One of the most cool things of being an indie is that you have to be learning something new every time, otherwise you’re a dead indie game developer. And this is my favorite part: I love to learn new stuff. To be honest, I like studying and researching more than actually doing something – but as expressed on my last post a balance is necessary to avoid procrastination with never accomplishing something.
I’ll be disconnected from 24/Dec to 03/Jan with just a Windows notebook (I just have an iMac) – that means iOS development won’t be possible. That’s my chance to finally watch some videos I’ve been archiving forever. I’m talking about some 3D gaming video tutorials and courses.
Why Blender? Why not Maya? Cinema 4d? Or another one? Reason number 1: I already did some modeling with Blender on the past for the TV, even tho it was some basic stuff, anyway that counts as experience. The other reasons? See next.
Note: if you are looking only for the learning resources, scroll down the article to “Free video tutorials and courses” where I posted dozens of links to video tutorials and more!
3D modeling and animation tools
- Blender 2.49 and 2.55: both scared me off because once you open it it looks so complex and confusing (even more in case of version 2.49), but it’s FREE and has tons, tons and tons of tutorials.
- Cheetah 3D: it’s OSX only and WOW what a nice piece of software, so compact, clean and cheap (~$149), not so many tutorials, but the few available cover almost everything.
- Silo: another clean and cheap one (~$80), with nice video tutorials (for every level) from the official site. And from reading on the Unity forums, it misses some features which makes you still use another tool like Blender or Cinema 4D together with Silo.
- Cinema 4D: very nice with thousands of learning resources, but the price is too big as I just want to try.
I also took in consideration the Unity support: Blender, Cheetah and Cinema are naturally integrated with Unity (check this nice comparison: 3D Modeling and Animation on OS X). Pull off Silo from the list (it is possible to use it or any tool with Unity but for these “non native” tools you need additional work and as a beginner on the subject I prefer to skip everything “additional” for now). Also skip Cinema 4D due to its price.
Blender and Cheetah 3D left. I sticked with Cheetah 3D. The interface is so clean and easy, I also started following some video tutorials pointed on the forums. And almost bought the official training. And was loving it…
…until I met this open movie project totally made with Blender and other open source tools. But what really convinced me was watching the one hour long making of. Everything involved is amazing and I thought “wow, this is something everyone can participate”.
Consider the fact of it being FREE, having an huge amount of learning resources and anamazing and also huge community… so why not giving it a try?
And it worked! I’m LOVING it. After just some hours of tutorials I feel so confident with the interface already. I can’t do anything good yet, but I already know the shortcuts and how stuff ties together on Blender. And that’s what I’ll share now: the FREE (hundreds of) learning resources I’m following!
Note: to use Blender 2.55 you will need to do some manual work when importing into Unity, since Unity still doesn’t natively support it. So, as most Unity users that use Blender, I’ll stick to version 2.49 until 2.55+ is supported.
Free video tutorials and courses
These links are posted in my order of preference so far and the order that I’m following, but you can pick any of them.
- Blender Underground – Learning Blender 3D: Covers Blender 2.44 (in our case, it is valid for Blender 2.49), I’m still following these videos and they are my favorite so far.
- Blender 3D Design Course: A MASSIVE amount of videos and exercises. As the title implies, it’s a complete course (2.5+).
- Blender 3D Design, Spring 2008 – Tufts OpenCourseWare: another MASSIVE amount of videos and exercises (2.4+).
- A Detailed Overview of the Blender Interface: 23 minutes of interface coverage (2.4+).
- Blender Cookie – Getting Started with Blender: looks good, but they charge for part of the content (2.5+).
Free books and general references
- Blender HotKeys In-depth Reference: the most important PDF I found, with every Blender hotkey (be prepared for a massive information overload).
- Hotkeys Map: the hotkeys mapped on a keyboard image – easier to follow than the PDF.
- Book – Essential Blender: a wiki-book available in the official site.
- Book – Blender 3D: Noob to Pro: another wiki-book.
Tutorials and community sites
- CGTuts – Character Modeling in Blender
- Tufts OpenCourseWare – Modeling a frog
- CGTuts – Blender Tutorials
- blenderartists.org (probably the main place where Blender artists met)
- Venom’s Lab: a huge DVD detailing character production.
- Cartoon Smart Blender Video Tutorials: 11 hours of HD video.
- Book: Beginning Blender: Open Source 3D Modeling, Animation, and Game Design
- Book: Blender 3D 2.49 Incredible Machines
- Dozens of Blender books.
Christmas arrives in two days: MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! And if for some reason you still haven’t checked my Christmas Games, give them a try! Santa in a Hurry and Present Catcher (universal, Game Center, Retina Graphics): http://karnakgames.com/christmas.
Also remember that I’m running an iTunes Gift Cards contest! It’s very easy to take part: just follow me on Twitter and RT a message. Details: http://karnakgames.com/christmas.