Little experience, big dreams, help needed.

Hi all,

As the title suggests I have very limited experience with Blender, that is to say, Blender for Dummies was my first source of self education on the program. I have always had an interest in CGI, I had always thought that it would be nothing short of fantastic to create an Animated film.
I had always believed the ability to do so was out of reach, I am in the Military so spending 4k on MAYA 2012 was out of the question and my upcoming deployment to a sunny and sandy country means i will be attending no college classes on the subject as well.
I just by chance happened to discover blender, and after some simple messing around I fell in love. I have had an idea for a movie I have wanted to make but I am still not there yet, but that is why I am here.

Now for my question: How does one go about modelling robots effectively? I have tried starting with a basic human mesh and working from there and found it to be quite tedious, Im having a hard time figurng out how to use the sculpting tool to create flat planar surfaces and I have no idea how to go about creating holes in the mesh ( for example a gap between two pistons on a leg). this of course could all very well be due to my innexperience and often times I get ahead of myself. Any help that can be offered will be greatly appreciated, even if it is pointing me towards tutorials ( preferably written since Internet availability is innexcusible here).

I had tried downloading .blend files of machine-esque models but only found myself wondering " ok, thats awesome, I wish I knew how they made that". Thank you again for any help that can be offered.

You may find this helpful, its a wiki book somewhat like Blender for Dummies (But free and community written) http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Blender_3D:_Noob_to_Pro

Wow Thank you, I didnt expect a response so quickly.

If you have enough internet access, try the link; they have lots of good video tuts - beginner and above.

Is there any way to get a PDF version of the WIKIbook? I’ll milk the Video tutorials as much as i can but I dont expect to have internet after the 6th.

Go to print/export on the left hand side of the wiki page, it has a pdf option. But you have to select the pages you want with the collection creator.

http://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=Special:Book&bookcmd=rendering&return_to=Blender+3D%3A+Noob+to+Pro&collection_id=65a198db4efb08b7&writer=rl

Allso try www.blenderguru.com/

i would suggest you learn ‘box modelling’ rather than trying to modify an existing mesh, especially a organic curvy shape like a human base mesh. Box modelling is basically starting with a primitive shape like lets say a cube, and by modelling using extusions and adding loop cuts here and there where you need faces or edges situated. it is a very expansive and daunting subject but there are lots of tutorials online to start with easy objects, and work your way up. Best sites for tutorials that come to mind are BlenderCookie, BlenderGuru,CG Boomer.com, search vimeo and youtube also. ps. remember that it you have a series of objects arranged and scaled etc, and positioned just right you can then join them all with CNTRL J, making them one object. That is the way I got used to modelling, and as it happens heres an example. i dont think i can add a proper link yet but copy and paste this into your search engine http://www.blendswap.com/blends/characters/killamech/comment-page-1/#comment-1806. I made this character Killamech using above technique, but I did do a lot of modifying the starting objects or ‘primitives’ as they are called. I was thrilled that the site liked it enough to make it a staff pick. take a look at david wards ‘groundhog’ tutorial on blendercookie, he uses box modelling technique, to create an organic creature. not exactly what your looking for, but it’s an example of the technique that comes to mind. You will be sure to find hard edge tutorials on that site, best of luck with your Blending.

Awesome! The best example of what character I want to make can be compared to Renegade from the video game Unreal Tournament 2003/2004. For some reason its been extremely difficult to try and find referance images of the character which hasnt helped. Thanks for the advice, a simple hot key like CTRL + J just made my blending exponentially easier as i have been racking my brain as to how I could model arms, legs, torso and a head without the knowledge of how to combine all the pieces. I imagined it woulnt wourk too well if i just moved the parts into place and then rigged it.