I’ve managed to find the oldest backup of Blender, a snapshot of the first code I wrote to start a new project to replace the in-house tool “Traces”.

This started in the Christmas / New Year holidays of 1993, and with the first code working around new-year’s day.

The backup is from January 8, 1994. You can find the code for it here.

What I did first was designing the Blender ‘Screen’ system, a design I had in mind based on only using a single window, with subdivisions inside to assign it various editors. Every 2d/3d graphics program back then was opening plenty of small windows, which I found tedious and not optimal for a good workflow.

After the holidays I left the code lying there for a while, to continue in June 1994 with writing Blender’s revolutionary .blend file format, using the “DNA” system. In the months after I ported over a lot of code from the old Traces, making the new software become our standard in-house tool in November 1994.

Based on the timestamps for the (empty) files blender.c and blender.h, I would like to mark Blender’s 20th birthday on January 2nd 2014! Happy birthday Blender!