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The Structure of Blender


Riven Phoenix presents a free Blender videotraining of almost 9 hours long!

Riven Phoenix writes:

The Structure of Blender 3D Modeling and Animation has been released spanning 8 hours and 45 mins. This course is FREE just like blender. Enjoy!

Lesson Plan:

  • 000- The Structure Of Blender : Introduction
  • 001 - The Structure Of Blender : Modeling Human Figure Template
  • 002 - The Structure Of Blender : Modeling Character Clothing
  • 003 - The Structure Of Blender : Texture Mapping, Vertex Painting, Texture Painting
  • 004 - The Structure Of Blender : UV Unwrapping, Ambient Occlusion
  • 005 - The Structure Of Blender : Power of Normal Maps
  • 006 - The Structure Of Blender : Adding Rigify To Your Character
  • 007 - The Structure Of Blender : Rigify Weight Painting and Adding Constraints
  • 008 - The Structure Of Blender : Adding Eye Controllers to Rigify
  • 009 - The Structure Of Blender : Facial Expressions with Shape Keys, Drivers, and Bone Shapes to Rigify
  • 010 - The Structure Of Blender : Your First Animations and Wrap-up - Final



  1. I didn't know Riven used Blender.  Cool.  It's been a while since I last visited his site.  I see he's made a few games in the App Store.  I wonder if he used Blender for those.


  3. blener noob pd on

    this is exactly why blendernation is an awesome site, and although im not good enough to contribute anything worth sharing yet, i get that little closer every time i visit your site. maybe one day  something i do will be worthy of your site. thanks for all the time and effort you put into blender, codes, add ons, news, reviews, etc etc etc list is endless. i thank you sir

  4. Larry Phillips on

    Blender 3D Modeling Master Classes? Not. It's just another confusing beginner course by a novice user. Two hours of training crammed into 8 hours of bumbling nonsense. Blender does not often "do weird things". Not if you know what you are doing and know it well.

    There's much better free courses out there on youtube and vimeo if you look hard enough. Much better. You can learn the buttons as well as good workflow at the same time.

    I do recommend Riven's human body drawing course. That is very good if you want to draw hero type characters without using reference.

    This site posts and promotes just anything and everything nowadays it seems. Is it just me or has Fonzie done jumped the shark here?

    • I think you have a point mate. Seriously the quality doesn't look all that good. I would have a hard time recommending this when I know the are better dvd's out there like Angela's Blenderella and CG Master's Ninja video. I am still waiting for the day when I start seeing video's Gnomon.

      This looks like a tutorial that was put together by someone who is still very new to Blender.

    • it's always nice and useful read positive and informative comments on blogs, it's really what makes a nice community...

      • Larry Phillips on

        The hype doesn't match the value. Time is valuable to many. Frustration turns away many would-be Blender users. Blender has a bad rep as being buggy and user-unfriendly with many of the same.

        I was being nice by giving a recommendation of his DVD, and informative to the newbies out there looking for quality tutorials. If I sounded harsh the reason for it is in the first paragraph of this reply, and the fact that it seems like this was simply posted here on BN for clicks. Value for value is the name of the game. Feelings have nothing to do with it.

        • Only thing with blender that bugs me is the bug were the scrolling the mouse dosent work. THeres no 3d-program you can learn in a day. 

          • well ofc. there are other bugs that is quite annoying, but thats something that you just cant fix for some reason. Anyway i love blender. 

          • when that happens to me i open up my google chrome and CTRL + Scroll in to zoom anything..... and when i go back on blender it works just fine... takes 5 seconds to fix....

  5. Take one look at the topology on the 'Human Figure Template'.
    You want to learn to make crap from a rank amateur, then this is the course for you.

  6. Hmm, not very nice comments here about his work... but, guys you are a little wrong - despite the bad modeling tutorials the tutorials on rigify are really worth it, please stop hating the guy - he is spending his time to make a free contribution to the community - one of the things we all love Blender!
    As far as I know there are very few people that are equally good at modelling, rigging and animation - everyone has his weak points! His tutorials about Rigify is very awesome and I strongly recommend it to everyone! It helped me alot for understanding it, I must confess that before it seems to me very confusing but now I understand it much better!
    And dont brag about topology - we have Jonathan Willamson for that, he is not going anywhere, right?
    One of the biggest lessons in life is to learn to respect the others, just like you want the others to respect you!
    Peace and stay positive!

    • Larry Phillips on

      There's nobody hating on anyone here, and he didn't spend his time to make a free contribution to the community. He did it to market his site and his for-money product, and the community reporter posted it here for clicks. There's nothing unethical about any of that, but that doesn't make it good business.

