HELP WANTED: mix'n'match activity / tutorial.

In a couple of weeks I will be teaching Blender for an outfit called BubbleDome, here in New Zealand.

I thought “why not have some of the resources made in true Open Source spirit, and get people on the online community to help out?

For example, one of my lesson ideas is to give extreme beginner students a blender file containing lots of different arms, legs, hands, feet, torso and heads… all on different layers. They could then grab the parts they want, in order to create their own robot / creature. This would teach them the basic blender interface, how to move / scale / rotate, as well as how to split their own window layouts and navigate between layers.

Example starter file (just a head):
Download the example blend file: [Server went down - never mind, you can get the complete finished file from ]

The above file contains my example head piece to start off, along with the final layer ready for credits etc for others who want to help out.

Of course, making all those robot / creature parts for the students to mix’n’match would be a lot for me to pull together on my own (especially as I have all the other lessons to plan) so I’m wondering how many of you would like to get involved by modeling any parts (even just a hand or a foot… possibly just some cool gears which they could include) and putting them somewhere for me to download?

…they don’t have to all be robot parts… it might be fun to have lizard feet etc etc etc to make a variety of creatures. :eek::yes:

Just let me know (post here) where I can download your contributions to include with the final file.

I would then make a file from the contributed parts (maybe with edgeloop corrections etc), giving credit to the artists in the final layer of the file, as well as making the file available here.

…so then, who would like to help out? :smiley:

That is a very cool idea. I was actually thinking of doing something similar as a forum contest. The one problem would be connecting the parts. For a robot, you could leave each arm, leg, head, and torso as separate pieces and animate them with good results. However, adding organic parts would require you to have a common vert count at each connection in order to actually connect the pieces as a whole. Have you given any thought to say having each piece require a torso connection of only 6 or 8 verts? Also, can you give us a finally dead line as to when you would need the blends to get your presentation together? Oh wait, one more thing, Do you want the pieces textured or just left gray?

Thanks :slight_smile:

The parts would be unconnected for this activity because the beginner students would only just know enough to position objects etc, although students who turn out to have prior blender knowledge, or indeed anyone who wants to revisit their work later on in the course is welcome to join everything up once they know how.

Textures: Either Grey or Procedural, but no UV mapping please, as it keeps the possibility for students to make their own mesh based modifications.

…oh, if you are pretty skilled at modeling, aim for a low poly count, but also one that edgeloops / is able to subdiv gracefully (only if you know what I mean… please feel free to contribute even if you are a beginner… I will fix errors that I have time for and I want this to be an “everyone” based effort).

I have left this idea at rather short notice :o… the best bet is to assume a deadline of Thursday 3rd July, as this allows me time to travel the country to get to the course and I am not sure whether I can access the internet once I leave. The courses actually start on 8th July (two weeks) and this one not until 12 July, though given internet access issues etc, 3rd July would be a more sensible target. I will be grabbing files to include as people offer them in order to prevent me trying to coordinate everything at the end.

I sent you a PM Hope it will be of some help.

If there’s anything else I can do let me know.

Here is what I have done so far. I hope the fact that I gave the Robot tracts is not a problem. The Blend has two sets of the same mesh. On layer 1 is the non-posed mesh on layer 11 is the pose you see in the render. There is no rig I just was careful to line up the centers at each joint. If I have more Time I will try to make another.

And here is a link to the Blend. As with most of what I post here on the forums, this will fall under my “I couldn’t care less what you do with it license”. Hope it helps.

Wow! Thanks guys, these models (both DichotomyMatt’s Robot1 and PetrikNZ’s Morfi9) are fantastic… the students are going to have a lot of fun.

I’ll have to start combining what we have so far… you guys are actually allowing me to concentrate on the senior particle lessons by helping with this! Keep 'em coming. :smiley:

Small update…

I have to say I’m very excited about the first two blends people have donated for this. :smiley: Here they are…

They are totally outstanding and will give students a very authentic first experience at using blender. They are way beyond the standard of model I was asking for or expecting.

…so thanks heaps to DichotomyMatt and PetrikNZ for them.

I said I would get on with updating the file, so here’s the new version…

Upload from first post please (I hate having to update multiple links anytime I have to change webhosts)

At the moment, I have the main lighting set up on Layer 1, with successive contributions on the following layers. Use SHIFT-SELECT to choose the layers. I have made sure the limbs etc are separated and ready for students to mix.

