KnowHow: Great Educational Resource

Some time ago, Claas Kuhnen announced that he had posted a series of video tutorials that he had produced for his students at Kendall College of Art and Design, where he is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Design. He currently has three different courses posted, all of which are filled with a massive amount of valuable information. Claas is a wonderful instructor. He covers each section in a clear and easy to understand way that makes Blender's rather steep learning curve much easier for new users to grasp. But don't be fooled into thinking that these courses are only for beginners. Even the more advanced user can gain valuable insight into how Blender works as well as some wonderful techniques and tips that you may not have known about.

Blender 3D: Digital Modeling of Organic Surfaces

This series has an astounding 81 videos available at this time. The first 22 episodes are a great introduction to Blender for the new user. In the next 60 or so videos, Claas further reinforces the concepts already taught in the first videos by taquíng the viewer through a series of real life projects. With each project he covers the tools, steps and techniques needed to create clean models. In many of the modeling projects, he shows more than one way to accomplish the same task, giving versatility to his tutorials and showing techniques or work flows that you may not have previously considered.

Modeling projects:
Modeling a Water Bottle (with tips on creating details)
Modeling a Water Bottle (spin/lather method)
Soft Cushioning
Panton Sheet Chair
Bend Plywood Chair
Eames Chair (with both a 4 and 5 star base)
Big Bobby Car
Extruded Wave Table
Solid Pipe Chair
Kayaque (boat shell and rudders)

As the lessons progress there are additional videos covering the more advanced tools and techniques, which he then uses in the modeling projects. This series in particular is invaluable as a learning tool for new users attempting to come to terms with Blender's unique workflow, as well as a good refresher course for more advanced users seeking to incorporate new tools and techniques into their work.

Blender 3D: Product Rendering

This series of tutorials currently has 91 videos covering the wide topic of rendering based on a good image of your product. Since quite a few factors come into play when rendering out an image, Claas covers lights and materials in depth, including UV - maping, compositing, world settings, ambient occlusion and other valuable settings that need to be considered for a good image. Once you have mastered the previous set of tutorials, this series will show you how to polish your project and create great renders.

Blender 3D: Product Animation

This series contains 13 videos so far and covers the basics of key frame animation, as well as some valuable tips for setting up product animations.

Rhino 3D: Digital Product Modeling and Surfacing

Claas alos has a digital modeling series focused on Rhino 3d. This series contains 70 videos and covers many of the same concepts covered in the Blender Modeling series.

Even if you don't use Rhino, the concepts can be applied to Blender rather easily. At any rate, it is always fun to see how something is done in other software and applying it to your favorite software. It is a good series and very educational to watch.

All of Claas's videos are on and can be watched there at the following links or can be downloaded through iTunes (there is an iTunes link on each show page) or other RSS softwares.

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by Sandra Gilbert