The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics: Computer Modeling and Animation by John M. Blain
Hey everyone! I was recently sent a copy of a new Blender book and asked to share my thoughts on it. Rather than blab on like I tend to do in many of my tutorials I’ll just get right to it! I’ve broken my review up into several sections: Content, Printing Quality and Final Thoughts.
Book description from the Amazon page:
While Blender is a wonderful free and open source program for computer modeling and animation, there has been a lack of unified, up-to-date documentation for beginners. Removing the frustration from the learning process, The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics: Computer Modeling and Animation helps beginners understand the basics of computer animation using Blender.
The author begins with a detailed explanation of the Blender graphical user interface (GUI) and its method of navigation. He covers basic mesh modeling on both the object and sub-object levels. At this point, the beginner 3D modeler can create a wide variety of models. The author moves on to materials, camera, lighting, and rendering, allowing the creation of more complete models and rendered images. He also includes a section on animation. This sequence provides a solid foundation for the more advanced topics discussed in later chapters.
Alleviating the difficulties in learning Blender, this book provides thorough instruction on the basics of this 3D modeling and animation program.
View the table of contents and sample chapters HERE
As with any software book, the most important aspect is the value of the content, followed closely by the quality of the presentation of said content. The first thing to note is this book is intended for beginning users. Intermediate and advanced users will not find much to ingage them here. However, assuming the reader is a beginner then this book provides quite a wealth of information.
As can be seen from the Table of Contents the book covers nearly every aspect of Blender 2.60, which was the newest version at the time of writing. It does not cover Cycles, BMesh or any of the other newer additions, but all of the information is still relevant. All of the content is presented in a reference-like manner, with short tutorials interspersed to help the reader directly. The book reads quite a lot like a textbook, which I find to be refreshing but could also be off putting to those people wanting a step-by-step production guide.
Let’s be clear, this book is much more a reference rather than a tutorial book. You won’t find any example projects and final results in the book. Instead you’ll find a large collection of quick guides on how to use each of the tools and aspects of Blender covered. If you’re looking for a production guidebook then this is not the one for you.
In short, the print quality of this book is quite good! Every page is printed in full-color on high quality stock. Next to the numerous Blender books with poor print quality, sadly including my own, it’s great to see high quality printing for this title.
The only problems I found with the printing were a few screenshots that had to be scaled up dramatically for printing that saw some pretty severe artifacts.
All things considered, the print quality is not a concern with this book; I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
All in all I was pleased. I think John has done a great job at simplifying the first learning steps for Blender. As many of you are surely familiar with, this can be a very intimidating and frustrating process. A reference book like this can really help ease the transition into Blender, even for those people that don’t have the first clue about where to start. If you’re a brand new Blender user or someone that is interested in learning Blender then you’ll likely find this Blender book a valuable resource.
However, what you won’t find in this book is any info covering workflow, the production pipeline, specific techniques, theory, or any of the other key items that factor into being a successful artist and Blender user. Granted, I don’t believe it was ever the author’s intention to cover any of these items and so I was not disappointed.
This book would make an ideal reference companion for a Blender classroom environment if presented by the right instructor.
- Paperback: 390 pages
- Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 1 edition (April 16, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1466517034
- ISBN-13: 978-1466517035
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.4 x 0.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3 pounds