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Discussion in 'External Tools' started by DayyanSisson, Nov 24, 2011.

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How hard was it to learn Blender?

  1. Extremely easy

    6.1%
  2. Picked it up instantly

    2.0%
  3. Found it relatively easy

    40.8%
  4. I learned it eventually

    22.4%
  5. It was a painful process

    4.1%
  6. Difficult

    7.1%
  7. Extremely Hard

    3.1%
  8. I gave up

    4.1%
  9. I gave up multiple times

    10.2%
  1. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    I have been struggling for a while with Blender, but I'm absolutely determined to master. I honestly can't get past knowing the interface. I have no idea how to model, and although I know some about the interface, it's still all very confusing I've gone over hundreds of tutorials, and they all start out by teaching me about the interface, and then in their modeling tutorials, they start using tools I've never learned about, and start using the hotkeys for doing specific tasks, and I'm not exactly sure what's happening half the time, and I'm having trouble keeping up. Unfortunately, I'm using a Mac with a 2-button mouse, so navigating is hard. My keyboard does have a num-pad, so I have to use the top arrow keys and it's hard to use. I'm getting all very frustrated with Blender, but after learning my partner couldn't use 3DS Max anymore, I need to help him as he starts learning other software available to him. I'm currently using SketchUp and I can do pretty complicated stuff, and I impress myself by my work, but SketchUp isn't good for organic modeling, and that's what I really need. Blender seems to be all about organic modeling, and I need help. As I've said, the only 3D I've worked with is SketchUp, so a lot of the things they talk about in these so-called "beginner" tutorials are hard to understand. I'm getting frustrated because I picked Unity (and programming) and SketchUp extremely fast. And I'm having the hardest time with Blender. I'm seeing all these posts about people saying,

    "I don't know how I could model with anything else besides Blender,"

    ... but I'm getting the feeling that Blender doesn't want me to learn it. Failure though, is not an option, and I WANT TO LEARN BLENDER. Does anyone have any solution to this? Maybe some tutorials they used. I don't want people to recommend tutorials unless they know it's guaranteed to work, because I'm sick of someone's monotone voice droning on and me not getting farther than I have in the last week. What surprises me is that for something like SketchUp, all you have to know is how to use the tools, and then practice, practice, practice. Suddenly you're making amazing models and your awestruck by your own work. There's very little documentation on SketchUp, but I did really well. As for Blender, there's A LOT of documentation, but nothing that has helped me. The only tools I knew how to use was the basic, rotate, scale, translate tools. And things like extrude are familiar and I know what they do. Things like extrude, bevel, and other similar tools, I know what they do, but I don't know how to use them. My frustration grows by the minute:mad:. So for all those game modelers that make amazing models :

    How did you do it?
     
  2. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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    To start with, get a 3-button mouse. Personally I mostly just experimented, learned some of the keyboard shortcuts, read some docs, and read a few tutorials (videos don't do much for me).

    --Eric
     
  3. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    I'm buying a new laptop soon, and it comes with one. Until then, I'm out of options (unless you provide me with one).
     
  4. bigcatrik

    bigcatrik

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    Some people have a "eureka!" moment with one piece of software or another, but most slog through until it starts making sense.

    This is an excellent Blender beginning course. The 4th Edition is for the newest interface, which now supports automatic Unity importing (if you go to the "Blender 2.5 support" topic under the "External Tools" section of this forum for the updated import script):
    http://www.cdschools.org/54223045235521/blank/browse.asp?A=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=55205
     
  5. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    In the new version of Blender (the one available for download today), you can't save your .blend files into Unity, but you can export them as .fbx. Thanks for the link, I'm looking into that now.
     
  6. brumdogpro

    brumdogpro

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    I mastered Blender within a few months of using it and I have now been modeling for about 3-4 years now. I even had a professional movie editor ask me if I wanted to do an internship on something using Blender.
     
  7. Photon-Blasting-Service

    Photon-Blasting-Service

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    How to get better:
    1) Make something
    2) Ask people to critique the thing you made
    3) Accept their critique with gratitude and appreciation and NEVER take it personally. (This is where most people fail)
    4) Change the thing you made based on the critiques you received
    5) Repeat steps 1 to 4 every day for ten years

    Blender is awesome but it's not about Blender.
     
  8. Eric5h5

    Eric5h5

    Volunteer Moderator Moderator

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    You can't pick up a 3-button mouse for $10-$20 somewhere?

    --Eric
     
  9. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Good point. Will do.

