The Manual #22 - How I Learn Quick
I learned Blender in two weeks
I shared this tweet at the beginning of March, which included images of some Blender renders I had done. It did pretty well and I received a flurry of questions on where I learned, how I learned, and how did I do it so quickly.
The Blender spark and bust
I’ve been interested in learning Blender for a couple of years. And it all started when I saw cool 3D art on Dribbble and product renders on lemanoosh. I knew how to use design apps such as Sketch and Figma. Surely Blender would be very similar. Piece of cake I thought to myself!
So I open up Blender, had one look at the interface, clicked some buttons and then thought, nahhhhh, this isn’t for me. It was so overwhelming.
This is what you see when you open up Blender. A very uninviting interface that barely sparks creativity. It’s not Blender’s fault. This is how most 3D apps are due to how much complexity there is in making 3D stuff.
So a couple of years went by and I forgot about it.
The NFT boom
Then we had the NFT boom and 3D art was everywhere. There are so many cool looking NFTs out there and some of the best are made in 3D apps like Blender.
My interest had reignited.
But again, I opened Blender, found it too overwhelming and closed it. This must have happened more than 10x.
At the end of last year and beginning of this year, I was very much in a creativity slump. I didn’t find anything I was doing or making all that gratifying. I wasn’t depressed but I definitely felt down.
I had gone through this slump a few times in the past. I knew something had to change. And from experience I knew the best way to do that was to try something new.
The saying “get out of your comfort zone” really rang true for me here and it does push you further. So that’s when I knew I had to sit down and force myself to learn Blender, something I’ve been wanting to do for a while.
Time to sprint
It was time for me to go all in and put some real time and dedication into this.
The one tutorial I kept seeing come up was the Donut tutorial. It seems to be the go-to tutorial for anyone starting out with Blender. To be honest, I didn't care about making a donut. I wanted to get straight into making cool glass cubes and stuff. But I knew that I needed to learn how to use Blender first.
Andrew’s Blender Beginner Tutorial series is by far the best starting point for anyone looking to learn Blender. Make sure to let Andrew knew I sent you in the video comments!
He highlights the 80/20 rule which I think is very relevant. You only need to learn around 20% of Blender’s features which you will end up using 80% of the time.
Anything else can be learned quite easily after you’ve learned the fundamentals.
What’s funny is I never even finished the donut tutorial. I can’t even remember how far I got, but I learned enough to start making objects. I actually took the tutorial twice so that I could learn a lot of shortcuts and features.
I spent around 1 week doing this. Mainly a few hours in the evenings. I set aside some time which would have otherwise been spent playing Apex Legends!
The week after I had gone through most of the donut tutorial, I started scouring the web for other tutorials on stuff I personally would find fun to make. It wasn’t easy, mainly because the Blender community I feel is still quite small so there aren’t that many high quality tutorials out there.
Here are a list of my favourite tutorials.
How did I learn so quickly?
This is what it felt like learning Blender. The learning curve is incredibly steep. But once you get up that initial incline, it suddenly clicks. Things start making sense and it gets so much easier.
There are a few things I’ve realised that helps me learn so quickly:
Push yourself past the difficult initial phase of learning something new. Get out of your comfort zone. You will be shit at the beginning. It can be very off-putting at first as the stuff you make won’t be that great.
Real love for the topic. If you don’t feel passionate about what you’re learning, the drive won’t be there. I loved 3D art and renders. I had the urge to make my own.
Dedication to setting aside time everyday. I loved spending my evenings playing games, watching TV shows…etc. I didn’t like giving up some of that time to learn something that initially wasn’t all that fun. Once I passed the steep learning curve, I loved playing in Blender and started looking forward to making stuff. It was exciting to make something new and I loved doing it more than playing games and watching TV shows.
What’s the end goal?
There is no end goal when it comes to why I’m learning Blender. I’m not looking to take on client work or make stuff for others. I simply wanted to learn a new skill and make cool shit. I’m doing it for the fun of it. Who knows, it may change to making NFTs or wallpapers. If I get good enough it would be cool to monetise my hobby.
11 Premium Desk Accessories
I shared some of my favourite premium desk accessories from the past few months. I love finding new stuff to try. So if you have any suggestions yourself, let me know in the comments.
My first exclusive Apple products
We did it guys. Apple sent me some of their new products before official release so I could share my experiences with you online. It’s a good feeling as it affirms the value of my channel and brand. Hopefully it continues and I hope you all enjoy my videos.
A collection of links to stuff I think are worth sharing.
Link Pop — Shopify have built their own link-in-bio service which can be hooked up to your Shopify store, but it doesn't have to be either!
Most expensive LA home sold for $100m — A great tweet thread sharing how the founder of FashionNova bought the most expensive home in LA. I’ve actually driven by this home myself in 2020, whilst it was being built. I had no idea it was going to be one of the most expensive and biggest homes in LA.
Maildax — If you ever needed a temporary email address for something.
Kalender — A minimal printable calendar.
CreatorKit — Service that lets you quickly make marketing content.
Recut — Remove silent parts from your video or audio, automatically.