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Blender Classes

Check the Calendar for classes!  Classes are posted on Sunday for the following week.  Classes past that posted week are subject to change.

If you need help and answers with Blender, Jass Blender (works in Blender 2.49) and Primstar 2 (in development and works with 2.56 and up), join Blender Jass/Primstar in Second Life.  I monitor the group chat and there are many helpful people there to help you with your problems in Blender.

Blender has released a stable version of 2.6 at the blender.org site.  Don't forget if you're on the upgrade path with Primstar 2, you want to pick up the dev-207 in your Jass Primstar inventory web page.

Remember that since this is a developing product and not all the features are done.  There are many more coming in the upcoming months.  When you add on Primstar 2 right now, you'll see it give a warning, it's just telling you it's incomplete as they continue to add more features to Primstar 2.


NOTE:  Please read the pre-requisites for the classes on this page.  It is important to remember that while I will make every effort to help you in class if you are having trouble or are unfamiliar with something, the classes must be able to continue at a decent pace.  If you are unable to keep up in class, please bear in mind that classes will be repeated (I do the same new class at least twice in the week it premieres.) and many of my students do, indeed, take them again.

Class notes are given at the end of the class and you will be given limited access to the slides the day of the class.

Files needed for class are place on the TAMA Class Files page and the class info on the page details which files to have downloaded.

Self-paced tutorials, in an inworld book format, are being made available as I complete them.  The tutorials are project based and, often, cover a subject of one of the classes.  These books will be sold for 100L$, to make them as affordable as possible and are an OPTION.  It is only offered as a way to continue your Blender education, if you so desire.

As with class notes, I urge you not to share the information from my classes.  These classes have become an important and necessary part of my real-world income.  Consider that classes and book tutorials take upwards of 10-20 hours to create, hours to teach, and more to support by answering questions after class hours.  Please respect my efforts by not redistributing or sharing tutorials.  Encourage others to attend or get the book lessons instead.  You will have my many thanks.





The first, in a series of tutorials, has just been released for Proportional Editing in which the user will create a graceful vase.  The 19-page step by step tutorial is fully illustrated and thoroughly explained.  Available now at TAMA Tools and Marketplace.




(Click on images to see them full sized.)

 

In the classes and books, the keyboard commands will be primarily PC/3-button-mouse oriented as that is what most people have.  I, myself, am on a Mac AND a notebook (or MacBook Pro, as we call it).  So here is what I see for the two major systems:

LMB (left mouse button) - same on PC and Mac (single button mouse)
MMB (middle mouse button) - Alt+LMB - Option+MB
RMB (right mouse button) - Ctrl+LMB - Cmd+MB

Most other keys work the same.  On my Mac, I have a "control" key and using this "control+Q" cleanly quits Blender.  If I use "command+Q", Blender crashes.  Mac keys are a little finicky on Mac, so see how well combinations that would normally use the Ctrl key on PC works on the Mac.


Start learning how to get around in Blender, use the WIKI.


Blender: Begin with Basics

Before you attend the Blender: Begin with Basics class, please get the latest free version of JASS inworld in Second Life at:

http://slurl.com/secondlife/Jass/145/191/24

You will need to pay 1L$ to be given your download page (bookmark this page for future updates).

Install the version needed for your OS and platform (both Mac and PC versions are available; Linux is all manual install).

This embedded version (Blender-Python-Primstar) is easy to install.  

It is recommended that if you have any versions of Blender on your computer, that you uninstall these.  A clean install is good for any installation.  

UPDATE: For XP users, if you are having trouble, please uninstall with the Jass Uninstaller and reinstall and make sure that when you come to the option where it says "Use Application data directory" or "Use the installation directory", choose "Use the installation directory"

Once you have installed JASS, open the program and take a look around.  Default screen says SR:6 at the top and has a sculpt mesh sphere in the 3D view window.


There are a few things to check:
  1. Under the File Menu, look under Import and make sure you have an option for Second Life Sculpties.  Have it?  Good.
  2. With your cursor in the View Window, touch your Spacebar.
  3. On the menu that pops up, choose Add.
  4. Then Mesh.
  5. Look for an option for Sculpt Mesh.  Have it?  Good.
  6. Important note:  New changes have been taking place in the most recent JASS releases.  The latest release for the public version is 2.3.8 (released 02-13-2011).  Public version shows Setup & Bake Sculpt Meshes under the Render menu and now has the SR:6 screen layout back in the list.  The Pro and Magic versions contain an additional menu item in Render for Quick Bake Sculpt Meshes and release numbers differ.


If you have these, you are ready for class.

Contact Eleanora Newell if you are having problems.


Please note that there is a purchasable PRO version of JASS (2000L$) and if you decide to continue with Blender, you may want to read more about this PRO version and what it contains:

http://blog.machinimatrix.org/jass-2-3-pro-for-windows/

I gain nothing from your purchase and, as with everything, highly recommend you try the free version to make sure it is the right tool for you.


Gaia Clary’s site, http://blog.machinimatrix.org/, was instrumental in my being able to learn Blender and I highly recommend bookmarking it.  Too keep up on Primstar, you can visit Domino Marama’s site, http://www.dominodesigns.info/.



Sculpting Tools in Blender

Before you attend the Sculpting Tools for Blender class, go to the Blender Wiki reference site to start reviewing the Hotkeys for Blender.

Object Mode and Edit Mode are very similar.

Review the G (Grab or Move), R (Rotate) and S (Scale) hotkey configurations.

