Is Blender A Good Choice For Beginners?


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If you have an interest in learning 3D modeling or any other creative tasks like 2D design and video editing, then you have an incredible array of applications that you can use to learn many new skills. But where does Blender rank among this list of applications? And how suitable is the software for beginners?

Blender is a great application for beginners to 3D modeling that wish to learn how to perform a variety of creative tasks from sculpting to animation. Its accessibility makes it within reach of a global population, and its versatility allows you to learn skills in many different fields from concept design to video editing.

There are many reasons why Blender is a great tool to learn, but there are those who disagree with this opinion and they have a reason why. So what about Blender makes it a suitable option for a beginner 3D artist to start learning a new skill set over the alternatives.

Should I Learn Blender Before Learning Maya Or ZBrush?

Blender is capable of doing many things, from 3D modeling game assets to Sculpting higher detailed 3D models to compositing image files. It really does feel like you can do everything with Blender, and you only realize that you can’t do everything with Blender when a new tool is released in the latest version.

But is this a reason to learn Blender before deciding to learn one of the many alternatives? Is there a reason to learn how to use Blender before learning Maya? And is Blender most effective as an educational tool?

If you want to learn a specific software because you believe that software will get you employment in the industry that you want to build a career in, then you should always look to learn how to use that specific software, as there is no replacement for actually experiencing a tool.

But in many cases, that tool may initially be unaccessible to you from a financial standpoint, and you can’t afford the yearly license unless you join a recognized school or university. But this does not mean that there are not any benefits to learning something that is at least comparable, where you can grow an understanding of the basic concepts of your chosen field.

The main reason why it is a good idea to learn Blender before trying out something like Maya is that its free access means that there is no downside to at least trying it. You can download Blender and begin using it in a matter of minutes and begin using it straight away no strings attached.

This also plays a role in the second reason, which is if you are a beginner to sculpting for example, and are looking to learn sculpting for the first time, is paying $100’s really the best idea? What if you try to learn a new skill or new software and find that it’s not quite for you? The money spent on this venture is gone.

But with Blender that is not a concern, and if you find that you don’t really like something, then you can try learning another skill and not have to make any commitments in doing so.

If you want to learn more about Blender you can check out our course on Skillshare by clicking the link here and get 1 month free to the entire Skillshare library.

Is It Worth Learning Blender 3D In The First Place?

Why should you even consider learning Blender in the first place and what exactly is it capable of doing? Blender is used primarily as a tool for creating 3D models and environments using a wide range of tools and can be used to create both stylized and realistic scenes for purposes ranging from game design to animation, to 3D printing.

In some respects, Blender can be considered as the ultimate educational tool for 3D design as a result of its two most important characteristics. Blender is not only free software but also has great versatility as well, meaning you can learn many new skills and the only required investment that you need to make is time.

The software has been adopted by millions of users across the world who are looking to learn new creative skills like animation. Some of the things that you can do in Blender are truly incredible but take a lot of practice to achieve.

As such learning Blender can open many new doors for someone both from a personal perspective and also a professional one.

It is worth learning Blender even if it is a starting point for trying to enter a new industry, and also to develop your skills as an artist using Blender itself. It’s also an idea to learn Blender if you use other applications such as Game engines like Unreal Engine, as they are different parts of the same workflow of creating video games.

If you are learning how to use other applications, then having at least a basic knowledge of using Blender would prove worthwhile, as not only is versatile in its own tools set but also in terms of its compatibility with other applications as well.

Is Blender Really Easy To Use And Why Do Some People Claim It To Be Difficult?

We won’t disguise the fact that Blender is an easy tool to learn because the reality is that Blender can be challenging for most new users and even those that transition from other applications like 3Ds Max which have different UIs and even different workflows.

First impressions count for a lot and Blenders’ first impression when introduced to a new user has never been a great one. 3D modeling is the bread and butter of the software and the 3D viewport is the first thing that new users will be introduced to.

But most new users will never have worked with anything like Blender before, with the closest comparison being an actual video game that has 3D environments to move around in, but even this is a stretch.

Most potential users tend to quit Blender in the first hour of use, which again brings us back to the point of not paying for a program that you are not sure you will be using.

The 3D modeling skill set is unique and a challenge for many people to learn. Therefore most decide that 3D modeling no longer interests them because of their belief that they will not be able to learn it.

But for those that do make it past the first hour, what is the main reason for them to eventually drop Blender? Well, most people follow the unrealistic notion that learning Blender requires them to learn every single aspect of the software and master every tool.

