Known as LohnS in the 3D community, Lee Salvemini discovered and has been using Blender since 2001.
Lee had managed to get work experience at an internet cafe, that also happened to hold classes teaching the 3D package Maya. He wanted to learn 3D software but couldn’t afford Maya at the time. One of the staff mentioned there were free 3D packages he could download. Among the free 3D software he swiftly downloaded, almost all were made to connect with other software, and didn’t have the full set of features Lee hoped for. Discouraged, he had one more search and by luck came across a beautifully made piece of art, a victorian stairwell and front door, with a wonderfully rendered stainglass window. He scrolled down to find out the software used to create the whole image. Blender.
Lee read through the few tutorials that existed for Blender at the time, and once he had read all of those moved onto tutorials for other packages, and translated the methods as best he could. In 2003 Lee was lucky enough to attend Siggraph in San Diego and meet the Chairperson and main developer of Blender, Ton Roosendaal. This meeting would later inspire him to apply for, and be accepted for, a position in the core team of the worlds first open movie, Elephants Dream.
Lee continues to work in the industry and hopes to keep sharing what he learns with training DVDs, video tutorials, and live/online classes into the future.