Blender Basics

Let's learn about the basics first

Arriving at their first port, Glaciers, our 3 voyagers find their first clue. 

The objective of this port is to introduce you and the Explorers to Blender Basics and have an understanding of how to use Blender generally.

In this lesson, you’ll have to learn what Blender is and its many functions. This will help Sibo, Leo and Nelly to design the treasure chest using Blender as a tool.

Hover on the icons that appear below to uncover more about this port

What is Blender

Let's find out more

Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software suite that can be used to make: 

Animation films

With animated films, characters, locations and landscapes are created and manipulated to add movement as though they are life-like. Images are either drawn, painted or created by computers.

An example of animated film such as or the opening video you watched in the Welcome section of this course. Below is a clip from another animated movie that was produced using Blender.

Visual effects

 

Blender has a built in compositor. This means that you can code in nodes to create camera effects as shown to the right.

Art

 

You can create digital art using Blender 3D sculpting and modelling. 

Gaming

Blender can be used for Game development. You can use it for modelling characters, environments and props. Modelling can be very time consuming, this is why Blender can be very effective in this process. Games developed with Blender include Quiet Basement and The Arcade.

So we learnt about the main uses of Blender in the media and entertainment industry. But the power of Blender is unlimited and can be used across so many industries, essentially wherever you need beautiful 3D images or animated characters. 

Now let’s learn about what Blender can do. This will be important for our 3 explorers – Nelly, Leo and Sibo – to understand as it will help them complete their tasks on this port. 

Features

Of Blender

Modifiers assist in building the geometry of objects. Modelling or design becomes the base of an object. Sculpting then enables the object to be shaped. 

The video below shows a time lapse of a face model created in Blender.

 

 

 time lapse of a face model created in Blende

This is the process of generating an image from a model. We create the model on the left, then we render the full 3D image on the right.

 

A variety of  brushes are available in the tool to allow you to layer and sculpt characters or objects in a multitude of ways. 

Transforming a model into a character that moves or poses using animation

Control camera tracking and movements in the tool, to create effects of a life like video or film

A built in video editor enables you to edit and create videos or films with full audio visual capabilities. Craft your video using the timeline to create your story.

A built in Blender text editor, allows for the writing of scripts which covers audio and visual elements for creating videos or films.

A script helps you plan out your movie or advert etc.

Let's recap

Next up

So you and the Explorers have figured out what Blender is and what it can do (it’s features). 

Now let’s find out more about 3D modelling. We’ll need to know these basics before we can start creating the treasure cheset. 

Click on the #3 icon below to go to the next topic. 

Pain Points – specific problems that prospective customers of your business are experiencing. In other words, you can think of pain points as problems, plain and simple.

 A User – is any person that interacts (by inputs) with a program without having to write the code directly. For example, you are the user to the code that makes your browser/website run. When you clicked on this pop-up, that was the input that made this explanation come up when the code detected it.

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All learners who are aspiring web developers will have an opportunity to build a website for a live NGO or charity client as part of their community service hours. This project will be run jointly with Community Hours – so all your time spent counts towards your LO credits. This event is suitable for learners, parents and their teachers.

TechWays will be providing the WordPress course and web dev resources for free to any learner wanting to participate. 

Besides the amazing community service you’ll be doing for a charity in need – you’ll also be building your portfolio of web dev skills. Who knows – web dev could become a side hustle for extra income?

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Indentation – In the written form of many languages, an indentation or indent is an empty space at the beginning of a line to signal the start of a new paragraph.

Text editor – is the part of the IDE where you write the code. Most text editors highlight words with different properties like functions to help you distinguish them from one another. 

Homogeneous – of the same kind; alike throughout.

Heterogeneous – diverse in character or content; containing different things

Prompt – to  cause or bring about; to make something happen. For example making someone to say or write something.

Troubleshooting is a form of problem solving, often applied to repair failed products or processes on a machine or a system. It is a logical, systematic search for the source of a problem in order to solve it, and make the product or process operational again.

String Built-in Functions/Methods

There are a lot of strings functions/methods in Python. Find full list in course manual. Here’s are some that you find useful in this course:

Functions

  • len(varName) – Returns the length of a list, string
  • join(varName) – Converts the elements of an iterable into a string.

