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Friday Hangout: The Best Tutorial You've Ever Done


Do you still remember that one particular Blender tutorial that made you go 'a-HA!'? The one that made all the pieces in your mind come together and made you fall in love with Blender? Share it here and I'll compile a list of the greatest Blender tutorials of all time ;-)

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 ;-)


  1. I used blender for months without watching tutorials, i experimented, because it was just a fun thing at the beginning.
    For months i did not know what extrude was and i tried to model with subdivide and so on =D
    Then i got in contact with someone who helped me get into it, and now im totally in love.

    There is no certain tutorial that made me fall in love with blender, but there is one that i REALLY liked.
    It was about something i couldnt figure out to do in years!
    Also Andrew Prices tutorials impressed me, but i think enough write this here, so i wont link anything.

    Dirk M.

  2. How can you not give props to the Gingerbread Man tutorial?  I cut my teeth on it after switching from Anim8or to Blender.  Blender was
    a giant program that appeared as though I would eventually be able to control interstellar aircraft from the comfort of my home.  After the tutorial I had the basic knowledge to comfortably navigate amid Blender and I haven't looked back since.

  3. Hjmediastudios on

    The best one for me has probably been the infamous Stefan Morrell hard-surface texturing tutorial. It's not package-specfic, but it's had a huge impact on my texturing style and my entire workflow.

  4. Nicholas Rishel on

    Modeling a Strand of Christmas Lights in Blender 2.5, Jonathan Williamson:
    This was actually the first tutorial to introduce me to the idea of controlling a subsurf with loop cuts. There is a lot of static modeling ideas presented in the 40 minutes time, and to date I think it may be one of the best tutorials for a knowledged beginner to work with.

    Painting with Light in Cycles!, Max Hammond:
    This is still pretty new, but I think it's value will be fully realized at a later date. It's quick, simple, and gives an artist a lot of power with little effort. Definitely the ideal tool for specific jobs, and a great asset to Blender. It might also help some people wrap their head around the distinction between a mesh and the object that holds it.

  5. Henrique Perticarati on

    I really started using blender thanks to this tutorial: rigging an alien, by David Ward

  6. sadly, the first tutorials I used are no longer online, but the site was blender wars and had a myriad of Star Wars models and tutorials.  I did a tutorial on how to make my own Star Wars title fare and was off.  That was in 2002 on blender 2.23 I believe.

  7. Probably the underground subway tunnel tutorial by Andrew price taught me alot about setting up a scene and what compositing really was... A lot of David ward's tutorials(new or old) are great, Jonathan Williamson's Halloween themed sculpting tutorial on the werewolf gave me an excellent idea of just how to dive in and start sculpting myself.(Although i didn't even attempt the werewolf :O)
    That's when you know a tutorial is good, you don't even attempt the subject matter , end up with something completely different than the instructor and still feel like you learned tonnes.

    Thanks to everybody i mentioned(and forgot! ) you make those moments where i want to up and quit go away.

  8. For me there were two really big sources.  The first was Tony Mullen's book "Introducing Character Animation With Blender".  I had the first edition, and may well have to get the current version!  The early chapters on using the interface really helped me out a lot!

    The other thing that really got me proficient was the Blender Basics ebook.  It's been listed on this site before, but for those who don't know it, here's the site it came from:

    As I understand it, the author is a teacher who teaches Blender to his high school students, and this is the textbook he uses.  The book and all files requred to do the assignments are available for free on the site (if I've made an error explaining this, it's totally my own...apologies if this is the case).

    This ebook starts with teaching you how to use Blender from the ground up, and moves onto some more advanced topics.  For me this book really helped me to learn the hows and whys of Blender does things and why it reacts to what you do.  I can't recommend it enough!

  9. Jonathon Williamson's "Modeling the female head" that used to be available from the Montage Studio website invoked the Aha! moment, but the preparation for that moment was a fantastic thread about poles and loops dominated by Mr_Bomb and toontje (I think it was on subdivisionmodeling, but later most of the material was ported to blenderartists).

    The combination of this huge thread devoted to poles, edge loop flow, face loop flow and how to manipulate the flow of loops by moving poles, followed by the practical implementation creating the topology of a face and head moved my skills (meager as they are ;) forward in a fantastic leap of understanding.

  10. The original Blender tutes way back in the day by, I beleive it was you Bart!!

    The classic "Tunnel"
    Modelling a logo with curves
    The "welding" effect

    Those were awesome stuff!

