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Mastering Blender Paperback – 2 Apr 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; Pap/Cdr edition (2 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470407417
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470407417
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,125,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Create Amazing 3D Animations As You Build Your Blender Skills Are you ready to push the envelope on your Blender abilities? This professional resource takes you step by step through intermediate and advanced techniques for Blender′s modeling, texturing, scripting, game–creation, and visual effects tools. It covers advanced topics on sculpting, compositing, and video editing, as well as provides a complete introduction to Python® scripting suitable for people with no programming background. Intermediate Blender users will explore specific workflow topics that will help boost productivity and enhance the quality of their work. Advanced users will find tips and techniques not covered elsewhere that will help them optimize Blender′s functionality for professional projects. Learn how to create assets for use in a game engine, how to use Python in the game engine environment, and much more. If you want professional tips to reach new heights and create visually stunning 3D animations in Blender, this is the book for you. The CD includes Blender 2.48 installers for Windows and Macintosh, a source tarball for users of Linux and other flavors of Unix, and a variety of .blend files. Learn video editing and compositing with the Blender Video Sequence Editor and node–based compositor Learn advanced texturing tricks, such as how to use Blender′s own 2D texture painting functionality to create game assets

About the Author

Tony Mullen, PhD, has a broad background in CG–related work. He teaches at Tsuda College, where his courses include modeling and animation with Blender as well as the Python programming language (used for scripting in Blender). Mullen has been a cartoonist and an illustrator; his screen credits include writer, codirector, or lead animator on several short films, including the award–winning short The Devices of Gustav Braüstache, Bachelor of Science, and the recent live–action/stop–motion film Gustav Braüstache and the Auto Debilitator, appearing at several international film festivals. He is the author of Introducing Character Animation with Blender and Bounce, Tumble, and Splash!: Simulating the Physical World with Blender 3D, both from Sybex.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Blender incorporates a dizzying amount of functionality in a single application, and learning to use all the tools as efficiently as possible is a daunting proposition. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Anders on 20 April 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Yes, you will learn a lot about Blenders lesser known capabilities like
for example sculpting models, creating normal maps and using the video
editor but this book lacks focus. Most individual chapters are certainly well written (a fine example is the chapter on video editing) but the section on python programming e.g. is not in depth enough to get a non programmer going on subjects like constraints or spacehandlers. The appendix on future development on Blender 2.5 feels like the author needed filler for the book because version 2.5 was not ready yet. The book itself has a color section in the middle for essential illustrations (colour illustrations are a must in books about graphics software) but are no match for a full color production with color illustrations near the part that one is actually reading.

Still, this book is good value for money but just doesn't live up to expectations set by the authors previous book Bounce, Tumble, and Splash!: Simulating the Physical World with Blender 3D.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. Cannon on 16 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this for my son who is setting up his own business and says it is very good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 13 reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Truly a guide to mastering Blender - and definitely not for beginners. 9 July 2009
By Jerry Saperstein - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am a Blender wannabe. I know I'll never be anything more than a tinkerer with it and I certainly don't have the artistic ability to do anything serious with it. Blender is an open source, free 3D program with an impressive list of capabilities. In fact, Blender rivals commercial programs costing thousands of dollars.

"Mastering Blender" is the third Tony Mullen book I've read and it is as impressive as the first two. But Mullen's books are aimed at people who are actually quite proficient with Blender. As Mullen puts it, he is writing for "intermediate and advanced" Blender users. If you've attempted to use Blender, you'll immediately recognize that even achieving the intermediate stage of proficiency requires many hours of learning and doing.

That said, there is nothing that prevents the patient novice Blender user from reading, looking at the pictures and, in my case, gasping both at what Blender can do and at the people like Mullen who can do it.

The first chapter is actually helpful to inexperienced users, as it describes how you can gain control of the Blender interface.

After that, it is strictly for the more advanced and capable user. Sculpting and Retopo Workflow explores sculpting; Creating Realistic Images with UV Textures and Node-Based Materials covers texturing snd then Mullen moves into Video Compositing, which is a Blender feature I didn't know existed.

