Blender tutorial request

Discussion in 'Software and Applications' started by Anvariel, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. Anvariel
    Anvariel New Member
    Yes, I'm probably a real noob, but Blender has a HIGH learning threshold! I've tried to find a way to extrude things, but I just can't seem to make anything work! I think it would be great if there were a few tutorials on how to do this in Blender (and also in other 3D applications). The one on the site is too simple. Scaling the object down and using booleans can be VERY dangerous since scaling is not the same as "shrinking" from the surface. One could end up with unwanted holes, etc.

    So, any skilled wonderful person who could present a nice little how-to list? :p
  2. loonsbury
    loonsbury New Member
    Hi :)

    Being a "Blender head", I understand the learning curve problem from personal experience. I recently found an effective solution to the hollowing problem, though: duplicate; never extrude. If you select the faces, duplicate them (SHIFT+D, 0, ENTER), then ALT+S to scale every face along its normal, you will usually end up with a close-to-perfect shrunken object. ALT+S even measures by units so instead of trying to get wallthickness by percentage you can just type in the mm representation.

    You'll need to fix any faces that have scaled through other faces, I just merge the points together on the inside object so it doesn't get funky. Another possible problem is the inside/outside calculation for faces in Blender - sometimes unreliable. If your model is watertight before duplicating and comes out right already as an STL, make sure you flip normals of the new faces (W, 0).

    The last part of this of course is connecting the inside and outside through a hole. Cut out the faces on both inside and outside in one spot, then connect the vertices (select 3-4 verts and press F).

    I'd be happy to write the Blender tuts if no one else gets to it before I have time - I know I'm not the only proficient one.
  3. Anvariel
    Anvariel New Member
    Thank you very much!! =) It helped me... to some extent anyway. I really don't like Blender to tell you the truth! There are some things that seem to be able only through hotkeys and this is usually unacceptable in user interface development. Anyway....

    I tried the whole resizing along normals. Took me a while to figure out how to select the freaking polygons to begin with, but it finally worked. Unfortunately, the result is rather crap for my model. Around small parts (like the ears... it's a head I'm modelling) the resizing made vertices actually go through the outer surface. Kind of nasty. So I have to figure out some other way to tweek that. How I wish I had level sets now... *sigh* It would solve all my problems. :(

    Actually, thinking about a Blender tutorial now, I think it would be great to create a real "for total freaking newbies" blender tutorial. A lot of people use other kinds of software (like ZBrush, TopMod, etc.etc) and want to hollow out their objects in some free program. I think it would be supergreat if someone had the time to write down something like that.
  4. daviesbobuk
    daviesbobuk Well-Known Member
    Glad I am not the only one having trouble with Blender.

    In fact I need the Blender for Dummies course. I use Rhino 3D and have been exporting to STL and trying to upload, with limited success. When I load my 'failed' file into Blender and try to follow the Shapeways tutorial, I am completely lost.

  5. qedqubit
    qedqubit New Member
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
  6. Rybec
    Rybec New Member
    Yes, there are a number of things in Blender that are only accessible through hotkeys and many other things that are very difficult to find in the UI. Blender was not designed to be easy to use out-of-the-box (the assumption that visual UIs have to be all inclusive is based on the idea that all applications should be easy to learn without reading the documentation). It was designed to be very fast to use once you learn to use it (and this is optimized for animation). (The focus is not on a good visual UI, it is on creating things at very high speeds. When speed is the primary issue, good visual UIs just get in the way, and extensive hotkeying is essential.)

    I have been learning to use Blender for years (off and on) and only very recently have I gotten good enough to use it effectively. Now that I have had the time to actually learn to use Blender, I can tell you that it is very fast to use once you learn the hotkeys. (Note that the primary reason I am decent at Blender now is that using Shapeways and the Shapeways Blender tutorials has given me enough knowledge to know what to look for when searching for more information.)

    The problem right now is that most Blender tutorials focus on animation, but most beginners do not even know how to make still models with it. So we really need more still modeling tutorials.

    I guess reading the documentation would help also (I have not done this yet, but I am certain it would help.)
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  7. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    I downloaded the blender basics pdf to my iphone to read on my down time... So I'll be done reading it after I retire lol. It's just so different then any CAD package I've used before. In many good ways, but the interface is whats catching me.
  8. Tommy_2Tall
    Tommy_2Tall New Member

    Hi there!

    I've recently learned how to use Blender as well.

    I found this "Noob to pro" wiki rather helpful when learning how to model basic shapes and more advanced stuff too:
    Blender 3D: Noob to Pro

    It also contains a "Hotkeys" section for the various modes.
    ("edit mode" and "object mode" are probably the only modes you need for Shapeways-type modeling);
    Blender 3D: Noob to Pro/Hotkeys

    This tutorial taught me how to set up Blender the way I like it (top/front/side/3D view in 4 separate "panes" and the tabs/buttons below):
    A detailed overview of the Blender Interface

    I hope that helps...
    Just be patient and try to get the hotkeys to stick in your memory. :D

  9. stuartar
    stuartar New Member
  10. Rybec
    Rybec New Member
    I downloaded the pdf for this tutorial and it has taught me a whole bunch of new stuff that I did not know before. If you have a good memory (it goes step by step at first, but after a while it assumes that you remember the steps to do things), it will really get you started on fast modeling. Of course, it does not focus on organic modeling, mostly just geometric modeling, but it will help regardless of what you intend on making.
  11. dskloet
    dskloet New Member
  12. bartv
    bartv New Member
  13. Rybec
    Rybec New Member
    Nice, thanks. My final goal with Blender is to make 3D movies. While Shapeways has done a lot to improve my modeling skills, I needed something like this to get me up to animation.
  14. qedqubit
    qedqubit New Member