    • Haha, I still have those saved somewhere in my tutorial archives I think! My word, Blender has changed a lot since then.

  11. So many great ones out there that made me go, a-HA!!! Most of my learnings have been from David Ward's tuts as I've been focusing alot on character creation/rigging. Lot's of good tutorials from many peeps out there. Thanks teachers!!! 

  12. The old greybeard wmvs that used to be on blender with the guy making a chess piece and uv mapping it.  Where did THOSE go?  This was waay before youtube when you had to wait while the whole movie loaded and then -THEN you could watch it.

  13. Hahaha, yeah good ol' greybeard.. I dont know how well those tutorials would apply to blender now a days.. im sure some of the info would be useful.. My main source of learning before videos became popular, and when blender was still a baby, was the the manual linked of the site.  I used to spend hours looking for video tutorials, and i would always end up on greybeards tuts. Thank god for cgcookie, andrew price, and all the other great tutorial masters around today.    

  14. hmm...well, I'd have to say that BlenderCookie's tutorials are what really supercharged my learning process - the Porsche modelling series, the first Halloween pumpkin tutorials, Modelling an Easy Chain, Creating an Axe... most of them are by Jonathan Williamson (I'm a big fan of his).

    Andrew Price's tutorials (also a big fan) also got really me started on lighting and compositing - can't really say that I'm all that good at it, but I'm working much harder on those aspects now :D

    Yeah, in the end, things by Jonathan Williamson, Andrew Price, and the original Noob to Pro series (was a pain to deal with, to be perfectly honest, but it was amazing at the time)

  15. Grass/hair.  Dark Scarab laid out a solid foundation for the particle options, while BlenderGuru's materials made the transparency and scale something understandable.  I had this feeling at 5am afterwards, that I could create anything I wanted to.  This foundation is memorized and used in somehow in every scene from grass to rocket-streams.

  16. I use blender since 10years. however, this multipart series by david ward was very interesting back then:

  17. I started with Blender 2.4x. I got interested because the UI was so bizarre compared to 3D Max and Maya. I searched Google to get me going and it made sense very quickly. The real eye-opener was when I realized that everything else started to make sense too (topology, textures, lighting, ...), which it didn't with 3D Max/Maya - I remember watching tutorials by Jonathan Williamson and Kernon Dillon, others too but I don't remember the authors or tutorials.

  18. First time I saw blender I thought "oh my god there is just no way". I didn't think I'd be able to fathom it, and then I saw Greybeards tutorial; Bishop and bathtub This guy is like the Bob Ross of computer graphics, I watched all of his tutorials and since then I've been hooked on Blender. I can honestly say without those Greybeard tutorials I wouldn't be in my sixth year as a Blender user.

    • Only a few months ago I too thought "no way". I'm a lot more comfortable now - but when I encounter discussions about aspects of Blender I haven't even looked at I still think "no way"!

  19. Sweet topic! Definitely Modeling a male head series by Johnathan Williamson. Also creating realistic grass by Andrew Price and a few on the Youtube channel "Bits of Blender". Noob to Pro series got me interested back in version 2.45

  20. I remember not having any clue about the interface nor modelling but i just wanted to learned how to model an object and the only software available for me was Blender 2.49. Then i got this outstanding guide that i found here or on the Burke's website that took me in only a few hours from complete ignorance to a clear understanding of the interface and some not so basic concepts for hard modelling.
    For Blender 2.5 or later, there are many cool and precise tutorials to name them all. Thank you all for sharing.

  21. The community is full of such helpful people that you can ask questions and get answers quickly. 
    But I would say: 

    Gray Beard: Brought me in on a whole new level. The man is the best or at least was the best. I strive to teach as well as he did. Also all things being equal, for me it wasn't a tutorial that made me love Blender it was a video done by Bassam called Chicken Chair Link: Bassam is amazing and an old friend.So many others to list.

  22. the 26 or more Utube vids by David Ward. A complete set of lessons from the basic cube, to a finished, animated character. Step by step teaching, without the TIME LAPSES moments; he show his mistakes, and how he fix them; great teacher. It was like we were learning at the same time, but you knew he would give you the answer at the end.

  23. Not exactly for Blender, but the "Joan of Arch" tutorial realy got my modeling skills in the right way.

    Also, here's a list:- Introduction to Cycles:
    - Character Animation (BSoD):
    - Sculpting a human Head:
    - Retopology With Shrinkwrap:
    - Rocky Terrain for games:
    - The Mancandy FAQ (DVD)
    - Learn Character Animation Using Blender (DVD)

    And the good old ones, like the Tunnel, Winter Scene, etc.

