I have 0 experience with any 3D application. I was told to start looking into it as I have been looking for a quality hobby.

Today I found Blender that seems like it might be a good place to start (and it's free too!). My problem is where do I start? I want to learn the ins and outs of Blender as well as all the terminology that has to do with 3D but I prefer reading books than working through tutorials.

So my question is, if I were to get this book: https://store.blender.org/product/blender-for-dummies/ would I be able to learn the basics of blender from scratch while still understanding the terminology involved in 3D applications?


  • $\begingroup$ I think it should be mentioned here that I (and many others) don't agree with metaphor_set that new users should always start with the Blender Internal render engine. I don't think this deserves a whole new answer, as metaphor_set's answer is spot-on otherwise and I have already covered this elsewhere in its own question so I am leaving it as a comment. $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Sep 28, 2016 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


You probably won't get many recommendations about books here, because they would be very opinion-based.

A long time ago I myself thought that books about software are way better than tutorials. After a short while I gave up on them.

My main reasons were that

  1. books about software (especially FLOSS) become outdated quite fast.
  2. most of them go through a tedious description of all the functions without showing much about how to use them properly.
  3. doing more complex tasks often require techniques that won't be shown in most books unless they are written with the advanced user in mind.

My recommendation for beginners:

  • Start by learning Blender's basic functionality by watching video tutorials (like this one by Sardi Pax). Seeing things in motion teaches you much more about complex software than just a bunch of screenshots with some paragraphs of text that are possibly stretched over several pages.
  • Learn the basic techniques like extruding, subdividing, connecting different primitives, then proceed to basic materials (colors, textures, shaders). Start with Blender Internal renderer before going through complex Cycles tutorials.
  • Start with basic models and work your way up. Do not expect to be able to create complex 3D models, renderings or animations after two hours, days or even weeks of reading a book or watching tutorials. Every 3D software is complex and Blender is no exception.
  • Be prepared that learning 3D modeling isn't something that's ever completed.

You also should check out the link in Shady Puck's comment above (Resources for Blender). It's a constantly growing source.

Some "big" names you might want to check out are agenzasbrothers, Andrew Price from BlenderGuru, Gleb Alexandrow from CreativeShrimp, masterxeon1001 and Darrin Lile (he's in the link collection Shady Puck mentioned above with some very good tutorials about character creation and animation). Most of these guys are producing new videos at least on a monthly basis and some also have informative stuff on their websites.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for this, I guess I will start at the video tutorials and hopefully I can get somewhere with that. $\endgroup$
    – zalebot
    Sep 28, 2016 at 9:30
  • $\begingroup$ @zalebot - You will, if you keep going. I expanded my answer and mentioned some "big" names with high quality video tutorials you can watch for free on youtube. $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2016 at 11:51
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @zalebot I strongly disagree that new users should get started by using the Blender Internal render engine. If you are planning on using BI then by all means learn it, but it is not a "stepping stone" to cycles. (The differences between and uses of BI and Cycles is a whole other question though.) $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Sep 28, 2016 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ @PGmath - Everyone makes different experiences and according to many, many questions on BlenderSE regarding 3D game assets Blender Internal is still a valuable learning experience. It's also really easy to learn and to build on. So without any further explanation of the OP's goals, let me take the liberty of strongly disagreeing with your opinion. $\endgroup$ Sep 28, 2016 at 14:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @metaphor_set I didn't say it has no uses, I just wanted to let the OP know that there are many people who don't think it is "simpler" and should always be learned first. (Personally I don't find it "really easy" at all, it drives me nuts). $\endgroup$
    – PGmath
    Sep 28, 2016 at 15:00

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