Blender Basics classroom tutorial

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teachtech
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 12:58 am

Blender Basics classroom tutorial

Post by teachtech » Mon Feb 09, 2004 4:31 am

For all you interested educators out there! I'm in the process of writing a classroom tutorial focusing on the basics of Blender for the high school level. I know there are a lot of wonderful tutorials out there that help us all, but when it comes to teaching high school students, many don't want to read lengthy tutorials so I'm coming up with a workbook that takes you through the basics with mini demonstrations and activities at the end of every section. It won't be designed to be an all-inclusive book, but one designed to be used with some small lessons. So far I'm up to about 25 pages and still need to do lots more. If the file doesn't get too big, I hope to make it available as a PDF file, but so far, the figures are taking the file size up there.

dreamsgate
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2002 10:47 pm

Post by dreamsgate » Mon Feb 09, 2004 3:28 pm

I wish you all the luck in the world. It's a good thing you are doing.

Merlot
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Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:23 am

Post by Merlot » Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:09 am

That sounds great!

My sister is an art teacher, I was trying to convince her to do a unit on 3D this year. She's not done much 3D stuff, and her school does not have any 3D software, and won't buy any for the art department (although they might if the computers or media people budgeted for it I suppose...)

Blender tutes that people like her could use in class would be great, introduce a whole heap of schoolkids that wouldn't otherwise have the chance to work with "new media". Really really awesome.

Merlot

teachtech
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 12:58 am

Post by teachtech » Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:25 am

Thanks for the support. I'm looking at keeping it trimmed to the basics in a sequential order of learning and leaving out descriptions on many buttons. These are good for more advanced stuff. I'm trying to keep each main area down to 2-3 pages with a quick activity to be signed off for each. Just finished my chapter on creating basic meshes and simple editing and that turned out to be about 6 pages (with lots of screen shots so kids don't have to read too much) :wink:

ox
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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 11:01 pm

Post by ox » Thu Feb 12, 2004 5:10 pm

http://www.blendertraining.org/

This is somewhat of a crosspost but there are efforts to do exactly what you are focusing on at the above URL. It is a new small group formed from the blender community at Elysiun

E2CMonkeyboy
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Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2002 6:32 am
Location: CalIfonIYA (Arnold....)

Not to be a sour puss

Post by E2CMonkeyboy » Thu Feb 19, 2004 7:23 am

But this new site has about as much content as Elysiun.... Its vaporware... a lot of that going around. Would be nice if the "oldsite" blender really was up - I don't know why they took it down....

-Monkey

ox
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 11:01 pm

Re: Not to be a sour puss

Post by ox » Thu Feb 19, 2004 4:32 pm

E2CMonkeyboy wrote:But this new site has about as much content as Elysiun.... Its vaporware... a lot of that going around. Would be nice if the "oldsite" blender really was up - I don't know why they took it down....

-Monkey
It just started up very recently but does have some motivated persons behind it.

jd-multi
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2003 11:29 pm

Post by jd-multi » Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:52 pm

Cool to see that your teahcing some guys blender, well I did that too. I used a main computer with beamer, and printed out some blender tutorials I tweaked from the internet. Then give a workshop, and there where so much students saying that 3Ds Max sucks and they wanted to sue blender for there 3D multimedia Exams, but that was not allowed. Well too bad for them, but I really think they use it at home now. :D Because sometimes I see a wallpaper made with blender on a computer somewhere in school, or just .blend files on some public mediatheek computers. 8)

Merlot
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Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2004 7:23 am

Post by Merlot » Tue Mar 30, 2004 7:24 am

Hey Teachtech

How's this coming along?

Keep us up to date with your pregress, can't wait till your finished :-)
I'm confused.

Douwuhhh
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:43 pm

Post by Douwuhhh » Tue Mar 30, 2004 2:03 pm

I know the difficulty of writing this kind of texts for students. I'm also doing this, in Dutch. I'm doing it in the form of handouts, where students first get an explication of the lesson on the beamer to watch, and then they read the handout with indepth information (based on the manual) and an assignment to work on during class. Each handout is about 10 pages long. Im ight put it up here to comment about (only for you Dutchies out there to read)...


Anyway, good luck with your class!

dreamsgate
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2002 10:47 pm

Post by dreamsgate » Sat Apr 10, 2004 5:54 pm

How close are you to finishing your workbook? I'm trying to teach my daughter about blender and I think your approach would help alot. :D

teachtech
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 12:58 am

Post by teachtech » Sun Apr 11, 2004 6:47 pm

Well, I finished the book and it turned out to be 85 pages long. I turned it into a pdf file and am testing it in my classroom right now. Only a few typos I missed :oops: I was hoping to post it on my website, but the pdf file it a little over 18 megs in size and I only have about 8.5 free out of 10 megs. Not to mention that that's a large download! I'm open for suggestions at this point. I may try choppping it up into about thirds and posting a section at a time. I'll try this sometime this week.

Thanks for the interest and I'm sorry I haven't been following this thread as much as I should. Been a busy month! :D

teachtech
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 12:58 am

Post by teachtech » Sun Apr 11, 2004 7:05 pm

More details-

I tried to make each lesson able to be completed in a 45 min. block of time starting each class with a short demo/discussion followed by a reading time of the chapter, then finished with the students completing the exercise that goes with the chapter. The call me over to get it signed off on a sheet for 5 points each. Besides getting the students to want to read the 1-4 pages that go with the chapter, it seems to be working well. As with any program like Blender, there's an exponential learning curve that starts slow, but gets better as you go. Here's the contents of the workbook in what I thought seemed like a good sequential order.

Table of Contents:

Introduction.................................................................1
Explanation of Rendering and Animation ........................2
Basic Commands..........................................................4 The Blender Interface....................................................6
Open, Save and Append..................................................8
Working with Viewports (windows).................................10
Creating and Editing Objects.........................................15
Lighting and Cameras.................................................24 Importing Objects........................................................28
Materials and Textures.................................................29
World Settings.............................................................37
Render Window Settings................................................40
Raytracing...................................................................43
Animation Basics.........................................................45
Adding 3D Text............................................................51
NURBS and Meta Shape Basics......................................54
Effects (build, wave, particles).......................................57
Child-Parent Relationships...........................................63
Working with Constraints..............................................65
Working with Paths and Curves.......................................67
Armatures (bones)...........................................................70
Relative Vertex Keys (mesh deformation).........................74
Creating Springs, Screws and Gears.................................77
Basic Game Engine Description and Set-up......................81

My goal is a basic description of the most important features. The foundation's manual is designed for the details and that's how I present it.

More details to follow this week.

Happy Easter!

Douwuhhh
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:43 pm

Post by Douwuhhh » Sun Apr 11, 2004 8:00 pm

Hey! I'm really looking forward to seeing your effort! It sounds really professional. When I finished my Blender-handouts I'll post them as well on the net (although they're in Dutch, but what the heck!).

Good luck with it, I'm really looking forward on hearing from your experiences with the students!

halibut
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Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2003 2:02 pm
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Post by halibut » Mon Apr 12, 2004 4:09 pm

This is great =)

can't wait for it!

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