Blender Basics- 2nd Edition

Blender BasicsJim Chronister wrote to tell us about the second edition of ‘Blender Basics’ his classroom tutorial book. It is a very thorough, ready to use guide of 118 pages.

Jim writes:

We’ve been using Blender in our high school for about 6 years now and I’ve done several presentation on it at local and state tech ed conferences. I had to get the manual updated because another teacher and I will be presenting at the national technology education conference held in Baltmore, Maryland, USA in about 3 weeks. It should be a great opportunity to spead the word. I appreciate the wonderful opportunities this software has opened up for us.

About Blender Basics he writes:

I developed this manual for use in my own classroom in an effort to streamline the Blender learning curve into some kind of sequential order. I have tried to keep most chapters down to less than 4 pages and each chapter can be covered in 1-2 class periods (our classes meet for approx. 45 minutes every day). This is my contribution to the Blender open-sourced cause. Please feel free to use this manual in your own labs. You may copy any or all parts you wish!

I would like to provide more coverage on BlenderNation on how Blender is being used in schools. Where are people using Blender to teach 3D? Do your students find it hard to pick up? Which resources do you use to prepare your classes?

You can find Blender Basics on the website of the Central Dauphin School District.


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Thanks!
  • David

    Wow, 118 pages! I’m impressed. Thanks Jim. I’m sure I’ll find many things useful to me in there. Cheers.

  • http://we BArrYZ

    Thanks for sharing!

    Very useful manual to teach basics ;-)

  • etr9j

    I’m glad to see that 3D is being taught in highschools. I would love to add new sections (e.g. fluids and physics) but I am sure that the course is constrained on time and therefore what can be covered. I’m sure everyone would be interested in helping on document updates.

  • dig!_c

    Blender in schools? Coooolll, I would have so much more sparetime ^^

    Thx for the basics, I’m sure that I will learn a lot even if I joined blender one year ago.

    Greets from cold Germany…

  • Sephiroth

    That’s helpful for me, ´cuz I met blender just 6 months ago.

    Thank for it!!!! :)

  • Inochi

    Nice looking book. I only just looked at a few pages but the monkey is more than just a fun shape that they put in there. The monkey is a nice quick object to add so that one can use it to show off some of the camera views and manipulate. At least that is the general idea in think.

  • http://www.cdschools.org/54223045235521/blank/browse.asp?A=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=55205 Jim

    Thanks for all the great comments! When I posted the first edition 2 years ago, I never thought it would get the attention it did. I’m glad I am able to contribute again with this updated edition. Now as long as the developers don’t make any major changes for a while, we should be good : )

  • http://www.cdschools.org/54223045235521/blank/browse.asp?A=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&C=55205 Jim

    Thanks for all the comments! When I released the first edition 2 years ago, it generated more interest than I ever thought it would. I’m glad I can contribute with this second release. Now as long as the developers don’t make any major changes for a while, we should be good : )

  • Shan

    Thanks a lot.

  • Anton

    Having puttered around in Blender for the past year and a bit. This looks like it will be a great help in getting me to a more proficient level. Thanks a bunch :D

  • Peter Teh

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your wonderful book. I am a teacher in Singapore and I intend to start teaching Blender to my IT Club students next month. The school where I’m teaching in now is a high school (we call them “secondary schools” here) where the students are between 13 and 16 years old. It is an exclusively girls’ school (I am one of the rare male teachers here) and I am trying to generate some interest in 3D animation and movie-making here to the students. (These are “extra-curricular” lessons which are held after school hours.) Your book will be a great help to me. I truly appreciate your generosity in allowing us to make copies for our students. I can keep you posted on our progress if you are interested to know how we are doing in this part of the world :)

    I also teach Biology in our formal curriculum classes and I am planning to make some interactive learning resources to help students learn biology in a more visual way, using the Blender Game engine. I too, am learning about game authoring as I go along. Blender is indeed opening up some great new possibilities for us here. One great advantage of using Blender, I feel, is that the students are able to carry on working with their 3D projects even when they are at home. Being able to do this enhances their pace of progress significantly. This would not have been possible with paid software which are too expensive for most students to buy, even at academic prices.

    Thanks again and all the best to you, Jim!

  • Geerdy

    This is a great start for me in the 3d world!
    Now I really have great guide
    Thanx

  • http://www.stevenchan.us Steven Chan

    Peter Teh,

    I’m interested in the project you’re working on for teaching biology. I’m very interested in molecular and cell biology, plus the visual arts, after graduating from UC Berkeley in both that and computer science. Plus, I have a big interest in Blender. How can I get in touch with you?

