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Interface (3, Informative)

Television Set (801157) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852096)

Blender is one tough program to master. I've meddled with it a bit, but I found the interface cumbersome.

Re:Interface (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852170)

It's kinda like GIMP/Cinepaint that way. Personally, I think blender's interface sucks for different reasons to most people - I grew up with Imagine and other Amiga raytracers, and blender's interface feels like a bad imitation of them. It's like they got the Amiga spirit of full-screen apps that "fit the UI to the task, not the task to the UI" but they failed to actually finish the UI, stopping once they'd got every function accessible via some button, somewhere, or maybe instead of thinking about where the buttons should be, they decided to shift that burden to the user, then tout that configurability as an advantage while making it _necessary_ rather than optional to reconfigure to do anything useful.

Realsoft 3D, the descendant of Amiga Real3D also has such configurability - but out-of-box, the default layout is okay (at least on windows, the linux version apparently was written by people who think "Unix==Motif" and it therefore sucks in the buggy,slow Motif way.).

Re:Interface (1)

melgeroth (726004) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852231)

I agree. Although I have very little experience with 3d editing programs, I've used lightwave exclusively before grabbing blender. I was unable to do anything without rolling my eyes, to be honest. Naturally thats biased, as I didn't take the time to rtfm or even a tutorial, but still Open Source isn't always better. I'm interested in what serious 3d editors and designers and animators have to say about blender though. Oh, and why was grandparent modded down? heaven forbid we make light conversation about the effectiveness of a tool thats headlined on slashdot...

Re:Interface (5, Informative)

Deusy (455433) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852212)

Blender is one tough program to master. I've meddled with it a bit, but I found the interface cumbersome.

Ergo, a large focus of the development since becoming open source has been to make the UI more intuitive and consistent.

The Blender UI is no longer that difficult, just different to 3DS or your other favourite 3D editor. I'd be surprised if your comment applies to the most recent version unless by "a bit" you mean 5 minutes.

If you go through the the blender3d.org tutorials [blender3d.com] then get back on the "cumbersome" UI.

Re:Interface (2, Interesting)

baxissimo (135512) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852457)

I don't think the interface is that bad, and they are working on making it better. And also documenting it better -- the new blender guide is a great thing. Besides, aren't you willing to put up with a little quirkiness for a free 3D modleing and animation program? Any 3D program is going to take some serious time to learn well, and the core modeling operations in Blender really are pretty efficent once you get used to them.

But the number one thing that annoys me with the blender UI, which will probably never be fixed, is that, flying in the face of 20 years of WIMP software conventions, they chose to use the LEFT mouse button for selecting things, and the RIGHT mouse button for positioning the cursor. I used it for several weeks and never did get the hang of that. Kept moving the cursor around when I meant to select something. I can't count how many times I carefully placed the cursor exactly where I wanted it only to turn around and carelessly right-click on some object to select it and -- DOH! I just moved the cursor. And there's no undo of cursor repositioning. Very annoying. So you just have to go back and redo your careful cursor placement manually.

Oh, and the lack of global undo is another major annoyance, but that'll probably be fixed someday. Undo has been added for certain sub-modes already. But I think the main Blender developers are too attached to the whole RMB for cursor positioning/LMB for selection thing to ever change that.

Re:Interface (1)

gilroy (155262) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852497)

Blockquoth the poster:

But I think the main Blender developers are too attached to the whole RMB for cursor positioning/LMB for selection thing to ever change that.

That sounds like an easy thing to be user-configurable. Maybe it's not too late... :)

Re:Interface (4, Informative)

FunkyChild (99051) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852592)

But I think the main Blender developers are too attached to the whole RMB for cursor positioning/LMB for selection thing to ever change that.

Blender 2.34, due to be released in the next week or so, contains a user preference to choose between LMB or RMB for selection.

--> http://mke3.net/blender/interface/interaction/mous esel_pref.png [mke3.net]

Re:Interface (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9853001)

Wow, that's intuitive. Right on the left and left on the right.

I've never actually seen blender (I just use Maya and Max) but that screenshot just looks more f'ed up then anything in Max or Maya.

