In this digital age, I will never tire of having an actual book in my hands. The physical reading format I grew up with just simply cannot be fully replaced by PC, iPad, or e-reader. And though I spend plenty of time with digital creation, I find an open book on the computer desk suits me best for learning, or as inspiration in my work. And I'm quite proud of the reference library I've built-up over the years. Some books are more worn than others, but most get their fair share of occasional perusal when needed. And I've got a great one to talk about this week.
Though it's been years (perhaps 13 or so) since I did anything in the free 3D program Blender, I had been wanting to revisit it. And wow has the interface changed! Quite honestly, the last time I used Blender, the original 2.0 guide was still sufficient help on most aspects of the program. And Blender has come a very long way over the years, getting better all the time. If you've been thinking about giving Blender a shot yourself, then you'll want a good guide to learn it.
And recently, 3dtotal has released the perfect book to learn and use Blender: Beginners Guide to Creating Characters in Blender. This book is simply fantastic. And although the title makes it out to be simply about character creation, it goes much further, proving to be a very in-depth guide to learning and understanding Blender.
The book is basically divided into two parts, opening with a comprehensive overview of the interface, and how Blender works, then diving into character creation, explaining the tools and processes along the way. The character design projects really take you step-by-step through the whole process. The two main projects are a fish and a warrior, but in the beginnings of the book where modeling, sculpting and rendering are explained, you follow along with the creation of an alien type character.
This book also includes sidebars throughout which explain core concepts, provide great tips, and even some notes on troubleshooting, in case of problems you might experience with Blender. The book certainly will also serve well as a constant reference to keep handy as you advance with Blender.
Key topics covered:
• Getting started: introduction to 3D and getting set up
• The Blender interface: customization, Editors, workspaces, and more
• Modeling: objects, modifiers, and topology
• Sculpting: brushes, resolution, and retopology
• Rendering: lighting, UVs, materials, and post-production
3dtotal has also provided this flickthrough video, so you can plainly see all that is included.
If you are completely new to Blender, this book is all you really need to get started quickly, and confidently. And it is, indeed, a beautiful book, with full-color pictures on premium paper. Highly recommended! I've reviewed several books from 3dtotal, and they really do have a great selection worth checking out. Be sure to visit their bookshop here.
Title Beginner's Guide to Creating Characters in Blender
Softback 348 pages
Dimensions: 279mm x 216mm
Paper quality: Full-color premium paper pages
Nick C Sorbin (Nick Charles) is a former Managing Editor of 9 years for Renderosity's CG Industry News. By day, a mild-mannered Certified Pharmacy Technician working in both home infusion and a hospital ER, contrasting creative outlets as a digital artist, sculptor, musician, singer/songwriter, and Staff Writer for Renderosity Magazine. Read his articles