Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software toolset used for creating animated films , visual effects , art, 3D printed models, motion graphics , interactive 3D applications, and computer games. Blender's features include 3D modeling , UV unwrapping , texturing , raster graphics editing , rigging and skinning , fluid and smoke simulation , particle simulation, soft body simulation, sculpting , animating , match moving , rendering , motion graphics , video editing , and compositing. The Dutch animation studio NeoGeo not associated with the Neo Geo video game brand started to develop Blender as an in-house application, and based on the timestamps for the first source files , January 2, is considered to be Blender's birthday. The name Blender was inspired by a song by the Swiss electronic band Yello , from the album Baby which NeoGeo used in its showreel. This also meant, at the time, discontinuing the development of Blender.
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Until the day when desktop holography becomes a reality, 3D will remain the wholly grail of the graphics world. But 3D can be a very technical craft. And each 3D program has its own idiosyncrasies, making it all a bit daunting. I cut my 3D chops on many programs that are now long dead and forgotten. Blender is one program I've wanted to learn for many years. I've even downloaded and installed it a few times, but fell short on the follow-through to learn it. Writing this article is my personal impetus to finally get to learning it.
Perhaps it can be your impetus as well. Let's see where we can take this in just 24 hours. For more awesome Blender tutorials , see our rundown of the best. Blender has many qualities that include years of steady development, a prized commodity in either commercial or open source projects. This has netted a broad range of capabilities, beyond even its full range of 3D modeling and animation tools.
For example, Blender has video editing, camera tracking, compositing, and even game creation tools all built right in. The fact that it's open source and completely free is also an unbeatable perk!
Though donations to the Blender Foundation are a good idea. With all this power, Blender's toolset is often directly compared to top programs in the 3D field costing thousands, like Maya or 3ds Max. Naysayers may complain it lacks centralized support, since there is no commercial publisher with a help staff.
However there is ample support online on many sites, and even a real time IRC chat option. This means nights and weekend support too! Plus, the Blender community can be uniquely generous with its help. The other knock is Blender's much smaller market share, which means there are perhaps fewer companies looking to hire Blender artists.
Having said that, know that this is changing and there are sites like the Blender Network that specialize in matching Blender artists with employers. And even mainstream job sites are getting more Blender savvy every day. None of this is even an issue if you run your own shop or are just doing your own thing.
Then all that matters are the final renderings. And few clients know or care about all this techno-geek talk. And made a small donation while there! Installation was almost crazy-easy, and fast. Which is common for most open source programs. Once installed, I booted it up like a kid on Christmas morning.
The splash page had a number of links, including one to the official Blender manual online. The manual is an excellent resource, but perhaps a bit better suited to those that already have an introduction to both 3D and Blender. Upon first viewing, Blender's interface can be overwhelming. But it isn't as complicated as it first looks. Once you understand the logical thought process it becomes much less daunting.
Logic-wise it's rather similar to Adobe programs like Photoshop or InDesign. The default Blender interface is made up of four areas. A in the image above is called the Toolbar, a collection of the most commonly used tools.
B is the 3D Viewport, or work window. D is the timeline, for animation work. You might be familiar with this from programs like After Effects. Understanding these basics makes Blender all the more approachable. Although not necessarily more useable. Before looking at any instructions, I felt compelled to muck about with the buttons, doodads and doohickeys, and hoped to find my way around.
But I'll admit that I wasn't too successful. I began to realize that Blender wasn't quite as intuitive — at least for me — as I had hoped. So I started to explore what alternative ways I could go about learning it, beyond the button-poking. I quickly found out there are quite a few learning options out there. Starting my second hour with Blender, I began hunting for ways to learn it.
I started out the way many of you would, by looking online for books. I ordered a few of these books for download. Which books best fit your learning style is up to you. As might be expected by the title, the 'Dummies' books take extra pains to make easing into a new subject as painless as possible, so are a good place to start. But they also tend to not go as deep as other offerings.
All the books were well written and took me step by step. And while I began learning from these books, I had to acknowledge that whether it's our cultural evolution, or just me getting older, I found it harder to read this tech material than I used to. So I began looking for other ways to learn.
Again, I didn't do anything different here than most of you, I went trolling around YouTube with search phrases like 'learn blender', which gave a return of , videos. I'm sure most had more to do with making a good smoothie, but still, there were hundreds on Blender 3D. Some of the most popular Blender tutorial channels included Blender for Noobs with over 27k subscribers, Blender Guru with over k subscribers see the amazing architecture video! Jacob Lewis offers a updated part video series called ' Blender Absolute Beginner Tutorial ' with about k subscribers.
