Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

A Relatively Complete Blender Tutorial

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 8, 2013

If you are unfamiliar with Blender, I consider it one of the major “success stories” of the open-source movement. Beginning life as a commercial 3D modeling program, it was later re-purchased through a very early version of crowd-funding (we’re talking back in the 1990s, here), released to the public, and has since been steadily evolving as an open-source product.

It has proven more than adequate for making game content, commercials, and short film. It has grown legions of fans who love it. Some folks – particularly those trained on other popular 3D modeling packages like 3ds Max or Lightwave – hate it. A lot of people find it impenetrable and very difficult to get started.

demoassetAt the “Game From Scratch” site is a series of tutorials claiming to take an absolute newbie from zero experience with Blender to making game-ready assets. I expect it may require some level of talent / skill to make those assets of appropriate quality (for me, texturing has always been the hard part), but we’ll see.

Complete Blender Game Art Tutorial – From Zero Experience to 2D or 3D Game-Ready Asset

I’m checking ’em out now. While I have some experience using an older version of Blender (required because export tools), I’m quite a ways out of date, and in many ways the new version feels like a totally new product. I’ve had to go through a couple of other tutorials already just to re-learn how to do things. Fortunately, game asset development takes only a tiny subset of Blender’s capabilities.

Filed Under: Art - Comments: 5 Comments to Read

  • Gamefromscratch said,

    As the author of the series in question, I am really curious to hear how this turns out for you! The series is about teaching the process not the technique though, so obviously some artistic talent is required. For example, I will show how to box model and some general best practices as well as a step by step of how *I* modeled the jet, but the actual shaping of that boxing to actually resemble something other then a box… that’s the part where artistic ability kicks in. That part simply put is learned by practice and from examining the works of others. As you mentioned, texturing is a big part too… this tutorial shows you to UV unwrap, apply a texture and even painting one in Blender, but doesn’t actually cover the process of creating a texture… again, that’s where the artist part kicks in again!

    That said, even with zero prior texturing or modelling skills, I like to think a user would still get the basics out of this tutorial series. So as I said, I would love to hear how it works out for you.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I’m hoping to regain familiarity with Blender (the newer versions) from it, and hopefully pick up a few tricks. 🙂

    I think I may have gotten a few “bad habits” from the way the old Torque Exporter expected things to be built in Blender, so hopefully it’ll help me start fresh. The big thing right now is that I’m kinda just ‘following my nose’ on texturing with the new version, and I was very confused by the new animation system. So – crossing my fingers here. And kudos to you for putting together such a huge set of tutorials!

  • Gamefromscratch said,

    If you come from the 2.4x days, you are going to find things disconcerting, but I honestly believe the vast majority of changes they have made are for the better. I will admit, the relationship between the UV window and active texture can become a bit arcane.

    The biggest thing you will probably find troubling is the modelling tools are vastly improved and now support ngons ( > 4 vertices meshes ) which can be a massive time saver, especially when you want to add detail selectively. That said, when exporting to a game engine that ultimately expects tris, you can really cause yourself problems. Its so tempted to just ignore good quads when modeling, and 95% of the time, the tool does a pretty good job… but that other 5% of the time… OUCH.

    Again, look forward to hearing how the series work out of you. Have fun Blendering. It’s actually turning into a great product, as opposed to just the tool you use if you can afford “the better ones”. Although they really need to improve their exporters!

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    Yep, for Frayed Knights 1 I was stuck in version 2.49 – pretty different experience. I’ve heard great things about the animation tools, but I haven’t figured them out yet. I was starting to get halfway decent at ’em in 2.49.

    But I’m pretty excited to get proficient again.

  • Robert Basler said,

    Blender has improved a lot in the last couple years. As a non-artist, I used to *HATE* its UI, but since I wrote how to do the most common things I do on a post-it and stuck it on the wall next to my desk, it has been a lot easier. The quantity of tutorial videos is also quite useful.