In the early days of 3D modeling coding was an important skill to learn if you wanted to even create basic shapes as you had to program your computer directly to create your designs. But is this still the case when using 3d modeling programs like Blender today?
You do not require any coding knowledge at all to learn how to use Blender 3D. Blender uses the visual scripting language python to run all of its features. Instead of using code, artists use tools that can be activated at the click of a button or by using a simple hotkey.
While it is not required to use python for the majority of tasks that you can perform in Blender, there are still a few reasons why learning to code may be beneficial to you as the user.
How Do We Normally Use Blender?
Blender, as a powerful software, exhibits a unique construction methodology, comprising a series of panels, each housing specific editor types tailored to diverse tasks. The 3D viewport, for instance, empowers users with comprehensive visual control over their meticulously crafted scenes.
Within the confines of this immersive viewport, a myriad of tools cater to the creation of objects and scenes.
These tools manifest in diverse forms, such as dropdown menus gracefully adorning the viewport’s zenith, buttons meticulously arranged on the tool shelf, or even nifty hotkey combinations—like the ever-capable Control + B, invoking the magical bevel tool.
It is within this carefully orchestrated ensemble of tools that the user experience flourishes, tailored to the front-end landscape of one’s imagination.
While the motivations for utilizing Blender may vary from individual to individual, the fundamental process of accessing these tools remains a steadfast constant. To actualize the creation of awe-inspiring 3D models, one can seamlessly harness the inherent capabilities enshrined within the 3D viewport.
Not confined solely to 3D modeling, Blender extends its versatile prowess to the realm of video editing, thanks to its seamless integration of a built-in video sequence editor.
This user-friendly environment equips enthusiasts with an intuitive interface to seamlessly manipulate and refine their multimedia content. Astonishingly, neither of these remarkable applications necessitates the possession of coding expertise or compels users to dabble in the intricate intricacies of programming languages.
As a testament to its adaptability, Blender finds itself at home across a broad spectrum of industries, transcending the boundaries of gaming, animation, and even the burgeoning world of 3D printing.
The true beauty lies in the fact that modern technology takes care of the arduous technical intricacies, affording users the luxury of focusing their creative energies on the more artistically captivating facets of their work.
If you want to learn about the various ways in which we can use Blender then you can check out our article on the topic here.
All Actions Are Run Based On Python Script?
A reason why you may want to learn python using Blender is that it is a great way of being able to visualize what the lines of code can do. The scripting workspace is available to users who may want to perform tasks using Python script to perform an action or analyze how it works. The workspace allows you to create your own scripts using the file editor, test and identify individual lines of code in the console, and preview the effects of said code in a smaller 3D viewport.
Again this is all optional and not at all required to perform tasks like modeling a castle with some knights overlooking a grassy field. That’s the best thing about learning Python with Blender, as it’s easy to start learning if you want, but it’s entirely your choice.
Creating Add Ons To Improve Functionality?
The number one reason why you would want to learn coding with Python script in Blender is to begin creating your own add-ons. An add-on is a set of tools that have been created to improve Blenders’ functionality in a specific way. An example of this is the node wrangler add on which makes it much easier to work with the node system when creating materials.
Creating add ons DOES require you to learn the specific version of Python used by Blender. The best way to get started here is the copy and paste method.
When you perform an action in Blender that action is recorded in the python console, found in the scripting workspace. For example, if you delete the default cube the following line of code will appear in the python console.
If you were to copy and paste this line of code into your file editor and then select your object and click that run script button then that object would be deleted. This is a very basic example but it’s a good starting point for learning how code works in Blender.
If we were to break down the code, the bpy is short for Blender python, and is used for many commands in Blender. Ops is short for operators and refers to when we want to perform a specific operation.
The .object. indicates that the code focuses on an object element, while the .delete indicates the action of the command. In other words this code is used for the delete operation that allows us to delete a selected object in the viewport when the code is run.
What Is Visual Scripting And How Is It Different To Coding?
Some aspects of Blender are a little more technical than others. For example, the creation of photo-realistic materials cannot be done with a simple press of a button. Instead, a node system is used when the user creates a tree of nodes all connected at some point in the chain, leading to the output node which takes all the information it has been supplied and outputs the final result in the scene.
Visual scripting is a much easier entry point to accessing data than raw coding and in the case of the nose system, allows Blender to store various parameters in each node type. When connected, many of these parameters can be individually altered changing the final output.
If I Do Start Coding, Could I Brake Blender?
When coding in the scripting workspace, the addon that you are creating is an independent section of code that is activated only when a specific requirement is met. If the code is unoptimized, then it won’t run anyway. It’s very unlikely that any code you create could actually cause Blender to crash or become unusable because the script is normally going to be based on the functionality that Blender already has.
In the incredibly unlikely scenario that Blender does become unusable, you can delete Blender and then redownload it from blender.org. All projects are saved independently so you won’t lose anything if that’s the case.
So while there are reasons as to why you could choose to learn coding with Blender, it’s more a case of using Blender as the tool for coding, rather than coding to use Blender.
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