Trying to learn Blender

What I find so hard is to come up with ideas of what to model as I’m trying to learn. :confused: I’m thinking that I wan’t to model something that I could have use for later on. Shouldn’t be so hard but I just get stuck.
I just saw the movie “Oblivion” the other day and thought “Wow, that droid would be cool to model! And maybe not that hard to do.”. But yesterday I stumbled upon a pic on Youtube where someone had made an excellent render of that droid already and my inspiration disappeared.
Gaaah,it’s so frustrating. Think I spend more time thinking about what to model than actually working in the program. :slight_smile:

Been at that stage a few times myself, so I decided to switch to something like animation. Helps a bit when you take a hiatus for other things.

I’ll be blunt (as usual):
There are two types of CG artists. Those who have been there and those who lie about it. :slight_smile:

Foremost you got to be honest with yourself.
Do you really want to learn, or do you want to bathe in the community-spotlight with a scene?
I’ve modeled a lot of garbage over the years, were I didn’t even keep the .blends.
When you learn metalworks, one of the first tasks is to make a perfect rectangle ±0.1mm, ±0.1° out of any sheet of metal, with a saw and a file, if you start out woodworks you make useless pieces with timber-joints, or birdhouses, and with clay a bowl, cup or ashtray :slight_smile:
2D or 3D CG? There is 1 good piece every 100 crappy, mediocre and average pieces.

The journey is the reward.

So instead of wasting time working out what would be the thing to do, just do.
Set a focus goal on what to practice and dive into it.

Want to focus on photo-realism?
Grab the next thing on your table right to you, model it and render it as realistic as possible. It was something with lots of dull materials? Good, pick up the next thing with glossy materials on your table and add it to the scene, the render still has to look realistic even with completely different types of objects/materials, also gives skills in scene lighting and postpro.

Want to focus on organic modelling?
Yeh, everyone wants to do the ubersexy, uberrealistic female character… How about a Flower, a mouse, an ant or a stone? Do that realistic, most likely useless or not a good topology but good practice.

Want to do the droid?
Do it if that’s what rocks your boat today - do it, don’t waste time thinking about it. Someone else has done it? Good, you got competition. Either yours will be better and you can focus on something else, or yours will lack in certain areas or suck completely in comparison… then work out the issues.

If you feel you’re wasting your time with that, you don’t really want to learn maybe even lack the passion, you just want attention, a pat on your head for your great work.

You could try whatever the weekend challenge will be (presumably announced later today):
http://blenderartists.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?17-Weekend-Challenge

Thanks for the reply man. I think I try to bite of more than I can chew all the time. I see all of these fantastic stuff people do and wan’t to be able to do something like that too. I read something before about that “you must have a story behind your scene!” etc. But I forget that those tips are probably written for people on a totally different level, and not beginners. Guess I should spend more time modelling and less time reading and searching the net for “new fantastic blender-tips”.

I think I’ll take your advice on photo-realism, and just choose some random object and try to get it to look as good as I can, no matter how trivial the object is. Sounds like a good plan for a noob.
Thanks! :slight_smile:

Good idea! :slight_smile: Haven’t really looked at those challenges before. But looks like a good place to get some inspiration on what to do, even if you don’t submit the result.

Plan to throw the first one away. You will anyway. No matter how good you are at the beginning, you will get better with practice. After three months, six months, a year, you will be embarrassed by your initial attempts. But you can’t make a second attempt until you have made the first one.

If you really want to improve, park your ego at the door and post in WIP or Focused Critique, and listen to your peers advice. You don’t have to follow all of it, some frankly isn’t worth the time it takes to read, but you should be respectful of the time someone took to try to give you advice. And you never know when even bad advice might trigger some good ideas.

as arexma said, just do it.
I didn’t care whether someone had modeled a sword or an ak47 when I started (Oh, I started with weapon modeling, just because I happen to know my way around swords and guns thus making my life somewhat easier when modeling them)
Guess what? I have as of today only made one sword I’m proud of and I’ve modeled oh… 147 swords if my count isn’t off.

My current project, a robot, is a competition entry, I just decided to do it because I hadn’t done sculpting before (it’s going surprisingly well, I’m in love with the workflow already).

Point is, to get anywhere you have to do it, it doesn’t matter if someone else did it too, just do it better and be done with it. (Oh, by any means I’m not claiming to be good or capable of doing something better, I am claiming to be a realist who tries to achieve the status of “better than everyone else”)

Another good approach is: “sneak up on it.” Start wth a very simple model. Bask briefly in the glory of finishing it. Now, after saving a copy, think about what else you could do to it. And … jump right in and try. But … finish that next step, and the next.

(“Well, it’s not much of a starship, but it’s a good-looking starship doorway!”) Applause, applause.

Don’t compare it to anyone’s anything: Rome was not built in a day. Try to develop the ability to “see critically,” in the sense of looking at something in such a way that it leads you toward a sense of what you might need to do to make it “–er.” (Tools like the vectorscope and histogram are huge helps, because they are objective.)

It’s easy to stand around the BA water-cooler, high and dry, “wishing that you were Mark Spitz.” Well, you may or may never be Mark Spitz. But you do have to jump into the swimming pool and stay there. Your hard-drive will keep all your :ba: secrets.