A Blender Quickstart

A tour of Blender's modeling, uv mapping, rigging, animating, and rendering.
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  • Lectures 21
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 10/2013 English

Course Description

NOTE: This course was published in October 2013 and uses Blender 2.68a, it works with current versions of Blender. The new module at the end uses 2.78a.

Do you belong in this course?

  • Do you know how to model, texture, rig, animate, and render in another 3D program and want to see how it is done in Blender?
  • Or do you know how to model, texture, rig, animate, and render in an older version of Blender (like 2.4x series) and want to see how it is done now?

If you answered “yes” to either of the above questions, then this course is for you. It’s only 1.5 hours, and in realtime--from scratch--you'll build, texture, rig, animate, and render a pencil hopping. If you are looking for a beginner’s course for 3D, this is NOT for you. #blender #b3d

“Just love the way it’s explained” - Rama Raju

“Helps you get a quick and practical start” - Kalpana Pandey

“It looks simple but covers a lot of topics” - Leandro Voltlino

“This really helped with animation skills” - Mark Diaz

“Got me using Blender again after many years away” - Justin Dike

“I enjoyed the fast pace and step” - James Burke

“Fun project with useful skills” - Heidi Broderson

“I went from knowing very little … to having fun in an hour.” - Mark Smith

“I thoroughly enjoyed this tutorial series” - Greg Peart

What are the requirements?

  • Install Blender 2.68a or later
  • Experience modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, and rendering in other 3D software

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Show someone with experience modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, and rendering in another 3D program how it is done in Blender
  • Show someone with experience modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, and rendering in an older version of Blender (like 2.4x series) and how it is done in Blender now
  • Give you an overview of major Blender features
  • Create a simple character
  • Render a movie or PNGs for a game sprite

Who is the target audience?

  • People new to Blender but not new to 3D
  • People who've used Blender in the past and want a refresher

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Welcome

Welcome to A Blender Quickstart! Note that left clicks will have blue circles around them and right clicks will have red circles to help you see and distinguish them.

The zip file is good it if you get stuck. In it are all the .blend files you'll see me save in the course, as well as the images for the textures, and the output folder containing a .mov and a series of PNGs.


Hopefully you already have Blender, but if you don't you can find it at Blender.org.


If you're on a Mac and you hear me say "alt", substitute "opt".

But if you hear me say "control", use the "control" key NOT the command key.


No worries if you don't have a number pad. You can either use the menus or change your preferences to use the numbers on the keyboard in the same way you use the the number pad.


If you don't have a 3-button mouse (or just don't like using it) you can change your preferences to emulate a 3-button mouse.

NOTE: I enable it for this course because that's a personal preference (even when I have a 3-button mouse).

Section 2: Modeling

Model a pencil from scratch by extruding vertices and using the spin tool.

Section 3: Texture Mapping

You'll mark seams on your mesh to help Blender know how to unwrap your pencil.

NOTE: I have enabled "Emulate 3-button mouse" for this course (see lecture 5). So when I say "ALT LEFT-CLICK" around time 2:10 it will not work if you've not enabled the emulation of a 3-button mouse. You can use the middle-mouse button instead.


You'll unwrap the pencil, add an image, and paint the right on the pencil.


Now you add teeth marks to your pencil via a normal map.


Erasers aren't shiny, so you'll create a specular map to control the intensity of the highlights.

Section 4: Modifiers

You'll add the Subdivision Surface modifier to increase the geometry of the mesh and then the Edge Split modifier to make some sharp edges. Along the way you'll learn to specify which edges are sharp on the mesh. You'll also learn how to pin your UV map so you can unwrap it again.

Section 5: Adding to the Model and Maps

Yes, more normal painting (as opposed to abnormal painting). Time to tweak the normal map.


You'll add more detail to the color map.

Section 6: Animation

You'll create a very simple rig and do some weight painting to associate your mesh with the bones of the armature.


Just a quick, simple animation using the Timeline.


Now you'll add some style to your pencil's jump. You'll create a jump action in the Dope Sheet and work with keyframes for rotation and location. You'll be adding, moving, and removing them.

Section 7: Rendering

You render the pencil out to a QuickTime movie file with a motion blur.


Finally, you'll adjust the animation to render the jumping pencil out to a series of PNGs that are base 2 friendly dimensions using an orthographic camera. A good technique for using as an animated sprite in games.

Section 8: Video Sequencer
Viewing PNGs in the Video Sequencer
Section 9: Conclusion

Thank you for taking A Blender Quickstart, I hope you've enjoyed your tour of Blender!

Section 10: NEW!

This is your quickstart for the Cycles renderer. We'll take an earlier file and then update it to use Cycles. I added the new files to this lecture. You can still get all the original files from the first lecture, or by clicking the All Resources link.

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Instructor Biography

John R. Nyquist, Blender Foundation Certified Trainer (BFCT)

I've been a Blender Foundation Certified Trainer (BFCT) for nine years. Need/prefer 1-on-1 training or consulting? Contact me directly at blender@nyquist.net for rates and to schedule a time. Visit my site, nyquist.net!

  • Creator of the iPad game QuickConquest™
  • Creator of the iPad game Astra Itinera™
  • Blender Foundation Certified Trainer (BFCT) since 2008
  • Instructor for A Blender Game Character on Udemy
  • Instructor for A Blender Quickstart on Udemy
  • Co-host of 67 episodes of the YouTube series Bits of Blender
  • Instructor for 11 courses on CartoonSmart (8 Blender, 3 game programming)

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