    • Janne Roivainen on

      Yes, Joan of Arc is a classic. When I first started in 3D, maybe 6 years ago, that was where I learned most, and I still use those methods and principles in character modeling.

  24. Ryan Dale's BSOD Introduction to character Animation (Helped me in too many ways I can't remember all but it gave me the confidence as a 3D designer.)

    Andrew Price video tutorial Rendering Animations the right way (it eventually solved my problem of creating corrupt video files)

    James Chronister's Blender Basics 3rd Edition. (as Blender progresses having these PDFs to go along with the relevant version is essential)

    (I would like to also make a special mention of The Gingerbread Man. not my fevourite but it is a true Blender Hall Of Fame member)

    • sorry for not including the links. coz i don't remember them neither did I notify them down for future reference (will have to start doing so from now on).

  25. Struggled with Blender for a couple of years, and had almost given up when I discovered Andrew Price.
    His animated flag made the penny drop and showed me how easy it can be.
    Prior to that I'd just ben using it to render models I'd made in Google Sketch-up...

  26. Good topic! Though Blenderguru really improved my skills over the last year, the tutorial that made a great difference some years ago, after trying hard for myself some time, was this one:
    Though I don't model a house that way now, it was really great watching a project from start to end.

  27. I started with this (French), a little old but very complete. You can still see the old blender interface :)

  28. I used to search U-Tube for Tuts, superboy and david ward were to ones I actually worked myself through and got a good foundation in Blender.

  29.  I am quite divided on this survey, but I would say1 - Introduction to the Compositor by Blenderguru2 - Creating a Bouncing Ball Rig3 - Create a High Rise Building series in BlenderguruMarcos

  30. Well I came to blender through TESNexus, the modding community for TES IV: Oblivion. The first day I started Blender my mouth Dropped to the floor, it was Version 2.47. I said to my self "Self, How the hell are you going to learn this." My First set of tutorials was the Blender 3D Design Course Here
     I found this using blender newbies toolbar

    Then I found Noob to Pro,

    then Blenderguru,

    and finally CGCookies .

    These four have been the most influential for me and learning Blender. But I must admit I still have a long way to go.

  31. Another "vote" for David Ward's "rigging an Alien"
    David cleared away some heavy fog for me with that one.

    • However. I also remember my first tutorials were from the wiki book "Noob to Pro" - that got me started with the basics, but unfortunately much of it is still written for 2.4x and that makes the going too tough once you're about half way through. Nevertheless, it's a very good primer.

  32. Having dabbled in a few other programs before, I would say the good old introduction to blender (at wikibooks?) got me from "what the?" to "blender is cool". After that I think Creature factory made me realise that modelling wasn't as hard as it first appears.

  33. Greybreard for me - such precision in the old days of limited speed. Creature Factory inspirational. David Revoy - Alchemy although not Blender moved me up several levels. (Although I'm still shite compared to all you dudes :) ) Guru and Cookie deserve a pay rise. oh... and Pablo as well. :).  Ton inspirational as well y'know. :)

  34. Alexei-piankov on

    Jonathan Williamson is like an God for me) and i like his voice some like jonathan davis from korn) IMHO its best tuts

  35. Saturday morning back in October 2008 I needed to create a logo for a 3D website, I had no clue which way to turn. I went to Fry's Electronics and found: Animation Master for $299. I was excited about all the things it could do, however I decided to go back home and search online for some reviews before purchasing it. I spent the whole day reading and reading and most people said:

    """ Better get Blender, it is free and more powerful! """

    I was not fully convinced until I watched Elephant Dreams, DAM ! I could not believe it ( Still my favorite movie :)

     Then late at night I downloaded and installed Blender 2.43 !
     I looked at that cube, that's all I could do because I could not even move it !

     Then I found this tutorial: Hello World  from Wiki Blender:

    This was my first ever Rigging-model and animation Tutorial.Results were very Ugly, here you can watch it, this is PRIVATE Video :)

    Blender training never ends.

  36. I couldn't say any one tutorial made me "get it".  There are so many great artists and teachers that have offered up bits here and there that made it stick for me.

    Blender Underground, Kernon Dillon at BlenderNewbies who did a great job of easing me into blender.  Of course Blendercookie, Blenducation, Neil Herzig, Sebastien Konig, Colin Levy, Pablo and the list goes on.... wow there are a lot of very generous teachers out there!

