Blender

Blender

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HELP! A Resource of Blender Tutorials, Guides, and Articles
By Mr Chappy
A large resource of categorised links to Blender tutorials, guides, articles, and more!
 
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Preamble

Important :
If you would like to comment on this guide then you must read the “How You Can Contribute to This Resource!” section at the end of the guide!
This guide is linked directly to a pinned post in the discussions section of this community hub and will be moderated accordingly.

Important :
Much of the information found within this guide is from independent sites and their inclusion here should not be seen as an endorsement of any kind by the Blender Foundation!

The "wiki" links to anything "add-on" related are broken at this time as this wiki is being moved to a new version.
I will replace/fix these when the information is restored. There are only 13 of these, including duplicates, in this resource.


Index

A) Introduction

B) Blender Essentials!

C) Our Community's Most Recommended Blender Sites

D) Categorised Tutorials, Resources, and Articles
  1. Blender Basics : Interface and Navigation
  2. Modelling
  3. Texturing : Unwrapping, Shaders, Nodes, and Painting
  4. Rendering(Cycles), Lighting, and Composition

  5. Miscellaneous
    • How to Upload an Image of Your Blender Window or Artwork
    • Architectural Links
    • General Blender Tips
    • Face Weighted Normals : Vertex Normal Editing

  6. Sculpting (Including Re-Topping and Baking)
  7. Subdivision/Hard Surface Modelling

  8. Complete Model Tutorial Projects
  9. Complete Full Scene Tutorial Projects

  10. Eevee, for Blender 2.8 and Beyond

  11. Resources : Materials, Textures , Hdri's, Blueprints, and External Apps
  12. Add-Ons

  13. Game Asset Creation and Other Tips
  14. SFM to Blender : Guides and Help

  15. Animation and Video
  16. VFX
  17. Physical Simulations : Cloth, Hair, Water and More

  18. Python Programming/Scripting

  19. Useful Information Regarding Job/Work Offers Posted in the Discussions Section!

  20. Troubleshooting

  21. Other Blender Sites of Interest
  22. Other Sites of Interest for Art and 3D
E) How You Can Contribute to This Resource!


A) Introduction

This resource will not make you a master but it should, hopefully, help you to find whatever you need to build a good foundation in whichever aspect of Blender you wish to pursue!
If you are new to Blender and still have any lingering doubts about the quality, power, and versatility of this software then why not have a quick read of this article.[cgcookie.com]

The idea for this resource did not begin with me, it began with an older thread by a member of our community called OkyDoky.
This is an expansion upon his idea, which hopefully provides answers to many of the most asked questions in these discussions along with much of the information originally found in his post.
So lets say a very big thank you to OkyDoky, without whom this would not exist!

Many of these sites, resources, and tutorials are ones that have been recommend many times, over many posts, by members of our community.
So a big thank you to everyone here and to everyone involved in the making of these sites and tutorials!!!

B) Blender Essentials!


Essential Blender Aids to Bookmark


The Blender Manual (Official)
  • View : Blender Manual[docs.blender.org]
  • Don't try reading it from cover to cover, look up how to do something when you need to do it
  • I will give direct links to the most relevant parts of this document in each section

The Blender Fundamentals Tutorial Series (Official)
  • View : Blender Fundamentals[cloud.blender.org]
  • A great overview of all the core aspects of Blender
  • Quick informative guides that take you through all of the essential “Fundamentals” that you need to know
  • I will be linking heavily to this at the start of many key sections

Blender Shortcut (Hotkey) Guides
  • A variety of good visual references to refer to whenever you need them, choose the one that suits you best
  • You may find on a rare occasion that a shortcut has changed since these were made, such as "x" being used to select "SculptDraw" (when sculpting) rather than "d"
  • Guides :



Essential Information and Services from Blender.org (The Official Blender Foundation Website)


The Blender Cloud[cloud.blender.org]
  • A vast, subscription based, resource that supports the future of Blender and includes all of the following features and benefits
  • Courses – Including character modelling, 3D printing, VFX, rigging and more : view[cloud.blender.org]
  • Workshops – Enter the artist's workshop and learn by example : view[cloud.blender.org]
  • The Art Gallery – Doc's & source files for some of the best Blender artwork : view[cloud.blender.org]
  • Open Movies – Access to their production files, assets, and artwork : view[cloud.blender.org]
  • Services :[cloud.blender.org]
    • Use our production pipeline for your own projects!
    • The Blender Cloud add-on – Access to most of our services from within Blender
    • Blender Sync – Save your settings once and use them anywhere
    • Texture and Hdri Browser add-on – Access the Blender Cloud resources from within Blender
    • Image Sharing – Instantly share your images from within Blender to the world
    • Private Projects – Manage your personal projects and collaborate with other cloud users
    • Attract – Production-management software for your film, game, or commercial projects
    • Flamenco – Take control of your computing infrastructure and get things done
  • Download 1000's of Assets :
  • The price per month is €9.90 or $11.50 and includes everything listed above!

Blender Downloads
  • The current official release is here[www.blender.org]
  • Older Blender versions (2.76 and earlier support Win XP) can be found here[www.blender.org]

Support
Report a Bug
  • First read this[wiki.blender.org]
  • Then follow this link[developer.blender.org]
  • You will have to create an account to do this if you don't have one already!

FAQ's
  • Read the Blender Licence and know how it works : here[www.blender.org]
  • The FAQ page is here[www.blender.org]


Other

Blender Wiki – Noob to Pro[en.wikibooks.org] (this is for Blender version 2.75 but is still relevant)
Blender Stack Exchange[blender.stackexchange.com] – A great place to ask questions and find answers for anything Blender related!
Blender Artists[blenderartists.org] – A great community with something for every Blender fan. You can ask for technical support here too!

C) Our Community's Most Recommended Blender Sites

These are probably the most commonly recommended Blender sites, in alphabetical order, from within our community.

A large percentage of the links that follow are from these sites, use the abbreviations shown after their names(in brackets) as an easy reference for the origin of each of these tutorials and articles throughout this guide.

D) Categorised Tutorials, Resources and Articles

Doing anything artistic takes time, patience, and practice.
This is especially so for Blender and 3D work in general, with a wealth of technical knowledge to learn combined with many of arts long established fields such as composition, lighting, painting, and sculpting.

Don't expect to master Blender in a day, if you see anyone posting a “first project” that took a “couple of hours” that looks amazing don't get disheartened!
They could have prior 3D experience with other software, or may have followed a quick yet effective tutorial, rendered a model sourced from somewhere else, or even been somewhat conservative with the truth...

There is a wealth of information out there for learning how to use Blender but it is spread across a wide variety of locations...
This is an attempt to bring some order to that chaos by linking to a variety of the most often used sites and tutorials, arranged into a sensible structure from which you can learn.

When doing a tutorial actually do it. If you just sit there and watch it, without following it step by step, you will learn far far less. Open up Blender before you start and use the pause button throughout the video so you don't fall behind and don't have to rush, it's not a race.

You will find some duplicate links amongst the following categories. This is not a mistake(unless they appear in the same place twice!), they just fit strongly into more than one category and including them more than once makes sense. Likewise with the repetition and similarity of some of the information and tutorials provided. I'd rather have a few too many links, especially in some areas, than too few.

Blender is an ever changing piece of software that regularly gets updated and improved. As such it is hard to find a full range of tutorials that are all for the current release(2.79 at the time of writing). It is possible that there will be differences between the versions used in some of these tutorials and the version you have.
You can download and run older versions of Blender from here if you wish to : Previous Blender Releases[www.blender.org]

I hope that Blender users of various skill levels will find something here of interest. I've done the best that I can in putting this together but this is my 1st attempt so I'm sure that with help from this community, from you, that improvements can be made!

