Blender 3D Tips, Tricks & Training

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ChrisP’s Feature-Packed Startup File for Blender

I have put together a really handy Startup file containing

  • Stage (Seamless & Room w/ individual walls)
  • Lights (3-Point Studio Lighting)
  • Camera (w/ Track-To and Focus Point)
  • Volumetric Dust Particles
  • HDRI (w/ Coordinates Controller)
  • Fixed World Center Empty
  • Shader Preview Orb
  • Materials (Metallic Car Paint, Architectural Glass, Plastic, Procedural Scratches, Dust, …)
  • Scripts (Animation Nodes rendering, Bullet Time Effect)
  • Feature-Packed Compositor Node Tre (Anamorphic Lens Flares, Fake Volumetrics, Glitches, Sharpen, Glare, Color Correction/Grading, Dirt, Vignette, …)
  • Practical Default Settings

The latest version will always be available to download from

Animation Nodes for Blender 2.8x/2.9x

Animation Nodes is an awesome free Add-On for the great 3D software Blender and was created by Jacques Lucke.

I used to publish my own builds for B2.8x here but as of October 2019 I don’t see the need any longer since there are current builds (even with extra nodes!) for Blender 2.8x/2.9x available at GraphicAll

Blender crashes when rendering animations?

The latest buildx of AN has improved this issue drastically, BUT if you still experience crashes when rendering with “Auto Execution” switched on (I found that 1 out of 5 render jobs still crash), then there are several things you can do/try:

  1. Best solution when you are 100% ready to render: Watch the “NO MORE CRASHES!” video
  2. Switch on “Lock Interface” in the Render menu
  3. Bake the animation to keyframes (if possible)
  4. Use “Viewport Rendering”

If you run into other problems with AN you might also want to check my troubleshooting video!

Material Packs for EEVEE & Cycles

Note: Patrons of level Gold Monkey (or above)
get all existing and future (!) material packs FOR FREE!

Or you can purchase material packs individually from BlenderMarket by clicking an item below:


3D Printed Shader v2

for Blender 2.93 / 3.x (Cycles & EEVEE)


Granite Material Asset Pack v2

for Blender 2.92 (and later) with Asset Manager (EEVEE & Cycles)




+ BONUS: Dust-Shader

for Blender 2.8x

Updated Version for Blender 2.9x available for GOLD tier Patrons as a FREE DOWNLOAD!


Silver, Gold, Platinum & Pewter

Procedural Material Pack for Blender 2.8

2x Granite Shader

for Blender 2.8, Procedural, EEVEE & Cycles

Blender Training YouTube Channel

 Click a thumbnail to watch a video:

Camera Culling with Geometry Nodes

In this tutorial we use the Raycast node in Geometry Nodes for culling instances outside the camera’s view!

Discoballify & Keycapify Anything

In Video 1 we use “Instant Meshes” to create the perfect topology for “discoballification” of any object. 

In Video 2 we create keycap art based on the mesh of the 1st video using Animation Nodes.

Geometry Nodes Donut

Let’s create a delicious donut but only use Geometry Nodes and other modifiers!

Part 1 …

Part 2 …

Part 3 …

Art Directed Ambient Occlusion

powered by Geometry Nodes

See/Render Geometry Nodes Attributes

“Normals” Attribute in Geometry Nodes

and how I made some sparkly sequins animations

Array Modifier GOOD for Geometry Nodes

Geometry Nodes + Animation Nodes

… and why the Array Modifier is (sometimes) bad 😉

Geometry Nodes: A 1st Look (2 Videos)

Introduction to GN & Point Distribution:

Attribute Workflow:

Animation Nodes for Video Effect

In this crazy tutorial we use the crazy “Marching Squares” node in crazy Animation Nodes to create a crazy video effect. Crazy!

Intro to “Marching Squares”

In this tutorial we use the “Marching Squares” node of Animation Nodes to create an organic, looping animation based on Metaballs!

Making a Dyson Air Multiplier AM07 Tower Fan


Non-Destructive Modeling in Blender 3D

Part 1 – Base Top:
Part 2 – Base Stand:
Part 3 – Base Motor:
Part 4 – Wing:


Instances From Collection

Blender + AN + Physics Tutorial

In this is a follow-up to “Pillow Fight” (see below) you will learn how to randomly instance objects from a given collection, how to animation physics attributes and how you can use Blender’s particle system inside of Animation Nodes.


