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Novice Blender Course

By: Scott Hand

This page's purpose is to provide a list of tutorials that will guide a person from having no experience in Blender to becoming a fairly experienced user. These tutorials have been selected because they explain their respective subject clearly. This list was compiled mainly using my Tutorial Links. I will start from basic interface tutorials, and eventually get up to fairly specific modeling tutorials. This is of the most use to someone who has never used Blender before, but someone who has already begun learning can attempt to find a place in these tutorials, and then proceed down the list. Also, make sure that you follow them in order, jumping ahead can cause some problems. Here are some resources that will help you on your way.

1. Elysiun is the location of the community and they have an excellent forum where questions can be asked. It also has links to where Blender can be downloaded.

2. Blender.org is the current center for development of Blender.

3. Blender's channel on the IRC, #blenderchat. You can use a client like MIRC (www.mirc.org) to connect to irc.openprojects.net. There you can ask questions and get comments on your latest 3D work. Also try asking in #gameblender and in #blenderqa.


TUTORIALS:
Interface Introdution
These tutorials cover much of the basic interface navigation and usage that you will use regularly everytime you start up Blender. It is very important that you make sure that you understand and can demonstrate the various subjects covered, because if you don't you might have missed something essential to the latest model you're working on.
1. BASIC INTERFACE
This excellent tutorial is a great way to introduce yourself to the basic concepts and interface of Blender. It was written a while ago by B@rt, one of the former members of NaN. Make sure you understand the concepts fully before continuing.
2. BLENDER WINDOWS
This is another excellent tutorial by B@rt, this time showing the various windows in Blender and how to switch between them. This is another to learn fluently before continuing.
3. NAVIGATING 3D SPACE
Another of B@rt's tutorials, this time explaining how to navigate Blender's 3D windows. This explains such important topics as rotating your view, switching views, zooming, and etc. As for tutorials 1 and 2, it is essential that you read through this and make sure that you know what it's talking about. Try playing around in Blender some.
4. SAVING FILES
Another excellent tutorial, this one written by former NaN member Zycho. This one explain the elusive topic of saving your files in Blender. Like previous tutorials this is an important subject that you will use often.
5. APPENDING FILES
This tutorial, by Zycho, is very useful because you now know how to append files. Now you can reuse any old models, animations, materials, etc.
6. THE CAMERA
A wonderful tutorial by Malefico, this explains various things about a very important part of the scene, the camera.
7. BASIC PARENTING
While this subject may not be as essential as previous subjects, it is very useful and will help you many time. It's written by Vincent Stoessel.
8. BASIC BLENDER
This is a wonderful tutorial by Austin Van Rider. This will touch on most of the basics you just covered. You should be able to get through this one pretty quickly, and if you have any problems it would be a good idea to go back and reread the tutorial covering it.
The Juicy Blender Tutorials
These tutorials are some of the best tutorials around as far as getting started is concerned. Many of the modern Blender experts started out right here. They're all written by Robert Starr.
9. GETTING STARTED
This tutorial is just Robert Starr's first tutorial aimed for new users, you should zip through this, although it has some useful content.
10. MESH MODELING
The second Juicy Blender tutorial covers making your first real object. Pay careful attention and remember all the things it will show you, because this is an incredibly useful tutorial. Make sure to save it, as it's used in most of the other tutorials on the site.
11. LIGHTING
The third Juicy Blender tutorial will demonstrate lighting the scene and rendering it. Another easy to follow, but important tutorial. See why the Juicy Blender is so popular?
12. MATERIALS
The fourth Juicy Blender tutorial will show you how to put materials on your nice new hammer model, thus texturing it and making it much more attractive.
13. KEYFRAMING 1
This tutorial focuses on keyframing, the animation method that Blender uses. This can be a fairly complicated and frustrating process, but this tutorial explains it nicely, just read carefully and you should be able to understand it pretty easily.
14. KEYFRAMING 2
This tutorial follows up on the previous one by introducing you to the concept of the IPO. This is the central of Blender's animation system and will be useful to anyone interested in animation.
15. KEYFRAMING 3
The last tutorial of this site simply elaborates on the previous one by giving you more information about the IPO and it's uses. Very useful.
Making Your Models More Colorful, More on Materials
16. IMAGE TEXTURES
This a very detailed, step by step tutorial on using an image for a texture. This will be used often later on. It was written by Ryan Neily.
17. TEXTURE TYPES
An incredibly well written tutorial by WP about the different texture types in Blender. If you are serious about doing texturing in Blender, pay very close attention and be able to remember which button does which.
18. TEXTURING A CASTLE
Another tutorial used for years as a base for texturing skills. Required for it is the castle model, you'll have to make that yourself (tutorial) which should be a pretty fun task. Written by B@rt.
19. MATERIAL INDICES
Written by Matvei Mihaljov, this tutorial will explain Material Indices. This subject can sometimes be fairly daunting, but keep at it. Required knowledge if you ever want to make remotely large models.
20. BASIC TEXTURING
This excellent tutorial from the B5 Blender webpage will reenforce the concepts you just learned and will give you another model to apply it to.
21. MAKING A LIGHTSABER
Written by dittohead, this tutorial is a pretty tricky one. It will introduce you to such concepts as the all powerful colorbands and the important Halo setting in the materials window.
22. ENVIROMENT MAPS
This tutorial could be the most difficult one yet. It focuses on EnvMap, or Enviroment Maps, these are used mostly to create reflections in Blender. Skillfully written by it's author, Predrag Kurtovic, he makes it fairly clear.
23. SKIES I
This tutorial by Malefico shows the use of textures to make a good sky in your scene. It's a fairly straightforward, well written tutorial, so there should be no problems here.
24. SKIES II
The followup to the previous tutorial will elaborate on the "Truman Effect" used previously, introducing you to the "Worlds" setting, and animating materials.
25. SHOCKWAVE
This interesting tutorial, written by the infamous Marcus Stade (macke), shows the use of textures and materials to make a great looking shockwave effect!
26. UV MAPPING
This tutorial covers the daunting task of UV Mapping, one of the more popular ways to texture, especially when using the GameEngine. It will also do a bit of VertexPainting. It's pretty difficult, but try to stick with it.
More on Animation
27. PLANE FOLLOWING A PATH
Written by Mika Saari, this tutorial introduces you to using paths for animation. This saves a lot of time, so it is very useful.
28. BLENDING INTO WIREFRAME
Written by Kenny M. This will teach you the concept of material keyframing. This shouldn't be hard at all.
29. LATTICE DEFORMATION
Thanks to Micheal Thoenes at www.weirdhat.blenderchar.com, we have this tutorial on using lattice deformation to animate a cartoon eye.
30. TEST I
This test should cover a lot of what you've learned so far. Try to get about an 80%+.