    The last 15 minutes, I just decided to go crazy and mess around with the tools. It turns out, a lot of the tools I actually knew how to use based on my previous knowledge of SketchUp, they just had different names. I guess I didn't have the same self-initiative with Blender that I had with SketchUp and Unity. Now I'll just practice for a couple months, familiarize myself with the hotkeys and the tools, and I think my own will and determination will pull me though. Still though, I'm curious how the experienced did it.
     
  10. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    You weren't kidding, this realization came through within 5 minutes of you posting that. Haha, thanks.
     
  11. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    One of the problem that I am having is that I'm used to line modeling, and now I can't do that. It's like taking the chisel from the craftsman. I almost cease to operate. Eventually the craftsman has to make a new chisel that fits his situation, but making that chisel would be a lot easier if someone helped him do it. If you understand my analogy at all, actually, better yet, have used SketchUp and then switched to Blender, could you tell me how you went through the process of switching between the great line modeling, to the unfamiliar vertex modeling.
     
  12. larvantholos

    larvantholos

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    What you might want to look up is tutorials on box modeling, and start there. Blender is a tool, but modeling itself is a system - and there are a lot of different methods to approach how you accomplish creating what you want. Blender, like a lot of other 3d packages, uses the same basic approaches to build out the model, once you understand the general techniques, you can apply those inside of blender on how to approach building the object.

    Even if its not blender specific tutorials, watch some videos on how people approach modeling different objects, and really pay attention to where they start, and how it breaks down.
     
  13. bigcatrik

    bigcatrik

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    I see 2.60a on the Blender download page which is what I'm using, and automatic import is working. The new script (which you replace in your Unity installation) works with 2.58 and above with the latest Unity. The one "weird" thing I had to do was uninstall previous versions of Blender since installing 2.60a beside other versions still pointed at the old version and Windows would not let me reassign it. Just make sure that a .blend file *outside* of Unity opens with 2.60a when clicked on. I kept old versions around for compatibility with old .blend files but 2.60a is stable enough that I've decided to not look back.

    Here's the latest import script, which is in the third post:
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/62583-Blender-2.5-support

    This script will apparently be included with Unity 3.5 but it's easy enough to get it working now.
     
  14. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Learned blender in 30min with previous knowledge of 3dsmax.New UI is pretty easy.
     
  15. d.eisenga

    d.eisenga

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    I also switched from 3Dsmax to blender. Took a few weeks to get familiar with the interface and the hotkeys.
     
  16. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    There are maya/3dsmax hotkeys available for blender.
     
  17. TehWut

    TehWut

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    for Blender, google is your best friend as far as problems go. I didn't find it near as difficult as anyone said. The new UI is not as intimidating as the older versions.
     
  18. d.eisenga

    d.eisenga

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    There weren't when I switched. And I wouldn't have used that option anyway, because any tutorials will assume you're using the default settings. In the long run it'll be easier to just learn all 'new' hotkeys.
     
  19. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Depends on how long your 3d modeling history is.
     
  20. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    How good is Blender's animation system? I've already played around with them, making things move and rotate in 3D space, but other than that, I haven't ventured out of that. How is the IK animations and how to does it compare to other things (excluding Maya, because we all know Maya's animation is superior)
     
  21. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    If its good for movies like spiderman then its good enough for unity.
     
  22. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Blender? They used Blender for Spiderman? Or Maya? I know Maya has movie quality but Blender?
     
  23. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    They used blender for spiderman 2.Blender is pretty HQ tool if you know how to use it.
     
  24. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    @ivanzu You knew how to use Blender well due to your previous experience with 3DS right? Do you have any tips?
     
  25. SomeGuy22

    SomeGuy22

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    Sorry I'm butting in...

    I never knew how to learn 3DS and I didn't even know about it before I started Blender.

    I recommend you take it slow and do some of the tutorials on Blendercookie and Blenderguru

    You don't need a 3 button mouse (I have one but I was always used to using alt + left mouse)

    Just remember the basics (Grab, Scale, and Rotate) and always use the X Y and Z parameters when doing these.

    Material Color is not important, don't spend too much time with it.

    Lighting is Key! If the scene is lit horribly (if its not for Unity, but for a render) everything will turn out bad.

    Use Rule of thirds and other composite rules with your camera! Look at some real life photos and footage and try to match it as best possible.

    The more polys the better, but the longer it will take to render.

    Take your time with each model, and tweak it as much as you feel necessary.

    I could go on forever, but this is something you have to learn by yourself mostly.

    Oh and just PRACTICE. The more models and renders you make, no matter how bad, the better you'll get.