Re:Interface (1)

lawpoop (604919) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852768)

If you're using windows, you can switch your mouse to a left-handed mouse, and get the functionality you want.

Re:Interface (1)

shibbydude (622591) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853230)

You've got your left and right buttons mixed up. It's left for moving the cursor and right for selecting objects (object mode) and vertexes (vertex mode).

Re:Interface (2, Interesting)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853127)

I've been using Blender to and from since 1996, when it was only available for Irix. Even looking at this latest release, it's not that much that has changed UI wise, it's still an enormous kludge. It always ends up with me giving up and going back to Maya so I can get things done, with a proper 1 hand on mouse, 1 hand on keyboard UI that works superb.

Re:Interface (3, Informative)

Mr.Zong (704396) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853643)

For 3d modeling (not animating mind you), might i recommend http://www.wings3d.com/ [wings3d.com]. Wings 3d has pretty much the best GUI i've ever had the pleasure of using. It's learning curve is really only about a half hour, and you can do some amazing modeling with it. Also open source.

Re:Interface (1)

resurepus (678010) | more than 9 years ago | (#9854766)

where whould you placed the interface compared to Maya? Personally I don't think Blendsr's interface is that bad.

mirror (-1, Offtopic)

caino59 (313096) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852102)

d/l'ing now - will have mirror momentarily

Re:mirror (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852151)

the site is a little slow, but i'm getting around 200KB/sec in wget right now, here's the link for people not wanting to wait for it to load (from actual site, not a mirror):
clicky [blender3d.com]

Re:mirror (4, Informative)

caino59 (313096) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852157)

siggraph_movie.avi [cainsconsulting.net]

someone want to set it up as a torrent?

F Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852105)

Yes finaly!

FP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852106)

Firrrrsttt Postttttttt W00T.

Um.. that's all.

Not good.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852119)

php served pages and large video files... it's not looking good folks...

boom (4, Funny)

Wuffle (651894) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852121)

Not even 10 comments and the link already seems dead.

Impressive to say the least...

Re:boom (1)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852758)

From the website:
Oh, how nice it would be to get an advance warning every time we're about to appear on Slashdot ;-)
They've got a torrent going now, and the link is alive again.

warning webmasters (was: boom) (1)

skidv (656766) | more than 9 years ago | (#9854838)

Oh, how nice it would be to get an advance warning every time we're about to appear on Slashdot ;-)

Since the mirror/bit-torrant system is user-managed, why shouldn't the warning system also be user-managed? If you post a story on slashdot, e-mail the webmasters of sites with large files so they can set up coping mechanisms.

Let's not use BitTorrent (2, Funny)

eddy (18759) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852147)

Because if you do, you might survive a slashdotting, cut down on bandwidth costs and, finally, actually reach your intended audience.

We wouldn't want that, now would we?

Re:Let's not use BitTorrent (1)

shish (588640) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853890)

Erm, the torrent itself got slashdotted, the tracker can't cope XD

Anyone got a mirror of the tracker?

bittorrent mirror.. (4, Interesting)

Harald Paulsen (621759) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852150)

.. here [paulsen.no]

Karma-whoring since 1976

mod up parent Re:bittorrent mirror.. (1)

dj42 (765300) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852159)

seeds coming.

Re:mod up parent Re:bittorrent mirror.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852402)

What video codec does this avi use? I can't seem to play the video now that i've downloaded it via torrent.

Re:mod up parent Re:bittorrent mirror.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852481)

Will someone please answer? I tried winamp - no error message, it just plays the sound. I tried Windows Media player - some kind of codec error message flashes (too fast to read - typical Microsoft) then it just plays the sound.

Re:mod up parent Re:bittorrent mirror.. (1)

CvD (94050) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852518)

Its a standard DivX codec with an MP3 sound layer. Works fine under MPlayer in Linux.


Re:bittorrent mirror.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852219)

Seeding @ 100 mbit connection.

A-Team (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852240)

Seeding A-Team [paulsen.no] too? How embarrasing for you :-)

Re:A-Team (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852339)

I PITY THE FOOL caught flaunting his A-Team rips in public :)

Re:bittorrent mirror.. (1)

Tore S B (711705) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852627)

Takk så meget.
My faith in BT has yet again been confirmed.