If there are more people wanting to help out, remember you don’t have to submit a full figure like these ones… even just a hand would be useful… it gives the students more to play with and makes a fun activity. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Here is a snake dude to play with. Much like the robot each piece is separated at the major joints.

And for fun here is a combo of my two blends:

Oh wow - that’s legendary!

I especially appreciate the extra effort you go to, making these characters poseable and everything. The students are bound to be easily amused by this bonus feature. :smiley:

Thanks again!

I’ve got a hand model if you want it. Dunno how well it’d fit with another model though. Looks like crap by itself. :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s rigged, but doesn’t have shapekeys, so deformations can be a bit ugly.

Ok, I have a submission. It is a higher poly count. No subsurf is applied, most of the faces is with the tracks. So they poly count is about 100k faces. I did a “rig” with parents so you can move everything separately but if you move the arm the hand will stay with it. Hope you are able to use it. And tell me if anything needs fixed. It is not totally done but the rest is just little details here and there.

All the parts are on the first 10 layers. The 11th layer is the pedestal and the 12th is the camera and lighting setup. And on the second layer there are 2 curve circles that are used for the cables, they won’t render but make sure you don’t delete them. Please ask me if you have any problems with anything.

Ran out of time tonight, will get the file up tomorrow. Might have just enough time but I Will get it to you tomorrow morning.


Hobo Joe: The hand sounds fine. I was intending the file to be set up with one layer of hands, another of heads, another torsos etc, and it just happens that people have been submitting full characters instead of parts. I think it’s a good idea to have “complete” characters for students to pull apart and reassemble, although even then, I can still have a “misc” layer full of bits and pieces.
Not looking for rigged stuff for this activity although I’m sure we could use the mesh all the same.

Dudebot13: That robot looks cool. :yes: I’m not certain what spec the beginner class computers will be (new campus) and given that the file will contain all meshes on other layers, it would be good if you can keep poly count low if you can. Chances are it would work fine though, so thanks for the droid. :slight_smile:

I can’t let everyone do all the work… quietly working away on some of my own. Trying to resist posting my half finished spoilers. :o I’m really glad people are so helpful because I’m not the fastest modeler in the zone.

@Lancer. I have the poly count as low as I can, even subsurf isn’t applied. Everything is low poly except for the tracks and the gears controlling the tracks. Those count for about 60k polys. So if things slow down just get rid of that layer and that should help clean it up. Sorry for the delay in uploading the file. My filter blocks the website used to do it, if you could PM me your email address I could send it though that. Up to you in the end.

I’d be happy with the bot I’m sure… 'though my email also has problems with attachments (some have arrived with three week delays, others just never got to me. I’ve run a forum thread about these issues on their service but it’s still unresolved). Is there any chance you could upload it to something like (Note: They are now They are a host with specialist interest in 3D artists using blender.

Well my filter blocks most everything. I will get my dad to unblock this though, I will edit this post with the file. Sorry for the delay.

Ah… a household firewall, I geddit. You might have to show the admin the site you want to upload to etc. and let him unlock that domain. I highly recommend the uploader site I linked above for this purpose, as it’s blender-hobbyist specific. He should actually be pleased that you are wanting to put files online there, but yes, he will at first naturally be defensive about letting anything through the gate.


so we just make you a model to show people?..i have on with nothing attached…no head hands or feet =( so thats not much help

It’s not just to show people. I’m about to take (teach) short Blender courses in a weeks time. I have a few activities to suit different levels. One of the beginner exercises I thought of would be to give the students some premade model parts, where they can learn the initial Blender interface by mix’n’matching parts for their own character. This would give them the idea of object positioning, object duplicating, and moving between layers.

It would take a lot of time for me to make lots of pieces myself, and my inventions might not be as good or as varied as those by the community at large…

…that’s where you come in.

I am using mediafire and it blocks it. So the only way for me to give you the file is to email it. Other then that there isn’t much I can do.

EDIT: I am leaving for camp in 45 minutes so it looks like I can’t get it to you. BUT if you look at my Wall-e WIP thread you will find the file in there. Just look in my sig for the link to it. You might have to mess with the layers till you get what you want, cause I can’t upload the newest version I messed with, but it is all there. Good luck with the classes.