1. Blender Basics : Interface, Navigation and Modes

This is where to start if you are totally new to using Blender. These tutorials explain the Blender interface, navigation, “Modes”, and methods of interaction. Every other section of this resource will assume that you know these basics.

If you want to switch which mouse button you use to select things with(LBM rather than RMB), something a lot of people want to do as soon as they start using Blender, then take a look at this video. It's around 1 minute long so it won't take up much of your time : Open Video

I would strongly recommend the use of a mouse when using Blender. If you have a touchpad then you will make your life a lot easier by purchasing a three button mouse to use instead! A keyboard that has a dedicated number pad is also very desirable, though not essential as this functionality is still available on a laptop keyboard albeit with less ease.


Direct links to some relevant sections of the Blender manual :

The Polygon : vertices, edges, faces and “face normals” explained by GuerrillaCG : Here

An introduction to the Blender interface and essential basics from the official “Blender Fundamentals” tutorial series. Feel free to follow this series further and get a complete overview of all the core aspects of Blender right now if you want to, or you can continue with it in the next section “Modelling”.
Remember if you switched your mouse select button that the LMB will select and the RMB will move the 3D cursor(the red and white circular target thing) :


More Introductory Tutorial Series That Explain the Blender Basics and Interface

CG Cookie – Beginners tutorial series : here[cgcookie.com]
CGM – New to Blender tutorial series : here[cgmasters.net]


Additional Help

“Help, I've got all these extra windows and I don't know how to get rid of them”, look here

2. Modelling

Whatever you wish to use Blender for it is advisable that you have a solid understanding of everything discussed in the “Essential Basics” part of this section. You should also have a read of the “Modifiers : What They Actually Do!” part if you are not familiar with many of these.

For those who wish to concentrate on modelling “Building on the Basics” will show you a selection of tools and techniques to further improve your workflow and speed, followed by a few “Useful Modelling Add-Ons” that you might like to enable.

Make sure you check out section 8, “Complete Model Tutorial Projects”, and section 9, “Complete Full Scene Projects”, for some in depth modelling tutorials that take you through every aspect of creating, texturing and rendering a model or a scene in Blender.

Remember if you switched your mouse select button that the LMB will select and the RMB will move the 3D cursor(the red and white circular target thing).


Direct link to the “Modelling” section of the Blender manual : here[docs.blender.org]



Essential Basics : Modelling Techniques, Tools and Tips That You Need to Know!

The Polygon(in case you skipped section 1) : vertices, edges, faces and “face normals” explained by GuerrillaCG : here

An introduction to Modelling from the official “Blender Fundamentals” tutorial series. These are the foundations upon which you will rely for so much of what follows so take your time and remember to do these tutorials as you watch them!


Good First Project Tutorials

All of these should be good, short, and relativity easy first projects for you to attempt. They all take you beyond modelling into simple Texturing, Lighting, and Rendering.

If you have any problems then post a new discussion (in the discussions section, don't post on this guide) stating which tutorial you are doing(include the link), what your problem is, and the time on the video where you encountered your problem. You should hopefully receive a speedy and helpful response from someone within our community when you do!

Remember if you switched your mouse select button that the LMB will select and the RMB will move the 3D cursor(the red and white circular target thing).

You do not have to select “Cycles” or click “Use Nodes” when the 2nd and 3rd videos tell you to, this is already done for you by default in Blender 2.79.
  • T4U – A simple coffee cup : here
  • T4U – Copper wire writing : here
  • T4U – Photo realistic ring : here

  • BG – Full Doughnut beginners tutorial series. This is a much longer and more in depth tutorial series that will take you over the basics again and well beyond : here[www.blenderguru.com]


Modifiers : What They Actually Do!
  • BG – A visual encyclopedia of modifiers that shows you what they do : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BlenderDiplom – Modifiers Explained! 31 individual tutorial videos demonstrating and explaining Blenders modifiers : here[www.blenderdiplom.com]
  • BT – How to use Modifiers (it's quite an old video but should still be helpful) : here[www.blendtuts.com]

...Modelling Continued

Building on the Basics : More Useful Modelling Tools, Techniques, and Information
  • BCG – Inset Faces : here
  • BN – Extrude regions : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Bridging Edge Loops : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CG Cookie – Grid Fill tool : here
  • BCG – Edge and Vertex slide : here
  • BCG – Knife Project tool : here
  • BCG – Proportional Editing : here
  • The “Shear” tool : here[docs.blender.org]
  • BCG – Joining, “Merging” verts, and filling holes : here

  • “Empties” : here[docs.blender.org]
  • BlenderDiplom : Boolean Modifier : here
  • CG Cookie – Using the Operator History : here
  • How to use “Custom” transforms(orientations, scroll down the page a little) : here[docs.blender.org]
  • Select Non-Manifold Edges – Generally you don't want to have “non-manifold geometry” (google it if you don't know what this means) in your meshes, press “Shift+Ctrl+Alt+m” to highlight any that you have so you can fix it

  • GuerrillaCG – Multi-sided Polygons (N -Gons) : here
  • GuerrillaCG – Blocking out a model with primitives : here
  • BN – Blender tubing, the array and curve modifier : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Olson – Modelling with “Curves” : here
  • CGM – Lesser known hotkeys tutorial : here[cgmasters.net]

  • Blender Cloud – The "Learn Character Modelling" tutorial series :
    • All 15 tutorial videos from chapter 2 are available for free! This chapter shows you how to model a human head using traditional modelling techniques and the "Sub-Surface" modifier
    • View the tutorial series here[cloud.blender.org]
    • If you would like to continue with the other chapters of this tutorial then please subscribe to the Blender Cloud[cloud.blender.org]


Useful Modelling Add-Ons That Are Included with Blender

See section 12, “Add-Ons”, for how to enable bundled(already included) add-ons within Blender. All of these add-ons are included with the current Blender release.
  • LoopTools – A collection of very useful modelling tools (found in the “Toolshelf” window under the “Tools” tab in “Edit” mode once enabled) : here[wiki.blender.org]
    Loop Tools tutorial. This video has no sound but it's the best that I've found for demonstrating all the tools of this add-on without a load of waffle : here

  • BoolTool – Improved Boolean tools. Remember to have at least two objects selected or it won't work (found in the “Toolshelf” window under the “Tools” tab in “Object” mode once enabled) : here[wiki.blender.org]
    LesterBanks – Bool Tool website : here[lesterbanks.com]

  • Inset Polygon : here[wiki.blender.org]

  • Edit Tools 2 : here[wiki.blender.org]

3. Texturing : Unwrapping, Shaders, Nodes, and Painting

Texturing is the general term given to applying images to the surface of your model via a “UV” coordinate system(see “Unwrapping” below).

This is achieved by the use of multiple image types(“maps”) that are linked together by “Nodes” and “Shaders” to form a “Material”. A fully textured model may be made up of many “Materials” combined together in a wide variety of ways.

Don't worry if you don't know what all this means right now, these tutorials will explain it to you!

Some of these tutorials may use slightly older methods and techniques but they all help to build up an understanding of nodes, texturing, map types, and 3D terminology that you will find beneficial.

“Unwrapping“ is normally the first step taken when texturing a model, though there are some methods that don't require it(generated/procedural texturing). So this is where we will begin.

Make sure you check out the “TexTools” add-on in section 12 at some point!


Direct link to the “Cycles Renderer” section of the Blender manual : here[docs.blender.org]



Unwrapping (UV)

Unwrapping is the process of unfolding your model so that it's surface can be viewed as a 2D image(a UV map). If you have ever made a 3D model out of paper where you cut it out, fold it, and glue it into position then this is basically the opposite of that.

The “UV” coordinate system is exactly the same as that used on a graph, only with U and V replacing X and Y. The reason why U and V are used in this coordinate system is to avoid confusion with other areas of 3D modelling where X, Y and Z are used with frequency.

