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I really wanted to start with Blender a long time ago but I was addicted to games and I didn't have enough time. Now, I do have time and I need to know Blender to get onto University so I've tried to dive right into it.

I have been watching videos and recreating the things that the people were doing. I really enjoyed it but now, when I wanted to do something on my own, I feel like I forget everything and the things I've learned are just gone.

I wanted to model but everyone just keeps talking about Mesh and how to add stuff but, at the end of the day, I am just not able to model anything. I only know how to add things. But when I am trying to model things, it always looks like some kind of spaceship.

I hope you know about something that could help me. I tried CG Cookie and the tutorials from Blender Guru, and some other individuals, but it's basically all the same. I even memorized like 50 Blender shortcuts but I still feel like I am unable to create anything.

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    $\begingroup$ My 2c.. Don't go over the top memorizing shortcuts to begin with .. there's UI for everything. The shortcuts you use most will memorize themselves when you're working fast enough for the UI to get annoying. There are a lot of shortcuts I can't remember.. but my fingers can. $\endgroup$ – Robin Betts Dec 22 '18 at 18:34
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    $\begingroup$ I'm a year and half into Blender, still consider myself a beginner and struggling with many aspects of the software. Don't quit, Blender isn't the easiest soft to learn, but it is immensely powerful. It's a long-term project to learn how to use it and model anything, not to mention texturing and animation and fluid simulation and such. Go step by step, slowly, look at the links on the answer below, and don't worry about shortcuts, you'll learn and remind them as you go. $\endgroup$ – Sava Dec 22 '18 at 18:51
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    $\begingroup$ I'd advise to go with as many video tutorials as possible while following them in Blender to practice. After some time try to redo what they are doing (scroll a tutorial where you see a mesh part for example) and try to model it without tutorial. Put certain tasks and make yourself a goal to finish them. After yet some time try to model something simple each day, just from images around. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Dec 22 '18 at 18:59
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    $\begingroup$ It took quite a while for me to feel like I could make my own shapes. Don't give up! If grinding tutorials is getting old, look for tutorials on making things you're interested in making anyway (or close enough that you can try and adapt it; adapting tutorials to your own use case is an excellent way to get a feel for when to apply what techniques). As far as modeling your own things, it really helps if you've thought through the design before going into detail. Try sketching it first and building the general shape with simple cube shapes before throwing subd etc. at it $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Dec 23 '18 at 1:28
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    $\begingroup$ This isn't really an appropriate question for SE in my opinion. But do you think 2 weeks is a long time? It's not. By a ridiculously huge margin. If you want to model something, you need to reset your expectations about how much time it's going to take you. Try 52 weeks. There's a reason that art school lasts four years. It's not just to waste your time. $\endgroup$ – Nathan Dec 23 '18 at 5:00

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Two weeks and you are thinking of quitting? No, no, no that will not do.

For anything even starting to be complex two weeks is just not enough time to call it quits. Learning takes time. How much time depends entirely on your effort. You have a good motivator to learn blender, to get into University. So do not loose sight of your goal.

Now how to go about that.

Stop watching tutorials. That's right, Stop watching tutorials. You said yourself that you "forget everything and the things I've learned are just gone." (That is because you never actually learned them, you just saw some guy on youtube do something). I bet you have spent a fair bit of time watching tutorials. Look at the outcome, for you it is not worth it.
This is a common problem with tutorials. We watch all these tutorials, and feel great "look at what I can do." Except if you just watch them, its nothing more then a movie. We feel like we conquered the world, but really we just sat on our butt for two hours.

So with tutorials out of the way, just make something. Start simple, such as the desk your sitting at. Yes it will be hard, your model will be pretty bad, and you will get stuck. However this is how you learn.

Ok so you are modeling, you hit a wall, no idea how to do X. Search for that thing (you very likely will get an answer from this site), then keep modeling.
It is ok to have to ask google how to do every step.

Here's the exciting part. You open blender up on day two, start by making another simple object. Say a wood stove. Now instead of having to search for everything you remembered that GG is edge slide, and why you should be moving that edge loop.

wood stove reference image
Image from HomeDepo

Keep it up. Make something, anything every day. Keep it very simple. If you try to bite off more then you can do you will get discouraged and then it is easy to skip blender today, and down the spiral you fall.

Make a simple object everyday for a week and I guarantee you will learn more in that week then you have in all the time you spent in blender and watching tutorials up to this point.

Don't get discouraged when your models don't look like you wanted, or your renders aren't pretty. This is part of the learning process. I bet your first steps as a baby weren't too good either.

Please do not feel like you have to remember everything or every keyboard shortcut. Many times I have searched for something and found the answer, only to discover that I wrote the answer!


TLDR

Stop watching tutorials and just make stuff, mistakes included, in blender.

