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Blender For Dummies, 3rd Edition

Book Description

Learn 3D animation the easy way with this complete step-by-step guide

Blender For Dummies is the quick and easy guide to learning 3D modeling and animation using the popular, free, open source Blender software. You'll learn how to create models, animate movement, and render well-lit scenes as you master the powerful features that rival the more expensive professional animation software. This third edition is updated to cover the latest features added in Blender, including digital sculpting with dynamic topology, rendering with the incredibly powerful Cycles renderer, and more advanced simulation tools. You'll learn the shortcuts and tricks that make creating animation a reality for anyone at any level. The companion web site provides access to additional tutorials that give you the confidence you need to start animating quickly. This useful guide blends the functionality of a reference with the hands-on learning that develops your skills and understanding in a flash.

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

  • Add color, texture, shades, reflections, and transparencies

  • Set your models in motion with animation and rigging

  • Create expert-level scenes with lighting and camera placement

  • If you want to learn 3D animation, but don't want to spend thousands of dollars getting started, Blender is just the solution you need. Blender For Dummies is the ultimate learning companion.

    Table of Contents

    1. Cover Page
    2. Title Page
    3. Copyright
    4. Contents at a Glance
    5. Table of Contents
    6. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Foolish Assumptions
      3. Icons Used in This Book
      4. Beyond the Book
      5. Where to Go from Here
    7. Part I: Getting Started with Blender
      1. Chapter 1: Discovering Blender
        1. Getting to Know Blender
        2. Getting to Know the Interface
      2. Chapter 2: Understanding How Blender Thinks
        1. Looking at Editor Types
        2. Understanding the Properties editor
        3. Customizing Blender to Fit You
        4. Navigating in Three Dimensions
        5. Extra Features in the 3D View
      3. Chapter 3: Getting Your Hands Dirty Working in Blender
        1. Grabbing, Scaling, and Rotating
        2. Differentiating Between Coordinate Systems
        3. Transforming an Object by Using the 3D Manipulator
        4. Saving Time by Using Hotkeys
      4. Chapter 4: Working in Edit Mode and Object Mode
        1. Making Changes by Using Edit Mode
        2. Adding to a Scene
    8. Part II: Creating Detailed 3D Scenes
      1. Chapter 5: Creating Anything You Can Imagine with Meshes
        1. Pushing Vertices
        2. Working with Loops and Rings
        3. Simplifying Your Life as a Modeler with Modifiers
        4. Sculpting in Virtual Space
      2. Chapter 6: Using Blender's Non-mesh Primitives
        1. Using Curves and Surfaces
        2. Using Metaball Objects
        3. Adding Text
      3. Chapter 7: Changing That Boring Gray Default Material
        1. Understanding Materials and Render Engines
        2. Quick n' Dirty Coloring
        3. Setting Up Node Materials in Cycles
        4. Playing with Materials in Blender Internal
      4. Chapter 8: Giving Models Texture
        1. Adding Textures
        2. Using Procedural Textures
        3. Understanding Texture Mapping
        4. Unwrapping a Mesh
        5. Painting Textures Directly on a Mesh
        6. Baking Texture Maps from Your Mesh
        7. Using UV Textures
      5. Chapter 9: Lighting and Environment
        1. Lighting a Scene
        2. Lighting for Speedy Renders
        3. Setting Up the World
    9. Part III: Getting Animated
      1. Chapter 10: Animating Objects
        1. Working with Animation Curves
        2. Using Constraints Effectively
      2. Chapter 11: Discovering the Tools Used in Rigging
        1. Creating Shape Keys
        2. Adding Hooks
        3. Using Armatures: Skeletons in the Mesh
      3. Chapter 12: Animating Object Deformations
        1. Working with the Dope Sheet
        2. Animating with Armatures
        3. Doing Nonlinear Animation
      4. Chapter 13: Letting Blender Do the Work for You
        1. Using Particles in Blender
        2. Giving Objects Some Jiggle and Bounce
        3. Dropping Objects in a Scene with Rigid Body Dynamics
        4. Simulating Cloth
        5. Splashing Fluids in Your Scene
        6. Smoking without Hurting Your Lungs: Smoke Simulation in Blender
    10. Part IV: Sharing Your Work with the World
      1. Chapter 14: Exporting and Rendering Scenes
        1. Exporting to External Formats
        2. Rendering a Scene
      2. Chapter 15: Compositing and Editing
        1. Comparing Editing to Compositing
        2. Working with the Video Sequence Editor
        3. Working with the Node-Based Compositor
    11. Part V: The Part of Tens
      1. Chapter 16: Ten Problems (and Solutions) for Newbies
        1. Blender's Interface Is Weird or Glitchy
        2. A Notorious Black Stripe Appears on Models
        3. Objects Go Missing
        4. Edge Loop Select Doesn't Work
        5. A Background Image Disappears
        6. Zooming Has Its Limits
        7. Lost Simulation Data
        8. Objects Don't Appear When Rendering
        9. No GPU Rendering for Cycles
        10. Funky Deformations in Animation Rigs
      2. Chapter 17: Ten Tips for Working More Effectively in Blender
        1. Use Tooltips and Integrated Search
        2. Look at Models from Different Views
        3. Lock a Camera to an Animated Character
        4. Don't Forget about Add-ons
        5. Name Everything
        6. Use Scene Layers Effectively
        7. Do Low-Resolution Test Renders
        8. Mind Your Mouse
        9. Use Grease Pencil to Plan
        10. Have Fun, but Take Breaks
      3. Chapter 18: Ten Excellent Community Resources
        1. Blender.org
        2. BlenderArtists.org
        3. BlenderNation
        4. BlenderBasics.com
        5. blender.stackexchange.com
        6. BlenderCookie.com
        7. Blendswap
        8. Blenderart Magazine
        9. builder.blender.org
        10. Blender IRC Channels on freenode.net
    12. Index
    13. About the Author
    14. Dedication
    15. Authors' Acknowledgments