On Monday evening, I was privileged to do an hour on Blender for a joint audience of the Western Pennsylvania Linux Users Group (primary desktop Linux user for four straight years yo!) and the Pittsburgh Filmmakers. Since the Mango project, Blender has been turned into a fantastic one-stop shop for the filmmaker’s pipeline for special effects, non-linear editing, general compositing, motion and camera tracking and even color grading. For filmmakers on an extreme budget, it could really make a huge difference!
For the convenience of everyone who attended, here are some helpful links from my talk:
The Blender Network – a directory of experts for hire and other commercial resources
I know that Lynda.com has some Blender training available, although I’m not personally familiar with the quality of the content.
My opinion is that if you’re switching horses from another 3D package and you’re already good with the concepts, the random tutorials you find online will probably serve you well. However, if you’re brand new to all of this, I’d recommend going with a more measured approach. There’s a ton of scattershot info laying around out there and you can literally fumble through it for months without getting anywhere. I’m sure that you can find other good resources, but if you’re into books as a learning resource my book (shameless plug) “Blender Foundations” has helped a bunch of people get started. I’m working on an updated version for the 2.7 series at this very moment though so if you’re interested but thinking “I won’t have time to do this for like, six months” you should probably hold off. You’ll be better served by the newer edition.
If you’re looking for an end-to-end tome on producing a 3D short with Blender, Blender Production has been rumored to be pretty good as well.
Cheers, and thanks for coming!
Here are two “sizzle” reels. I personally prefer the SIGGRAPH 2012 one, but YMMV.