In the last few days I started to contact Blender users specialized on archviz.
I’m newbie in Blender and I will be minimum for a year.
I need feedback from users who live from archviz and know all the workarounds and weaknesses.
The development of Blender should be more focused; at the moment it is a nice swiss knife for me.
Has a tons of features, none of them replaces the industry standard packages.
I deeply believe – after these weeks – that the most easy ‘breakout point’ for Blender is archviz.
It needs the smallest effort to turn it to be able to compete with the big boys.
And almost no one do archviz as a hobby, it is clearly ‘pro’ grade job.
Which means the improvements could be clearly declared.
Contact: vr.builder (at) yahoo.com
Cycles rendering engine
Although it is not finished yet, it is a quite capable rendering engine, similar to Vray RT, Octane, etc.
It speeds up texturing and lighting with real time GPU rendering, it is physically correct, adaptable.
Has both node-based and ‘classic’ material editor…
Could run both on GPU and CPU (in case of emergency when your scene cannot fit into the memory of your GPU;).
Despite the fact that most of the Blender users never earned money with Blender and I’m also sure that they never put the same effort to learn Max (a conclusion of reading debates), I have to say:
Blender community is extremely helpful.
The speed of some tools
I have to say: for some tasks using Blender’s implementation of using hotkeys and mouse together is far more efficient than the Max version.
Actually I envy it.:)
It is true that being hotkey-oriented affects the learning curve of Blender, but pros use hotkeys in any apps, because it makes them more efficient.
Autodesk guys should learn from the developers of Blender in this…
You will like the customization possibilities of the GUI.
Maybe you think I completely lost it, especially that I wrote before that the GUI sucks (and most of the people complains about Blender’s GUI).
Ok, I make it clear for you.
The conception of the incredible customizable GUI in Blender is outstanding (the speed, the lack of being intuitive is not).
I use customized GUI in Max, but that is not even close to what Blender offers.
Instead of going the details deeply I tell you one simple thing:
It has a versatile node editor for compositing and materials
Generating stills for a client in archviz most of the times requires rendering different passes out (combined, ambient occlusion, z-depth) with transparent background. The usual work-flow is to import these images into a 2D image editor like PhotoShop, PhotoPlus or Gimp and then putting them together with layers, removing artifacts if there are any, adding a nice background, adding small details if needed (like more people, plants, birds) and also adding some special effects (like flares, bloom, lens effect) and image enhancements.
It is cross-platform, small and really useful as a secondary tool.
Blender runs both on Win, OSX and Linux.
And – note this, because it is not something we got used to from commercial apps – the size of the full app is less then 50 MB.
In this size you get 2 built-in rendering engines (the GPU-based Cycles and the Blender Internal), Particle & Hair simulation, Compositor and so on.
It is something unbelievable compared to monsters like Max.