The UV coordinates of your map match up with those on your mesh so it knows which parts of your image to display where. When these two are out of sync you end up with a jumbled mess being displayed on the surface of your model, any time you re-unwrap your model you must check(and potentially adjust/re-do) your texturing as the new unwrap in unlikely to match up exactly with the old unwrap.


Direct link to the UV “Editing” section of the Blender manual : here[docs.blender.org]

Introduction to “UV Mapping and Unwrapping” from the Blender Fundamentals tutorial series : here[cloud.blender.org]

  • BCG – UV Mapping(unwrapping) : here
  • CGM – UV unfolding(unwrapping) and more (this is old and uses the Blender Renderer, however the UV techniques demonstrated in it are useful and generally the same as they are now) : here[cgmasters.net]

  • BN – 20 useful UV(unwrapping) tips : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Ten more UV(unwrapping tips) : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CGM – Blender UV tips and tricks : here[cgmasters.net]


Materials : Shaders, Nodes, and Textures

Materials are often made up of several map types, that do different jobs, working in combination with one another.

Common “map” types include Albedo(colour), Normal, Metallic, and Roughness. You will come across maps with other names but these are the four most important maps for “PBR”(physically based rendering), note that some PBR shaders use Smoothness instead of Roughness.

The “Principled Shader” that supports full PBR is Blender's new(and up to date) shader system, it makes life much simpler and quicker by reducing the need for very large and complex “Node” systems. The “Principled Shader” determines how the various map types combine to produce the finished material.

Note that the “Principled Shader” is a “metallic-roughness” PBR shader, and that Blender uses an OpenGL rendering system not DirectX. If you ever use a “normal map” that does not look quite right then it may be in the wrong format(DirectX), the “green channel” of the normal map needs to be inverted to correct this.

Make sure you check out the “Node Wrangler” add-on in section 12.


Remember to check out the “Cycles Renderer” section of the Blender manual which covers all of the following topics : here[docs.blender.org]

Introduction to Shaders, Nodes, and Texturing from the official Blender Fundamentals tutorial series :

  • BG – Cycles NEW Principled Shader guide : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BN – Principled Shader : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Principled Shader unleashed Pt 1 : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Principled Shader unleashed Pt 2 : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Principled Shader unleashed Pt 3 : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Create three materials with the “Principled Shader” : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • BG – Cycles Shader encyclopedia : here[www.blenderguru.com]

  • BN – Cycles, beginners guide to nodes : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BG – Cycles Input encyclopedia : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BN – Grouping nodes : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Saving “Node Groups” : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CGM – Mix Node clamp : here[cgmasters.net]

  • BN – Realistic skin tutorial : here[www.blendernation.com]

...Texturing : Unwrapping, Shaders, Nodes, and Painting Continued

Painting

Direct link to the “Painting and Sculpting” section of the Blender manual : here[docs.blender.org]
  • BCG – Painting and Texture Brushes Pt 1 : here
  • BCG – Painting and Texture Brushes Pt 2 : here
  • BN – Hand painted barrel time-lapse with commentary : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Texturing a head with the “Stencil Brush” (also available in French) : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • Blender Cloud – Full “Bump Map” texture painting tutorial :
    • This is a complete chapter from the “Creature Factory 2” tutorial series that fully explains and demonstrates this process
    • View the tutorial here[cloud.blender.org]
    • The entire "Creature Factory 2" tutorial series is available to subscribers of the Blender Cloud[cloud.blender.org]


Other Useful Techniques and Tips
  • BN – Complete Shader workflow of a bedroom interior : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BG – Introduction to Anisotropic Shading : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BlenderDiplom – Sci-fi Hologram Shader in Cycles : here[blenderdiplom.com]
  • Wayward Art Company – Procedural Wood Texture : here
  • BCG – Image textures with transparency, useful for creating leaves(as shown) : here
  • T4U – Cloth with holes material : here
  • BN – Two glass displacement set-ups : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Mantissa – Displacement tutorial : here[themantissa.net]
  • BG – Micro Displacements : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • Iridesium – Volumetrics : here
  • LesterBanks – Dynamic Paint : here[lesterbanks.com]

  • BN – Animation Nodes : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BCG – Decals and Dirt : here

  • BN – Procedural scratches : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Blender Insight – Beginners guide to Cycles nodes the procedural way : here[www.blenderinsight.com]
  • Blender Insight – Cycles procedural wear and tear :
    English : here[www.blenderinsight.com]
    Catalan : here[www.blenderinsight.com]
    (Thanks to Joakim Tornhill a.k.a "Blender Insight" for the updated versions of these two links and the one above)
  • CreativeShrimp – 14 ways to mix textures and shaders : here[www.creativeshrimp.com]

  • CG Society – A good article about creating realistic skin(not Blender specific) : here[www.cgsociety.org]
  • BN – Skin SSS tips : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • aneroph – Material Library tutorial : here
    If you build a material library you should store your textures within the same file hierarchy as your “Materials library” .blend file, preferably organised in a sub folder with your .blend file stored in the root directory of this file structure. If you don't then the links to your textures may become broken if you re-organise your folders and files at a future date!

  • BN – Blender to Substance Painter overview (in Spanish(I think) with subtitles) : here[www.blendernation.com]

4. Rendering(Cycles), Lighting, and Composition

Rendering is how you produce your final, and hopefully impressive looking, 2D image of your 3D model or scene.

You will see quite a lot of links for lighting here because I've seen a lot of renders where the subject is almost impossible to see due to this being done badly.

Lighting and composition are two of the main fields of study in art, film, and photography. The same principles tend to apply regardless of the medium used, as such you can find a wealth of further information in books and from across the web in fields other than CGI and 3D to learn from.

I've not included links for the older “Blender Renderer” as it is on the brink of being dropped with the introduction of Eevee(see section 10. for more info) from Blender version 2.8 and onwards.


Direct links to some relevant sections of the Blender Manual :
An introduction to Lights, Lighting, and Rendering from the official “Blender Fundamentals” tutorial series :


More Guides
  • BCG – Intro to Lighting and Rendering : here
  • BN – Lighting and Rendering Tips by Gleb : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • BG – Understanding Composition : here[www.blenderguru.com]

  • BG : How to correctly light a 3D model : here
  • Gleb Alexandrov – Properties of light : here
  • BG – Lighting tips : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BN – 7 realistic lighting tips : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CreativeShrimp – Light textures. Applying a texture to a light source to make it more realistic/interesting : here[www.creativeshrimp.com]
  • BN – Lighting a bedroom interior : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Olav3D - How to use Hdri's, image based lighting : here

  • CGM – Node “Compositing”, post processing (the audio volume is a little on the low side...) : here[cgmasters.net]


Some Other Tips
  • BG – Reduce Fireflies (those coloured dots that are ruining your render) : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BCG – Depth of Field : here
  • BCG – Camera tips : here
  • CreativeShrimp – Bokeh, “The way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light” : here[www.creativeshrimp.com]
  • BG – Rendering onto a photo : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BT – The Shadow Catcher : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • BN – How to control Hdri shadows : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Create your own Hdri and how to use it : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BG – 7 common mistakes in architectural rendering : here
  • AgenZasBros : Compositing effects, and 'Wender' Layers (Render Layers) : here
  • Blender HD – Light Wrap compositing : here

5. Miscellaneous


How to Upload an Image of Your Blender Window or Artwork

If you need to take a screenshot of Blender(great when you need help with a problem) then use the “Snipping Tool” found in “Start Menu → All Programs → Accessories”, thanks to still__alive for that tip!
You can also use "Ctrl+F3" whilst in Blender to take and save a screenshot. Thanks to 'The Renderer' for shining a much needed light on this method!

