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I'm a behavorial ecologist, and work with an animal that does a visual display. I came upon blender as a way to make 3d models to animate and test receiver response - for example, showing an animal the display where different parts of it vary a little bit. I'm a little overwhelmed with all that blender offers, and where to begin to learn. I have in real life videos of an animal doing a display, and want to build an as life-like as possible rendering of that that I can manipulate. Should I start with modeling? I don't want to build my own animal from scratch - can blender use video that I have to help me build a model?

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I am a bit concerned about the reason why you need to do this. Is this for your research work? If yes, I guess it adds some constraints on your project, as I suppose you can't spend months or years just learning how to do 3DCGI. Because that's the thing you will have to do in order to be able to "build an as life-like as possible rendering of that that [you] can manipulate". Do you also want to be able to manipulate it in an interactive manner? That would probably require even more work...

If you were not aiming for "life-like" rendering and manipulable, that would be way more reasonable. It would just be a few weeks or months of learning to get your assets ready to rumble. But "life-like" is really on another level of mastery.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks so much for your comment and thoughts - this is exactly the sort of feedback I'm looking for. I would need this for research, and while I could spend months learning and practicing, I don't have years. And honestly I'm not sure exactly how life-like I need this to be. The frogs I'm working with respond to very crude physical models, so it's possible a not-entirely life-like video model would suffice. In any event, I contacted our digital arts program to see if students were looking for a project I could learn alongside them. Thank you again for your feedback. $\endgroup$ Oct 6, 2021 at 13:33

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