    I started about one and half years ago, and I made this half a year ago:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 25, 2011
  26. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Well i just downloaded 3dsmax hotkeys for blender and it was easy to use because its pretty similar ,the new UI is identical to the one of 3dsmax . Just keep using it and you will learn it eventually.And blender cookie tutorials are the best as they are mostly done by pros.
     
  27. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Wow, that's amazing. It looks so realistic, and the lighting is fantastic. As for the poly's comment, in Unity, the more poly's you have the slower it will run, but the if you have too few poly's it won't look great. But I'm very impressed with your models. Does anyone have any tips on what to start modeling first. Like little small things to work on that I can learn myself, and then build upon? I've looked at Blender Cookie, but a lot of the tutorials aren't free, but they look high-quality. Are there any anyone recommends?
     
  28. steego

    steego

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  29. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
  30. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Alright, thanks everyone for the tutorials will look at them ASAP. I've been messing around so I can get myself to navigate comfortably, I've changed the preferences so it's a bit more like what I'm used too, and I've been playing around with the tools and animation. I'm going to look at some more tutorials, and I'll post my best model I made. One of the things I don't like is when people post their models sying it's their best work, but it's actually something they learned directly from a tutorial. I'll try posting some original work (don't worry I won't use the monkey template ;))
     
  31. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    I've been surfing around for an answer to this but I can't. I'm using the newest version of Blender, and it seems that everything I do is relevant to the location of the cursor. For example, let's say I'm trying to scale down a face. Well the color-coded axes controls are on the cursor, not on the face, so I have to make the cursor perfectly in the middle of the face so that it scales correctly, otherwise it starts doing weird things. How do I toggle this off, so that scaling, rotating, and grabbing are based off the position of the selected object, not the cursor?
     
  32. bigcatrik

    bigcatrik

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    There's a box on the header that lets you change the pivot point. Clicking on it pops up a menu that says "Pivot Point" and lists the available options, one of which is "3D Cursor," your current setting.

    Fun trick: The keyboard shortcut for "Bounding Box Center" is the comma key and for "3D Cursor" is the period. To find the "Pivot Point" box make sure your mouse cursor is over the 3D window, press comma and period alternately and watch the header...
     
  33. Unity-Jack

    Unity-Jack

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    Hi nighthawk349, i am also relative new in Blender and have already passed some basic tutorials. I was looking for a matching gameengine to export my first model - just to get a feel how it might looks ingame.
    First i tried Cryengine 3 - but there are some problems with converting things from Blender and animations seemed to be not possible.

    Now i am here and glad to see that Unity3d seems to have bit a more focused support on Blender - which is great.
    Keep telling your progress in Blender, may be i can help you too in several questions.

    As Bigcatrik told:

    The 3D Cursor is a possibility - u can select "medium points,active (highlightended) vertex, edge or face etc". as pivot point too". The Pivot point is the center for certain operations like scaling, rotating, spinning, mirroring and so on.

    If u want to place the 3D cursor at a specific point (vertex, Edge, Face or Object origin) select the prefered target, Shift+S, Cursor to selection
     
  34. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Thanks for the advice. It feels nice to see someone on my level. I'm also the main programmer for my game, so I spend a lot of time doing that. If you're thinking of making a game yourself I can get you started. Just PM me. Thanks bigcatrik for the advice.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2011
  35. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    I have another problem. How do I select a face without having to select all of it's vertices?
     
  36. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Use face selection.
     
  37. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    ANOTHER question. I'm really surprised at the lack of Google references to these questions. Been searching for this one since yesterday and I still can't find an answer to this. Anyways, I'm changing my input preferences, so that rotate is right mouse, and drag is shift + right mouse. But I can't select anything if rotate. So I want to change it so to select, you use the left mouse button. I can't find the button that does that. Is that possible?
     
  38. jake-gr

    jake-gr

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    LMB = 3D cursor position
    RMB = Select
    ... there is an option to swap them, but unfortunately if you do change the default behaviors of the mouse buttons, it can actually break some tools. (just some fyi)
     
