Learning Blender

Discuss the technical details of an "open source" community-driven design of a polywell reactor.

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Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Learning Blender

Post by Billy Catringer »

For those of you who have had trouble learning Blender, here is some useful schtuff:

http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro

Work through the tutorials in sequence. Do NOT try to rush through them. You will learn next to nothing if you try to get it all done in one pass.

Be advised, Blender gives you anywhere from three to five ways to do any one thing. This is both a blessing and a curse. You will understand why I say that after you tackle this package.

Be advised that Blender is not like the other graphics packages you have used. Most graphics packages are designed to let you do nearly everything with a mouse. Blender expects you to do most of your work from the keyboard. After having worked with it a little while now, I have concluded that the programmers who wrote Blender made a wise choice. If in the past you have done a lot of work with Photoshop or the GIMP, you need to be ready to develop a very different set of reflexes. Blender will seem to have come from another planet when you first start working with it.

Another thing I can say from personal experience with it is that you should be prepared to work through each tutorial at least three times before moving on to the next one. You will find yourself gaining confidence in your ability to use the program and in the utility of the program itself. The package really does work well.

The link I provided will lead you to what are likely to be the best tutorials on Blender that are available. You will encounter some errors in them, depending upon which version of Blender you have installed on your machine. I can help with that to some degree, feel free to post questions here and I will do what I can to help.

krenshala
Posts: 914
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:20 pm
Location: Austin, TX, NorAm, Sol III

Post by krenshala »

I've been meaning to try and learn Blender. Are you using it on Windows or Linux?

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

I'm running it on windows. I tried it once on Mac OSX, but back then it was impossible to work with if you did not have a three button mouse. This version does fine with a two button mouse that has a scroll wheel.

It runs well on this machine, even though the box I am using now is one of those $400 HP Wintel machines I bought at Wallyworld. I was able to afford that machine and a really nice big monitor with the money I had and, believe me, having the big monitor is truly wonderful. My eyes are not what they once were

I thought that I would be in for a real struggle learning Blender, but I am discovering that I was the problem, not Blender. To learn this program, it is necessary for you to drop all preconcieved notions about how things should be done and do them the way Blender does them. Once that internal struggle is over, the rest is pretty easy.

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

I have found another extremely good resource for learning Blender:

http://blenderunderground.com/video-tutorials/

At least some of these videos are available on You Tube, but I prefer downloading them because it is easier to switch between the video and Blender.

Having advertised this, I still recommend that users new to Blender run through the first tutorial in Blender: Noob to Pro two or three times first. Doing that tutorial first will make absorbing the information in the videos much easier.

Betruger
Posts: 2310
Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:54 am

Post by Betruger »

You can download youtube videos either by grabbing the cached .flv's from your browser cache folder, or by using sites like www.keepvid.com. The latter has the advantage of giving you the higher quality source file the flv video is generated from.

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

Hah! So that's how they do that. Thanks, Betruger.

Roger
Posts: 788
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:03 am
Location: Metro NY

Post by Roger »

I started with Anim8tor, but plan on switching to Blender.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

krenshala
Posts: 914
Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:20 pm
Location: Austin, TX, NorAm, Sol III

Post by krenshala »

Now I have another reason to get the OS installed on the computer I've been neglecting. :D

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

If you are using Blender to do scaled...er...modeling or drawings, I found a very useful add-on for Blender at the other end of this link:

http://www.geneome.net/2007/06/18/bmae-12/

Be advised that Blender has a "plug-in" folder and a "scripts" folder. This thing goes in the scripts folder. If you install it and have trouble getting it up and running, post a message on this thread. Getting it to start may well be puzzling if you are not intimately familiar with Blender's interface.

I found one other script that should help a lot of you are using Blender to do precise work:

http://www.alienhelpdesk.com/python_scripts/caliper

Download the version that matches your version of Blender. Drop the script into your Blender Scripts folder. This site has a link to another web page that will show you how to install and start Python scripts in Blender.

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

Once you have a somewhat better than slippery grip on Blender's interface, you will find this excellent tutorial to be of great use:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/r.burke2/p ... ling1.html

Come to that, this tutorial does a decent job of getting you through the interface as well as helping you do stuff that Blender simply was not designed to do.

Oops, nearly forgot the web page. There is more there than just the PDF linked above.

http://www.rab3d.com/tutorial.html

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

Anyone working on the tutorial listed in the immediately preceding message should drop me a PM. I have some tips and warnings for you.

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

I found another solid tutorial for Blender. This one is written by a high school teacher. I skimmed it and it appears to be well written and, thank the gods, well organized.

http://www.cdschools.org/54223045235521 ... =0&C=55205

Billy Catringer
Posts: 221
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Texas

Post by Billy Catringer »

Old, and not directly related to Blender, but invaluable for those working in 3D with any and all software:

http://books.google.com/books/download/ ... xba6bhwjUg

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