Blender Lesson Plan:
Virtual Quest #1: Blender-Monkey Head


Aleksandr Degtyarev

Grade Level:


external image belnder1.jpg

Brief History and Background:
Blender is the open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License.
Originally, the program was developed as an in-house application by the Dutch animation studio NeoGeo (not to be confused with the NeoGeoNot a Number Technologies (NaN); the main author, Ton Roosendaal, founded NaN in June 1998 to further develop and distribute the program. The program was initially distributed as freeware until NaN went bankrupt in 2002.
The debtors agreed to release Blender as free software, under the terms of the GNU General Public License, for a one-time payment. On July 18, 2002, a Blender funding campaign was started by Roosendaal in order to collect donations and on September 7, 2002 it was announced that enough funds had been collected and that the Blender source code would be released. Blender is now an open sourceBlender Foundation.

The popularity of Blender has reached approximately 250,000 users using Blender worldwide, and support is widely available. Most users learn Blender through tutorials that various users have written, others learn Blender through many discussion forums on the topic. A popular forum for Blender discussion is Elysiun (
A primate (L. prima, first) is any member of the biological order Primates, the group that contains all lemurs, monkeys, apes, and humans. The English singular primate is a back-formation from the Latin name Primates, which itself was the plural of the Latin primas ("one of the first, excellent, noble"). Colin Groves lists about 350 species of primates in Primate Taxonomy.
All primates have five fingers (pentadactyly), a generalized dental pattern, and a primitive (unspecialized) body plan. Another distinguishing feature of primates is fingernails. Opposing thumbs are also a characteristic primate feature, but are not limited to this order; opossums, for example, also have opposing thumbs. In primates, the combination of opposing thumbs, short fingernails (rather than claws) and long, inward-closing fingers is a relic of the ancestral practice of brachiating through trees. Forward-facing color binocular vision was also useful for the brachiating ancestors of humans, particularly for finding and collecting food. All primates, even those that lack the features typical of other primates (like lorises), share eye orbit characteristics, such as a postorbital bar, that distinguish them from other taxonomic orders.
A monkey is any member of two of the three groupings of simian primates. These two groupings are the New World and Old World monkeys of which together there are nearly 200 species. Because of their similarity to monkeys, apes such as chimpanzees and gibbons are sometimes incorrectly called monkeys. Also, a few monkey species have the word "ape" in their common name. Because they are not a single coherent group, monkeys do not have any important characteristics that they all share and are not shared with the remaining group of simians, the apes.
Monkeys range in size from the Pygmy Marmoset, at 10 cm (4 inch) long (plus tail) and 120 g (4 oz) in weight to the male Mandrill, almost 1 metre (3 ft) long and weighing 35 kg (75 lb). Some are arboreal (living in trees), some live on the savanna; diets differ among the various species but may contain any of the following: fruit, leaves, seeds, nuts, flowers, insects, spiders, eggs and small animals.
Some characteristics are shared among the groups; most New World monkeys have prehensile tails while Old World monkeys do not; some have trichromatic colour vision like that of humans, others are dichromats or monochromats. Although both the New and Old World monkeys, like the apes, have forward facing eyes, the faces of Old World and New World monkeys look very different though again, each group shares some features such as the types of noses, cheeks and rumps. To understand the monkeys, therefore, it is necessary to study the characteristics of the different groups individually.
The name monkey may come from a German version of the //Reynard the Fox// fable, published in around 1580. In this version of the fable, a character named Moneke is the son of Martin the Ape. The word Moneke may have been derived from the Italian monna, which means "a female ape." The name Moneke persisted over time likely due to the popularity of Reynard the Fox.
A group of monkeys may be referred to as a mission of monkeys or a tribe of monkeys.


Teach Student Software Interface for 3D modeling, Animation (Blender).


Student will familiarize themselves with Blender Interface by searching for Pre-installed Monkey Template, and augmenting it to their hearts content.

Students will familiarize themselves with a layout to a very powerful 3D program. They will use their curiosity and intuition to find the monkey template. There is no right or wrong way to get to it. Naturally the first student to find this template will share their rout to discovery. However, it does not stop there. Students must now figure out how to individualize the monkey by augmenting its features using the countless tools of the program.
Students will use their eyes and hands in this process of interface interaction.
Students will learn that there is no one way to get to a result and that community based learning will yield quicker ways to get to a destined goal. They will observe that only once they get to that objective goal can the process of individuation begin.

Resource Materials/Visual Aides:
Tutorial Book

Interface Tutorial AVI. Video:
Official Blender Site
elYsiun - Official Blender User Support Forum
BlenderNation - Fresh Blender News, Every Day
Links to Blender Sites from the Official Blender Site
Blender Development Wiki
Video Tutorials for Modem Users
Greybeard's Video Tutorials Site
Blender plugin repository
BlenderWars - Large Number of Sci-Fi Blender models/galleries/forums
Blender photo gallery
Blender Battles - Speed modelling contests
Blender Projects - OPEN Movie Project Community

One computer per student equipped with Blender Software. VLC Player. Tutorial Video. And Headphones.

Teacher Preparation:
Download Software (Blender). Make sure it is the current update version as new versions come out almost every month now. Familiarize themselves with program interface by doing tutorials. Research background and history. Make a worksheet for students on simple key interface that they may refer to and investigate. Make screen shots of example (the monkey), so students know that it exists. Download any necessary video, image files that may facilitate better learning. Refer to Avi video presentation. Make sure all computers are equipped with proper software to run all programs.

Who likes free stuff? Well what if I was to tell you that an equivalent to a several thousand dollor program that you may have heard of called: MAYA exists?
It is an Open Source program developed for people like us who don’t have several thousand dollars to dish out on programs. Why or what is open source? Why learn a 3D program? Who can tell me the benefits and draw backs of this way of thinking? Who can tell me why they think the monkey is the symbol that is used in this program as a template example?
Software is not the only field affected by open source; many fields of study and social and political views have been affected by the growth of the concept of open source. Advocates in one field will often support the expansion of open source in other fields, including Linus Torvalds who is quoted as saying, "the future is open source everything."
The open source movement has been the inspiration for increased transparency and liberty in other fields, including the release of biotechnology research by CAMBIA and the encyclopedia named Wikipedia, as well as later projects. The open-source concept has also been applied to media other than computer programs, e.g., by Creative Commons. It also constitutes an example of user innovation (see for example the book Democratizing Innovation). Often, open source is an expression where it simply means that a system is available to all who wish to work on it.

1. Open the Program Blender.
2. Drag-n-Drop interface.avi file into VLC player.
3. Watch/follow tutorial first 10min.
4. Now try to find the monkey template.
5. Whoever finds it first must share with the class how they found it. Pay attention. Do not randomly click buttons. Observe what each button does.
6. once the monkey is found SAVE project to DESKTOP.
7. Now explore further to make the monkey look different.
8. Record the process you used to change the monkey’s appearance. SAVE.

Time Budget: (2 classes)
Intro: 20-30 minutes
Hands on: w/Video 20-40minutes

3D animation, modeling
Open Source

Safety Concerns:
No food Drinks Near computers.
No touching computer screen with hands.

Official Blender Site
Greybeard's Video Tutorials Site
external image blender2.jpg