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Getting Your Feet Wet with Blender: A Short Guide to Understanding Blender (

Nathan Willis strives for a basic understanding of the 3D content creation suite, Blender. "Blender's toolbox provides multiple ways to construct objects - assembling them out of primitive solids, extruding and transforming meshes, drawing shapes with 3D bezier curves, even "sculpting" existing parts as if they were clay. Step one is getting familiar with Blender's modes - because the screen itself is two-dimensional, the app has to offer a separate mode for moving and manipulating the models within the scene, and for moving and manipulating the faces, edges, and vertices of the objects. Otherwise, there is no clear way to distinguish between clicking the cursor on an object and clicking the cursor on the face of the object."
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Tutorials, Tutorials, Tutorials

Posted Feb 15, 2011 23:10 UTC (Tue) by ldo (guest, #40946) [Link]

I remember first looking at Blender a few years ago, trying to figure it out on my own, getting completely lost, and giving up.

Then a few months back I tried again. This time I started with a half-hour step-by-step tutorial on the user interface. Suddenly everything started making sense! From there it was on to other tutorials on things like modelling, making materials, animation, rendering and so on.

Moral: 3D is a huge subject. And Blender manages to cover an amazing chunk of it all. But you’re going to need the tutorials to make sense of it. The good news is, there are loads of them, from user websites, WikiBooks, to neat videos on YouTube. And at every step, you’ll be achieving neat stuff that makes you want to learn more. Just follow the links from

Some people criticize the Blender interface for being complicated or just plain horrible. That’s what I thought those years ago, but not any more. The key to understanding Blender is workflow: it avoids making you switch between overlapping windows and dealing with pop-up dialogs because all these things just slow you down. For somebody doing 3D work for a living, time is money. And Blender is designed to save time, by letting you work quickly, smoothly and productively.

Getting Your Feet Wet with Blender: A Short Guide to Understanding Blender (

Posted Feb 15, 2011 23:33 UTC (Tue) by JohnLenz (subscriber, #42089) [Link]

There is a very interesting paper here (warning pdf) about the evolution of blender's UI and how the new blender UI in 2.5 was implemented.

Even if you don't use blender (like me), it is an interesting read about the ideas behind the user interface

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