NOTE: Make sure you confirm the Hotkey Function, tap the SPACEBAR, LMB, or ENTER.  This also drops the hotkey.  Should you wish to go back a step, you can use Ctrl-Z.   Also, you can type in numerical amounts for each of these funtions:


  • G plus <X,Y or Z> plusnumerical input (ex. G X 3 moves the object 3 Blender units only on positive X.)
  • S plus <X, Y or Z> plus numerical input (ex. S Z 10 scales the object by 10 Blender units only on positive Z)
  • R plus <X, Y or Z> plus numerical input (ex R Y -90 rotates the object by negative 90 degrees only on negative Y)
Also, download the SculptPrimEmpty.blend and ClassQuad.blend files from the TAMA Class Files page and have its location ready to use for class.



Beginning Mesh Editing for Sculpts in Blender

Before you attend the Beginning Mesh Editing for Sculpts in Blender class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  To ensure we all have the same working screen, ALL students, please download the ClassQuad.blend file on this page and open it.  Once open, do File-->Save Default Settings.  We are overriding the SR:6 Sculpted Prims layout and making this your main one, SR2: Model.001.


In this lesson, we will begin to use mesh editing at vertex level.  The goal at the end of class is to have created a simple architectural column from an oblong (64x16) cylinder from Primstar menu.




Proportional Editing

Before you attend the Proportional Edit, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  To ensure we all have the same working screen, ALL students, please download the ClassQuad.blend file on this page and open it.  Once open, do File-->Save Default Settings.  We are overriding the SR:6 Sculpted Prims layout and making this your main one, SR2: Model.001.

To make sure you have everything else looking like the ClassQuad file, as intended, you may need to fix a few things.  We found out that saving a blend file doesn't always carry all changes we made to it.  So here are things to look for:


This setup will be used in most of our Blender classes.  The Quad is only one screen layout of several (see the image above this section on Screen Layouts).  If you prefer to have your opening screen to be one of the other layouts, switch to that one and make it your default.

There is a command list .pdf that you can download on the same page as the ClassQuad.blend file.  Download Blender Commands Part 1.pdf as a reminder of the commands we have been learning.  (You can also view it online.)



Basic Selections

Before you attend the Basic Selections class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Check the section on Proportional Editing above to get the ClassQuad.blend file and what to change if needed.

We'll go over basic methods of selecting objects and the elements of a mesh: vertices, edges and faces.



Blender: Lattice Modifier

Before you attend the Lattice Modifier class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Check the section on Proportional Editing above to get the ClassQuad.blend file and what to change if needed.

Blender has several modifiers and Lattice is one that is used to deform mesh as well as help animate it.  We will cover the basics of how Lattice works and what it can be used for in this class.



Blender: Mirror Modifier

Before you attend the Mirror Modifier class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Check the section on Proportional Editing above to get the ClassQuad.blend file and what to change if needed.

Learn how the Mirror Modifier works with sculpts to create symmetrical objects on one or more axes.



Blender: Shadow and Light

Before you attend the Shadow and Light class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Check the section on Proportional Editing above to get the ClassQuad.blend file and what to change if needed.

Learn how easy it is to make shadow maps in Blender. You must be familiar with Blender and how to get around in it.  At minimum, take my Blender: Begin with Basics.  It is helpful to have taken others in the series.  Please download the bottle4class.blend for this class.



Blender: Themes

Before you attend the Shadow and Light class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Check the section on Proportional Editing above to get the ClassQuad.blend file and what to change if needed.

Did you know you don't have to have a grey interface on your Blender?  Did you know just about everything can be colored and saved as a Blender theme?  We'll go through how to do this and save your personal theme to add to your default set, so you can change Blender whenever you like.

Before class, check out the following Color Palette sites:



Blender: Fractional Sculpting

Before you attend the Fractional Sculpting class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Check the section on Proportional Editing above to get the ClassQuad.blend file and what to change if needed.

We can make separations in our sculpts using Blender by using Fractional Sculpting.  This makes it easier to do a table with four legs, a picket fence and more from one sculpt.  Come learn how to do this in Blender.

Please download the FractionalSculptingSetup.blend file for class.



Blender: Meshes and Sculpts

This class has no pre-requisites.  We'll look at the differences between Mesh and Sculpts.  How do they differ?  What do you need to know about how mesh will affect SL when it comes to the main grid?  Will you still use sculpts and prims?  We'll explore and discuss all of this.


I will show examples of meshes I have uploaded and how the present accounting (remember, it's beta) charges for meshes and how sculpts and prims will still, undoubtedly, play a firm hand in SL.


A question and answer round will follow the presentation.



Blender: Loops and their Manipulation

Before you attend the Loops and their Manipulation class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Check the section on Proportional Editing above to get the ClassQuad.blend file and what to change if needed.  It is helpful to have taken the Basic Selections class or to have taken more classes or have an intermediate knowledge of how to get around in Blender.

 Learn how to select loops on your sculpt.  These are full rows of verts, edges or faces.  We will learn how to choose them and ways to manipulate them and the effects achievable in sculpt mesh and subsurfaced sculpt mesh.  



Blender: Workin' those Torii

Before you attend the Workin' those Torii class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Check the section on Proportional Editing above to get the ClassQuad.blend file and what to change if needed.  It is helpful to have taken the Basic Selections class or to have taken more classes or have an intermediate knowledge of how to get around in Blender.

We'll examine the versatile torus and how we can make hard edged pieces such as windows, and soft pieces suitable for clothing.



Blender: Materials

Before you attend the Materials class, as always, make sure you have JASS-2 installed correctly and running per the instructions in the above section on Blender Begin with Basics.  Please download the Bottle4Materials.blend file and go to Blender Materials to download the bottle_glass.blend file there as well.

Learn how to set up a material and use a simple light set up to get the most out of your renders to use as textures on your sculpt mesh. We'll learn how to do some simple image based materials plus look at the Blender Material Repository for more ideas. 



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