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The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics: Computer Modeling and Animation [Paperback]

John M. Blain
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 56.83
Price: CDN$ 46.48 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

April 16 2012

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.


Frequently Bought Together

The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics: Computer Modeling and Animation + Character Development in Blender 2.5 + Blender Master Class: A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering
Price For All Three: CDN$ 110.11


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Review

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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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What you need to start leaning Blender Aug. 30 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you have just discovered Blender and are interested in learning how to use the program this book is a must. There are lots of wonderful video tutorials online but before you get into the fun and complicated stuff I recommend this book first. It covers the basics like nodes, particles, and textures. You don't need a computer science degree to understand the text. It's accompanied by screenshots and easy to read instructions. I've competed most of the exercises in the book and I learned a ton. I keep it near my computer as a reference tool. Highly recommended for beginners.

There are very minor differences between the 2.6 version in the book and the 2.67 version I have installed. If you are concerned about this don't be. The programming and the interface are still the same.

Unfortunately their isn't a section on the cycles render engine. If you don't know what this is it's a render engine that uses your GPU instead of your CPU and it has the power to create amazing images. Google Blender Cycles Render Engine to see what I mean. I believe it's not in the book because its a fairly new feature and hasn't been perfected yet.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Concept - Poorly Executed March 21 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Virtually everything I know is self-taught and I rely heavily on books. I actually like to read manuals. When I decided to learn Blender I was thrilled that a book was actually available somewhere. Blender books are very hard to find and the Blender site wiki is almost as intimidating as the program. I didn't hesitate to snatch up this book.

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.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meticulously written and illustated - a pleasure to use Sept. 20 2012
By Phil Blender Nut - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A refreshing approach to teaching is reflected throughout The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics which is a book meticulously tailored for new Blender users. When learning to master the graphical user interface (GUI) with its access to the functions for modeling, rendering and animating beginners feel as if they have a patient instructor sitting beside them guiding them every step of the way.

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
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent July 17 2012
By Pete - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is to be highly commended for teaching the basics of Blender modeling and animation in a clearly written, logical step by step method. It is a quality book which is user friendly from start to finish! It is an excellent book for getting started with Blender because the well written text is very easy to follow and is complemented by high quality images and diagrams. I recommend The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics to anyone wishing to learn computer modeling and animation using Blender and it would also be a great textbook tutorial or reference manual. I have no hesitation in giving this quality publication five stars.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2014 & Still glad I got it!!! Sept. 17 2012
By Calvin C. Mcgaugh - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
(1/10/14...2nd update to review)
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
too thin".

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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the closest to the 'Missing Blender Manual' that I've seen (yet) June 7 2013
By Michael Janzen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Granted, its hard to write books for Blender since its changing every few months. But this book is the most complete view of the post 2.5 version that I've read. There are other books that do a better job covering specific portions of the Blender interface - and other books that are better for beginners - but this one is the best book for an advanced beginner to intermediate level user trying to improve their skills.
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