My adventures with Blender continue. Only now I have switched over to the eternal work-in-progress Blender Documentation Project, which is being worked on in the same collaborative open-source spirit as the software itself. The reason I shifted over from the 2.0 manual is because of the very attractive first tutorial in this new document. It is called Your first animation in 30 minutes. In most manuals this would mean “How to get a cube to move across the screen in a straight line”, but once you get into Blender you must learn to be presented with the unexpected. This is a tutorial to model, texture, and animate a basic gingerbread man model … with armatures! Granted it took me more than a hour to do this but this is certainly not something you expect to get into so quickly in 3D software. Anyone who wants to quickly get the hang of this programme, and to see the possibilities of its animation system must work through this tutorial. Educational and fun.
After creating the basic walk cycle for the gingerbread man I continued with the documentation. Some sections had to skipped because they have been reused from the 2.0 manual. Finally I got to curves, and a tutorial to model a curves-based logo by tracing an image. I worked through this with an old icon I had created back in college. Impressive stuff. Especially the bezier curve tools in Blender are noteworthy. I found myself wishing that Adobe Illustrator and other 2D vector programmes had such easy to use point and curve manipulation logic. Once I extruded it into a 3D shape I didn’t want to stop there, so I pulled and twisted and distorted it into an abstract wonder, part of which you can see in the image. I am still not a master in good, solid lighting, but I’m getting there.