Deaf, and Trying to Learn Blender. I really need better written documentation and tutorials

I’ve been trying to learn Blender lately, but there are several things that limit my ability to make this an effective process:

  • I work as a Machinist
  • I work 5 days a week
  • I’m burned out
  • I’m in my late 30’s
  • I’m Deaf

I used to be a prolific illustrator with Clip Studio Paint, but with financial realities in America screwing me over, I’m in this position where I have to work as a machinist babysitting CNC Mills for a greedy billionaire who won’t even give his workers more PTO than the state minimum.

But I’m sure everything will work out just fine. Right?

Anyway, if you were paying attention, you probably noticed that last bullet point: I’m Deaf. So, getting to the point, video tutorials aren’t very good for me. Even with captions.

I have to keep looking between three different things as the video plays: Blender, the Video, and the Captions, as I go along to try to follow what the video is showing me. So I have to look at Blender to try to replicate what’s being done, and while I’m doing that, I’ve missed thirty seconds of dialogue and demonstrative footage.

These tutorial videos are great for when you have working ears. You can hear the presenter mentioning hotkeys without needing to look at the video.

No, what I need, for the limited amount of time I have every week (and weekend), is written documentation that works well. When I’m babysitting the CNC Mill at work, I have anywhere between three to fifteen minutes of downtime waiting for the machine to finish the part. This is a good time for me to flip open my phone and read through a written tutorial so I can internalize the information before I try to practice it in Blender when I go home and set aside an hour to fiddle with it before I go to bed.

As opposed to…trying to follow along a nearly two-hour-long video? Yeah nah, written tutorials please.

If I’m sounding entitled, it’s because I bloody well am feeling a bit entitled after having to put up with humanity’s violent, sudden pivot away from proper, decent documentation to a multimedia-focused information ecosystem that makes it hard for a tired late-thirties deaf guy to learn anything new to advance himself.

It’s frustrating, to say the least.

I would be grateful if the Blender dev community made an effort to overhaul their documentation system to allow for better (and ease of submission) community contributions, in addition to perhaps having a focused effort to properly document the fundamentals and the intermediate stuff in a way that works for teaching people. And, for me, videos are not documents. Written articles are. Written tutorials are documentation. Written explanations, glossaries, and hotkey tables are documentation.

Videos are not.

That is all.


I sympathize, I had this problem of finding good written documentation lately in AMD ROCm stack, and even in the Linux kernel… this is really a sad trend.
It’s even hard to find up-to-date and quality books.

P.S. when contributing to a free software project, all the care in the world should be taken to have all leaning levels, from the grossest vulgarization to the code itself, covered, intertwined and weaved.
A learner should be able to find each deeper layer easily and progressively should they want to invest more time into the subject. And most of all documentation should be written in literate English, either fun and easy to read, or so well technically written that you can forgive it for not being fun!
Still, I think that Blender does quite a good job at this, compared to the others.

I can understand your issues. I really don’t think that their are actual good readable tutorials online than there are videos. But, I can at least suggest you this comprehensive list of Blender related websites:
Some of these might still be videos, but trust me, you may happen to find valuable short and tiny Blender related blogs from here. An example of very good short tutorial is:

Extra objects is an in-built add-on in blender.
However, I must say that you shall face a hard time learning Blender. Unfortunately the Blender docs are mostly for reference, but not for learning for beginners.

Will you be able to learn from this website?
Seems like a very good tutorial with explicit images and GIFs to me:

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This is precisely the kind of format I was looking for. Thank you. Now if there was one for sculpting…

I have a desire to learn blender because I can’t afford the commercial software. Plus, I plan to sell kits produced through 3D printing, and maybe try to move into game development down the road (or failing that just modeling, rigging, and animation).

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+1 for better documentation.

The current one is lacking in the visual department, you can go on and on for pages without a single picture describing what’s going on, just walls of text, that doesn’t say much, or are too technical to grasp.

