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5 Reasons Now Is The Best Time To Learn Blender

5 Reasons Now Is The Best Time To Learn Blender

Put your thinking cap on, it's time to learn Blender!

Maybe you’ve dabbled in Blender in the past, but you haven’t picked it up for a while. With this year’s milestone official release of Blender 2.8 (and now even 2.81), we’re going to take a look at five major reasons why now is a better time than ever to dive into the excellent open-source 3D modeling suite.

Take a look at this awesome example of what’s possible in the latest version of Blender:
With that, let’s get started!

1. Improved User Accessibility

Blender 2.8 brings with it several foundational changes that can drastically improve the learning curve for newcomers. Not only is the interface more intuitive right out of the gate, but it also allows for a greater deal of customization than ever before. Better keymapping options let Blender suit your specific needs and preferences.

One of the most noticeable changes is the shift from the right-click mouse button being the default method for selecting objects. Now defaulting to left-click on the mouse for object selections and right-click for a context menu, users can enjoy a more natural experience interacting with objects (although this can be reverted to the previous method in the Keymap settings menu).

Blender 2.8 also includes helpful Photoshop-esque toolbars for performing a lot of actions previously available only through hotkeys or menu navigations. This will help tremendously in navigating and interacting with objects in Blender. 
Source: Blender | www.blender.org/download/releases/2-80/
Mouse tips now give context along the bottom of the window to let you know the function of certain tools once you hover over them. It's incredibly helpful when learning a deep program like Blender.

The new viewport gizmos make it easier than ever to orient the camera’s view to fit your needs, and you can read more about them here.  

Toggling between the new workspace tabs (similar to workspaces in Creative Cloud apps) make for a much more focused and task-driven experience to bring all the tools you need for a particular job right to the forefront. The Blender website describes this as “what you see is what you need.”

2. Real-Time Environment Rendering with Eevee

Real-time workflows are becoming essential in the VFX industry, and it’s great to see Blender making such great strides to adapt to the needs of today’s artists and studios with new real-time features. Blender 2.8’s advanced Eevee engine makes Blender more powerful than ever before. 

Plus, the shader nodes Eevee uses are the same as those used in the Cycles renderer, so Eevee will give you a much more adequate real-time preview as you go.

Here’s a demo of what it’s like to work with Eevee in Blender 2.8:

3. Much Better Viewport Functionality

Blender’s new Workbench viewport render engine was built to provide a whole host of new optimizations for scene layouts, modeling, sculpting, painting, shading, and more.

You can take advantage of utility overlays that allow you to draw extra data on top of the render for better review and iteration.
Source: Blender | https://www.blender.org/download/releases/2-80/

4. Next-Level 2D Animation with Grease Pencil Sketching

With Grease Pencil, you’re able to push your imagination for VFX to its limits. By having the ability to create complex 2D artwork and animations inside of a 3D environment, you can create incredibly unique scenes that are perfect for pre-vis, stylistic animation, and more.

5. Faster, Easier, and Better Renders with Cycles

Cycles in Blender 2.8 offers to many advancements to users, giving your VFX a completely polished look in an even shorter amount of time than ever before. They’ve added Crypotomatte for easy matte composites, BSDF hair, and volume shading, along with other tools to make your final renders look outstanding.
Source: Blender | https://www.blender.org/download/releases/2-80/
Not only should all these reasons be a great incentive to jump in and start learning Blender, but remember that Blender is FREE and committed to outstanding updates. Download it today to get started, and check out a few extra features in the latest incremental update (Blender 2.81).

Where Can I Learn Blender?

Aside from receiving a formal education in a university or dedicated VFX school, you can find a lot of great paid Blender tutorials on Udemy. And of course, the Blender community is robust, providing thousands of tutorials on YouTube and support in forums, as well.

Last of all, if you’d like to learn how to composite ActionVFX explosions in Blender, we’ve got you covered!

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