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    $\begingroup$ Exactly...I was using Blender for over a year before I ever saw a tutorial on YouTube. That was because I was working on an old desktop machine that didn't have an internet connection. I think that helped me a ton TBH. $\endgroup$ – JakeD Dec 23 '18 at 3:48
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    $\begingroup$ You can't just "make stuff" in Blender without watching tutorials. I tried and failed miserably. The usability is so different to regular programs. $\endgroup$ – Thomas Weller Dec 24 '18 at 12:21
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    $\begingroup$ @ThomasWeller I beg to differ. First off what do you consider a "regular program"? Just because you know MS word does not mean you will be able to use Adobe photoshop (as an example). Every software is different. $\endgroup$ – David Dec 24 '18 at 14:31
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    $\begingroup$ I agree with the spirit of this answer, but I downvoted because I disagree with the notion of avoiding tutorials on principle. I agree that just watching the top search results for "learn blender" isn't the most effective way to learn, however, "making something" requires a fair bit of knowledge which isn't just going to pop into one's brain from trying very hard. So, don't watch just any tutorial. Want to make a certain model of car? Watch tutorials about making other car models, then try and adapt it, on your own, to the model you want to make. That last bit being the most important step. $\endgroup$ – gandalf3 Dec 26 '18 at 12:58
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Yes, give up right now.

The only person who can effectively answer this question is you.

If the guitar you were going to learn is in the back of the cupboard, or the piano is covered in dust, or... give up.

Like Hendrix makes the guitar look easy, a seasoned modeller makes modelling look simple. Frustratingly it isn't. Hendrix is often put forward as an example that mastering a skill takes 10,000 hours.

It's hat season, and wearing my amateur's philosopher reverse-psychologist, devil's advocate hat, and for the sake of "balance" I say quit.

If however you have the desire to learn, don't accept this answer.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree to this. Giving up is a valid option. 3d is not for everyone. I see no logic in answers saying not to give up no matter what. They come only from one kind of people - the ones who did not give up so this is very biased. It takes a certain personality to like this whole 3d stuff. It is complex. Do you like failing? Do you like redoing things? Do you like investing hundreds of hours into something that turns out not to work and when in the end you need to redo it investing hundreds more hours of your hard work? Do you enjoy never knowing when your work is finished?.. Consider it. $\endgroup$ – Martynas Žiemys Dec 24 '18 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ If you read between the lines I'm not really saying quit... (quit asking questions like this maybe). The included link is particularly interesting. Mentions the retention rate of AV learning material is about 20%, lectures a lowly 5%, Tips like Splitting a skill to learn into sub-skills, sub-skills into sub-skills. There is a "Learning Just Do it" sign...IMO The little train that could is as good an answer to "I've tried should i quit?" as any. $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Dec 25 '18 at 4:41
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    $\begingroup$ This answer took me back 40 years, when I asked one of the local "pros" if I should quit skateboarding because I didn't manage to learn a propper Olli in five days. His answer was pretty much the same. "Yeah, give up. If you don't want to put the effort and you don't want to deal with the pain you'll fail anyway." It took me almost all Summer to learn it and then another 6 months to land it properly every single time. $\endgroup$ – metaphor_set Dec 27 '18 at 12:31
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    $\begingroup$ We are of similar vintage, Tony Hawk $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Dec 27 '18 at 13:53
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Don't quit. You are only two weeks learning Blender and that is too soon to quit. At the beginning, I had great difficulty in learning Blender, but I stayed at it and persisted. The more I persisted, the more I learned. Persistence and patience pay off.

PLAYLISTS FOR ABSOLUTE BEGINNERS (see below) (Some would interest intermediates as well). Some tutorials are somewhat old, but they are very useful and they can quickly pull you up on Blender. Neil Hirsig is very good. He is very thorough with teaching basics. His tutorials will shortly leave you with a swollen brain.

JcChronBlenderBasics https://www.youtube.com/user/jchronblenderbasics

Jacob Lewis (2012) ‪https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL03BAC38A5E823407‬ Jacob Lewis (2014) ‪https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLrgQj91MOVfjTShOMRY8TLmkJ7OFr7bj6

Neal Hirsig http://doug56.net/3DBlenderCourse/course-content.html

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All these answers are opinionated suggestions for what works for the author of each answer. Votes do not signify what is correct, but instead just tell that the voter has the same learning style. Take inspiration, but figure out what will work for you on your own.

Let's actually address your problem and that is:

I feel like I forget everything and the things I've learned are just gone.

I (...) feel like I am unable to create anything

Pushing through, not quitting, watching tutorials, not watching tutorials - it won't solve your frustration. You need to solve how to memorize(learn) more efficiently.

My guess is you watch too many different tutorials, each on different topic. You create a short-term memory, and with next tutorial it gets overwritten.