I wonder, why can't kernel.org user torrents?

direct link and mirror (5, Informative)

yruf (463879) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852176)

use the direct link [blender3d.com] which is mentioned on the blender.org page.

if this doesn't work, try my very own mirror [mediaautomat.de] (which hopefully doesn't die within the next seconds...)

schoene Klamotten [ilmenau-textil.de] fuer Ilmenauer und andere nette Leute

mirror temporary down (1)

yruf (463879) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852857)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

All my traffic has been eaten up (about 140 GBytes only for this file), that's why i took the file down.
It will be back in about 6 hours (midnight in europe, new month==new traffic).

schoene Klamotten [ilmenau-textil.de] fuer Ilmenauer und andere nette Leute

Re:direct link - USE FREECACHE! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852895)

Great. Blow the blender.org server completely out of the water, why don'cha.

If you're going to post a direct link to a huge file that thousands of people will want to download, PLEASE freecachify it!

http://freecache.org/http://blender3d.com/~bart/ si ggraph_movie.avi

oh.. Blender.. with an L (3, Funny)

njcoder (657816) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852179)

Damn I misread it. I got my hopes up thinking there was a futurama movie coming out

Blender has surpassed lightwave a long time ago. (5, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852211)

I was an avid lightwave 3d user. I have a copy sitting right here in front of me. The dongle and disks have not left their box for almost a year now cince I doscovered blender.

It's faster, easier to use (yes, after the initial learning curve that is there with every single piece of software ever made.) and produces massively better output when coupled with yafray.. Hell I am able to render on a renderfarm of older computers for only the price of hardware!

Blender is going to steal the show. It certianly outshines lightwave already.

Re:Blender has surpassed lightwave a long time ago (1)

janbjurstrom (652025) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852256)

That is pretty impressive. I've never used LW, so tell me: have you found any areas lacking (obviously not enough to go back, but still), and/or any specific functions where Blender falls short compared to LW?

Re:Blender has surpassed lightwave a long time ago (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852264)


Its much easier to create and tweak good looking shaders in almost any commercial 3d app than in blender (for now).

If blender gets this right, and some more modelling tools, it can seriously compete with some $1000+ offerings!

Re:Blender has surpassed lightwave a long time ago (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853041)

there are a couple of quirks. If you to a lathe object the "wrong" direction then all your lighting is inverse of what it should be... I.E. it makes the inside surface the outside and the outside surface the inside with no easy way to reverse it other than saying dammit and starting over.

but I have ran into the same kinds of problems with lightwave. Objects and nodes that will not attach to the surface like they are supposed to. They might have fixed that little annoyance in the last 2 versions but I dont care to spend thousands to find out.

Documentation for Blender far surpasses that of lightwave. the Blender Book is absolutely outstanding to the point that my 12 year old daughter can understand it and is interested in CG now.

One last thing that will change soon is blender's interface to yafray or renderman is very lacking. textures can get lost easily or the scene will render "wierd" for no apparent reason. Yafray seems to be their raytracing engine of choice. (I've seen things done in yafray that suprises even seasoned renderman artists.)

Better exportability for animation is one item that is really needed, but it's on their plate and expected to be there soon.

Re:Blender has surpassed lightwave a long time ago (2, Insightful)

underpar (792569) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853412)

try ctrl-n... you can recalculate normals to the outside and it normally fixes those kinds of quirks.

Re:Blender has surpassed lightwave a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9853765)

Arrgh!!! that is not in the blender manuals! you would have saved me gobs of work 18 months ago when I was starting to learn blender.

Thanks a ton.

Re:Blender has surpassed lightwave a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852537)

Saying blender is easier to use is a personal preference, but I don't think objectively anyone would agree with you. Lightwave is known for having a simple interface that's easy to understand and use.
Lightwave's renderer may not be the most accurate but it's simple to use, doesn't spit out crazy errors, and it's damn fast. It supports HDR lighting, radiosity, caustics etc. You also get unlimited render nodes so your "I am able to render on a renderfarm of older computers for only the price of hardware!" doesn't really mean much because the cost is the same for lightwave. Even taking into account the cost of your OS because it only runs on windows and OSX, Lightwave did come with a Linux render node, although I'm not sure if it still does.

