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Game Character Creation with Blender and Unity Paperback – 22 Jun 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (22 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118172728
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118172728
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 1.8 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 441,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Create realistic game characters powered by your imagination

If you′re a do–it–yourself game designer, you′ll want to take advantage of Blender and Unity to build professional–quality game characters. With this guide, you first learn how to create realistic game assets using the power of Blender and then test how your characters work in Unity. Game design expert Chris Totten walks you through each step, from modeling and sculpting to rigging and animating a character. Use the tutorial files accompanying the book to design a zombie game character, and then put it in action in a real–world game environment.

  • Build a basic block character and then dive into more sophisticated modeling
  • Pump up the appearance of your character using sculpting and textures
  • Follow digital painting best practices and add colorful details to your model
  • Create realistic movement by rigging your character for animation with an armature
  • Explore how to make Unity and Blender work together by creating and importing finished game objects
  • Bring your character into Unity and create your own video game
  • Learn how to use Unity scripts to make your character animate properly

Learn to model, texture, sculpt, rig, and animate a low–polygon video game character in Blender

Import your low–poly Blender character into the Unity game engine and use JavaScript to create a zombie arcade shooter

About the Author

Chris Totten is a Washington, DC based game designer, writer, and professor. He teaches character development, 3D modeling, and animation for games. Chris has participated in independent game design projects as an artist and animator; written for gamasutra.com and videogamewriters.com; and has been a guest speaker at East Coast Game Conference, GDC China and Dakota State University′s Workshop on Integrated Design.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the book to be quite good and its format to be easy to follow, Does exactly what the description says for basic game character setup and modelling however do not expect it to go beyond amateur level.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 0 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Did anyone really read this before it was published? 25 Aug. 2012
By Fred - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I rarely write reviews about books, but this time is an exception.

If you are a new blender artist looking to create a game character, DO NOT expect to learn ANYTHING from this book. It does not give you a nice introduction to modeling, and in many cases I found that my topology was completely messed up, along with the entire portion on "face modeling" yielding undesirable results. "Some" facial smoothing, as stated in the book, resulted into rebuilding the face by going off of a tutorial on youtube to build it quicker and more efficiently.

It would be an insult to call this a beginner book, although it's written in the format of a beginner book. You are introduced to concepts such as texture baking, sculpting, and basic clothes mesh creation, but as I said, very basic, and very very vague.

After each main section, I would have to spend an hour or two on google trying to find out the right way on how to do it because there was simply not enough information about anything.

After the first half of the book the unity scripting started; I saw most of it in Java, and I saw some errors that should've been fixed if this book was really intended as an introduction.

In no way would I call this book good for anything other than a very rigid introduction into game character creation; I spent a good 20 hours trying to follow along only to resort to google searching the results. Even if you need a basic workflow pattern, I do not recommend this book.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
no way this could earn more than a star or two. 8 Feb. 2013
By Renee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hard to follow, and requiring a lot of outside research to complete the tutorials.. hidden steps between steps, disheartening "this-is-what-it-should-look-like" images that can't be recreated through matching the steps. No matter how close you follow, or how much time you spend, this book doesn't get you there.. though it DOES give you some very basic usage tips.
HIGHLY recommend! 1 Jun. 2015
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books on modeling a 3D character, especially using Blender, out there. First of all, ignore the terrible picture on the front. Your first thought is likely that this is the end product. In fact, this is the reference drawing used to get the proportions of the model correct while working. The end product looks much more like what you would expect a game model to look like. And really, the author takes you through the steps necessary to go way beyond what the artist himself is capable of doing. The end product of your art is going to be highly dependent on your abilities as an artist. That should be a given.

But the artist shows you how to start with a basic form to sculpt and shape. He walks you through all of the steps necessary to create the basic form of the model. Then he takes you to the next step where you sculpt even further to a normal map, which is essential technique for any model found in a modern game, and one I have not seen touched upon elsewhere. He also goes through the crucial steps of skinning and rigging the model so that it can be animated. He really takes you from nothing to finished/game-ready content.

Now, I do have some previous experience which mostly consists of working through the "Modeling a Character in 3DS Max" by Paul Steed, which was also a good book but not written for Blender. I believe the Paul Steed book got a little bit more mathematically precise with the instructions as I recall. I also spent some time kind of developing my eye for proportion and color and such, which is no small task and one that you should maybe have before attempting this book.

