One of my good friends, Earthbalm, asked me whether I could recommend any effective tutorials for learning Blender. This is my reply.
I’ve been trying to learn blender for years. I’ve watched hundreds and hundreds of tutorials. And yet here I am, still very much the noob, stumbling along as best as I can. Wait! Before you say something along the lines of “Come off it. Look at the x-ray machine that you’re doing or the Lighthouse you made in 2015″, I still contend that I am a Blender noob. It’s just that I have discovered the single most important secret to achieving things in Blender despite my noobiness.
But before I tell you that secret, let me just prove that I am not just being humble and that I am a Blender noob.
The phrase “reducing polygons”. In my recent post on making the patient bench I spoke about why it is important to reduce model polygons. What I didn’t say was that I had only learnt how to do that in Blender that very day. Yep. I’ve been fiddling with Blender for years and only figgered that out a few days ago. How? By Googling “how do I reduce polygons in Blender?” I wish I had known that when I did the lighthouse.
For years I have been struggling to read the menues on Blender. They seem to mostly be black on dark gray. So about two months ago I got fed up and did a search on the issue and found that Blender had different themes that could be installed.
Back to 2015. When I wanted to make that lighthouse I did a search on Google on making a lighthouse in Blender. None of the results were what I wanted. So I wondered “what vaguely looks like a lighthouse?” Ah! A chess pawn! (It helped that through my journeys I had seen several people modeling pawns). I looked at a few and they looked pretty intense to me at the time but then I found one where they did it in 30 seconds. Wow! So I used the techniques in that video to make the lighthouse. Then I wanted to do a rock for it to stand on – so I Googled that. And then I wanted an animated ocean – so I Googled that. And then there it was. I came out of that experience knowing a) how to make easy cylindrical objects, b) how to make rocks, and c) how to make an animated ocean.
These are all very specific bits of knowledge about Blender. Even today, every time I open Blender I see so many icons and menu items about which I am totally clueless. Most of them in fact. The fact that in Blender you can do so many different things, even video editing, astounds me and terrified me.
OK – now for my recommendations.
- Don’t bother looking at any general introductions to blender. I’ve watched so many and they just made your brain hurt and convince you that it’s all too hard.
- Work out what you want to make. Google search to see if anyone else has done something similar and made a tutorial of it. If they haven’t then start looking for tutorials on similarly shaped objects. Or even components of your end product, like I had to find how to make cyclinders, how to make an ocean, how to make lights, and so on.
All this said, here is my list of tutorials that I used at key points in my personal journey: These are not holistic but specific. But in saying this, see my point 2 above.
- 30 second chess piece – it’s amazing.
- Secrets of realistic texturing – making a 3D road. It talks about bump maps etc which I think is cool for doing architectural stuff.
- Converting a 2D image to a 3D image – So you have a 2D shape that maybe you have drawn. Take a look at what you can do.
- Model a motor bike tyre – This is not a “great” tutorial but there are concepts in here that if you persist then you start to see what you can do with a little bit of imagination.
This is a very limited and unfulfilling list. But it is a starting point. Once you know what you want to do as your first project then get back to me and we can discuss. That goes for anyone else who s interested.
Thanks for reading.