    Thanks!
    Steve

  • JimC

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments! I’m glad that this has been helpful for so many. Peter- please keep me informed with your progress :-)

  • Srinath Krishna

    Thanks Mate!!

    Thats really a gem of a book!

  • Tynach

    Well, I’ve been using Blender for a little under a year now (found it at the end of last summer), and I’ve been looking for something like this for a LONG time. I think, however, that you should include some things about fluid simulation, as it’s fairly easy to learn, and looks better than Meta shapes for liquids. I don’t think it would be hard to write a few more pages for it.

  • Shawn Fumo

    Thanks from me also! :) I think the most important thing about this book is the later sections. Many of the other resources out there tend to stop before getting to some of the more advanced things, so it is nice to have a basic overview of just about the whole program at once!

  • http://www.subquark.com subQuark

    Jim Chronister is a wonderful text. Tremendous thought obviously went into this manual. I taught high school for 4 years and community college for seven and have never run intoa teacher so passionate about a subject.

    Excellent work, I hope he receives great recognition for his work (heck, I think he could sell this to colleges easily!!!).

    Thanks Jim!

  • JimC

    Wow subQuark! Thanks for the great comments. My students think I should be selling the manual also. If only more schools were using Blender, that may happen. I tell the kids that there have been several thousand downloads so far, but if I were to ask for a dollar a download, it would have been downloaded 2 times tops. I can’t program so this is my contribution to the cause. The word is spreading though. I’m going to be in Baltmore Maryland next week (March 23-24) for the national Tech Ed convention (ITEA) to do a Blender presentation in a panel discussion. Let’s see if we get a few more “converts” over to Blender.

    P.S. passionate is a nice word, but my students prefer to use the term “obsessed” more :-)

  • WayStar

    Jim, your manual is fantastic! Practical *and* professional. I don’t know what’s available in your area, but you might consider approaching community colleges about teaching Blender as a noncredit adult ed workshop.

    I can definitely envision a huge impact from your work. Not just your manual, but your students. Just think, every student you get fired up has the potential to go on and get others hooked on Blender, too.

  • JimC

    Thanks WayStar

    I actually have some 2-day workshops planned this summer for teachers. If things go well, I may be trying more with your idea. We have a close community college I could go through.

  • Leianne

    You rock Jim!

    Thanks for sharing your expertise. It is much appreciated.

    cheers,
    sassmaiden

  • Prince

    wow, great job JIM . thank you for your tiring effort to provide tutorials to beginners like me.thanks a lot. :),you r really great
    bye

  • apereira

    Nice resource!!!!
    especialy for a noob like me!!!!
    But since the new version (2.42)is comming with some big changes maybe the manual will have to be updated, but as a teaching resource is awsome!!!!

    Keep it up!

  • http://www.blenderanimation.com JimC

    Thanks apereira ;-)

    I’ve already been thinking about the upcoming changes in 2.42 (like the possible improvements to the sequence editor). It’s nice to see major changes in the software so fast, but bad when you have to keep updating manuals :-(

  • apereira

    So true JimC!!!!!
    Still as long as the Blender basics remain the same your manual will continue to be a great asset. The new stuff can still be added one bit at a time. The important thing is that the manual IS still usable for newbies, so any advanced topics they can research on their own or experiment with the software AND write their own tutorials/manuals and share them, after all that is the true purpose of sharing experience to enlighten others.

    After all, this isn’t a one man/woman show, so there is plenty for everyone to add, improve or as in your case explain.

    Again, thanks a bunch!!!

    apereira
    Rincon,Puerto Rico

  • http://www.blenderanimation.com JimC

    UPDATE: Manual has had some minor changes to reflect version 2.42a (especially with the materials panels)

    Enjoy!

  • Irf

    Great job Jim!!!

    Your pdf will be very very helpful for me and my blender class.
    Thanks.

    Irf
    Bandung, Indonesia.

  • JimC

    Thanks Irf!

    Always nice to hear from points far away!

    Looking at the lastest changes that may be coming in the next release, there will be more changes to the book.

    Jim

  • http://lug.nnov.ru gumanoed

    There is Russian Translation of this book made by Julia Korbut.

    You can find the russia translation of Blender Basics- 2nd Edition here

    Основы Blender v.2.42a

    http://blender3d.org.ua/?nt/72

  • John

    For years, every six months or so I would download Blender, try to use it, then get discouraged and delete it.

    Your lessons were the first thing that helped me get a feel for Blender, and now it’s my number 1 piece of 3D software. Thanks!

  • Tom

    We use blender for 3d classes at my highschool and we found it really easy to pick it up and have fun creating models. Lots of my friends are experimenting in animation and games with it.