Introduction to Blender

Sonja Christoph

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INSTRUCTOR
Sonja Christoph
EXPERTISE LEVEL
Beginner to Intermediate
LESSONS
9 Lessons, X Hrs Total
COURSE LENGTH
9 Weeks

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Course Description


Modeling, painting, animation, simulation, rendering...is there anything you CAN'T do in Blender? The possibilities are seemingly endless, and 3D tools like Blender have made visual storytelling even more attainable for artists, while also giving artists the tools they need to be able to create the high-level 3D art that creative industries seek today. In this course, 3D generalist, lead environment artist, and matte painter, Sonja Christoph, will teach you all the tools and techniques you need to get started in creating your own 3D art in Blender!


Sonja will share her extensive knowledge of Blender from her experience in the film and game industries to show you, step-by-step, how to use the software and all of the game-changing features it offers. From basic modeling principles and tools, to creating textures and materials, to lighting, animation & effects, and even sculpting & painting, Sonja will teach you how to harness the power of Blender to create eye-catching 3D work of your own.


Oh, and did we mention that by Lesson 9, you'll be using everything you've learned to complete your final assignment: building your own SPACE STATION?! That's right! By the end of the course, you'll have created and modeled an entire space station that is fully rendered, detailed, and animated in Blender. So if you're ready to join Sonja in creating art that's truly out of this world, check out this course today!


MATERIALS LIST
  • Blender

Lesson Plan

Welcome to the wonderful world of Blender! In our first lesson, I’m going to start by introducing myself and giving you a brief overview of the class. From there, I will introduce you to the Blender interface, show you some basic 3D modeling principles and tools, and demonstrate how to use those tools as we work on our first project of modeling a storefront.


Bonus Video - Blender Installation:

In the lesson 1 assignment zip file, there is a bonus MP4 video where I will show you how to install Blender and any add-ons you may need, and go over the custom scripts we are going to be using in this course.

Building on the tools we previously learned in Lesson 1, this week we are going to start modeling a Piaggio Ape Food Cart. We are going to start by looking at references and begin blocking in overall shapes. From there, I'm going to introduce you to some new tools and show you how you can use them to refine your shapes and model different props.

In Lesson 3, we are going to continue our work from Lesson 2 as we begin to refine the truck cabin. Furthermore, I'll introduce you to the concept of subdivision modeling and modifiers before jumping into a demonstration about how you can model something as complex as a tire tread, very easily.

Our focus in this lesson will be on UVs and Materials, which are critical components to achieving a realistic look in your work. I'm going to show you different unwrapping techniques to get your 3D object onto a 2D surface for texturing, and introduce you to materials and the materials editor. I will then show you how to create different materials and textures and apply them to my food cart.

This lesson is all about lighting, animation and rendering. We are going to talk about the two different render engines that are native to Blender: Eevee and Cycles. I'm going to demonstrate how you can light your food cart and set up a turntable animation. I'm also going to introduce the concepts of parenting and constraints to help set up your animations.

Gnome matter if you're a beginner or a pro at using Blender, this lesson is going to be fun! I'm going to kick off the lesson by introducing you to sculpting and metaballs in Blender. Next, I'm going to show you the sculpting workspace and the different brushes you can use. And finally, I will demonstrate how you can sculpt a garden gnome.

In Lesson 7, I'm going to introduce you to texture and vertex painting. We are going to use vertex painting to hand paint our gnome from last week, and from there, we are going to use the Blender hair system to create grass and we are going to use particles to create rain. I will also demonstrate how you can create a stylized material for your grass.

This week, we are going to put everything we've learned so far into practice and focus on planning ahead and being efficient as we start building the exterior of a space station! Creating a space station is the perfect culmination to the class because they are made out of simple and complex hard surface materials as well as organic materials. I will walk you through my project planning process and introduce the concept of working modularly. I'm also going to show you new tools and add-ons that can be incredibly helpful in the modeling of a space station.

In our final lesson of this course, I'm going to share some last tips and tricks with you in regards to texturing, lighting and animation. I'll then demonstrate how you can use procedural texturing and tri-planar mapping to quickly texture your space station. And finally, I'm going to show you how you can create a custom HDR from your very own scene and create a looping animation.

MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR

Sonja Christoph


Sonja Christoph is a 3D Generalist and Matte Painter with a focus on creating environments. She has worked in Film, TV, Commercials, Theme Park rides, VR, and now AAA games. Throughout her career, she has worked at a number of VFX and Games studios such as Rhythm & Hues, The Mill, Industrial Light & Magic, ILMxLab, Ubisoft, IO Interactive, and more, and has worked on movies like “Dr. Strange” and “Tomorrowland”, TV shows like “Agent Carter”, and video games like “Tom Clancy’s The Division 2”. During her time at ILMxLab, Sonja contributed to several projects including "Carne Y Arena", which won the rare Special Awards Oscar in 2017.

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