My advise is to pick a topic (like modelling, texturing, ..) and focus on it for longer period of time, until you create long-term memory. Do not try to infuse all of the areas at once.

My second guess is that you learn inefficiently - everyone learns the best with different method:

  • visual people just need to see it. These are the ones that will post an answer to watch all the tutorials (like @Noelle or @RitaGeraghty).

  • some are hands-on, these people will advise not watching tutorials but doing exercises, more experimentation (like @David or @JakeD).

  • some are verbal/aural, helps them to say things out loud. Also they like to read, so written-style tutorials, suggestions of using a book (@JakeD).

The best is to combine all, but also to play to your strengths. If you figure out your style, the process will be less painful and more efficient.

All the answers that only tell you to keep going and just tell you what to do have little to no use. They are opinions of the author, it might not help you at all. Pls figure this out for yourself, only you can.

@batFINGER understands this too, his answer is more straight to the point. Maybe you should take a different path in your life and focus on something else that will fulfill you better, that won't frustrate you even when you struggle. Or maybe you are just experiencing something more complicated for the first time in your life and you are just confused Blender takes more persistence. Then keep going. Only you can decide.

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    $\begingroup$ Hidden in my somewhat tongue in cheek answer is the link The Tactics for Learning Faster is IMO particularly worth looking into. $\endgroup$ – batFINGER Dec 23 '18 at 14:43
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The thing is you shouldn't be watching too many tutorials. Watching tutorials makes you think you know how to do this and that. That's not always true, they can also make you lie to yourself. See you need to be thinking for yourself not just copying others. Also remember that quite many tutorials online are bad for you, theres always a danger that you pick up others bad habits. Be critical.

Tutorials should be used as a sort of a checking point. So in reality you should make a concentrated effort to do something before your about to watch a tutorial on it. This way you will be much much better equipped to understand why they did what they did.

So just do something, it will not quite be where you want to be. That's ok that is your level. Try doing something simple. Then try to figure out what your missing on. Find somebody that is really better, tell him what your aim is and ask him to give you some insight into what you should be doing.

Then consider that 2 weeks is nothing, you can not learn 3D graphics/ modelling in 2 weeks or even a month. You can only learn the basic concepts. There are a hundred things you haven't been thinking about yet. You need at minimum 6 months or a year to even begin to grasp the task at hand. Also you will not learn all of blender, its too complex for that, you can only learn a few aspects of it.

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What are you trying to model? Perhaps you are trying to jump to something too hard such as a creature or a tree. Could you model a simple crate? Barrel? Wooden chair?

A barrel, e.g., could be as simple as a cylinder with a few edge loops that are scaled accordingly. If you want to get fancier, try adding some rings around it for braces (normally like 2-4). You could go further and extrude/scale on the ends to make it not perfectly flat.


I had the same issue many years ago when I went through this book (how I got started in Blender):

enter image description here

I did all of the modeling there, but felt like I couldn't build my own things. I think that in the end it comes down to persistence. I'd say I didn't truly get comfortable with modeling for several months (probably 3+) although that is a hard thing to know specifically. Try to learn the tools for what they actually are and what they do rather than the specific use case as in a tutorial. Don't spend your time memorizing hot keys. If you find yourself wasting time doing the same thing over and over again and trying to find it in the UI, then look up the hotkey (often just hover over it) and start using it.


The easiest things to model (at a basic level at least) are going to be things that are not very fluid/curved, so get started with objects that have simple geometry and work up from there.

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Keep going! There was a long period of time for me where I felt like I was learning a lot but still couldn't functionally do anything on my own. After a long time of feeling like I wasn't getting much closer to being a functional blender user all of a sudden I was actually modeling stuff. When learning any complex program one needs to learn the way of thinking that's necessary to use the program well. You can know lots of individual things but until you start thinking about things in the right way all of the little bits of knowledge won't quite come together. Learning the way of thinking about blender just takes time interfacing with it. If you keep going you'll get to a point where things just start to make sense on a whole other level, you'll know how to think in blender and you'll be able to model things.

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If you want to do CGI, then don't give up. People say Blender is hard to learn, and I won't dispute that, but what they tend to leave out is that most things worth doing are hard to learn. Piano takes a lot of practice to master. As does drawing. Photography. (Physical) sculpting.

Two weeks is hardly enough time to learn any art with any degree of depth or complexity. Give it a good while longer. While practice may not make perfect, it does make you better.

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    $\begingroup$ One could argue that mastering blender needs, muxh of that photography skill and much of that drawing skill for support. So its more complex than any of the things you describe. Because its multiple different skills together. $\endgroup$ – joojaa Dec 23 '18 at 0:02
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    $\begingroup$ This is indeed true. I was simply using these things as examples of "Rome wasn't built in a day" sorts of things. $\endgroup$ – Legoman Dec 23 '18 at 1:26
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If you like modelling, don't quit - if you are motivated, keep practicing and you'll get better in time.