One video that is seriously worth a look is Max Coulfield's great Blender sculpture timelapse. I spent time finding and then watching many videos, and at this point I had clocked in roughly 10 hours of working on the Blender project, across two or three days.
Trying to do it all in one day would surely have exploded my tiny head. After viewing YouTube tutorials for a bit, I will admit to a bias against any that begin with "Yo-yo fellas… wassup?
So I finally did something that many of you might not actually do. He was gracious and we exchanged a number of emails. At his suggestion, I got in touch with Jonathan Williamson, a co-founder and instructor at CG Cookie , an online computer graphics video education resource.
CG Cookie has courseware for Blender, as well as other subjects like creative concepting and Unity game development. CG Cookie offers what they call 'Learning Flows' for Blender, which contains separate video installments.
These are broken down into 9 sections, with topics like modeling, lighting, etc. The first module in the series is 'Blender Basics', which they make available at no cost. It contains six videos that run about a half hour total. Over the next few days I watched the intro videos, and as many of the follow-up sections as I could. All the while popping back to Blender to try things out. I also touched base with Anja, who runs the Blender Shop on blender. She provided a long list of Blender learning resources, which we have reprinted at the end of the article.
So by the time I was nearing my 18th hour with all of this, I was feeling like I was in a fairly good place. By that I mean I could navigate around the interface with aplomb, I could create, modify, and texture map models with limits on complexity , light them, and render out basic animations. In other words, I could knock out basic day-to-day 3D work.
No character modeling, video editing or compositing, I'll leave that for another day. If this was for myself instead of an article it would have gone faster. One book and one video series would have been fine. I'm sure you'll keep things simpler. A good way to learn Blender if you don't have experience with 3D programs is to start with Blender's own tutorials and manual. If you have questions about using Blender you can always place them on the forums.
Lance Evans is creative director of Graphlink Media. Why choose Blender? Blender's own jobs website, and it's gaining ground on other job boards as well My first hour with Blender: installing and learning the interface I went up to Blender 's website , clicked on the 'Download' link, and chose between the installers available for Mac, Windows, Linux and even FreeBSD.
Blender splash page Once installed, I booted it up like a kid on Christmas morning. Blender's official online manual Upon first viewing, Blender's interface can be overwhelming.
Blender's default user interface. See the text for a quick explanation of its UI The default Blender interface is made up of four areas. An extreme example of multi-monitor support Hours two-four: organizing my education Starting my second hour with Blender, I began hunting for ways to learn it.
Hours four video education, part one Again, I didn't do anything different here than most of you, I went trolling around YouTube with search phrases like 'learn blender', which gave a return of , videos. An advanced subject: creating a city in Blender Some of the most popular Blender tutorial channels included Blender for Noobs with over 27k subscribers, Blender Guru with over k subscribers see the amazing architecture video!
Pure fun: Minions in Blender! Hours video education, part two After viewing YouTube tutorials for a bit, I will admit to a bias against any that begin with "Yo-yo fellas… wassup? Hour 15 and beyond… I also touched base with Anja, who runs the Blender Shop on blender.
Software for Architecture, Digital Art and Design at the HCAD: Blender
Until the day when desktop holography becomes a reality, 3D will remain the wholly grail of the graphics world. But 3D can be a very technical craft. And each 3D program has its own idiosyncrasies, making it all a bit daunting. I cut my 3D chops on many programs that are now long dead and forgotten. Blender is one program I've wanted to learn for many years.
How to learn Blender 3D in under 24 hours
This page includes a categorized list of Blender tutorials written or spoken in English. This is by no means a comprehensive list of tutorials, so adding links is encouraged. For tutorials that are not in English, please refer to the About page. If you would like to learn about editing pages, you can find information in the Introduction to Wikipedia. This section includes links to websites that host multiple tutorials or provide links to other Blender tutorials. This section does not contain links to individual tutorials. These tutorials do not directly involve Blender, however they cover useful 2D knowledge for advanced Blender users.
Cycles toon shading tutorial: use Cycles and Blender compositor to create comic style renders
Ink drops in water are heavily used elements in graphic and motion design. You can create them right inside Blender. And thanks to the Cycles render engine you can create the traditional and more modern variants with ease. This tutorial explains how to create a really cool looking, stylized fire in slow motion directly in Blender. The result can be used for backgrounds of all kinds in motion graphics and stills. This tutorial will also show you a lot of tips and tricks how to render fire faster.
Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Tutorial Links List