The more mature Blender user, older newbies

I’ve noticed that the majority of Blender users seem to be quite young ( compared to me that is ), I’m now in my mid fifties and was wondering what the Blender user age groups were. Particularly the older guys just starting out.

The reason why I’m asking is, I found that I’m struggling to learn some of this stuff, trying to retain the most basic of functions in my head … maybe it’s just me being thick! :confused: So, who else is struggling to remember all this stuff?

I know what most of you would probably say … ‘It’s never too late to learn Blender’. I’m certainly not short of motivation, so why isn’t this stuff sinking in? Were you an ‘oldie’ struggling at first, but now you’ve seen the light as it were! What would your recommendations be for older guys learning Blender?

TURK

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Well, yeah, never too late. :wink: But I am 57 and still learning, that’s the thing with 3D, always something new to learn, a new technique or discipline. Plus the software is forever evolving, so you have new toys to play with.

I have a couple of basic videos I created for a local community group, which I did based off my own personal experience. I found, master a few basic shortcuts and commands and you have a solid platform. The trick is, don’t rush it and don’t overthink something. MY biggest mistake initially was convincing myself something was difficult rather than looking at what bits I understood. There’s no substitute for just modelling or working on the area you want to focus on, repetition solidifies understanding. I never do something once, go at it several times, learn from each attempt, notice how each time speeds your workflow up as you start to become comfortable with something.



Hope these help and feel free to PM with any questions. :slight_smile:

hi… i’m 43 and been using blender before it was opensourced so i’m not exactly a newbie but feel a bit like that currently as they took away the precious blender internal rendere so i’m learning a whole new way of lighting and rendering in eevee/cycles…
but more on subject… when i first started learning blender i didn’t even understand the concept of 3d really. so whole possibilities of rotating the view and watching it in different angles was weird but wondeful. took me quite a bit of only blackness renderings and grey cubes and quitting the app and opening it again next week but slowly it opened up for me… :slight_smile:

so… it takes time i guess. keep at it. learn from tutorials… watch what others are doing… and make a lot of bad renderings. and then make more.

. b

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Hi there I’m in the last phase of my 30s now and using Blender for a couple of years now. Mostly doing motion graphics and have yet to learn to complete something “really” 3D.

While time ( and repetition) is a big factor, I’d like to throw in, that it matters how one individually learns.

I for instance am a very technical person. While diving into Blender it came more and more apparent to me, that I could only learn something for real, when I not only was aware how something is done but why.

I have the feeling, that the majority of tutorials out there are missing out large parts of the theory behind it all. Tools are presented in way where you see someone accomplishing a given task without showing you why it behaves that way and how it is doing so. For me it is always a good thing to try to explore the different concepts from an software agnostic point of view. It helps me to memorize.

TL;DR: Every person is different and has to find his/her own way. First you have to learn your way of learning itself.

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I’m 44 and started using Blender in 2011 or 2012. Try repetition when learning something new. Practicing a few times helps me memorize something if I don’t understand it right away. You’ll get the hang of it. :slight_smile:

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Ok, i thought I was in the upper age of 3d Blender artist here at 38 rotations around the sun.

Still even I have problems remember it all… I take just a week or two off, then i’m scrambling to find the border render or something else. Lukcily the SPACE bar search option saves my bacon each time.

yup. I mostly use shortcuts myself, and if nothing seems to happen, or something totally different happens that I thought, I just hit search and type what I want. works everytime.

.b

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Iam 26 and started learning blender at 25
So I hope I don’t lost the train

Let’s do the last bit first…

Read the bloody instructions. :smiley: No, seriously. I know everyone just wants to wing it and dive in and start making stuff, but Blender is too complex for that approach to be viable. It will do simple things, but it will do so many of them that you can’t figure it all out by guesswork.

I was 55 when I first started playing around with Blender. Trying to wing it was a waste of time. They do warn newbies about this, but of course nobody wants to believe it and I didn’t either. They were right though.

I generally don’t like video tutorials, so I found the Noob to Pro tutorials were perfect for getting started. I just read the parts that were relevant to what I wanted to do, and after a bit of practice I was off and running. :+1:

I found that the Blender interface is not initially intuitive, but is very well designed (in general) and rapidly becomes intuitive if you get into using it.

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I’d agree with this, though it’s easier if you are not coming from the background of using another 3D package. I suffered badly until I stopped trying to make Blender behave like Lightwave, then things really started to click with me.

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Some really interesting responses so far guys, and surprisingly not too many youngsters! :blush:
I can see that some of you haven’t been at this for very long either, yet it seems that you’re all far beyond my current abilities. Reading the ‘Bloody Manual’ may work for some people ( tried that ), but some of us ( like me ) learn visually, and I think somebody already mentioned that. We all learn in different ways. I learn by watching others do, then if need be I’ll refer to the manual should I need more information, like the why.

By far, I found the most effective way to learn how to do something is to follow some of the YouTube HowTo’s, you can freeze-frame and rewind the video as you keep on working on your project. I did download the Blender Manual in PDF format, printed it out, but the issue of using that while you’re working, it becomes a night mare when looking for that particular tool you need and what it does. It’s pretty much the same with using the space-bar to find that tool you need to accomplish the task at hand. Firstly, you really need to know what the tool is called in order to find it!

A couple of you guys have mentioned ‘repetitiveness’ … and I think that’s the answer. Because, to be good at something you really need to do it over and over again, same applies to anything I guess. Some of you may of noticed from my profile that I’ve been a member of BlenderArtists for 3 years now, that’s how many attempts I’ve had at learning Blender! Each and everytime I’ve quit in frustration in not being able to do what I need to do :cry:

But, I always come back to Blender … And I think that’ rule number one - never give up!

