Guide:Blender Quickstart Guide

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Generally, the best place to start with Blender is by normalizing yourself with the 3d UI and very, very basic modeling techniques. The general go-to for this (used in at least several open source classes) is to start by modeling a doughnut based on the guide below:

Next Steps

From there, the sky's the limit really. Blender is an INCREDIBLY powerful tool[citation NOT needed] so the direction you want to go depends on you. (Wonkpedia has a growing number of Blender guides on doing specific things which may be of interest.) However, here's a number of suggestions to help focus the learning process:

  1. The node editor/workflow is an incredibly powerful tool. Figure out to use it (e.g. this video looks like it might be a good start) and how the rendering/export process for videos can be changed by all the different nodes.
  2. Might be good to take a look at the video editing/VFX portions of blender. For example, this video shows how you can stabilize a shaky video. You can also go more advanced with that and track specific objects in addition to the camera motion (TODO: Finish building the plugin to export this data and write a Wonkpedia page for it)
  3. It's getting a bit long in the tooth, but this guide is fantastic for figuring out the general idea of e.g. how we model missiles and other things. The basic principles are still the same: find a picture and match the model to it.
  4. Actually, as an addendum to 3, one of the tools that makes it *much* easier to import these pictures into Blender with the proper scale/reference to xyz coordinates is the Fspy tool. Learn it, live by it! (TODO: make an fspy page)
  5. Play around with the rendering settings. Especially when working with the stuff I talked about above with video clips- blender unfortunately doesn't autodetect the format of a video you import so, if you want to make sure and export it after processing without mucking up the data format- you need to manually set the output resolution and framerate. (And with 3d models: the rendering engine matters a lot! eevee is quite efficient but doesn't support certain things like transparent glass rendering very well). Figure out the difference between exporting a picture and a video (as a bunch of individual frames or a .mp4/mkv too).
  6. Somewhat related to the video formats stuff- just a general knowledge of youtube-dl, handbrake, and other video backup/analysis/editing tools is always good to have.