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Blender Foundation

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Blender Foundation
FormationMay 2002; 22 years ago (2002-05)
PurposeDevelopment of Blender
HeadquartersAmsterdam, Netherlands
Region served
Ton Roosendaal
SubsidiariesBlender Institute
Blender Studio
31 (2022)

The Blender Foundation is a Dutch nonprofit organization (Stichting) responsible for the development of Blender, an open-source 3D content-creation program.[1]

The foundation has distributed the animated films Elephants Dream (2006), Big Buck Bunny (2008), Sintel (2010), Tears of Steel (2012),[2][3] Caminandes: Llama Drama (2013), Caminandes: Gran Dillama (2013), Cosmos Laundromat (2015), Glass Half (2015), Caminandes: Llamigos (2016), Agent 327: Operation Barbershop (2017), Hero (2018), Spring (2019), Coffee Run (2020), Sprite Fright (2021), Charge (2022), and Wing it! (2023).


The Amsterdam team with Ton Roosendaal in front of the Blender Foundation headquarters

The foundation is chaired by Ton Roosendaal, the original author of the Blender software. One of the foundation's stated goals is "to give the worldwide Internet community access to 3D technology in general, with Blender as a core".[4]

The foundation provides various resources to support the community formed around using and developing Blender. In particular, it organizes an annual Blender Conference in Amsterdam[5] to discuss plans for the future of Blender, as well as staffing a booth to represent Blender at SIGGRAPH.[6][7] Donations are also used to maintain the Blender website and hire developers to improve the Blender software.[4]


The foundation is funded entirely by donations from entrepreneurs, companies, and users.[8] Many video game publishers such as Epic Games, Ubisoft, Activision, Valve, and NetEase have made contributions. Nvidia, Intel, AMD, Meta, Microsoft, Adobe, and Google have also funded the project.[9]

In 2019, Epic Games awarded the Blender Foundation a US$1,200,000 grant as part of their Epic MegaGrants initiative.[10] Founder and CEO of Epic Games Tim Sweeney stated, "Open tools, libraries and platforms are critical to the future of the digital content ecosystem" and that "Blender is an enduring resource within the artistic community, and we aim to ensure its advancement to the benefit of all creators."[11]

Open projects[edit]

The Blender Foundation maintains several community-driven "Open Projects" through its affiliated Blender Institute program, including several freely licensed films and a free, open-source video game Yo Frankie! (2008).[12] According to the Foundation, these projects are intended "to validate and improve the 3D open source content creation pipeline with Blender". Each project was created using the Blender software and released under permissive license terms, along with the source material. In addition to demonstrating the capabilities of the software, the Open Projects provided detailed production material (sketches, tutorials, textures and models, etc.) to serve as examples for the Blender user community, as well as finished products that could be widely used for other purposes.[13]

On 18 March 2006, the Blender Foundation released its first film, Elephants Dream.[14] In response to the success of Elephants Dream, the Blender Foundation established the Blender Institute to support future software and content development projects. The Blender Institute operates out of a studio within the Entrepotdok building in Amsterdam, where the Blender Foundation is also located, and is headed by Ton Roosendaal.

On 10 April 2008, the Blender Institute released its second film, Big Buck Bunny.[15][16][17] Based on the movie, the Blender Institute released its first Open Game project Yo Frankie!, in November 2008.

On 30 September 2010 the Blender Institute released its third project, Sintel.

In October 2011, Concept/Script Development began for Blender's fourth open film project titled Tears of Steel. Contrary to previous Blender Institute projects, which were 100% computer graphics, the focus of Tears of Steel was the combination of live action footage with computer generated characters and environments. The live action footage was shot with a high-end Sony F65 camera. The project was released on 26 September 2012.[18]

The Gooseberry Open Movie Project is the fifth Open Movie Project initiated by the Blender Foundation. Ton Roosendal announced the project in January 2010.[19][20] The most ambitious project yet, one of the primary goals is for the Gooseberry Open Movie Project to be the first full-length film produced by the Blender Institute. Work on the film, called Cosmos Laundromat, began in 2014[21] (although a release date was not yet announced). A ten-minute pilot, entitled Cosmos Laundromat: First Cycle was released on YouTube and Netflix on 10 August 2015[22] and premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival on 24 September 2015.[23] The pilot won the Jury's Prize at Animago 2015,[24] an international conference for 3D animation.

In 2013, the second episode of a short animated series Caminandes was released under the Blender Foundation umbrella.[25] In 2016, a third short was released.

Hero, the sixth Open Movie Project, was announced in September 2017 and released on 16th April 2018.[26][27] The technical target for Hero was to use and improve the Grease Pencil tools.

