What is Blender?

Blender is a professional 3D computer graphics software and it’s free and open-source!

It’s a very small program, very quick and easy to install.
You can download it here (no affiliate link): blender.org

As I love being creative, I was so excited when I discovered Blender in 2015!

You can create animated films, 3D text, animation of text, fluid simulation, video games, you can do video editing and, of course, photorealistic rendering – and so much more!

And yes, you can even design jewelry, how great is that? I recently added the Add-on JewelCraft to my Blender software, but I still have to test it (btw, see the ring I created – without the Add-on – below).

Now I want to learn everything about the right camera settings and the position of lights, otherwise I have a nice image on my screen, but after rendering the scene you see – nothing! 😀

When I started in 2015, I used Blender 2.73, and since a few days I’m using the newest release 2.78 c:

I discovered some pdf-tutorials and began to figure out how Blender works, which is not so easy, when you are a total newbie as I was – and still am!

But now I have some basics, I do remember most of the BLENDER SHORTKEYS (click to Download the pdf-sheet) and I really want to learn more in order to discover all the fabulous possibilities you have with Blender.

😀 In 2015, I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved it:

 

Shark with Blender
Shark with Blender
Snail house with Blender
Snail house with Blender

When I started with Blender, I had no website. But now I see so much more possibilities with Blender:
You can create wonderful 3D text as a headline, you can create Welcome Intros (of course more professional ones as my one), beautiful logos, banners, animated films for your tutorials and so much more… Therefore I decided to go on with the tutorials and learn, whatever I can.


When I started with Blender, I wish I would have known this website I want to share with you right now!
On this website you can watch 6 videos, which introduce you to the main tools and features of Blender (NO, it’s not an affiliate link and YES, they are free):

Getting started with Blender!

One thing you have to remember is the Object and Edit Mode (you have to switch very often between the both):

Object and Edit Mode of Blender
Object Mode and Edit Mode in Blender

I mentioned jewelry designing before: You have probably seen many Blender video tutorials on YouTube, maybe also this one (note: not made with the JewelCraft Add-on):

It’s a very nice tutorial and very easy to follow. I made the first ring a few days ago with Blender version 2.73, but I realised that the Geometry feature “Pointiness” was missing in the Compositing Editor (or it was somewhere else where I could not find it), so I was not able to do the ring with the black color of the metal, see here my first attempt:

Ring Blender
Ring with Blender – “Pointiness” missing

After this result, I decided to download the newest version of Blender (Blender has no upgrades, you always have to download a new version: install the new version, uninstall the old version or let it run side by side).

With Blender 2.78 c, I was finally able to follow all the steps of the tutorial and see my new result:

Ring with Blender – Rendered with only 300 – © GerlindeOnline.com

In the tutorial, it’s been recommended to render the ring with 1000 (Samples), but, as it took a very long time to render, I  only rendered it with 300.


Screencast Keys:

If you are wondering, why in some Blender video tutorials you are seeing in the left lower corner of the interface the image of the mouse displaying the hit keys: it’s the  Add-on Screencast Keys I added lately:

Screencast_Keys in Blender
Screencast_Keys in Blender

This is very useful when you are thinking about making tutorials, too! In this case, people can follow easier what you are doing, they can see, which keys or shortcodes you are entering.

On the left side of the image above you are seeing the mouse and on the right side are the settings of the Screencast Keys: you can change the size, the position and the color of the mouse, and you can choose to add additionally a text of the keys you hit which appears on the right side of the mouse.

In the older Blender versions the Screencast Keys Add-on was already integrated, but starting from Blender version 2.72 it’s missing. As I was so happy to find out how to add the Add-on, I want to share it with you:

First, you need the script – go to:

https://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Extensions:2.6/Py/Scripts/3D_interaction/Screencast_Key_Status_Tool

Blender Script for Screencast Keys
Blender Script for Screencast Keys

RMC (Right Mouse Click) on the Script with the red arrow
“Save As” (save it where you want, I always use a Blender File)
Make sure it’s a file ending with “.py”
Then go to Blender – Click on “File”
Open “User Preferences”
Select “Categories”
Click on “User”
Click on “Install from File”
Search the saved script – click on it
Hit the box “Save User Settings”
Close the User Preferences
Go to the Blender Interface and hit the shortcode “N”, you can find the Screencast Keys as shown in the image above.

Now you can make great Blender tutorials, too! 😀

Stay tuned, I will follow my lessons and see what I can post for you next time.


Update April 2017:

This is one of my Website Intro Videos I made from scratch:

 

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My First Experiences with Blender 3D Software

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