Did you know that the film credit sequences of Wonder Woman were created using Blender? We think that’s pretty cool!
Craig Fisk, a volunteer at Elton Primary School in Cheshire, has introduced Code Club Blender projects to his club. He shares with us how he got started and his top tips for anyone who wants to give Blender a try.
Why did you start using Blender in your Code Club?
When I discovered the Blender projects on the Code Club projects website,
I immediately thought, “I have to teach Blender to the children at Code Club, I know they will love it!” I studied 3D modelling and animation at university, so I know how much fun it can be to create and animate things in 3D.
How did you get started?
During half-term, I asked the school IT technician to install Blender on the machines in the IT suite. Then, we were ready to go!
To introduce Blender to the Code Club, I started by giving a little talk at the start of the first session and explained how software like Blender is used in the children’s favourite video games, movies, and TV programmes. Once they heard that, they were sold, and super enthusiastic to give it a go — so much so that they went through two projects in the first session!
We’ve now worked our way through all of the Blender projects, and are starting to work on some more animation projects. My plan is to get them to work collaboratively to create a new scene which they will animate. Each student will build something to put into the scene, which we will then combine, and then they can all have a go at animating it.
What did you learn?
I was impressed at how quickly all the children picked up Blender, as it can look like quite a complex piece of software when you first open it. In the first couple of sessions, I had to make sure to keep reminding them to right-click to select things, but after that, they rarely had any trouble at all.
Do have any tips to share?
The best tip I can give to organisers and volunteers for getting started with Blender is to have a play around with the first few projects. Try to memorise the main controls for panning, rotating, and selecting things in 3D space.
It can take a bit of getting used to, as the controls are very different from most other programs you may have used. If you’ve mastered these, you will most likely be able to solve 90% of any of the issues that the children run into on their projects.
There’s a couple of things to watch out for, like adding a new object into the scene whilst still in edit mode on another object, meaning the two objects get stuck together rather than being separate — but it’s nothing that the ‘undo’ command can’t solve!
Try the ‘Colour a snowman’ project and teach yourself how to colour objects. My students absolutely loved colouring their creations from the get-go!