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Introducing Character Animation with Blender Paperback – Feb 27 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (Feb. 27 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470102608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470102602
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.3 x 23.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #534,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Open your mind to the possibilities

Let this in-depth professional book be your guide to Blender, the powerful open-source 3D modeling and animation software that will bring your ideas to life. Using clear step-by-step instruction and pages of real-world examples from talented Blender users, expert animator Tony Mullen walks you through the complexities of modeling and animating, with a special focus on characters. From Blender basics to creating facial expressions and emotion to rendering, you'll jump right into the process and learn valuable techniques that will transform your movies.

  • Walk through the complete process of building a character
  • Master mesh modeling tools and organic modeling
  • Fashion skin, hair, and clothing with material shaders, textures, and other tools
  • Learn to sync lip movements with a sound file
  • Understand interpolation curves, keyframes, and the basics of animating

Model your characters using a variety of mesh editing techniques

See how armatures, lattices, and IK interact

Light and render your work for exactly the effect you want

Valuable DVD with complete Blender installation

The companion DVD provides the Blender installer for Windows®, Macintosh®, and Linux®. You'll also find:

  • All the source files you need to produce the examples and tutorials in the book
  • The short film Elephants Dream and all the files used to create it
  • An impressive gallery of short animations created by Blender artists around the world
  • Plenty of useful links to related Blender resources
  • A large collection of third-party software and plug-ins, including Audacity, Python, and the popular BlenderPeople

About the Author

Tony Mullen, Ph.D., teaches at Tsuda College, Tokyo, where his courses include modeling and animation with Blender as well as the Python programming language. Mullen has been a cartoonist and an illustrator. His screen credits include writer, co-director, or lead animator on several short films, including the award-winning Gustav Braüstache shorts.

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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Paperback
This book was mostly well-written, and is a good start for people looking to start animation in Blender. For me, there were parts where the book's explanation wouldn't work or I had questions that I had to seek answers to in other places. But for the most part, it's a really good introduction.
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Format: Paperback
I already knew a few things about Blender, but this book is helping me a lot to hone my skills in modelling, rigging and character modelling :)

thank you authors!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 47 reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
More than an introduction--it's an invitation to a whole new world! March 6 2007
By Michael Tiemann - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The blender community has accomplished some amazing milestones in the past few years, creating an open source 3d production environment that rivals the best (and most expensive) proprietary systems in terms of power, performance, and flexibility. It is truly amazing that one can download for free software that's been used to create artistic and commercial works that have been seen at film festivals and mainstream television worldwide. Sooner or later, one who is interested must ask: what shall I do with all this power? This book helps answer the question, at least when it comes to character animation.

I have been to Blender workshops around the world, and I have seen amazingly talented artists demonstrate methods they've developed over the years to create all sorts of characters, from humans to monsters, from animals to dragons. Watching these creatives who are half my age do more in 30 minutes than I ever thought I could do in a lifetime has been a humbling experience. When I learned that some of these folks would be sharing their knowledge in the form of this book, I pre-ordered it right away.

I have now had the book for a week, and I am *thrilled* that it has turned out as well as it has. The examples are well organized, the methods are completely explained, and the book ships with a DVD that contains everything, and I mean *everything* you need to follow along and/or check your work. The quality and quantity of information is perfectly balanced with the pace of instruction, and I cannot wait to continue reading it in more detail, practicing the methods, and bringing new characters to life.

Well done!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Just buy this and think about it later March 10 2007
By Theodore Gage - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blender is a free open source 3d application that includes a complete compositing and non-linear video editing system, with a ton of user-created extensions, plugins, scripts, tutorials and guides. However it can be intimidating to people starting out and let's face it, you have to be pretty motivated to teach yourself anything (downloading and collecting all the files you need to start, finding a good tutorial to get started, peering back and forth between two screens if you're lucky to look between the web page and blender as you slowly pick it up after a few weeks. it's annoying there are so few print resources for this amazing tool that collect everything in one place. combing blender with a program like aftereffects and photoshop and you are a one-man production studio. you don't even need that great a computer.

so anyway, this is a complete class in a book. The price is ridiculous, at a minimum because it includes many files and programs that although are free, most people either haven't heard about or are too lazy to find all together. it is excellently written, with great diagrams and a long section of glossy color renders, and really "gets it" in terms of focusing on the aspects of blender you will need to know for character rendering and modeling in general. THIS BOOK WILL TEACH YOU 3D ANIMATION FROM THE GROUND UP. while never insulting your intelligence. incredible value for what it is and even advanced users can get a lot out of it. highly recommended
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
DVD is nice, but not required March 23 2007
By Orinoco - Published on
Format: Paperback
An earlier reviewer thinks the book is useless without the included DVD.

Not so.

While it's very nice of Tony to include Blender, the Gimp, Audacity, VirtualDub, InkScape, Python, YafRay, BlenderPeople and VLC on the DVD, these are also freely downloadable from the web. [...]

Tony also provides animations and examples from the blender community, including the open source film Elephant's Dream, which are wonderful and inspirational, but not really required to learn character animation by reading the book and doing the projects in the book.

Other files on the DVD are blend files for the projects in the book, projects that Tony walks you through. Projects that, if you really want to get the most out of the book, you'll work through yourself, not simply read about them and then get the finished blend file off the DVD.

It is a great book, and not at all useless without the disk.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A must have for blender March 15 2007
By Stevebol - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm brand new to Blender so this is a noob review.If you are new to Blender get this book.If you are interested in in-organic modeling like buildings and such you won't learn about it here but you will learn about the interface and tools.This book is very well written.Now, will somebody please write a short book on modeling buildings,basic architecture and the like? Trying to figure out how to do something simple like doors,windows,wall thickness is a real pain with Blender.

Anyway,this book is exactly what the title say's so it's a must have. So when is that book on architecture coming out?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Non Trivial, but a Very Good Start March 15 2007
By John Matlock - Published on
Format: Paperback
For those considering a high end 3D modeling and animation software package Blender has to be considered a finalist among the candidates. First there are several technical aspects such as cross-platform portability, a good graphical user interface, is very fast, and more. Then the cost - FREE vs. hundreds to thousands of dollars. That's because Blender is open source with the advantages that there is a huge community of developers and a vast support structure. Bugs are fixed and support is given fast.

This book concentrates on teaching Blender beginning with the basic interface and quickly getting into animation. As this is one of the few Blender books, you can start here, but it goes over the basics pretty quickly.

The CD that comes with the book includes Blender 2.42 (2.43 is current you can get it from blender(dot)org) and a bunch of other open source software that will help with your graphics programming. Finally there are a lot of online resourses that are recommended.

Animation is not easy, but here's a good start.