To upload your Blender screenshot go to the “Artwork” section of your profile and click on the “Upload Artwork” button and select “Not Game Specific”. Then follow the instructions, the image file must be saved in either JPG, PNG, or GIF format and be less than 8MB. You can provide a link to your image in these discussions when needed.

To upload your artwork(Blender renders) go to the “Artwork” section of this community hub and follow the same procedure as above(this will skip the game selection screen).



Architectural Links

Whilst there is not an extensive list of links for architecture those that are provided are scattered throughout the various sections. I thought it would be useful to bring them together here as an easy reference.
  • BN – Full modern interior(living room) scene tutorial series (this uses some assets(props) that it does not show you how to make) : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Complete Shader workflow of a bedroom interior : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Lighting a bedroom interior : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CG Geek – Modern house tutorial series : here
  • BN – Useful add-ons for architectural design : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BG – 7 common mistakes in architectural rendering : here


General Blender Tips

A few more tips that you may find useful!
  • BN – Gleb's tips that you will actually try : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BG – 11 useful tips you may not know : here[www.blenderguru.com]


Face Weighted Normals : Vertex Normal Editing

This is a method used to give low-mid poly hard surface objects the impression of being high poly without the need for normal maps and baking. Is is used in some games like Star Citizen. Thanks to still__alive for this information!

Learn what vertex normals are and how they affect the shading of your mesh, from GuerrillaCG : here
Learn about face weighted normals here[i.imgur.com]

Vertex Normal Editors :
  • Blend4Web – Normal Editor download, you only need the “Blender Add-on” scroll down the page a little to find this : here[www.blend4web.com]
  • Blend4Web – Normal Editor documentation : here[www.blend4web.com]
  • (Y.A.V.N.E.) Another Vertex Normal Editor Add-on : here[github.com]
Tutorial :
  • MrTriPie – Overview and demonstration using the Blend4Web add-on : here

6. Sculpting

Learn how to sculpt without the constant worry of an irreversible accident! Having some previous experience in art is definitely beneficial when sculpting, though not essential.

If this is something that you wish to get serious about then using a tablet with pressure sensitivity, like a Wacom, is pretty much a must. A mouse will only get you so far...

The use of reference images is essential when sculpting any real life objects, doubly so for character sculpting. Check out the “PureRef” app in section 11's “External Apps” for a great way to organise and display your reference images.


Direct link to the “Painting and Sculpting section of the Blender manual : here[docs.blender.org]

If you don't know the basics of the Blender interface and modelling then you may struggle with the following! Follow section 1 “Blender Basics : Interface, Navigation and Modes” if this is you, and do at least the first part of section 2 “Modelling”.



Getting Started
  • Matcaps, viewport shaders that are good for sculpting : here
  • YanSculpts – Sculpting for Beginners : here
  • YanSculpts – Types of sculpting, Multi-res and Dynotop : here
  • Setting up Blender for Dynotop sculpting : here
  • BT – How to use the “Skin Modifier” for easy “base mesh” creation : here[www.blendtuts.com]


Some Useful Tips
  • BN – Brush stroke tips and tricks : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – How to solve some common sculpting problems : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Useful sculpting tips for avoiding problems : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CGM – Re-proportion a model : here[cgmasters.net]
  • BN – DIY sculpting brushes : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CGM – Create your own Matcaps : here[cgmasters.net]
  • BN – Dynotop, how to use constant detail(Blender ver 2.9 +) : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • MasterXeon – How to improve your sculpts rant : here


Character Modelling Tutorials

Make sure you use reference images as often as possible! You will end up with some very weird looking heads, faces, and bodily proportions if you don't!

Make sure you check out the “Make Human” app from the add-ons section(12).
  • BN – Human head quick full workflow overview : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • YanSculpts – Anatomy sculpting tutorial series. Mouth, nose, and eyes (Dynotop) : here
  • CG Cookie – Anatomy sculpting tutorial series. Mouth, nose, ears, and eyes (Dynotop) : here
  • CG Cookie – Realistic head sculpt tutorial (Multi-res) : here
  • YanSculpts – Full “Stylised Head” tutorial (Dynotop) : here
  • Chris Vian – Hotel Transylvania “Bleh Bleh Bleh” vampire tutorial (Dynotop) : here
  • Grant Abbitt – Full Character tutorial (Dynotop) : here
  • Alimayo Arango – Modelling clothes (Multi-res) (quiet volume) : here

  • BN – Full Character modelling series with no commentary. Don't even attempt to follow this unless you know what you are doing! (use the playlist icon to select the video you want) : here[www.blendernation.com]


Other Tutorials
  • CG Cookie – Hippo Sculpt Pt 1 : Base Mesh : here
  • CG Cookie – Hippo Sculpt Pt 2 : Sculpting 1 (Multi-res) : here
  • CG Cookie – Hippo Sculpt Pt 3 : Sculpting 2 (Multi-res) : here
  • CG Cookie – Hippo Sculpt Pt 4 : Re-top using the Bsurfaces add-on : here

...Sculpting Continued (Re-Topology and Baking)

Re-Topology

Re-topology is the process of making a high poly sculpt ready for unwrapping, texturing, and animating. It is also used in the creation of assets for games.

This is done by creating a lower poly copy of the model(re-topping) which you then “Bake” the high poly model data onto. The high poly data is stored in maps(textures) the most common of which is a “normal map”. See the baking section after this for more info, here we will deal with the the creation of the low poly copy(re-topping).

This can be quite a time consuming process. If you are using Dynotop then this is going to be an essential part of your workflow. If you are using Multi-Res then you might(sometimes) be able to avoid this by either setting your model to a lower subdivision level when unwrapping and texturing, or via using a copy of your model(with the lower subdivision level applied to it) if you intend to bake.

There is a paid add-on called “Retopflow” that is meant to be good for speeding up this process, though I can't speak from personal experience as it's a little pricey. You can find it here.[blendermarket.com]

Check out the Bsurfaces add-on(included with Blender) in section 12.
  • BN – Intro to re-topology : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CG Cookie – Grid Fill tool(very handy for re-topping) : here
  • BT – Re-topology(retop) : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • Gamedev Fred : Sci-fi Boot “retop” tutorial : here
  • Gamedev Fred : Shirt “retop” tutorial : here


Baking

How to transfer your high poly model's detail onto a low poly copy. This process will create a series of textures(maps) that emulate the detail of your high poly object on your low poly object.

I always set my entire low poly mesh to smooth shading before baking and let the maps do all the work. Some people like to use smoothing groups but it seems like an over complication of the process to me, though that is just my personal opinion...

Make sure you check out the “TexTools” add-on in section 12. It has a full suite of tools that can make this process easier in Blender!

Other apps are also available for this process like Xnormal and Substance Painter(paid) which you can find out more about in section 11's “External Apps”.

Make sure you check out section 13(Game Asset Creation and Other Tips), there are a lot of tutorials that demonstrate this process!
  • BG – How to bake perfect normal maps (check out the Anvil tutorial series in section 8 for more tutorials relating to this video) : here
  • BN – Baking(high to low poly) in Cycles : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • BN – Blender to Substance Painter overview (in Spanish(I think) with subtitles) : here[www.blendernation.com]

7. Hard/Subdivision Surface Modelling

Hard Surface modelling is an apt name! This section assumes that you have a good proficiency with the basics of Blender and are familiar with many of it's modelling tools and techniques.

For the most part I've tried to avoid tutorials than contain add-ons so that anyone can attempt these without any monetary cost. I've included some 3ds Max videos in this section as the general principles are the same as in Blender, however much of the terminology used is not so I've provided a brief guide below for the most common terms.

Sculpting can play a useful part in HS modelling. It can be used to define the shape of a model before being “re-topped” to form the base HS model itself. There is a time-lapse video that shows this process later. For more information on sculpting and re-topping see section 6.