Blender + AN + Physics Tutorial

You can use Animation Nodes instead of particle systems to give your objects (like cloth sim pillows) random starting locations and rotations AND to get even more control over the physics properties (like random, animated pressure values)

Blender Physics + AnimationNodes Tutorial

This is a walk-through of 3 different .blend files showing Animation Nodes, Physics, Materials and more 

Visualize CSV Data

In this video I create a 3D heatmap of a 2-dimensional data set.


Let’s take a quick look at “Actions” in Animation Nodes: An easy way to copy keyframed animations of other objects, follow splines, add random motion and more!

Particle Nodes: First Look & Thoughts

The “New Particle Systems” of the “Everything Nodes” development are finally starting to appear in Blender 2.91 and I am taking a first look and have some thoughts about it…

Visualize Real-World JSON Data

3D Charts / Graphs from JSON data in Blender & Animation Nodes

Disgusting Animation Nodes

Intestine, Bowel, Gut, Alien, Tentacles

MORE Nondestructive Modeling

Create mechanical parts with a minimum of mesh

Introduction to Animation Nodes

Tutorial Series for AN Beginners

01 How & Why …
02 Node Trees …
03 Data Types …
04 Inputs to Outputs …
05 Object Instancer …
06 Falloff …
07 Animate …
08 Mesh & UVs …
09 Groups & Loops …
10 Materials …

Find Shortest Path

Animation Nodes Tutorial

Practical Cloth Sims

Part 1: Cloth Sims 101
Part 2: Pressure 1
Part 3: Pressure 2
Part 4: SkyDancer
Part 5: Clothing

Bullet Time Effect

In this video I’ll show you how to quickly and easily create a camera fly-around which – since the first Matrix movie came out – is also known as a “bullet time effect”!

Particles Emitting Particles Emitting Particles…

In this video I will show you 

  • how to emit particles from particles … from particles … from particles
  • how to change the material based on the age of a particle
  • how to have particles follow a smoke simulation
  • and how to have certain particles only be affected by certain force fields

Logo to Stained Glass Window/Mosaic


Full Tutorial:

How to make SNOW FLAKES

and other Fractals in Blender

TLDR (60 seconds):

Full Tutorial:

Animation Nodes for SCI-FI HUDs/UIs

In this tutorial series you will learn how to build REUSABLE subprograms in Animation Nodes and create cool SCI-FI HUDs!

Thor Ragnarok Bifrost Bridge 

EEVEE Material in Blender 2.8

Free Video Tutorial

Beam Me Up!

Animation Nodes + EEVEE in Blender 2.8x

Free Video Tutorial

Samsung Note 10+ Aura Glow

EEVEE Procedural Material Study
Blender 2.8x

Huawei P6 Brushed Metal

EEVEE Procedural Material Study
Blender 2.8x

Sci-Fi Body Scanner Effect

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

Procedural Material Study: Redmi K20 Pro

Advanced, 100% procedural EEVEE Material

Infinite Particles Loop (“Plexus Effect”)

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

Sci-Fi Laser 3D Printer Effect

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

00:22 … 3D Print
04:40 … Random points on printed surface
09:00 … Lasers (Animation Nodes)

Single Axis SubDiv

Parametric Non-Destructive Modeling

3 more tips for modeling the camera lens of the previous videos including using a Bevel modifier to create parametric subdivisions on 1 axis only.

Slow AutoFocus with Animation Nodes

Simulating a slow manual focus pull or laggy continuous auto-focus using the free add-on Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 (EEVEE and Cycles)

Parametric Non-Destructive Modeling Practice

In these 2 videos we discover how we can use modifiers in Blender to create – and later modify – objects in a non-destructive way to create a product visualization of a camera lens.

Part 1:
Part 2:

Product Visualization in Blender 3D

3. Parenting, Instancing, Arrays & Variations

This video is about some “technical” stuff in blender – useful (not only) for product visualizations!

  • Parenting – how and why
  • “Transform Modifier”
  • Instancing using Empties
  • Array Modifier + Instancer Mesh
  • Random Variations using Animation Nodes

Product Visualization in Blender 3D

2. Plastics

We look at how to create a clear plastic that doesn’t darken objects behind it,  play with SSS (Sub-Surface Scattering) and use per-material AO (Ambient Occlusion) to bring back some contrast for a more pleasing final product presentation!


Product Visualization in Blender 3D

1. Lighting

In this first video of the series we take a look at how to quickly and easily improve lighting for product shots by creating highlights and shadows to show shapes, surfaces and materials and how to create a nice, seamless surface for the product to sit on.