      There's nothing wrong with folks posting their harsh opinions about it here straight up either. A newbie wearing a master's hat to bring in business should expect nothing less.

      So now the newbies have positive and negative crits about the product, and can dig in and check it out for themselves if they have the time, and know there may be much better out there for free if they don't.

      ... and all is well in Blenderland. It always was. :-)


      • You are making a whole lot of unfounded accusations and assumptions. Just because the tutorials weren't up to your standards, whatever those may be, doesn't mean that these are of no value to others. That also doesn't mean that the creator's motives were purely to get people to his site and blendernation only wanted clicks.
        I for one started going through the rigging tut and found it tremendously helpful, and am grateful to both the creator and blendernation for them.
        The great thing about blender is that people of all levels are willing to pitch in and help those on a level below them. If you feel you are too good for their help then so be it, you've had your say and you've pushed your opinion and seem to want to keep pushing it- to what end I don't know. By all means point out what is wrong, but when someone had spend 9 hours producing help for others, the least you can do is show a little respect.

  7. If it shortens the learning curve of those coming into Blender, I think it is more than welcome.  Back when many of us started there were not many beginner-friendly tutorials or books, and I know I would have saved long trial-error hours if a material this explicit and detailed had been available for free... Many advanced courses or topics are really hard to tackle if these fundamentals are not well established first.  So, IMHO, kudos for taking the time to save other learners unnecessary struggle figuring out stuff, and allowing them to focus and to study on the most important-structural matters first ;)

  8. I like many others don't see why this was posted either. It seems that the quality of content posted here degrades for every day.

    I've seen some of his drawing videos and yeah, they're pretty good, but come on this is crap. His model and topology is crap, he should've mirrored the textures as they don't have any unique details. Maybe the rigging is good, I don't know, I don't want to waste my time looking through the crap. This is basically the blind leading the blind.

  9. i still don't get why all people here who thinks that is "crap" does not post links of better free videos of around 9 hour covering the same topics, which thay say to know well ("There's much better free courses out there on youtube and vimeo")... so if you're not providing better comparison, and for free, this people is, to me, just like ungrateful lurkers trolling... please say something like "i think this link shows better videos ", so that anyone can compare, and the community (so, in a wide sense themselves too) benefit of anyone input and experience... And i think BN can publish whatever they wish, if you don't like it and know better blogs, go there (but before post that in the comments, please, we too are interested!), you can't complain for having paid a subscription fee here...

    • Because you should be able to google this for yourself. Several people have mentioned people who put out better tutorials already the are not all free but here we go, Angela from Sintel Blenderella DVD, Lee From Sintel his Ninja dvd, Jonathan Williamson has loads of free character modeling videos and some paid for content on Blender Cookie plus a Book. 

      Rigify is not that hard to learn, hence why so many people love it because Nathan took the task of rigging humanoids and made it easy for all of us.

      Take it from an intermediate Blender user this tutorial is not that good and the topology of that character is really wrong. Follow that and you will learn a bunch of wrong techniques.

      Please let us all be a little mature here, there is nothing wrong in people saying something is crap because their point might be valid. Just because something is made in Blender or been offered for free doesn't mean we must turn a blind eye and be nothing but praise singers. Negative criticism is very important is it points out flaws in something. 

      links for the lazy.

      cg cookie

      • That's not the matter of laziness. We newbies are just afraid after reading all of those comments that the tutorials we will find by ourselves will be again bad. This is the reason why we need a little help here. How can I know which tutorial  is good and which is not. So thank you for those links a lot. Riven's course has been remade, how about it now? I like his way of presenting things and teaching but I am not able to say if the topology etc. is now better than in previous version (I am aware that my english is far from being good, sorry for that).

  10. agradezco sus tutoriales y su esfuerzo por compartir, siga adelante por aca en los pueblos pobres le pedimos a Dios que le bendiga y ayude.

  11. Looking at these tutorials.... they are just bad. No I wouldn't recommend them to anyone who wants to learn blender or 3D in general...
    It's a shame really. The guy is very educated in traditional figure drawing, and his "the structure of man" may very well be (one of) the best courses in the world. That set of DVDs has been around for ages. That set is worth every penny. If you want to learn anatomy and creature design (and you know at some point you will if you're modeling characters) buy that set instead.
    But this "blender course"... too long and teaches you a lot of bad techniques. Skip it.

