Creating 3D art is not only timely, it can be very expensive. Thankfully, one of the best 3D softwares around won't cost you a penny – with open source software Blender, everyone can get involved. 

Not only is it free, there are also hundreds of brilliant Blender tutorials online to help you get to grips with the powerful software. Improve your modelling, animating, rendering and compositing skills as you follow the projects and pick up tips from leading 3D designers in these video and text tutorials.

For ease, we've grouped these Blender tutorials into three sections, so that as well as browsing the whole list, you can jump straight to the guides that are most relevant to you (use the drop-down menu above to navigate to the page you want). Read on to master one of the best 3D modelling softwares around…

Blender tutorials for beginners

01. A guide to Blender v2.8 Beta

If you're about to start working with the latest version of Blender, be sure to check out this helpful Blender tutorial from Blender expert Andrew Price, aka Blender Guru, which showcases the new interface, shortcuts and functionalities of Blender v2.8 Beta. 

02. Blender tutorial: First steps

If you're using a slightly older version, take a look at this navigation overview, the first in a series of free Blender tutorials from the Blender Foundation. There are 41 short courses in total to help you master the fundamentals of the software, including interface overview, creating meshes and subdividing surfaces. 

03. Blender basics: shading and lighting

Before you start creating anything in Blender, you need to master the basics. This 20-minute video tutorial will walk you through Blender's shading and lighting features, and shows you what you can do with them.

04. The basics of realistic texturing

In another offering from Andrew Price, he reveals the secrets of realistic texturing in this detailed Blender tutorial. Discover how to take a texture and create some variations of it, using Photoshop or a Photoshop alternative, then putting them into Blender. Want more? Price has a whole host of excellent Blender video tutorials on his YouTube page.

05. Creating meshes

In this video, the Blender team run through how to create a mesh – an object made of polygons. Here you'll learn the difference between a polygonal mesh, and a NURBS surface, and why modelling with polygons is a preferable option. 

06. Character animation toolkit

character animation

Learn the basics of character animation

In this series of lessons, Blender artist Beorn Leonard explains all the fundamentals of character animation in Blender. Highlights include working with timing and spacing, overlapping motion, animation walk and run cycles and understanding IK and FK.

07. Lighting and baking workflow

Get to grips with the complete workflow for setting up lighting for an outdoor scene. In this tutorial you'll learn how to bake light for a blazing fast render, taking 14 seconds per frame rather than eight minutes.

08. Greenscreen masking for VFX

Add some Hollywood flair to your projects. Here you'll learn the basics of masking and chroma keying in Blender – just the thing for mixing real world footage with CG via a bit of green screen action.

09. Introduction to rigging

Lee Salvemini is kind of a big deal in the Blender community. He worked on Sintel, Elephants dream and spent two years on Star Wars video game titles for LucasArts. In this free video tutorial for Blender Guru, he presents a complete beginner's introduction to rigging. The video above is part one of the series, with parts two and three available on the Blender Guru site.

10. Introduction to camera tracking

Blender comes bundled with an awesome feature called Camera Tracking. Camera Tracking is a process that involves using real footage and tracking its motion so that 3D elements and VFX can be added to it. This tutorial, again from the brilliant Blender Guru, gives you a complete beginners introduction to what this tool is and how to start using it right now.

Next page: Cheatsheets for creating objects and scenes

11. Animate text in Blender

This brilliant text effect Blender walk through comes from the team at tutor4U. The video demonstrates how to make an animation of vines growing to form a word and techniques that might be helpful when creating your own 3D typography. 

12. Model a complex 3D city scene

An illuminated city street at night

Creating a city scene is hard work, but these tips break the process down

Creating a detailed city scene is no small undertaking, and requires a significant amount of repetitive, and sometimes boring, modelling actions. Rather than just enumerating point by point what he's doing, in this 3D World tutorial Mateusz Wielgus breaks down his workflow into pieces and presents them as a series of general steps and tips that you can easily follow.

13. Create a morph between two shapes

Morphing an object from one shape to another smoothly is an impressive 3D trick to be able to pull off, and in this quick tutorial from Blender Nation you'll learn not one but two different techniques for creating an amazing shape-shifting effect.

14. Create a spaceship

In this two-part video-based Blender tutorial from Blender Guru, you'll learn how to model a concept spaceship; how to use your own sketches as reference; and how a combination of modifiers can aid you in modelling. The Blender Guru site also has concept sketches and the finished .blend file to help you get to grips with it. And you can find part two here.

15. Create a realistic planet Earth

This tutorial uses several textures from NASA to create a realistic planet Earth using Blender Cycles. The tutorial from Blender Guru shows you how to create easy texture mapping for spheres; how to use maps to make more convincing materials; how to create a realistic sunflare entirely in Blender; and how to add glow, colour grading and a warp effect in the compositor.

16. Make realistic bread

In this easy-to-follow tutorial, discover how to make tasty-looking bread in Blender, using displacement, subsurf scattering and more.

17. Model a low-poly T-Rex

Low-poly T-Rex on a screen

Create your own Jurassic Park with this easy to follow tutorial

This hour-long beginner tutorial walks you through how to model, uvmap and texture a low-poly T-Rex in Blender.

18. Animate a flame using materials

In this superb Blender tutorial, Bassam Kurdali shows how procedural materials and the software’s compositing tools can create movement.

19. Create an energetic fire and water scene

Blender tutorial guru Andrew Price returns to show you how to simulate real-world flame and fluid effects. His digital weapons of choice? Enter Blender’s fluid and smoke simulators…

20. How to enhance a game level environment

In this video-based Blender tutorial, 3D expert Christopher Plush shows how to create low-overhead in-game effects that won't tax your players' machines.

Next page: Essential pro techniques

21. Create stunning tileable textures

Wooden and stone house in fantasy land

Make your own tileable textures with the Dynamic Topology system

Blender's Dynamic Topology system is, amongst other things, a great tool for creating nice-looking, tileable textures. In this tutorial, Pierrick Picaut explains how to create stylised wooden and stone tileable textures from sculpted surfaces.

22. Rig a 3D vehicle

Futuristic combat jet

This vehicle rig makes the most of bone constraints

Discover how the rig for this futuristic combat jet was created with this expert animator’s insights. You’ll learn how a bone constraint works in Blender and how to set it up, and also how a bone constraint affects the animation skeleton.

23. Create a realistic water simulation

This Blender tutorial by Andrew Price shows you how to create realistic fluid effects and render it using the new Cycles rendering engine.

24. Make animal fur with cycles and particle hair

Jonathan Lampel demonstrates how to use multiple particle systems to add realistic hair to an animal and how to easily set up a great looking fur material using Cycles’ new hair shader.

25. Photorealism explained

"If you're a CG artist hoping to work in the industry, photorealism is the most important skill you can focus on," says Andrew Price on Blender Guru. "It not only helps you to learn and understand how real life looks (a crucial step for creating cartoonish exaggerated styles), but is also highly in-demand for Hollywood, gaming studios and new industries." Price's guide lasts for nearly an hour, but is packed with helpful tips and tricks.

26. Animate a circular swipe

Bassam Kurdali's video explains how to set up a clock face-style swiping action using the popular open-source 3D package. You can also download the accompanying project files for this tutorial.

27. Camera mapping

Here, Andrew Price explains everything you need to know to do camera mapping using Blender.

28. Fun with rigid bodies

Bring the destruction! Andrew Price demonstrates how to go wild with Blender's rigid body simulator, making a chain, a wrecking ball and a load of stuff to destroy in an entertaining manner.

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Blender tutorials: 28 ways to upgrade your 3D skills
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