Sharp Zaurus SL-5500

Blender 3D for the Sharp Zaurus
- and other PDAs - Logo

What is Blender?

For the clueless: go check out now !!!


Why the heck port it to the Zaurus, or any other PDA for that matter?

It is not a matter of "Why not?", it is a matter of "Why yes?", because beyond the plain and simple fact that it is possible, we even think it would prove to be very usefull.

We believe that Blender 3D is perfectly well suited to be ported to the PDAs, contrary to the first impression that many people may have.

As a matter of fact, it bothers me very much to hear remarks like "That would be way to slow" or "That wouldn't be usefull on such a small screen!".

Too slow?

In 2001, NaN impressed the 3D community at Siggraph with an experimental port to the Compaq iPAQ.

This port was meant to prove Blender's portability, and even though the code was not even optimised for fixed point operations, it ran pretty well (even in textured mode) on an iPAQ 3630 (206Mhz Intel StrongARM processor) under WinCE!

Blender offers the download of this port here, so you can play around with it if you have an iPAQ with WinCE, but remember it's a prototype. It is experimental, unoptimised and not supported so please do not mail questions or report bugs to the original authors (NaN / Blender Foundation).

This way you can find out for yourself that the screenshot to the right is not a fake.

For the people who still remain sceptic, I would like to remind them that in the early days of 3D, this kind of software ran on very humble hardware compared to the speedmonsters we have today. Even today's PDAs are far more powerfull than the desktops of the past.
3DStudio for DOS ran on intel 486 processors. Even some of the new 3D suites run very smoothly on low-end hardware, like Lightwave3D, Animation Master, Rhino3D (and of course Blender) run very smoothly on my old pentium 233Mhz laptop.

And with nVidia's upcoming 3D acceleration cards for PDAs... The PDA world is about to change very seriously...

Blender running on an iPAQ 3630

Screen too small?

Gimme a break!

We never heard anybody complain about screen size when it comes to text editing, web surfing, using spreadsheets, etc...
And if it does bother that much, then why not throw away the PDA immediately and use a laptop instead?

If the screen size and the "stripped down versions" of your favorite desktop software would really be such a pain, then why would you still use a PDA in the first place?

So face it: there is no excuse not to port Blender to the PDAs. With a well thought layout / GUI, Blender on the PDA can be an excellent tool for small modeling / animation work. The same PDA to Desktop workflow that is used for other applications can be applied to 3D as well: objects can be split in smaller parts that can be manipulated seperately and the "final touch" can be done on a desktop.

One tends to forget resource friendliness in his working methods, because one is so quickly getting used to high-end hardware...

"Size doesn't count, it's what you're doing with it that counts!" (Sounds familiar? I surely hope not, hehehe).

So why yes?

  • yes: because the next generation of PDAs will use faster processors & 3D acceleration
  • yes: because the CL series of the Zaurus come with a full VGA 640 x 480 pixels screen
  • yes: because Why not? Even though it is not a priority, scoring geek points is an extra bonus :o)
  • yes: because it is SERIOUS FUN to have an Open Source 3D suite on your PDA :o)

Stay tuned!

Stay tuned for news and updates! In the meanwhile, for the impatient, you can download the old iPAQ port here to have some fun already!


Reactions, help (we're looking for programmers!) and donations are welcome.

Please let us know if you are interested in a PDA version of Blender and which PDA you would like to see it ported to.

Click here to send a mail, or contact us through the Zaurus Blender Project Page on Sourceforge.


Blender on the Zaurus?

So if you've got experience in C, C++ and Python and are willing to lend us a helping hand in optimising Blender for the Zaurus, you are most welcome.



The Z Blender Team.