Hobby leads to authorship for John

John Blain.
John Blain.

A SIMPLE sea change has inspired one man's creative awakening.

John Blain, now aged 70, made the sea change to Coffs Harbour in 1973, after a lifetime of travelling the world for his demanding engineering job, and raising a family.

Having had no time for hobbies before, John took to his first like a duck to water.

His woodworking skills began to win him awards at local exhibitions, and John looked to computer graphics and animation for further inspiration.

Available on the internet for free, graphics program Blender was John's choice.

He looked to available online tutorials to learn how to use the program.

"I find these video tutorials frustrating, you spend half time rewinding to find out what's been said," John said.

"So I started to write notes for myself, compiled a PDF document and put it on the internet."

John's comprehensive notes caught the attention of Boston Tufts University lecturer Neal Hirsig, who was so impressed that he used them to instruct his first year university students - and encouraged John to have them published.

Now all the studies have come to fruition, with John's Complete Guide to Blender Graphics published on Thursday by A.K. Peters/CRC Press.

"I won't really believe it until I'm holding my own copy," John said.

He's encouraging anyone with an interest to get started for themselves.

"If there's anyone interested in Blender, I'm happy to help them out," John said.

For more information, email

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