The best way to close Hacktoberfest 2020 is to share a story. And what can be better, than a fascinating story of pixels, polygons, and open source?

In this video, Blender Guru talks with Ton Roosendaal about the origins and the future of Blender.

Blender originated in 3D animation studio NeoGeo on the Amiga platform in the late 80s. You can still download and try the original software called Traces.

Later, a company Not A Number was formed to support the development of 3D modeler by that time called Blender.

Initially, Blender was a freemium software. You can download a basic version for free and get the full-featured one for money.

But the company has failed to generate enough sales and investors decided to close the operations.

So Ton Roosendaal came up with a truly unique solution - announce a crowd-sourcing campaign to gather 100,000 EUR for NaN investors to free Blender under an open-source license. The campaign was highly successful and reached the goal in just 7 weeks.

It is probably one of the first crowd-sourcing campaigns on record and it is highly remarkable for turning a commercial software product into an open-source one.

When I was working in game development in the late 2000s, Blender wasn’t considered to be a true “professional” option. Except for a rare few enthusiasts, most artists sticked to MAX and Maya.

But today, with each new release, Blender gains momentum over the competition. It shows the actual power of the open-source community and the huge challenges commercial software vendors face.

In some areas, open-source already had a decisive victory.

In the 80s and the 90s, most developers were buying their compilers, linkers, profilers, and other tools. Nobody thinks about buying a compiler today. It is inconceivable now since we used to get our SDKs for free (except for some special cases - do you hear me, game console vendors?).

So I love this time when our platforms and tools are open-sourced. The technologies today are more accessible than ever before.

The future is already here! And the future is open-source!