Thought this was the best place to start!

Hi all!

I just wanted to stick my head in and say hello. I’ve just downloaded Blender and I’m a TOTAL novice to animation. I’m a writer and fine artist (the old-school type that uses canvas, paints, clay, etc) and after finishing another film script and being told it would work well as an animation, I’ve decided that I may as well learn animation myself rather than paying someone else to do it. It can’t be that much different to traditional art, right? (please say yes!)

It may all go to pot within a few weeks, but I enjoy learning new things and having an extra skill is never a bad thing in my mind!

Anyway, I love the artwork on here - I had a quick flick through the forum before downloading and there are some very talented people indeed! Hopefully, some of that talent will rub off on me! haha

Thank you to the creators/contributors of Blender! You are awesome people!

Sid : )

Welcome to the forums! You are indeed in a good place. A background in traditional art will help immensely. Also check out the 11secondclub it is like a free animation school.

To learn blender you need to watch tutorials at blender cookie.

I’ll let this slide, but just so you know, this is not the right section. The traditional art section is for posting… well, traditional art. Introducing yourself is not art. However, if you have anything to show us, we’d love to see.

Ah sorry! Well, I don’t keep much of my work online, but I’m currently working on this right now:

It’s very much a work in progress (still have to lighten the shadows and finish the material and colouring), but should give you an idea of the sort of thing I do.

Thank you for the nod towards 11secondclub. I’ll definitely check that out. I’ve been working my way through the videos tutorials on here so far and can (slowly) find my way around the program now!

Hey, that’s quite nice. Just one thing, the paper seems to be a little to bright. unless that’s the main focus of the piece, I’d tone it down a little bit.

Oh yeah, I know - when it’s done it’ll be similar to the paper on the books. It will also have writing on it as the future owner wants a poem written.

One (hopefully straightforward) question about Blender… I’ve had time to go through the tutorials and play about with the program for a bit. I’m wondering if there is an easier/quicker way to mould objects needing lots of detail (like faces). The modelling video seemed to show that you need to adjust every single face/line/corner in a set object to get it into a more complex shape. Is there a way to just draw 2D outlines onto the screen (whilst turning the object - as you would with clay) and model shapes in one go? It seems ridiculously time consuming to sit there changing every little line and edge!

I have 20+ characters alone for this film (+ in/ext sets and objects) and I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious here! lol

Edit: Ignore the question… have found solution me thinks!

I want to add that you are very welcome to this forum, that this place is indeed the best if youwant to learn or be involved in blender and also

20+ characters alone
: good luck, that is a trumendous amount of work if you want to modelthes characters in CG, subsequently materialise and texture them, rig them, put some actions on them, put it all together, storyboard, … etc etc etc Doing it all by yourself style is fine, but starting from scratch for say a 10 minutes short will take you at least 5 years to finish (with no previous CG experience). I don’t want to discourage you he, just want to let you know. And also, CG is nothing like fine arts … Though you might (and definatelly will) benifit from the latter experience, CG is about pressing buttons, using drivers, scripting, programming, and of course, “Blending” and that’s a different ball game

but eventually, good luck and don’t give up


From the first day you touch a 3DApp until the time you are able to do a great animation a minimum of 4 years will pass. For worst quality time can be less. But the amount of things to learn is enormous.

Damn! That’s a crazy amount of time! Might be quicker to 2D animate then? Hmm… When you say 4 years, how many hours a day is that? Full time study?

No, if you spend full days of study on the matter, you might play it off in less then 4-5years.

The 2D animation is a very good idea, why don’t you think of stop motion? draw the pictures and import them in blender using blender’s Video Sequence Editor

I have a graphics pad/pen, so could draw them straight onto the screen I guess. It would still take a very long time to do - does Blender have a ‘trace’ format? By that I mean the ability to see the previous still underneath the current one in order to trace and move small parts? I’m still finding my way around the software, but if I can use it for 2D animation then that would help.

