Novice Questions

Hello Blender community!

First, I would like to apologize ahead of time if I placed this in the wrong sub-forum. It seemed the most appropriate… :o

I have come here on the behave of myself, obviously, and that of my brother. We are both eager to learn how to use Blender (and nifskope) but we are at a loss on where to go.

A couple of months ago we were searching Nexus and decided, after a long time of appreciating what some people managed to do with Blender, to look into ourselves. We would like to be able to do the same…well, obviously with different outcomes. :slight_smile:

What got us here was that we were trying to create a “head morph” for Skyrim, to wet our feet, off of existing .obj and nifskope files we wanted to model the new face after that we had but we hit a wall—we have no idea how to do it.

So, I was wondering if anyone could help us out? We can only find intermediate tutorials or the like on the web, nothing really designed for “noobs”. We have asked various peoples and always get a “google it” or a “learn to do it yourself” but that’s not very helpful…we obviously tried and hit a wall.

Thank you for reading! We’re very appreciative of any and all help! :smiley:

This series is really good for getting the basics and learning where everything is in Blender: http://cgcookie.com/blender/cgc-courses/blender-basics-introduction-for-beginners/

Thats a good start IMO, but Blender takes time and practice to learn and understand. :slight_smile:

Hard to grasp what you’re after from the title and the post itself. If someone opens the thread and sees it’s about using Blender with Skyrim, nifskope and is familiar with the tools, maybe that person would then spend time presenting his/her process to give you a general idea. It would be a long post.

If you’re learning modeling (constructing the mesh) in Blender, then perhaps keep the focus on that. It’s not possible to teach someone basics of Blender and everything about polygonal modeling in a thread. What could be possible is to get you started and tell you about the options. You will have to communicate very clearly of what you’re doing/tried, what isin’t working, and especially what the goal is. Use high resolution images (1) to explain and show references, links to references (2), a .blend file if you have one (3).

(1) Low resolution/cropped/scaled images are useless. No one wants to spend their time to hunt down some smudge on a image to find out what you mean. Use clear images that you can use to support you when explaining things. This will reduce the amount of text you have to write. It’s easier and no one wants to read walls of text either.
(2) You have under 10 posts so the post with links will go to moderation and shows up with a delay
(3) A .blend file helps to find out things that are not shown in the images, and quickly make screenshots when replying back. If you ask something clearly but replying as clearly would take 1.5 hours, people will skip that. They will just post a “sentence that answers your question but doesn’t make sense to you” or “google it”

Hello, and thank you for the replies!

Wow, the videos are great! Thank you!

I have started to watch the guides. They are very helpful, easy to understand, even for the likes of me. I’ll have to google some of the terms he uses though (I suspected as much considering the guides said “intended for beginners that have a basic understanding of 3D.”) but the man in the video explains the functions very clearly.

(now on Guide #4!)

I’m sorry, I tried to be as clear as possible.

I was asking for guides (for “noobs”) on how to use Blender—guides that would explain the features, how to use them etc etc so that in the future we, my brother and I, could be able to create custom things for Skyrim (or other games, really) like faces, swords, shields and whatnot. But yes, we are looking for what you said what would possible—which is to get us started. From the very beginning. :slight_smile:

Feel free to ask if Google lets you down on some of those terms that you dont get :slight_smile:

Ah, alright. Sounds like you’re prepared to spend some time to learn the basics and not jumping right to creating all the things which is good, patience is needed when starting. I was thinking that after you’ve watched the introduction videos and tried those, perhaps pick a subject and start modeling. A shield or a sword maybe, a face/head is more advanced subject matter. Don’t try to struggle through it too hard, post it on the forum the right way and people can give suggestions or even show alternative ways to model.

Nowadays there are more tutorials than ever before, which is good, but the ones I know all have problems. One problem is that they don’t distinguish used program (Blender obviously) and what they use it for in the tutorial (polygonal modeling), at least not clearly enough. It would be hard to do that kind of tutorials so most concentrate on the program side of things. Press this, go here, do that, but often forget to tell why. Cookie tutorials tell more about the why part, which is more important.

