[Bf-education] Re: [Bf-docboard] Blender education materials & style consistency

Ewout chocolade at extrapuur.nl
Mon Oct 24 17:10:21 CEST 2005

(follow-up to bf-education added)

Hello Tom,
First off a few notes on your studies. I really think the migration 
guides could be helpful, although in my opinion they should be secondary 
to the main manual(s).
A good way to serve the target markets you describe is to have seperate 
manuals, each covering a specific area; something that has been 
suggested before. That way, the 2d artists for example can skip the 
animation book and buy the 'advanced rendering' book instead.

I really think quick a start material is essential to keep the attention 
of first time users by 'instant satisfaction'. It doesn't have to take 
many clicks to render out something very appealing (to first time users 
at least), but I believe that it can contribute a lot to the interest 
that people will have in the material. Sort of creating the 'wow' effect.

A completely different area that has not been discussed at all, although 
of great importance I think, is consistency in style! I think since 
blender left NaN, blenders visual identity has been degrading slowly.
To illustrate: if you do a google image seach on 'blender logo', you 
will find that the first *official* logo is result number 141 (which 
probably changes from server to server, but the number is a good 
indication). Most of the other results are actually blender logos 
aswell, but homebrewn 3D versions. Even the KDE blender icon is 
unofficial (3d-ish, see 

With an ever growing amount of communication, it would be a good idea to 
  have a good, consistent visual identity. Most of the elements already 
exist, the problem that people cannot read about it and don't have a 
place to download style elements. A simple 'press/download' page on b.o 
is probably a good start, which I'm working on right now.
Joeri Kassenaar has compiled a nice history of the Blender logo - 
http://mopi.nl/blogo/. He also gives examples of good&bad logo usage. As 
you will see even the BF doesn't completely follow the rules.

I volunteer to make an overview of current style elements, and combine 
them into a styleguide. I would also like to help with 'proofviewing' - 
as in making sure all the communications obey the styleguide rules. Any 

Ewout (Inktvlek) Fernhout

Tom M wrote:
> Hi,
> I've just read the archive of bf-education, and have some thoughts to offer up.
> A quick intro - I became interested in Blender not long after it
> became open source.  I've started to become fairly involved with the
> community over the past year, mostly doing minor coding (coauthored
> the sculptmesh script, code janitor/monkey work for zr) and in helping
> out on whatever (meeting minutes; developer summary; research).  My
> background is fairly varied, I have experience in marketing and
> advertising; and educational training design; and assorted technical
> roles.  Currently I'm writing a fairly technical book on the
> environment.
> In my opinion we need to first identify our target markets - who will
> be seeking training on Blender?
> 1) Individuals with no previous art training, these can be students at
> grade school; high school; or college level.  Adults who want to learn
> Blender for either hobby or to fill a need in ones job.
> 2) 3D Artists transitioning from other 3d packages - either adding
> Blender to their pipeline (ie adding Blender for its UV mapping or
> animation tool strengths) or replacing their current pipeline with
> Blender (ie a group of artists starting their own company; or a
> student no longer having access to student editions of other Digital
> Content Creation Tools)
> 3) 2D Artists using Blender for 3d components of a 2d composition such
> as print ads
> 4) CAD or other technical users, using Blender for walkthroughs and
> architectual previs, or concept design
> Each of these groups can, and often do have significantly different
> training needs
> The first group has need of course materials that include discussion
> of basic artistic concepts, and very detailed explanations of each
> stage in the pipeline (Modeling; UV Mapping; Texturing; Rigging;
> Animating; Lighting; Rendering; and possibly additional topics such as
> particles and simulation)
> The second group primarily needs guides that explain the similarities
> and differences between other popular DCC tools and Blender. 
> Explanations of what concepts are equivalent but use different
> terminology; and the key mappings and tools that are equivalent.
> Here are example migration guids as done by Softimage XSI and Alias Maya
> http://www.softimage.com/products/xsi/v35/media/maya2xsi_quickstart.pdf
> http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/maya/file/3dmax_to_maya.pdf
> http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/maya/file/houdini_to_maya_guide.pdf
> http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/maya/file/lightwave_to_maya_guide.pdf
> http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/maya/file/softimage_to_maya.pdf
> http://www.alias.com/eng/products-services/maya/file/cinema4d_to_maya_guide.pdf
> The third group has needs similar to the first, but does not need most
> of the artistic information, nor the animation information.
> The fourth group also has similar needs to the first and third group,
> but the focus will generally be much less on modeling, and only a
> limited subset of the animation tools.
> In addition to looking at Mayas transition guides, The maya and
> truespace education mentioned by another author.  I'd highly recommend
> looking at the education tools developed by ZBrush
> http://pixologic.com/zbrush/class/classroom.html
> They have a video quickstart guide that goes through the fundamentals.
> The Welcome Guide - which tells about Zbrushes help and scripted
> tutorial system (Zbrushes scripted tutorials is a huge strength)
> The Quick Reference Guide - that gives quick (2-3 mostly graphics with
> pointers and captions) explanations of each major area of interest
> (A releated tool are QuickStudy charts - which condense entire
> semester course into a summary on two or three well layed out pages
> http://www.barcharts.com/
> )
> And finally the practical guide which goes into depth on each of
> zbrushes features, and provides tutorials
> I've personally considered developing training tools for Blender - a
> series called 'Blender in 30 second Bites' - which would be a series
> of Blend files that had a text explanation and a object to practice on
> similar to how our test suite files are set up.
> For video training - guitargeek (Johnny Mathews) has written a script
> that displays which key(s) or mouse button is pressed, which is very
> useful.
> Tom M.
> LetterRip
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