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Blender Summer Of Documentation Begins


manual23.jpgThe 10 inaugural Blender Summer of Documentation (BSoD) proposals have been chosen! It was certainly a tough choice with over 20 proposals being submitted and all covering some great topics. And what topics made the BSoD this year? Read on to see what documentation will move Blender forward!

Tim Wakeham (timmeh) writes:

The Blender Summer of Documentation results have been decided, with ten participants selected to spend a month over summer writing high-quality user documentation. Proposals were selected from a field of 25 entrants, all of exceptionally high standard, and cover an impressive range of Blender Basics.

The proposals accepted:

Stephen Swaney(stivs) - Introduction to Python Scripting

Stephen's contribution to Blender's Python scripting interface puts him in a great position to provide this introduction to Python. Covering a huge amount of territory, he proposes to lead the reader from the very beginning of learning Python, through a series of progressively more difficult and interesting scenarios useful for the average Blender user. Covering the basics such as introductory Python, the Blender text editor, Scriptlinks and object creation, and leading into applications such as animation, material creation, importers and exporters, this project will bridge a gap many Blender users find difficult to cross.

Mal - Introduction to the Game Engine

Mal's knowledge of the game engine is undisputed as a past employee of NaN working on interactive content. In this project he proposes to lead the reader through the complete process of turning an empty scene into a game, teaching things such as level creation, GE materials, logic bricks and user interaction. Utilising the latest Blender Game Engine updates, specifically the Bullet physics engine, further updates and additions will be possible with future developments.

Ryan Dale - Introduction to Character Animation

The tutorial that will replace Gus! Ryan's project will cover just about every character animation subject. Introducing the topic with a basic overview of modeling, and texturing a character, Ryan will lead onto the more advanced topics of rigging and character animation, including detailed overviews of posing, actions and the NLA. Furthermore, this project will, along with the next, provide the future entrance point for learning character animation with Blender.

Robert Christian(wavez) - Introduction to Rigging

Rob's Introduction to Rigging will provide readers with an incredible reference resource. This project will cover the basics of rigging before leading into the complex rigging of legs/feet and spines, explaining both the theory and implementation of these tricky areas. Furthermore, the coverage of envelopes and weight painting will complete the picture, leaving the user with a series complete, animatable rigs for different uses.

Felipe Bergamin Boralli - Introduction to Physical Simulation

As a mechanical and aeronautical engineering student, Felipe's knowledge in this area provides him with the capability of not only explaining the effective use of the various physical simulations Blender has to offer, but also the math and theory behind each of them. The insight provided by understanding the background behind each simulation will allow readers to most realistically portray their subjects, through understanding of the effect of each simulation parameter. Covering the topics of particles, softbodies and fluids, this is one project that will provide an great resource for all Blender users.

Michael Worcester(MickMcMack) - Introduction to Modeling

Michael's tutorial series will be one introduced to new Blender users for a long time to come. As a 'trail' of tutorials through the world of modeling, Michael will begin with a detailed overview of the basics of Blender, including the various modes, the 3D cursor, and window setups, before tackling the subjects of mesh and curve modeling. Michael goes into detail, explaining the effective use of mesh functions such as spin, screw, and bevel, as well as recognising when and where to use each of these functions. A true introduction to perhaps the most important aspect of CG.

Guillermo S. Romero(GSR/UnNamed) - Introduction to Lighting

Guillermo aims to provide a gentle introduction to the basics of lighting, leading into more advanced concepts such as Ambient Occlusion and Radiosity. Starting with a review of Blender's basic lamps and their correct usage, Guillermo plans to introduce the reader to the basic principles of photography and how they apply to CG lighting, as well as the role light plays in setting the mood of a scene. With the inclusion material lighting effects and Blender lamp tips and tricks, this project will certainly shed light on a topic many new CG artists have troubles with.

Willian Padovani Germano - Introduction to the Principles of Animation

With this tutorial, we'll soon all be producing animations worthy of Pixar! Willian's project provides a good mix between animation theory and practical Blender implementation. Referencing Disney's 'Illusion of Life', this project will cover an extensive array of animation effects that simulate real life. Some of these topics include stretch and squash - volume preservation, timing, exaggeration and the animated effect of psychology on a character. Using simple-to-assemble scenes, Willian will keep the focus on the principles being described.

Colin Litsted(Cog) - Introduction to Materials and Procedural Texturing

Colin, of Cogfilms, is aiming to introduce the reader to the world of realistic procedural material/texture synthesis. Beginning with the inspection and indentification of real life surface properties, and leading into their visualisation and CG approximation, Colin will cover a whole range of topics, ranging from the appropriate use of particular shaders to image mapping and displacement. The end result will be the complete transformation of a scene, changing only materials and textures.

Frédéric van der Essen(efbie) - Introduction to the Blender Database

Documenting an often misunderstood aspect of Blender, Fred's proposal is to cover Blender's database structure, and object-data relationship. By leading the user through a series of basic tutorials, augmented by specific documentation on each aspect, Fred aims to inform the reader how to utilise Blender's datablock system to best effect. Often being one of the last learnt aspects of Blender, many beginners develop frustrating, painful workflows, based on assumptions made from past software experiences. This will know longer be the case, as this project set to fill the 'documentation void' regarding Blender's datablock system.

Congratulations to all those who have been accepted, we look forward to seeing the end result!

BSoD Team

Now that the proposals have been accepted, the authors will be begin writing. The projects will be finished July 19th, 2006 and will then be added to the wiki. BlenderNation will certainly post once they are up so stay tuned!

About the Author


Just a guy really into 3D, especially where Blender is concerned.


  1. I cant wait for the character modelling / rigging / animating documentation. As I am finding it difficult to find a tutorial / video tutorial that covers the complete modelling procedure either by visual reference (usually the person(s) go way too fast for the beginner) or the other way which is where they skip parts that you have to figure out for yourself.

    The lighting will be good to have as well when that has finished.

  2. Hopefully Blender's simultaneous participation in the Summer of Code won't render the Summer of Documentation obsolete! ;) I love all the tutorial videos, but I do occasionally notice that there are new features or shortcuts in Blender that were once work-arounds in the version the video tutorial was created for. Nonetheless, they've all been very(!) valuable for learning Blender.

    Other than a thorough understanding of cameras themselves, this seems a very thorough and broad set of tutorials and documentation. I wish everyone the best of luck!

  3. Crisses - The GSoC projects being worked on should have no impact on any of this documentation at all. As far as I know, modifier stack upgrades by Ben Batt, is the only project remotely connected to BSoD, and from what I understand, this will all be implementation changes, not end-user level.

    Good luck to our writers!

  4. that's an impressive list indeed! I'm eager to read each one of them (except the last one sounds a bit more boring ;))

    imho, 1 month to complete these docs sounds a bit short to me though? :)

  5. @mattie
    Normally I would agree with you, but two factors make me think this timeline is perfect:

    1) The proposals were well written out with most having detailed outlines (meaning the authors already had it in their heads of what needs to be covered)

    2) Each author is good, really good. So they know the material they are writing about.

  6. I'm almost looking forward to these tutorials more than 2.42, cause I want to understand Blender before it gets any more cool/complicated! :P

  7. This is great and so many cool proposals. Rigging and lighting are two things I have a lot of trouble with so I can't wait to see those two in particular. And no offense to cute little Gus but it's about time we had a new begginer tutorial.

    By the way at least to us windows users BSoD is maybe not the most auspicious acronym to give it.

  8. This is awesome. I did expect the end result of Blender SoD will be good. Now I am sure it will be. Best of Luck to all authors, looking forward to ur guidances.

    A question though. Will the resulting blend files etc. of the tutorials will be available for download?

  9. It sounds so cool, cant wait untill its done. I realy want to learn blender better now I know the basics of it.
    Good luck writters!

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