How can you create 3D models for your 3D graphics application? Use Blender, of course! Blender is an excellent FREE 3D modeling and animation software tool available on all major operating systems (including Windows, Mac OS and Unix). It is light weight (just a few Kbytes), runs very fast, and can produce Pixar quality films. Watch this Blender movie (15 mins long) to see what Blender can do.

You may also check out these shorter (under 5 mins) youtube Blender demo reels highlighting Blender works of artists worldwide: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011

Blender Resources

The official Blender site is The most recent stable release is 2.73, however in this class we will be using Blender 2.7 (released april 2014) to match the Blender 2.7 Tutorial Series developed by Colin (BornCG on youtube). This tutorial series is aimed at the absolute beginner and takes you from navigating around Blender to modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, and more advanced topics.

To Do

  1. Install Blender 2.7a on your laptops.

    Forewarning: at first glance, the Blender interface looks intimidating. Keep in mind though that it is one of the best and most intuitive modeling interface designs. Modeling in general is a time consuming game and it takes some patience and dedication to learn it, regardless of the type of software you use.

    Blender's interface is designed to work best with a three-button mouse and a numpad keyboard. Although a bit more difficult, it is quite possible to use Blender with a laptop touchpad and a keyboard without numpad keys. If you decide on the latter, you need to configure Blender as follows. Open the Blender application, then select File/User Preferences, click on the Input tab, then check the options "Emulate 3 button mouse" and "Emulate numpad". Click on "Save User Settings", then close the preferences windows. The middle mouse button (MMB) will be emulated with Alt-LMB (Left Mouse Button).

  2. Watch and follow along the first BornCG tutorial:

  3. Watch and follow along the second BornCG tutorial: