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Blender Used for Teaching Physics.


From Francisco M. Gómez-Campos, from University of Granada, in Spain.

"The purpose of this message is simply to let the Blender community know about a project we are developing at my University. We recently uploaded a video in YouTube developed using free software (Blender and Gimp) to be used as a help for the teaching of some concepts to students of Physics and Electronic Engineering.

The video is available only in Spanish, and it is not intended to be self-explanatory (we did not include a voice on the soundtrack, as in documentaries), but to be complemented with class notes. It explains the concept of Density of States, a widely used concept in Solid State Physics (and maybe some Blender users are also familiar with it. Now we are planning to develop other videos trying to help the students to better understand the concepts we teach at the University.

In this video we just did some simple modeling and texturing, and simple camera animations. We also used Blender for the video edition. But in future videos we plan to use more features of Blender. After a year of exploring Blender capabilities, my opinion is that Blender is excellent to produce these kind of teaching videos."


  1. In the old days (you know, ponytails and goatees), they used SGI a lot for these kind of things. The good thing of OSS over the old and expensive way of doing things is that technology is not reserved for the select few who can afford, it is for the masses of geniuses out there.

    That aside, I think the lighting is ugly though. They should use a better light rig that's pleasing for the eye.

  2. @Toon : remember these are university lecturers we are speaking of.

    I suspect that having something easy to understand is probably their primary goal, while esthetic is secondary.
    I also suspect that an academic schedule leave little time to test fancy stuffs like fur and SSS. :D

    As an academic myself, and one of those guys who publish papers too, I salute this action that shows how useful Blender can be to everybody not just the graphist community, even if it is probably 90% of it's user base...

    PS : in my old days, lecturers used retroprojector with plastic films and "persistant" pen that smudged everywhere nonetheless...
    I let you imagine how nice pictures and formula looked like... :p

  3. Wow,
    the nice visualization gets the eye away from those equations. The students will get the concept, but in the exam, they have to solve these equations....well...
    It was unusual (at the time i studied) that the professors invest so much effort (Viz, math, Sound(!), anim) to get the idea to you.
    Hat's off

  4. it is Awesome when school start using open source stuff, because it increase the chances of sponsorships for development and and the possibility of more developers from the schools.

  5. It's awesome work!

    I agree with you that it is very important to visualize what is going on in Math or Physics or any classes, which will help students understand well.

    Also I tried using Blender Game Engine in an academic way, in order to show how the PID control algorithm works. After designing a PID controller for an inverted pendulum as a simple example, it was controlled on BGE standing the pole stably at:

  6. Did you open source the content? (Creative Commons Licence?)

    Perhaps Toon can take your files and update the lighting and re-render them.

    That would be exceptional use of open approaches... the professor/grad student nail down the visual representation and some one else can step in help out by polishing it a bit [that harsh lighting... perhaps a nice fade in or a hitchcock zoom]

  7. First of all, I would like to thank all of you for giving your support to this project and to give ideas to improve the quality of the video. As I said, this is just the first video, and I hope to do other videos using Blender in the next months.

    Some of you have commented about the lighting of the video, and so I would like to know if this is a general issue, or if you think there is a certain part of the video where the lighting is really ugly. I would like to know more precisely what do you mean, because I want to improve the quality of my next videos.

    If you wish to give me more precise advices I will be very pleased (one of my purposes is to learn as much as possible).

    And by the way, I suspected that the Blender community was big... but after 3000 visits to the video in less than 24 hours from all over the world I'm really surprised. I think this is a success for the Blender developers. My sincere congratulations to them, you achieved a nice goal with this way of doing things creating this huge community.

    Thank you!!!!!!

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