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Blender For Dummies® [Kindle Edition]

Jason van Gumster
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The exciting new book on the exciting new Blender 2.5!

If you want to design 3D animation, here's your chance to jump in with both feet, free software, and a friendly guide at your side! Blender For Dummies, 2nd Edition is the perfect introduction to the popular, open-source, Blender 3D animation software, specifically the revolutionary new Blender 2.5. Find out what all the buzz is about with this easy-access guide. Even if you're just beginning, you'll learn all the Blender 2.5 ropes, get the latest tips, and soon start creating 3D animation that dazzles.

  • Walks you through what you need to know to start creating eye-catching 3D animations with Blender 2.5, the latest update to the top open-source 3D animation program
  • Shows you how to get the very most out of Blender 2.5's new multi-window unblocking interface, new event system, and other exciting new features
  • Covers how to create 3D objects with meshes, curves, surfaces, and 3D text; add color, texture, shades, reflections and transparency; set your objects in motion with animations and rigging; render your objects and animations; and create scenes with lighting and cameras

If you want to start creating your own 3D animations with Blender, Blender For Dummies, 2nd Edition is where you need to start!

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 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)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004V4GAKA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,926 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay if you understand HOW it might be useful March 8, 2013
By Anise
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.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't expect tutorials or even clear how-to steps 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
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but outdated already 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.
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
2.0 out of 5 stars Does not explain in more detail January 5, 2012
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
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Start 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
2.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected January 18, 2012
By davec
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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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed June 30, 2012
By Ken66
Blender is the most difficult program I have ever used and I ordered this book as part of a second attempt to deal with it, having given up at an earlier stage. However, between ordering and delivery I found Paolo Ciccone's 'Blender Survival Guide' on This is a series of 13 video tutorials which can be downloaded and is the work of someone who actually knows how to teach something as complex as Blender to complete novices. It is based on Blender 2.49b, which is still available; the current (June 2012) version is 2.63a. However, 2.49b will be more than enough for many users, and although there have been significant changes to the interface, transferring to the more recent versions is not too difficult. Paolo does not take you all the way - the series stops short of 3D modelling, for example - but I was able to produce my first animated film title on the day after I started the 'Survival Guide', and by the time 'Blender for Dummies' arrived I no longer needed it. This is fortunate, because while it has some use as a reference book I think that I would not have found it particularly helpful in learning Blender from scratch (it is based, by the way, on Blender 2.5, which is closer to the 2.6 series than it is to 2.49b). Mr van Gumster is tremendously knowledgeable, but does not seem to me to have the necessary facility for explaining that knowledge in terms which the newcomer will find practically effective - Chapter 2, 'Understanding how Blender thinks', for example, contains a lot of information, but by the end of it the reader may not be a great deal further forward in terms of actually being able to produce anything. Other of the less positive reviews on Amazon say almost exactly the same thing. Learning how to do very much at all with Blender will take many hours, but is far from impossible, and the rewards are there eventually. It is a terrific program, and like Paolo's tutorials it is free.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
awesome book
Published 5 days ago by Donovan Stidd
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great source of Blender how-to knowledge and includes a CD with...
This book while easily can become dated covers most if not all of the features of Blender. Since Blender. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Robert St.George
4.0 out of 5 stars Im slowly getting it. You really need a little ...
Im slowly getting it. You really need a little experience with 3D modeling before attempting blender. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Richard T. Gross
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
A good starting off point.
Published 5 months ago by ByteDreams Slade
4.0 out of 5 stars Blender is hard
So I thought I'd buy this book in hopes I would comprehend the program better. It did help with some things. I just wish they would improve the software on Blender.
Published 9 months ago by Sharon Lynne
5.0 out of 5 stars Good source.
good source along with You tube for tutorial to enable learning to use Blender. Blender is the best free source program for 3D graphics that can be applied to animation, modeling,... Read more
Published 10 months ago by eldan fales
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindel Edition
I seem to be missing portions of the book n Chrome (using the reader plugin). There are also areas of the book that repeat mid-sentence. I don't own a Kindel. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Chris P.
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but far from the worst.
It's hard to teach how to use a piece of software in a book - this is even more challenging when the software is focused on 3D modelling. Read more
Published 17 months ago by C. A. Snow
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm going to kick Pixel's butt!
Not really, I still have a long way to go. Currently I'm on page 260 and I've got to tell you guys
this book teaches you a lot. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Fetcha200
5.0 out of 5 stars Blender review
I bought this as a birthday gift for one of my younger brothers. He seems to use it a lot. It was in great condition when I got it.
Published 21 months ago by carrie watson
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