Many online tutorials have been written for Blender. Below are a few of them, for version 2.5 and following only:

  1. -Blender.org tutorials: everything from getting started to mastering lighting, compositing, hair, modeling, animation, materials, effects, and the game engine (some tutorials are still done using pre 2.5 - these are being slowly replaced)

  2. -UV Mapping tutorial: a concise tutorial on creating an image and wrapping it around an object

  3. -Changing cameras during animation: how to bind cameras to markers on the timeline

  4. -Animation differences between 2.49 and 2.5

  5. -More to come...

Bug avoidance

  1. -Blender sometimes exhibits a bug where you create an object, create several keyframes for it, then add hair, and try to change the location of the object at any of the keyframes. The hair moves, but the object reverts back to the old keyframe position. To avoid this bug, temporarily hide the hair (by clicking on the eye icon in the modifiers property panel), move the object and reset the keyframes, then redisplay the hair again.

HDRI summary

This is a summary of how to use HDRI lighting (assuming you have already watched a video tutorial):

World Properties

  1. -World: Real Sky

  2. -Environment Lighting: On, Sky Texture

World Texture

  1. -Image: image.hdr (google hdri probe)

  2. -Mapping: AngMap

  3. -Influence: Blend and Horizon; Mix

Object Texture (optional)

  1. -Mirror: On, Reflectivity: 0.9; Gloss Amount 0.95

Depth of field summary

This is a summary of how to use depth of field (assuming you have already watched a video tutorial):

Camera Properties

  1. -Depth of Field: Focus to either an object, or a distance

  2. -Environment Lighting: On, Sky Texture

Node Editor

  1. -Click Compositing Nodes icon

  2. -Set Use Nodes checkbox; set Backdrop to see effects immediately in Node Editor

  3. -Add Defocus node: Max Blur to 1.5ish, fStop to 4ish (lower number decreases volume not blurred); Samples 32 or higher to reduce artifacts