EEVEE Reflection Catcher

Based on the concept from the last video we create a “reflection catcher” for EEVEE.

Tags: Blender 2.8 EEVEE, Reflection Plane Probe, Compositor


Improved Reflection Catcher in Blender Cycles

In this tutorial I show you how you a few tricks how to create a really nice looking “reflection catcher” for Blender Cycles!

Bonus Tip @ 33:22 … How to remove HDRI reflections from a ground plane while keeping them on the main subject

Watercolor Effect + Ink Outlines in Blender 2.8

 In this 2-part tutorial series I show you

  1. how to create a simple, reusable Toon-Shader
  2. how to create interesting black ink outlines using the built-in “Fresstyle” feature
  3. how to use the compositor to create a watercolor effect, put everything together and make it look like a painting on paper

Part 1:

Part 2:

Blender 2.8 – Answering Community Questions

00:30 … Fixing Crashes in Blender + Animation Nodes
06:30 … AN for Blender 2.8
07:16 … Hardware
08:52 … Smooth Shrinkwrapping
13:39 … 3D Handwriting/Drawing Effect
14:24 … Change Color, Alpha and Size of Particles over their lifetime

3D Handwriting/Drawing Animation

Some of my subscribers have asked how I have made my Logo Signature Intro that I have used in all of my latest videos.

In this tutorial I show you step by step how it’s done.


Rotating Multiple Objects on their Normals

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

00:30 … What’s the problem?
01:56 … “Direction to Rotation”
08:56 … Putting it all together
23:10 … Examples

Remove Unwanted Reflections

in Blender Cycles

In this tutorial I show you how to remove specific reflections from certain surfaces while keeping perfectly placed highlights exactly where you want them … perfect for Product Visualization! (Shadow and Reflection Catcher)

3D Animated Halftone w/ Colors

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

Adding color to the photo halftone effect from the previous video!

You should watch the “3D Animated Halftone Photo” video first 😉

3D Animated Halftone Photo

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

In this video tutorial I show you how to use Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 to create a Photo Halftone Effect in 3 dimensions.

Check out the next video on how to add colors!

More Fun with Audio

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

Taking the “memory” concept from the last video to the next level to visualize music in 3D

Audio + Peak-Meter

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

In this tutorial video we create an animated audio-spectrum visualization using Animation Nodes and add cool peak-level markers!

Flying Letters

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

Motion graphics (mograph) e.g. for a logo signature animation of movie production company.

Making Waves with Math

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

In this Animation Nodes video tutorial you will learn how to move objects based on very simple mathematical functions.

EEVEE Shadow Catcher Hack QuickTip

This is a quick tutorial on how to fake a “shadow catcher” in EEVEE.

High Voltage

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

Here we use Animation Nodes to create curves and randomly displace their control points for a lightning/spark effect.

Wiggle It

Animation Nodes in Blender 2.8 Tutorial

This video is the start of my Animation Nodes tutorial series for Blender 2.8.

In this first part I show you how to install and set up AN and then use some very simple but effective nodes to randomly move a bunch of Meta-Balls around for an interesting effect.

Render Multiple Cameras

to Various Image Resolutions

In this video I am going to show you how you can automatically render multiple cameras – even with different backgrounds and various lighting setups – to separate files with varying resolutions! 

Silver Gold Platinum Pewter Material Pack

for Blender 2.8 EEVEE + Cycles

 In this video I show you all the features and how to get the most out of this shader pack.

Materials available at:

Copper Material Pack

for Blender 2.8 EEVEE + Cycles

In this video I show you all the features and how to get the most out of this shader.

Material available at:

Volumetric Logo Animation with EEVEE

In this video I create a logo animation with interesting volumetrics and a cool looking lens flare in Blender 2.8 EEVEE

Practical UV-Mapping

“How to put labels/stickers/bumps on hard surface models”

In my last video I showed you a timelapse and some tips on hard surface modelling.
I got several requests on Youtube and in various Facebook groups about “how do you do UV mapping and create all the labels by hand?”

So in this video I will show you that process.

Blender Hard Surface Modeling

Tips, Tricks and Time-Lapse

In this video I take you along my journey of creating a detailed model of a ZOOM H4n Pro Audio recorder.

I show you some time-lapse recordings of the ~30 hours of work plus many useful tips and tricks along the way!

Quick Tip Tutorials  &  First Looks at EEVEE

#b3d Playground

Lookin' Good

Check out my material packs at

and spiff up your own renders


Support my caffeine addiction and

THX – You rock!


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