As part of the Unreal Megagrant Program launched to:
…support game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing amazing things with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.
Of course “open source capabilities for the 3D graphics community” sounds like a very specific application doesn’t it? Therefore today’s news should come as no surprise, the Blender Foundation is receiving $1.2M USD as part of the megagrant program.
Details from the Blender news page:
Epic Games, as part of the company’s $100 million Epic MegaGrants program, is awarding the Blender Foundation $1.2 million in cash to further the success of Blender, the free and open source 3D creation suite that supports the full range of tools empowering artists to create 3D graphics, animation, special effects or games.
The Epic MegaGrants initiative is designed to assist game developers, enterprise professionals, media and entertainment creators, students, educators, and tool developers doing outstanding work with Unreal Engine or enhancing open-source capabilities for the 3D graphics community.
The Epic MegaGrant will be delivered incrementally over the next three years and will contribute to Blender’s Professionalizing Blender Development Initiative.
“Having Epic Games on board is a major milestone for Blender,” said Blender Foundation founder and chairman Ton Roosendaal. “Thanks to the grant we will make a significant investment in our project organization to improve on-boarding, coordination and best practices for code quality. As a result, we expect more contributors from the industry to join our projects.”
“Open tools, libraries and platforms are critical to the future of the digital content ecosystem,” said Tim Sweeney, founder and CEO of Epic Games. “Blender is an enduring resource within the artistic community, and we aim to ensure its advancement to the benefit of all creators.”
This is actually the second time Epic Games funded Blender, with a much smaller donation back in 2014.