Monday, July 15th 2019

Epic Games Supports Blender Foundation with $1.2 million Epic MegaGrant

Epic Games, as part of the company's $100 million Epic MegaGrants program, is awarding the Blender Foundation $1.2 million in cash to further the success of Blender, the free and open source 3D creation suite that supports the full range of tools empowering artists to create 3D graphics, animation, special effects or games.

The Epic MegaGrants initiative is designed to assist game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing outstanding work with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.

The Epic MegaGrant will be delivered incrementally over the next three years and will contribute to Blender's Professionalizing Blender Development Initiative.

"Having Epic Games on board is a major milestone for Blender," said Blender Foundation founder and chairman Ton Roosendaal. "Thanks to the grant we will make a significant investment in our project organization to improve on-boarding, coordination and best practices for code quality. As a result, we expect more contributors from the industry to join our projects."

"Open tools, libraries and platforms are critical to the future of the digital content ecosystem," said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games. "Blender is an enduring resource within the artistic community, and we aim to ensure its advancement to the benefit of all creators."

For more information about Epic MegaGrants, visit unrealengine.com/en-US/megagrants.

About Blender Foundation
The Blender Foundation (2002) is an independent nonprofit public benefit corporation with the purpose to provide individual artists and small teams with a complete, free and open source 3D creation pipeline, managed by public projects on blender.org. Its spin-off Blender Institute hosts the foundation's offices and currently employs 15 people who work on the Blender software and creative projects to validate and stress Blender in production environments.
For more information, visit blender.org/foundation.

About Unreal Engine
Epic Games' Unreal Engine technology brings high-quality games to PC, console, mobile, AR and VR platforms. Creators also use Unreal for photorealistic visualization, interactive product design, film, virtual production, mixed reality TV broadcast and animated entertainment. Follow @UnrealEngine and download Unreal for free at unrealengine.com.

About Epic Games
Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of Fortnite, Unreal, Gears of War, Shadow Complex, and the Infinity Blade series of games. Epic's Unreal Engine technology, which brings high-fidelity, interactive experiences to PC, console, mobile, AR, VR and the Web, is freely available at unrealengine.com. The Epic Games store offers a handpicked library of games, available at epicgames.com. Follow @EpicGames for updates.
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23 Comments on Epic Games Supports Blender Foundation with $1.2 million Epic MegaGrant

#1
Markosz
That's pretty cool. Blender was doing really well on it's own, like the 2.80 version is modernizing the whole software and they are adding cool stuff every now and then.
These funds are well deserved and I can't wait to see what they do with it.
Posted on Reply
#2
z1n0x
Easy Fortnite money for positive PR.
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#3
Xaled
More free modeling... so Mr Sweeney can win more
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#4
vega22
z1n0x, post: 4081377, member: 188730"
Easy Fortnite money for positive PR.
They have been supporting the blender project for years, this is just extending it for another 3 years.
Posted on Reply
#5
z1n0x
vega22, post: 4081398, member: 41040"
They have been supporting the blender project for years, this is just extending it for another 3 years.
Now, if only they would fix the poor Radeon performance in Unreal Engine and stop with the exclusives crap, that will be great.
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#6
Xaled
z1n0x, post: 4081411, member: 188730"
Now, if only they would fix the poor Radeon performance in Unreal Engine and stop with the exclusive crap, that will be great.
Do u really think Nvidia would allow them to that?

Markosz, post: 4081345, member: 164706"
That's pretty cool. Blender was doing really well on it's own, like the 2.80 version is modernizing the whole software and they are adding cool stuff every now and then.
These funds are well deserved and I can't wait to see what they do with it.
Do u really believe it was "on its own"? Why would some one offer you a 'great' tool that for free? U ever gave it a thought?
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#7
neatfeatguy
Not really sure why this is news. A lot of companies back other businesses with grants or simply because they have a stake in the them.

Epic likes to back Blender - cool. Thanks for the info....I guess.
Posted on Reply
#8
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
I know of a developer that applied for MegaGrant funds. I hope they get it.

I think the reason why Blender got money is because they're a corner stone for other indie games. The longer they keep it up, the healthier the indie ecosystem. Alternatives (especially 3DS Max) cost a fortune.
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#9
Shihabyooo
Xaled, post: 4081430, member: 158027"
Do u really believe it was "on its own"? Why would some one offer you a 'great' tool that for free? U ever gave it a thought?
The same way Wikipedia, Mozilla et al manage to provide their services for free: A donation-based model sometimes augmented with extra paid services and most of the time mixed with a touch of enthusiasm to contribute something to humanity (and they are doing a darn good job at it).

F/OSS and related nonprofit orgs are a plenty, mate.
Posted on Reply
#10
Xaled
Shihabyooo, post: 4081464, member: 91709"
The same way Wikipedia, Mozilla et al manage to provide their services for free: A donation-based model sometimes augmented with extra paid services and most of the time mixed with a touch of enthusiasm to contribute something to humanity (and they are doing a darn good job at it).

F/OSS and related nonprofit orgs are a plenty, mate.
Offering the basics for free like in the case of da Vince Resolver is still ok because it charges only the "rich" people or the people who can actually pay.
There is a huge difference between Wikipedia, Mozilla and between Blender. While Both wiki and Mozilla are truely open source and are not used in commercial way and people can't use them to make something and get money of it but Blender is being used to create models, painting textures, rigging, animating and it even has a game engine built in it? Now all cheap labor in the world are using Blender and they really hurting the people working in the industry. A random guy on the internet now can do what youve being doing for years for 1/20th the price with Blender because he is paying nothing and has paid nothing in his whole life?
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#11
Vayra86
neatfeatguy, post: 4081440, member: 70848"
Not really sure why this is news. A lot of companies back other businesses with grants or simply because they have a stake in the them.