When you check out the full tutorial sections mentioned earlier look out for any that are marked with (HS), these will have some worthwhile Hard Surface modelling techniques in them for you to learn from. In particular I recommend checking out the Anvil, Microphone, Darth Vader's helmet, and Tracers Gun from section 8 as well as the Ford Thunderbird tutorial from section 9.

Make sure you have the “LoopTools” and “BoolTool” add-ons enabled before you start HS modelling!

Check out MasterXeon's paid add-on called “HardOps” if you think HS modelling is something that you wish to pursue! See the “Add-Ons” section later for more info on this.


An overview of Subdivision Surface modelling by GuerrillaCG : here


3ds Max to Blender Terminology
  • Max → Blender

  • Turbo Smooth → Subdivision Surface Modifier
  • Cut → Knife (k)
  • Inset → Inset Faces (i)
  • Weld → Merge (Alt+m)
  • Chamfer → Bevel (Ctrl+b)
  • Regularize → Loop Tools “Space” or Loops Tools “Circle” depending upon the situation
  • Open Subdiv → Edge Crease (I think...)


Useful Tools and Modifiers
  • Loop Tools (again!) – A collection of essential Hard Surface modelling tools (found in the “Toolshelf” window under “Tools” in “Edit” mode once enabled) : here[wiki.blender.org]
    Loop Tools tutorial. This video has no sound but is easily the best that I've found for demonstrating all the tools of this add-on without a load of waffle : here
  • BoolTool (again!) – Improved Boolean tools. Remember to have at least two objects selected or it won't work (found in the “Toolshelf” window under “Tools” in “Object” mode once enabled) : here[wiki.blender.org]
    LesterBanks – Bool Tool website : here[lesterbanks.com]
  • Offset Edge Slide – With an “edge loop” selected press “Shift+Ctrl+r” to create two offset edge loops, one on either side of the original, which you can then slide into position(good for getting evenly spaced support loops)
  • Select Non-Manifold Edges (again!) – Non-manifold geometry can cause some serious artifacts in Subdivision Surface modelling so it's worth mentioning this tool again, press “Shift+Ctrl+Alt+m” to quickly highlight any that you have so you can fix it
  • BN – The “Shrinkwrap” modifier, uses in HS : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – HS modelling modifier tips for beginners : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Jayanam – Using the Spin Tool and Boolean modifier to HS model : here
  • CG Cookie – Quickly select and sharpen edges : here


HS Tips, Principles, and Techniques
  • MasterXeon – Basics Recap, things you should know! : here
  • Ebal Studios – Basic HS modelling principles (3ds Max) : here
  • BT – Simple objects, master the basics : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • FX Hive (Grant Warwick) – Free Mastering HS Modelling tutorial (3ds Max) : here
  • FX Hive (Grant Warwick) – Free Mastering HS Modelling tutorial 6 (3ds Max) : here
  • FX Hive (Grant Warwick) – Free Mastering HS Modelling tutorial 7 (3ds Max) : here

  • GuerrillaCG – Subdivision Surfaces : Artifacts : here
  • CGM – How to avoid “pinching”(artifacts) : here[cgmasters.net]
  • BN- Dealing with mesh artifacts : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Pixar – Subdivision Surface modelling tips : here[graphics.pixar.com]

  • ChamferZone – Talk about N-Gons in HS (3ds Max) : here
  • BN – Snapping Hard Surface objects onto other objects : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • MasterXeon – Robot head sculpt and Hard Surface re-top with commentary : here
  • MasterXeon – How to improve your sculpts rant : here
  • MasterXeon – Helmet. Concept to fully textured model time lapse involving, sketching, sculpting, re-topping, HS detail modelling(using HardOps), texturing, and rendering : here


Some Extra HS Focused Tutorials to Help Yo Get Started
  • BN – Simple beginners Table tutorial : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Simple HS model tutorial : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Pen Top tutorial : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CGM – Car Wheel Rims tutorial : here[cgmasters.net]
  • BN – Photo realistic Fire Hydrant tutorial series (texturing in Substance Painter) (use the playlist icon to select the video you want) : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Model a Space Fighter Ship : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CG Cookie – Gyrocopter tutorial series (roughly 15 hours long!) : here

  • Blender Cloud – The "Learn Character Modelling" tutorial series :
    • All 15 tutorial videos from chapter 2 are available for free! This chapter shows you how to model a human head using traditional modelling techniques and the "Sub-Surface" modifier
    • View the tutorial series here[cloud.blender.org]
    • If you would like to continue with the other chapters of this tutorial then please subscribe to the Blender Cloud[cloud.blender.org]

8. Complete Model Tutorial Projects

I've attempted to put these into a roughish order from easy to hard, though it is only a very loose guide.

Any project name that is preceded by “(HS)” uses at least some worthwhile “hard surface”(subdivision surface) modelling techniques! Don't be put off by this, it's just there as an aid to those specifically seeking out tutorials for HS modelling.

Remember if you switched your mouse select button that the LMB will select and the RMB will move the 3D cursor(the red and white circular target thing).

You do not have to select “Cycles” or click “Use Nodes”(for materials) when any of the videos tell you to, this is already done for you by default in Blender 2.79.

  • BN – Potion Bottle : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Low poly castle : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Procedural sky : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BG – (HS) Light bulb scene : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • T4U – (HS) Alarm clock Pt 1 : here
  • T4U – (HS) Alarm clock Pt 2 : here
  • BT – Make a coffee cup : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • BN – Photo realistic coffee cup : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BG – Beer : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BN – Realistic grass : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Bandyte – Detailed flower : here
  • CG Geek – Realistic tree : here
  • CG Geek – Star Wars star destroyer : here
  • BCG – (HS) Pumpkin : here
  • BCG – (HS) Jack-'o'-Lantern (following on from the Pumpkin) : here
  • BG – (HS) Anvil full tutorial series : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • CGM – Grand piano : here[cgmasters.net]
  • CGM – (HS) Chair Pt 1 : here[cgmasters.net]
  • CGM – Chair Pt 2 : here[cgmasters.net]
  • T4U – (HS) Microphone Pt 1 : here
  • T4U – (HS) Microphone Pt 2 : here
  • CG Geek – (HS) Star Wars Darth Vader's helmet : here
  • T4U – (HS) Ukulele tutorial series : here
  • BN – (HS) Tracers Gun from Overwatch, full series (use the playlist icon to select the video you want) : here[www.blendernation.com]

9. Complete Full Scene Tutorial Projects

I've attempted to put these into a roughish order from easy to hard, though it is only a very loose guide!

Any project name that is preceded by “(HS)” uses at least some worthwhile “hard surface”(subdivision surface) modelling techniques! Don't be put off by this, it's just there as an aid to those seeking out tutorials for HS modelling.

Remember if you switched your mouse select button that the LMB will select and the RMB will move the 3D cursor(the red and white circular target thing).

You do not have to select “Cycles” or click “Use Nodes”(for materials) when any of the videos tell you to, this is already done for you by default in Blender 2.79.

  • BT – (HS) Snow man : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • Envatotuts – Creating Low Poly Illustrations in Blender. A written tutorial for creating a mountainous landscape illustration : here[cgi.tutsplus.com]
  • BN – Mountain scene : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CGM – Rock stream : here[cgmasters.net]
  • BG – Earth : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BT – (HS) Valentines chocolates : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • BG – Spaceship corridor (Pt 2 is on this page too despite the title, just keep scrolling down) : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • CG Geek – Modern house tutorial series : here
  • BlenderForNoobs – (HS) Satellite in space : here
  • CG Geek – Forest scene tutorial series : here
  • CGM – Sci-fi cave : here[cgmasters.net]
  • BN – Full modern interior(living room) scene (this uses some assets(props) that it does not show you how to make) : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BlenderWiz – (HS) Car : Ford Thunderbird : here
  • BN – Full character video series. Note that the actual modelling part of this series is a time-lapse! Take a look at section 6, “Sculpting”, for a more detailed explanation of this part of the process : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BT – Alien spaceship. This is an old tutorial that uses the Blender renderer, I decided to include it because it's still usable(just) and the spaceship is cool looking. That's why I've put it last though... : here[www.blendtuts.com]

10. Eevee, for Blender 2.8 and Beyond

Learn about one of the biggest changes coming to Blender in version 2.8! This should be officially released some time this year.

