I came across an image on the internet of an offer of a really sweet looking beverage drink. I made it in Blender3D and this is one angle of the lemons used. Did I get it right?
We were trying to create a juice called Slurp out of nowhere and I created it with Blender and rendered using cycles.
Its a pretty cool outcome problem is it took way too long to render up to that point.
Cool thing is Cycles render doesn’t necessarily have to be that long in render times.Check out Blender Gurus ways of reducing render-times using Cycles here
BLENDER 3D BASICS
The theme of this book is Learn by Doing: Less, More Results.
Catchy title for those who hate the process of having to read through a lot of theory first before you get to the action of actually doing something.
How basic can you get with the cover?
The book is for novices, a guide to modeling and animation. I know sometimes we think that’s going to come later at maybe an advanced level…who says? No one. It’s all in our minds, you can learn and practice from a novice’s level as well. There are no rules concerning when to start.
Anyway, that’s the backbone of the book. Learning it from beginner level.
The book is roughly 455 pages including Questions and answers divided into 12 chapters…you may or may not find that useful.
Published by PacktPub Publishers and written by Gordon C. Fisher.
An intro into the life of the author and his carrier in 3D animation and use of Blender 3D.Pretty good I think because I think at least even if you won’t get the time to Google or remember to check out the author, you will have an idea of who he is and not just some random guy from somewhere.
It goes on to give short brief information about the reviewers of the book as well. Quite well established names if you ask me.
Right after that we get into an ad from pact pub which I don’t really think should be there. Although it’s short but I won’t want to read it because am not interested. My interest is on 3D then I see something about free eBooks and what not. That’s a minus in terms of where it was placed in the book.
It being a book on Blender basics and animation it would only make sense to begin the book with an introduction to Blender and Animation.
The hurdles and challenges faced by new users are tackled in this chapter with tutorials assisted by colored screenshots that cover modeling, animation, lighting, camera and other areas.
For example like for Animation, one must understand the principles of animation which pretty much apply across the board for both 2D and 3D animation.
We look at videos that show how those principles are applied.
Blender is a community based software if you will. It’s free and people from all over the world contribute to it. Great movies have been made by Blender including Big Buck Bunny and Sintel among others. What makes Blender amazing software is its constantly growing/developing software and is free to willing learners.
Chapter one gets pretty deep into understanding the fundamentals of animation and not just using Blender and becoming skilled in it.
What impressed me the most while going through this chapter was the reference and going back to history and looking back at origin of animation, how it all started and how to use that knowledge to understand the principles of animation.
There’s a lot more to learn in this chapter.
The book is broken into 12 chapters and broken down systematically and explanations given in the most easy to understand way living up to its title. For example chapter 1 delves into the history behind animation. As much as we have learned a lot in advancements in animation through the years, the basics of animation from 100 years ago still apply to now and it’s important to understand them.
I found this pretty useful and immensely helpful for somebody who is starting out and for those in it but don’t already understand the principles of animation.
You might expect that for a book named back to basics it might be short in what you need to learn but I found the book pretty detailed and deep explanation of things that we would otherwise assume to be not relevant but the author expounds on the smallest of details about Blender.
The earlier chapters of the book explore the interface of Blender thoroughly to its tools, objects ,lamps and cameras.
He gets into a deeper explanation that affect a lot of Blender users in their earlier years of using it like lighting then adding color to a scene.
An interesting chapter or topic of discussion I found interesting was ON:
Understanding the rules of Composition.
There are three basic rules of composition.
-The rule of thirds
-Using positive and negative space
-Using a limited palette.
Understanding these basic rules will help you understand what to consider when creating a scene and animating.
For example, point 1 on the rule of thirds is all about creating a well-balanced scene. It involves breaking down a scene into grid form with lines virtually running through vertically and horizontally. With that in mind, you get to see the difference between two scenes where one has the rule of thirds in place and one there is no rule of thirds.
For the one with the rule of thirds, there is a sense of being drawn into the picture, feels like there is more detail in the picture than the one without the rule in application.
Unfortunately when you just get interested it doesn’t expound much but gives you the interest and the author provides a link where you would find more of The Rule of Thirds.
On the whole I find the book easy to read and understand and flows at a pace that would be easy for a newbie to understand.
Later on the author gets into a chapter about modeling practice, after going through the previous chapters on understanding animation’s principals to moving vertices they all come into practice together at this point.
When modeling you just don’t start, there are several things to consider first before actually starting, for those who have become used to blender may not be aware of this because it has become part of them when modeling that they don’t notice.
The whole modeling chapter is pretty detailed and doesn’t leave anything to chance, I’d say it covers much and the fact that it gets into animation of the boat I find pretty interesting. Animating the boat with oars isn’t something you might know of the top of your head which is why his explanation on keyframes helped in understanding to get the oar movements by copying keyframes .
He describes the process as a practical endeavor that requires not just you and your laptop but also you physically making and timing your movements to be able to get the right timing for your keyframes.
Later on the author touches on after you are done with the animation, it’s all good then what.
The output of just before you render your animation. You may want to output your animation in standard TV or in HD. The rule of safe title and safe action apply to standard TV but not to HD. So how do you do it.
