In 2007 I bumped into this free and open source 3D animation software Blender. It was one of my colleague Malathy Baru who told me about this since I was an animator. I did download and install, however I gave up very soon owing to a bizarre looking interface which was not allowing me to interact properly. Worst was the object selection which is ‘right click’ in Blender, instead of the conventional practice of left click.
In 2008-2009 three passionate students (Karan Mulchandani, Priyam Mukhopadhyay, and Gokul Menon) came to me. They wanted to do their undergraduate project in animation with me. I wanted to work in Blender, however did not have enough interest since I was alone. I challenged the students to learn basics of Blender in a weeks time and then come to me. To my surprise they did and as promised I had to guide their undergraduate project.
We decided will explore Blender since it was looking interesting now. We did a project which conventionally would not have fit into the definition because we created a video showing the scientific experiment of ammonia fountain. We also teamed up to create series of workshops to teach and popularise this wonderful software Blender.
Along with the initial set of three students and subsequent batches of students which kept on coming as a result of this first project we made it a practice to conduct workshops for Blender popularisation in colleges. Live just came in a full circle yesterday when two of my students conducted a full fledged Blender workshop for over 30 students at Raisoni University near Nagpur.
The two students: Rohan Bang and Shubham Mundara used the videos available on the IIT Bombay X course. They added lots of hands on on sessions for the benefit of the students. The workshop was an instant hit and the students just loved the software.