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Foundation Blender Compositing
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2009
Blender is an amazing 3D software with incredible potential for Film/Video effects, compositing, and editing, and now a great book to explain it all.
If you're making movies, full featured films, or just exciting videos for the internet and you want to do it yourself you have got to get Blender (free) and this book.
Roger has written this information in such a way that makes it an easy read, an easily remembered instructional format by associating what is being done and why it is being done, and a touch of history as to how it has been done, that really makes it hard to put this book down.
I wish more hi-tech writers would write in this non-dry style as Roger has.
Roger is one of those few writers that obviously thought out before-hand the best way to get an idea or instruction across in the best method possible and not just how to get another book out on the shelves.
I swear if I had to write this book it would have taken 10 years to cover all the information that is covered here in an easily understandable way.
After reading this book I'll be using Blender instead of all those other expensive programs I've used in the past such as After Effects, Morph Age, Shake, and even Final Cut. Blender can do it all and now I have a road map on understanding how it can be done.
This book should have been called 'Film/Video/Animation/Special EFX Bible'.
At $31 this is the best books I've bought in a long time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
as a professional 3d artist with more than a decade of experience in maya, max and now blender; i have been searching for an open source alternative to a compositing application rivaling after effects, for linux. this book has, theoretically, provided me with the most viable solution yet, and has left me with a sense of accomplishment in completing it.
however, as i do feel that a book of this type is not just purely about the text contained therein, but also about the exercises and the accompanying graphics for those exercises i can't give it a full five stars. the exercises are pretty basic and simply just tools to demonstrate a methodology (this is not, however, to the disadvantage of the book in general). if you can look past the mediocre screen captures and other graphics this book will work wonders for you.
i personally feel that, as a visually oriented person (as i'd imagine most people reading this book will be), it is easier for me to remember a concept or idea if i have a strong visual representing that idea. the visuals in this book are not what i would consider to be 'strong imagery'. assets are reused across indirectly related/unrelated exercises which makes some concepts difficult to recall in retrospect. this generally means, for me, having to re-read through a chapter or two again at a later stage.
all that said, i thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and learned many, many new concepts and workflows that i can now confidently incorporate into my own workflow and achieve my original objective of replacing my old proprietary compositing suite with blender.
many thanks to the author!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2009
As a long-time supporter of Blender I've bought nearly ALL books (and DVDs) that dealt with the program suite.
What makes this book singular is that it DOES NOT deal with Blender as a modeling tool for 3D scenery but as an editor to add a lot of groovy post-production effects to your movies.
The most astonishing side-effect for me was that I can even achieve advanced 2D effects like the Disney studios on their multiplane camera, where different cell layers are moved in parallel in 3 (!) dimensions to produce travelling effects "normal" 2D animation cameras are not capable of. Just imagine that you can use various 2D planes in motion as freely as if you had coloured glass panes in your hands !

Anybody who wished to imitate those scrolling titles of the Star Wars saga disappearing into a star-filled sky - here you are: just use Blender's compositing tools following the examples of Wickes' book.

In vain did I look for a 2D animation tool to bring different texts with different fonts and scriptures together to dance merrily with each other - now I can import those texts as shapes into Blender, animate them on different layers and add those spicy fog, sandstorm or other particle effects to them just using Blender !

One of the best investments I ever made was when I helped to buy Blender free, followed by ordering Wickes' groundbreaking edition of "Blender Compositing".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2011
Sadly, I will only give this book one star, as its cover design misrepresents the version of Blender for which the material was actually written. On the cover is "Big Buck Bunny", an animation totally associated with Blender V2.5. BBB was created with Blender 2.5, which is a brand-new product, i.e., a brand-new ground-up total redesign and recode of Blender loosely based on archaic V2.4 and earlier versions. This cover gives the reader the wrong impression that this is a brand new reference book for V2.5 users. Very wrong!

I have been searching for detailed reference information for the Blender 2.5 Video Sequence Editor (VSE), which is almost impossible to find. I thought I had finally found it, until I tried to use this book with the V2.5 Blender program. Nothing matched up! Things did not work together! The book is written for ancient and now almost-defunct version of Blender: V2.4. I was super-disappointed with the book.

The book is obsolete. Had the version of the content not been misrepresented, I would have given it a five-star rating as the writing itself is excellent. It was just written for a now almost-defunct product, not the current product.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2009
A DVD is included with this in-depth survey of how to use the Blender program to maxim advantage. It's the world's foremost open source computer graphics digital content authoring system and has been used to create cartoons, shorts, TV commercials, and more. The software and references on the companion DVD support a step-by-step approach to animating elements and sequencing shots with audio. Any computer video producer needs this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is the only book available on how to work with Blender's nodal compositor, so that's why it get's two stars. Unfortunately, the bulk of the book is material on handling digital rights (intellectual property, etc.), and on the production pipeline and creative workflow issues. Interesting stuff, yes, but here it's wasted space and bulk filler that's out of place.

The author then covers how to texture polygon planes and render these out using Blender's 3D system to create image montages. This can be done in ANY 3D program, and is better, easier, and faster using layers in After Effects. The section on rotoscoping has so many awkward work arounds it's painful. Blender is simply not set up for this kind of work (though newer versions may improve on this).

Finally, at page 273, well over half way through the book, we finally get to node based compositing. The material here is thin, and covers the available nodes in the Blender compositor, but doesn't talk much about standard compositing techniques. Better for this is the Steve Wright book Digital Compositing for Film and Video. Sadly, at page 391 the author shifts over to covering the Non-Linear Editor. So by my count that's 118 pages for Compositing.

I was disappointed in this book and cannot recommend it.
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on May 19, 2012
This book is written for Blender 2.49, so all the examples are naturally from this version. Be prepared to look around for the features that have changed position after the 2.5 interface change.
In spite of this, the book is very good because it explains so many other things that are good to know that go beyond a changed interface. It teaches what kind of mindset and workflow is needed for using Blender in the realm of digital compositing, and it has many good tips that still apply in version 2.63. I still use it regularly.
The book was quite challenging for me since I was a complete beginner, but this is a good thing because I have learned a lot from it.
I give it five stars because of all it has taught me, and that so far it has stood the test of time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2009
I am not a writer so this will be short. I love this book and really enjoy Rogers style. If you want to expand your knowledge of Blender this book will take you there. After going thru some of the little projects you can really, REALLY realize how powerful a program Blender is. Thanks to people like Rodger who share their knowledge with the rest of us.
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on January 23, 2014
Great stuff. Any book on blender is going to be outdated by the time
it comes off the press, but this one will help you get your head
around the concepts. And it's beautifully produced and illustrated.
Get it and then catch up with new changes in Blender with online videos.
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on July 13, 2010
this is a very good book. It makes understanding Blender a snap. I highly recommend this book for anybody who wants to learn how to do 3d or even regular video editing using Blender. Thank you so much
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