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Terry Senior "FOSGAD.com" (United Kingdom)

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Introducing Character Animation with Blender
Introducing Character Animation with Blender
by Tony Mullen
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Not for amateurs., 11 Oct. 2009
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.

The Official Blender 2.0 Guide (Miscellaneous)
The Official Blender 2.0 Guide (Miscellaneous)
by Sven Wouters
Edition: Paperback

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good but oudated, 21 Jun. 2007
This book still is a good book but it is too outdated as Blender 2.43 is out and the interface has changed a lot. It shows you how to create simple models and animations using Blender. It has a very hands on approach and so you have to read it while using Blender at the same time to get any benefit from it. Each chapter gets you learning a different part of Blender but there are not enough parts to teach you all the parts of Blender.

The book explains everything in Blender 2.0 but now Blender 2.43 is the latest version the interface has changed quite a lot. This makes it very difficult to follow some of the models creation. You can still follow most of the tutorials you just have to look in different places for the buttons but some features used in the book are no longer present in Blender. There are newer books out on Blender so I would recommend that you buy one of those instead such as the 'Introducing Character animation with Blender' book which is an excellent book and is much more in-depth.

It's just too old

Beginning Game Programming (Sams Teach Yourself)
Beginning Game Programming (Sams Teach Yourself)
by Michael Morrison
Edition: Paperback

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Start your games, 11 Jun. 2007
This book is great. The book teaches you the very basics of game programming using C++. I completed this book a while ago now but I still use the game engine that it provides because it is so easy and quick to use. The book is easy to understand and teaches you 7 totally different games starting out with a simple snap game and then going on to a more Space Invader type game. The programming techniques that the book uses are not the type of thing done at a professional level but useful for a beginner or someone who wants to create a quick game as it uses only simple C++ and programming skills. Each chapter of the book expands on the previous chapter and more features are added to the games. A CD is provided which contains all the source code, images and sounds for the games. This is a good book for the beginner game programmer but for those who have already created 1 or 2 `visual' games then this book is not going to be of any use.

Problems of the book are that at the beginning of most of the chapters the author explains the expansion of the game engine that is required to add the new features to the game. They are explained in good detail but the author does not explain the game engine at the beginning that is going to be expanded. You are left confused of what it can and cannot do which does not help with the explanation of the expansion of the game engine later in the book. The game engine also only uses images as the visual appearance of the game which limits its use dramatically which can't do 3D. After I created a couple of games I noticed that the game engine is inefficient and very limited in what it can do without changing the game engine itself (which isn't easy).

Overall the book is well written and most of the code is explained well. Previous knowledge of C++ is essential which can be gotten from `Sams teach yourself C++ in 24 hours' which is a very good C++ book. The book will get you creating a ride range of games very quickly but don't expect it to teach you 3D, physics or industry style games. In fact you will not be able to create games higher than `Pacman' and other games from that period.

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