Re:Blender has surpassed lightwave a long time ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9853858)

Actually lightwave's renderer is the most accurate.

Oh my god... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852272)

...they've slashdotted blender!

ed2k link (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852326)

help distribute the load
remove spaces from filename (slashdot adds them)

ed2k://|file|Blender.Siggraph.reel.(2004) .DivX4.avi|41623564|95E0365F40991923D741201B170312 33|/

AVI File Information:

File and Container Information:
File Name : Blender.Siggraph.reel.(2004).DivX4.avi
File Size (in bytes) : 41,623,564
Base Type (e.g "AVI") : AVI(.AVI)
Subtype (e.g "OpenDML") : AVI v1.0,
Interleave (in ms) : 40
Preload (in ms) :
Audio alignment : Aligned
Total System Bitrate (kbps) : 0
Number of Audio Streams : 1

Video Information:
Video Codec Type : DIVX
Video Codec Name : DivX 4 (OpenDivX)
Duration (hh:mm:ss) : 00:07:50
Frame Count : 11738
Frame Width (pixels) : 320
Frame Height (pixels) : 240
Frame Aspect Ratio (e.g "1.3333") : 1.33
Frame Aspect Ratio (e.g. "4:3") : 4:3
Pixel Aspect Ratio ("SAR") : 1.#IO
Display Aspect Ratio ("DAR") : 1.#IO
Frames Per Second : 25.000
Video Bitrate (kbps) : 2
B-VOP ("B-VOP" or "No B-VOP") : No B-VOP
QPel ("QPel" or "No Qpel") : No QPel
GMC ("GMC" or "No GMC") : No GMC

Audio Information:
MPEG Stream ID (e.g. "0xbd") :
MPEG VOB file Substream (e.g. "0x80") :
Audio Codec (e.g. "AC3") : 0x0055(MP3, ISO) MPEG-1 Layer 3
Audio Sample Rate (Hz) : 48000
Audio Bitrate(kbps) : 128
Audio Bitrate Type ("CBR" or "VBR") : CBR
Audio Channel Count : 2

ed2k and Slashdot (4, Insightful)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853164)

Incidently, FWIW, the Slashdot editors have chosen to disallow ed2k links. I've posted about it before on Slashdot, and there have even been filed bugs [sourceforge.net] on it.

Jamie has a point -- that ed2k URLs launch external programs, and that he doesn't want to help trolls -- but man, I wish that we were able to use them, even if we lost the ability to use gopher, mailto, etc. Every time Slashdot links to a large file, we end up with some random reader having to set up a bittorrent entry (which is great for the immediate link, and keeps the server from being killed). However, inevitably that user kills the link after a couple of days, and then all the links to large files in old stories are dead. If we could just embed ed2k links, we could maintain links that would be useful months later. Adding ed2k wouldn't mean having to add any other protocols -- Gnutella and most P2P networks lack an URL format, and the only competitor, Kazaa, has a broken non-unique URL format that shouldn't be included.

It'd be especially nice if users that wanted to allow ed2k links could enable them in their preferences, and then see them (though I guess that wouldn't work well with the pre-generation approach of Slashcode -- sigh).

Your Opinions Please? (2, Interesting)

ThisIsFred (705426) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852330)

So this is slightly off the topic (but I've seen a lot of blender demo work as rendered scenes already - nice stuff). Anyway, has anyone else used some of these OSS modelling tools for game modding? The biggest problem seems to be the lack of converters to the industry defacto standard of 3DS Max binary format.

Re:Your Opinions Please? (2, Informative)

TheQwe (795209) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852406)

Thanks to blender's python interface, you can write import/export scripts for just about any format. This guy [servebeer.com] has written the exporter you're looking for... along with an OBJ exporter, quake2 md2, quake3 md3, and doom3.

The really interesting thing... (2, Interesting)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852331)

...for me was not so much the graphics as the soundtrack. I followed the link to Magnatune [magnatune.com] to see what else the artist has produced and I was surprised by how good the other artists were on there too! You can play/download almost all the tracks by the artists (that I've tried) for free, although they also sell the music. I took a loot at the info page, and there's an interesting piece [magnatune.com] by the site's owner about why he started the site (after his wife went throught the grinder of the music industry).

