About this website…..       

I’m doing this mostly for me, or at least some equivalent of me. This website’s ambition is to hold the information that I would have wanted to know if I was growing up now instead of in the 80’s and 90’s.

What is this thing? It’s got one black eye









Almost everything was hardware based then, it was tape, it was 4 tracks, if you needed an add-on or a plug-in then get ready to work all summer to get just one thing from the list.

These days however, all you need is a basic computer and almost everything else is open to you. If you know where to look and how to use it, that basic computer can become a massively powerful studio. Time and imagination become your main investment instead. Of course if you hit the big leagues or your enthusiasm is peaked and find you start making some serious money or enjoyment off of the investment then well, feel free to support the free products by donating or buying the companies peripheral products. No pressure and everyone’s a winner, both audience and practitioner alike.

Perhaps you are speculatively learning outside the restriction of a typical application’s one month trial period, not wanting to commit thousands of pounds but do intend to keep your options open to jump into other tools and resources. You’ll be pleased to know that many of the techniques and theories are application neutral and can be transferred to more expensive software. Any of those techniques or features that are application exclusive that you feel you may need to rely on no problem, most of this can be used supplementally or installed onto a studio computer, it is mostly free after all.

It’s probably worth mentioning that just because something is free doesn’t mean it’s cheap and/or not valuable (although it’s easy to see where the association comes from). This is why i’m trying to help to get to the crux of what you need to know before you squander any more of your time (Or what would have been my time as I mentioned at the beginning).

I’ve tried to keep where possible the tuition ideas practical (there aren’t many just now though). This way I think it’s more fun, and most likely the most benefit will be achieved from example not necessarily just theory. Helping to expose real world problems that may be encountered.

The ‘next to nothing’ pun from the website title is intended to acknowledge that your time is not ‘nothing’. This is also to not close down potential software/hardware/resources that may be of interest to you (and me) just because they might be a few pounds and pence/dollars and cents.

Much of what I intend to cover will be possible on both a pc and a mac. I’d like to try and explore music videos, 3d animation and short film, plus game asset and environment creation. Honestly the techniques, ideas and software develops and changes that fast that it will be difficult to keep up and there’s a lot to cover. I’m using all this as a chance to better myself and explore these things more thoroughly in the process of trying to pass it on. Please feel free to post comments and help me with this,  put me straight where you think I need it, offer alternative methods or support, and explore these ideas and themes with me. Thanks for listening!

About me…

The open source world is incredibly vibrant, and in the 3d world Blender sits atop of this pedestal in my opinion. It’s a swiss army knife of tools and so will most likely feature the most prominently throughout the site. Besides which it is the application I feel most qualified to talk about because it features in my workflow in the studio that I work at. What I choose to use the most from these applications day to day.

Other, much more expensive tools usually form the bedrock of used software of most professional studios, where I work is no different. The bread and butter tools along these lines that appear in a typical work day for me are Maya, photoshop, zbrush, and a few other peripheral tools for example crazybump.

Here are my basic stats. I live in the North of England, UK. I tend to have a few irons in fires, with the band ‘The British Expeditionary Force’, the production company that is an extension of the BEF the handheldcineclub and I’ve worked in the games industry for about the last 5 years, I currently work as an environment artist for a games company that is under the wing of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment.

During that time I came across Blender and it’s new interface. I was looking at starting up a home studio for audio and visual projects and working out how much everything would cost. I quickly found myself looking at a list that totalled on the wrong side of 5000 quid.

Open source was a bit of a vague concept at that time, but watching how these open source applications bring in contributions from the community and how they benefitted so much from informing and being informed definitely made me appreciate that it didn’t just simply mean ‘free’.

Collaboration and connectedness is a cornerstone of what makes a person feel good, and open and transparency can tease out the best in someone. This is why hopefully this will all be an education as well as a sort of repository of ideas and concepts of work. To reiterate please give me your feedback and help me to learn and refine these ideas as well.



 As a side note…If you should be unfortunate enough to have to suffer through this awful early iteration of this website while i’m testing things out then please rest assured that this is VERY temporary, in the coming weeks it should start looking lots more sensible and stocked up with the basic info I want to get across. With some actual proper content slowly trickling in.

  • Steve

    Hi I see your post on I wish you all the best with this site. It is always good to see blender tutorial sites and even more so from the UK. Good luck.

  • Thanks Steve! It’s obviously early days but i’ve a lot more planned! Anyone can feel free to post suggestions or future ideas of what to include. Thanks again.

High quality tuition and resources for low cost, free and open source creation software