The “Getting Started” tutorial will tell you how to download a test build if you want to try it out. Do not open any current projects in it as they may be at risk if you do!

I should say R.I.P to BGE (the Blender Game Engine) here too as this is being discontinued as of version 2.8, something a few members of our community informed me of recently!
  • Blender – Eevee FAQ : here[code.blender.org]
  • CGM – Getting Started : here[cgmasters.net]

11. Resources : Materials, Textures , Hdri's, Blueprints, and External Apps

First another thank you to OkyDoky, as much of this section is taken directly from their original thread, and to +Rusty+ who also provided some of the links here via that post.

Second always check the licence of any resources you download so you know where, and how, you are allowed to use them!

Texturing has moved on a little since OkyDoky's original list was made with a full move to PBR (Physically Based Rendering). I've kept some of the older traditional texture links(that still work) as these are still essential for workflows that don't use the PBR approach.

For a quick guide to using PBR “Materials” in Blender you can take a look at this, and also at section 3 of this resource for a more substantial guide.

Note that “packed” materials(.sbars), as used in Substance Painter, will not work in Blender at this time!

I've included some Substance Painter links as this is used with such frequency within the 3D industry at this time, and by many members of our community! It's good but it's not free!



Materials and Textures
  • Textures com (formally CG Textures) – Materials, photo scanned surfaces, Hdri's, brushes, and “Decals”. It does have a daily limit of 15 downloads(of a certain quality) for non premium users : here[www.textures.com]
  • Texture Haven – Free high quality PBR textures! Thanks to criticalphil for this link : here[texturehaven.com]
  • Free PBR – Free PBR Materials. They come as .zip files for Unity and Unreal. The Unity ones are perfectly usable within Blender, once extracted, without conversion except for the smoothness map which needs to be inverted to become a roughness map(or you can use the roughness map from the Unreal download). Unity and Unreal use different “normal map” formats, DirectX for Unreal and OpenGL for Unity. Blender also uses OpenGL : here[freepbr.com]

  • Substance Share – For Substance Painter owners only, a free exchange platform : here[share.allegorithmic.com]
  • Substance Source – For Substance Painter owners only, Some free Materials from what is otherwise a subscription based service : here[source.allegorithmic.com]

  • Max Textures – Tiled and seamless textures : here[www.mb3d.co.uk]
  • Obsidian Dawn – Marks, scratches, and dirt etc : here[www.obsidiandawn.com]
  • Texturelib – A variety of categorised textures : here[texturelib.com]
  • Texturer – A variety of categorised textures : here[texturer.com]
  • LuGher Texture – A variety of categorised textures, including a couple of Hdri's : here[www.lughertexture.com]
  • Plain Textures – A variety of categorised textures : here[www.plaintextures.com]


Hdri's
  • HDR Labs – Many free Hdri's : here[www.hdrlabs.com]
  • DeviantArt Zbyg – Free Hdri packs : here[zbyg.deviantart.com]
  • Joost Vanhoutte : Various free Hdri's : here[joost3d.com]
  • Texturify – Lots of free Hdri's : here[texturify.com]
  • Hdri-Skies – As Described, free up to a certain quality : here[hdri-skies.com]
  • Hdri Haven – Free high quality Hdri's! Thanks to criticalphil for this link : here[hdrihaven.com]


Blueprints

Try using “Google Images” for these, remember to include the word “blueprint” in your search. Getting “real” blueprints is difficult and settling for something simpler is often necessary.
  • Drawing Database – A Selections of vehicular blueprints : here[drawingdatabase.com]
  • Car Blueprints – As described : here[www.carblueprints.info]
  • Blueprints com – Lots of blueprints, you need an account to get a decent image size. I'm not sure how “free” this site is either : here[www.the-blueprints.com]


External Apps

These are free, or donation based, unless stated as being otherwise. If you find yourself regularly using any of these then remember to support them!
  • Make Human app – Generate a full character model with or without rigging, a great way to easily get a human base mesh(with accurate proportions) for sculpting : here[www.makehumancommunity.org]
    Make Human Blender add-ons – To make the app communicate with Blender : here[www.makehumancommunity.org]

  • PureRef – A great app to organise and display your reference images. You can try it before you buy it (around €5 if you do) : here[www.pureref.com]

  • XNormal – An external texture “map” “baker” and tool set : here[www.xnormal.net]

  • Gimp – An image manipulation program : here[www.gimp.org]
  • Paint net – Image and photo editing software : here[www.getpaint.net]

  • Substance Painter (Paid!) - An industry standard texturing app. You can sometimes find it on sale, the current version has been as low as £78.53 at the time of writing(normal price £118.99), older versions have been discounted to a greater extent than this in the past.
    On Steam
    Direct from Allegorithmic[www.allegorithmic.com]

  • Image to normal map – A free online app for quickly making a “normal map” from an image : here[cpetry.github.io]

12. Add-Ons

To enable an add-on(many are already included with Blender and just need activating) go to :
  • File → User Preferences → Select the “Add-ons” tab → Find the add-on you want and click the check box to activate it.
For add-ons that are not bundled with Blender. Download the add-on file, then at the bottom of the add-ons page of the user preferences(in Blender) you will see a button named “Install Add-on from File...”, click on this and select your downloaded add-on file to install it.

If you come across an add-on where this does not work then follow their own specific installation instructions, if you still have any issues then post a new discussion(in the discussions section, do not post here!) detailing the add-on along with your problem and someone should hopefully be able to help you out.


Direct links to the “User Preferences” section of the Blender Manual : here[docs.blender.org]


Official Add-On Lists
  • Blender Wiki – List of new add-ons in version 2.79 : here[wiki.blender.org]
  • Blender Wiki – List of all add-ons automatically included with Blender 2.79 by category : here[wiki.blender.org]


Some Very Useful Add-Ons

A selection of Blender add-ons, ranging from those already included with Blender to some independent paid/donation based add-ons that you might find useful.


A Couple of Add-On Tips from Pte Jack :

Add-ons that are included with a Blender release will always work.
Other add-ons may be older and written for the Blender release of that time, for paid add-ons always check the age and compatibility of it before purchasing!

In the event that an add-on seems out of date but is one that you would like to use then you could do one of the following :
  • Use an older version of Blender that the add-on worked in.
    Once you have done what you needed to do with it(the add-on) save your project, then open it up in the current Blender release and continue working as normal.
    Depending upon the add-on this may or may not be an option...
  • Contact the add-on author and ask if an updated version is planned and when it is expected to be released.