One outstanding thing about the book is the fact that the writer has been constantly putting references from books, videos to help in the bringing home the message of certain topic and generally…having helpful material in form of links and titles of books and authors that ought to help you a lot.
I felt that on some topics there should have been more from the author than him referring us to articles and other material. When I am just about to get a snack to come and continue only to realize where I left it is where it ended. But regardless…I love the book. It’s a constant read in practice. And a good reference point for both beginners and experienced users occasionally when you need to remind of yourself of something that you forgot. Definitely not a one-time read and you are done with it.
BLENDER GAME ENGINE
The Non-Programmers guide to creating video games.
By Victor Kuller Bacone
A brief description of the writer of the book, Victor, previously a video editor got into 3d animation and chose Blender as his tool of trade.
He has grown into it for the past 6 years and has become a master in 3D and has promoted it in Blender events and through online magazines.
His love for games led him to writing this book.
The book is about 187 pages divided into 8 chapters.
Animation has been always an exciting thing so has been gaming. One must have wondered how games are made and for those who know a little about it know how intense it can be in terms of coding. I admit I was curious too about it for a while and I think Victor must have the same idea and decided to put into a book for the rest of us. Blender Game Engine.
The book is meant for those who are familiar with Blender but have just never tried its gaming side.
Chapter 1: Things You Need to Know
As of like many books the chapter begins with an intro into the Blender and its interface in relation to BGE (Blender Game Engine) and what the Logic Editor is.
After going through this chapter and engaging in the tutorials and following the process I found it pretty easy to understand. By the time I was done with the chapter I had pretty much gotten a basic very rough idea of how a game is created.
I learned about Sensors, Controllers and Actuators and how they relate to each other.
The language is straightforward and not hard to comprehend.
Chapter 2: Your Characters
This chapter is about how you begin with BGE. To begin anything you need objects to work with so we are taken through a process of how we can get them and useful links online.
The basics of the chapter are now applied to a real character in this chapter but how do you go about doing that?
First of all he explains the importance of not limiting yourself in creating a game…. Putting your ideas on paper first before raising a finger to touch Blender. It’s not something you work as you go along because it won’t work but only give you a headache.
He provides links of where to get some of the 3d models to use in the making of the game.
The chapter is interesting enough, he has taken into consideration the fact that not every 3d artist may have a strong point in modeling.
He has shown us how to import the objects with minimal errors if any at all. It’s good to understand the meaning of using licenses and knowing what to touch and what not to touch. Basically respect other artist models and using them the way they are meant to be used.
We are also taken through the process of making the game interactive with enemies and environment and how the character interacts with all of them.
Chapter 3: The First Level
In this chapter the author begins to actually create something. We are shown how to begin creating game.
Creating the environment and collisions of the character with the environment. I find the chapter a bit more harder/complex to understand because of the increasing level of complexity but also if read and practiced it would eventually make sense.
Chapter 4: Collisions
A game can’t be a game without the character colliding with the environment. This is explained and brought out in this chapter on how that can be achieved.
A hard chapter as well as things get complicated but the explanation is on point and eventually will be easier to understand. He uses screen shots in every stage to help the beginner understand the book better.
In the chapter you get to learn things such as a Near sensor that detects an object or character when it gets close in the process either colliding or reacting in a certain way.
Pretty exciting to try out on your machine and get immediate results.
Chapter 5: Gameplay
Gameplay is about the character, the rules of the game, challenges and interactions with its environment and basically the plot of the game.
In this chapter important topics concerning gameplay are discussed.
Again each chapter has a summary in brief of what the writer is about to delve into in this chapter.
This chapter is all about creating different camera views of the character, creating life indicator bar among others…. its well expounded on and I don’t believe anything was left out. An example of what happens in this chapter is the Growth of a character. In the process unlocking new levels, tools, weapons, hidden passageways…and all that. An d when is a character meant to begin his growth process. GET THE BOOK.
Chapter 6: Liven up Your World!
How to liven up your game!
As it is said, the little things matter the most especially in 3D.
When modeling a house the extra detail of adding a chair, vase or little things in the kitchen is what complete the detail of the house. Same with the game…. the author gets into livening up the character by for one animating them. A good explanation process and aided by screenshots and little icons that lay emphasis on certain points to note.
Chapter 7: Game Menu Screens
So once you are done with the game…it’s about how to create the menus and executables for the game that will allow someone to play. How to go about doing that.
Creating a menu or emblem that will make a quick first impression from the first glance.
Chapter 8: Publishing Your Game
How do you reach the people that you are targeting, by putting your game online…He explains how to put your game online trough a plug-in that is free and made for Blender users.
I find the information provided by the author useful in terms of getting your content out there and putting enough heart into it to get quality feedback that will help you later on.
He provides links of soft wares that are useful in achieving this.
Apart from a few grammatical errors the book is simple enough to enable beginners understand and be able to create a game without necessarily learning coding.
The book is fun read and practice as you enjoy going through it especially if you are a gamer. I admit I was reading through it while playing a game in the midst of pauses.
You get to see the principles applied in actual complex game and understanding it a bit more I believe.
Easy to understand fun read.