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When I show Blender to educators, they immediately say show me how you do that so I can use that in my classroom!
When they see Blender's interface for the first time they want to run away. It is overwhelming but once you spend an afternoon with it you discover that it isn't confusing, its powerful and packed with features.
For those of you who have never heard of or used Blender, it is 3D rendering software allowing you to create models for video games, CAD printing, and now a movie! It was the technology behind the OVRP Virtual Bike and did I mention it is Free and Open Source?
I agree it has a learning curve but for many, this is an opportunity to learn a software that is highly applicable to their future career without costing them the thousands for a proprietary software like Maya.
Blender is the perfect software to prove what Patrick and I say about learning technology because you as the teacher have little if any experience with it.
We cannot wait until we are masters or pros to use a technology with the students. There are too many and it would take too long. You should not let that stop you from using it. Show it to your students and they will learn more than you ever thought possible. While the following are not all of the resources out there, these are the ones my students and I have used with success. That is the great thing about the Blender community, there are so many choices out there.
HamsterHill - These are the tutorials that my students started using to learn Blender and they are great, his accent occasionally trips you up but they are easy to follow nonetheless.
IraKrakow - For more advanced topics these were very helpful.
BlenderUnderground - Very well made and high quality. If you are looking to become a master of Blender, these would be a great first step towards professional level knowledge.
Tutorials for Blender 3D - If you are creating a video game or movie with Blender, these tutorials are for you. logic blocks, textures, and the Blender Game Engine are all covered well in here.
Blender Cookie - Excellent suggestion from Black Stormy covering a wide variety of concepts from start to finish as well as those concepts beyond modeling (particles/physics/lighting/etc)
Text Based Tutorials:
Blender 3D: Noob to Pro - An incredibly well done community generated wiki that will take you through all of the essentials. Patrick and I were at a conference together and spent much of our time working through the exercises in this book. It prepared us to make the Virtual Bike tour and Patrick's class' 3D movies. Go step by step or reference it (and yes I know it's spelled n00b, I'm just copying the website).
Keyboard Shortcuts - This is ESSENTIAL! There are so many commands and features possible and you will waste a lot of time trying to find them in the menus. After using Blender for a while you will remember them as well as the other Windows/Mac keyboard shortcuts you should be using.
I'll continue to add to this list as I come across them as I do with my Android, Free Software, Humanities, Math Science, Geogebra, and Programming Resources lists.
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