How to use Blender for 3D modelling

Blender is a powerful 3D modelling program for animation enthusiasts and professionals alike. In fact, you may have even seen it in action in some of Marvel’s latest films, like Wonder Woman, where it was used to animate the end title sequence and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, where it was initially used to design and animate the logo.

In terms of shows, you can see Blender at work in the visual effects for The Man in the High Castle and season 8 of The Walking Dead.

Read more about Blender’s repertoire of projects here.

Blender also happens to be free (download Blender version 2.79b) – which makes it all the more attractive to learn. And there is a lot to learn.

From rendering, modelling, visual effects, simulation and even video editing, there’s a lot you can do on Blender (see all features here). This of course, can be somewhat overwhelming to absolute beginners, or those who’ve only recently dipped their toes into the world of 3D modelling and animation.

Thankfully, there are several resources out there that help you learn how to become a Blender pro. You may have already taken a look at Blender’s own support section – which is a good place to start for tutorials, community support and demo files –  but if you’re after something more thorough and structured, Udemy’s online instructor-led video courses are worth checking out.

Learn 3D Modelling - The Complete Blender Creator Course is a particularly powerful tool for your kit. It’s garnered a 4.5 star-rating out of 5 from over 22,000 users and has amassed over 128,000 students overall, making it the most popular Udemy course on 3D modelling.

Like many Udemy courses, it relies on a hands-on, project-based approach where you apply the skills you learn towards actually developing and animating 3D models from scratch. You don’t need any previous knowledge of the program or animation, making it ideal for all types of students: newcomers to animation and special effects, game developers, and even professional 3D artist looking to diversify their skillset.

Right now, as part of Udemy's New Year sale, you'll pay a one-off fee of just £9.99/$9.99, which will get you lifetime access to 288 lectures consisting of 51.5 hours of video, supported with additional articles and downloadable resources. When you do complete the course, you also receive a certificate of completion. Plus, there’s a 30-day money back guarantee, so you’re free to try the course first to see how it suits your speed and learning style (and of course time constraints).

The Learn 3D Modelling course covers a lot of ground. The instructors, Ben Tristen and Michael Bridges not only delve into Blender itself, but also the principles of animation and modelling (which is what makes it especially useful to beginners). The course even goes into the physics of shapes, lighting and movement – all of which is built into the structure of the course.

You start with an in depth look at the program’s interface. Once you’re comfortable with the tools introduced there, you move on to create your first 3D models – from scratch – using block shapes. This leads into creating more rounded shapes, through the design of a bowling ball and pin.

Next, the course dives into into producing textures, shape geometry, and depth of field through a project where you model a chess board and pieces. Other lessons include creating an animated lamp, and modelling fur on a rabbit.

The more advanced final classes in the course include modelling a human head and using VFX to composite your 3D models with real world footage.

If you want to continue with Blender, you can also enroll in Creating 3D environment in Blender to gain skills in modelling large textured environments with buildings, rocks and trees.

Meanwhile, game developers looking for more specialized lessons may also benefit from Udemy’s Game Asset Crash Course, which teaches 3D modelling in both Blender and 3D-Coat software. There’s also Intermediate Game Asset Creation, for more advanced 3D modelling in Blender and 3D Coat for game developers. See all 3D modelling courses on Udemy.

Udemy is a learning hub that offers over 80,000 courses across a variety of disciplines. Apart from animation and 3D modelling, courses range from web development, design, business, IT & software, marketing, photography, illustration, and more – and it adds new courses and updates every month. Explore all Udemy courses here.

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