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Blender is a complete package for developing television commercials and all sorts of video film from concept through production to ultimately delivery to the broadcaster. In that respect, it started out as an internal software product used by an advertising agency called "Not a Number" and was taken into the public domain and is sponsored and distributed and organized by the Blender Foundation out of Amsterdam.
The product is open source and provides a complete life cycle for starting with your concept sketch, developing a model of whatever you want, including text, computer graphics and integrating live- action plates, taking that model then and shading it and texturing it, giving it color, animating it and bringing it to life and making it move and jump around the screen as well as being able to do some physical simulations for some very complex interactions and bringing this computer graphics object into the real world, if you will.
In addition then, you can take these models and bring them into a real time interaction, a game environment, and actually create games and other kinds of instructional simulations. Finally then, you can combine the animations and the physical simulations and the shading and also the actions that are recorded from that real-time interaction into a rendering process where you create images of that computer graphics reality. You then can composite those images, and by performing all sorts of special effects and color corrections and blurs and like that, to produce video strips.
Then you can bring those strips into the Sequencer where you can then cut, splice, fade, cross-mix and overlay all of those different strips and computer graphic elements together to produce a complete video multimedia experience. Blender is supported by a worldwide consortium of people like myself, developers and other interested people who use Blender on a daily basis to produce some absolutely stunning imagery. Blender is supported by a couple of key sites on the web.
We have BlenderArtists.org. That is a non-profit organization that is hosted to provide online forums and a gallery of the absolute stunning imagery that is produced by a number of great and very talented individuals from around the world and every major country and city there is. There is also an online daily newspaper called BlenderNation.com, which features a daily news article about BlenderNation everyday.
Here's an interview with Campbell Barton, a person I've been privileged to work with and he has helped me quite a bit with all of my Python programming. This newspaper has been in existence for well over a year and every time some kind of a major event occurs or a major accomplishment happens with Blender or related to Blender, this is the community that both publishes and produces news articles about Blender and how it's being used to model and simulate and just produce awesome video imagery.
Finally, there is BlenderArt.org, which is an electronic magazine that features a number of issues and each issue is just packed with a number of articles and very interesting techniques on how to use Blender and some of the stunning and absolute fantastic stuff that has been done with Blender in the past. There is also model repositories that you can go to, to get models that have already been prebuilt by other people. There is a Blender Materials available from Blender.org, which is a library of reusable materials and settings for simulating all sorts of different materials and of course the code and all different extensions to the code is also available.
So that's just a quick overview of the capabilities of Blender and the kind of things that can be done with Blender as well as some of the support that's available to you as a new user.
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