Download of the day: Blender

Our daily pick of the best Windows software

Build stunning 3D models, flesh them out and animate them, or even create your own games – it's all possible in Blender, and totally for free.

Why you need it

Learning the ropes when it comes to 3D modelling can be a time consuming process, so why pay for a program before you feel confident? Blender is a genuinely comprehensive, professional 3D modelling program that is available completely for free, making it ideal if you're dabbling in 3D work but don't want to shell out a small fortune if you're not even sure it's for you.

One of the great things about Blender is its versatility. Whether you want to create photorealistic renderings for use as product mockups, or you just want a quick creation to help you sketch out an idea, Blender has the tools available to help you achieve your goal.

So, for example, there's support for HDR (high dynamic range) lighting to help you ensure your models are perfectly lit, easy weight painting and skinning to turn skeletons into fleshed out models, powerful animation and sculpting tools and much more.

Blender also has its own compositor, so there's no need to export your work to a third party app – saving you even more money. The same goes for Blender's game engine, which allows you to code in game logic, Python scripting and more.

There really is an amazing array of features available in Blender, which seems all the more incredible given it's completely free and open source.

Key features

  • Works on: PC, Mac, Linux, FreeBSD
  • Versions: Free
  • Create 3D models: At its core, Blender is a 3D modelling program, so you'll find everything you need right here
  • Create games: Blender has its own game engine, so you can create assets and then build your game around them, all within the same program
  • Tons of uses: There are so many features contained in Blender that it should be of use no matter what your project is

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