Adobe Joins the Blender Development Fund—Sparking Some Speculation About the Future

Adobe Joins The Blender Development Fund
Credit: Adobe
Adobe has joined the Blender Development Fund and released Blender add-ons for Substance 3D and Mixamo Auto-Control Rig.

Today, Blender announced that Adobe has become a "Corporate Gold Member" level donor in the Blender development fund. This has created a bit of lively discussion around the news and what it could mean for the CG community.

Adobe joins a list of other high-profile companies to contribute significant funds to the development of Blender (Epic games being one of the more notable names on that list).

In the last few years, I've seen the stigma around Blender change significantly. Ever since the 2.8 release, Blender has become a more than serious contender in the somewhat slow and silent race for CG software dominance, with SideFX Houdini also being a major disruption in the space as well. It wouldn't be a huge assumption to make that this extra money has been a big part of the fantastic growth in Blender's overall feature-set and speed. Cycles X is about to make waves.

There has long been speculation about whether or not Adobe would try to enter the CG world with its own 3D DCC (digital content creation) tool, or perhaps buying one of the pre-existing ones outright. So, the news brought about quite a few opinions about what this could mean.

Substance Can Now Be Used Much Easier With Blender
With the new Substance 3D add-on for blender you can alter and save different versions of substance materials directly inside of Blender.Credit: Adobe

A common consensus is, "Is Adobe going to buy Blender? Is Adobe going to start messing with Blender? Please, leave my Blender alone!"

I don't think Adobe is planning to try and purchase Blender, or anything like that at all, as some have been worrying. I think it's just clear that Adobe has a shared stake in the growth of Blender, as so many CG artists use their Substance 3D software to create materials, and almost everyone who does any sort of character animation is using Adobe's Mixamo on a daily basis.

The CG space is a very synergistic world for anyone who happens to have software that involves video editing (Premiere), image editing (Photoshop), and compositing (After Effects), which sounds a lot like Adobe.

I view it all as a signal of Blender's growth more than anything. These companies throw in their cash because they want Blender to keep getting better and keep growing. Making it no longer open-source or free would be very detrimental to that current growth rate (not to mention it would obviously enrage just about everyone who uses the software).

To me, this is just another signal that the future of Blender is looking very bright. As a die-hard Blender user myself, this feels like good news.

Adobe's Substance 3D Plugin For Blender

“We are thrilled Adobe is joining the Blender Development Fund to help ensure the longevity and success of this dynamic open-source community,” said Sébastien Deguy, VP of 3D & Immersive at Adobe. “We’re excited to help strengthen and improve this accessible suite of tools.”

Sébastien Deguy also happens to be the founder of Allegorithmic, the folks who created Substance (the custom material creation tool purchased by Adobe). So it's no surprise that he's expanding the user base by making it easier to work with Substance materials in Blender.

This plugin seems to be a really nice bridge between the two pieces of software, allowing the customization of materials, saving presets, etc. This would also probably be a great way for the pre-made and sold Adobe materials to be of easier access to Blender users as well.

Blender Now Has A Mixamo Control Rig Plugin
Credit: Adobe

Mixamo Auto Control Rig Plugin for Blender

Now Mixamo/Blender have even more to rejoice about. You can now easily create a Mixamo control rig for any biped character directly inside of Blender. This used to be a much more involved process. Now with just a few clicks, you can rig your character right inside of Blender, instead of needing all the extra back and forth needed previously.

This of course also gives you access to the giant library of 2500+ motion capture clips to add to your Blender creations.

What do you think of this news?     

Your Comment

1 Comment

Uggh, everything Adobe touches turns to shyte. Expensive shyte.

I realize this isn't a very informed comment, but my emotions were running high when I read the words Adobe and Blender in the same sentence. I love Blender and the extremely helpful community of Blenderphiles. On the other hand, my experience with Adobe products has been frustrating (I like to blame clunky software rather than my user incompetence, but still that's my experience), and I see Adobe trying to make more money by forcing people into subscriptions. Some of us hobbyists/enthusiasts/wannabe-filmmakers don't have the money, or the need, for full time subscriptions.

I think what a lot of us would like to see is Apple becoming a supporter of Blender!

Anyway, long live the creative open source tools for the starving artists!

July 22, 2021 at 10:48PM, Edited July 22, 10:48PM

Harlan Rumjahn
Low-level government official

If Adobe buys Blender I would wish for a meteor to hit the planet and end it all. I hate Adobe and their greed filled business model. I’ve used their products in the past and learned them in college. But after using other tools that are less bloated, I find going back to their products stunting my creativity.

July 27, 2021 at 9:07AM