Basic Cartoons Learning Curve

The goal is to make a series of early phonics readers similar to Bob Books (link below). At this point, I only need to make basic characters, but want to make them so that they can eventually be upgraded, converted to video, etc. I will need to export the characters to different programs for the books.

I have used vector graphics to make teaching stories in Google Slides for students before, and they were a big hit. I want better graphics for this project, though.

I have a couple kids running around and am also working to rebuild our family’s English teaching center after Covid-19 destroyed it, so my time is limited.

Question 1: How long will it take to learn enough to draw some basic characters?
Question 2: I found an introductory tutorial on Youtube (below), but do not understand the meanings of the titles. Would that tutorial series be enough to get me started, and is there another tutorial that would be better or helpful toward this goal?

Thank you,
Dr J

Are you looking to learn to draw 2D with grease pencil, or looking to do 3D modeling? Animation can be done in both.

The first steps/getting started series from the official blender channel is definitely The place to start, however where to advance from there depends on what you are looking to achieve exactly.

Blender is a very expansive software suite(yes suite, but all integrated into a single executable). You don’t necessarily need to learn all its aspects. Depending on your goals trying to learn all of it might even be a bit unproductive.

Thank you for such a fast reply!

I want to do 2D drawing. I’m not sure about using the grease pencil as my drawing skills are limited. I’ve attached a couple files to show what I’ve been doing. All these were done with vector images and the tools available in Google Slides. The image below of the robot people was done mostly with shapes, but took a couple hours.

My goal is to make simple books LibreOffice Impress similar to the Goldilocks story. (It is a big hit with my classes.) The way the animations work in Impress creates natural pauses so the teacher can discuss the material with students. It also maintains a book format, which is good to help encourage reading.

I’m ok with continuing to use free vectors for much of what I need, but for the time spent to make the robot people, I think it may be better to learn basics to make better looking people that can be improved in later versions. (Graphics don’t have to be amazing for kid’s books, but, honestly, mine are a bit pathetic.)

How long would it take to learn to make simple characters

If you want to improve at drawing then learn drawing, blender and grease pencil is an option for that(if you have a stylus tablet) but you could do so just as well on paper with a pencil.

How fast depends on the person and the time and effort you are willing to dedicate, but ultimately it’s just a matter of practicing what you learn and sticking with it even when you are unhappy with the work you produce(got to work out the bad so to speak, give up here and you’ll never improve).

The above is a good place to start if you want to improve in drawing. And after you have gone through all of that, if so inclined, you can check out riven phoenix’s series on youtube titled structure of man. A series of over 200 videos. But for more cartoony characters honestly that is unnecessary.

I think you may want to use a different software to create the characters. Inkscape is free and I think would offer you more power than libre office draw. If you also want to animate them you could check out synfig studio, which I think is a bit less polished than inkscape. I don’t know if you can import those animations into a presentation. Again, though, this isn’t blender related so I suppose it may belong in the “other software” section. You could do this in blender but I think it may be over complicated.

Here is an example of an inkscape tutorial: