Sunday, May 08, 2011

100 K Hits on BlenderToRenderman!

Well sometime this weekend this website has finally broke the 100,000 visitor mark, somewhat of a surprise considering this is a niche market of the Blender community. Seems that over time we have gathered quite a following, honestly there was no expectation that this site would get that many visits at all, let alone in 3 years. While the number pales in comparison to other websites like the official Blender site, it is a great achievement for this site.

The site began as an idea in 2005, the whole concept of developing some kind of "community" for Blender and Renderman users. At the time I was involved with an indie film that was to use Blender as the animation package of choice, however at that time the scope of the film required some sophisticated rendering that Blender was just not capable of at that time in history. So the idea to use Renderman was introduced, the project began there simply because the ONLY script available was the Blenderman script. Ultimately my involvement with the film stopped, I started to go to school and working 40 hours a week really limited my time for other things.

Then I started a forum that was intended to be a community for this idea, it was hosted on some free forum site and started the movement that exists today. Temujin, the co-founder of this site, had gone from user to moderator and we developed a friendship. Sadly that forum was shut down, with no explanation as to why, we STILL have no idea why the forum was removed despite several emails to the company. So Temujin started to build the beginnings of what you see here.

In Jan of 2007 the site went live, as a sub domain of Blogger, the first post was on Jan 31, by Temujin. Since then the site has evolved, has changed designs, added things, removed things and eventually on October of 2007 bought the domain name. While this site is still hosted on Google's Blogger, the domain has changed things, made the site more official sounding and easier to remember than a long URL. At times people have purchased renewals of the domain, so each year someone else is the "co-owner", currently my girlfriend is that person, previous co-owners included Eric Back (Whiterabbit, the original developer of RIBMosaic).

So here we are nearly 4 years later, with over 100K hits under our belt, an average of over 300 hits per day, from people and companies all over the world. Some of the biggest names in the vfx and animation industry have visited this site, including Pixar, ILM, LucasArts, Disney, Blizzard and more. Countless colleges and universities have made hits. Even some companies from areas where we never imagined interest have come by, such as GM, Ford, Lucent, AT&T and even government agencies, like NSA, FBI and CIA have peeked a look. We even had a couple Echelon hits.

So today, on Mothers Day, this post goes out to MY mother, who had she not given birth to me, would have never given rise to this website, nor Project Widow and in all honesty you would not be reading this post at all. So thank you Mom, for bringing me into this world and changing even a small section of it forever.

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