Because Blender is free and has such a huge community of users, there is a nearly endless amount of online tutorials – both free and paid – that you can take to learn Blender. There are different formats (full start-to-finish courses vs task-specific tutorials). There are different lengths and there are definitely differences in quality. How do you choose the best tutorials and ensure you aren’t wasting your time?
The answer to this depends a lot on what you want to do and where you are on the learning curve. If you are a complete beginner, following a thorough beginner course from start to finish is probably the best place to start. Often beginners want to jump into exciting things right away – like modeling characters or creating animations. If you skip over the very basics, you will limit yourself and it will actually take LONGER to get where you want to be.
After you complete a thorough beginner course, you can and should start experimenting with what you’ve learned. Try to make something on your own using the basic tools you’ve learned. Then, look for more advanced tutorials that build on the knowledge you already have.
Your first few tutorials should be long ones. But then you’re going to become more comfortable with the basics and will want to learn how to do more specific things…like denoising in Blender 2.9 for example. That’s when short, task-specific tutorials can be helpful. I try to include a lot of these on my page because I hate sitting through a 20-minute video to learn something that should only take a few minutes.
A lot of people ask if they should pay to take a course on Blender. As an absolute beginner, there are plenty of highly recommended beginner tutorials and I do not believe you should be paying for your first few tutorials. If you stick to it and decide to take it to the next level then…by all means… look for a quality intermediate course as an investment in yourself.
But…be careful and do your research before handing over your hard-earned money. Just because it’s a paid course doesn’t guarantee that it’s a good one. Read reviews and look for instructors with solid resumes. Don’t pay for a course unless a substantial number of people have already taken it and recommend it.
Lastly, look for tutorials in a recent version of Blender when you can. Sometimes this doesn’t matter as much but other times the steps can be very different in newer versions than in older versions. It can be frustrating when the instructor is showing you how to do something and your screen looks completely different than his or hers.
If you’d like a list of good, basic tutorial courses I can vouch for then take a look at my resources page.