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Learning Blender: A Hands-On Guide To Creating 3D Animated Characters

Create Amazing 3D Characters with Blender: From Design and Modeling to Video Compositing   Learning Blender walks you through every step of creating an outstanding animated character with the free, open source, 3D software Blender, and then compositing it in a real video using a professional workflow. This is the only Blender tutorial to take you from preproduction to final result, and it’s perfect for both 3D novices and those who’ve used other 3D Software.   Focusing on Blender 2.71 and above, 3D-professional Oliver Villar explains all the basics, including Blender’s interface, controls, and how to manipulate objects. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll follow a realistic 3D workflow through a complete project.   You’ll find chapters on every aspect of the character creation: design, modeling, unwrapping, texturing, shading, rigging, and animation. Once your character is ready and animated, you’ll learn how to integrate it into a real video using camera tracking techniques, lighting, and compositing. Each skillset is taught hands on, and available online video tutorials (more than 5 hours) will guide you through Blender’s trickier tasks.   By the time you’re done, you’ll understand how the whole process fits together, and how to use Blender to create outstanding characters for all media. You’ll also build strong Blender skills you can apply in any 3D project, whether it involves characters or not.   Learn How To Master Blender’s innovative user interface, navigation, and selection techniques Create your first scene with Blender and get comfortable with its core tools Prepare for projects so they’ll go as smoothly as possible Use modeling tools to create a 3D character Bring your character to life with color, textures, and materials Create your character’s skeleton and make it walk Make the most of Blender’s Camera Tracking tools Add lights to your 3D scene Render with Blender Internal or the powerful new Cycles render engine Composite your 3D character into a real video Switch to Blender from 3ds Max, Maya, or XSI   Register your book at to access all of this book’s production files, plus bonus video tutorials, and a useful Blender keyboard shortcut reference.  

Series: Learning

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (October 16, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0133886174

ISBN-13: 978-0133886177

Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches

Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #99,883 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #6 in Books > Computers & Technology > Graphics & Design > 3D Graphics #28 in Books > Computers & Technology > Digital Audio, Video & Photography > Video Production #90 in Books > Textbooks > Computer Science > Graphics & Visualization

At first glance, I wondered how well Villar’s book and companion videos would be over other Blender books and video tutorials. His materials proved to be much more effective. The two other Blender books I’m familiar with cover all of Blender’s controls and how they work. This book instead focuses on how you work those controls by completing an animation project. And though there are many video tutorial series online, none of them that I know of are directly supported by the voluminous information of an entire book.Before I read this book, my skills in Blender were very limited, dabbling infrequently off and on for the better part of a decade. At this slow, undisciplined pace, I have only recently crawled out of my modeling infancy in Blender, and am now looking forward to focusing on materials, texturing, rigging, and all the rest.This book & videos were so thorough that I still learned quite a lot of new things relating to modeling. And through all the extensive learning in the other areas, I found where my skills are weakest; UVs (I've got to learn GIMP) and animation. (Are you going to write in-depth books on these topics?I was pleased with several well defined concepts that I can’t recall learning elsewhere. For example, my previous understanding of UVs has grown from piecing together how it worked through various unrelated tutorials. Reading the opening paragraphs of Chapter 8 was finally enlightening.Also a minor yet very pleasing point on Villar’s videos, at the opening of each he mercifully indexes the specific times for locating each major learning point. This is excellent for reviewing and replaying certain parts. I can’t recall seeing any online tutorials do this. Such is one difference between professional and amateur.

I teach Digital Animation at University of Guadalajara, this book is great in the way Oliver handle every chapter explaining from basic to complex in a clear and comprehensive way, I did a small description about each chapter hope it would be helpful if you are thinking on getting this book.I The basics of BlenderYou’ll find from Blender history to differences and similarities between 3D commercial software and Blender, the basics to start working directly in Blender with clear and simple examples starting on Installing the software in almost any platform to continue learning almost every single corner of Blender’s interface and basic functionality at the end of this chapter you’ll feel confident manipulating, editing objects, working with lights and getting renders from the two included render engines, Blender render (Internal) and Cycles, too much information to handle in this chapter. If you are a beginner better not to jump this part and if you are an educator sure you’ll find a lot of small details that may be valuable.I can tell extra material conformed by video tutorials that complement perfectly all the written information about Blender interface and basic functionality.

The book is well organized by each part of the process steps as Villar takes us through the pipeline process of turning his 2d sketch of "Jim" into a colorful moving 3d character. Good for beginners and for experienced Blender users there are several tips and tricks that one might miss or forget so this book makes a good review in that respect. There is also a large set of downloadable movies and Blender files that come with the book. These movies greatly reinforce each part of the learning process.Unlike other tutorials this book does not note every key stroke. Instead it teaches concepts and techniques which are supported by the videos and with the exercises at the end of each chapter. More specific exercises might be in order, such as with rigging to gain further understanding though.Modeling is usually emphasized in books and videos so that beginners and intermediate hobbyist can see what they are creating. There are dozens of screen shots that show what is going on, but due to Blender's black background they are sometimes difficult to see where the vertex lines are located. Also the author may have used a MAC instead of PC so some of the orientation view commands might be reversed, such as 3 = Left view vs. Ctrl. 3 = Right view on PC.Rigging can be plagued with unseen issues that even an intermediate user might not catch. Villar does a good job of noting some of these issues and how to fix them. In Video 12 you can even see Villar getting tripped up as he endeavors to explain several concerns. While this video could be edited to remove some of the issues that occur in rigging, it does benefit the viewer in showing just how many things are going on at once.

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