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BlenderSkype - Free Personal Blender Support

28

blenderskype2.jpgNeed some help with Blender? Why not give the BlenderSkype support team a call!

Andrew writes:

How about trading Skype names and forming a Blender support desk?

When using Blender you're obviously on your computer, and probably connected to the internet. If you run into a problem usually you have to come to the forums and start a thread, then wait for a reply. But so many times I've had a little problem that's not thread worthy and just wish there was someone I could call/text/message to help clear it up. This will allow that! Skype allows you to send screenshots, files (.blends anyone?), chat, text, conference calls and more!

If anyone wants to join the support desk, please add your details in the article comments here, or in the blenderartist's thread, and I'll make sure your name is put on the list.

I think this is a great initiative. I don't have any burning questions right now, but give this a try and let us know how it worked for you!

Check out the thread on BlenderArtists for a current list of BlenderSkype supporters.

About Author

Bart Veldhuizen

I have a LONG history with Blender - I wrote some of the earliest Blender tutorials, worked for Not a Number and helped run the crowdfunding campaign that open sourced Blender (the first one on the internet!). I founded BlenderNation in 2006 and have been editing it every single day since then ;-) I also run the Blender Artists forum and I'm Head of Community at Sketchfab.

28 Comments

  1. Hi!
    This is almost a copy of what I have written on the thread on Blenderartists :
    From my point of view, It is mainly interesting for people with a good practice of spoken english, or living in the same country.
    For my own, I read and write a lot each day in english, but I have very few experience of spoken english (I'm french), and as accents change a lot from a country or state to an other one, it is very difficult to be understood well, and also to understand what other people try to explain you.
    Sometimes I have had to phone in USA. With some people on the west coast of USA, it was not very difficult, but with people from new york or in the middle of the continent, it was almost impossible to understand each other !
    So, I prefer written messages. One more reason is the time shift between us. We are Blender users from all around the world, and some of us are at work when the others are sleeping, so it is not really easy to call someone when we have some free time !
    Philippe.

  2. well, what about multilingual supporters?
    Anyone, who can talk in more than 1 language (propperly) should add that to the service as an additional information ;)

  3. Hey guys!
    Yes definately, different languages are a plus! If you speak ANY language feel free to join in!

    Also if you aren't a member of BlenderArtists feel free to add your details here in the comments. Cheers!

  4. Have u ever think in a basic support section for begginers?

    Its a great idea what you are doing with this.
    Greetings! From Mexico

  5. • I had a similar idea using a point system, maybe this is worth thinking about. (If you know Go (the game) you might know the Go teaching Ladder http://gtl.xmp.net/ - also an interesting concept...)

    My idea was that you would get points by teaching/supporting someone (let's say 1h = 10 points or whatever) and you could then ask someone who takes part in this for 1h of their time (they should probably still be able to decline the request for certain reasons...) This way there might be even more motivation for more experienced users to give support to e.g. newbies and the whole system is fairer to those who invest time.

    Maybe this is too advanced for now, but could be worth thinking about...?!

    How hard would it be to write/manage some kind of time bank like that? (I'm not a coder.)

    I would definitely take part in a time bank like support system, let me think about your current plan...

    • Another other idea I had was to have a weekly meeting via Skype (or Gizmo since it also supports Linux and has free conference calls: http://www.gizmoproject.com/download.php) where you can just ask anyone who is there for help. This might also be interesting, since you don't have to make an appointment or hope that someone will be there if you call the blender Skype hotline... So something like every Saturday or Sunday afternoon might be a good time for a virtual blender meeting.

  6. I don't think this is a very good idea. I mean, I love the idea, and would like to see it implemented, but, in the end it's a one on one support. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, it's just the volunteers might not be there. Instead of always trying to draw up new ways of helping each other, why not try and put more light on the existing live support methods?

    For instance, IRC is a good resource. You can point your IRC client to irc.freenode.net and join #blender. This is a great way to have your question heard by many. what I like about IRC (over Skype) is that I, and others, tend to like sitting and listening. It's how we learn. You can't learn from other peoples questions using skype like you can in IRC.

  7. I like the idea in spirit, but I think in practice a written forum will remain more useful in most cases. There's very little in Blender that can be described verbally more easily than written or posting an image, and with a forum like blenderartists, the information is saved and can be used by many people, which seems a more efficient use of everybody's time.

    Also, your support question can be answered by multiple people, whoever knows the answer and has the time at the moment will answer it. Personally, I am logged into Skype all the time, but I am not available to field support calls about Blender all the time, so I would not sign up for this, myself.

  8. I just use IRC when something like that happens. However, I like Skype and there is something about talking to someone with your voice that makes it easier to convey a message.