Overall, I'm impressed, and if anyone else is on the lookout for something new, it could be worth a look (no I don't work for them, or have anything to do with the site!)

Re:The really interesting thing... (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852427)

...for me was not so much the graphics as the soundtrack.

Agreed, and I'm glad they listed the group(or individual), Cargo Cult- but it would have been nice to know what specific (two?) song(s) were used. Invariably I find that I love whatever they used for piece X, but when I listen to the whole album, the rest is not even remotely my taste. Ironically, the stuff used for soundtracks and such is usually when the artist does something "different".

Currently downloading song 2 of about 20...

Re:The really interesting thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852611)

I made the compilation. The songs are:

- Entry
- Dilemma



Found the two songs... (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852711)

...and they are Entry and (when the insane sports announcer comes on) Dilemma.

Both are off Alchemy [magnatune.com].

I only wish the guy got his levels right, there is quite a bit of clipping...or the encode wasn't done very well.

Re:Found the two songs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852741)

It's the divx encoding - I suck at it, I'm afraid. Once the DVD ISO torrent is up, I'd be happy to accept a recompressed file!



Only problem with Magnatune is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852901)

.. that they have so much new age crap that I don't care of. I just went into their Rock area and it seems if the artist consider themselves 1% rock they are in this group. So if there is a group that had 99% new age with a hint of rock it's in this group. Other than that there is nothing in there that really interest me.

I just wished Magnatune focused more on mainstream music instead of the niche market that the founder seems to be tuned to.

I can see how most of the sales go to the classical genre because most want to support this venture yet unable to find something else they like. With how they mix up the music for the 'radio station' most mainstream people tend to 'tune it out' fast.

Blender's success (1)

codexus (538087) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852351)

When I first heard about the rally to gather the money to free the Blender source I was a bit skeptical that it would work but then I was amazed to see how quickly people answered the call.
It seems that all this great stuff we can see in the reel was in part possible thanks to that.

Nice (1)

Sunspire (784352) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852368)

The video resolution is crap, but on the other hand it's quite long. Overall the quality of the works seems quite high. There's a couple pieces I'd have left out that are a bit mediocree, but there's also some really impressive and funny ones (love the Three Kings parody with the camel in the desert ;)

It certainly got me interested in Blender again, once the website isn't Slashdotted I'm giving the program a second look. At least this reel proves that you can create professional quality works with Blender.

Re:Nice (2, Informative)

Duositex (620105) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852424)

The official SIGGRAPH file is over 400MB. This is compressed. For those of you looking for Blender demo material, the Blender 2.3 guide comes with a CD-ROM that has several demo movies and images on it. All are great to look at. In addition it comes with the sources for the manual. The manual itself is fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to start learning or for experienced folks who want a reference. Covers technique and technical which is good.

Nice demo reel (1)

CvD (94050) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852544)

The scenes are pretty impressive, although many of the stills don't exactly look like you need Blender or any 3D app to make them. The GIMP would suffice. Like 'Lily' and 'Old Man Willow'? I mean, isn't it masochistic to do something like this in a 3D rendering program? Seems like the wrong tool for the job.

The animations were really nice and impressive... I especially liked the one-eyed guy from Monsters, Inc with the Monty Python voice over. Very funny.


Re:Nice demo reel (1)

FunkyChild (99051) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852640)

I mean, isn't it masochistic to do something like this in a 3D rendering program? Seems like the wrong tool for the job.

Well, try animating them in a 2D program like GIMP ;)

Re:Nice demo reel (1)

codexus (538087) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853519)

Well in theory, GIMP is enough to create any picture, no? It's a question of the skills of the artists and what they want to achieve.

If I need a photorealistic picture of a flower for some commercial purpose, I'll buy one from a photograph. But if I'm a 3d artist doing 3d for fun, I'll make the picture myself and improve my skills in the process.

I don't think there is anything masochistic in using the tools you like.

