CategoriesGeneralWhy isnt Blender industry standard yet?Reply To: Why isnt Blender industry standard yet?


digitalhermit
Artist

I certainly do agree that cost is probably one of the smaller considerations for professional studios. As a hobbyist however (and someone who donated to help “free” Blender many years ago), it’s a different story. Maya is priced out of the reach of hobbyists like myself. I do purchase pro software for other interests (E.g., Matlab, Lightworks, Mathematica, among other software), but at over $1200/year Maya is not an option.

Which brings up the technical capabilities of Blender (and other open source software in general). An associate of mine wrote a book about the “good enough” graph of open source software. When a new OS project starts, it almost invariably has fewer features than commercial offerings. This is a natural consequence of how software is produced.  Bill Gates described why products such as Microsoft Office had so many features. As they competed in the marketplace, consumers may have checklist of needed features. If a product could check off more features then it would win out.  That’s why Office dominated for so long. But development is not cheap, and these features come at a premium cost.

But that “good enough” graph means that for a subset of the consumer base, the Open Source offering may at first be barely adequate. Then new features are added. Support and user base grows and even more features get added. Soon (sometimes measured in months, sometimes years), the Open Source version is “good enough”.  In the IT industry we saw this with hundreds of commercial software. Apache web server replaced IIS. Tomcat replaced Websphere. Linux replaced SunOS/Solaris and HP/UX. So right now Blender doesn’t meet the needs of most professional studios. It may never be *dominant*, but it may be good enough for a growing portion of that user base. At some point, that sliver of users may become the majority because cost is almost always a consideration.

To be clear, I’m in no way saying that the Open Source version does have not have the same or higher quality, but that they may not yet be feature complete to satisfy the requirements of particular users.