Sprite Fright, a short animated comedy-horror was announced on 9 November 2020[28] and released on 29 October 2021.[29]

Charge was released the 15 December 2022.[30]

Pet Projects was announced on 19 January 2023.[31] The official release title is "WING IT!" and was released the 12 September 2023.[32]

Project Gold was announced on 22 May 2023.[33]


No. Year Release date Title[34] Film video Note
1 1994 Date Unknown Morkramia Not able to upload due to copyright restrictions. Teaser form upcoming film called Morkramia.
2 2006 March 24, 2006 Elephants Dream
3 2008 May 20, 2008 Big Buck Bunny
4 2010 September 30, 2010 Sintel
5 2012 September 26, 2012 Tears of Steel Live-Action
6 2013 November 22, 2013 Caminandes 2: Gran Dillama Part of Caminandes series
7 2015 August 10, 2015 Cosmos Laundromat
8 October 30, 2015 Glass Half
9 2016 January 30, 2016 Caminandes 3: Llamigos Part of Caminandes series
10 2017 May 15, 2017 Agent 327: Operation Barbershop Teaser for upcoming Agent 327 feature film
11 2018 Jan 31, 2018 The Daily Dweebs
12 April 16, 2018 Hero
13 2019 April 4, 2019 Spring
14 2020 May 29, 2020 Coffee Run
15 2021 October 29, 2021 Sprite Fright
16 2022 December 15, 2022 Charge
17 2023 September 12, 2023 Wing It!


  1. ^ "About the foundation". Blender.
  2. ^ McConnachie, Dahna (January 15, 2008). "Open source on the big screen: Matt Ebb tells tales of Elephants Dream". Computerworld. Archived from the original on 2008-02-18.
  3. ^ Rui Paulo Sanguinheira Diogo (December 2007). "Modelling 2.50". Linux-Magazin.
  4. ^ a b "Blender Foundation - blender.org".
  5. ^ "About Blender Conference".
  6. ^ "Blender documentation 2.4". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2013-10-08.
  7. ^ "Blender 2.5 progress". Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2009-12-14.
  8. ^ Foundation, Blender. "Blender Foundation". blender.org. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  9. ^ Foundation, Blender. "Blender Development Fund". Blender Development Fund. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  10. ^ "Epic Games supports Blender with $1.2 million Epic MegaGrant". Unreal Engine. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  11. ^ Foundation, Blender. "Epic Games supports Blender Foundation with $1.2 million Epic MegaGrant". blender.org. Retrieved 2022-07-14.
  12. ^ "Blender.org - Blender Open Projects". Archived from the original on 20 October 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  13. ^ Janko, Roettgers. "Blender Foundation Releases Open-Source Movie Sintel". GigaOm. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  14. ^ "Elephants Dream Released!". Blender Foundation. Retrieved 2009-09-25.
  15. ^ "Project Peach is Pretty Proud to Present…". Blender Foundation. Retrieved 2008-02-04.
  16. ^ Paul, Ryan (2007-10-03). "Blender Foundation's Peach project begins". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2007-10-13.
  17. ^ "Premiere of Open Movie Big Buck Bunny". Archived from the original on 2008-07-25. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
  18. ^ "Tears of Steel | Mango Open Movie Project".
  19. ^ Bart (10 January 2011). "Project Gooseberry announced". BlenderNation.
  20. ^ "Blender Foundation – Community Meeting" (PDF). Blender.org.
  21. ^ Amidi, Amid (26 August 2015). "'Cosmos Laundromat: First Cycle' by Mathieu Auvray". Cartoon Brew.
  22. ^ Cosmos Laundromat - First Cycle. Official Blender Foundation release. YouTube. 10 August 2015. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21.
  23. ^ "Cosmos Laundromat". Nederlands Film Festival. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  24. ^ "Congratulations! Here come the 2015 winners of animago AWARD". Archived from the original on January 5, 2016. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  25. ^ "About Caminandes". Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  26. ^ "Hero, a Blender 2D open movie project". Blender Foundation. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  27. ^ "Presenting Hero - Blender Grease Pencil Showcase". Blender Foundation. Retrieved 2018-05-31.
  28. ^ Institute, Blender. "Announcing Sprite Fright: A Horror-Comedy". Blender Studio. Retrieved 2021-10-30.
  29. ^ Institute, Blender. "Sprite Fright Premiere". Blender Studio. Retrieved 2021-10-30.
  30. ^ Institute, Blender. "Charge Premiere". Blender Studio. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  31. ^ Institute, Blender. "Announcing "Pet Projects": a New Open Movie". Blender Studio. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  32. ^ ""Wing It!" Premiere Date - Blog - Blender Studio". Blender Studio. Retrieved 2023-09-21.
  33. ^ Institute, Blender. "Announcing Project Gold: the Next Blender Open Movie". Blender Studio. Retrieved 2023-07-27.
  34. ^ Institute, Blender. "Films on Blender Cloud". Blender Cloud. Retrieved 2020-09-27.

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