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How do you rate Blender

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Question: How do you rate Blender
Awesome!! "I Love It" - 1 (25%)
Good - 2 (50%)
Fair - 1 (25%)
Awful - 0 (0%)
I use Blender to make good Black Russians - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 4

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Author Topic: How do you rate Blender  (Read 3496 times)
geminiguy
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« on: December 09, 2007, 11:23:50 pm »

What do you think of Blender? Post your thoughts on it here. Smiley
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SiathLinux
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007, 05:47:24 pm »

http://siathlinux.deviantart.com/art/Peak-at-New-Project-1-72573160 << Link to my keyboard made with Blender..

This rim and tire were also made with Blender.. Cheesy
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geminiguy
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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007, 05:59:14 pm »

ehem..... "gallery" Wink  Smiley
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Sawer
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2007, 04:14:47 pm »

 SiathLinux: VERY NICE I'm glad you are here. Blender is one program I'd like to get a handle on.Blender is one program I'd like to get a handle on.
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SiathLinux
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2007, 04:05:32 pm »

This is no gallery item -- those are coming -- patience and you will see MANY things.
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rji
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2008, 03:22:56 pm »

I rated it fair because of the UI, the lack of updated documentation, and its plugin API breaking at each new release (ok, so that's really a python issue  Grin ).  If there were official documentation that kept pace with development, the UI issue were fixed, and the plugin API was stable its rating would go up.
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SiathLinux
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« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2008, 08:26:37 pm »

Ok, for all that want to learn Blender, I've done a couple of basic tutorials on rendering and UV mapping, as for 'instructions' or 'documentation' that's all available online... Cheesy

I also found a college professor did a whole course on Blender (Windows version - and for those that don't know - there is a BIg Difference - amazing actually)

If you'd like to learn more contact me on DeviantART (as I don't check here as often as I should) - or via my email siath(a)embarqmail.com Cheesy
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geminiguy
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2008, 09:02:35 pm »

 Thank you Siath, I will definitely be checking it out. Smiley
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rji
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2008, 11:23:10 pm »

I know the documentation is available online, the problem is it is often outdated.  Probably the best example are all of the wiki's that still reference the UV Face Select view mode (note:  the specific mode that was available from the drop down menu that includes edit mode, object mode, etc.) which was removed in 2.44 IIRC in favor of using edit mode to unwrap the UV's.  For a complete newbie to 3d modelling or anyone that has experience with any of the commercial tools that lack of updated documentation is a major drawback.

Out of curiosity, what are the differences between a Windows build and a Linux build?
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SiathLinux
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 11:54:34 pm »

I know the documentation is available online, the problem is it is often outdated.  Probably the best example are all of the wiki's that still reference the UV Face Select view mode (note:  the specific mode that was available from the drop down menu that includes edit mode, object mode, etc.) which was removed in 2.44 IIRC in favor of using edit mode to unwrap the UV's.  For a complete newbie to 3d modelling or anyone that has experience with any of the commercial tools that lack of updated documentation is a major drawback.

Out of curiosity, what are the differences between a Windows build and a Linux build?

Edit mode does NOT do the UV Unwrapping - I know I unwrap UV's on Everything I make now - that is done on the UV Face Select mode -
As for the documentation not be as up to date as it should be well - it can't be an easy thing to keep up on the documentation of such a large project as Blender has become - remember it now does more than just '3d rendering' it has a game engine built in...
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Digitante
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« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2008, 05:19:53 pm »

Blender grows on you.

I know my first reaction to the GUI was to scream and hide from my monitor. It's like trying to pilot a 747.

There are some big problems with the documentation in that it appears to assume more familiarity with the discipline of 3D modelling (e.g. that you've been doing 3D graphics with some other program and now want to learn Blender, instead of trying to learn 3D graphics with Blender, which is my actual situation). Thus, a lot of basic overview information is just missing from the documentation, leaving you to try to piece the missing parts together from what's there. That's not good.

To make matters worse, the published "Official Blender Guide" book starts with a tutorial (the Gingerbread man) that was broken by interface changes between 2.3x and 2.4x versions of Blender. Which means you have to actually go to the online documentation to find updates to figure out what's wrong. What's more, when I searched Blender Artists for information on this problem, I found snarky RTFM comments suggesting it was inappropriate to ask about this problem on the forums. That's not friendly when the problem arises in the Quick Start tutorial!

Also, I have serious pedagogical issues with the "hot keys only" approach to teaching certain concepts. While it is no doubt extremely useful to learn the hot keys in order to be productive with Blender, it's a lot of extra memorization for a newbie. Moreover, there is no way to learn where an item is in the menu from the hot key, while every menu entry tells you what its hot key is (this is also meaningful because the menus group similar tasks together making it easier to find a related task). Thus, it would be more useful to teach the menu approach first, and allow people to pick up the hotkeys from the self-documenting menus (of course mentioning both is fine, too).

Another problem with the hot keys approach, especially for newbies, is that it can be easy to miskey -- especially when the meaning of a key combination may depend on context ('X' for example), and when there are Alt, Ctrl, and Shift variants which may or may not be related. Combine this with the lack of a global "Undo" option, and it's a very unforgiving interface. One little mis-key, and your work can be trashed -- you have to go back to your last saved version. That is also not very friendly.

However, once you do piece the missing bits together, the rest of it starts to make sense.

In fact, I now find myself missing Blender GUI features in other programs. It would be really cool if Blender could somehow release a generic BlenderGUI toolkit for writing other programs using the same GUI design (I understand from queries to developers that this would require some refactoring, so it's not likely to happen soon). I can definitely think of applications for which the Blender GUI would be more appropriate (CAD for example).

So, while I would say Blender has a lot that can be improved, it's still an excellent program. It's also far and away the best free software 3D modelling program.
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rji
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« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2008, 06:19:08 pm »

Edit mode does NOT do the UV Unwrapping - I know I unwrap UV's on Everything I make now - that is done on the UV Face Select mode -
As for the documentation not be as up to date as it should be well - it can't be an easy thing to keep up on the documentation of such a large project as Blender has become - remember it now does more than just '3d rendering' it has a game engine built in...

UV Face Select Mode was merged with Edit mode (I'm using 245.15 to have access to tangent space normals)  Smiley
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geminiguy
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« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2008, 08:24:12 am »

 I actually just began to have a go at using Blender.. and I'm loving it.
 It's actually a lot easier than my first thoughts on my first two (very limited attempts)
 I had the same reaction as Digitante.
 I find that the vid tutorials done by super3boy where very helpful to me....
http://forum.nystic.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=651#p8698
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