That's because the author leaves you "free" to your own artistic interpretations in places. I mean, honestly, to tell you precisely what to do he would have to tell you vertex by vertex "place the first one at 24.234,108.246,-0.234 and the second one at 24.234,122.875, -0.254 and..." about 1,000 times or so until you've placed every vertex in "exactly" the right spot. But then when you get into the normal map creation and free form sculpting, I don't think there IS any way to precisely tell you what to do. The author gives some good guidance, but at some point you're going to have to flap those wings and fly little bird. Once you're out of the nest, mama bird can't do the flying for you. You're going to have to take a chance and learn to be an artist. That means no certainty. That means making mistakes. That means trying things knowing you're going to get it wrong and then asking how you can make it better next time (or since it's digital you can go back and fix a lot without starting over much of the time).

In short, there are some gaps where the author does not hold your hand and tell you EXACTLY how to do it. I'm no professional artist. My modeling is still on the 3D graphics level of "creating stick figures" although this book allowed me to make a model FAR above what I would have told you my skill level was. In short, the book did its job. But at times I had to kind of "wing it". I had to maybe place a vertex where I thought it should be since there was no specific instruction about where it should be. Or maybe I added one or two too many or had a couple too few vertices. It's art. By nature it's not precise. If you're a computer programmer like me, you probably like precision and being told the exact right way to do things. Such is not the way of the artist.

I think the author does a good job of telling you "enough" of how to get it done although I had to make one or two slightly uncomfortable leaps of faith that turned out pretty well in the end. If you get stuck, try something. Look at what came before and what comes after and ask, "How can I get there?" Look at the example drawings and compare to your own work.

I'm saying this as a highly technical programmer type person and not as an artistic type person. And yes, my "eye" is developed better than the average person walking down the street. And yes, I've spent maybe 50 hours in 3D Studio Max and Blender working through examples in books and tutorials mostly. But I am a LONG ways from being what you would call a sculptor or 3D modeler by any means. I'm pretty much a semi-experienced beginner.

Also, feel free to jump around in this book. I needed to learn about skinning and rigging for a model I already had and jumped straight to that section of the book. You can download complete code and complete models for that stage of the book. So, I just jumped in straight to that point. Then I went back and started over from the beginning.

Maybe this should not be your very first book to learn 3D modeling. There are quite a few good 3D Max books out there, but 3D Max is overly expensive. There are a couple other Blender books you can work through to get more practice working in Blender. But when it comes to doing 3D huminoids, this is really the best book I've seen for Blender or anything else. And the techniques you learn also will eventually apply to animals and monsters and other creatures you might create for video games.

If you find it to difficult. Put it aside. Work on other models to get more experience. And come back to it later. I assure you it has what you need to make game characters in it. But it may require getting used to Blender and a feel for 3D modeling first.

Of course you expect an artistic type to just tell you to "wing it" and "feel it". But I'm a tech type telling you that. You're in the world of art now; you have to start thinking like an artist and this book encourages that in its teaching style which can be a bit uncomfortable when you have to start flapping those fledgling wings on your own a bit.

And here's my advice: Don't be afraid to hit the ground. You'll live. If you mess up this model beyond belief, A) no one is going to die from it, B) that's why you save every hour or so that you can go back to the version from 3 hours ago when you made the big mistake, C) you're not going to get it right until you spend a LOT of time getting it wrong, and D) worse case scenario you start again from the beginning and take another go at it with new found knowledge of what NOT to do. I think that when you get stuck with this book, if you'll just try and do what you "think" you should do you'll be very pleased with the results as long as you understand your results are not going to perfectly match another artist's results. And if you don't like it, ERASE by going back to a previous save. Nothing's set in stone here. This isn't stone carving 101 where you have to go buy a new stone when you mess up. Often you can correct the problem without going back to a previous save, but even if you have to go back to a previous save you can lock in your "successes" by saving them so that you are always moving forward and getting closer to what you want.
2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Surprised at a great book with a bad cover! 9 Sept. 2012
By Spanish Mama Mia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
OK, if I saw this book at a store, I would have passed it up because of the simplistic graphic on the front. I have 3D programs that I have been trying to figure out how to trouble shoot and have given up on them due to the frustration of not having a fix for quarks on the modeling. I am not a stranger to graphics. I have been illustrating and painting most of my life. I am 46. This book may not be the advanced world renowned Bible for the super superior artists that is working for Pixar, but it is a very informative introduction into Blender and unity. (FREE PROGRAMS for 3D building and animations!!) All in all this book has answered questions for me that I DIDN'T find anywhere else on the web! If we like we can be negative about everything we come across in life and on the web if we don't find absolute perfection to our liking. Or we can get past the cover and find answers we are looking for. I give this book five stars. If I had not opened it to criticise the graphics to enlarge my ego, I would have missed out on a great book. Buy it, and you will learn something new!
0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I recommend 4 Sept. 2012
By Edu - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm learning a lot. It contains everything I need to produce my characters for games and animates them in Unity 3d.
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