Transition to Blender?

Forum for users who have migrated or are migrating to Blender
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Hirazi Blue
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Transition to Blender?

Post by Hirazi Blue » 08 Sep 2014, 23:26

As my dire financial situation forces me to seriously reconsider my stance on Blender, I was wondering if anyone of you knows of a good training resource for Blender that isn't geared towards the absolute beginner in 3D, but towards someone with plenty of experience with 3D software (you know the one I mean).
...

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Mathaeus
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by Mathaeus » 09 Sep 2014, 00:30

Blender Diplom is a bit more advanced than average, perhaps Blender Guru. Cg Cookie sometimes has some nice files for download, for render testing and so on, but it is commercial - generally tutorials form this site are for beginners. For rigging and such, anything by Nathan Vegdahl.
Anyway as you said, most of Blender tuts are along line of "press Gkey, then Shift+Ctrl+AlT+D".
The renderer "turtle" used by this scene, is not currently available. The "turtle" renderer will be used instead.

julius
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by julius » 09 Sep 2014, 09:28

Hirazi

Don't be disapointed to point your attention to blender. After some weeks trying modo, maya, 3dsmax... I finally choose Blender which is more than a spare wheel for me.
It's not Softimage, but it is great and very capable (maybe more than Autodesk's softs). Now I have seen what Blender can do, I'm sure that it'll be included in professionnal world soon....And fuck Autodesk !

iamVFX
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by iamVFX » 09 Sep 2014, 09:33

I found these tutorials really helpfull in my transition:

Blender 2.5 Crash Course [Part 1] - UI Customization/Modeling Functions
Blender 2.5 Crash Course [Part 2] - Modifiers Smoothing Groups and Retopo
Blender 2.5 Crash Course [Part 3] - Spin, Array Modifier and Curve Modifier

Actually, there's no need for tutorials if you understand basic concepts behind Blender. Then you should understand that Blender is open source project with it's own history. It's crucial part because the cliff of learning curve starts here. Also, if you expect to use it for modelling, texturing, animation and rendering, you can use Blender alone, but for other stuff like particles or fluid dynamics it is better to buy Houdini Indie since it's dirty cheap right now and complements Blender with its features.

By default Blender has nothing to do with software that you used to work with, but tons of hotkeys and alien interaction model should not stop you since everything can be accessed from UI and it's fully customizable. This is the point where you absolutely should spend a week or two tweaking its interaction model (Maya style 3D-Viewport navigation in Blender without conflicts), getting hotkeys work for you and build the feel for the software. If you expect to jump in the boat and start working right now then you should go buy Mac and make dynamic spheres in Cinema 4D calling yourself motion graphic designer for smooth experience. (Blender vs the rest)

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csaez
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by csaez » 09 Sep 2014, 15:11

There is also a very active community in blender IRC channel (freenode) :)

kiwimation
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by kiwimation » 09 Sep 2014, 15:36

This may help. I have decided to give blender a fair go and spent some time playing with the keyboard shortcuts to get navigation like in SI.

Eg using the s key rather than alt.

Im still working on it as there are a few conflicts but feel free to play.

Just place it in C:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Blender Foundation\Blender. (Back up the orginal first)
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csaez
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by csaez » 09 Sep 2014, 15:50

Everyone is free to do whatever they want, that's for sure, but I honestly don't recommend try to mimic Softimage's workflow in other software, it doesn't work... Go with <insert name of app here> way of doing things, it will make much more sense in the long run.

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by Hirazi Blue » 09 Sep 2014, 17:05

I tend to agree, customizing the software’s behavior to mimic some other software can potentially “harm” you in the long run. And even before that, most tutorials are obviously written for the default settings, which can lead to a lot of confusion also. Having said that: I have worked in Softimage almost exclusively for many years and the idea to use customization to give my “muscle memory” a break is very tempting also. New software can obviously be very hard, constantly hitting the wrong key from a “force of habit” doesn’t make learning new software any easier, obviously.
So @kiwimation, I will have a look at this and thank you all for your contribution so far. I will need some time to take all the links into proper account.
...

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Mathaeus
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by Mathaeus » 09 Sep 2014, 21:20

Just to add a mini customizing tutorial, explaining a few possibilities.

First, how to enable a sort of RMB context menu, and forget the cursor thing in same time. This assumes the selection is already set to LMB, in File > Blender User Preferences > Input. On top of that, "Input" tab, it's easy to find RMB bindings by typing the 'right' or like in search - if search is set to 'Key-Binding'.
Next step is to disable the existing RMB, for example in 3d view > Object Mode, 3d View > mesh, 3d View > Curve, so on. Now, there's "add new" key binding option. In new, empty binding, we have to type "wm_call_menu" to get the options. Now we have to to type something like in pic. Consequentially, similar input goes for metaballs, bones.

Image

Next, in mesh edit mode, if we want SI component selection style, it goes with something like image bellow. Note that Blender has a different way of working with point, edge or polygon components. It's possible to run the edit from any type of selection (similar to SI Bevel), because Blender automatically selects the appropriate components of two other types. But it's also possible to have the all three selection modes activated. So, getting the SI style component selection, goes like in image bellow. Notice the variances of "true, false, false" or inverse.

Image

If we want something else than TAB for 'set object mode' to edit mesh, object, vertex paint and so on - this is under 3d view > Object Non Modal.