But this daunting challenge is just not needed and you only need to learn the skills that you are interested in learning. Not every tool in Blender is a part of the same workflow.

For example, if you want to learn about creating low poly video game assets for a low budget production then you probably don’t need to learn how to use a sculpting workflow for high poly meshes.

And if you are learning how to create 2D animations using Blenders grease pencil then there is not much point in learning how to use a python script.

Why Is Blender A Useful Tool To Learn?

Blender is an extremely valuable resource because it allows you to do more than almost any other 3D application. Maya for one may be a great animation toolkit but it does not boast its own video editing properties. Z brush meanwhile is fantastic for sculpting, but not for much else.

Learning Blender does not mean learning all of Blender, and could just mean learning one aspect of the software, like 3D modeling. The application divides up its toolset into editors based on specific tasks, like the video sequence editor that houses all the tools for video editing. This helps us as beginners as to start learning a specific skill set we only need to locate the editors that store those tools.

In addition to the way that Blender is set up, another reason why it is so effective as a learning tool is because of the extraordinary array of learning resources currently out on the web.

For starters, you have the Blender manual, which stores explanations and all of the different areas and elements of Blender. And the manual is replaced every time there is an updated version, but not deleted. So if you choose to keep using Blender version 3.0 for a few years, then you will always have access to the manual.

Then you have other resources like blog posts and videos on Youtube that are at this point seemingly limitless. On Youtube, you could probably type in how to learn any object and chances are someone has posted a video on creating a model of that same object. If you want to learn how to use a specific tool, then there should be at least one video on someone using that tool.

How Long Does It Take For A Beginner To Learn Blender?

The first impression that Blender gives is that learning the software will be both challenging and time-consuming, and this is true on both counts, but to what extent?

In terms of how long this will take, well it is often cited that to become an expert in a certain field or skillset you require 1000 hours of practice to achieve that expert status.

However, the question does not refer to how long it takes to become an expert who is better than almost anyone else, but rather how long it takes to reach the point where you understand the software, and at least be able to perform the core tasks of whatever you are trying to learn confidently.

For example, if you are learning how to use the 3D modeling toolset, then the goal is to be able to navigate the 3D viewport, use editing tools to reshape your model into any object, apply simple materials and textures, set up appropriate lighting and finally render images of your creations. The basic process of using Blender 3D for most people.

How long does it take to learn these skills or any other set of tools in Blender to the point where you could do so without needing to cite any learning material? We say about 20 hours, which is what it should take to learn just about any skill.

But one mistake that a lot of beginners make is how they choose to divide up that time and are under the impression that 20 hours of learning is the same as 20 hours of just watching Youtube videos. This is not effective learning, and a strong ratio of research to practice is required for the best results.

We like to use the 80/20 rule for learning new skills, which means 80% of our learning time is spent practicing those in our own projects, making mistakes, and learning from them. The other 20% of the time is used for research, which is what many describe as watching Youtube videos and reading blog posts to learn about new concepts.

So over the course of that first 20-hour period where you are learning about 3D modeling, around 4 hours will be spent watching those videos, not 20. The other 16 hours of your time should be spent actually using Blender in your own mini-projects gaining first-hand knowledge and getting comfortable with the software.

Is Blender Used By Professionals And Professional Companies?

As companies begin to adopt new approaches and take advantage of the incredibly advanced tools that are now available, the use of Blender has continued to grow across many industries.

The tools available with Blender are comparable to the tools used by applications used by some of the world’s largest companies. Maya is a 3D modeling tool used by many of the top developers in the video game industry, but Blender is just as capable of creating models and environments for video games.

But the video game industry is not the only industry that sees Blender have a growing influence. Blenders’ array of tools allows it to be used in other industries like animation and film and is used to create visual effects and CG models to be used in blockbuster titles.

Another industry where Blender is used is in 3D printing and manufacturing, as it can be used to create concepts for new objects and even for designing 3D printable models. While not as accurate or as easy to use as CAD software like fusion, Blender is a good alternative.

So why is Blender becoming more influential across all these industries? Well, a large part of this is due to an improved development structure in which new versions of the software are introduced every few months as well as the arrival of LTS to Blender where certain versions are given professional support over a two-year period.

Blender has been used not only by professional companies but is also used by professional freelancers who use Blender for work or high scale projects.

Thank You For Reading The Article

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