Need Your Thoughts: Blender Education Curriculum

We are in the process of launching an online One Year 3D and Visual Effects training program utilizing Blender and could use your thoughts! After much debate, some 3D artists and I agreed that we wanted to take the leap into starting a formal higher education school with Blender as a main focus of the one year program. With the recent leaps and bounds that Blender is making, we’ve decided that it is the perfect time to launch our school. We are very excited to help grow Blender’s user base and launch the next-generation of creative artists.

For the last few months I have worked on getting our online training platform(learning management system) fleshed out and up-and-running. We are about 85% of the way to completion for launch and wanted to get your thoughts on the curriculum side. We have an outline in place for the curriculum but seeing as Blender is open source and is largely based around community, we’d love to get your thoughts to help us sculpt and refine our curriculum.

Seeing as it is a one year online program, we have 12 months to bring students through a full Blender curriculum consisting of:

  • modeling
  • texturing
  • lighting
  • animation
  • rendering
  • dynamics
  • compositing

We are focusing on a 12 month project-based curriculum with live instructor training sessions, assignments, group discussions, and portfolio projects. I’d love to get the community’s thoughts on what should be included in the curriculum. We are going through state licensure for the program and eventually accreditation.

Let us know your ideas and what you would like to see as part of the online curriculum. We’d like to find partners for student learning materials. We are also looking for volunteers to be a part of the advisory board. Anyone interested in teaching, feel free to also send me a message. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas!

  • Simulations
  • Particles
  • Volumetics

Story and editorial, visual literacy is pretty much completely lacking from most animation schools curriculum. You need to teach the folks not just how the blender tools work, but give them some guidance on how to effectively tell a story using their new acquired 3D skills. Add onto that proper pipeline workflow and development from script through to final broadcast delivery.

Blue, I agree. I lumped all of those into the dynamics portion of the curriculum. What resources would you like to see as learning materials? We’d like to bring other fantastic resources into the mix like giving each student a BlenderCookie membership to supplement their learning. We’ve already spoken to Digital Tutors about their group accounts and they have Blender tutorials coming out shortly. So a group account instead of textbook materials works out better.

We also plan on giving back to the Blender Foundation to continue supporting development of Blender and the Open Projects. We are based out of the New York City area and would like to expand the online program to a brick and mortar program in a few years.

What are some project ideas would you like to see incorporated into the curriculum?


Micki, there are many button-pushers out there but few that can tell a story. In an early part of the curriculum, we have foundational skills like basic drawing, life drawing, concept art, and storyboarding. When I went to school, we were given a strong foundation in art and visual storytelling.

Being in the advertising industry, I’ve worked with copywriters to develop scripts and create directors treatments w/storyboards all the way through to post-production and final delivery. For the incorporation of a production pipeline, would you like to see something similar to that? I’d really like to incorporate the same pipeline being used by the Blender Foundation on the Open Projects. Being an online school, for a pipeline such as that the live action should storyboarded and all visuals planned out. The school then shoots and supplies the students with their planned footage.