Blender Day 3

Saturday I spent some time with Frank, going through some modelling basics for about 30 minutes. The more I see, the more I like in this program. I’m staying open, and learning to accept the differences, focusing on what I’ve gained.

Already, the forced workflow difference is showing benefits. Some very intuitive gems scattered all over the place. “Ahhh…  freshness.

I just watched and really liked Darrin Lile’s intro to Blender. Nice light little walk, that covers a lot of basics in only 10 minutes. His narration is super-clear.

Today, I was learning camera navigation and was very impressed by all the options in which one can setup their cameras.  Pressing alt+b, then dragging a selection box over the viewport, in order to determine what objects are visible…   is odd and beautiful.

Blender – Everyday – Day 1


Talking about it enough, but time to “put my money where my mouth is”. I will never really know just how viable Blender is as a base 3D animation software, till I try it.

Once per day, for about 2 hours, I will invest time into learning Blender. One I get the basics down, I will challenge myself to producing sharable artwork.

Here’s some inspiration to drive me. Blender is no longer just a hobbyist’s 3D animation software…   and hasn’t been for some time. Seems that “first world” countries are the slowest places to catch on to a growing trend.

Started with some interface basics here.

Learning Houdini

Simple Houdini pipeline. from Vlad Yudin on Vimeo.

Houdini recently released it’s fully functional and commercial “Houdini Indie” product for $200 (for companies making under $100k per year).

With that annoucement, Zak had asked me, “Where a great place to start learning?”  Yes, it can be very intimidating, but if you have a specific use in mind it is TOTALLY doable without the years of experience that some expect. That being said, ya gotta know the basics and here’s some resources to get you started… starting with the free stuff!

Peter Quint: This guy is my hero and his videos are priceless. Here’s a direct link to the “Basics”… but don’t forget the other 150 videos that he has online.

3DBuzz: Houdini Fundamentals for H9

SideFX: Creators of Houdini have a huge selection of tutorials, including an introduction to the interface. Once again, don’t forget to check the sidebar to see the massive collection they have available.

Paid source for training include CMIVFX and Digital Tutors.

Other sources include the SideFX online forum or odForce.net.

Technical Online Courses for Free

codecademy.com – Walks you through programming languages like jQuery, Javascript, HTML/CSS, Python, Ruby and PHP.
Online Math Learning.com
Interactive Mathematics
CosmoLearning – Subjects include math, science, economics, law, medicine, etc.
coursera.org – Learn from 595 courses, from our 108 partners.
academicearth.org – Online college courses from Carnegie Mellon, Yale, Stanford, etc.
MIT’s Open Courseware
codebymath.com – learn math while coding
code.org – Tutorials for beginner programmers and also includes links to other training games like Code Combat(Javascript), Code Avengers, Lightbot, Grok Learning, etc.
N.J. Wildberger’s Math Foundations and Algebraic Topology series, or his popular Rational Trigonometry (to avoid sine and cosine).
FAQ for computer graphics algorithms
There’s lots of stuff out there, as demonstrated w/ “20 great math sites for students and teachers” .

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

If you enjoyed that, I highly recommend watching his TED talk, which has some a wonderful tale of a misunderstood artist who has become enormously successful, and demonstrates his sense of humor. Feeling impatient? Then skip to 15:00 on the TED Talk.

Thanks to Rick Jayx for reminding me of Ken Robinson.

Light Value Drawing Exercises

Travis recommended I try this drawing exercise, where you quickly sketch the light values of shots in a movie.  Pick a movie (he picked Orson Well’s “Jane Eyre”). We then found shots that were interesting and paused the movie.  Finally, we spend a minute or two (less time the better) and just blob down the values. This also really helps get a feel for composition.

I remember Matt telling me how to better balance my line weights and get good values in my drawings by squinting.

This was a great exercise that gives me a greater appreciation for lighting composition, especially black & white film.

Here’s the two pages that I sketched out. See if you can find the following 2 shots in my two pages of sketches.

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