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Getting Started in Blender IRC

26

IRCGetting help with Blender is often arduous task. Between books you can't afford, forum posts that go ignored, and online tutorials that were written on autopilot, where's a beginner to go for quick answers? This may not be news to many, but there is a collection of public Blender chatroooms where Blender users can get help and friends can meet. Before I continue, props go out to Florian Mayer (who went by “name” in chat) for giving me the idea behind this article.

Install

The first step to getting involved in IRC (Internet Relay Chat) is finding the right program for you. To keep it simple, for today, the right program for you is X-Chat. If you're using Windows, go here and download the latest installer:

http://www.silverex.org/download/

If you're on Linux, you probably have X-Chat already on your system, or available in your package repositories. If not, try to find an installer on this page:

http://xchat.org/download/

That page also lists OSX installers that I have not tested, but likely work.

Download and install the appropriate version of X-Chat for your computer.

Configure

Armed with your X-Chat installation, you're probably eager to get connected, right? First, you need to choose your online identity (or nickname) and select which server you want to connect to.

1) Open X-Chat, if you haven't already.
2) Under “Nick name,” enter the name that you would like everyone to see. Pick something quickly for now, you can easily change it later. Put something under “Second choice” and “Third choice” as well.
3) Under “Networks”, scroll down and choose “FreeNode.”
4) Press the “Connect” button.

Connected

You should now be connected to the FreeNode servers; however, you are not yet actually in any chatrooms. You need to join a chatroom, called a “channel.” In the area towards the bottom of X-Chat where you can type, enter the following:

/join #blender

You should now be smack-dab in the middle of wonderful Blender chat heaven. However, being in #blender isn't enough. Many chatters are sitting in six to seven Blender-related channels at any given time. Join a couple more channels to see what I'm talking about:

/join #blenderchat
/join #blenderwiki
/join #blenderqa

There are many other Blender-related channels. Here's a list of some of the ones I know about:

#blender – Blender-related chat in English
#blenderchat – also Blender-related chat in English
#blenderwiki – wiki support and discussion
#blenderqa - Blender question and answer chatroom
#blenderadictos3d – Blender chat in Spanish
#blender-fr – Blender chat in French
#blender.de – Blender chat in German
#blenderpraat - Blender chat in Dutch
#sweblend - Blender chat in Swedish
#blenderchar – Blender character animation discussion
#gameblender – Blender game engine discussion
#blendercoders – place to go if you want to help develop Blender
#blendercompilers – for the brave souls that need help compiling Blender
#blenderpython - Python specific Blender chat
#smc - Blender speed modeling challenge

Conclusion

There are many hints and tips I would like to share about using IRC, but I need to be brief. I am copying these directions to the wiki, where I hope they will be improved upon and expanded over time:

http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Tutorials/IRC:_Getting_Connected

On a related note, I'd like to throw my vote in for a new window type in Blender: the IRC window! Imagine having a simple chat client embedded right into Blender that easily connects a user to the most popular Blender chatrooms. With Verse and distributed rendering tools that are coming out, Blender is becoming a better tool for collaborative projects. Having a chat client embedded right into Blender is another step in the right direction, and could be used in conjunction with Verse services in interesting ways. It may not even be that much work: there's already several simple open source terminal IRC clients that could be hooked right into a Blender window. If anyone is interested in hearing more about my vision on this, just look for me (spiderworm) in IRC.

Thanks for reading! I hope to see you in IRC soon!

26 Comments

  1. Wow, this is great! I used to be able to have IRC, but a little while ago, I've been trying to get on through XIRCON, but It didn't work for me.

    I'll definetly be able to chat with everyone again with X-Chat.

    Thank you!

  2. Nice little tutorial for beginner to get into Irc chat.
    There's also a Dutch blender channel on irc called #blenderpraat, maybe someone can add that to the list. ;)

  3. You really said it my man. I see I'm not the only one who gets a little frustrated by blender's "support organization". But at the same time, to be honest, its a hell of a lot better than many commercial products and services support can be.

  4. Why not add an applet with a chatwindow on the blender site which is able to work with the IRC rooms?
    This way anybody anywhere can chat without configuring tihngs at all.

  5. you missed one cool blender related room and that is #smc (speed modeling challenge), look at the BA speed modeling threads to see the results, so join up and have some fun while improving your modeling skills

  6. or you can head over to blenderartists.org and click on the "Community" link for a browser based java irc client.

    link:
    [url]http://blenderartists.org/cms/index.php?id=3[/url]

  7. If you use Opera for internet, remember that it's now got IRC chat-feature! It's great to have one tab for irc, other tabs for browsing and so on.
    I only knew 2 of the mentioned channels, thanks for the list! :D

  8. Okey I'm having a problem. It goes just fine until I type /join #blender and I get an error message and it closes. I'm using winxp right now.

    Any help?

  9. I use the Mac program Colloquy which is great :)
    For all Kiwis there #nzblender, make sure you get along there!
    And I agree these chat rooms are amazing for learning!
    especially #smc, the people there are really helpfull and of course great at blender...
    and being able to compete in your own competitions when ever you want is awesome!
    Recommend to everyone who wants to advance with blender!

    And I TOTALLY back you up about the 'new window' in blender idea!!!
    thanks for the article :D

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