Add-Ons :
  • Mesh Lint – Checks your mesh for errors and problems in real time : here[github.com]
  • Node Wrangler (included) – Many useful tools for Nodes : here[wiki.blender.org]
  • TexTools – An extensive set of texturing tools : here[renderhjs.net]
  • Easy “Clay” rendering (included) : here[wiki.blender.org]
  • Easy Hdri's from Code of Art : here[codeofart.com]
  • HardOps – A paid($15) Hard Surface modelling tool set by MasterXeon, you can find it here[gumroad.com]
    MasterXeon is a regular poster of artwork in our community, you can see his work(and HardOps in action) here[www.artstation.com]
    ...and keep up to date with news regarding HardOps and other projects of MasterXeon's here[masterxeon1001.com]
    HardOps video tutorial guide : here
  • Make Human app – Generate a full character model with or without rigging, a great way to easily get a human base mesh(with accurate proportions) for sculpting : here[www.makehumancommunity.org]
    Make Human Blender add-ons – To make the app communicate with Blender : here[www.makehumancommunity.org]
  • “Texture Atlas” tool (included) : here[wiki.blender.org]
  • Bsurfaces for re-topology (included) : here[wiki.blender.org]
  • The 3D printing toolbox (included) : here[wiki.blender.org]

Videos/Articles Highlighting Several Useful Add-Ons :
  • BN – Three cool add-ons : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BG – 12 potentially useful add-ons : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BN – Useful add-ons for architectural design : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Daniel Banasik (Blogspot) – An extensive blog detailing many add-ons and updates. Thanks to Pte Jack for this link : here[blenderaddonlist.blogspot.com]

13. Game Asset Creation and Other Tips

Please note that Blender does work in much the same way with game engines other than Unity, there just seems to be far more Unity tutorials in these sites than anything else (such as Unreal).

I will split this up according to game engine if I get enough new links to make this worth doing.

Make sure you check out the “TexTools” add-on and the “Texture Atlas” add-on in section 12 at some point!



Full Asset Creation Tutorials
  • CGM – Combat Knife Pt 1 : High poly model : here[cgmasters.net]
  • CGM – Combat Knife Pt 2 : Low poly model and unwrapping : here[cgmasters.net]
  • CGM – Combat Knife Pt 3 : Baking normal maps : here[cgmasters.net]
  • CGM – Combat Knife Pt 4 : Texturing in Substance Painter : here[cgmasters.net]

  • AlienMinefield – Crate game asset tutorial series, modelling only : here

  • BN – Wishing Well, full Blender to Unity tutorial(uses Substance Painter for texturing) : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Ghost, full Blender to Unity tutorial : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • BN – Sci-fi floor panel Blender to Unreal, unfinished as he is still working on this series (use the playlist icon to select the video you want) : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • Grant Abbitt – Full Character tutorial : here


Other Tips, Techniques, and Guides
  • Random Art Attack – Blender to Unity Pt 1 - Prep work and clean up etc : here
  • Random Art Attack – Blender to Unity Pt 2 - Blender to Unity, export FBX : here
  • Random Art Attack – Blender to Unity Pt 3 – Animated colliders : here
  • BN – Blender to Unity troubleshooting. Including fixing invisible faces and objects via flipping face normals! : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • BN – Baking(high to low poly) in Cycles : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • BN – Blender to Substance Painter overview : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • CGM – Polygon hair modelling(how it's normally done in games) : here[cgmasters.net]

  • BN – Blender animation to Unity : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Shape keys and how to use them Pt 1 : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Shape keys and how to use them Pt 2 : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Low poly Unity tree with wind effect Pt 1 : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Low poly Unity tree with wind effect Pt 2 : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Exporting Blender FBX animation to Unreal, quick tutorial : here[www.blendernation.com]

14. SFM to Blender : Guides and Help
  • Pte Jack – Various SFM Blender tutorials. Pte is very active in this community and is always happy to help(within reason!) Check out his Youtube channel here.
  • You can see more of Pte's guides here.

15. Animation and Video

Various tutorials that should help you to get started in “rigging”, animation, and video editing in Blender.


Direct links to some relevant sections of the Blender manual :
A full introduction to animation in Blender from the official “Blender Fundamentals” tutorial series :


Some More Tutorials to Help You Get Started
  • BCG – Intro to animation : here
  • BT – Simple ball animation and basic concepts : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • T4U – Chocolate bar text animation : here
  • T4U – Water text animation : here
  • T4U – Vine text animation : here

  • BT – Introduction to facial rigging, the eyes : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • BT – How to “rig” a leg : here[www.blendtuts.com]
  • BG – Rigging a full character for animation (quite old but the principles should still be sound) : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • CGM – Bow and Arrow rigging : here[cgmasters.net]

  • Blender Cloud – BlenRig add-on :
    • An auto-rigging and skinning system that provides users with a feature film quality rig
    • You can download it here[cloud.blender.org]
    • You need a subscription to the Blender Cloud[cloud.blender.org] to view the tutorial videos found here[cloud.blender.org]
    • A quick pdf introduction guide can be downloaded from here[cloud.blender.org]


Full Animation Tutorials
  • BCG – Full Minecraft character modelling and animation tutorial series : here
  • BCG – Full Lego character modelling and animation tutorial series : here
  • T4U – Robot dog animation, Pt 1 Modelling : here
  • T4U – Robot dog animation, Pt 2 Rigging : here
  • T4U – Robot dog animation, Pt 3 Animating : here


More Useful Animation Tips and Techniques
  • BCG – Video and VFX tutorial series : here
  • Nuxttux – Video editing in Blender tutorial series : here

  • Bloop Animation – Grease Pencil, how to sketch out your animation : here
  • BG – Turntable animation : here
  • BN – Animating Curves with the hook modifier : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CGM – Animating a car crash : here[cgmasters.net]

  • CGM – Re-proportion a model : here[cgmasters.net]
  • CGM : Crate a “proxy” mesh for easy animation : here[cgmasters.net]
  • CGM : Apply an old character “rig” to a new model : here[cgmasters.net]
  • BN – Strafe animation : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • BN - “FK”(forward kinematics) vs “IK”(inverse kinematics) rigging : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – IK leg rigging : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Fix “IK” bone popping in chains : here[www.blendernation.com]

  • BN – Animation Nodes : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Using “Falloff Nodes” : here[www.blendernation.com]

16. VFX

Many of the tutorials I would have liked to have included, like the “Flamethrower” from BlenderGuru, were simply too old...

If you know of any good VFX tutorials that are reasonably up to date and not already covered here then let me know. Remember to read the section on “How You Can Contribute to This Resource!” at the end of this guide before doing so, thank you!
  • BN – VFX workflow overview(to music) : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BCG – Full VFX tutorial series : here

  • BCG – Fire : here
  • CGM – Lightning : here[cgmasters.net]
  • CGM – Wormhole : here[cgmasters.net]
  • BN – Dust in the wind, object dissolve : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • Iridesium : Huge Explosion (using smoke simulation) : here
  • Jonathan Lampel – Fracturing complex objects : here[blenderhd.wordpress.com]
  • BlenderDiplom – Advanced “Particle Trail” tutorial : here[blenderdiplom.com]

  • BCG – Camera tips : here
  • BG – “Camera Mapping” : here
  • BG – Rendering onto a photo : here[www.blenderguru.com]

17. Physical Simulations : Cloth, Hair, Water and More

A variety of tutorials that utilise various aspects of Blenders physics engine...

Direct link to the “Physics” section of the Blender manual : here[docs.blender.org]


Cloth
  • BCG – Cloth : here
  • T4U – Cloth on bowl : here
  • BG – Realistic flag : here[www.blenderguru.com]

Fluid Simulations
  • T4U – Water text, “Dynamic Paint” : here
  • LesterBanks : Realistic water simulation : here[lesterbanks.com]
  • BN – Beach waves Pt 1 : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Beach waves Pt 2 : here[www.blendernation.com]

Rigid Body Simulations(Hard Objects)
  • BCG – A chain simulation and a dominoes simulation : here
  • BG – Wrecking ball : here[www.blenderguru.com]
  • BG – Glass smash : here[www.blenderguru.com]

Soft Body Simulations(Soft Objects)
  • BN – A Simple “Soft Body” simulation : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • CGM – Bouncing Cubes : here[cgmasters.net]

Hair
  • BlenderDiplom – Fur, using the hair particle system : here[blenderdiplom.com]

Smoke
  • lotsalote : Smoke simulation tutorial : here

Other Simulation Techniques
  • BN – Make a pillow : here[www.blendernation.com]

18. Python Programming/Scripting

Python is the programming language that Blender is created with. With it you can program your own scripts for performing tasks or even create your own add-ons!

