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The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics, Second Edition: Computer Modeling and Animation Paperback – 30 Jul 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 575 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 2 edition (30 July 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482216639
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482216639
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 18.8 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book was received in good condition as expected, the content is excellent, and is being used vigorously by my grandson who is studying graphics in college, an all round excellent book for newcomers to the Blender software.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The best of all Blender books... 5 July 2014
By M. B. Stevens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As advertised, this edition has a great deal of new material, and I have found it well worth the price.
It covers up to version 2.70.

Missing:
Coverage of Cycles rendering; only goes as far as showing you how to set up your computer for it;
no Freestyle rendering;
no retopology ,
no dynamic sculpt.

Those are important things -- why give 5 stars?

It gives you every tool you need to study more advanced topics.
It is _amazingly_ clear considering what a bottomless, pitiless black hole Blender can be.
It is the perfect reference when you forget how to do something (and you will).
It is beautifully, slickly, colorfully put together on high quality paper.
It is fun to do the exercises.

Be sure to get the new second edition; Blender is a fast moving target!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Great introduction to the mechanics of Blender, lavishly illustrated with an on-line tie-in 9 Sep 2014
By Richard Staats - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
CRC Press does a great job with technical publications, and Blender Graphics 2nd Ed. is no exception.

My bottom-line up-front is that if you're looking for a first book to get you started with Blender or looking to increase your skills past the basic level then this is a great book for you.

The first caveat is that the book is written for use with Blender 2.70. There is always a window of opportunity with community developed, freeware like Blender. So, to get full use of this book, you will need to have the 2.70 version of Blender installed.

The book tells you where to find Blender (www.Blender.org), but assumes that you have or are able to install and configure Blender as a prerequisite for using the book. (That is a very reasonable assumption. Blender was a breeze to download and install.)

The author, Mr. Blaine, has written several previous books on Blender, and he is clearly "in his stride" in this book. The author teams up with Neal Hirsig's on-line Blender course (through Tufts University). There are links to the on-line course throughout the book.

The author starts by talking the reader through the Blender interface. This is a sticking point for many users. For Windows users, the left and right mouse button functions tend to be reversed from many other common applications. While you *can* customize the interface, Mr. Blaine and most other Blender users recommend against changing the set-up immediately. There is a logic to it developed over a decade of application and revisions by an enthusiastic user base.

The book went the extra step by including a bevy of useful, full color illustrations. Touches like including the short-cut key layout were very nice. (My only complaint is that my old eyes had a very hard time making out what the individual keys were on the diagram, but I might not be the prime demographic for the book.)

The book goes on to spend 50 pages on creating and editing objects. While it does not cover everything, the book gives you enough knowledge to experiment and learn the rest on your own.

The next sections, materials and textures, are another 50 pages of the book, and again, the material covered is sufficient to get the hobbyist or low-end professional moving the right direction. This is the section where the tie-in with the Tufts course proved invaluable. Many books in the area include CDs or DVDs or weblinks with material and files for following along with the book. While Mr. Blaine did not take that approach, by referencing on-line videos of the points in the text, the reader could get a variety of viewpoints and descriptions of how to accomplish the tasks laid out in the text. I found this very helpful.

The sections on rendering and animation basics were a little short, but these are also the two areas that most practioners are going to spend the most time working on their own.

While I have used Blender now for over five years, I had not made use of the modifierrs and particle aspects. I'm not sure if these are relatively new in Blender, or I was just uniformed. Either way, I found Mr. Blaine's explanations useful, and I will be putting both techniques to use in future projects.

The remainder of the book covered extra topics like: fluid simulation, smoke simulation, the Blender game engine, and "drivers." Most of these topics deal with obvious material, but drivers requires a little more explanation.

Drivers are functions in Blender that provide input parameters to other functions. This is a very powerful concent. You add drivers through the Properties Panel. Other 3D modeling and animation packages make heavy use of drivers (although they often call them by other names), but this was another area where Mr. Blaine's book proved very enlightening.

To be honest, it will take some time to understand the potential uses and limitations of drivers. It is such a rich and deep area that this book could only scratch the surface.

All in all, I highly recommend this book for both the first time Blender user and the novice professional animator.

In service,

Rich
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Valuable Instruction and Reference! 24 Aug 2014
By V. Hutson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My background is in 2D traditional and digital art--but I'm always interested in learning 3D digital programs. Several years ago I tried to learn Blender but soon loss interest due to the complexity of the program. I was interested in this book because I felt it would start with the very basics--which it does! A pleasant surprise is that the author includes a link to "The Blender 3D Design Course" by Neal Hirsig of Tufts University. This is a self-paced course that is available free of charge. Throughout the book the author has identified various videos from that course that are relevant to the material in the book. This makes it possible to watch the video as either an introduction or supplement to the material in the book.

There is a wealth of material in this book. The author takes you one step at a time to first learn the basics and then to progress to what appears to be a somewhat advanced level.

My only disappointment (and the reason I gave this 4 stars instead of 5) is that I was hoping for a more "fun" and "easy" way to learn Blender. Perhaps there is no "easy" way. Fortunately, the references to the various videos on the Tufts University website will make it easier!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The best I have seen so far for learning Blender... 18 Sep 2014
By MKinz - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First, I have to say that I am only a little over half way through this book. So, I will also write a follow-up review once I complete the book. However, what I have done so far, I love. I do have a fairly versed knowledge of 3D graphics. So, know that I am writing this review from this perspective.

The book is fantastic so far. For being an Open Source, free application, Blender is a very complex program. This book makes it quite easy to learn. There are very easy tasks to follow. I am a very visual learner and this book does not disappoint. There are a lot of color graphics and screen shots that help you follow along. Having videos on the web to use as a guide has also been very helpful.

I have PCs in my house, but I mostly use my Mac computers. Not too big of a hang up, but this manual is written from a Windows perspective.

The book is layout is wonderful. It seems as if all subjects have been covered and so far, understandable. The following is the first level table of contents:
Introduction
The Author
Acknowledgments
How to Get Blender
Recommended Viewing
The Blender Interface
Navigation
Creating and Editing Objects
Materials
Textures
World Settings
Lighting and Cameras
Rendering and Ray Tracing
Animation Basics
Three-Dimensional (3D) Text
NURBS and Metashapes
Modifiers
Particle Systems
Child/Parent Relationships and Constraints
Armatures
Shape Key and Action Editors
Fluid Simulation
Smoke Simulation
Nodes
The Blender Game Engine
Making a Movie
Drivers
Installing Add-Ons
Bibliography
Appendix A: Basic Blender Commands
Index
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The Definitive Guide to Blender 30 Aug 2014
By J. Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you want to learn Blender, get this book. Blender is an open source and free (as in Beer) 3D modeling, rendering, and animation application. It's extremely powerful and somewhat easy to learn. It's not a toy, you can do real, commercial grade stuff with it.

This book will give you everything you need to know to get started. Take it slow and practice along. Watch the free online videos that the author references.

I'm glad they opted to go full-color in the book, as it makes things like Blender easier to grok.

Blender is HUGE, and you'll undoubtedly need to seek other resources if you're going to build a career around it. But for most uses, this book will give you everything you need and act as a great reference.
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