Blender Vs Lightwave (1)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852565)

I tried Blender bout a year ago. I found it very unintuitive, and I've used most of the 3d apps out there. I eventualy settled on Lightwave, being it one of the industry standards. 3DS Max, for all it's populariy is pretty poor in comparison, being mostly used fo games where low poly count is more important than realism. It seems most of the big films requiring cgi are either done on in-house stuff, or Maya or Lightwave. I tried Maya but my hardware doesn't like it. When I upgrade to an e-mac (hopefully) I will give both Maya and Blender a go, since people are saying there's some very tasty work coming from it.

This is probably the right time to ask (4, Interesting)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852598)

Among all you people out there who have worked on a wide variety of 3D graphics packages out there including 3DSMax, Maya, LightWave, Blender, etc...can you guys shed some light on how well Blender stacks up against the competition? Any links to some great tutorials would be really appreciated too, because, since it's free, I'm thinking of setting it up for a poor orphanage here in India that just had some pretty decent computers donated so the kids can start messing around on them.
So, let's say I just install it there on the school computers and kids from 3rd to the 10th grade mess with blender. What chance do you think they have of developing some decent 3D graphics skills that they could use in the real world? Let's take willingness to learn as a given - in fact, it's so much, it's WAY past enthusiasm. The barrier is literacy - therefore, the tutorials will just be there, but the fact that they will be used cannot be taken as a given.
In short, what do you think the chances are that a kid, with very little knowledge of a computer can start using blender and learn it in a few years to the point where the 3D skills developed give him/her a pretty decent chance of an entry level job in the graphics industry? The reason I ask is because I have seen some of the kids there and they are true artists. You should see what they can do with MS Paint.

Re:This is probably the right time to ask (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852756)

blender is a extremely powerful and capable tool. i haven't used it too much and am still learning the ropes. but you will not make a mistake in choosing it and letting children fool around with it. i've fooled around with many 3d packages before. mostly 3ds, maya, rhino 3d etc (mostly trials or the learning editions). from my experience blender is just as capable as any of the packages mentioned above. just give teaser tutorials on capablities of the package and basic usage of the UI.. and let the kids do stuff on their own. plus switch to other open source packages. gimp, inkscape, scribus etc are very capable tools. dont make people use tools that they will be locked into and not afford at a future point. promote open source software. and let them know there is a difference between open source and proprietary.
the key to get them used to it is to show some easy examples and letting them experiment.. u will get great results. best of luck.

Re:This is probably the right time to ask (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9853025)

i agree that you won't be making a mistake with giving them this. when i was a wee one around 5th and 6th grade, there was a copy of InfiniD on the computer lab computers at my school. Messing around with it I made some cool stuff; it was fun. in particial, i can thank that computer lab and that program for the confidence and 'mess-around-until-you-get-it' additude (atitude, attidude...not spelling, thats for sure) that i have now with computers.

Re:This is probably the right time to ask (1)

carlmenezes (204187) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853288)

That's some really good feedabck, thanks. Yeah, I was thinking about The Gimp too - it's really excellent and since PhotoShop is too expensive, I think The Gimp will more than make up for it. Inkscape might round off a very interesting range of graphics capaibilties - Gimp for raster, Blender for 3D and inkscape for SVG. Plus they're all installable on Windows. I have just given a lot of Knoppix CDs to the principal. Hopefully, by the time these kids are looking for jobs, Linux will be a lot more widespread and an exposure to Linux combined with a decent computer knowledge in something like Graphics should help them out some - it is reasons like these that make me support open source - you can really do some good work with it without corporate greed getting involved. Thanks to every person who contributes - you're defintely helping to make a difference.

Re:This is probably the right time to ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9853411)

3D professional programs are not easy to learn or use, and I'm not sure most kids will like or learn because there are some concepts involved you only understand when grow up. Every year an important part of the schedule of the SIGGRAPH conference is devoted to educators, many of them teach to K-12. This indicates me there are some ways to use certain animation and visualization programs for kids.

Blender functionality is specially daunting and maybe 90% of the first time users drop the program after 5 minutes, some of them return later and give a second chance to this prograa. In Blender most functions doesn't have a button (i.e. move, rotate, scale, etc), you have to memorize "hotkeys" or assigned keys for those functions, for many years Blender doesn't had an undo button, etc.

