December 22, 2011, 06:24:59 am
I have been using Blender for about 2 years now. I actually started RMS Lusitania as one of my first projects. The beginning was terrible and took various breaks in-between. Now I have three models - all designed for different purposes.
After about a year ago, a major overhaul was made to the interface and features. Blender now is a serious piece of modelling, animating, and compositing software! There is no other 3D software that has as many tutorials for it - because of the tremendous following - approximately 2 million users worldwide.
Let me make it clear, that is not to say that the propriety software is poor in any way!, but more to say that Blender has matured quickly. For now Blender is used commercially only by small Boutique like production houses, and it is fair to say it is not being used as mainsteam, i.e. in the gaming and animation industry.
I also have real doubts it will ever threaten advanced rendering software etc. including the likes of Lumion. It just isn't designed to cater for this type of market, though it is possible to create something nice, after a lot of sweat.
Also I would not be wasting my time with Lumion if I did not see it's great strength, and future! - to be able to render a movie, and put to a client so quickly. But for me now - at this time - Lumion can't do what I need to do, so I'm forced to use / supplement Blender in the meantime...!
In terms of links, there are many but I suggest BlenderArtists, and put Andrew Price (Blenderguru.com). His Nature Academy is truuully amaazzing!!! Just see his work, and his students work!
Hope this helps.