  9. What about using Unyte too? It's a screen streaming program, you can upload live video to an active url for other people to watch, I've used it a lot when helping people, and it has some kind of special feature when used with skype.

  10. I can understand what some of you are saying. You are right in that, more people benefit by posting on the forums as other people can read it as well. But something I found when I was a beginner, was that posting on a forum was extremely frustrating and slow, Because I would not understand the response and kept having to post back, “Sorry I’m stuck again, what do you mean by this?? I can’t find that button anywhere”. Whereas if I had someone to talk to they could help me through the entire tutorial in 5 minutes, as oppose to a 3-page thread having each instruction spelled out.
    Beginners will probably benefit from this more than others, but I still found it very helpful. I could get realtime feedback on my latest WIP, like what needs adjusting, initial thoughts etc. Plus it’s more personal. I’m in Australia and I spoke with vitaliy from New York City, and had a very interesting chat about life in the “concrete jungle” that went on for over an hr. =) So it serves several good uses, and dare I say it you may make a few friends!

  11. I'm actually not even a Blender user, just happen to live close to someone who is and get to hear every even slightly interesting news related to Blender :P

    What I wanted to say is that maybe Skype help could be even more helpful if there was some kind of FAQ website built around it. Volunteer helpdesk workers could write up the most common questions that come up again and again and post a simple, clear answer to it to a website. Then, when the question comes up again, they could say "have you read these instructions? Call me back if those don't help". In the long run it would make the work easier. And those who don't want to call anyone can see the instructions too. Maybe this would fit into BlenderWiki?

    Just wanted to share this thought as I love the original idea!

  12. Hi!

    I would really like to help! I'm Hungarian, but I can speak English too! My skype name is: temaruk

    Unfortunately my website is a little outdated... My recent Blender works are much better!

    Temaruk

  13. I don't like the idea for two reasons. First off and this is the most important one there is no history. When you answer a question on skype there is no way someone else can go and search for that answer and learn from it afterwards. Once the call is closed the information transfered is lost except for the person receiving it. If the person receiving it forgets the information there is no way he can go back and look at it again. What I'm getting at is that the skype solution will force information loss in the community and I think the community is what makes blender exceptional besides the fact that it is OS.
    The second reason is that this will tend to let people loose the ability to discover stuff by themselfs. I think one of the things about forums is that when you start posting and you see that people don't understand you or you don't understand people is that you start to think about the way you ask and start to gather more information. Basically you get taught to think for yourself and I'm not sure that a skype chat will actually provide this.
    Basically I think that IRC covers the skype call with the added benefit of providing session transcript and as Scott said allready the benefits of others to learn from the provided answers.
    I especially like the idea of integrating an IRC Client into blender for those that are online while using it. This way one could probably implement some mechanism to transfer the current scene to a person or to a list of person.
    Now to find someone who is willing and capable to do something like this... ;)

  14. Well cool. shame the article didnt mention IRC, instant online written help, even anonymous for the real stupid questions :)

    I'm not such a believer in forum answers for blender, blender just changes to much.
    The online manual is still best. With answering people who need a quick answer its mostly impossible to guess at what level you can answer.

  15. hey i would love to be part of this my skype name is switch_point besides this is great especially for ppl u have the basics but just need a little help

  16. I really like hillrunner's idea of having a chat system inside of Blender. What if you could see the other user's mouse cursor and where they clicked inside of your own Blender window? When Verse was integrated with Blender, users could connect and model the same mesh interactively. What if Verse were reintegrated with more features such as showing everyone's mouse cursor, button clicks, and text input? Users could guide each other to success right inside Blender! It would be amazing.

    Using Skype to teach people Blender is like trying to give an angry mob a haircut over the phone. The same questions will continue to be asked over and over, making the support team wish they had never been born. Now it's reasonable to teach Blender via Skyping friend-to-friend, but trying to serve the whole newcomer base with Skype is unrealistic. The forum is superior because each answered question remains so all can see. Sure, there isn't instant voice or video chat, but the forum can often-times answer people's question faster. I think the forum itself could possibly be improved to better suit the needs of newcomers with common Blender questions.

    There is also the IRC chat where I've had TONS of my own questions answered by kind Blender users.

    I think the best way for people to learn is to check the forums for video tutorials, screen shots, Blender manuals etc, and to log into IRC chat and simply ask their questions. Until we have Verse (hopefully) reintegrated into Blender with more interactive features as speculated above, IRC and the forum is where the best knowledge is.

  17. This was a bad idea. People are soliciting my name now. I would not recommend that you sign up unless you want sketchy people sending you messages.

  18. Hey. Not sure if this is outdated, but I need some help with my Model as it's doing some clipping that i don't know how to fix. Anyways my skype is (mr.appleman)

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