Blender

Intro

You can download Blender from blender.org.

If you have a Mac with Homebrew, install Blender from the command line:

$ brew tap caskroom/cask
$ brew cask install blender

Blender has a reference manual, but it is easier to learn from YouTube videos. I started with this series of videos, which runs about 3 hours:

Blender Absolute Beginner Tutorial: Episode 1, Ep. 2, Ep. 3, Ep. 4, Ep. 5, Ep. 6, Ep. 7, Ep. 8, Ep. 9, Ep. 10

The tutorial shows how to:

  • change your perspective in the 3D View
  • select objects
  • create primitive shapes
  • move shapes in the 3D View
  • use modifiers, which act on shapes to produce new shapes
  • use textures, which govern the look of the surface of shape
  • render a scene and save the render as an image in a file

The tutorial ends with a physics simulation which is an advanced topic but it gives a sense of what Blender is capable of.

After you have the basic skills above, you can often make progress on projects by doing a Google search for "blender tutorial how to X" whenever you get stuck.

Blender provides a tiling window system. This video shows how to manage windows:

Ira Krakow's Blender 2.5 Splitting / Joining Windows Tutorial

The tutorial shows how to:

  • subdivide a window horizontally or vertically
  • resize a window
  • change the type of a window
  • merge two windows into one
  • show or hide panels in a window
  • use control up/down arrow to toggle full screen for a window

Blender windows have "headers", which by default are on the bottom of the window. The leftmost element in the window header is an icon which is actually a dropdown list. It can be used to change the window type. There are 17 window types, including these 5 which are worth discussing now:

  • Info
  • User Preferences
  • 3D View
  • Outliner
  • Properties

Info Window

This window is often at the top of the screen and consists of a single header which serves as menu bar for Blender.
It contains the screen selector, the scene selector, and the render engine selector.

The screen selector has several screens, each with predefined choices for windows and their types. The windows in each screen can be customized, but if you save the blender project and open it again with New the original screens will be restored.

User Preferences Window

Also available from File | User Preferences….

Blender assumes the presence of a 3 button mouse and a numpad. If you don't have them, as is often the case when working on a laptop, under the Input tab there are checkboxes for "Emulate 3 Button Mouse with Alt+Left Mouse" and "Emulate Numpad".

3D View Window

mode

layers

hotkeys

coordinates

Outliner Window

groups

Properties Window

The window is organized in tabs. Each tab has an icon at the top. If you hover over the icon you will see these names:

  • Render
  • Render Layers
  • Scene
  • World
  • Object
  • Constraints
  • Modifiers
  • Data
  • Material
  • Texture
  • Particles
  • Physics

UV Maps

Blender 2.7 UV Mapping 1 of 4, 2 of 4, 3 of 4, 4 of 4

Text

If text needs to be converted to mesh, use Alt+C (⌥C) to bring up the necessary context menu.

Animation

Basics of Animation

Rigging People

Scripting

Blender API

Create a New Mesh Object Using Python Code and Add It to the Mesh Menu

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