Beginning Blender: Open Source 3D Modeling, Animation, and Game Design

Beginning Blender: Open Source 3D Modelling, Animation, and Game Design

written by Lance Flavell

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Apress; 1 edition (December 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1430231262
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430231264

As far as I am concerned, there is no such thing as too much information. Which means that at this point I have an ever growing library of Blender books, manuals and tutorial DVDs covering a range of topics (focus) and of varying lengths. So as I started reading Beginning Blender, I realized right away that this was a valuable blender resource.

Being somewhat obsessive about always reading from cover to cover, (no matter what the book, I might just miss something otherwise :P ) I saw right in the introduction what Lance set out to achieve with this book.

… a guide to explain just the few important options needed to get me started.

“This book does not aim to be exhaustive and yet it is not written to an overly simplified manner so as to insult your intelligence. 3D animation by its very nature is not simple. What you have with Beginning Blender is a book that covers a good range of the many different areas of Blender, with practical examples to get you fast-tracked into using those areas.”

When I read that, knowing that there is so much to cover concerning Blender, I found myself curious to see just how he planned to pull that off. It didn’t take long to realize that Lance had hit on a perfect style for hitting key tools and options that would be used by a beginner. It is all written in a nice flowing style that gives key information clearly and lets you know which areas would benefit from further study and experimentation.

Each chapter focuses on a different area of Blender and guides you to the most important tools and options. There are tables, diagrams and call out areas showing key information that can be quickly referenced. The examples are easy to follow and show how easy it is to accomplish a variety of common and a few not so common tasks in blender.

While I learned quite a bit throughout the book, my favorite chapters were actually the ones on rigging. Yes I know, very ironic considering my attitude about rigging. But Lance not only explained rigging but he included some very nice images showing how the bones were set up for various rigs. Making it so easy for a user to flip to the image they need and get started. Yes that would be me furiously flipping to find the right image. :P

Having used Blender for over ten years, you would think that I would be long past “beginner’s” books. But I will let you in on a little secret. I have long since discovered when reading or watching tutorials/books aimed at beginner’s, that I always and I mean always walk away from the experience having learned something new or been reminded of something that I had forgotten about. And in the case of Beginning Blender, there is the added benefit of it having been written for the 2.5 series of Blender. So now I know where to look for some of things I hadn’t found yet. That is a big bonus for experienced Blender users.

It is quite all right that Beginning Blender is not meant to be an exhaustive one stop reference guide, just the fact that is is filled with so many tips and examples makes it a valuable resource and well worth owning.

Technical:

  • Well formatted.
  • Can be read straight through or pick a chapter as needed.
  • Nice color screen shots.
  • Easy to understand explanations and examples
  • Lots of tables and diagrams for quick reference
  • Written for 2.5 series
  • Helpful to reference where options and tools have been moved or changed for the 2.5 rewrite.

Table of Contents

  1. History and Installation
  2. The Interface
  3. Modeling
  4. Lighting and Procedural Textures
  5. UV Mapping
  6. Curves and NURBS
  7. Basic Rigging and Animation
  8. Advanced Rigging
  9. Making Movies
  10. Particles and Physics
  11. The Game Engine
  12. Going Further
  13. Companies That Use Blender
  14. Blender and GPL Terms of Use
  15. GNU Public License
  16. OpenContent License
About these ads

One response to “Beginning Blender: Open Source 3D Modeling, Animation, and Game Design

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,366 other followers

%d bloggers like this: