Meet Suzanne, the Blender Monkey

By Jason van Gumster

Blender has a monkey head that’s affectionately referred to as Suzanne, a reference to the ape in two of Kevin Smith’s films: Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Mallrats (close to the end). Many 3D modeling and animation suites have a generic semi-complex primitive that is used for test renders, benchmarks, and examples that necessitate something a little more complex than a cube or sphere.

Most of these other programs use the famous Utah teapot as their test model, but Blender’s Suzanne is a little more interesting and unique.

You can add Suzanne to your scene by pressing Shift+A→Mesh→Monkey. If you look through the Blender community’s forums and much of Blender’s release documentation, you see Suzanne and references to her all over the place. In fact, the annual awards festival at the Blender Conference in Amsterdam is called the Suzanne Awards. The figure shows a test render featuring Suzanne.



If you absolutely must have a teapot as your test mesh, you can have that, too. It’s in the Extra Objects add-on for meshes. Enable this add-on by going to the Add-ons section of User Preferences (Ctrl+Alt+U or File→User Preferences) and looking in the Add Mesh category. Once enabled, you can find the teapot in the Add menu (Shift+A→Mesh→Misc Objects→Teapot+).