Can you use Blender on your iPad? You are probably asking this question because you have been waiting on an iPadOS version of Blender for your new iPad Pro that you feel has all the capabilities of a 3D animation tool.
The new iPad Pro is actually an M1 pad and uses the same M1 chip series that new macOS devices like the Mac Mini, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air use. Blender runs on these new versions of macOS. But can you use Blender on the iPad?
Unfortunately, as it stands, you can’t use Blender on your iPad. The popular and versatile 3D creation suite is not yet available in Apple’s App Store, and there is no indication that it is being prioritized. It’s time to seek alternative tools to help you deliver Blender standard 3D graphics. You can use alternatives like uMake, Shapr3D, or Forger!
Let’s begin by breaking down Blender and see what makes it popular and adaptable in 3D design circles. We will go beyond choosing iPad-compatible Blender alternatives to formulating our own custom checklist of must-have features for the best 3D modeling application.
This computer graphics software is a 3D creation suite for animated films, visual effects, art, 3D printed models, video games, virtual reality and many other digital 3D modeling applications. It supports the entirety of the 3D process from end to end, from modeling to sculpting, rigging, 2D and 3D animation, simulation, rendering, compositing, and motion tracking to video editing.
These are numerous functions that can be overwhelming for a beginner, but with practice, you will find the freedom to stretch your creativity with numerous modeling tools at your disposal. It allows you to create and modify ultrarealistic models.
It is open source, meaning it’s a public project with a community continuously contributing to Blender development. Consequently, the software is free for every blender artist to use.
Which Blender Alternatives Work Well on an iPad?
We will now look at apps catering to the 3D modeling needs covered by Blender. These can be iPad-compatible 3D modeling tools, video editors, or visual effects modeling (VFX) software.
This program has been designed to create 3D drawings and models or create virtual or artificial reality environments.
uMake aims to facilitate the conversion of inspiration into 3D creations. It is loaded with powerful and intuitive features to enhance creativity. The process starts from the sketch or primitives with precise and inspiring results, editing, exporting, visualizing, rendering and then sharing the final product from your iPad.
The versatile program helps you realize your vision regardless of its application. It is deployed by architects, interior designers, engineers, artists, students, and educators.
You can draw with your fingertips or the Apple pencil. The program supports pressure sensitivity, so it will be intuitive and responsive, enhancing accuracy. There are tools to guide accuracy, so you can opt to sketch freely or use precise dimensions for architectural drawings.
You are enabled to import your assets so that you don’t have to start from scratch. You can drag and drop your model from any field, and your subscription will unlock premium content. There are also existing templates, backgrounds and graphic design compositions to choose from if you need to.
uMake is compatible with most of your essential design apps like Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Blender and many others. You can move your projects between your preferred CAD, drawing, painting or printing apps or programs.
⚠️ uMake isn’t free ⚠️: From the second you install it the app is going to pester you to subscribe to it for quite a hefty sum. Closing the popups will offer you incredibly limited functionality, like measuring an EMPTY FIELD. You can’t download prefabs or shapes to test out the app.
Putty 3D has been optimized for the iPad Pro and the iPhone 7 and can be downloaded from the App Store. It supports Wide Color, the Apple Pencil and 3D Touch. This means you can sculpt volumes on the go while enjoying the intuitive stylus and produce models that closely resemble what you envision.
The built-in OBJ and STL export support enable you to transfer your 3D design to a modeling or animation app of your choice on your Mac or PC. You can even opt to bring the 3D model to life by exporting it to a 3D printing app PC.
Putty 3D requires a minimum of the iPad mini 2, iPad Air or a later generation iPad with iOS11 or newer. It relies on your device’s powerful graphics processor to deliver those smooth realistic 3D graphics.
Note: To install it, you need to be invited by the developers for their TestFlight program. Use the contact form on their website.
Shapr3D is available for Mac, iPad and Windows. You can use a keypad and mouse for your Mac and Windows PC, but we recommend trying the Apple Pencil to enjoy the benefits of heightened sensitivity.
The user interface is highly intuitive, making direct modeling easy. Its collection of modeling tools leans more towards accuracy, which is why engineers, industrial designers, and jewelry makers are drawn to Shapr3D. The end product is ideal for 3D printing or machine cutting of the physical prototype as it will be accurate to scale.
Forger is another digital sculpting app for the iPad from Maxon. The latest version offers a live link workflow with Cinema 4D, Maxon’s 3D animation software. You can unlock this interoperability through an annual subscription of $15, giving you access to all Maxon tools and training.
Its polygonal foundation is based on Cinema 4D’s architecture, so there is a broad selection of polygonal primitives to work with, from cubes, cylinders, spheres, and capsules, among others. They give you a head start because shaping polygons is easier than molding your assets from scratch.
Forger also comes with a generous selection of sculpting tools to choose from, including a set of sculpting brushes that will be familiar if you have used ZBrush. The two sculpting options are the multi-touch interface and using the stylus. Forger supports the Apple Pencil, so the drawing should be smooth. A non-Apple stylus will not have the same effect.
Where To Next?
This blog is a blog dedicated to using modern computing devices to run and manage a business. If you’re interested in using an iPad for your business, either as an entrepreneur, a small business owner or for your employees to use I recommend reading the following articles: