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Tufts University Blender Course Tutorials


tuftsocw_539x85.gifLearning Blender and all that it has to offer? Then you might be interested in the over 100 video tutorials and 25 pdf tutorials that Neal Hirsig has released to the public. That's not a typo... there are really 104 video tutorials. From naming objects to layer animation, one minute tutorials to longer discussions, Neal certainly covers a range of basic Blender functionality.

From the thread:

I have been using Blender as the primary software for my Tufts University 3D Design class for a number of years. All of the class material is now online here. The course contains weekly learning units consisting of over a hundred video tutorials and some 25 PDF tutorials. All associated files including completed tutorials can be downloaded.

The video tutorials are in streaming Real Media format and require broadband or DSL access. The site also includes 4 course projects and examples of prior student work. All of the material on this site is open and free to be used by anyone. I invite any of your comments.

Another way to access this material to to use the Blackboard course site that I use for class. You can access this here Userword: blender Password: blender. There is a link to the course site listed under "My Courses" on the home page displayed after login. I will use this site for the fall semester. The Blackboard site is not available daily from 1:0AM - 2:00AM Eastern Standard Time.

I would like to personally thank Neal for creating and posting these. It is certainly one of the best Blender video tutorial resources out there, and with Neal as the instructor I can only imagine how well his students understand Blender after his class.

About the Author


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


  1. This is surely very cool.... and it's all released under a CC-by-nc-sa license to make it really usable.

    The only problem I can see is with RealMedia, which doesn't allow easy reusing of the materials. But I guess there's a reason for using such a proprietary format.

  2. Very interesting! Awe, I tried to open Real Media in VLC. It only started the Audio playing. (I stopped using any Real Media about 6 years ago. Net congestion, you know.) Perhaps someone can convert the tutorials into a decent format (AVI or MOV).

  3. thank you very much Mr. Neal. This is an incredible reason and this is something that I couldn't have possibly anticipated. This is awesome!!

  4. well - very interesting I must say, but they don't seem to cover the latest additions to the blender featureset. (although I may be being a bit harsh ;) The pdf's are a bit basic, I suppose that they're meant to be though as they're intended for beginners anyway. Other than that, I haven't been able to actually watch any of the videos because I use linux and have no way of viewing them at present...

    Is it legaly a poss. for someone to convert them to a different codec?


  5. For the tutorials, I got DNS errors in Opera and Firefox, but in IE not.

    If you don't want to use Real player, "Real alternative" and Media Player Clasic work pretty well for streaming/playing the .ram files in the site. (google them)

  6. Thats pretty cool, never seen so many blender video tutorials. I have to say it is pretty basic stuff but it would be a great way to take a begginer, and make them an experienced blender user pretty quickly.

  7. Although this will only be helpful for Windows users I think, google Real Alternative and download the "media player classic / real alternative" player which kinda looks like Media Player 2.0 but plays these perfectly. It's like VLC, plays a lot of different formats. Plays great on my machine. I will say that pausing and playing .rm files have always been buggy, but a single play through is nice.

    I might interject, after making many video tutorials myself that the use of this codec was probably to get the benefits of a small file format, good framerate and streaming capability from the server(s) tufts uses for their site and courseware. He made a great choice there, probably did a lot of experimentation.

  8. I used these tutorials to learn blender two months ago. It was a great resource. It would have not been possuible for me to move as far forward as I did if not for these tutorials

    This is some work that I did in the last 2 months with a big thanks to Neal:

    P.S. I run linux and view the Reqal stuff just fine with Real Player for linux.
    P.S.S The server at Tufts seems flaky and was not always able to let me learn :(

  9. I cant seem to log on - I really want to figure out how to get my 3ds format stuff to render photorealistically in blender - can anyone recommend a tutorial that starts with having a model and getting it set up to render? So far the tutorials for blender seem to be for doing the whole deal from start to finish...

  10. Neal has done a very good job at breaking the whole thing in simple lessons that 'lock in' the useful stuff quickly...

    Having prior experience with other 3d packages but confused about blender UI, i had the luck to find this course early this summer and i must say that it has been a real eye opener and got me flying in no time...

    I just can say THANK YOU SO MUCH ! those cool videos saved a rainy week from being not that exciting !
    i've passed the link to friends around who were 'afraid' of blender and they both agree it would even be worth translating the audio for other languages (french, german, etc...) or subtitle it for earing-impaired people...

    thanks again, education about blender has made a very good leap forward

  11. I mailed with Neal Hirsig (the author of the pdf's and video's) and asked him if he can convert the movie's to another format. This was his reply:

    "I have had many requests to make the videos available as downloads rather than streaming content. I am in the process of converting these Real Media files to .MOV files that can be fully downloaded. I should be able to finish this conversion sometime in the next couple weeks. I will post a URL for this access on the Blender Artists forum:

    under Support / Tutorials."

  12. Great news. I was about to complain about the real media thing too. Thanks a lot for the link to Real Alternative, though. I do have to use it once in a while...

    These videos, since there are so many, would be great as a torrent once converted! :D

  13. The tutorials are great. Would it be possible to download everything all at once rather than individually?



  14. On blenderartist there's a thread about this site. And in this thread there's a unix script to capture all the streaming video's. All in all it takes 1 GB of diskspace and you have a total time of 5.5 hours of video.

    I still haven't asked Neil how he's coming along on his conversion of the movies to .MOV

  15. Very, very cool. Thanks a lot! But why on earth use RealVideo? Tuts are great to have offline, too,
    especially if they are complex and will have to be viewed repeatedly (for the slower ones among us to get the point, heh) or if you have some time to kill somewhere without Internet access and would like to view them there and then.

    RealVideo and Windows Media Video are a pain to deal with, you have to use the client from the provider of the proprietary codec, and also have to deal with the negative stuff that comes with them, instead of choosing your own favorite media player (VLC for instance). Oh, well. CocoaJT took care of the D/L, but ffmpegx could only make AVI's, not MPG's or anything else. Rats...

  16. Joselito Mebolos on

    Sir, can you give me the email address of Sir Neal Hersig? I was not able to write it down when I browsed the tutorial in the tufts website, and was not able to download the turial materials. I would like to ask for the download site that he mentioned in the tutorial. Your reply will be very much appreciated, and thank you in advance for your reply.

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