Friday, July 2, 2010

Blender... do not be afraid

Given the fact I am off work for the next 5 weeks I figured now is the time to take Blender by the horns (and move beyond making simple sculpt maps). It is time for me to try to make sense out of the world of resources for Blender users.

Now I know many of you have downloaded this free Blender and opened it up only to moan and think -there’s the catch, that weird interface. I felt the same way… everyone I talked to who used Blender said “You get used to it” or, they would say something like “no really It actually makes a lot of sense” or “think keyboard short cuts”. To which I always moaned… but why?

Consider me converted… to those of you still a bit fearful… give the interface a chance. Consider the many things you can do with Blender (mind you full on commercial money making 3D animated movies are made by some pro’s on Blender). Of course, I don’t pretend I will ever be working in a commercial animation studio but I did fairly quickly learn to move beyond making Sculpties. (Which are about .5% of what Blender can do.) In short is Blender hard? Only at first… I swear. Now that I am working with an eye toward a less fettered mesh import future in sl… I am able to appreciate the program more. Below are a few simple examples of progress I’ve made in just a few days working from one video and one .pdf tutorial.

My only caution is… truly if you are new to Blender, be sure to do any “interface” tutorials you can find first. Once you get the basics figured out… like having multiple views going at once, and for transforming an object (moving, rotating, scaling, etc)… then I highly recommend this to these next tutorials. is about to release 2.5.x (currently in Alpha trials) and you will see some tutorials working from that interface. If I were you I would download this stable full release (current download is 2.49) . Any 2.4x tutorial I’ve seen has worked just fine with my 2.49. At this point I am not worried about importing anything into sl. That option is likely a few months away. When it comes rumor has it we will be importing in the Collada format – which is natively supported in Blender (unlike the specialized export plug in for sculpt meshes currently needed – See the SL wiki –search sculpt, then go to Domino Marama’s primstar plug in.)

I know I know… why does it got to be so hard! Keep your chin up… if I can do this YOU can do this.
Here are a few links:

Interface tutorials:

Two successful tutorials completed by me: - choose BlenderCourse Basics: v1.0 for Blender 2.48a Choose v2.0 for Blender 2.50 (although this only has chapter 1).

You will discover many resources in many languages here:

So… if you want to do content creation for SL, Blue Mars or for Open Sims… and you have wondered how Blender fits into this - dig in.

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