Notes on Blender

Blender is a professional class 3D animation software that’s open source and completely free. Some notes below on using it with Fedora 21.

Installation

First of all, don’t use the Fedora package for Blender if you want to do video editing with it. For legal reasons, the build of the software that comes with the package is not compiled to use the standard full-featured ffmpeg utility for video playback and format conversion. As a result it won’t work as a video editor for formats like .mov, .mp4, etc.

Fortunately, installing and maintaining Blender on Fedora is simple and straightforward. Just download the latest stable binary archive from here and then unarchive to somewhere accessible to all your users, like /opt/blender. For Gnome Shell desktops put a blender.desktop file like this under /usr/share/applications:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Blender
Comment=3D Modelling Editor
Exec=blender
Type=Application
Icon=blender.png
Terminal=false
StartupNotify=false
Categories=AudioVideo;VideoModelling;

Copy the blender.png icon from /opt/blender/icons/48×48/apps to /usr/share/pixmaps and then symlink the /opt/blender/blender executable to /usr/local/bin/blender.

Configuration

Surprisingly, the default settings for Blender are fairly usable. Animation pros will create multiple alternative configurations using .blend files, so far I’ve stuck to the default unless making changes make it easier to follow a tutorial or howto.

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).