Apply Your Child’s Love of Minecraft to a Real Skill…

My son is in the midst of Minecraft mayhem. Every boy in middle school that he knows lives and breathes Minecraft in some way.. If you have a boy- I am sure you just… know.

The designing if buildings, cities, and train stations keeps his mind busy for hours- some of those when he needs to be sleeping. This craze will surely wear off, but what then?

Maybe you have a grade schooler or high schooler who is in the same boat as my son. How do you translate this dare I say design skill to be something usable in the future? Maybe Minecraft came at the right time in history to allow this generation to take hold of 3D design skills and rush in READY for the 3D Printer revolution?

There is no cost involved with learning 3D design

Here’s the deal-You can spend 1000s of dollars on a 3d design program, or you can set your child up with something that has AMAZING capabilities, for free. The open source coding community has a program called BLENDER that you can download right now. It is a full 3d Modeling, render, and animation tool that is used by 1000s.

As with any tool, especially one with design, there is a learning curve. That’s where the investment of a book can be a lifesaver and a bootstrap to get going.

Blender Master Class

Cover of Blender Master Class bookI had the opportunity to receive a copy and review a book called BLENDER Master Class from the No Starch Press. What this book does is take you through 3 complete rendering projects to learn how to use the tool. This is not a full class on animation, but a tool to learn how to make something look real (again, a 3D Print designer primer!)

Although the included DVD includes all of the project files, the book walks you through the creation of 3 distinct projects:

  • A robotic spider
  • An ancient temple ruin scene
  • A scary muscular bat guy

Example Blender Master Class book content

(Technical phrases below- beware- but be impressed )

The book is an excellent use as a primer for learning the Blender user interface.  It teaches modeling, blocking in models, complex forms, sculpting brushes, working with organic models and textures, painting the created models, (they showcase a free image editor called GIMP) and lastly how to RENDER the models in imagery.


The included DVD is a wondrous help- as it provides many of the daunting pieces that would be time consuming for a student to do- and lets you stick right to the learning.blender4

What I was impressed with is the number of times that a well versed 3d designer like author Ben Simonds goes through to create a lifelike creature. This book makes the process simple- but, it’s not easy!!


What age is Blender Master Class for?

If your son or daughter seems to be graduating from video games and Minecraft, and is in, at least, 7th grade, I would recommend this book- accompanied with plenty of associated computer screen time!

This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to No Starch Press who provided the product for review.

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My name is Susan, and you have to take what I say with a grain of salt. I live and breathe all things Akron, like to spout out about what I have no business discussing, and would love for you to follow us on facebook. Or better- get my rants via email or RSS every day!
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