A taste of reality in Blender

Baby Fred gets a Taste of Reality

I got the life belt and managed to catch my breath. I stabilized enough to move on to the next part of my journey as a beginner.

My “mentor, guru guy” suggested I get out of the water, dry off and get working. I was happy to start with the “real stuff”.

I had gone through tutorials and done lots of reading about Blender. This gave me a reasonably good idea of what Blender was about. I had done very little practical work on Blender itself and I was eager to get stuck in. My “mentor, guru guy” insisted I do the theory first and he was right as I later found out. I underestimated what it would take just to get started. I felt the painful thump on my head when I hit the ground after falling out of this dreamy cloud of what I thought 3D was.


It might sound like I should not be involved in Blender if everything seems so difficult. It should all come naturally, right? Like a duck to water. Anything done well, needs work, even if you are talented and so it is with me and Blender 3D. I must work at it to become the 3D specialist that I want to be.

I opened Blender and looked at this cube staring back at me. What was I supposed to do with it?

Nothing I had read about in theory seemed to have stuck in my head. This was a whole new journey. The good thing is that as I moved ahead, the theory part of my studies paid off. It helped me when I could refer to what I had learned during that time. It was not time wasted after all, as I came to learn.

Can I really do this?

I really wanted to be given a practical task so that I could struggle through it. I felt that in that way I would find my way around Blender. I am a practical learner and prefer a hands-on method of learning. So, my “mentor, guru guy” gave me a task and I was ecstatic. I was ready to climb in and show him I could do this on my own. Again, as were so many times before this, I was wrong. The little I thought I knew was only but a little drop in a huge bucket of water! I have such a far way to go, I thought.

I was given parts of a model to draw. This was a 3D puzzle which I had to physically build and then take each part, as I was building it, and draw it in Blender 3D.

Parts cut out of plywood need to be modelled in Blender

The 3D parts came on a wooden board. The board had to be scanned as it was going to be brought into Blender as a background image. I would refer to this board as I drew each part or “object” as it is known in Blender. The idea was to start with the simplest parts – no more complex than a rectangle – and graduate to more intricate parts.

My first hurdle came up very quickly and I had got stuck before I even started. So much for doing it on my own. I needed to find out how to bring a background image into Blender. I needed to figure this out before I could even think of starting to create objects.

Just bringing in the background image brought up lots of questions but let’s tackle one thing at a time.

There are many tutorials online which tell you how to bring in a background image but I could not find the one that answered my question. So, off to “mentor, guru guy” I went, screaming for help.**

First, you need to set up Blender according to your project requirements. Then you save the start-up file so that it comes up ready for you each time you open Blender. “Go set up your Blender file to millimetres”, said “mentor, Guru Guy”. That is all. I had to go figure it out for myself. Gee, couldn’t he just tell me how to do it?* I thought to myself, feeling very frustrated. The emotions are tested when you are a beginner and want to be spoon-fed everything

*Here’s how to set things up in mm…

** Here’s how to set up reference images

Once I understood how to set up the starter file in Blender, I was able to move on and draw……………….Yeah right!!!

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