Content and code. At least from my experience, working on the web means wrangling content and code to achieve a worthwhile user experience. When working with the flat web, the basic types of content are text, graphics, and audio/video. In a 3D environment, there are also models and worlds. The obvious choice of an application to use for creating or editing content for the 3D web in this day and age is something called “Blender”.
Many years ago, I tried out a program called 3DSmax. (It has gone by the official names 3D Studio Max, 3dsmax, and 3ds Max, so I’ll admit my “spelling” of the product name is not official.) Around the same time, I began using Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop has been with me every day for almost 2 decades, for use in the creation or editing of graphical content for the flat web.
Actually, the last time I paid for an official version of Photoshop was 5 years ago. I still have the computer it’s installed on, “just in case”. Now, I use GIMP. Sure, it’s not as good as Photoshop. But it’s free today, free tomorrow, and best of all, it installs like an application in any computer. Photoshop ultimately turned me off because of all the overhead it carries around just to ensure that no-one benefits from using a copy they haven’t paid for. It’s a pain to install, it’s a pain to repair, and it wreaks havoc on any computer it’s installed in. GIMP just shuts up and lets you edit your graphics. And for that, I love it.
And that brings me back to Blender. Blender, like GIMP, is an Open Source thing. It’s free. And from what I’ve heard (Some of the Dads who I hang out with while we’re supervising our children at the playground use it professionally. Playground Dads I trust. You can read about ANYTHING on the internet and hear that it’s the best thing ever. Playground Dads have zero inclination to paint a pretty picture of anything that ain’t pretty.), Blender, like GIMP, and most unlike Photoshop or 3DSmax, is an application that you install and run. Not a state-of-the-art sacrifice-performance-in-the-name-of-preventing-piracy system-bogging nightmare. Sounds great to me – but as the title of this post suggests, this is only what I’ve heard. I’m gonna try it, and find out for sure.
PS. “That was easy”. No shut-downs, no “Please re-install the installer”, no conflicts with other programs, no devastation of system resources, no lagginess creeping into my system. After a 2-minute install, I toyed with it for a few seconds, tried everything else in my computer to make sure some goddam authenticity verification process wasn’t going to make me hate my whole system, and am feeling assured that the Playground Dads spoke the truth – it’s just an application that you install and you’re good to go. For that alone – I love it.
Open Source rules.