  12. somebody  took the jam out of a couple of grampas doughnuts i see. what contributions to education have you made, and if you have were they 100% free. maybe the guy isn't a jedi or guru or whatever you wanna call it, but i'd put a wager he has done more for educating newbies than you have. please post a link to some of your tutorials or models that you feel represent are so great that you can voice such a grumpy old man opinion. bah humbug to you, and to riven thanks for taking the time to do the series. don't let idiot comments get you down. i dislike the fact you forget you were once a noob, and also dislike the fact you cant just say i didn't like it, instead of a gorilla rant. did riven bully u at school or something. there's a definite underlining seething in your comment.ill buy you a box of doughnuts if it will cheer you up or try the samaratans, they might listen to your soap box crap. take David ward Blender cookie for example. the guy does amazing work, and is very good at tutorial authoring . one of the best i.m.h.o , but if you look at his tutorials from way way way back i'm sure even David would agree there were some things he could have thought differently, or proceeded to find an easier way of doing things after uploading the tut.The point is don't put the guy of, if he has produced a world leading human anatomy learning book or program, chances are he will improve at his blender tuts too, and hopefully make you heat humble pie or doughnuts with plenty of jam. INCREASE DA PEACE

    • If you're happy to be taught incorrect and substandard methodologies, then by all means...
      I, for one, would be quite irate to sit through an eight hour course that taught me how to do things the wrong way.

      No professional is going to look at this series in order to come to terms with Blender. You only have to take a look at the childlike modeling effort (eyes, ears, mouth, boxy limbs, checkerboard mesh, etc..) to know that this just doesn't cut it.

      Spend your time on BlenderCookie or one of the already mentioned sites and give this a miss.

  13. People seem to despise those videos because it teaches bad techniques. Did they consider it's at least a good video to learn the interface of blender? I came from blender 3.49 and I couldn't find half of the keys and windows I was used to. And of course NO tutorial nor guide all in one to explain the new interface.
    I'm happy I could see those videos. If it wasn't posted here, I wouldn't know it.

  14. did anyone read what it says on the site? The videos show how blender works and not 3d modeling. the screenshots are kinda obvious.

  15. Thank you so much for the incredible feedback about this course. I have gotten a lot of positive feedback. I am in the process of creating a new version of this course and hope to have it uploaded by the end of this week. The main goal of this course is to teach how blender works and it's 3D Modeling tools and animation features. In the new version we will be using the same concept but with a better human figure model design that follows simple rules of topology. This figure works very good with rigify then the old version of course since in the old version we just used a subdivision modifier to get going. This course is really designed for newbies by taking them through the process of creating a simple character design and using it to do a full short animation so to learn how blender works. I also will show how to export to Unity 3D and maybe add a gun or sword to show how to solve more complex animation issues. What I want to do hopefully in the end is to take them through all aspects of blender if time allows me so they feel great working with it. This course does not go into advance 3D Modeling and UV Unwrapping concepts but I do my best to explain what they can do in those areas if they please as this course is more about blender. The 3D figure that you create will allow you to do many things but I try to keep it's design concepts as concepts. I also recommend you use your own character design. I don't go into super realistic figure modeling but show you how you can do it, so my character design is kept simple as possible. I keep my courses simple and to the point so they can become good learning tools.

    The first version was just a prototype concept. Building courses is very hard and it is important to test out concepts with the public to see how they like them before spending months and years creating them even if this course is free. A lot of my students wanted me to create this course on blender so I hope they like it when the final version is done in about a year. This course is dynamic so it will keep expanding over time. I am sure it will clock over 50 hours if god wills it. 

    PS. I don't mind the negative comments I have been building courses for a long time and know how important feedback is with concepts.

  16. And many of us appreciate your efforts to contribute to the open source community!  All the world is a critic and we all know what opinions are like...........

  17. Riven Phoenix on

    I just did a major update to 'The Structure of Blender' 3D Game Modeling and Animation Online Course. This course will now just keep expanding and touch on creating more Animations and a game in Blender and Unity 3D. of Contents:001
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Modeling Human Figure Template002
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Modeling your Character
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Low Game Topology Techniques
    The Structure Of Blender HD: UV Unwrapping
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Adding Rigify to Your Character
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Weight Painting
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Adding a Tail Rig to Rigify
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Adding a Tentacle Rig to Rigify
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Adding Eye Controllers to Rigify, Bone Shapes
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Adding Facial Expressions, Shape Keys, Drivers
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Sculpting Your Character
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Normal Maps,Ambient Occlusion
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Projection Painting, Texture Painting
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Vertex Painting, UV Unwrapping Eyes
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Your First Idle Animations, Action Editor
    The Structure Of Blender HD: NLA Editor
    The Structure Of Blender HD: Video Sequence Editor018The Structure Of Blender HD: Exporting to Unity 3D

  18. Every fucking time I try to Rigify it is off a little bit and I can't parent it without the figure randomly disappearing. Any tips?

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