Meanwhile if you don’t mind spending a lil bit you can look for these 2 books:

  • Blender secrets e-book ($40): 1360 pages featuring 456 tips and short step-by-step tutorials for Blender 2.8, 2.9 and even 3.0
  • Blender - The Comprehensive Handbook ($60): 17 chapters explaining almost every button’s function + hundreds of tips & tricks spanning over ~900 pages .(for 2.79b, the author is working on an update to the newer blender versions)

As for sculpting related written tutorials, this is the only one I could find.

Also worth noting, there was this documentation project update, but it was more on the technical side of things rather then the actual content itself.

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Thanks for the links. I found one for Blender 3.0 that is releasing in March, so I’ve preordered that. I can wait a month.

I also just installed blender to my Surface pro, so I’m going to be trying to study it while on the go.

I can sympathize. My ears are not too good either and because of language barriers I need to turn up the volume quite loudly on video tutorials to understand what they’re saying. However I often can’t do this, because I’ll wake up my family (for me blender is a hobby, I do it in the evenings).

I’d prefer better written tutorials as well. But I found out you can make-do with video+captions as long as you use the pause button a lot.

It’s not much help, but I can tell you from experience that this is not actually true for most tutorials. Most tutorials rely on displaying the hotkeys on the screen, and they don’t say them out loud. It’s annoying that these displayed hotkeys often interfere or are hidden by the generated captions. Sometimes you can trick the video player into the wrong aspect ratio so the captions are outside the video surface.

But I can tell you that even if I can use the audio, I need to pause the video for every explained step to be able to keep up.

Two great, encouraging things:

  1. Many, if not majority of the high quality Blender tutorials can be found on YouTube these days. The times when the best quality tutorials were gate-kept on private websites are slowly coming to an end.
  2. YouTube’s auto-caption has gotten incredibly good. If the tutorial narrator’s pronunciation is at least somewhat good, the algorithm makes very few mistakes. Sometimes you will see a mistake here and there, but they are really easy to get over because the context is often very clear.

As an example, play this video (check this channel btw, as it usually refers to lots of great Blender YT tutorials):

and enable the autogenerated closed captions. You will be surprised how great the AI based auto-caption is.

So with the combination of YouTube hosting tons of great high quality tutorials these days and the auto closed caption AI being so good, you should have more than enough content to watch.

Furthermore, I think if you explain your situation to the higher quality commercial Blender tutorial creators out there, I think at least some of them would be willing to upload their tutorials to YouTube as private, password protected videos so that YouTube’s auto caption AI could run through them, and you could watch those too. If I was a commercial tutorial created, and someone contacted me with such a request, I would not be opposed to arranging that.

The problem is that to start learning, you usually need general points and simple examples.
This in writing is relevant for programming, since it is all text.
But when working with the GUI, it’s easier to prioritize video
The text can also provide general points on the interface and logic of use.
But I think it will be difficult to explain things in the text, selling line in sculpting
Writing a complete guide with examples
For beginners
And quite detailed.
It’s more like asking me to write a book…
I know there are 3d books
Some started their education with books…
but that was decades ago…
when, apart from books, there was nowhere to gain knowledge
I don’t really know what to suggest

Some generic advice:
Watch a video tutorial with captions turned on. Do NOT try to follow along. Just watch and observe what is going on.
Then, watch it again with captions on and pause frequently so you can follow along and repeat the steps.

Trying to fit actual learning into a 3-15 minute interval sounds both challenging and unproductive. Side note: I used to have a job like this. I kept a paperback novel nearby for those brief breaks. Reading fiction in tiny bites works, but I would not try anything complicated like organic chemistry or Blender.


Depends on the level and experience. On there are a dozen written tutorials to get started with blender. They are authored by professional teachers and used in schools on a daily basis.

You are also welcome on for help

Will give it a look. Thanks.

I’ll take a look at that website when I get a chance. Currently tied up with a few things. Got it bookmarked.