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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but still an essential purchase for the Blender user!
I reviewed this book when it was first released, and gave it a 5-star review. I've come back to edit that review because, in retrospect, I realise that I was so delighted to find ANY book on Blender character animation that I overlooked some definite flaws. I now rate it as 4-star (but while Amazon allows me to revise my wording, it won't let me change the number of...
Published on 18 Jun 2007 by J. Scott

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money
As a total newbie to 3D software I needed a careful, thorough, step by step guide through the basics of character building (and modelling in general). I certainly didn't get what i needed in this book. A big part of its weakness is that the illustrative images are absolutely dreadful, as they are black and white (and when you see YELLOW and WHITE vertices illustrated in...
Published on 11 Feb 2009 by L. Niblock


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Flawed, but still an essential purchase for the Blender user!, 18 Jun 2007
By 
J. Scott "JS" (Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
I reviewed this book when it was first released, and gave it a 5-star review. I've come back to edit that review because, in retrospect, I realise that I was so delighted to find ANY book on Blender character animation that I overlooked some definite flaws. I now rate it as 4-star (but while Amazon allows me to revise my wording, it won't let me change the number of stars.)

I've recently been working through the book again, and have come back to give the following revised review.
==========================

For several years, I downloaded Blender on a regular basis, tried to learn how to use it, and gave up because I found it far too difficult.

The appearance of this book changed that. Now for the first time, I 'get' Blender, and see that its quirky and apparently non-intuitive interface really makes a lot of sense.
I'm also even more awestruck at how jaw-droppingly good Blender actually is. Yes, this FREE downloadable program is shockingly *better* than 3D software packages I've purchased at several hundred pounds/dollars a shot.

This book takes you all the way on your journey, from the interface basics, to modeling your figure, to full-fledged animation. I highly recommend it, and would go so far as to say that it *is* an essential purchase for a Blender user.

There are a few minor annoyances - not everything that's supposed to be on the accompanying disk is actually there, and there are a few minor typos scattered through out the text and places where the instructions could have been a little clearer.

Sadly there are some that are not quite so minor. For example in setting up the rig to animate my model, I followed the instructions exactly, yet always ended up with a rig that just didn't work. After many, many frustrating attempts, I loaded up the author's figure from the accompanying disk, and checked through it bone by bone...

And found that an important set of bones in the author's rig were set up differently from the instructions in the book. I guess the sentence about re-parenting the hand IK bones must have dropped out somewhere.

Thereafter, having wasted days trying to figure out what was going wrong, I kept two instances of Blender open. In one, I had my own work-in-progress, in the other I had the author's model, and I kept comparing them every step of the way.

I would go so far as to say that if you don't have the accompanying disk, this book will be... well, not *useless*, but you'll never succeed in following the projects it outlines.

In spite of the above, I still think it's currently the best (uh... the only?) book available on Blender Character animation. I still think it's a must-buy for someone trying to learn Blender. But I would add this caution: Make sure you get a version that includes the disk of examples (ie, don't get a second-hand book where the disk has gone astray, and don't get an electronic download (which doesn't include the material on the disk.)

Because of the errata, I now rate this book at 4 stars, but so long as you heed the caution about needing (and using) the disk, I would still recommend it highly.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blender... Tony Mullen, 2 April 2007
By 
Helder Correia (Quelimane, Mozambique) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
This book is great! You'll learn a lot about Blender in a few hours, following excercices. I bought this book, to get started in animation, actually, I had the official Blender guido to learn the basics, interface, etc - But, this book, does that all! You'll open the first page and start following the recomended exercices and even without noticing you're getting all the basics uppon your head! Honestly, I'm new in 3d, but theres been a few months and I've read a lot of stuff...done nothing out of this world...got kind a scared...you know?! and then...bought this up! I hope that mister Tony Mullen keeps up the good work! We need you man!

Since this was written, having in mind v2.3 (available in cd-rom), you'll get confused in one or two diferent things (basic stuff, you'll feel dumb when you figure out and see how easy it was ) - but this will help you think and improve your knowledge! I'm using 2.43a and having a really good time, heehehehe, i'm so happy that I'm writting this...duh! ;D

