So many reasons to learn Blender

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Everyone is spending more time at home these days with the global pandemic. This has thrown normal patterns of life in the air. In the previous normal, my pattern had me with my wife Blair most Saturdays at her silversmithing studio. My time there usually involves changing light bulbs, fixing smithing equipment, dealing with stuff on the computer that runs the joint. The studio is now closed due to the pandemic, so Saturdays...uh...everyday for the next several weeks (months?) will be spent at home.

What a great time to learn something new!

I've taken a run a Blender a few times over the years, but now both time and a couple of needs have pushed me to wrap my head around it. Version 2.8 was released in early 2020, and by all accounts it's much improved in many ways. While I have access to tools like Maya and Cinema 4D through my day job, Blender is attractive for many reasons.

  1. Blair and I have been toying with the idea of incorporating 3D printing courses into her silversmithing classes. Most of her students won't be interested in spending hundreds of dollars on 3D software to learn something they maybe will use in the future. Nor do we want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on software for the studio for people to use on a licensed basis. Blender is free. Free is good.
  2. Virtual/mixed/augmented reality (XR) experiences all require 3D models and skills. My day job and personal interests will likely be leading to more XR work. What better than a free tool to play with and learn.
  3. 2D animation. In 2.8 it has really been enhanced. An interesting tool for the toolbox.

I've written before I'm a fan of the training available at LinkedIn Learning. Blender 2.8 Essential Training with David Andrade was again well thought out and covered a lot of territory.