I think that ‘Colkai’ ( first responder of the thread ) just about sums it up, and recommends only learning a handful of short-cuts and commands, and learning those commands for days until they’re second nature. And I’m also guilty of the same mistake that all newbies do … My need to create a masterpiece at my first attempt!

I’ve basically over-loaded myself with information, wanting to do too many things all at once, I’ve read just about everything I could lay my hands on, watched literally dozens and dozens of videos, and taken hundreds of notes … that actually mean absolutely nothing to me anymore, as I can’t find anything!

Time for a new approach me thinks :wink:

TURK

big difference between 2D DWG and Blender in 3D
in 3D got to think in 3D not 2D
and not everyone can easily do that

first thing is to read the Wiki book on blender.org
and learn the basics otherwise you get loss and hard to guess when working with blender UI!

2 - noob pro is another good site for basics

3 - find some good videos site like CGcookie
or other sites

3 - practice + Practice + Practice

4 - don’t expect to become a pro in 3 months with all aspects of blender
Modelling - Anim + rig + Physics + Mat and Textures
some say that to be at the intermediate level requires a few thousands hours of practice
and to get at the advance level may be 5 to 10 000 hours

so take your time and practice with all kind of models

4 - you can always asks questions and get some good advices on forum here

so good luck
happy bl

I never understood the habit of older people to vastly underestimate their ability to remember and think , or even exercise.

Memory is like everything else a skill. There was actually a nice article I read on Nature , one of the best science magazines , that had research where scientists calculated the storage capacity of the brain at 8 petabytes of information. The previous estimate was at 2.5. So currently its at 8000 terabytes. Of course a fraction of those neurons are used for memory and scientists have discovered that the brain on purpose does not store information , as a way to filter out the junk.

Hence you need to convince your brain to remember.

Guess how you do that… yeap the secret is … repetition.

Even with the previous estimate its enough to store 2.5 million book (around 300 pages each) , assuming photographic memory and assuming an infinite amount of time to learn. A lot more without photographic memory.

So your brain is I think, more than enough to learn blender. That’s not your problem.

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started at 27 years, not only with blender but all the art stuff.

now i dialed back and am making a basic drawing course.

this stuff is hard!

Wise words indeed guys :+1:

Strangely I’ve never had issues thinking or visualising in 3D, I’m pretty much a hands on type of guy, always making stuff and sketching stuff out. I was also at the top of my class for technical drawing at school ( many many moons ago! ).

I’m beginning to think that my issues are related to ‘information over-flow’! My mind is more preoccupied with my final design, and how it’s going to look, rather than what really matters … getting started!

Those are excellent statistics kilon and very interesting, but I wasn’t trying to say that older people retain information less than younger folk through lack of grey matter. But it is true that if you try to remember more, the less you will actually remember!

My new plan is to set myself a training schedule using folders -

Day 1 - The User Interface and navigating the User Interface
Day 2 - Moving around in 3D space and keyboard/mouse control
Day 3 - Creating and editing basic meshes
Day 4 - Basic lighting and set ups

I haven’t quite worked out what I’m going to concentrate on just yet, that list is just off the top of my head … but you get the idea. And of course, it’s not an entire day, but just an hour or two each day. And you do the exact same thing the following week, or just until you can do all those things without having to look things up.

So what d’you guys think? … am I as mad as I suspect I am, or am I onto something?! :roll_eyes:

TURK

ouraf

… this stuff is hard!

I hear you mate, it certainly takes a lot of dedication!

TURK

49ish and been busy with Blender since I think 2013, installed it a lot and uninstalled it a lot, could not even get the cube to move. :rofl:

I think it is like everything in life, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Been times when I have not touched it for a couple of months and you do forget a lot, seems like it’s only riding a bicycle that you do not forget in life. :joy:

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Speed7
49ish and been busy with Blender since I think 2013, installed it a lot and uninstalled it a lot, could not even get the cube to move. :rofl:

I think it is like everything in life, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Been times when I have not touched it for a couple of months and you do forget a lot

:rofl: Yeah, I know just what you mean … exactly what I’ve been doing! Only this time I’m really really determined to crack it. My new ‘schedule’ should help I think.

seems like it’s only riding a bicycle that you do not forget in life. :joy:

Well, that’s debatable! :thinking: I just bought a mountain bike a few months ago, hadn’t been on a push bike in over ten years ( road bike ), I just used my new bike yesterday and I was all over the place! :astonished:

I remembered the pedalling bit, but as far as the steering … it seems I’ve forgotten that! :rofl:

TURK

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I’m in my mid fifties and have been using Blender since 2014. Everything was a disaster to start with, basically didn’t have a clue what I was doing. But through shear determination and by watching lots of tutorials I eventually found my way.
I think the trick for me was that I really wanted to make some models of the spaceships which I saw in movies and on TV. So I think having a goal to aim for is very important as it provides the motivation to keep going even when frustration sets in, and it did on many occasions for me as I was learning.
The Blender life is easier for me now than it was at the start. A lot of shortcuts have stuck in the old memory and so has the location of many things on the interface, but I don’t kid myself that 3d modelling will ever be a simple thing. But it is damned interesting.

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And that is the key thing. I am a great believer in always learning, same with my music, keep the old brain firing and explore as much as possible. It may not feel like you are getting anywhere at first, but with time, (and yes repitition), it does come to you. You start to look at tutorials in a sort of “snapshot” way as you understand more and more of the concepts and tools, that does wonders for your confidence as you start to anticipatewhat comes next. In some case, even thinking of a faster workflow.

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