  39. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    So I've really been trying lately, and I just can't make anything. My 3D Modeler finally gave in to the fact that he had to use Blender as opposed to 3DS Max. We met and I got him started. He hated the interface, and couldn't use it. I showed him a hot air balloon I was working on, but it took a minute to start my computer and start Blender. I looked back at him. He seemed frustrated by Blender, saying it was impossible to get past simple shapes and calling it various names. I looked at the work he had done expecting just the default cube, and I find a complicated mesh, full of complex shapes that was perfectly symmetrical and had various different shapes. I looked at my a "hot air balloon" and was depressed for the rest of the day. I ended up opening SketchUp to model som complicated buildings to get my mood up a bit. I then went to Unity did some programming and eventually got myself feeling better. I'm so absolutely confused. He only knew how to use 1 tool in Blender (Extrude) and he did better in 5 minutes than I did in a week. I haven't touched Blender since. He's only been working in 3D since September, and he has no artistic background, whereas I've been using Blender for a long time, have been working in 3D, and have been known as the creative-artistic one. I guess it's something that some people just have but can be learned by the rest. I'm having that hardest time in the world with Blender, and I have barely seemed to progress after a month. The only thing how to model correctly is a concrete barrier, and I'm getting frustrated.
     
  40. Liamo

    Liamo

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    I learnt it with blender for dummies (by Jason Van Gumster, second edition), it was very good and i rate it 5 stars, the Cd that comes with it has some awesome stuff on it too.
     
  41. d.eisenga

    d.eisenga

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    Thought I should probably mention: Blender was only used for animatics, not for any actual efffects in the film itself. If you want a good idea of what blender's animation stuff can do, look at things like Elephant's Dream, Big Buck Bunny, and Sintel.

    Also, one can get complex shapes very quickly using just extrudes, don't make the mistake of thinking this is any indication of skill. In fact, if your modeler reached the conclusion that anything was 'impossible' after just 5 minutes, that just screams 'unprofessional' to me.
     
  42. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    3D art is skill which will take long time to master.You will discover new techniques and that's when everything becomes easy .
     
  43. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Okay, so I was just messing around with this model here, not really trying to make anything, just trying out different tools to achieve different shapes and forms. I tried rendering but it really messed up the look of the model because I couldn't get the lighting right, so I just compressed the .blend file so it people can see the complexity of the model. I did this in about 10 minutes, and it really isn't supposed to be anything. If you download the model, could you put a good render image of it up because I can't. Thanks a lot. I'm open to constructive criticism. I actually want it. So please, fire away.

    Hope you like it. Feel free to use it how you like if by some odd chance it inspires you or you like the design and it would fit into your game.:D

    Unfortunately, I find myself modeling abstract and random shapes and patterns, and I feel quite comfortable doing that, and I feel like I'm good at it. I am not though, good at modeling things, like planes, guns, trash cans, lamp posts, real things. If I do try making one, I can make it really simple, and not very good. I'm trying to improve on that, but I'm just going to continue my abstract modeling until I feel comfortable with most of the tools.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  44. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Very good you still need to learn how to UV map the model. ;)
     
  45. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Yeah. I actually have no idea what UV Mapping is. I'm going to look it up, but I find that this forum has helped me a lot so if anyone wants to explain what UV Mapping is, feel free to, but you don't have to.

    Edit :

    Okay, nevermind, I see what it is. But you can still explain it in you're own terms if you like.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011
  46. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Now that I've looked into UV Mapping, I realized that 2D Texturing is a huge thing. I have no idea how to do it. I know for simple things like a brickwall, if I had a brickwall in my backyard, I could take a picture of it and apply it to the model. But what about things like humans? You would need a UV Map for the whole person. How do I get started? What free 2D editors do you use, and how do you make textures? (I would still like constructive criticism on my model :)).
     
  47. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Okay, so this is also a random model, but seems sort of like a tower. Also, if you're inspired by this model or you use it, feel free, I would like to know though. I really would like some words of advice.
     

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  48. Spartan301

    Spartan301

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    I think, learning blender is like most applications, a gradual process. Very few people can master something like a modeling program within a few weeks. You seem to be very dedicated so if you continue and persist in learning blender you will eventually reach a point where it just clicks. Also, I know you said to not recommend tutorials unless they are guaranteed to help you, but really nothing is guaranteed so I will recommend you to go to Blenderguru.com (I am not the affiliated with the site so this is not shameless self-promotion). The guy there is very good at teaching intermediate and advanced techniques in a way that even beginners can follow him. He is pretty good about pointing out what buttons and hotkeys to use. He also has a huge variety of tutorials so just choose one that you think is cool and follow it. Good luck!
     
  49. DayyanSisson

    DayyanSisson

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    Okay, so I'm feeling confident, and now I'm modeling some pretty complicated stuff. I like using the bevel modifier, but the problem is, it bevels little details, and it creates so many poly's that the player will never see, so it's a waste of poly's and will slow down my game. Is there a way to get rid of these poly's? Or is there a better tool to use besides bevel?
     
  50. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    You don't have to use bevel its useless.