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View Full Version : How to go about Learning to Use Blender?


MattShort
01-16-2009, 01:01 AM
I've had blender for a little while but can't find any good, consistant ways to learn how to use blender from a single or few amount of sources. I am looking at getting one of the books that Blender offers for sale and was wondering which one(s) to buy.
As of now I am going to buy the DVD Training: Creature Factory even though its more advanced than I should probably get. My reasons for getting it are that I am very intrigued about how he created the 90 second teaser and its large variety of material that it covers which I will probably need to know later also.

Now I am wondering what other DVD or Book Training source I should get. The two books that I think might help the most are "Character Rigging and Animation," "Learning Character Animation I saw a DVD or Book called "Blender: Noob to Pro" on the Bender site but I couldnt' find it again. If there is a better source (from one or few sources) for learning how to use blender than please don't hesitate to mention it.

fktt
01-16-2009, 01:47 AM
its late here and im not going to post anything comprehensive,
but hopefully this lin is going to be of some help:

on my discussion page in the blender wiki ive collected some links to different,
commercial video tutorial/training kits/collections:

edit:

moved it to a sub page:
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/User:Fktt/Training_Kits

GreasyMnky
01-16-2009, 01:47 AM
take a look at these free videos here
http://blenderunderground.com/2007/11/21/welcome-main/

there are other tutorials on the main page
http://blenderunderground.com/

and if you have any questions, the guys on the forums have beed helping a lots of people new to the application ;)

harkyman
01-16-2009, 01:58 AM
The official source that was written for people just like you is The Essential Blender.

If you're feeling really, cheap you can try to get it from the wiki (http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Books/Essential_Blender_%28text%29).

If you're feeling moderately cheap, you can pick it up used on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1593271662?tag=harkymancom-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=am1&creativeASIN=1593271662&adid=112TD265Y06Z9P2KVR5M&).

If you're not feeling particularly cheap, you can buy directly from the Foundation (http://www.blender3d.org/e-shop/product_info.php?products_id=96&PHPSESSID=c5100bfbc4e0a1c60ba477df7281d6b1), which supports them monetarily.

ArtisticEndeavors
01-16-2009, 02:16 AM
I've had blender for a little while but can't find any good, consistant ways to learn how to use blender from a single or few amount of sources.

That's probably your biggest problem right there. The fact that you are looking for CONSISTANT ways to use a tool that has multiple uses. If you were looking for a consistant way to use a screw driver....you'd probably find one.

When you ask for a consistant way to use a tool the first thing to do is a bit of research on that tool. I've only been doing 3d as a hobby for a very small amount of time, but the one thing I've picked up is that there are just about as many ways to do something as there are people trying to do it. Ask for a tutorial on how to model a human and you're probably going to get a dozen different approaches as to how to do it. Someone will scream "BOX MODELING", another will say "POLY MODELING" another will say "SCULPT IT OUT" (maybe not these exact things...like i said i'm new to 3d lol).

I'd suggest finding out what you want to do with blender (like modeling? animation? game?) and then look for the resources that explain how to do it. The only real problem that you face is that you're looking for consistancy between resources written by dozens of different people all with varying levels of experience with the tool/3d. The only thing you'd probalby find that's consistant, considering this thought, is the short cut keys....and even then you might find variations on how to do one simple task like saving your work. I started out trying to learn anatomy that way....the only thing I found consistant between the different books I've read is that all humans have bones, muscles, skin, etc. The representation of each individual bit and piece varies greatly depending on who did the research and whether or not thier subject was alive at the time.

Don't let yourself get bogged down with the thought that there is only one way to do things. What might be right for you might not be right for some. You take the good, you take the bad, you mix them both and there you have......my closing statement. Sit boo boo sit. Good dog.


NOTE-this is just my view on this topic. like i said, im new to this 3d thing. but from my experience there aren't that many things to be done in life that can only be done one way. If you're serious about learning blender, though, besides the wiki I'd suggest checking out blenderartists.org and lurk there for awhile if you want. The sit boo boo sit crap....well I got bored...sue me.

MattShort
01-16-2009, 03:16 AM
Thanks for your large, wall of interesting and helpful text. I read all the comments all the way through.

"If there is a better source (from one or few sources) for learning how to use blender than please don't hesitate to mention it."

When I made that statement I meant something like a book or, like what harkyman, GreasyMnky, or fktt suggested. Although I was mainly looking for something like what Harkyman suggested.

Another reason I didn't really specify what kind of thing I'm searching for is because I was hoping to be able to learn how to do the animation, modeling and character rigging/design. I know this isn't the best thing to do, infact probably the worst thing to do, but I am looking to make my own personal projects during my freetime (which I have many hours of).

AdamTSC
01-16-2009, 01:04 PM
I agree with Harkyman that The Essential Blender is a good place to start. I really just started learning blender a couple of months ago (when the latest CGChallenge started). I've found that the book, combined with a project deadline to keep me pushing myself ahead has been great for learning.

