Getting Started With Blender for Modeling and Animation
We've written before many times about Blender, which is a powerful open source 3D modeling, graphics and animation application, for which there are many community-driven resources. Blender is in fact so powerful that it's been used to create very professional looking full-length animated movies.
The web, and the Blender.org site both have many Blender tutorials, and the free online book "Blender Basics" is a great place to start with the application. There are also many fee-based books on Blender, and a new one is reviewed here. Still, Blender is one of those open source wonders for which the free resources are easily as good as any fee-based ones.
As we've covered before, if you have the time to spare, Tufts University's free online course on Blender is absolutely outstanding. The Tufts free online Blender course is broken up into Learning Units, as seen here, and if you go through the whole course you get 68 hours of education.
The Tufts open courseware may represent more of a time commitment than some people want, though. To get going with Blender very quickly, the free online book Blender Basics remains the best way to go. It's been updated and appears in a new edition since we last expored it. With it, in a couple of hours you can get some solid 3D modeling and animation skills under your belt.