    Blender community you rock!

    thanks to everyone that's shared their skills.

  37. Wow, I'm looking forward to checking out the compiled list, and just browsing through all the links here.

    I've gotta say that one of my favorite tutorials was possibly the first one I ever watched, which was Gottfried Hoffman's intro to the smoke simulator, on CGtuts+

    The sheer coolness of the idea of smoke simulations was enough for me to overcome the intimidating look of Blender, and now I can't imagine using anything else.

  38. Blender Noob to Pro, and Jonathan Williamson's stuff. Noob to Pro needs some updating though.. Anyone know any good tutorials for getting into 2.6 BGE python API?

  39. Kirill Poltavets on

    My favs (don't remember the order)

    Glowing Stripes Tutorial by Jonathan Williamson.

    Hannu Hofren - Disintegration (maybe not a tut but with source .blend that makes that like Tut!)

    Daniel Valente (not that football player :D) - Tank Tracks (not sure he is the first but that was my first experience with this technique)

    Bart Crouch (he is not only the genius add-on maker) - I couldn't pass this! :)
    Many people will agree that Blender modelling tools now are about 25% (maybe even more) more powerful because of his tools. So this site contains tuts on the addons also. Very inspiring! - it's my latest and very inspiring site with a lot of great hints (and blends) for advanced Blender users. - David Ward. It's a very good tutorial! It was so inspiring so I decided to head another way on this modelling. And made a timelapse. It was not so fast as I thought :D

    Creating Sci-Fi Panel Tutorial by Porter Nielsen - Very cool :)

    Rigging tutorials by Lee Salvemini - It's the best I ever seen on this theme!

    The best tutorials on Particle and Smoke Simulations I ever seen -
    by Gottfried Hofmann. And this (by URL) was my first inspiring thing in the Particles world :) I was fearing of those numbers in settings... But after working with his tutorial I created something.. experimental - - Max Hammond. It was really inspiring!

  40. Being a newbie (to both 3 d graphics and blender,blender being my first foray into 3d),i have a complain.
             for  a newbie like me ,it is better if we are able to differentiate between people new to 3d graphics and those who are new to blender.Because there are so many artists out there who tell they are new to blender but dont tell they have experience in other 3d programmes.So when these people take on the name of a "newbie",while writing a tutorial or posting comments,we real newbies feel a short of "inferiority complex".It is like "r we the only nuts out there?
    and gingerbred man was the first tutorial i did.

    • I Found that leg rig tutorial very good, i'm still learning only using 7 or 8 months, Blender changes and updates so fast it seems that its a constant learning proscess. TP8000cv's soapbox rant had me in stitches, when he was giving out about parenting a bone to an empty. It was very very funny, and very very informative.

  41. 1. The Werewolf series (
    2. The Elf Head series (, and the theory behind it ( BTW, it looks like the otherwise wonderful Cycles is going to take it all away: I'm afraid I will have to figure out from scratch how to imitate SSS in Cycles
    3. God-Ray Logo Reveal in Blender(
    In that order.
    Thank you.

  42. Maciej Szcze?nik on

    I really like Andre Price's tutorials (Andrew has similar "style" to Andrew Kramer's videocopilot tuts, which is great) on Blender Guru and all the Blender Cookie ones. The one single tutorial that changed my aproach to Blender was the goodspirit's rotoscoping tutorial: I've started to use Blender to edit movie effects after watching this one. But still, if I want to see some Blender news... I visit Blendernation. Everything interesting is always posted here. 

    And guys, since I have an occasion, I'd like to thank all those who make Blender tutorials. I think this kind of support is the most important thing for a 3d package.

  43. Having worked with various 3d software packages over the last 13 years, opening Blender that first time years ago felt like I was the new kid on block all over again. The tutorials that really allowed me to wrap my head around the interface of Blender was this video series from Cartoon Smart 

    Those videos got me over the initial hump so that I could navigate confidently to really start to play in the Blender sandbox.
    And now I'm a Blender advocate to my more snootier 3D co-workers. Now if only I could convince work add it to the pipeline.