Also, there is another book by the same author: Animating with Blender: How to Create Short Animations from Start to Finish. I've just started it, and while it seems useful for how to organize a project generally, it assumes you've already read The Essential Blender. Hope that helps!

-A

AdamTSC
01-16-2009, 01:07 PM
Reading this thread again, I just realized that Harkyman is the author of the two books I was talking about, lol. They are very helpful! (Glad I said something good in retrospect :P )

ArtisticEndeavors
01-16-2009, 02:26 PM
Another reason I didn't really specify what kind of thing I'm searching for is because I was hoping to be able to learn how to do the animation, modeling and character rigging/design. I know this isn't the best thing to do, infact probably the worst thing to do, but I am looking to make my own personal projects during my freetime (which I have many, many, many hours of).
As far as animation, modeling and character rigging go I'd look into "Introducing chatacter animation with blender" which will show you an indepth look at the BASICS of doing this with blender. It has 13 chapters on animation and everything getting you up to it and your completed "short" while "the essential blender" has like 1-2 chapters on animation/rigging if I remember correctly. as far as more indepth things to do with animation/rigging look at the 'mancandy faq' if you need to you can find it on torrent still (its ok to sugest that right as the dvd was opensource? if not sorry). For even more indepth coverage you can look at any advanced rigging/animation book as im sure all the advanced techniques (after learning each softwares "key presses") are pretty much the same.

harkyman
01-16-2009, 04:01 PM
You're right. While Essential Blender is designed to give you the tools to be able to hopefully make better use of the vast repository of tutorials on the web, it's not an in-depth guide. Tony Mullen's Introducing Character Animation with Blender is an excellent next step to take, if you prefer using books like many people (including myself) do. Incidentally, I was also the technical editor of that book, so... I'm batting 1.000 in this thread so far. :thumbsup:

MattShort
01-17-2009, 06:58 PM
So let me get all of this straight (in a single post). I should first get "The Essential Blender" and then get "Introducing Character Animation with Blender" and the "Creature Factory" DVD for personal interest or should I spend the money for the "Creature Factory" on something different?

Note: I am also trying to learn how to use Flash, should I buy a book on that instead of the "Creature Factory" or use tutorials on the internet like I've done for Photoshop?

Also, I know that I may seem to be overwelming myself with tons of things/programs to learn but I'm used to staying up late learning something new or complicated.

ArtisticEndeavors
01-17-2009, 07:06 PM
I'd definitely recommend the essential blender if you're not comfortable using multiple sources to learn the basics of blender. i'd recommend intro to char animation if you want to learn to animate using blender and again don't feel comfortable using multiple sources to learn the basics. After reading/working thru these two books if you don't feel comfortable sitting down and doing your own thing.......I'd suggest a class or something of that nature where you can go back and forth with your learning resource. I highly suggest checking the wiki or the blenderartists.org forum if you get stuck working thru these books because I know the copies I have of both of these books have typos/errors/things that were done a certain way with the version of blender they were written about, and the corrections are listed in the wiki/on the forum. But I bet if you buy new versions of these books the corrections would already be in there.

I've never seen/heard of the dvd you mentioned so I can't help you there.

danielHinton
01-17-2009, 09:48 PM
IMO for a beginner, don't get creature factory. You'll be awed but frustrated.

again, to echo greasymnky, try all the BlenderUnderground tutorials before you spend money on a book. They're all free and completely excellent. They don't cover every aspect of Blender; once you've watched them all see how confident you feel.

The Essential Blender is great, and there are plenty of good techniques in there.

oh and Flash is easy compared to a 3d programme. the Friends of Ed series of books are excellent for the basics.

fktt
01-17-2009, 10:16 PM
actually, for basics of blender and flash both, I'd suggest checking out cartoonsmart.com,
some interesting offers to be found there.

dyf
01-23-2009, 02:52 AM
these video tutorials are in my opinion a priceless resource:
http://blenderunderground.com/video-tutorials

[EDIT] opps.. i just noticed they were already posted..

pas0003
01-23-2009, 04:00 AM
I'm not too experienced with Blender myself, but I think that its a great 3d modeling program - this website helped me to learn the basics http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro . Do some of the tutorials step by step from there and then maybe start on a little project yourself and learn as you go. Good luck!

CGIPadawan
01-23-2009, 08:17 AM
In your installation folders, you should find a set of HTML documents that make up a Blender Basics manual, including a hands on exercise for Modelling, Materials, and Animation for a Gingerbread Man.

This is the "Hello, World." of Blender and is a great way for you to learn the basics.

Loolarge
01-23-2009, 09:07 AM
I made a character rig and some intro videos for animators. Check it out (http://www.ivogrigull.com/automess/)

Lighthead
01-24-2009, 12:34 AM
A new blender book Blender for dummies has just been released so check that out, and blender underground videos.

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