Learning something as complicated as Blender can leave you frustrated at times. Blender has so much to learn, I doubt anyone knows the program entirely.
If you’re new to Blender or experienced but find yourself frustrated learning something, here are seven tips to help push through…
Tip #1: Learn (or Re-learn) the Basics
Most people start using Blender because they want to create huge, elaborate digital masterpieces. I’m guilty of this myself. It’s tempting to skip the basics and go straight to character sculpting, animation or VFX.
But it’s super important to learn the fundamentals. Thoroughly learning the interface, workflow and even basic art concepts like lighting and composition are necessary if you want to succeed.
Skipping these steps may seem like it will save time. But in the long run, you’ll actually take longer to get where you want to be. If you’re like me and skipped ahead, go back and take a basic Blender introduction course. The Blender Guru Donut Tutorial is well-known as the place to start. I also have some Beginner Tutorials on my Youtube Channel that will probably help.
Tip #2: Find Quality Tutorials
There is no shortage of tutorials for Blender. Because of its massive community following, free tutorials are all over Youtube. A lot are great. Some are terrible. If you are having trouble finding good ones, I have a Resource Page with tutorial providers I can personally vouch for.
For absolute beginners, there’s no reason to pay for Blender tutorials. There are good ones available for free. If you’re more advanced, there might be benefits to investing in a paid Blender course. Be careful though. Paid doesn’t always mean better. I have a recent post on choosing the right tutorial.
Tip #3: Use Online Resources
In addition to video tutorials, there are tons of resources online to get help if you’re stuck in Blender. I’m active in several Facebook groups for Blender and Reddit threads specific to looking for help in Blender. You should always start with a simple Google search when you have a problem. If that doesn’t work, then go to Reddit, Facebook or Quora and ask the community for help.
Most in the Blender community are happy to help a fellow user. Just make sure to adequately describe what you’re having trouble with so people know exactly how to help.
Tip #4: Complete a Simple Project
You probably didn’t get into Blender looking to create a donut. Ambitious projects can lead to demoralization and self-doubt when you realize what you undertook was too complicated. It can be refreshing to step back and create something more manageable.
Take a look around your house for something you can create in a day or two using Blender. Make that your next project. Because it’s achievable, you will feel renewed motivation when you finish. This also helps you find new inspiration for your next project. I don’t know why but when I’m working on one project, ideas start to flow for the next one.
Since it should be a simple project, it won’t take you months to work on. You’ll feel tangible success in a day or two. When you finish, do another one! Trust me, this strategy does wonders to rekindle your imagination and I promise you will continue to learn along the way.
Tip #5: Focus!
Tip #5: Focus!
When learning Blender, it’s easy for your attention to drift. If you have a specific area of Blender you want to master then focus on that area (assuming you’ve grasped the basics first! Don’t forget tip #2!).
If you don’t, try to pick one. Everyone would love to master all of Blender, but that’s not realistic for beginners…and probably not for anyone. We all need to slice our goals up into smaller, more attainable goals. So pick something you want to get really good at and focus entirely on that for a while.
If you really want to create characters, focus on that. Take a course in character design and don’t get side-tracked by animation, environments or other temptations because none of those further your character animation goal. Once you achieve your goal, then you can move onto something else…..as well as Tip#6.
Tip #6: Change Your Focus
If you’ve already done tip #5 (focus!) and are at a plateau, then change gears. It might be time to change your focus to another area of art….perhaps creating an environment for you character. This tip might sound like it contradicts the last one but it’s really the second part of it.
Before you do this, ask yourself honestly (or ask others) “have I gotten pretty good at what I’ve been focused on?” If the answer is no then keep working on it because you aren’t there yet.
If the answer is “yes” then maybe you can allow (or force) yourself to move on to other areas. You may learn you have a lot more upward potential on the learning curve in the new area of focus. You can always come back to your previous focus later.
Tip #7: Take a Break
Tip #7: Take a Break
If nothing else has worked, it might benefit you to take a short break from Blender. Focus on other software or aspects of your life beyond the computer… like fitness or improving your relationships. Blender takes a long time to learn and sometimes a little break does a world of good.
When you take a little break, you will be more capable of reaching your potential faster when you return. It’s up to you how long of a break you need. It might be just a few days. It might be a month. Your frustration in learning may be spilling into other areas of your life without you knowing it.
Balance will improve your learning and probably other aspects of your life. I can personally vouch that Blender can become an unhealthy obsession. I’ve frequently had to take month-long breaks from Blender. Every time I return, I find it easier to pick up where I left off and move forward.
I have a full-time job, a wife and two kids. Nothing is more frustrating to me than going in circles trying to improve as a self-taught Blender addict. But we are in it for the long haul. I hope these tips help get you through to the next phase of learning Blender. If these don’t work, here are 7 products that helped me improve my art.
#b3d #blendertutorial #blender #brandonsdrawings
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