  44. Blenderella,

    Never seen such a model come together so flawlessly and meticulously,
    Of course Andrew Price is the king of glam. His tuts stand out as being some of the best. Perfect tutorial voice,
    Mr. Williamson who explains techniques with such depth that they stick and he does well with cramming knowledge into short periods of time,
    David Ward, the blender everyman who finally made rigging click for me and inspired me to not only try rigging an alien but flowers and bugs and even tables.
    The Man.... he can't go without mentioning. He taught me to watch out for those watchful eyes And got me started during my 2.4 days.
    Lee Salmaneli (I hope I spelled that right) showed a flawless ninja being put together from scratch an opened my eyes to how important concept images are to planning a project.

  45. I missed jet Engine blender tutorial old website, But not thrust vectoring jet engine and afterburners
    Can't find it.  It was  2.49 blender    .It was easy.

  46. For years I tried to start with Blender because it always fascinated me, even in the days when yoy had to pay for the manual. But I never got started until found blendercookie.

    Thanks Jonathan!

  47. Porter Nielson's Sci-fi panel tut from, Jonathan Williamson's adding multiple materials to a single mesh from, David Ward's toon-shading tut from . . . . yeah, all from blendercookie but that's because I LOVE blendercookie. It's awesome! Thanks for a great Blender education!


  48. For the interface, back when I started:
    -Grey beard tutorials.

    For modeling:
    -a series of tutorial by some nicknamed "kokos"
    -the topology thread started by someartist and Toontje + wireframes posted on spiraloid (Bay Raitts old forum)

    For rigging:
    -the Mancandy FAQ

    For animating:
    -The Animation Mentor free tips and tricks ebooks (after reading Richard Williams Animator's survival kit)

    For lighting / rendering:
    -Yves Poissant tutorial (and related threads) on gamma correction and light attenuation
    -Reading through POV-Ray newsgroups and asking questions there always got extremely knowledgeable answers.

    a few free ebooks were made and videotutorials about Python just when Blender 2.5 was out
    -Gerard Swinnen's book
    -Bite of Python

    Some not free or non web based live discussions and trainings are often invaluable.

  49. When I first started, there were just too many buttons; I had no idea where to start! I needed something extremely simple, which is exactly what I found in a short youtube tutorial that showed me how to make a falling, rotating cube. Unfortunately, I don't remember that exact tutorial, so I can't share the link.

    The other tutorials that taught me the most (so far) was the "Introduction to Character Animation" (not Tony Mullen's one - haven't done it yet): and the Blender Basics ebook:

  50. Anything by Andrew Price; me and my friend's son are working through his tutorials.
    The Earth and the tunnel tuts really give a good grounding in "the fun bit", compositing.
    Keep up the good work Andrew, you've taught me a lot.

  51. Since everyone is mentioning the gingerbread man tutorial, I thought I would post my updated version here.  It's a bit different than the original, and possibly a bit more difficult.  It is for 2.5, and was intended as a 'getting your feet wet' type of lesson.  This gingerbread is more fully articulated than the original, and is one piece ( manifold mesh ) except for the frosting.

  52. I love Blender.  However, I do not think it has the best tutorials for me.  THe best tutorials I have seen are for 3d Coat and Hexagon.  Both programs have very short 1 to 5 minute video tutorials that focus on a specific tool or action.  I find these the most useful.  Longer tutorials are very good for setting up projects.  I like watching them, so I have to schedule the time for them.   tThey cover a lot tools and actions.  If I want to know how to use a specific tool, it is very difficult to find the exact place I need to watch.  I would really love it if Blender could develop more quick tutorials that covers one tool or action in addition to their longer tutorial videos.

  53. Already mentionned in one of the first posts :
    Not specifically wrtitten for Blender, but fully understandable. After reading this tut my texturing improved a lot !

    I also enjoyed a lot what Andrew made for the Wow Factor. The "Introduction to Compositor" gave me many tools I constantly use now. Enhance your renders with a few tips... Really useful.

    As for less advanced users among the French community, I started -like most froggies- with Aerodark's big tutorial. Basic but very well explained from A to Z

  54. probably the one tutorial i fricken flipped over because it looked so amazing yet so simple was andrew price's tutorial how to model a subway tunnel. it probably got me seriously modeling instead of just staying with train modeling so many thinks to andrew price: the blender guru.

  55. Niclas Tornbladh on

    I would also say "Ginger bread man" or GUS as I believe he was called. It really covers a lot. From zero to hero in an hour or so.

  56. I've seen and done some fantastic tutorials in the past year or so. But, I have to say the best so far is the one I'm working on now. it's not a free tutorial but it is worth every penny of the $19 I've spent. Not only have I learned new things in Blender I've actually learned some uses of Inkscape and Gimp. I love it!

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