I teach animation to art students at the Academia de San Carlos in Mexico City (one of the most important fine arts schools here). All these artists already have a bachelor degree and they are all very good artists at this point, so they start creating amazing things just when they only master a 10%-20% of the program.

Titus Maledetto

Re:This is probably the right time to ask (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9853656)

You are MUCH better off hooking them up with GMAX (the free version of 3DS Max from Discreet) or the free vesrion of Maya.

Not only are they vastly better tools, but there are more demos out there to help and the skillsets will be much more relevant.

Re:This is probably the right time to ask (2, Informative)

Rxke (644923) | more than 9 years ago | (#9854339)

I just started dabbling(sp?) with Blender, and the tutorials are a great help to get you up to speed real quick.
If they have basic understandig about how to work with a computer (saving files, using the mouse etc.) I think, if you can get them over the initial learning curve, it might be very rewarding.
Download the blender tutorials, they're esp. made to use in a classroom enviro (but you can do it on your own, of course) they cover the very basics, and get more complex during following 'sittings' you advance from basic things to stunning stuff (for kids, at least)

I suggest you take the 'course' yourself first, the basics take less than an hour.
Then make something simple in Blender, to show the kids. Like the house example in the tutorial for instance... Then you ask them if they'd like to give it a try, etc etc...

A scanner or cheap digital camera could come in handy, for digitizing their hand-drawn artwork, so they can use it as textures, backgrounds etc.

Kids have an amazing fantasy, and if they'd be able to put their ideas into 3D, you may be quite impressed. And other people might be too.
Originality is a big asset. And if they learn the skills young, they may grow up as real virtuoso's in their area.

Try it. It's free. You can't lose, that's the beauty of open sourse. Even kids in poor orphanages can use it, to make a better future for themselves. That's one good reason to make the fine people that contribute to this project happy.

siggraph got warned though. (1)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 9 years ago | (#9852625)

They switched the page to quicktext and posted mirrors, including one for bittorrent.
Even with all of the mirrors, i'm betting that their webserver is waving a little white flag, screaming "I GIVE UP!" ^,^

Re:siggraph got warned though. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852941)

LOL - you had me rolling on the floor there. How do you come up with such original material!? Yeah, for sure that webserver is under so much straing, I mean it needs to serve like a whole few hundred kilobytes! I know the server I run from my parents basement wouldn't survive!!!11!!!!111!

Trying freecache and not working :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9852932)

wget says the freecache gives a 302 from freecache and it goes to the original server. Blender original mirrors could have used it to begin with, after making sure there are no problems. But go figure what is going on now that the slashdoting is going on...

Amazing (1)

omegakidd (592638) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853157)

This is so amazing! It just enspires me to get off my ass and try and do shit with blender.

Re:Amazing (2, Informative)

barista (587936) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853489)

A good place to start would be to look at the Elysiun forums [elysiun.com]. It's a great place to learn the ropes. A lot of the works in the demo reel were created by people who regularly hang out there, and some of the works were first displayed there. Check it out.

ma?r3 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9853223)

problem5 tEhat I've

zerg (1)

Lord Omlette (124579) | more than 9 years ago | (#9853394)

If you're one of those people who don't like reading through docs online, the "Official" Blender 2.3 Guide was just released from No Starch Press. They had problems shipping the first batch, but they are definitely here, as evidenced by the one just in reach of my grubby hands.

I know you think that the interface is cumbersome, and if you've checked my slashdot comments, you'll see that I've said the same on a number of occasions... but my lab partners, who swear by it, have convinced me to stick it out and learn.

Hello Slashdot! (1)

evilmf (740244) | more than 9 years ago | (#9854065)

The link now shows a nice message directed to us:
Hello, Slashdot! Oh, how nice it would be to get an advance warning every time we're about to appear on Slashdot ;-)

You fai6l 1t! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9854196)

BSD had become propaganda and what they think is the aacounting

Before I install... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 9 years ago | (#9854453)

I'd like to know what formats can Blender export its files? I mean especially the 3D models. Is dxf/dwg on the list? What other 3D data file formats are supported?

All links and mirrors dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#9854605)

wow - its that hard to host a bittorrent file now? Can't get the torrent or anything else from any of the mirrors.
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