Free Curriculum for Teaching Blender 3D at School

If you are an EdTech-oriented teacher and want your students to get a head start in the fast evolving field of 3D creation, this Blender Curriculum is for you. 

The curriculum includes a detailed lesson plan to guide your students through the basics of 3D using free software Blender. Following the curriculum, you and your students will quickly master theoretical concepts and get a plenty of hands-on practice much needed by 3D beginners.

It is based on a framework used by Precision Exams and Washington State Animation Instructors, realigned to match the CG Cookie Beginning Blender Modeling Curriculum. 

Guiding Students to Independent 3D Creation

Completing the curriculum will give your students the ability to create independently in 3D, from models to animated scenes.

The curriculum was created by a seasoned 3D instructor and the crew at CG Cookie, a digital art learning platform with a decade of experience in teaching Blender. 

Blender is Free Software, Perfect for Students Learning 3D

Blender is the world’s most popular open-source 3D software. It has been used to create Nintendo games, HBO shows like WestWorld, or feature films like NextGen by Netflix. NASA has used Blender for 3D models as well. 

At the same time, millions of 3D learners are making Blender their software of choice. Blender is free, easy to download and runs of nearly any operating system. 

You can download the latest version of Blender here.

30-Hour Curriculum, Designed by a Professional 3D Teacher

Teaching anything isn’t easy unless you have a plan. This Blender curriculum is a structured, tried-and-tested approach to teaching Blender efficiently and effectively, created by a professional educator.

Students who complete all lessons will be able to model, shade and texture projects at an intermediate level of difficulty. They will have an excellent understanding of the fundamentals of 3D and be well equipped to move on to advanced concepts.

Curriculum Design: What’s Inside?

The Curriculum is designed around 3 core units, each containing a set of lessons that build on each other. 

Each lesson is linked to CG Cookie videos which introduce, explain and demonstrate the core concepts. Each lesson summarizes key training in bullet form and contains tips for instructors, indicating areas to focus on. The lessons also contain recommended student assignments and activities, as well as key new ideas introduced and learning targets. 

A detailed overview of the Curriculum can be found at the end of the "F.A.Q." section.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is CG Cookie? 

CG Cookie is a learning platform which has been training digital artists for the past 10+ years, teaching them the skills necessary to be successful in the modern creative industry. Read more about our mission to inspire artists.

What is Blender and what can I do with it?

Blender is a free, open-source 3D creation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline—modeling, rigging, animation, simulation, rendering, compositing and motion tracking, even video editing and game creation. (Blender.org)

What can students learn with CG Cookie’s Blender Curriculum?

Students will become confident with the essential concepts of Blender. They will start working with the interface to create 3D Models, learn how to set up a scene and color their models with materials and textures.

What age range is the Curriculum meant for?

The curriculum is meant for students between the age of 16-35, i.e. 7th grade students and above.

That being said, learning digital art is not exclusive to an age bracket. CG Cookie has members younger than 13 working with their parents and some members creating incredible work at the age of 80. It comes down to each student’s maturity level, interest in the subject and persistence to learn a little bit each day. 

CG Cookie is a paid platform: will I need to buy membership?

To complete the curriculum with maximum efficiency, we highly recommend that you purchase a Group Account for yourself and your students. Units 2, and 3 of the curriculum are based on CG Cookie’s premium (paid) content. Our group rates start at $14/month per student, with a free instructor account. 

The curriculum is free to download and you can complete Unit 1 using our content for free.

How long will it take students to learn Blender?

The curriculum is designed to ease students into the process of working in 3D with Blender. No prior knowledge beyond the standard use of a computer is required.

Most students are able to create models right away. The quality of their modeling and animation is dependent on the student's computer skills, grasp of the concepts and time practicing with the blender program.

Curriculum Overview with Lessons

Curriculum Unit 1: Getting Started with Blender

Lesson 1: Introducing Blender. Welcome, What is Blender 3D, Installing Blender

Lesson 2: Navigating Blender’s Interface.

Lesson 3: Working in 3D with Blender

Lesson 4: Moving Things around with Blender

Lesson 5: Practice 3D Modeling

(+ Pre-Assessment, Continuing Projects and Grading Rubric)

Curriculum Unit 2: Intro to Modeling with Blender

Lesson 1: Object and Edit Mode

Lesson 2: Editing Objects

Lesson 3: Subdivision, Extrusion and Loop Cuts

Lesson 4: Bevel, Inset and Knife Tools

Lesson 5: Orientation & Object Data

(+ Pre-Assessment, Continuing Projects and Grading Rubric)

Curriculum Unit 3: Intro to Lighting, Texturing & Rendering

Lesson 1: Materials, Rendering

Lesson 2: Materials and Textures

Lesson 3: Lighting

Lesson 4: 2D and 3D Texture Painting

(+ Continuing Projects and Grading Rubric)

Interested? Let's talk!  Learn about CG Cookie’s offer for schools and reach out to chat about how CG Cookie can power your classroom.

  • josua92

    Is there also a curriculum for self study? Something like a list of exercises/homework you can do after every course you have completed (e.g. mesh modeling -> list of objects you can model; from simple to difficult). At the moment, there is usually only one exercise after each course. There should be way more exercises/homework/self study exercises.

  • crew
    Kent Trammell

    josua92 Currently we have Learning Flows as the main form of self-guided learning. Flows are made of sequential courses, many of which contain exercises but not all. Have you looked into Flows to see if that fits the self-guided approach? https://cgcookie.com/categories/3d/flows

  • josua92

    theluthier Yes, I'm already using the Learning Flows. Those are great, but I thought it would be great if there would be more exercises included. Because one exercise alone is not a guarantee that someone understands the technique or is able to apply the learned content for his/her own purpose!

  • crew
    Pavla Karon

    josua92 You could start a community thread and share tips on further projects with others, our crew will also chip in --> https://cgcookie.com/topics

  • kalanen

    Great initiative! I may have my own dog in the race (since I only learn by teaching), but I'm so going to deep check this one!

  • Rafael Oseguera

    OMG, OMG, OMG :O
    You guys are the best

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