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Should I use/learn Blender 2.44?

I know I will probably catch flak for asking this question. But I have not continued my self-paced Blender training with any diligence ever since the interface changed. I picked up my The Essential Blender: Guide to 3D Creation with the Open Source Suite 2007 by Roland Hess and started to get excited again. But as I move forward I feel if I ask for any help, I will be scorned for not using close to the latest version. Is there an underground 2.44 group somewhere out there? :-D I guess that was 2 questions

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    $\begingroup$ that will be like learning how to ride a horse preparing to participate in F1 race. $\endgroup$ – Chebhou May 12 '16 at 19:32
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    $\begingroup$ No, I would not use 2.44. I suggest the latest version of Blender for future compatibility and communication here at BSE. Many books are out of date before they are printed. Not necessarily the cause of the author of the book. If on other other hand you want to isolate yourself, then use of Blender 2.44 would be an effective way to do that. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger May 12 '16 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ Learning about Blender is a worthwhile [challenge] no matter what path you take. Clearly people discuss topics at BSE partially because Blender.org chooses to leave documentation, in major part, to 2nd and 3rd parties. Fine. You can not expect any aging and frozen book with one author to convey all you might want to know about modern 2016+ Blender. You probably want to know information that would be provided by multiple authors and sources where you can select to keep and discard ideas. I am a very pro written book person, and I would select videos/web 49+% of the time for Blender. $\endgroup$ – atomicbezierslinger May 12 '16 at 19:59
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    $\begingroup$ If you are starting to learn blender it makes no sense to use an old version. By the time you learn to use blender and want to move on you'll have to start over. A lot of things have changed since. Most of the interface works differently, projects made in 2.44 might not open in current versions. And the most important thing: I'ts very unlikely that folks on this site will be able to hep you when you have question. My advice: foreget about that book and start by looking at the resources on this page: blender.stackexchange.com/questions/15355/resources-for-blender $\endgroup$ – cegaton May 12 '16 at 20:01
  • $\begingroup$ @atomicbezierslinger keep in mind that the blender foundation is far from a big corporation. Making the software available for free and relying on donations I'm sure doesn't leave much cash lying around to have paid writers. $\endgroup$ – cegaton May 12 '16 at 20:20
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Downsides to using blender version 2.49 or older:

  • Interface is very different than versions after 2.5

  • Materials are set up differently, some of the functions have other names.

  • Animation and rigging will not translate properly to newer versions.

  • Keyboard shortcuts are different.

  • Most modern plugins will not work. Python scrip terms and versions might not be compatible.

  • Unstable, and has more bugs.

  • Possible incompatibilities using modern hardware or modern Operating Systems

  • No Cycles rendering possible.

  • Lacks major features to reduce time consuming tasks.

  • Some tutorials will use features you have, but you will have trouble finding them.

  • Many users on BSE, and on-line forums will not be unable to help you, as a lot of use never used that version (Surely a few have though)

  • Harder to find support.

  • If you find a bug, or blender crashes, you cannot report the crash/bug, and will have to find really old topics for help, or just end up working around the bug.

  • Generally not a good idea

  • Once you master the old version, you'll have to forget what you've learned and start over to learn newer versions.

Upsides to using older version:

  • Perhaps some features you loved are there that they removed (and if there is you can probably find someone made it into a plugin somewhere)

    • some plugins for older formats only work on older versions.
  • A different look.

Feel free to edit in other upsides/downsides.

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  • $\begingroup$ Going back that far may have impact on the forward compatibility of .blend files. I have trouble opening some of my characters from that era. $\endgroup$ – Kirbinator May 13 '16 at 3:32
  • $\begingroup$ This is all great input and I appreciate the insight. However, it's not enough to sway me yet :-) 1. I love the old interface and actually made a few things with it. I have yet to make anything with 2.5 or greater. 2. This was made with an old version of Blender vimeo.com/21910518 and I don't plan on making anything quite as epic :-) $\endgroup$ – blickfang May 13 '16 at 14:51
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I would say that a very high portion of users here have never used blender before 2.50, the people that did use 2.49 or earlier back in the day would most likely not have used the older version in several years (2.50 was released in July 2010 - 6 years ago) so you will most likely not get very much help with questions specific to the older versions. This is especially relevant with anything python related, python in 2.49 and 2.50 is extremely different and the use of python has increased substantially since 2.50 so I wouldn't expect you to get any useful response to a 2.49 python question.

That means the book you have will be your biggest source of help.

Having said that, I will say that most of what you do learn can be used in a new version of blender. There have been a lot of new additions but apart from the cosmetic makeover which means you will need to find the new location of things, what you learn can still be used in 2.77.

I would suggest you go over a quick introduction to a newer version like CGCookies blender basics and then try doing the tasks in the book using the new version. If you come here and say "I am following an old tutorial and I can't find the subdivide multi option" then someone will tell you how to find it.

If that example got you curious, in 2.49 the specials W menu had subdivide, subdivide multi, subdivide multi fractal and subdivide smooth. In 2.77 we only have subdivide and subdivide smooth (both of which are the same operator with different options), but we can adjust the options used to get the same functionality as 2.49. Either at the bottom of the toolshelf region or the floating panel by pressing F6.

operator options

And that is one of the changes you will notice, some actions in 2.49 would bring up a dialog for you to adjust the values to be used. Now default options are used and you can choose to adjust them if you wish. Where in 2.49 we had to undo and redo entering different values, now we just adjust the values after and the changes happen dynamically.

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No. There are many features that are not in Blender 2.44, and there may not be as many books, but there are ample wiki pages, YouTube Tutorials, and otherwise good stuff to learn from on the interwebs. Download 2.77, start with people like tutor4u and the blender.org tutorials. Use the Cycles render engine, not Blender Internal (long since outdated). And most importantly, stick to it. Your biggest enemy will most likely be any possible breaks in your dedication.

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It all depends on what you're looking at accomplishing, and how familiar you already are with 2.44. If a task is totally within the capabilities of 2.44, go for it.

One thing I will say is the pre-2.5 Blender was rock-solid, and barely took any memory at all. In fact, that's why I first started using Blender, which was around the same time as you.

Now the 2.7x releases are pretty awesome, but I will admit they crash a little more often, and (call me an old man) but I'm wary of modelling with n-gons. I know, I need to embrace change. There's still lots to like in 2.7x, particularly, the new(ish) NLA system is one of the most underrated features.

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