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Blender For Dummies® Kindle Edition

29 customer reviews

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Length: 472 pages Optimized for larger screens
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Here's something to get animated about — free 3D animation software and this fun and easy guide!

So you really want to explore 3D animation, but you can't afford one of the high-end 3D graphics programs? Blender was made for you, and it's free! And this book is even friendlier than the open source Blender community. It shows you just what you need to know to turn your ideas into cool movies or games, even if you've never used 3D software before.

  • Think like Blender — get familiar with Blender's novel way of doing things, especially the unique interface

  • The basics — start creating 3D objects with meshes, curves, and surfaces, and use the Extrude tool

  • Lights, colors, and scenes — learn to build detailed 3D models, create characters and props, and light your scenes

  • Get moving — understand animation curves, rig characters for motion, use particles, and make objects bounce and jiggle

  • From Blender to something bigger — see how to render your files and move them into a movie file format such as QuickTime

Open the book and find:

  • Updates and new Blender features

  • How to save time with hotkeys

  • Ways to use Modifiers

  • Tips on adding color and adjusting shader values

  • All the options for adding texture

  • How to build a character from skeleton to skin

  • Basic animation principles

  • Ten solutions to common problems that new users face

Learn to:

  • Create realistic animations with this free, open source software

  • Build 3D objects with meshes, curves, and surfaces

  • Take advantage of the new interface and other features of Blender 2.56

  • Install Blender 2.56a from the bonus DVD

Bonus DVD Includes

  • Blender v 2.56a with installation instructions
  • A sample Blender movie to illustrate what you can achieve
  • Other helpful materials to get you going with Blender

Please see the About the DVD Appendix for complete system requirements.

Visit the companion Web site at www.dummies.com/go/blenderfd2e for examples, a link to download Blender, and more!

About the Author

Jason van Gumster uses Blender every day in his work as a producer/animator for Hand Turkey Studios. He has given numerous international Blender demonstrations and workshops for students, professionals, and hobbyists, and he also blogs for Blender Nation, the primary news Web site for Blender users.

Product Details

  • File Size: 18547 KB
  • Print Length: 472 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 2 edition (April 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: April 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V4GAKA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,092 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jason van Gumster is an animator, educator, and entrepreneur responsible for animations and visual effects for television, film, and video games. His fascination with the the creative, technical, and business challenges associated with collaborative productions has allowed him to manage large international production teams on ridiculously tight deadlines (4-7 minutes of animation in just 2 days)... for fun. A big proponent of open source software, Jason uses open source tools where ever possible... and discusses the ins and outs of that experience in his weekly podcast, the Open Source Creative Podcast. He's an administrator on the largest Blender user forum and a member of the Blender Certification Review Board.

Currently based just outside of Atlanta, Georgia, Jason spends the majority of his time drinking coffee and trying to be awesome. Every now and again, he succeeds at the latter.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on March 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
This book isn't as terrible as a lot of reviewers have been saying. On the other hand,the fact that others *have* been saying this is totally understandable. Let's look at why.

Partly as a result of reading and using this book, I think I've figured out why Blender has the reputation for being such a difficult program. It's actually not at all. In a lot of ways, it can be quite a bit easier than any or all of the graphics programs in Adobe CS (Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, After Effects, Premiere... okay, Premiere's easier. I haven't used Maya and 3DSMax in such a long time that I really can't evaluate it in relation to other 3D programs.) Photoshop, for example, SEEMS easier for two reasons-- it really is pretty easy to create a piece that at least looks like you've done something, and (drum roll; this is the key!) *the user interface is consistent and makes sense.* Blender's interface is not and does not, even though it's improved in 2.5 and up.

Here's a good example of what I mean. When you want to perform an action in Photoshop, it's not THAT difficult to figure out how you would do it according to the interface. The menus are never hard to find. They are always basically in the same place. It's not that they are very intuitive, but they are consistent. There is only so much trouble you can get into by undocking menus and moving them around. The same thing is true of the rest of CS.
(We WILL get to the specific book issues... hold on!)

Blender, OTOH... OMG*&^Y I DON'T EVEN. Pressing the wrong button accidentally seems to mean that you will never go back to the way you were again. Menus seem to appear and disappear randomly. I did a long online search for how to to just plain export a render to a file.
Read more ›
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By J Campbell on January 30, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'll preface this by saying that I'm a certified trainer of non-linear editing software and have be training classes for over 10 years. During this time I've often had to learn software as new versions were released, usually from books. Having done this on many occasions, I can comfortably say that Blender for Dummies is a terrible book to follow to learn the app. It may cover the interface and features, but not in a way that prepares a beginner to use it. It would be akin to studying only a dictionary in order to learn to speak a language - the words are all there, but there isn't enough context or lessons. Lessons/tutorials are a great way to learn new software, but the few in this book seem to be an afterthought. The steps are brief and vague and nearly all "tutorials" only include one screenshot of what the finished model should look like.

On a number of occasions the steps were not clear enough to finish up with the proper model and I would find myself searching forums or youtube for clearer tutorials.

Lastly, the book is big on keyboard shortcuts, but rarely mentions where the menu item for the same command can be found when there is one.

I haven't read any other books on Blender yet to compare this to, but it would be unfortunate if Blender for Dummies is the best there is.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Syed Khurshid on November 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good: This book truly does dum down to an individual who has absolute no knowledge of using 3D software like Maya or Zbrush. Teaches you shortcuts and tricks to use make it a really fast process and making your work easy. Whoever thinks Blender software is crappy has absolutely no idea how powerful it can be, but again because it is a open source software, it still is way far away from being the best and still needs support so please donate if you can because I sure did.
Cons:
This is teaches blender 2.3 even though when I bought it, it was considered to be fairly new. But at that time the edition that they were using was blender 2.5 and A LOT had changed. From the layout to keyboard shortcuts to menu items. So much had changed that one could not find what they were looking for, and now with Blender 2.64 out, its already way outdated.
Hopefully they should get it updated soon. Would love to use the book then.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Leo Reyes on January 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was not too happy with Dummies for Blender, but I bought it because I needed something right away before my books from Amazon came. The DVD is a farce, it only has few movie tutorial and the rest are just static screen images. There seem to be something missing that does not really explain in detail.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Roger Loria on October 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For individuals who have no experience with 3D software and are using Blender, this book is a good start. It is clearly written and gives a good overview of the program. It also provides the important shortcuts and tips for beginners. As with any introductory work, eventually you will move beyond it, but for getting started and as a basic reference it is definitately the best of the bunch.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By davec on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book should have been laid out in some sort of progressive thought. It is all over the place. Very hard to comprehend when like this. Going to try a differnet book to study. The tutorials in video mode should cover everything in each chapter, but doesn't.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Smoke on July 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I spent about a year learning Blender from scratch, and I became so fed up with Blender's interface that I wrote my own. It didn't do WYSIWYG, but it created the file which I could then render through Blender or Yafaray. With the newer versions of Blender, I thought the interface and bugs would be fixed, but no. Unfortunately, a lot of programmers cannot figure out how to create a usable, intuitive interface. They understand code, and that's it.

So I thought "Blender for Dummies" would help me get past Blender's interface, but alas, it didn't. I knew I was in trouble when the author devoted a lot of space at the beginning to the interface, listing all of its features. I could get equally good information from the Blender website. I've read and liked a few other "Dummies" books, but this one is a cut below. The writer just seems to be going through the motions, reciting information, without any insightful perspective.

I'm going back to my interface.
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