The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics: Computer Modeling and Animation Paperback – 31 May 2012
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The major strength of John’s Blender manual is its breadth of content and its depth of detail. The material covered in the manual is extensive. All aspects of beginning to intermediate 3D modeling and rendering with Blender are covered. His language is clear and concise and is accessible to users of all ages. It is expertly illustrated with screenshots that allow even those without a substantial understanding of English to follow the flow of ideas and concepts.
―Neal Hirsig, Tufts University
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Top Customer Reviews
This isn't a 'complete' guide by any means, so I have knocked off a star just for that, as that feels a bit misleading in hindsight. Where it does shine is in the easy to follow guide for each section, and I feel the book makes up for this deficiency elsewhere, as long as you are a beginner. The book itself is actually rather nice aesthetically, the pics are well done, and there are easy comments to show how to do each bit. I used the book more of a step by step tutorial, and I didn't know any of the menu interfaces or anything, and it got me using them correctly.
Basically its got me up creating a model, texturing it, I've also exported it and drawing it in OpenGL (that last part it doesn't touch on, but for me it shows what I have created is usable correctly). I'm using 2.60 so everything matches correctly with the examples, and I didn't get stuck at all. Some bits I haven't done in the book like animation or particles, but the chapters look like a thorough intro to them.
I would definitely recommend the book to anyone starting from scratch with blender. I would imagine however, if you already know the basics of navigation, how to have a reasonable stab at a mesh and textures etc, this book probably is a bit too basic for you.
If the title had been 'complete beginners guide', I would have still bought it, and given it 5 stars :).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Blender is a comprehensive program which includes modeling objects and characters, the application of colors and textures, the creation of scenes for still images and animations and rendering with Blender's inbuilt system or external render engines. The book explains the use of the interface and the many tools included in Blender in a step by step method which guides the student gently through the process.
Blender instructors, as well as students, welcome The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics because in addition to the detail and reliability of the content, the author has taken an empathetic approach towards teaching beginners. Each section is explained and illustated carefully yet succinctly, and because the basics of Blender remain constant, none of the information is obsolete. This is a unique instruction book for new Blender users as well as a valuable tool for Blender instructors. The high standard of the content makes this book a pleasure to use and to review.
The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics: Computer Modeling and Animation
By all appearances, it is a beautiful book. The quality is top notch. The text is clear and the illustrations are perfect. Thus earning the two stars. When you go to use it, you'll quickly discover where the other three stars were lost.
This is not a book filled with tutorials, it is definitely a reference book. The contents do not flow very well and it almost seems to be written by someone without strong English skills. You would think that someone would have cleaned this up for such a high quality publication. It's not impossible to get through, just not the best.
The other issue is the material that is not here. Blender is extremely progressive and they make updates all the time. Recent updates are enormous and include Cycles and Bmesh. These are not trivial features. This is no fault of the author, it just happens. In the world of Blender this is a huge problem and in retrospect, now I understand why there aren't many Blender books.
Those two problems are annoying, but not a deal breaker. However, the biggest problem with this book is the index, it is awful. If you are familiar with most programming reference books, or "bibles", you'll know that the indexes are extensive and meticulous. The author knows that they are dealing with people that will need to refer quickly to a passage for a specific technique. How can you possibly find anything without this reference? For all I know, the book could be a complete treasure trove of information, but I don't have a photographic memory. I would never be able to find it again, if it did exist.
The last time I tried to use this book it ended in such utter frustration that I decided to use the Amazon Trade-In program and at least recoup some of my money. The book was simply worthless to me. If you are a book learner, like myself, you're out of luck with Blender. My best suggestion is a tutorial site like CG Cookie combined with the Blender wiki. Not ideal, but that's my conclusion.
This excellent book continues to be the one (of several other good ones) I reach for, and routinely carry with me, especially
when I know I'll have time on my hands...it's a sanity saver as well as time well spent.
E.g. Chapter 12 on Modifiers, and Chapter 13 on Particle Systems (both about 40 pages each) are a wealth of
information. Detailed & easy to follow.
It's starting to show wear, but holding up very well despite frequent use.
BTW, for all the books I use regularly, I have the spine cut off, and replaced
with a plastic coil which allows the book to be opened flat...it only cost ~$5 to have done,
and makes the book last longer, and much more useable.
(1st update to review)
I purchased this excellent book last September, and am still very glad I did.
Not trying to be argumentative, but felt I must answer the review from March 21, 2013,
that gave it only 2 stars, which is very unfair, imho.
I do agree that the index is thin...I mentioned it in my original review, and others have as well.
But the material more than makes up for that flaw.
The information between the table of contents (decent), and the index is what's most important,
and worth having to look (just) a little harder to find what you want. If you use it at all,
you become familiar quickly enough where things are.....and it's a "gold mine" of Blender learning.
There are only a relative handful of books on Blender that cover so many topics. And there is
not one book that covers everything. And Blender IS constantly evolving, so any book will be behind
the curve...it's just not possible to keep up with the latest version.
BUT, the core information of this book is very relevant, well presented, and very helpful.
I have no reservations about recommending this book.
My advice is to get the book, check it out, and see for yourself if it's worth having.
You can always return it, but I believe that most will find it to be a keeper. =)
Original review: September 17, 2012
This is an excellent book for learning Blender A~Z, OR to use as a reference.
I'm learning things about Fluid Sims I'd never seen in any of the many free video tutorials.
Same for using Nodes...more in depth (though good to have videos in addition).
Initially I had some reservations about this book...e.g. "the font is too small, the index is
But after using it a few days I have to say it's a great resource...very comprehensive
and detailed content. In addition, it's very nicely bound & printed on very good stock with
helpful color screenshots on every page.
Any reservations I had seem inconsequential & trivial now...this book's pro's far out-weigh
any cons, and is still worth 5 stars.
And it's not just for noobs...I highly recommend it to beginners AND intermediate users alike.
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