Book Review: Blender 3d Basics by Gordon C. Fisher

I recently received a e-copy of Blender 3d Basics from Packt Publishing and was asked to give it a read and tell everyone what I thought of it. I am going to look at three different aspects of Blender 3d Basics. Content, Formatting/Layout and my Overall Impression of the book. So, let’s get to it.

First a quick look at the description from Packt Publishing:

Blender is by far the most popular open source graphics program available. It is a full featured 3D modeling, animation and games development tool used by millions all over the world – and it’s free! This book is for those looking for an entry into the world of 3D modeling and animation regardless of prior experience.

Blender 3D Basics is the entry level book for those without prior experience using 3D tools. It caters for those who may have downloaded Blender in the past but were frustrated by its lack of intuitiveness. Using simple steps it builds, chapter by chapter, into a full foundation in 3D modeling and animation.

Using Blender 3D Basics the reader will model a maritime scene complete with boats and water, then add materials, lighting and animation. The book demystifies the Blender interface and explains what each tool does so that you will be left with a thorough understanding of 3D.

Formatting/Layout

Having worked in the print industry for many years, the first thing I always look at in a new book is the formatting/layout. For me this includes the visual appeal of the book, typos (or lack thereof), quality of images and how the information is actually organized and presented.

I looked at both pdf and mobi versions of the ebook, (there is also a epub available, but I didn’t look at it). Ebooks present a different challenge during formatting to get the same results as a printed version. I happy to say both the pdf and mobi versions looked good and didn’t suffer from any glaring formatting problems that interfere with the flow of reading. The text was crisp and easy to read, the images were clear and in color. The author states that the printed version does not have color images but provides a link to download the images in color for study and reference.

The information itself was broken into nice bite size chunks. First there was a short intro to the specific information being presented followed by very specific instructions on buttons to push and steps to take, then there was a clear explanation of what the author just had the reader do. At various points the author also issued challenges for independent study, practice and exploration.

There were a number of typos throughout the book. This is not necessarily a “deal breaker” for me. One because I understand that even with the most aggressive proofing, things are going to slip through. And secondly because the typos themselves were of the minor variety that were not distracting and did not break the flow of reading.

Content

This is always the fun part. Just what is going to be covered and how is it going to be covered. Blender 3d Basics is written for beginners to both Blender and 3d. The author gives a brief introduction to the history of 3d and animation and goes into getting familiar with Blender itself. Through a series of short exercises the author provides a framework for understanding how Blender works.

After getting familiar with Blender, the reader gets to the fun stuff. In this case modeling and animating not one, but two different boats. The second boat, a sloop, is then put into an ocean scene and animated. Throughout the sections on the boats, the author introduces basic modeling and animation techniques that provide a good foundation for future exploration of Blender.

Throughout the book, the author provides links to useful resources that give the reader further information and/or resources to either complete the lessons or provide better understanding of a concept. In the provided data pack download there are bonus chapters with more in depth coverage of a few more useful topics.

In addition to links to added resources, the author provides blend files for ever major step in the exercises so the reader can poke and prod to their heart’s content.

My Overall Impression

Overall I enjoyed Blender 3d Basics. While it was written with the beginner in mind, I found a number of useful tricks and techniques that I could use in my own projects, which is quite often the main reason I read Blender books and tutorials. The whole book shows a well thought out set of lessons that guide the beginner through opening Blender to creating a couple of  rather nice little animations.

Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 468 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : June 2012
ISBN : 1849516901
ISBN 13 : 9781849516907
Author(s) : Gordon C. Fisher
Topics and Technologies : All Books, Blender, Beginner’s Guides, Open Source, Web Graphics & Video

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5 responses to “Book Review: Blender 3d Basics by Gordon C. Fisher

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