i am in the early stages of doing an animation with Blender. Having used Blender for a number of years i thought I'd be okay doing the production all by myself with what i already knew. Whist reading this book i realized that there is a lot of things i didn't know and it has now caused me to re-evaluate my work flow etc. So there are a lot of tips and info in here that you really need to consider whilst planning your production. And to leave it until later could mean loads of undoing and redoing it the proper way afterwards which of course is non-productive. I would recommend this to any Blender user if they want to make an animation no matter how short or simple. The book itself reads very well. It's written in an easy to read way and has loads of illustrations (screenshots) to help and show examples.
Worth the £16 paid? Definitely. As it is very thorough. hell... yeah it is! Especially if you're serious about animation and want to do a good job! It starts from the very beginning - planning your story. right through creating story boards, pre-visualisations, right through file management, animating, sound recording, compositing, you name it. If you have to do anything during producing an animation - it is included in this book.
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I have just taken on an animation project using Blender and this book is perfect for guiding me through the necessary steps in getting the project up off the ground and running in the right direction.
The book takes the reader from the start of the project, encouraging them to develop the story, keep the size and scope of the story and therefore the project small (especially if this is your first project and you are working alone). It then feeds in to the storyboards and how best to use Blender (the free Modeling, Animation and more tool) to display the storyboards and create a master file.
While the book does touch on modelling, texturing and animation, it only talks about this as an overview. It does not try to teach you how to model or animate your characters as it is beyond the scope of the book. Instead it focuses on planning how and what to model, making decisions based on the view from the storyboards and finding the balance between getting the work finished and delivered on time and create a beautiful model that will never get rendered off your computer.
Guiding you through this process is a small project that Mr Hess uses as an example, providing you will all of the raw source files to follow along or even use the same characters and produce your own version on the animation short.
His final animation can see seen on YouTube here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETapmy6XF0w).
I am very pleased with the book and have learnt a lot from reading it. While I am still in the early stages of my own book, I know that I am going to be scanning back over the book and checking sections as a enter each new phased of the development process.
The book is a little out of date in terms of its release in July 2012 and reference to the Blender 2.6 version. Blender is full of new features in the new 2.72b release, but from reading the book the information doesn’t suffer at all. All the features mentioned are the same and the overall steps in how best to plan and go through the pre-production and production phases of a short animation film are the same.
Absolutely fantastic! My wife bought me this for Christmas after buying me the first book for my birthday. It's impossible to put down, and takes you all the way from the idea of an animation short to releasing it to the public, and every step in the middle.
It's an absolute requirement for any Blender user (or anyone who wants to create an animation short, the knowledge is very handy to have - although this is software specific), and will help out anyone beginning out, or who are advanced!