I’ve been using Blender for around four years now, (I was introduced to it by a Gaming magazine in 2005, EGM if I remember correctly). I’ve learned all of the basics a long time ago, and know pretty much all of the basic functions of Blender. However, I’m having trouble bringing myself to create things, and need some help to do it.
First off, I can’t seem to find the ‘best’ tutorials anymore. I’ve completed many tutorials, ranging from modeling to physics, but now, most of the tutorials I look at are more of the same, teaching me techniques and functions I already know. I would highly appreciate if you’d post your favorite tutorials to help me, even if you think they’re basic. However, I do request that they not be video tutorials, as a slow connection is preventing me from loading long videos.
Now, I’ve created many things, but my problem is that most of the things I make, (Or attempt to make), are based off of real objects. Lately, I just model what’s in front of me, which isn’t using any of my creativity, and I really don’t feel proud afterwards/ I’d like to know how you come up with ideas, concepts, or just basic thoughts of how you are going to create an object or scene. Not really sure what else to say in this subject, but I hope I’ve made myself clear on it.
I’d also like to know useful tips and helpful things that…well…help you blend, like, how you like to set up your windows, or how you like to have certain aspects set up. These things are mostly based on personal preference, but I’d like to know anyhow.
Now, onto a more specific gripe of mine, rendering. I just can’t get the damn concept of it. I’ve used the BI, Yafaray, Indigo, Lux Renderer, and a little bit of the Maxwell renderer, and I just can’t seem to figure out how such beautiful shots are composed. I understand the concepts of Ambient Occlusion, for example, but I have trouble getting it to work or contribute to my scene. I use HDR images to beautify my scene, but it doesn’t add any sense of realism to the things I create. Also in the same realm, but somewhat different, is the subject of materials. I can’t get my head around natural materials. Take, for instance, the face of a cliff. I’ve tried and tried, but to no avail have I created a material that would pass. This goes for nodes as well, both composition and material. I would love to understand how Vector Blur works, but I can’t seem to figure it out, and any attempt to make something with the material nodes have been futile on my part. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, and I hope they help.
That’s pretty much all I can think of typing. I hope a few people throw in their advice and tips, and I hope they help me. If the need arises, I’ll ask more specific questions to get the ball rolling.
Thanks for the help in advance.