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Intro to 3D modeling with Blender

Blender is a completely free and extremely powerful 3D content creation toolkit with one important problem: it can be quite daunting to first timers. Fortunately, despite its emphasis on keyboard Kung Fu and somewhat cryptic interface, Blender will reveal its power very qiuckly with only a modicum of guidance. The objective of this introductory class is to get everyone comfortable enough with the basics to facilitate solo exploration. This class will also be a pre-requisite for topic-specific Blender classes to be taught in the future. 

How will the class be structured? 

Viewport navigation
The panel system
Activity 1: basic configurationMaterials and viewports
How modifiers work
Object mode manipulations: Movement, rotation, and scale
Activity 2: Use exploring our downloaded models
Edit mode: basic modeling techniques
Activity 3: Creating a simple furniture set  

Course fee is $40. Students must sign up and pay here:

How should students prepare:

1. ESSENTIAL: Bring your own laptop.
2. ESSENTIAL: Download Blender 2.69 from and make sure it runs.
2. ESSENTIAL: Watch Ralusek's crash course on Youtube. It's fast on purpose, so don't worry if you don't catch everything right away. We will cover most of these basics in class:

3. ESSENTIAL: Download some models you think are cool in OBJ and at least one .blend file.*

4. Optional but recommended: bring a mouse!
1. Configure the Blender interface
1. Use what we've learned to explore and manipulate the models we've downloaded.
2. Creating a simple furniture set using basic editing tools and the subdivision surface modifier.

* has a lot of fully-textured game-character model rips. is probably the best resource for .blend files. It requires free sign-up to download, but it's worth it.

What will you get out of this lesson:
After finishing this class, you'll have a solid grounding in how Blender works, how to do some basic modeling with it, and how to pick apart models and scenes that you've found oniine. You should also be more than ready to follow feature-specific video tutorials with a lot less grief!

Beginner - Intermediate - or Advance?

Beginner level. No prior experience necessary.

Teacher Bio
My name is George A. Michel. I graduated UC San Diego with a BS in Psychology and a BA in Japanese Studies. I've been doing 3D stuff for as long as I can remember and have been designing characters and contributing models and animations to Indie projects for the past two years. You can check out a (tiny) bit of my work at

Course fee is $40. Students must sign up and pay here:

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