TONY, please! please! Start writting the vol2!! PLEASE!! hehehe

Thanks a lot man! I'm really happy about people like Tony Mullen, Ton Roosendall and all the Blender community and Foundation!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time and money, 11 Feb 2009
This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
As a total newbie to 3D software I needed a careful, thorough, step by step guide through the basics of character building (and modelling in general). I certainly didn't get what i needed in this book. A big part of its weakness is that the illustrative images are absolutely dreadful, as they are black and white (and when you see YELLOW and WHITE vertices illustrated in black and white you will understand just how useless that is). Steps that should be illustrated in picture form aren't, or are illustrated in that terrible, totally faint and unclear black and white form. I have tried and retried to undertake the tasks in this book, but the guidance fails me every time. Much better tutorials, more thorough and well illustrated can be found on the web on the Blender site, or on Wiki tutorials. It is a real shame, because Blender can do amazing stuff, it's free, and revenue for those putting it out there is no doubt generated by these books. But as far as I'm concerned this book is a frustrating waste of time and effort.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Use the DVD as your reference or this book will be painful, 26 Nov 2008
By 
C. MILLER "cafangels" (Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
I have worked through this book. Since rigging was a new area for me, it was great to find a handy reference book. Really frustrating to go through the book using your own mesh and to rigged following the book, step by step and then for things not to work,because of course you think you have made the mistake as you are a Newbie at this. No, the Editor did not do their job. So if you plan to use this book make sure you cross reference to the examples on the accompanying DVD. Lets hope for everyone sanity for the next edition they actually check out what is written.
Looking forward to Mancandy DVD since this book did get me through the rigging basics.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rare, but not the best quality., 6 Dec 2007
This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
This book was like a treasure uncovered in the as yet mostly uncharted water of Blender character modelling and animation. I was delighted to buy it and work my way though almost 95% of the book. However, this was not a painless task!!! Many of the tasks and instructions are either based on a previous, now defunct version of Blender, if you install the latest one available on the website. Part of it just seemed to be carelessly written. After much struggling, as a newbie in this area, I realised that the book's basic flaw is that is it written by an obvious expert for experts. By this I mean that the content might not always be de facto incorrect... just not explained in a way that would make sense to someone who has no Blender knowledge or experience as context to make sense of it.

It is a shame that specimens like this achieve acclaim purely because there is not much else available on this subject.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 17 Jun 2011
This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
From page one this book had it all. Found the step-by-step guides really helpful and the files on the CD made working easier.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blissfully Clear & straightforward, 16 Jan 2011
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This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
I found Blender 3D baffling at the start. And despite perseverance 'found the first book I got just added to the problem. But thankfully not this one. Tony Mullen has a no nonsense, blissfully straightforward style. His exercises and guides are easy to follow (no peering at the screen and wondering where he'd found such-and-such a button) and learning is near-effortless. And "near-effortless" is as good as its going to get with as powerful a program as Blender! I see he's already produced an edition for the latest version of Blender, but using this 2007 book with my recently update (Blender 2.56) isn't proving a problem.

So if you're keen to learn Blender animation, this book can take you from newbie to modelling, texturing, lighting and animating in a well paced way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Getting the feel, 21 Dec 2009
By 
A. G. Taylor "Alex G Taylor" (Loughton Essex England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
I have been trying to learn Blender the hard way with just the manual for reference, though this is a great document you have to string a lot together at times to creat the effect you need.
I saw that Amazon had 'Introducing Character Animation with Blender', so I ordered a copy which I have skip read and found many answers, I am now going to work through the tutorials which are very clear.
I am also now in a position to start to script my animation that I had been planning for years using hand drawings and some drawings done using Xara a graphic program.
Looking at all the routs I have tried including claymation, Blender is the best for me and this book will be my bible.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not for amateurs., 11 Oct 2009
By 
Terry Senior "FOSGAD.com" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Introducing Character Animation with Blender (Paperback)
Well this book is not easy going and is certainly not for anybody new to Blender.

This book takes you through one main project of creating a person in Blender into rigging and animating it. One of the hardest objects to model are human characters and the book does take you through the full process of this quite well although not brilliantly. The book is nicely laid out which is full of clear (but black & white) images that compliment the text perfectly. Each step is explained clearly but because the Blender buttons interface has a habit of changing with every new version of the software you may find that some buttons are not where the book tells you which can get frustrating.

The DVD included with the book has most but not all the models and textures that the book says should be there. The DVD does have some nice animations and includes the Elephants Dream short movie which is a joy to watch.

The book does contain one major flaw. Parts of the rigging and animating steps are completely missed off and so I found myself confused as to what I did wrong and kept redoing the previous steps only to find after looking at the model on the DVD that the book misses out some key (but small) steps.

If you want, you can download a sample model from the book at fosgad legally to see the model that you will eventually create and rig.

Overall a must have book for a Blender user as long as you use the model on the DVD as reference.
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Introducing Character Animation with Blender
Introducing Character Animation with Blender by Tony Mullen (Paperback - 16 Feb 2007)
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