Starting from scratch. Again.

Hi, I’m pretty new to Blender, but I started learning the basics a while back. I lost my computer and just installed Blender again today, but I think I need to start all over. This time I’m wondering a few things:

Do you need any preliminary talents before starting Blender?
Do you need to have passed College level Geometry, Physics, etc.? Do I need to know how to draw?

What would it take to do an unprofessional short in Blender?
Not something as beautiful and complex as Elephant’s Dream (excellent job, by the way), but like a little five minute animation. Would it take an ultra fast PC, a render farm, or could I do it on a 64mb graphics card?

How long does rendering a movie described above take?
Will I have to wait for a day before it finishes rendering?

I have other questions, but that’s enough for now.

Thanks in advance.

  1. it depends how motivated you are

  2. it depends how motivated you are [yes, a 64Mb gfx card is sufficent]

  3. say, at 1 minute a frame [which probably means no motion blur, no/minimal osa, and minimal fancy raytracing] 5 minutes at 25fps would take a bit over two hours

Personally, I think the hardest part of making a good animation is a good idea and script. How hard the remainder of the task is depends largely on visual style.

For example, with a good script (doesn’t even need audio) you can maybe make two cubes interect in interesting ways and have your 5 minute animation done in a week or two - add music and sound effects to really give it some oomph! Progress to simple human/animal characters and it might take a month or two. Make those characters a bit more “evolved” with equally evolved scenes and you start looking at a long time, probably months to a year, just to make all the moves.

By the way, 5 minutes is not a short animation if you hope to deal with reasonably developed characters. I don’t mean render times, I mean production. It can take a couple of hours of work just to get your character to wave his arm convicingly in one shot!

Anyway, you’ve got a fair learning curve ahead before you should be distracted by animating anything. Learn the basics by reading through these forums and any documentaiton you can lay your hands on and take it slowly. Blender is learnt through sudden bursts of “Aha! So that’s what it does!”.

Or two bouncing balls. :slight_smile:

(Scroll down to the bottom)

Cameron Miyasaki’s Personal Animations


Thanks guys. You all answered all my questions.

I don’t really plan to actually start animating for a while, though, I’ll need a bunch of time to learn the basics and such. If I do start animating five minute shorts, it will probably be bouncing balls or spinning frisbees (not to worry, Andy, I’m not gonna go in over my head).

With these answers, I’m off to [try to] start a new beginning in Blender.

Thanks again.

Well since you’re presumably just doing this for fun, there’s on reason why yu can’t start right off with a character-rig like “Ludwig” or “ManCandy”, (you can find links to them in the ‘Best of Blender’ thread in my signature).

Those are two great rigs, with facial animation controls.

The very basics would be to select the (RMB) characters Armature, go into Pose mode (Ctrl-Tab), select a bone, press “i” to create a keyframe, move the time slider to ahead, and then move the bone(s) to a different position. There you have it, “animation” :slight_smile:

To make it look life-like, or convey some emotion or meaning, you’ll have to on the “tech” side, go into the IPO editor or action window and tweak the timing of the motion.

A stopwatch is a handy tool, time yourself sitting down, walking, picking something up, then you can translate that to how many frames should occur between your armature-bone changes in position.


okay I’m 17 still in High school and only been using blender for a few months but here is a link that is really helpful (spread the word to all Newbies about this link) its basically a class room style manual for blender it covers Blenders History, Modelling, Materials, Textures, animation…and more…


You guys are great. Thanks again, especially for the PDF.

It’ll help alot.

no problem…