How I’m doing it
February 16, 2011
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So I’ll start by telling you about how I usually approach a new skill I’d like to learn:
- I make a few searches on the subject and find out what the state of the art is at the moment;
- I search for media, usually books, regarded as references; I make sure they are up to date (that’s why finding out about the current state of the art is important);
- from the possibles, I select one to start with and take from beginning to end, usually the one that will give me the broadest knowledge on the subject even if it only touches lightly on some aspects;
- while following the book, I don’t limit myself to it – I use other sources to elaborate on any specific aspect I’m specially interested in for some reason, and I allow myself to make mini-projects to practice;
- I stay on top of things, following the advancements on the subject and shortlisting further media that can complement what I’ve learned by specializing on a certain aspect or simply providing another useful angle.
And that’s pretty much what I’m doing with Blender:
- back when I saw whatever it was that made me head to blender.org (I can’t remember exactly what my motivation was!), I (happily) found out the newest 2.5 version had a much improved UI and if I was going to learn Blender, I’d obviously learn this new version because the old one was a) bad (sorry) and b) going to be discontinued;
- then I started a search; “Whoa, lots of scattered tutorials and sources… there’s gotta be a book that is structured, covers the new Blender and will take me from 0 to something”, and there was, Roland Hess’ Blender Foundations;
- back then (which is actually just a few months ago) there weren’t a lot of sources that fit my criteria, so I basically skipped this step, but meanwhile another book came out – Lance Flavell’s Beginning Blender; I would have had a hard time choosing between these two, but I definitely don’t regret getting Roland’s;
- I keep google open for searches on how to do this or how to do that when the book leaves me wanting more, and I always find an answer, even if it is realizing that “man, there is no way to animate the letters in a text object? Oh well, I’ll just animate 79 text objects then…”;
- I follow a bunch of RSS feeds not only on tips and tutorials but also on the development of Blender; also, I’m planning to start Lance’s Beginning Blender book once I finish Roland’s – it covers a few aspects I’ll be missing, such as the game engine, and I’m sure even the parts that cover the same aspects will have a valuable different angle to them.
Oh yeah, I forgot one point:
- I keep looking for inspiration!