How did you lean blender?

Hi, I’m not sure this is the right forum but i think it is, so here goes.

I just wanted to ask you guys how you first learned blender , For example books you read, how you experimented with blender ,things you thought useful to learning blender over the years.

I’m asking mainly to gain new ideas to improve myself as an artist, so if you could post ,books/videos/websites and techniques that you learned ,along with some of the art you’re particularly proud of or you think marks a turnaround/evolutionary stage in how you got to grips with the program.

Thanks, looking forward to hearing from you all , Paul.

Three things helped me: online written tutorials, the blender noob to pro book, and, most Importantly, experimentation.

Edit: I forgot that blender for dummies also helped a little.

BlenderCookie.com is certainly a great resource especially if you are a citizen member. It’s pretty cheap for a subscription and certainly worth it. 3 month subscription is cheaper than buying a couple of pizzas. Also, the Blender Wiki itself is an amazing, overlooked resource. I currently view the “old” 2.49 wiki as well as the 2.5 wiki that is still under construction. Cgtextures is an amazing site for materials. Also, BlenderGuru.com is a good resource. You might want to look on youtube for some blender tutorials too. Irakrakow has some basic ones. A lot of it is just muddling around. You certainly want to learn the interface first because a lot of the same keys act in similar ways between different viewport layouts. I.e. in edit mode you can use G to move a vertex, and in the animation screen you can move a keyframe by also using G. The new spacebar “search” function is certainly a god send. Just play around mostly. Remember, it takes time to get good at anything, and you should spend more time doing the tutorials as opposed to simply watching them.

Experimentation was a big one. Just sitting down and being determined to learn it. Also Online tutorials (blender cookie, blender guru) and sites like this one. I still have a long way to go but I think I have just gotten past that learning curve (3 years later). So don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it down in a year. And lastly, just ask the right questions (like you did in this thread) and don’t give up.

Grabbed my screen and tilted it.

The wikibook: Blender 3D: N00b To Pro helped me as well.

I wanted to learn to model and so I focused on that. I didn’t get distracted with rigging to much or texturing, or animating. I picked a realistic goal of something I wanted to create and stuck to it till it was as good as I could get it. I asked questions on this and other forums. I searched out online tutorials to help me with the parts I got stuck on. Setting a goal and finishing it gave me the motivation to keep going.
Now that I can model something with good topology I am moving on to learn rigging. We all just keep learning.

You need to ask yourself what you want to do with Blender. For example, when I was starting I wanted to model a chess set and render it as photorealistically as I can. A chess knight is the hardest to model. If you can model a chess knight, you can model the entire chess set. Things like that. You can’t just say I want to learn Blender. You have to have something specific you want to do. It keeps the midnight lamp burning.

is blender free, and how do i use it?

Blender is indeed “free” and open source to boot.
http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:Manual

Hi , thanks for all the replies, i should probobly explain my background a little, i’m fairly familiar with blender itself, i started attempting to learn 3D modelling and texturing with the purpose of making half life 2 mods, and later on games in general, around 7 years ago i tried out maya personal learning edition(the watermarked one) and gave up and tried to learn XSI when valve released it alongside the half-life 2 mod tools , gave up on that because of my lack of willpower at the time(i was around 13 at the time , maybe 14)

I seemed to think that there was some magical program that i would click with and in the last 4-5 years i tried learning blender 2 or 3 times, things kept happening like my computer kicked the bucket or i switched program again or lost interest, and it only occurred to me a few months ago i still wanted to learn blender and i just didn’t put the effort in.

But in spite of all the quitting i feel comfortable enough now with the UI to make my own shapes and models( a little, but sometimes i hit a brick wall) and i also(More importantly) feel like i have the will to practice and experiment with blender every night, so what i need is as much inspiration and resources as possible, inspiration isn’t hard though after seeing all of you’re amazing work in the gallery.

@jskurias : i’m interested particularly in modelling but animation and texturing, even compositing has caught my eye more recently in recent years. Also , thats strange about the chess set, i had the same idea and was half way through my ‘pawn’ peice when i posted this thread!

Thanks for all the help guy’s, and sorry about the wall of text (if you have the patience to read it all :wink: )

Ps. Iv’e worked through noob to pro and i go on blenderguru/blendercookie frequently , but i am not a citizen member, is it just the ability to download all videos or is it additional content you get for your money? for example .blend files/reference images and more tutorials?

Really appreciate the help people , a MILLION thanks.

Yeah i worked through it previously, maybe should do it again though.

Oh , i saw your thread last night with your WIP , looks good , any tips on how you got the reflection right on that wine glass? been messing around with it recently but i can’t get it quite right.

EDIT: Hmmm i seem to have missed the R in the title… can’t figure out how to edit the thread title though.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but another thing I found most valuable in learning Blender was regularly reading this very forum.

youtube wiki ect ect any and all of it but #1 Forums

Yeah iv’e had alot of valuable feedback already and iv’e been signed up for 2 weeks or so.