If you want to start animation then you must read this and you can use Pencil for “training” .

2d animation it is needed for story board , animatic.

There it is no difference from 2D to 3D animation , the forms are dawn in 3D in the mind and paper.

Preston Blair book it is your best bet!

You have the skill to do it but not 20 characters , start with two , and make a basic 2 minute animation.

Then evolve and make a team.

Check Sintel staff and see how much work it is in it and people involved.

@Bao2 agree

@hewi a full fine artist (generalist) can do a short film in 1 year , a non 2d artist will take 7 years to make something and realise it sux , fine art it is mandatory to make a 3D animation , film etc Remember that final year students at animation schools make the animation in that year but they have fine art backgound and license in graphics/painting/sculpting …without it …or without self learned 2D skills like Loomis / Preston Blair /Traditiona drawing (based on cube forms etc) will be dead ar arivall in 3D world.

Big Buck Bunny animatic

Hey Numarul7,

I agree completely that some fine arts background is necessary … I just wanted to point out that doing a CG animation in blender is something completely different than doing a nice painting. You mentioned something of loomis/preston/blair, what do you mean with that? is that some kind of technique or tutorial or book or… As I always want to improve my skills in any department of the arts, I wold like to know.



I want to start work on the film I’ve already written, so I’ll do a 2-3 min scene from that. I had a quick go at Pencil this afternoon. It’s a cute program, but seems to do it’s own thing occasionally and will draw with a random colour or not pick up pen strokes. Also has very limited colours (unless there is way of adding new ones that I’ve missed?). I have a very basic storyboard already (drew off-pc and scanned in), so will get to work on animating that. Thank you everyone for your help. It is very much appreciated! The Preston Blair book seems to be the animation equivalent of the trad art Charles Bargue course!

And loved that bunny animation! Haha!

Edit: Have worked out (ish) how to add new colours!

@hewi Learning manuals (aka tutorials) that are used in art coursed in the world and that can be learned by self :

@SidL it is best to make an animatic with the “start ,minddle ,final pose” without inbetweens (that are made automatic in 3D by bone movements)

@hewi that are “gold books” of fine art in learning animation and learning how to draw from 0 to advanced.

I just wanted to point out that doing a CG animation in blender is something completely different than doing a nice painting.
Considering they both involve a strong grasp of color, light, composition, persistence, form, texture, anatomy, etc. I can see that they are completely different :wink:

in my quest to look for a good 2d animation program, the best I found so far is PAP (plastic animation paper)
it’s free and you can download it here:

PAP comes with free added viruses, so I had to uninstall it pretty quick! lol But it looked good for the 20 seconds I managed to use it! :stuck_out_tongue:

I think my best bet is to just get an animation team together and focus myself on the writing/storyboards/directing part, as that is where my skills are. Learning full animation myself is going to take up too much time that needs to be spent on other areas and I’ll end up with a half-arsed version of the film I actually want to make (plus, it will take ten times longer to get there)! I’ll just learn the basics so that I’m aware of the process enough to direct and collaborate with people who know what they are doing. A big project needs animators who love animating and that isn’t me. I’m in love with writing/directing (and trad art as a naughty weekend liason) and want to devote myself to those! :smiley:

I did have a look at 2D, but I don’t think it will produce the effect I’m after. I have a very clear vision of what I want to do and 3D is really the best way to go for that. It’s an ‘arty’ film (fantasy/horror), so I want it to showcase the animation as much as the story. This process has been really helpful though - it’s focused my ideas more and after trying a few of the programs out there I have a more concrete view of what I need and the work required. That will definitely help with the production schedule!

Hey (jay),

Agreed the building blocks might be the same, but I have never heard a fine artist say: “I added a blur node in my compositing screen to increase the obscure effect, but I had to subsequently increase the anti-aliasing to 16 in my render panel and play around with the hue-saturation node to get the colors wright again…” but that might be because I haven’t had the opportunity of meeting lots of fine artists (yet, sadly) :wink: