I’ve played around with Blender over the past 8 years when time permits using a few books as a guide. Started with Blender for Dummies (2005) about 8 years ago using Blender version 2.48a that was on a disc included with the book. After a short couple years time using this older interface version the 2.6 versions started with an updated interface. Being a beginner the transition was frustrating since I had never really done much with the 2.48a version except learn some very basics. I have used the 2.6 and 2.7 versions again with two more books: (1) Blender for Dummies (3rd Edition) and Blender Foundations “The Essential Guide to Learning Blender 2.6” (have purchased all three books in local retail stores).
I have spent many years practicing modeling, surfacing, texture, lighting, sculpting and other areas with very slow progress. I have figured out a lot of features in Blender through practice trial and error sometimes spending many hours figuring out some isolated effect on a finished render. My interest is more in line with still renders using Blender since I am more into graphic arts painting and drawing. Have many files of finished objects rendered over the years of practice, almost all are of no high degree of quality. Have read over the animation parts yet only tried motion with some simple objects, no human figures. I have come to like the last 2.7 series version since years of practice have lead to some use of this program. Recently 2.8 beta came out and I figured on looking into this version to discover some really big changes. I have tried to relate past learning experience from the 2.6 and 2.7 series to this latest 2.8 (recently tried the stable release).
I am beginning to believe that I am too slow in learning for this program or simply not cut out for this type of graphic arts program. The 2.8 version has me totally confused and unable to do anything, Everything learned and practiced in previous versions does not work anymore. Maybe in the future some new edition of books will be available to guide you through another learning process (notice on Amazon that a new release of Blender for Dummies is scheduled for release in December)? For me personally this is really frustrating, it’s like taking two steps backward for every step forward. I was hoping that after years of practice with the 2.6 and 2.7 versions there would be a time in the near future where I would feel comfortable moving forward on to animation, rigging, armatures, compositing and editing.
With version 2.8 I feel like it’s back to the starting line, have to even re-learn a lot of keystroke commands for navigation along with everything else. Why such drastic changes in the interface and redesign of the program? This program takes a lot of time to learn and practice let alone changing everything, leaving a person in a position of having to start all over again. Why not continue to make improvements to the interface with 2.6 and 2.7 as one option, and then if there is a good reason to change the interface radically simply start a new program with a different name for people that would prefer that interface due to similarities to other proprietary graphic arts animation programs. You could simply add: “Brought to you by the Blender Foundation” for an overwhelming new and totally different interface.
I do not have any idea what may happen with this 2.8 series in the future yet for me I will stay with the 2.79b version since I do not understand how anything works in this 2.8 version.