There are lots of tutorials, videos and books available to learn Blender, but the easiest way of learning is still to see someone else use it. For most people this is easier said than done of course. Blenducation aims to solve this by offering live Blender classes on the web - you can look over the shoulder of well-known Blender community members and interact with them. Blenducation offers a combination of free and paid classes.
David Millet reports.
Blender is sometimes criticized for having a lack of training options. Despite the community's best efforts to provide useful training tools such as manuals, DVDs, and online forums and chat rooms, there are topics for which a traditional classroom setting is most appropriate. For example, have you ever wished you could watch an experienced modeler work in real time, personally answering your questions and providing useful hints as they worked? If so, you're not alone. This is only one of many scenarios in which learning Blender in a classroom environment can be superior to learning it from a hundred tutorials. Helping make this happen is Blenducation.org, the new online live class Blender education website developed by Blender user and education visionary David Hickson.
Blenducation.org aims to provide users with the best live class experience possible, without making you leave your easy chair. By using online meeting service DimDim, Blenducation is able to offer live online classes taught by well known Blender artists and instructors from anywhere in the world. The online nature of the system also allows classes to be scheduled around the clock. Mr. Hickson aims to eventually provide ample learning opportunities for willing students in any time zone.
When compared to the cost of other online school courses (which often spiral into several thousands of dollars), Blenducation.org classes are relatively cheap. Mr. Hickson currently plans to charge no more than $20US for a seat for the most expensive classes, even while offering many other classes free of charge! While almost all of the classes scheduled at the time of writing this article are free introductory classes, Mr. Hickson promises that he will be filling out the schedule with classes covering Blender-related topics right away.
If you haven't visited Blenducation.org yet, you should check it out! The site features a list of instructors and classes that will only become more complete over time. Â You can also easily change your time zone with the site, and you will then see all the classes relative to the selected time zone.
Want to sign up for a class? The first step to becoming a student is to watch the introductory video featuring Mr. Hickson (in which he introduces himself as â€œdipingoâ€) on the right side of most pages of the site. Next, register for an account by following any of the registration links. You'll then be able to click on red calendar dates to see what classes are being offered, and sign up for classes. Â Mr. Hickson explains that when you sign up for a class, you will be sent an email providing you with details on how to attend the class 30 minutes before the class begins.
Having been through one or two classes myself, this author is convinced that Blenducation has tremendous potential, not only in educating Blender users in technical and artistic techniques, but also helping legitimize Blender as a force to be reckoned with in the industry. Give it a try, and don't forget to leave Mr. Hickson feedback to help him in his goal of providing the best Blender educational experience possible.