How did you learn?

Hey guys.I have a specific question from you.In my opinion It’s really great to learn from the others and hear from others that what they did for achieving success(In this case achieving a high level in blender software).So that I want to know and hear from you that which method or generally what you used for learning blender and which was most powerful and great for your learning and helped you a lot through your learning process.In fact by this question I kind of want you to share your story about your learning process.I don’t know,the books you’ve used that was useful,the sites you’ve used that was great for your learning,etc…please tell your story about that.I am passionate about hearing and learning from you.
Thank you guys.:slight_smile:

I’ve been using Blender on and off since 2008. More so recently I’m approaching the status of an expert in terms of knowing what everything is the program does but technique and skill in the area of creating is something I am and will always be in progression of.

Youtube and these forums are where I’ve picked it all up.

Overall I actually find Blender really well rounded and amazingly powerful, especially considering it’s free! I have used a LOT (nearly all) of the other 3D packages out there, and I find Blender to be one I am happier with than many of the others.

I really have just played with blender to learn,

then I played with the game engine, now I know python.

just keep trying, throw away what sucks,
and keep, your mind moving.

any time you can’t figure it out, watch a tutorial, still stuck? ask for help here or stack exchange/blender

the definitive blender tutorials i’ve learned most from was the Blender Underground video series. the presenter was fun and engaging and understood blender deeply… too bad the series is very outdated now and the Man hasn’t made videos for blender 2.5x and later.

in terms of books, i recommend Blender for Dummies

Yeah, those Blender Underground videos were really good in their day. Jonathan Williamson started making tutorials not too long after I started using it, and he was cranking out multiple videos per week back then. That is where I learned most things.

These days, I don’t watch very many tutorials, but instead use resources like Blender Stack Exchange. A lot of the replies on there clarify things on a deeper level.

I spent days pushing a vertex from one position to another without knowing what was happening, but knowing others are creating great art with Blender. I then stumbled across the Blender 2.3 Guide in a London Bookshop which was a great reference book for the program.

Here’s how I learned:

lot of youtube and reading the old blender wiki

I had that same book. I downloaded Blender when it first became available to the public, but because it was so clunky and there were no tutorials I deleted it from my hard drive after a few weeks.
In 2004 I was at a bookstore (remember those?) and they had the 2.3 Guide book, so I bought it. If it hadn’t been for that book I probably wouldn’t have gotten back into it.

Steve S

The best, sincere advice I can give you - . It has both FREE and paid resources (very reasonably priced) - one week of the knowledge shared by these professionals ( who are solely devoted on tutoring ) will equate to many months of solo experimentation/learning from youtube or other places. If you are starting out, it is especially important that you build solid foundations and routines so it’s vital you get used to strongest workflows. In other words value your time and make that investment, you will not regret :slight_smile:

Second advice I can give you is try to find direct appliance/direction to what you do. It’s very hard to stay motivated if you’re working on something random… Working in a team or with a purpose/goal can be a strong motivator that accelerates your development. Consider joining indie teams for short movies or games like mobile (they are easier to work with, faster to complete); take parts of competition; be active on forums (post for criteria and learn from others workflows); set specific goals for demo reel etc. To sum it up - seek ways to apply your passion (any facet of CG - modeling/anim/fx/comp) and you will grow with it.

Good luck!

Thanks guys for helping and devoting your time to answer my question and tell your ideas.I appreciate you.
So thanks again.

You know,I’m definitely agree with your ideas.It popped up a thing in my mind.Setting goals to accomplish,taking parts in competitions,working with a team are great ideas.But my problem is,I open up blender and wanna do something(for example creating a character and animating it).right?But then my mind keeps coming up empty.I don’t know how to do it,I don’t know where to start,I don’t know how to organize my mesh structure, I don’t know how to give a great lighting to my scene,etc…And then I think "Oh you just picked one that you are not prepared for it and maybe you should pick a small or easier one that is appropriate.But then another problem comes up.I don’t know what is really easier and appropriate for me to work on.I don’t know how I should find those that is easy for me and also gives motivation to me. What’s your suggestion about it?What’s the problem?what should I do?

Lots and Lots of tutorials. I can post some links, but there would be many, many links. Youtube is your friend.

One of the things I do is follow BlenderNation, and when good tutorials come up on Youtube, I bookmark all that persons videos. For example, here are all of Sardi Paxs videos:

I really like Sardis style.

Here’s his ‘Beginner’ tutorial for Blender:

What I think I miss is the high-level thinking of experienced graphic artists. I think they kind of already know, given an overall task, what workflow would be good, and what all the subtasks would be. My understanding is that a high-level workflow for an animation would be something like:

Character Sketching
Detail Modeling
Materials and Texturing
Rigging and Skinning
Video Sequence Editing
Compiling Final Output

That’s a lot to learn… And pros would probably be exporting/importing to/from other packages for specific tasks, even if they could do it in Blender, for a variety of reasons.

tutorials, yes. i started with neal hirsig course (free) tutorials for blender 2.6x:
he is excelent! not flashy, not shiny (and didn’t include cycles, alas), but covers most areas of the software (including nubrs and metaballs!), with usefull written tuts in addition to videos. very clear, easy to understand, and felt he is very thorough.

if you want simpler projects to start with, i would say take everyday objects, such as pens, glasses, rulers, keys, etc. easy to come by, easy to find references, altough not always simple to reproduce in 3d. they are also building blocks. if you later want to do archviz scene (for example), those will serve as assets you can just append.

At first, I had some hard time understanding blender. This 3d cursor and the right selection mouse button.
More difficulties then, as a newbie, trying to follow tutorials of 2.44 when I was using 2.48 - 2.49. was a great help on first steps. I have to say it.
After this, when a new feature was making its first steps, I was trying to stick on this, in this BA forum. Cycles, particularly.
Then I stopped searching and asking, just visiting support forums and learning anything was capturing my interest.
And this made me a little more advanced user, when I stopped searching for answers.
Funny, isn’t it?

@oris, old Neal was indeed the go to place back in the day. And, IMHO Is still a good place for any new users to start.

There has to be a specific reason why you want to learn 3d. Some want to be able to do animation. The majority want to do pretty pictures that they can display in site galleries like the ones you see on top. Some, in the engineering and science profession, want to use 3d to visualize objects, scenes, etc., in 3d. I was somewhere in between the second and third cases.

Where to start? Modeling. You can’t animate or view anything in 3d without a model. Surely, you have something like a tree, a car, a toy, human head, etc., in mind you want to see in 3d. But you have to start with something simple.

In my case, I wanted to do a chess set and be able to rotate it in 3d. It didn’t matter what app I’d use. And I knew if I was able to model a knight, the rest of the pieces is a breeze. And most of it will be a duplication process. Even then you’d be able to learn a lot doing something you wanted to do. Of course, I followed various tutorials that had nothing to do with a chess knight, but only to see how to navigate, see if there’s anything in it to model my knight like creating a cylinder, move vertices around, etc.

Point is, think of something you’re interested in doing in 3d. You have your own interests. Not all of us want to model cars, humans, appliances, buildings… Don’t just say I want to learn 3d, say I want to do a model of a car in 3d, or something.

Denial and error.