Free training material about rendering with YafaRay and Blender 3D
The process of designing a courseware about 3d computer graphics is a challenge to set the objectives of the course, and balance the amount of theory and practice that should be applied to the program. Every time I have to do something like that I try to split those types of courses in two categories, which are courses for artists and courses for developers or people interested on research. The first one is the most common type of course and deals basically with the software or tool workflow to create images or animations, with Blender 3D or any other tool.
In the second type we have courses about computer graphics with heavy amount of theory and math, explaining how the algorithms and process works. Since the students of those courses are mostly developers or people with few or no experience in drawing, the practical exercises are left with only minor examples with abstract scenes, and primitives.
I just found a course material that shows a good balance between the theory of computer graphics and the practical application of those concepts with YafaRay and Blender 3D. The material was created by Alvaro Luna for a course about YafaRay, and he gently translated the slides and material from spanish to english. You can download the course materials, including a PDF with 64 pages and practical exercises in this link at the Blenderartists forums. The course starts with a brief explanation on how a render is created and the behavior of light and rays. Don`t worry about math or rendering equations, because it`s only showed to support the explanations.
All concepts are showed with a diagram explaining with visuals all the behaviors and interactions.
Along with the rendering methods, we can find explanations about materials and shaders too.
If you are an artists interested in learning a bit more about how to use YafaRay and Blender 3D, the download of those materials is more than recommended! It`s not aimed to architectural visualization, but it will make a great introduction and explanation of how to render scenes and choose settings for YafaRay. Don`t forget to try the practical exercises that comes with the presentation.