[Bf-funboard] Teaching Beginners, was Basic Edition

Karl Kühberger kuehberger at gmx.net
Tue Nov 28 12:34:23 CET 2006

Hi Roger!

Am 27.11.2006 um 23:27 schrieb Roger:

> HI Karl
> When Blender 2.37 opens it presents the 3D window for drawing, and  
> at the bottom the screen a
> Button Window with a number of selector menus which change  
> depending on the choice  'Shading
> F5, Object F7, Editing F9,  Screen F10 selected.
> Clicking on the white downward pointing triangle in the  left top  
> corner of each selector minimises to
> a grey vertical strip, this way only the menu selectors that you  
> want are visible and you can drag
> the border of the window down for more drawing area if needed.

Ah, you thought about this stuff. I know it, but actually I don't use  
> Right clicking on the dark grey top baner of each menu allows you  
> to orient the minimise to vertical
> or horizontal so you can put it almost off screen and allows you to  
> drag it to another position in
> the window.
> <CTRL> <mouse wheel> will zoom in or out making each menu smaller  
> or larger, ideal for getting it
> out of the way of the drawing.
> I would prefer that they minimise to an icon and those icons could  
> be placed/dragged anywhere on the
> edge of the 3D window.
> Clicking would produce a fly out of selections, we would get a lot  
> more useable screen,  but its ok
> the way it is.

Yes, this would be great, not only for a Basic Version, but generally  
in Blender.

> I use only Object and Editing for much of the beginning tutorials  
> then the materials  a little later
> once they get the idea of dragging edges, corners and surfaces, to  
> create meaningful shapes.
>  A most important thing I found to teach is to train them to   
> _deliberately_ put the 3D cursor
> where  they _want an object centre placed in 3D space_.
> Students seem to think that an object would be placed on the mouse  
> cursor, this causes frustration
> until they understand that they are setting up  a position, I tell  
> them that placing the 3D cursor
> is like placing the tip of a finger in mid air and thats where the  
> object appears..

This is true indeed! And if the 3D cursor was moved out of the  
visible area of the viewport, they
even don't know, whether Blender has generated the object or not ;-)
> One tip I find useful is to use  layers right from the begining.
> I do a lot of extrusions along lines rather than modifying and  
> slicing primitive objects. I put 2d
> and 3d line templates in the 3rd layer box from the top left,  
> lights in the second top box and
> cameras in the first top box then set up object components all  
> along the bottom layer boxes and last
> the top boxes from right to left... <Shift Ckick>  toggles each  
> layer box on or off without altering the
> other layer boxes. It would be handy if the yellow flag flyout  
> contained an editable name for each
> layer.
> It is human nature to think of the screen as 2d. It's quite a  
> different mind set to learn Z axis for
> depth.
> I get them to draw a very large box in Object mode, elongate it  
> into a rectangle with some height so
> that no 2 intersecting faces are the same dimensions, then delete  
> the top face, one end and one side
> face
> Use Z Key to make it semi transparent, then get them to do their 3D  
> objects inside the rectangle,
> Rotate with Num keys and with the mouse.
> This way they can visualise Length, Width and Height, they can then  
> switch off the layer containing
> the box to do more work, and switch it on if they get lost again in  
> 3D space.

Good idea!
> < NUM 7,1,3> give plan, elevation and side elevation.
> Take care with this because accidentally pressing NUM 5 introduces  
> perspective view which can confuse
> even more unless the learners understand perspective. It's caught  
> me out a few times particularly
> when setting a camera and doing a quick render, sometimes its a  
> really ugly image.
> I'd like to be able to switch off Num 5 for some drawings and just  
> use it as non perspective.
> I never use more than one view port. I have found  it confuses when  
> trying to teach with <split to 3
> windows> because in the case of beginners with simple primitives,  
> ball, pyramid or box there is
> little difference between side and end elevations.

Probably you're right. I generally worked with 3 viewports (top,  
front and camera), but next time I will
try with one, because it is easy and fast to change about the num- 
block and they see more in a bigger
window. They also learn faster to switch the viewport, the draw-modes  
and so on.

>  I teach them to draw a primitive  match box or tissue box then  
> with a real one on the table top,
> you physcally turn it with your hand and can see the changes in  
> orientation and perspective, , they
> do this then on screen, this seems to translate in their minds to  
> what happens on the screen and
> helps when explaining later about applying textures and images to  
> surfaces.
> It slows them down a bit stops them clicking on every button and  
> getting confused.
> Much of what I do doesn't require the candy shop of selections we  
> have, It would be easer if the Button
> Menus were simplified to just the basics and had flyouts for the  
> more complex selections and this is
> what I think you would like as a Basic version.


> Rather than another version just switch off the selections and  
> functions that are not needed until a
> later more developed beginner emerges then switch them on again.

I think, this could work pretty well!
> regards
> Roger

Thanks and regards


> Karl Kühberger wrote:
>> Hi Roger,
>> how can I minimise or remove the selectors?
>> The Blender Classroom Tutorial Book is interesting indeed.
>> I should translate parts of it for my lessons into German language.
>> Otherwise I confuse the kids even more.
>> Karl
>> Am 24.11.2006 um 07:23 schrieb Roger:
>>> Karl Kühberger wrote:
>>>> Hi Roger,
>>>> thanks for the detailed information about your way of teaching   
>>>> Blender.
>>>> Sounds pretty good, and I will try it in my next course.
>>>> But I also think, there are many approaches to teach Blender.
>>>> I teach it to both adults and kids. With adults it is easy to do it
>>>> step by step and quite academically, but with kids, who are very
>>>> curious and want to try out every button in the first lesson,   
>>>> sometimes
>>>> it is difficult to stay with the essentials.
>>>> Carlinhos
>>> Hi Karl
>>> Oh Yeah that is definitely correct, as many approaches as there  
>>> are  students.
>>> In that first stage of exploration they either learn a lot,  
>>> fast,   or nothing at all.
>>> Did you know that you can minimise / remove the selectors in the   
>>> bottom wndow and only show the ones
>>> you want to teach for that particular lesson.
>>> I've done that too. At the very least everyone is working on the   
>>> same subject.
>>> I found the Blender Classroom Tutorial Book  quite good for   
>>> beginners, however it leaves much out of
>>> the explanations.
>>> Keep up the good work
>>> regards
>>> Roger
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