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Blender Course in the Leo Burnett, Poland!


I'm really happy to let you know about a successful Blender Course which I taught to one of the biggest Advertising Agencies in the world - Leo Burnett. It lasted 5 days and was taught on-site. This was my first teaching experience, and I wish to share my experience to help other Blender Certified Trainers deliver world-class training on Blender. I want to be honest also about the pitfalls, because that's also one of the things that I really like about Blender Foundation, they never try to hide weak points, bugs, annoyances, ... And I believe that's also one of the reasons why can Blender make so fast progress!

Darek Anczykowski who is the Creative Director of Polish department of Leo Burnett was brave enough to contact me to do the Blender Course for his team of Art Directors and Designers in Warsaw. It's is true that I am a Blender Foundation Certified Trainer and that I have experience as an Art Director, Designer and 3D Animator too, but I didn't have any teaching experience. So, this was like a golden opportunity for me to start with the Blender Courses! But also a great responsibility! I really wanted to represent Blender well, so I did the best I could to prepare myself for my first Blender teaching experience. The course was to be taught in English, but my native language is Slovenian and theirs of course Polish.

Beside reading the Blender Manuals (again), Essential Blender & watching some good English video tutorials made by Neal Hirsig and David Hickson, I've also prepared UTTC (Ultimate Tools Training Center) Certificates which they received after they finished the Blender Course. The materials that I made for the BFCT program (ActionBook & MemoBook) helped me a lot too!

Getting Started is always the hard part, especially when faced with a very dense and complicated application like Blender. My students tried very hard to concentrate and stay focused on Blender's GUI for ~8 hours, especially because I persisted on using the HotKeys instead of the Menus. But hey, I do believe that professionals should use Blender's hotkeys! After the first day I was really concerned that I scared everyone and that I would be alone in the classroom next day...

Well, lucky this is the team of professionals, so they are used to work under pressure and the next day they all came back, except one - he had some "other important things to do". OK, I've learnt my lesson, so I've been showing them more fun stuff next day. Colors, textures, procedurals, nodes, modifiers, (doh, & finally F12 too :), some materials which I plan to put on my DVD and of course Big Buck Bunny DVD cheered them up! So, second day they were already able to make nice models and renderings, of course also because they all have a good graphical knowledge and therefore feeling for the colors and composition!

Olga even showed me her previous beautiful 3D models made with Rhino, so it was quite a challenge for me to show her how to use Catmull-Clark tools instead of Blender's (still) clumsy NURBS and Boolean tools, to get the "same" results. I also didn't have answers on her questions about 3D printing from Blender, because I don't have any experience on that field, I just know that I already saw some printed 3D models which was made with Blender.

Usually we can read about the "bad" Blender's GUI, but this time it really showed its powerful side. I bought for this Course a tiny Asus EeePC 701 with the small screen resolution (800x480) and I was able to show all Blender tutorial stuff on it, even animations and video editing! To present one of the most complex applications on one of the smallest computers in the world was really cool! Projected small screen made all buttons and fonts bigger, so it was really easy for them to read and follow the program. Here I would like to thank Luka Frelih for his help with Ubuntu Linux customizations which now run really nice on my new NetTop!

OK, for the happy end of this report I can proudly say that is the new Blender team from the Leo Burnett now already able to make not only rendering stills, but also rigs, animations, video editing... And they want me to teach them more about Blender! I even received a nice present from the team (still didn't try it btw :)! So, I will have in Warsaw another Blender Course, but next time I will cover more advanced Blender techniques!

Finally I would like to thank Beata Karpinska and Darek Anczykowski for the flawless organization of this event, and of course I would like to introduce to the Blender Community the new professional Blender team:

* Olga Surawska (ladies first :)
* Sebastian Bulski
* Damian Klos
* Mikolaj Nowicki
* Maciej Stojek
* Pawel Wojtak

Thank you all and see you soon!

Blender Foundation Certified Trainer,
Igor Krizanovskij


  1. Fantastic!!! Keep up the good work!!! Congrats to the Leo Burnett team in Poland for being innovative, for thinking different and looking at a tool that can revolutionize the way 3D is thought of and used in a professional environment.

  2. Good to know that mainstream organizations like Leo Burnett are willing to take creative chances with software and production methods. Always a good sign.

    Thanks for the great report, Igor, and keep up the good work.

  3. Good work !

    About 3D printing, this is very easy. Just use the menu : "export -> STL..." and choose a file name. Voilà ! STL files are standard for 3D printing, exporting triangles with normal information. Works pretty well, even on subsurf. If you need to check the exported result, solidview provides a free software to display STL files (

  4. After all, you must be quite a teacher if they got so fat in a mere 5 days, professionals or not. :)
    I'd like to see the 'more important things to do' guy face when he'll meet the others now LOL.

    Congratulations on this and also for being up to the challenge of keeping Blendernation so lively.


  5. This was a good read. Very excited to see professionals adopting Blender (it's long overdue), but I must admit when I first launched Blender, I close it when 2min. Two years later and Blender is my workhorse.

    Igor, if the artist at Leo Burnett need to outsource their rendering let them know that Remnant Studios LLC provide the rendering for the 'Hangar No. 5' short ( and that we're continuing to build up our farm. They can contact me, jacob at remnantstudios dot com, for more info.

    Thanks and happy Blending!

  6. When I worked at Publicis in France (Leo Burnett is a agency of Publicis), I introduced Blender in the agency, who did not know it. And he was quickly installed on all computers.

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