Start with realistic goals. Take a simple object from your surroundings, something with a clearly defined geometry, like a light bulb, a screw, a hammer, a bottle, a mug full of pencils... This may seem too easy, but in reality, it's not easy at all. Try to replicate the object faithfully - from the accurate overall shape to the every minute detail you can see. Use calipers to measure the object and make your model with accurate dimensions. Start low poly, but don't stop at that. Be very thorough, almost as if you're doing it in a CAD software. Then focus on the materials and the scene, make it as good as you can, keep your standards high. Don't rush it, if necessary, spend several weeks doing a simple object, until you're happy with it. You're not a professional at this, yet, so you don't have deadlines.

Modelling without a reference object, that is from your imagination, is really difficult and you shouldn't be doing it until you're completely comfortable modelling with a reference. The problem with modelling from imagination is that you think you know how a hammer looks like, but actually, you don't. At least not in sufficient detail to be able to reproduce it faithfully. That's the same problem with drawing: the most important skill you need to develop is the ability to accurately see an object. You develop this skill by modelling with a reference.

Trying to do things that are, at present, too difficult for you, will only have an effect of discouraging you.

That said, make sure you don't get stuck in a comfort zone, doing simple objects for years and years. Make sure your next project is always more challenging than the previous ones.

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i know how you feel, it took me 3 years before i got "BETTER" at blender. and i am still not that good Just keep playing with stuff and watching tutorials. Here is a tutorial that might just help https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgZ8kiISrjE. My thought process runs like this a bit, walk around a store, (or any were) see something you like, and think how you might model it in blender, then go online and search for a tutorial on how to make that thing and if there are none look up reference images and and do your best and just keep trying.

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Never give up on what you are doing. 3D modeling isn't as easy as it seems, two weeks is just a short period to test your skills, It tooks two year for a friend of mine to make his own good model. Start by making low Polly object and scenes. Don't go for hard and real looking models then build you skills step by step, also you need maybe a good hardware too.

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It took me 4 months of endless tutorials, courses, and trial and error almost daily to FINALLY feel 75% comfortable modeling things on my own. After all of that, while it felt like forever, it was actually very fast. It felt like overnight I had absorbed a lot of things I had learned. The brain needs time to fully process new information. I often take week breaks and find that random things I didn't understand before just sort of make sense. Don't give up because it's immediately difficult. Push through and just know that even though it's hard and makes no sense in the moment, your brain is doing additional information absorbing without you actively trying. The number of times I've watched tutorials and 'learned' techniques that made NO sense, I can't count on my hands and feet combined. But when I approached another project, I magically found that something I had watched 1 month ago in a random tutorial now makes sense and applies to what I'm doing. Keep pushing past all the hard parts, and in time they will make sense. I'm a now 6 month Blender user, went from 0 to a decent amount of knowledge that I never thought I was capable of retaining. you can do it!

BTW My first month, almost nothing made sense. Not joking, I just kept doing things and following tutorials despite understanding 10% of what I was being told/shown. Literally, its consistency and just exposing yourself to as much as you can. That's the key in the very beginning. Watch EVERYTHING you can get your hands on. I recommend purchasing a beginners intro to Blender course on Udemy, which should cover all essentials and you will understand what a mesh is, the uses of hotkeys, and other fundamentals. A course on sale which is VERY OFTEN is $10. It's worth it.

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Absolutely not, you certainly shouldn't quit. I've been using Blender since it first became free, and it was a lot more convoluted back then (on obviously worse hardware); it took me a decade to get really good at it. It might have taken only a few years, but in truth, I'd been exactly where you are about a dozen times. My early models were horrifying.

Shortcuts are helpful, but they aren't an end-game solution. I suggest you think of it all as a development process. It's like learning to sculpt or draw. Every time you finish a model, look over it, itemize what you don't like about it, and figure out how to do it right. Then, try again. You need to train your instincts, too, and that takes a while.

Also, forget these guys who insist that you can learn something as vast as 3D modeling overnight, they're trying to sell you something. Even now, every single day I learn something new about that software. There will always be more to learn, and more to do. If you think of Blender as less of an opponent, and more of an adventure, then this will be a lot easier.

I wish you luck in your continued endeavors!

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I will suggest you not to give up on it so fast. I use use Maya for most of my work and I had to switch to Blender , so the only thing which I did was that, I put myself into a situation where I had to model a basic Inorganic Model in 3 days and yes I also saw a few of Blender Tutorials and those 3 days of modeling kind of made me learn those shortcuts and also that modeling a simple model Boosted my confidence . So yeah just hang on there and simply enjoy. Do it your self and you'll finally reach there.

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