.
Blender’s most underrated feature, and perhaps the reason that keeps people around the most, is the rabid and dedicated underbelly of users who continue to support the program in a variety of helpful ways. Not only are they constantly making the program better, they also provide tutorials, lessons, and helpful tips that help newcomers get a solid foundation of user-knowledge underneath them at the onset.
The kind of support Blender receives is infectious, and makes people want to get involved on a deeper level. This community also features a large subsection of architectural visualizers, who have experience in that specific type of 3D modeling and rendering. Few programs on the market enjoy such interaction and integration from their user base.
If you’re still looking for evidence of Blender’s capabilities as a 3D modeler and/or renderer, quickly browse through their gallery section and see what people have been able to do with a program that didn’t cost them anything to get started. It’s truly remarkable, and should tickle your inspiration bone just enough to take the plunge.
It’s the perfect architectural visualization tool, and will have your firm producing presentation level images, animations, and VR experiences to help promote, sell, and get your projects built.