[Bf-education] Intro to Blender 3D class for teens

Doug Ollivier doug at flipdesign.co.nz
Sun Apr 10 23:25:55 CEST 2011

I was regularly doing a 4 day course of about 5 hours a day. I've 
chucked some of it up here:  http://doug.flipdesign.co.nz/blender-course/
It's branded with Natcoll but i've doen the course setup in my own time 
so I don't see the issue.

1) The first thing i do is introduce the settings.  At the end I asked 
each class to give feedback about their experience, they all 
disliked/struggled with the RMB to select, so i tried 1 class from day 
one changing the Left mouse button to select. I will never go back to 
RMB when teaching!  I also tried it with a class that was half way 
through, again they had no issues switching half way through the course 
to LMB since it is so intuitive. So the first thing i do now is change 
how Blender selects an object, it increased the quality of work from 
students dramatically and reduced the frustration.

2) Secondly i get them to load a pre-rigged character and explore the 
interface, select bonse, rotate things, move things, create a pose.  A 
pre-rigged character gives them a great opportunity to see things 
happening without having a clue what blender is doing behind the 
scenes.  They can also render a few images from an existing camera to 
learn about renders vs the viewport.

3) the source outlines it but i thought i'd mention what i do in the 
first day in more detail:
a) Simple table, pantheon, rotunda etc...  building stuff out of 
primitive shapes, scaling rotating etc... no editmode
b) Edit mode: A spin exercise, breaking an object down into the easiest 
way to make it. i.e. is it extruded, is it rotated, can you make it flat 
in any way then create faces?  a saucer, cup etc... or a flying saucer.
c) Modifiers: build a guitar in editmode. mirror, sub-surf, tracing a 
background image, using things like edge crease, top/front reference 
view to help get heads around 3D (showing a real example of a real life 

4) Then the rest is all lighting, materials, textures, renders (which is 
where people start enjoying seeing results). We do animation of 
characters on the last few days using a Lego guy.  Then they have free 
time to do whatever, and ask any questions they like.

It has been a pretty successful structure.  Especially the first few 
exercises and most importantly changing the select button to LMB and 
getting them to use that from day one.  (the reference sheet i have for 
this has a few options i would not select again, so would not be fit for 

If anyone wants non-branded versions of references i can probably put 
something together that is Open Source.  Otherwise what has been posted 
should be used as a reference/inspiration only.



On 9/04/2011 8:18 p.m., Adriana Mikolaskova Nautsch wrote:
> Hi,
> it would be interesting to know what kind of excercises you work on with
> teens... on what subjects are they working?
> I alwas try to make them creative, designing work from the beginning- even
> with low tech skills.... (teaching teens at high school)
> f.e. building scenes just out of cubes, posing cubes as cubes were
> protagonists in a fairy tale... just working with position and size... so they
> learn moving around in 3D space but are working on composition already....
> (and other excercises of course depending on tech skills improvement)
> Adriana
> _______________________________________________
> Bf-education mailing list
> Bf-education at blender.org
> http://lists.blender.org/mailman/listinfo/bf-education

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