That is related to the second problem. It’s tempting to start following the steps instructor goes through in a tutorial. Teaching in steps is ok but learning the steps is very bad, don’t do that. Always try to learn what is being done and why. Separate that from the how in your mind. If you know what and why, you can always look up the how part if you forget, or ask someone. Perhaps watch video tutorials from start to finish first and then start messing with it yourself. Less TV, more tutorials.

If you start learning steps, all you learn is to follow steps. Then if you start making something you want, you need another set of steps to follow and it’s likely you won’t find that. We have people asking “do you know a tutorial on how to model X” all the time and the usual answer is no. If you’re learning properly, you can use the information you’ve learned to do things you want and can skip tutorials on similar subject matters. To simplify, if you learn to model a fork, you should be able to model a knife and a spoon yourself.

Hello,

Just wanted to let you all know my brother and I finished the free tutorials. They were great!

We were wondering if you guys had any more suggestions on tutorials or sites to go to for more educational videos? If possible, anything like the cgcookies (though that standard is probably too high?). It seemed like there was far more to learn with the interface and its options, and what they did, so we’re eager to learn them.

Thank you Wega, I most certainly will! :slight_smile:

Thankfully right now there isn’t much to google.

I’ve learned my lesson jumping straight into things with game making, it made me far more patient. Of which I am glad, of course. :slight_smile:

So if I just learn “it/whatever it may be” from video tutorials I’m not really going to learn what it does, why it was picked to be used and how it functions, right? If that is so, in that case, that’s the thing I/we want to avoid. The cgcookie tutorials were great in that regard.

Oh, yes, that makes much more sense! I will not be ashamed to admit that was what I was first going to ask “do you have a tutorial on how to model faces?” first but at the creation of the thread I realized that wasn’t going to help us much at all. :no: The very start would be the best option.

@JA12

Thank you for the tutorials, I’ll go through them tonight and tomorrow. And I don’t mind written tutorials as long as they are very informative/detailed. As for topology, I suppose I have to look up some books/tutorials for novices. I’d like to not learn the trial and error way. :no:

I think if I can find appropriate data for it, I can understand it. Though if anyone else has some good resources on topology they could say, I’d be very appreciative. :slight_smile:

Nah, you aren’t confusing me. I mean besides me not knowing “topology etc” everything you are saying makes sense.

Topology is a wider and harder topic than you might realize. Experienced modelers have a wider understanding of topology because their experience and can keep on building their knowledge and learning new things about modeling. Learning never stops, and you have to try things to find out what works and what doesn’t, experienced or not. Modeling is problem solving, a puzzle, decision making.

You could be modeling successfully for a very long time without knowing much about topology. Static (non-deforming) game props for example could be done easily (relatively speaking) and depending on what/how you do things, topology knowledge might not play a big part. Being able to plan the modeling of complicated models like detailed characters, modeling for animation, realistic living things, etc. on the other hand is something else.

Simplified joyrney of a polygon model: story, design/concept, modeling, shading/texturing, rigging, animation, rendering/realtime use/other. What you’re effectively doing is fulfilling the requirements of the model for its intended use and before it can be used, it has to support other steps along the way there.

Experienced modelers model backwards. They know to start digging the requirements for the final model if those are not apparent, they know what animators animate and about deformation requirements that are important for animation and rigging, and make texturing easier with decisions in the modeling stage.

Then there is the modeling itself and an experienced modeler know different styles and workflows for modeling and the requirements for those. He/she seek information from the design/concept/references and even from the story. Then it’s time to make decisions about the workflow, perhaps lay out some of the model structure, steps to go through and what tools to use, and then he/she launches the 3D program of choice :slight_smile:

What I’m trying to tell is that you can’t know all that information and then start modeling your first model. Topology is not the only aspect of modeling either. Those things will come together eventually but you have to keep things simple when starting. It’s also a jungle of information so where to start? Grab the closest fern, study it, move to the next closest thing. That’s where people here on the forum can help when you’re figuring things out, giving suggestions and alternative solutions.

Trying and failing is a valid way of learning as I mentioned. If you need to figure out something, try it. It’s not so bad if you put value on failures; Those teach you something and the next time you do same or similar things, you won’t fail as much because you’ve gone through that already. (Trial and error is also a very valuable diagnostic method in software development and networking). It’s also not as bad when you’re creating things and achieve something, that’s why I suggested to start modeling right away but not struggle with it too much. Watch tutorials, try, ask.