New Blender User need some bases

Hello Everybody!

I’m a new user. I will do my best to learn Blender.
I come from Lightwave.
My english is very bad: i’m a kind of japanese guy living in France.

I’m learning with FormaCD tutorials from F.Grassard. It do the job nicely.

I have somes question i hope somebody here can help a bit:

  • Do i have to manage/erase/uninstall config files when i update Blender to avoid compatibility issues?

  • Do Addons install everytime the same way? Do i have to add necessary packs when i used blender on Windows?

  • What are the feeling about the actual Blender 2.5>2.5.9? in terms of strength/weakness? I feel the renderer a bit slow and the lights a bit fake. (i am discovering it so i do not know the rendering settings very well now)

  • Maybe somebody is using Lightwave with blender and can share some tricks for linking them the best way?

Thank you for your time,
Regards,

Tais
www.ijinprod.com

Hi and welcome to the Blender community :slight_smile:

Regarding your questions

  • Do i have to manage/erase/uninstall config files when i update Blender to avoid compatibility issues?
    No, you don’t have to. Blender automatically creates a new subfolder with every new version names after the version you install (i.e. 2.59) which contains contains the settings after you modified them. The same goes for the plugins (aka addons). That way you can have individual addons and settings for each blender version you are runing.
  • Do Addons install everytime the same way? Do i have to add necessary packs when i used blender on Windows?
    Don’t know if i understand the first part of your question correct, but yes they do :wink:
    Normally you don’t need additional packs for the addons. If i understood something wrong with your question, please ask again :wink:
  • What are the feeling about the actual Blender 2.5>2.5.9? in terms of strength/weakness? I feel the renderer a bit slow and the lights a bit fake. (i am discovering it so i do not know the rendering settings very well now)
    I think Blender 2.59 is the best release of the 2.5x series. Nearly all features from the 2.49 release are back, plus a lot of new functionalities.
    Regarding it’s strengths and weaknesses, you could write entire books about this.
    You are surely right about the renderer. It is quite outdated (missing GI, slow, etc…) but you can still get some decent results with it. It is just a matter of knowing the right tweakings (just as with any other program). But yeah, sometimes it can look a bit fake.
    Another thing is that some of the simulators are somewhat, hmmm well, rough around the edges.
    For example the smoke simulation and the mesh deformation lacks subframe accuracy which can lead to some weird results with fast moving objects.
    Another issue is, that some simulators can’t start the simulations in a negative frame range, which makes it sometimes difficult as you don’t always want to start your simulation at frame 1, but sometimes it should already be running when the rest of your animations starts.
    There are of course more weaknesses but those annoy me the most at the moment. Oh and some more presets here and there would be a huge timesaver, but that just as a side note.

Regarding it’s strengths, i dare to say that (although some modern modelling tools are missing) Blender is still one of the fastest modellers around, if you know the shortcuts.
Tools like texture painting, uv unwrapping, sculpting and compositing are quite awesome in my humble opinion.
Even compared to many commercial apps out there.

And after all, blender is one of the most “allround” 3D packages out there. especially with the upcoming additions planned for the next months, like the camera tracker and many more. Blender has come a really long way since its initial open source version.

At least it’s good enough for me to pay my bills with it (using it for almost a decade now).
But after all those are just my personal experiences with it. Other may have different experiences though.

Hope that helps,
Linny

The config files shouldn’t be an issues. I wouldn’t erase them unless you wanted Blender to start with its default setting and if that’s the case use File > Load Factory Setting to restore the Blender config to its default setup. If you install the current version without uninstalling the previous version of blinder the add-ons should be ok, I think… You might have to re-enable them though.

2.59 is still missing a few of the tools from 2.4X series. The rendering issues might be solved by digging a little deeper and getting to know the render setup more. Also, you could Try using Yafray or Luxrender to strengthen your render quality. Also Cycles is under development which will help. But really it depends on what your looking for. If you want photo-real go grab Yafray or Cycles. Cycles is currently a add-on in a dev-branch on graphicall.org right now I think.

Never used Lightwave before but I do have a fair amount of experience with Maya. Even there with its default renderer you can achieve a lot, it just a matter of learning the tool. Same goes for Blender. But if you want the most photo-realistic result try one of the 3 renderers mentioned above.

Hope that helps.

Thank you Linny, thank you gimbalLock (haha, your name give me instant pain in the neck!)
I will install both Yafray and Lux.
I will wait for Cycles to be more stable (my first attempt just crash)
And i think Vray will be an option to deal with. for sure.

My experience with Lightwave is 15years and it’s hard to relearn a software again! Blender have a lot a shortcut (maybe egal or more than Lightwave). So, i have retarget several of them. Maybe not good to do but … i’m now more confortable with Blender.
(Blender UI looks good and customizable)

In Lightwave, there are a lot a plugins and script that became necessary.
I suppose it’s the same in Blender too?

Per example, I have difficulty to deal with this 3dCursor so i have installed an Addon named CursorControl that add snapping and history to the current Cursor. It looks like a extremely useful for precise modeling.

Can you share what add-ons are a must-have for you?

Cheers,

Tais
www.ijinprod.com