As I mentioned in my previous in-depth post, I am doing 3D modeling and animation for my project this year. So far, I have had lots of fun following beginner tutorials and learning how to do simple things in Blender. To be more specific, so far I have created a doughnut with neon glowing icing dripping over the edge, a simple simulation-animation of a golden ball destroying a plank building (which took 30 minutes to render despite only being 5 seconds long), and learnt how to texture a cube with an image texture!


Here are the pictures (and animation) in respective order:


The Building Collapse! Click Me!


At this point, I am happy to announce that I have successfully found a mentor for in-depth! My mentors name is Greg Berridge and he works at SONY Pictures Imageworks, here in Vancouver; he has contributed to the creation of very popular movies such as Spiderman: Homecoming and Kingsmen: The Golden Circle with visual effects! At the moment Greg is busy with work, so we haven’t met in person yet, but we plan to schedule a meeting sometime soon. Although we have not met in person yet, we have communicated via email and kept in touch. We plan to arrange a meeting soon, when Greg is not as busy. Since we haven’t had a meeting yet, I am unable to provide much information regarding how my mentor gained their current knowledge on 3D modeling and animation, what the experience was like, and the wisdom they gained.


Instead, I am going to talk about my experiences to date with Blender. First and foremost, when using Blender always keep in mind the Pareto principle (more commonly known as the 80/20 rule). What this means is that for 80% of the results, only 20% of the tools are used. This is important because you don’t need to know what every single button does, since 80% of the results just come from 20% of the tools- so just have a solid understanding on the basics and slowly broaden to the outer reaches of the software, and you will be fine! The reason I am telling you this is because when I first opened the program, I panicked when I saw the complicated user interface and all the buttons there were. After spending lots of time fiddling around and pressing everything, I still didn’t know how to insert or delete a simple cube. Or sphere. Or cylinder. Or any other shape for that matter. When I first stumbled upon this 80/20 rule, I realized how accurate and true it was based on my creations to date with Blender. You would be surprised how simple it is to create the models and animation in the picture above. When you see a complicated interface, just remain calm as 80% of the buttons will be practically useless for 80% of the creations you can make.


In the near future, I imagine that my meetings with my mentor will help me become a more effective mentor because I will be able to use the teaching techniques my mentor used on me. By incorporating them into my future teachings and tweaking as necessary, I will be able to facilitate my mentor skills and be more effective and efficient in passing these skills to the mentee. I am excited for my first meeting with my mentor, and look forward to learning from them.