Blender is open source software that has had a rocky start. Like Openoffice.org, Blender's roots are in proprietary software.
Blender began its life within a company called NeoGeo which was later marketed and sold by another company called Not a Number or NaN. It is a 3D application ‘for modelling and rendering three-dimensional graphics and animations’ - the latest version, v2.42, was released a few weeks ago.
At the height of its popularity, Blender attracted nearly 250,000 registered users which is quite a number, especially in such a niche market as 3D.
However by 2002, NaN went bankrupt and Blender was released as open source software.
Still, the ‘Blender’ project went on and is thriving. It has already been used in Spiderman 2 and in a number of independent short computer generated movies, most notably, Elephant’s dream which has been downloaded nearly one million times.
What makes Blender so special is that it targets a vertical segment of the computer industry and has achieved an enviable reputation in a few years and great support from the user base.