Newb Empowerment Welcoming Session

Newb Empowerment Welcoming Session


There is just so much to know and learn about Blender.  With just 3 hours a month to share, how do we use every precious moment to make every newb feel welcome and comfortably able to share?  We don't want to bore everyone by extensively rehashing and dwelling on the very basics.  But we also don't want to rush through the basics, giving the wrong impression that newbs are a waste of time.  Nor do we want to add confusion by presenting the basics in a haphazard, disorganized and incomplete manner.


Many of us may think “It's simple to familiarize a newb with the Blender Basics.  You don't need to spell it out.”  But there are so many Blender characteristics that can be taken for granted and tend to be 2nd nature to all but the newb.  Like for example, some controls don't work unless the mouse pointer is within the applicable view.


So, what absolute basics would need to be covered to enable anyone off the street to benefit, with minimal frustration, from everything else we share in our BUG meetings?

[Final results to be posted here]

8 / 20 posts
Jan 30, 2013  ( 1 post )  
Multiversal Empires Collaboration Project (jenuvyel)


i_monk, sorry.  I lost track of my response to your presentation suggestion here and in your "Standard Meeting Format Alternative 2."


I may be the only one, but I don't know the first thing about producing a (video?) presentation.  If I'm not the only one, I'd like to suggest the topic "How To make Your Own Video Presentation" for any future meeting.


Jan 17, 2013  ( 1 post )  
Nate Sullivan (irishspacemonk)

Two formats sounds good. Just for a fun exercise I started putting together a new to 3D presentation. I'll share and get feedback for those interested in the next meeting. Maybe, if you're interested you could do the same for what you've posted so far - with more of a focus on Introduction to Blender for those coming with a general idea of 3D.

Jan 11, 2013  ( 1 post )  
Multiversal Empires Collaboration Project (jenuvyel)


i_monk, excellent point.  Truly and sincerely.  There are benefits to both.


I think, when we have new faces at our meetings, and we do our usual introductions, we should find out not just how newbish they consider themselves to be, but also whether they are interested in Blender specifically or are just into 3D graphics in general.  Then lean toward their preference in a Newb Hour block.


For EACH option, it would be nice to be prepared to competently, efficiently and effectively 

immerse them without back-tracking or forgetting cogent points or...




Remember last meeting in November?  We saw several new faces.  One in particular introduced himself as a newb anxious to learn Blender.


After the intros, we launched into a wonderfully informative exploration of “The Ant.”  I for one got a lot out of that presentation.  But, I couldn't shake the feeling that complete newbs, like our anxious new face, were coming down with a case of 'glazed-eyes.'


And my train of thought was this:  [Once we get the computer labs enabled], engaging all attendees with hands-on interaction with whatever is being demonstrated, possibly even including show-and-tells (you know, like "show us how did you do that") should be somewhat effective in minimizing glaze-eye.  Attendees that don't yet know how Blender-capable they can be, can immitate some of the things being demonstrated with minimal instruction, frustration, interjections, etc.  I also learned that trying to emulate video tutorials was a significantly more profitable learning experience than just watching them.


… But, extreme newbs are almost assuredly going to be frustrated by any of the many Blender quirks that nearly quashed my 3D dreams early on*.  So, maybe a quick 5-15 minute coverage of the fundamental mechanics might enable them.


My train of thought did not originally include the 1-hour block for newbs.  However in hind sight, would it not be preferable to prepare a competent, well-organized outline that enables newbs to be hands-on involved in the basic training hour BEFORE that training?


If not, fine.  Skip it, and let's formulate what a full hour basics might entail, or a couple of different full hour basics.




* This was about 4 years ago. Even 2 years ago, when getting into the plethora of video tutorials that I started to find on the Internet, I was still almost routinely frustrated by many blender quirks that the video tutors assumed the viewer knew, or the tutors didn't give a thought to what was almost second nature to them... but not to newbs.

Jan 8, 2013  ( 1 post )  
Nate Sullivan (irishspacemonk)

jenuvyel - I've been thinking about this a bit - not forgotten your post. I think what you've proposed as an intro to getting around Blender is great. I just get hesitant when I start to think of whether or not people are Newbs to Blender, or Newbs to 3D in general. I wonder about introducing 3D to people through Blender. For example, what are vertices, edges, polygons. What are the steps that you go through to create a 3D scene - modeling, texturing, rigging, animating, rendering. All of this is easy to demonstrate through Blender, but I also think with just an hour to sell the software it be good to sell what it can do. That's basically my input. Do we teach 3D through Blender or how to use Blender for 3D. I think their benefits to both.

Jan 5, 2013  ( 1 post )  
Dec 23, 2012  ( 3 posts )  
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