Epic likes to back Blender - cool. Thanks for the info....I guess.
You clicked anyway. Mission accomplished ;)
Posted on Reply
#12
IceShroom
Now Blender will run like shit on AMD hardware like every Unreal engine game.
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#13
RoutedScripter
TAKE THAT, you launcher whiners :p (I just don't really need/use most of the features steam offers so I guess I'm biased) they are doing good things like this!

Anyway, I'm cherring up a lot more on the Blender side right now ...
Posted on Reply
#14
lexluthermiester
This move, while very positive for the Blender folks, is very transparent. Epic did this only to make themselves look good and to win favor with the public.

RoutedScripter, post: 4081532, member: 66408"
TAKE THAT, you launcher whiners :p (I just don't use most of the features steam offers but that's just me) they are doing good things like this!
Oh hush up... :slap: :laugh:
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#15
Crackong
No Timed Exclusive deal?
I am kinda disappointed.
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#17
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
vega22, post: 4081398, member: 41040"
They have been supporting the blender project for years, this is just extending it for another 3 years.
This bears repeating for those with the Epic-hate blinders on. This is not a one-time thing they suddenly did for publicity.
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#18
kabarsa
Xaled, post: 4081488, member: 158027"
Offering the basics for free like in the case of da Vince Resolver is still ok because it charges only the "rich" people or the people who can actually pay.
There is a huge difference between Wikipedia, Mozilla and between Blender. While Both wiki and Mozilla are truely open source and are not used in commercial way and people can't use them to make something and get money of it but Blender is being used to create models, painting textures, rigging, animating and it even has a game engine built in it? Now all cheap labor in the world are using Blender and they really hurting the people working in the industry. A random guy on the internet now can do what youve being doing for years for 1/20th the price with Blender because he is paying nothing and has paid nothing in his whole life?
Blender is a backbone for indies. You basically say that it's ok to have Autodesk charge whatever they want and to keep people out of the industry. It's like saying "Krita is hurting Adobe, shut it down". If a random guy on the internet can do the same as the industry professional, maybe it's not Blender's fault. I work in the industry, and see Blender being used even on a AAA projects, by professionals. There are hardly any words suitable to describe my initial reaction to your message. Guess we better get back to times of costly one time license for UE3 no normal human can afford himself.
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#19
Xaled
kabarsa, post: 4081682, member: 173104"
Blender is a backbone for indies. You basically say that it's ok to have Autodesk charge whatever they want and to keep people out of the industry. It's like saying "Krita is hurting Adobe, shut it down". If a random guy on the internet can do the same as the industry professional, maybe it's not Blender's fault. I work in the industry, and see Blender being used even on a AAA projects, by professionals. There are hardly any words suitable to describe my initial reaction to your message. Guess we better get back to times of costly one time license for UE3 no normal human can afford himself.
İt is a backbone for cheap labor. Yes Autodesk is charging too much but the answer is not to make something for free at all just to make game publishers, developers, engines etc win more because they will pay too much less for labor and for software.
Posted on Reply
#20
kabarsa
Xaled, post: 4081701, member: 158027"
İt is a backbone for cheap labor. Yes Autodesk is charging too much but the answer is not to make something for free at all just to make game publishers, developers, engines etc win more because they will pay too much less for labor and for software.
Blender can be an educational tool, can be used for academics, used for indie projects. Using Maya everywhere will not somehow make western studios competitive on price with some asian studios, and Blender has nothing to do with it. Artificial industry entry cost will not profit anyone except publishers, actual developers (engineers, artists) will not get anything from this. We can blame the same way Visual Studio Community Edition, or maybe Android OS, or Java maybe, or Linux. I can't see how this will help anyone in the industry. Blender should exist and give other software run for their money. And there better be some alternative to Allegorithmic software and many more. And it's the same for hardware.
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#21
Shihabyooo
Actually, Wikimedia's work can be and are used for commercial purposes. The same goes for Mozilla's "free" offerings (Bugzilla comes to mind).

Yes, Blender and co. are lowering the entry bar for the industry, but guess what? The industry isn't objecting. Not with all the game jams, expos, educational and training materials being put online, etc, etc.
There's of course an assumption that 3D artists are on demand only in the video game industry, which is very off the mark. Movies, architecture, various engineering fields, advertisement, printed media, are all large sectors on their own with -varrying degrees of- demand for 3D artists. That's not even putting recreational/hobbyist use in the list.

Heck, there's another false assumption in there that you'll see large influxes of 3D artists just because you have a free modelling software, as if that was the only reason one would choose to become a gamedev. Just because land and oxygen are free doesn't mean everyone chooses to become an athelete.

A final note: Not everything is a zero sum game.
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#22
lexluthermiester
rtwjunkie, post: 4081614, member: 56774"
This bears repeating for those with the Epic-hate blinders on. This is not a one-time thing they suddenly did for publicity.
Seems I missed that post and was able to find verification elsewhere. Didn't know. My bad, I retract my previous statement.

In that case, well done Epic!
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#23
vega22
The figures have gone up each time as they have more money floating around to play with.

I think it was 11 or 12 they first donated to blender to fund tools for ue3. That I know of, maybe they did before but I wasn't paying attention before then. Then again when ue4 came out around 14. I think they paid for the fbx exporter to be fixed twice since then too, when Autodesk changed it just to be arses.

Admittedly they are self serving, as it was just to add support for their product, but anybody who thinks this is just a knee jerk reaction to garner favour is far from the truth.
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