Check out what I learned from completing the iconic donut tutorial series in Blender, and whether or not it is right for you.
If you've ever researched Blender free 3D software, you will likely come across lots of renders of delicious looking donuts. This is because the most popular series of tutorials for getting started with Blender is Andrew Price's free donut course, also known as the Blender Guru. As an absolute beginner at Blender, I decided to try the course and share what I learned. Hopefully this will give you some insight as you think about the course too!
Trailer for the Blender Guru's donut tutorial series.
1. Clean the blender's user interface
Your first impressions will likely come from the Blender user interface. In the past, Blender's user interface has always looked overwhelming to new users like me. In 2018, however, Blender completely redesigned the user interface with version 2.80. Now the user interface has a more natural structure and feel, and looks just like other 3D programs – like Cinema 4D and 3DS Max. Tabs and control panels look much more cohesive, and it's easier for beginners to orientate themselves.
The updated Blender user interface.
2. 80/20 rule
One of the first things Andrew explains on the series is which aspects of Blender you use the most. He mentions that 80/20 ruleThis means that 80% of the time you will be using 20% of the functions. This was immediately something I could refer to when working in programs like After Effects. This has helped me take a step back and reduce the intimidation that comes with learning a new program like Blender.
Realizing the 80/20 rule to make blenders less intimidating.
3. More than just a donut
The donut tutorial series is much more than just modeling a donut from scratch. You will learn more about many of Blender's features, such as: B. Using nodes to create textures, keyframing animations, rendering settings, and much more. Aside from making the donut, you can also make a coffee-filled glass bowl, which contrasts nicely with the organic style of the donut when compared to the stiffer design of the glass bowl.
In the course, you will also model a glass coffee cup.
For this reason, you should plan a few days to complete the course. It really is a full-fledged introductory course in Blender. The tutorial series lasted approximately four days and worked two to four hours each day. The course consists of twenty-four videos, with each tutorial lasting an average of fifteen minutes. With so much information, you want to take some time to take it all in. Andrew divides the course into four different "levels". Going through a level every day was the best approach for me.
If you're using Blender, because of its wide variety of features, you'll definitely want to learn about some of the keyboard shortcuts throughout the series. These become almost necessary to complete the course. You probably won't be able to remember all of them, and that's why Andrew created a Blender Shortcut PDF that users can download for free. Some of my favorite shortcuts are "."On the numeric keypad to enlarge the selected model and"0”On the numeric keypad to toggle the scene camera view.
Just remembering a few shortcuts will make working in Blender a lot easier and faster.
5. Check the comments section
I quickly found that the comments section of any video can be extremely helpful. This is because some of the features Andrew uses may differ slightly as new updates are implemented in Blender. Some settings can also be set to other defaults in later builds. This is where the comments section comes in. Lots of users match up comments with solutions to parts that they may get stuck in. I cannot stress how helpful that was!
6. The power of sculpture
As an outsider, I've always been fascinated by “sculpting” in 3D programs. This is one of the areas of Blender that you can explore during the tutorial series. You can shape the donut and icing to give them a more "lifelike" shape. Cooking mistakes and everything! This was an extremely fun part of the series that didn't disappoint.
The sculpture in Blender is incredibly satisfying.
7. Save often
No matter how powerful your computer is, you'll often want to save your work in any tutorial. This is partly because 3D programs require a lot of processing and graphics power, which can make any computer prone to glitches or crashes. But also because the latest versions of Blender are always considered experimental. (In my experience, this really applies to any newly released production software.)
However, you can download earlier versions of Blender, such as: B. Version 2.83 LTS, which aim for a longer stability of your projects. In all of the twenty-four series of videos, I had only one crash.
One of the best ways to learn a new program is to jump in and play with the settings. This is recommended throughout the series to make your donut scene your own. After each “level” of the course, I experimented quite a bit. This is how I created the cover photo for this article. I duplicated the donut that I had created several times and then changed the bottom material to a dark, reflective surface. I learned a lot about different material settings in Blender!
Experimenting during the course is an important part of the learning process.
What should I watch out for next?
When you finish the donut course, you may be wondering what to do next. Well, there are quite a few other Blender developers worth checking out on YouTube too. Some of the most popular that caught my eye are: Ian Hubert, Dedouze, CG Masters, Derek Elliott, Josh Gambrell, CrossMind Studio, and Gleb Alexandrov.
How to Make Lightsabers in a Blender Tutorial by Ian Hubert.
If you'd like to try more of Blender Guru's free tutorial series, check out his Lighting Courses for Beginners and Beginners.
Blender Gurus learning series "Lighting for Beginners".
For more fun, software-related tutorials and tips, check out the following articles: