Knight, I totally relate to your frustration. I had never done any kind of animation before I started using Blender, heck I can’t draw by hand. I was always more given to language and music.
When I first started playing with Blender, I remember being completely baffled, and very often angrily annoyed. Nothing made any SENSE! It was like trying to learn to fly the Space Shuttle! Harder even!
And then, long before I found out there was such a thing as Blender Artists, I realized that there was an ocean of very basic video tutorials about how to use Blender on YouTube. Any topic you can imagine, from beginner things like just figuring out to move things around and beginning modelling, to everything else far more complex.
THEN I found Andrew Price’s BlenderGuru site (he also has a YouTube channel where he posts his tutorials…) Andrew made a huge difference for me. He has a very chatty style, and often tells entertaining stories as he works. The nice thing is that he approaches it all from the standpoint of an artist, not a technogeek. His vids, even if they get into very advanced things, are much like watching a painter paint while he discusses the finer points, all while he does it. So, go to BlenderGuru.com and browse through the tutorials there. Go back to the earliest ones, since they are a little simpler and based on Blender Internal (before the Fabulous Cycles Craze of the past 8 months or so…) You’ll pick up a lot of very valuable skill from Andrew Price.
Most of all, DON’T GIVE UP!
I’ve never bothered with other animation software, and it shows when I roll around on the ground (probably way too often for anyone’s taste…) defending Blender’s honor and virtue here in BA with the more Pro guys who have 12 computers and all the really expensive animation software. Damnit there’s something to be said for the poor young animator who starts it as a curious hobby and didn’t study under James Cameron!
Blender is like learning a musical instrument. I probably would have given up long ago if I didn’t play French Horn in highschool. It’s all about practice. Practice every day. Practice all the time. Just jump into Blender and try to bring to life whatever goofy idea you come up with. You’ll fail a lot. But failing, you’ll scratch your head and try to understand WHY you failed.
And THAT’s where Blender excels. Because what makes Blender so amazing is that it has a certain internal consistency, a certain kind of rationality, a kind of logic that I’ve never seen in any other medium. Starting with basic keyboard commands like Scale and Rotate, etc, it turns out that so many other things in Blender use the same types of commands. When you figure that out, that’s when you’ll find that you’re onto something. That’s when it will all start making SENSE.
I know this is rambly, but the Blender learning curve pays off at a certain point. There comes a time when it just clicks. And that’s a beautiful moment.
The great thing is that the people who make Blender, the devs, all seem to get that, and all seem to stick to that Internal Consistency and logic. So, learning anything in Blender is not a waste of time.
Practice. Practice practice practice. You’ll get it.