The next six chapters cover scripting Blender with Python, another revelation, and mastering the Blender Game Engine.

Mullen appears to be one of the most knowledgeable Blender users on the planet. His writing style tends to be matter of fact and very straight-forward. His coverage of each of his subject areas is very thorough. There are many large and clear illustrations.

Overall, though it is highly doubtful that I will personally ever be able to use these Blender capabilities, I really enjoyed learning about them through Mullen's ably crafted book.

Jerry
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
covers all the *other* features in Blender 23 Nov. 2009
By Brad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just want to let people know that this book is not a follow-on to Tony Mullen's earlier book on modeling and animation in Blender in that you are not going to learn advanced modeling and animation. This book simply covers all the other features in Blender such as sculpting, texturing (with gimp), video editing, compositing, python scripting and the Blender Game Engine. So if thats what youre interested in, this is the book. I think the Blender community is very lucky to have an author such as Tony Mullen considering that the vast majority of Blender users are hobbiests. If Mullen were to write book on commercial 3D apps, he would quickly make a name for himself as the best 3D graphics author around.

It should be mentioned that this book is printed in B&W and that you have to look at the book's pics on the CD to see them in color. Why oh why cant publishers mangage to print graphics books in color?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Getting there is half the fun 19 July 2009
By swmagicien - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I mainly bought this book for the chapters on programming blender with Python and though brief, they went beyond my expectations. The three chapters on the Blender Game Engine (including one on Python Power in the BGE) also exceeded my expectations and fill in some of the areas that are neglected in The Blender Game Kit. Incidentally, the definitive volumes on the subjects of Python for blender and the blender game engine have yet to be written.

The rest of the material here is on other subjects that I didn't find as interesting but the presentation is generally thorough and systematic and will pay off for anyone who has the time and patience to work through it.

Much of the material is introduced through exercises presented in detail, with step-by-step instructions generously illustrated with screen captures. My impression and biggest criticism of the book was that most of the exercises seemed too detailed and too time-consuming but if you don't do them you won't feel you have really learned the material and all you will have gained is a general idea of the power of the features under discussion. I am referring specifically to the exercises on compositing, sculpting, and texturing.

With many of the hard to follow, long and sometimes unexciting exercises, it surely would have been useful had the author provided narrated videos lessons in addition to the detailed written instructions. And while blend files of the completed exercises are provided on the book's CD, it would have also more useful had the author provided blend files at intermediate stages for comparison, to get back on track where we might have had some trouble, or so that we can skip a few of the more repetitive steps.

One unexpectedly nice feature about this book is that each chapter thoughtfully ends with a section labeled The Bottom Line that provides suggestions for further practice of the chapter material. Outstanding!

I've tried to write a couple of tutorials on blender topics for my own use to get a handle on difficult subjects - it's tough. The author earns my admiration for having the smarts and perseverence to craft difficult subjects into interesting, informative, and entertaining written lessons.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Another Great Blender Title 25 May 2009
By Javadog_2008 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the third title I have purchased from Tony Mullen. The first two, Introducing Character Animation and Bounce Tumble And Splash are geared more towards introducing Blender. This book is definitely aimed at folks that already have a working knowledge of the tool.
While this knowledge may be gained through various tutorials and other material available online, and Tony is the first to point out what materials he used and where to find them, he has a way of putting things together that make it easy to understand and give you a basis that allows you to find those materials and actually understand them.
If there was a critic it would be that some of the material, especially once he starts covering the game engine, could be a little better fleshed out. However, he provides .blend files so it's easy enough to look through those and figure out where he is going.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Not done reading yet, but excellent 21 Dec. 2009
By R. Losee - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been using blender for a few years. This book is excellent - a must read. I am just over half way through now.

I had been concerned before buying it that it might not apply to the forthcoming Blender 2.5/2.6, but actually there is a great deal of material geared toward helping you understand the transition and the changes to blender. As much as I follow the community on Blendernation, I found much that I did not yet know (and needed to) in this book.

So yeah, this book is not written for "noobs", but if you have any confidence with blender at all, this book will be of immense help.
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