Methods 

  • varName.capitalize() – Converts the first character to upper case.
  • varName.center(length) – Returns a centered string
  • varName.count(“?”) – Returns the number of times a specified value (?) occurs in a string (varName).
  • varName.endswith(“?”) – Returns true if the string ends with the specified value.
  • varName.find(“?”) – Searches the string for a specified value and returns the position of where it was found.
  • varName.format(placeholder = value) – Formats specified values in a string.
  • varName.index(“?”) – Searches the string for a specified value and returns the position of where it was found.
  • varName.isalnum() – Returns True if all characters in the string are alphanumeric.
  • varName.isalpha() – Returns True if all characters in the string are in the alphabet.
  • varName.isascii() – Returns True if all characters in the string are ascii characters.
  • varName.isdecimal() – Returns True if all characters in the string are decimals.
  • varName.isdigit() – Returns True if all characters in the string are digits.
  • varName.isidentifier() – Returns True if the string is an identifier.
  • varName.islower() – Returns True if all characters in the string are lower case.
  • varName.isupper() – Returns True if all characters in the string are upper case.
  • varName.isnumeric() – Returns True if all characters in the string are numeric.
  • varName.isprintable() – Returns True if all characters in the string are printable.
  • varName.isspace() – Returns True if all characters in the string are whitespaces.
  • varName.istitle() – Returns True if the string follows the rules of a title.
  • varName.ljust(value) – Returns a left justified version of the string.
  • varName.rjust() Returns a right justified version of the string.
  • varName.lower() – Converts a string into lower case.
  • varName.upper() – Converts a string into upper case.
  • varName.strip() – Returns a trimmed version of the string.
  • varName.lstrip() – Returns a left trim version of the string.
  • varName.rstrip() Returns a right trim version of the string.
  • varName.partition() – Returns a tuple where the string is parted into three parts.
  • varName.replace(“old”, “new”) – Returns a string where a specified value is replaced with a specified value.
  • varName.rfind() – Searches the string for a specified value and returns the last position of where it was found.
  • varName.rindex() – Searches the string for a specified value and returns the last position of where it was found.
  • varName.rpartition() – Returns a tuple where the string is parted into three parts.
  • varName.rsplit() – Splits the string at the specified separator, and returns a list.
  • varName.split() – Splits the string at the specified separator, and returns a list.
  • varName.splitlines() – Splits the string at line breaks and returns a list.
  • varName.startswith() – Returns true if the string starts with the specified value.
  • varName.swapcase() – Swaps cases, lower case becomes upper case and vice versa.

String Special Characters

There a number of special string characters that have different functions when used inside ” “. Here’re some useful and common ones:

  • \n – Newline – Everything after it goes to next line.
  • \t – Horizontal tab – creates a tab space, similar to when you use ‘tab’ on keyboard.
  • \b – backspace – deletes the character before the it.
  • \r – carriage return – same as \n

In programming Concatenation is a process of appending one string to another. 

\ – escape character is a string character that tell Python that the next character after it should be taken as a string and not as an instruction.

str ( ) is a built-in function that converts and sequence of characters (numbers especially) in to text. 

Mad Libs is a phrasal template word game created by Leonard Stern and Roger Price. It consists of one player prompting others for a list of words to substitute for blanks in a story before reading aloud.

type ( ) is a built-in function (still to cover what built-in functions are later) that determines the Data Type of any data presented. 

input ( ) is a built-in function (still to cover what built-in functions are later) allows a user to insert info into a program/the code. 

print ( ) is a built-in function (still to cover what built-in functions are later) that executes data inside the brackets. The results get printed out on the console/results section.

Integrated Development Environment – A digital environment used to develop games, software, hardware, that offers integration from debugging to compiling. 

Variables

More about variables

Info about variables

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#WOW – What Outstanding Work – Awards: join us to learn from our students. 

Our top 20 learners are from St Andrews for Girls, Reddam Umhlanga, Evolve Online, Nova Pioneer and Sutherland High

Learners will be presenting their final projects. Come celebrate their successes and lessons learnt with us at our TechWays #WOW Awards.

This event is suitable for learners, parents and their teachers. Book your spot HERE

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Calling on all high schoolers interested in tech as a career. Join us on Thursday 22 September at 5:30pm.

 

We will be sharing:

  • Some “hot button/in-demand” career pathways – including Automation
  • the skills needed to access these careers
  • some of the job realities in these careers

There are only 100 spaces – so book your spot now – please RSVP here Book

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Calling on all high schoolers interested in tech as a career to join us on 16 September at 5:30pm. If you missed it, we’ll host another one on 18 November. 

We covered the following:

  • general tech career tips
  • a few “hot button/in-demand” career pathways and jobs
  • the skills needed to access these careers
  • some of the job realities in these careers

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We will be talking to Noelene Kinsley from GC Network. Noelene has been specialised in the exciting career of Genetic Counseling and wants to share her passion for making the world a healthier place using genetics….and data science technology. 

Let’s hear more about the trends in the health/genetics industries, where jobs are moving to and what kind of skills you’ll need in this exciting world of opportunities out there. 

This event is suitable for learners, parents and their teachers. Book your spot HERE

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We will be talking to Jason Suttie from Devson. Jason has been in the tech world since he was six years old. He headed IT innovation unit at RMB and has since left to start up his own software consulting company – solving problems and building solutions for clients around the world. 

Let’s hear more about the trends in the software and programming industries, where jobs are moving to and what kind of skills you’ll need in this exciting world of opportunities out there. 

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