This is not essential for the average Blender user.

Google will provide a wealth of information on Python programming if you wish to go beyond where these tutorials take you!

The last two links are for the Blender Game Engine. This is being discontinued from version 2.8 onwards(out later this year). I've included them as they may be fun projects with which to learn python that should still work for now.
  • BlenderWiz – Introduction to programming and Python, tutorial series : here
  • Sinestesia – Procedural meshes tutorial series : here[sinestesia.co]

  • BN – Asteroids game tutorial : here[www.blendernation.com]
  • BN – Snake game tutorial : here[www.blendernation.com]

19. Important Information Regarding Job/Work Offers Posted in the Discussions Section!

Before getting involved in anything do yourself a BIG favour and read at least some of these! You are your own best defence against getting ripped off, whether you are the client or the freelancer, so arm yourself with some solid facts.
  • Advice for freelances so you don't get ripped off by clients, from Go Design : here[www.fastcodesign.com]
  • ...and from Envatotuts : here[business.tutsplus.com]
  • ...and a quick comedic read with a similarly serious message from Blender Guru : here[www.blenderguru.com]

  • Advice for clients who wish to employ freelancers from Motionographer : here[motionographer.com]

  • Is Blender freelancing for you? From Chocofur : here[www.chocofur.com]

20. Troubleshooting

If you are having problems then start by checking out the troubleshooting section of the manual here.[docs.blender.org]

Often someone else will have had a similar problem to your own and a solution may already exist. So remember to have a search for your issue online!


You can ask for help at one or more Blender communities. The more places you ask the better the chance of you finding a solution to your problem.

Blender Stack Exchange[blender.stackexchange.com] and Blender Artists[blenderartists.org] are two great places to ask for help, as stated in the official troubleshooting guide.
You are always welcome to ask for help in the discussions section of this community hub as well, just post a new discussion that details your issue. Please don't delete these after finding a solution, leave them so that others may benefit from them in the future, thanks!

When you ask for help come prepared with as much information about your issue as possible, just saying “it does not work” or “it keeps crashing” is unlikely to get you the help that you need! Always remember to be polite and say thank you to anyone who tries to help you!


Information that is always worth providing whenever it's possible/relevant :
  • A precise account of exactly what is not working and when this occurs
  • "A picture paints a thousand words" is a saying that rings true when having technical problems.
    If you have an error message or anything else where a screenshot may provide vital information then share it. Take a look at the “Miscellaneous” section earlier for how you can do this!
  • Say precisely which operating system you are using
  • A link to your .blend file can be very useful if you are happy to share it. There are many places where you can upload your .blend file to like “Dropbox”[www.dropbox.com]. Whatever you use make sure that the recipient does not have to sign up to anything in order to access your file!
  • Your full system specifications if Blender is crashing or not starting
  • A basic crash report if this is your issue. You can get this by running Blender from a command line. Follow this link for help with how to do this, look under the “Platforms” section : here[docs.blender.org]

You can also ask for help via a live conversation at Blender Chat here[blender.chat]

21. Other Blender Sites of Interest
  • Blender Stack Exchange, a great place to ask questions and find answers! : here[blender.stackexchange.com]
  • Creative Shrimp : Gleb Alexandrov's site, he is a fantastic Blender artist! You will find various tutorials and articles here including some great post processing techniques : here[www.creativeshrimp.com]
  • Blender Market – Buy various Blender related products here : here[blendermarket.com]
  • Blender Artists, a great community with something for every Blender fan! You can ask for technical support here too! : here[blenderartists.org]
  • Blender Art Magazine : here[blenderart.org]

22. Other Sites of Interest for Art and 3D

Thanks to +Rusty+ for providing many of these links via their contribution to OkyDoky's original thread!

General Art Links, 3D, 2D, and Concept Etc

Game Related Links
  • Unity 3D – Game Engine : here[unity3d.com]
  • Unreal Engine 4 – Game Engine : here[www.unrealengine.com]

  • World of Level Design[worldofleveldesign.com]
  • Level-Design[level-design.org]
  • GameArtist[www.game-artist.net]
  • Creative Uncut – Video game concept art : here[www.creativeuncut.com]

E) How You Can Contribute to This Resource!

Do you think you know of something that will contribute towards the improvement of this resource? Great! Please read on and follow these guidelines before posting on this guide!

  1. Do not post long lists of things that you think should be added, or post lots of comments that do the same thing! Remember the aim is to make this a genuinely useful resource, not just the longest one!

  2. Building :
    a) If you see a fundamental gap in any of the information provided, that needs to be filled, then say what it is and why it needs to be included.
    b) Adding any essential add-ons, techniques, or new developments that are not currently listed that you think need to be and why. Remember that some things are already mentioned several times in some of the tutorials provided even though they are not listed directly in this guide!

  3. Maintenance :
    a) Removing any broken links! Post the link which is broken in your comment and it will be removed asap, thank you!
    b) Removing anything that has become too outdated or which no longer works. For example a tutorial that has become more hindrance that help, or a feature that has been dropped.

  4. If you have anything else that you would like to say or suggest in relation to this guide then please go ahead but adhere to points 5. and 6. when doing so! Thank you.

  5. Remember to keep your comments on topic and polite, anything that is not may be removed...

  6. No arguments or debates of any kind should take place here about anything at all! Any content of this nature will be removed and you may receive a warning...

  7. I may decide that for the sake of good house keeping it is best to remove comments that have been resolved. I will see how things progress before making any decision on this.


THE END

< >
21 Comments
Mr Chappy  [author] Mar 20 @ 7:34am 
@Sober Mans Secret,

Cheers :)
Sober Mans Secret Mar 12 @ 9:29pm 
Fantastic job you have done here. I have been using Blender for some time now but this is still an amazing guide for beginners and intermediate users. Job well done!
Mr Chappy  [author] Dec 7, 2018 @ 4:20pm 
Hi again,

What do you mean by "Textbook"?

I can try and put an image at the start of each section...
It could take a while though as they would need to be of a genuinely good quality and properly summarise the core processes of each section in a single image(not easy!).

You could attempt to make some images for this if you would like to but they would have to meet the above criteria.
If you would like to try and do this then do one sample image for a single section and we can discuss/assess it before going any further.
Your offer is appreciated!!!

Thanks :)
TheSimplyOwl Dec 7, 2018 @ 4:05am 
Mr Chappy, Thank you for the reply to my comment.
Can you add images of each section and textbook? Also add some information about the textbooks in each section.
P.S. I can help with it):2016roasted:
Mr Chappy  [author] Nov 20, 2018 @ 9:02am 
Hi TheSimplyOwl,

I'm pretty busy at the moment but could possibly look at doing something like this at some point in the future.
What sort of images and info would you want me to include/add?
TheSimplyOwl Nov 20, 2018 @ 8:07am 
Please, add image and some info of each section for more redable. Thanks:rufussmile:
Mr Chappy  [author] Nov 19, 2018 @ 2:09pm 
No problem :)

When 2.8 becomes the official release I will create a new sticky for good tutorials and guides etc that are 2.8 related.
I would be happy to include a link to your new one(if you decide to make it) as part of this if you would like me to.

Thanks again,
Mike
buddanalle Nov 19, 2018 @ 12:36pm 
No problem :)! Thinking of creating a new one now when I have played with 2.8 a bit, but it will take some time. Thank you for referring to my things :D.
Mr Chappy  [author] Nov 19, 2018 @ 9:08am 
Hi again Joakim,

It's done, again many thanks for sharing the updated links and the new beginners version of your guide. It's very much appreciated!
Mr Chappy  [author] Nov 19, 2018 @ 8:07am 
Hi Joakim,

Thanks for letting me know, I will change this when I get a moment to do so. :)