BLENDER 3D BASICS
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.