As an general rule, I think the best way for learning the Blender basics, it is to read the "extended tool tips" ( my name...), where Blender gives a short explanation of about everything below the mouse pointer. This, I think Blender invention, seems to be ported into newest Modo, Houdini too.
The renderer "turtle" used by this scene, is not currently available. The "turtle" renderer will be used instead.

Bullit
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by Bullit » 09 Sep 2014, 22:12

This is a very good thread, thanks for everyone input. I will only decide to change some 1-2 years from now depending on evolution but this makes possible to keep tabs on Blender.

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Draise
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by Draise » 10 Sep 2014, 00:03

A friend of mine on another forum made this quite extensive list to chow through.

Link

Enjoy.

luceric
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by luceric » 10 Sep 2014, 02:59

can I question the premiss of starting to learning blender rather than just using the Softimage you've spend thousands of dollars and hours with?
People who are working for/with other people need to eventually learn something new, but if you're working for yourself, there is no reason to. Only some graphic hardware armageddon or Microsoft killing backward compatibility in Windows could potentially prevent Softimage from running in the future.

kiwimation
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by kiwimation » 10 Sep 2014, 03:35

I plan on using SI for a while yet. But its not as if its going to get any new features.
Where as using blender or another app means i will get updates, Bug fixes etc.

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Hirazi Blue
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by Hirazi Blue » 10 Sep 2014, 11:17

luceric wrote:can I question the premiss of starting to learning blender rather than just using the Softimage you've spend thousands of dollars and hours with?
People who are working for/with other people need to eventually learn something new, but if you're working for yourself, there is no reason to. Only some graphic hardware armageddon or Microsoft killing backward compatibility in Windows could potentially prevent Softimage from running in the future.
It's a valid point! In my case a truly severe setback in my finances have made me wonder if keeping this hobby can still be considered sustainable/feasible. This depresses me so much, even touching Softimage has become a problem, quite frankly, thinking that's probably the best idea to ditch this whole hobby altogether to prevent further heart-ache. So exploring Blender as a last possible option is somewhat of a last ditch effort to salvage my hobby. And yes, I will keep using Softimage until It ultimately dies on me, but looking into Blender (or earlier, when I thought I could still financially maintain it, Maya) is meant as a mid-term/long-term reassurance that I will still be able to use 3D long after Softimage (and the rest of my money) have gone.
b-(
...

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Mathaeus
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by Mathaeus » 10 Sep 2014, 11:24

luceric wrote:can I question the premiss of starting to learning blender rather than just using the Softimage you've spend thousands of dollars and hours with?
People who are working for/with other people need to eventually learn something new, but if you're working for yourself, there is no reason to. Only some graphic hardware armageddon or Microsoft killing backward compatibility in Windows could potentially prevent Softimage from running in the future.
This is, of course, personally:

1. it's open source, I can install and play it anywhere, when waiting for something, or like.

2. actually there is no that much to learn, because it is simplified copy of something in middle of Max or SI.

3. because is simplified, but still organized (or, disorganized) "by task" (I call this Maxy stile), somehow it fits better for simple tasks, like adding some additional steam to footage of coffee or food. All I need to know is how to import something, plus smoke simulation toolbars. Caching is a plain simple ( no need for abstract double setups in ICE style, or Houdini extracting and who knows what else). Mixer takes SRT of object or sub-objects (in case of skeleton) and nothing else, but no way to accidentally kill the constraints when saving the action.

4. a lot of small nice additions, but with good taste (imho, Modo is here in 'bad' taste, too much of additions, all wrong). Things like non destructive modifiers on top of animation curves, a lot of small improvements when it comes to modeling. Dope Sheet is way more snappy than SI one (but again, forget complex things).

About 1, as soon as I will able to have a decent internet connection, anywhere, I'd replace Blender by AD Fusion 360 ( best mix of subd-type modeling by t-spline, plus nurbs fillets). But this will take a while. All four points doesn't make Blender a competitor to SI, Maya or Houdini when it comes to 'full usage', but definitively it is a very strong competitor to Modo, if not even killer, or even can compete to C4d for almost everything except mograph.
The renderer "turtle" used by this scene, is not currently available. The "turtle" renderer will be used instead.

kiwimation
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Re: Transition to Blender?

Post by kiwimation » 10 Sep 2014, 11:44

Hirazi Blue wrote:
luceric wrote:can I question the premiss of starting to learning blender rather than just using the Softimage you've spend thousands of dollars and hours with?
People who are working for/with other people need to eventually learn something new, but if you're working for yourself, there is no reason to. Only some graphic hardware armageddon or Microsoft killing backward compatibility in Windows could potentially prevent Softimage from running in the future.
It's a valid point! In my case a truly severe setback in my finances have made me wonder if keeping this hobby can still be considered sustainable/feasible. This depresses me so much, even touching Softimage has become a problem, quite frankly, thinking that's probably the best idea to ditch this whole hobby altogether to prevent further heart-ache. So exploring Blender as a last possible option is somewhat of a last ditch effort to salvage my hobby. And yes, I will keep using Softimage until It ultimately dies on me, but looking into Blender (or earlier, when I thought I could still financially maintain it, Maya) is meant as a mid-term/long-term reassurance that I will still be able to use 3D long after Softimage (and the rest of my money) have gone.
b-(
Out of intrest if this is a hobby for you, what was your reason for looking at Maya or even Soft. They are pretty expensive apps at the end of the day. I had always thought if i ever turned this back into just a hobby i would go back to lightwave and or blender.