Spring 2017

Resources & Software


hardware accessories

Entirely optional, but you may find something in this direction useful. The bookstore carries this sort of stuff.

our shared work

3D printer

general notes


The Blender version is important when looking at books, videos, and docs, since it has changed over the years and a lot of what's out there is dated. For this seminar in January 2017 we'll be using version 2.7* , which has been around for several years. Ignore anything written for versions before 2.5, since blender changed significantly at that point. Docs for versions 2.5 and 2.6 are useful but expect some differences. (The wikipedia article has a chart of versions and features.)

UI & mouse

Blender is powerful but complicated. The user interface is different from most other applications, and is best run with one hand on a three button mouse and one hand on the keyboard. (I have tried trackpads and various other types mice, but with limited success. A three button mouse is highly recommended - it will make blender easier.) Many operations are invoked by hitting a key then using the mouse, and most are context sensitive - it depends on which window pane your mouse cursor is in. And the blender window is highly customizable, so each user's workspace may look quite different.


Losing your work sucks - so have a backup.
One way is to use a USB drive. This can be particularly convenient if you're working on the lab macs. (Rendering in particular can be slow - a beefy machine helps.)

open source project files

A significant strength of the Blender platform is the availability of source files for a number of open source animation projects, including "Elephants Dream", "Sintel" and others. (The wikipedia article has a full list.) This means that you can download and modify fully realized sample characters and animations.

online documentation

On blender.org's site :
Other free online docs :


The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics: Computer Modeling & Animation, 3rd edition
Learning Blender: A Hands-On Guide to Creating 3D Animated Characters
Blender 3D by Example
Blender 3D Cookbook (Valenza, Enrico)

video tutorials

A lot of the online materials are in video form, including a long list at https://www.blender.org/support/tutorials/ . The topics there include


The Blender Cloud is a collaboration platform with training, blogs, and shared materials and environments for work with blender. In addition to various free tutorials and production materials, for a $10 monthly fee they will host your files and give you additional access.
This is also the (virtual) place where development is happening for the next open source project, Agent 327, due to be released in March 2017.
Their (free) training videos are at https://cloud.blender.org/training , including
... and a bunch of others


There are also a whole host of forums for questions and answers.


http://cs.marlboro.edu/ courses/ spring2017/3d/ resources
last modified Tuesday February 14 2017 1:50 pm EST