Blender Conference 2022
After 3 years, it finally returned...
Ever since the whole pandemic began, I was looking forward to the next time Blender Conference would be hosted.
It was cancelled in 2020 and 2021, and finally came back for 2022. Three whole years passed - just like that!
But the experience was truly amazing and was well worth the wait.
In this post, I want to highlight my experience at the event, who I met, and all the amazing speakers who helped to make Blender conference an amazing return.
So I booked my tickets for Blender Conference back in June. I'd suggest getting them early if you plan on attending in case they sell out.
The 4 months was a long wait, as I was super excited to attend.
As the event neared, Curtis Holt was nice enough to start a group chat for anyone attending.
A bunch of us coordinated a huge meetup at the Amsterdam Ice Bar. It was super cool!
I got to meet a bunch of people I had only spoken with online, including:
- The True-VFX crew (they make great addons!)
- Paul Caggegi
- Zach Hoy (we're actually traveling together around Europe right now)
- Stella Achenbach
- Matthew Muldoon (from Blender Market)
- Jonathan Lampel (from Blender Market)
- Pau Homs
It was a ton of fun and a good start to this amazing 3 day event.
Okay... let's fast forward to the actual Blender Conference.
Day 1 started with a keynote from Ton Roosendaal, the founder of Blender.
For those of you who don't know, he has a very emotional/motivation story from the past few years, so if you haven't seen that keynote, you can watch it here:
The event venue was absolutely beautiful, taking place at the lovely Felix Meritis in the heart of Amsterdam.
If you plan to attend future conferences, I'd highly recommend staying in downtown Amsterdam even if it costs you a bit more. There are plenty of affordable hostels in the area.
If you stay far outside of the city, you'll end up having to pay for transportation costs and waste time. So definitely try to stay within a few blocks of the conference - it's worth it!
Book in advance - I didn't and had to pay a much higher price for accommodation. I'd recommend booking a few weeks/months before if you definitely plan to attend.
So how exactly does the conference work during the three days.
Well... you basically get to hang out with everyone (there's a huge common area where poeople were just chilling/working on laptops) and the rest of the venue was for talks.
There are talks from different people all throughout the day. Just look at the schedule and choose which talks interest you and just show up. It's that easy.
Also - if you have something cool to offer, you can apply for a talk at the conference. I think they give you a discount on tickets if you do a talk.
Since Ryuu didn't attend this year, I chose not to do a talk. Maybe next year!
Here are a few talks I'd recommend watching:
- Progress on a new bevel geometry node (Howard Trickey)
- The Secrets of Photorealism (Andrew Price)
- Grease Pencil Journey with Dedouze
And here's a recap of day one:
Day one was super cool. Got to meet a bunch of people I had only ever met online, and we all had a great time chatting and catching up.
Some people I met at the conference included:
- Creative Shrimp (Gleb Alexandrov and Aidy Burrows)
- Blender Guru (Andrew Price)
- CG Boost (Zach Reinhardt)
- Howard Trickey (he created the Exact Boolean and many other things for hard surface modeling)
- The Blender Market Guys (Matthew Muldoon, Amber, Wes Burke)
- The CG Cookie guys (Jonathan Williamson, Paul Caggegi)
- Curtis Holt
- Ton Roosendaal (Blender founder)
- Bad Normals
- Kaizen Tutorials
- Dedouze (Grease Pencil guy)
- Derek Elliot
- and many more I am probably forgetting
Here are some pics just to flex ;)
Oh, and yes... there was plenty of drinking after hours ;)
I won't talk too much about Day 2. Same type of stuff. Talks, hanging out, socializing, drinking, partying all that cool stuff.
Here is the Day 2 Recap:
Day 3 was pretty awesome.
Same stuff as before, but this time everyone seemed a lot more relaxed, loosened up, and a lot more social.
I guess that's normal was you get comfortable around people at an event.
Everyone felt so much more open, friendly, and happy. Day 3 was truly a joy.
I spent a lot of time chatting with people, sharing and receiving ideas and advice, and enjoying talks from some amazing artists.
Here is the Day 3 recap:
Now for Day 4...
Well, there wasn't really a "Day 4". It's a 3 day event. BUT the Blender team is awesome and makes the 4th day a "visit Blender HQ" day.
And the tour was ran by none other than Ton Roosendaal himself.
Ton is a super friendly, down to Earth, and very caring (and funny) guy. He made the Blender HQ feel like home to us, showing us the offices, lounge, and even server room!
We all hung out around the kitchen, made some coffees, enjoyed snacks, and chatted.
I reckon maybe 50 people showed up, so it did get a little crowded.
Blender HQ was super cool and it was amazing to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff going on.
(I also met Ton's cute little puppy, but I didn't grab a pic unfortunately).
All in all, Blender Conference 2022 was a truly amazing event, and I hope anyone who didn't get to attend this year will be able to for 2023.
See you then!