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Blender Production

Book Description

Blender has become one of the most popular 3D animation tools on the market because it is robust and absolutely free. Blender Production is the definitive resource for anyone who wants to create short animations from scratch. With this book, and Blender, you have the ideal platform to make it happen. 

Blender expert and author Roland Hess walks you through the entire process of creating a short animation including: writing, storyboarding, blocking, character creation, animation, rendering, and production.

The associated web site includes the full Blender software kit and a complete short animation work broken down into handy modules that animators can study, learn from, and reuse in their own animated films. The sample project files amount to 100+ MB of cool content, including models, textures, materials, scenes and animation work.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Contents
  5. About the Book
  6. Chapter 1 An Overview of the Short Animation Process
    1. Creating a Short Animation
      1. Avoiding Death by Natural Causes
      2. Preproduction
      3. Production
      4. Postproduction
    2. The Importance of Following the Workflow
    3. Summary
  7. Chapter 2 Story Story Story
    1. What Makes an Engaging Story?
    2. Writing It Down
    3. Story Scope, Your Resources, and Reality
      1. Scope Example: Adding a Second Character
      2. Scope Example: Adding a Second Location
      3. Scope Example: Adding Length
    4. How Long Is My Story?
    5. Summary
  8. Chapter 3 Organization
    1. Your Digital Assets
    2. The Way That Blender Handles Assets
    3. A Suggested Organizational Structure
    4. Summary
  9. Chapter 4 Storyboarding and the Story Reel
    1. Storyboarding Basics
      1. Use a Long Shot
      2. Use a Point-of-View Shot
      3. My Solution: Montage Close-ups and Implied Action
    2. Suggested Tools
      1. Pen Tablets
      2. Paint Software
      3. Blender’s Image Editor
    3. Creating the Storyboards
    4. Telling the Story
    5. Recording a Temporary Sound Track for Timing
    6. Assembling a Story Reel in Blender’s Sequence Editor
      1. Sequencer Tools for Working with Image Strips
      2. Watching and Exporting the Story Reel
    7. Summary
  10. Chapter 5 Character Design and Creation
    1. Designing in Line with Your Theme and Reality
      1. The Boy
      2. The Snowman
    2. Modeling Based on Storyboard Requirements
      1. Faces, Hands, and Clothes
      2. Level of Detail
      3. Polygon Count
      4. Proxy Characters
      5. Preparing the Model for Future Work
    3. Summary
  11. Chapter 6 Libraries and Linking
    1. Libraries, and Why You Should Bother
    2. Linking Assets That Do Not Animate
    3. Linking Assets for Object-Level Animation
      1. Creating and Linking a Dupligroup
    4. Linking Assets for Character Animation
    5. Managing Your Links and Libraries
      1. Finding and Fixing Broken Links
      2. Moving a Shot File and Maintaining Its Links
      3. Moving an Asset File
    6. Summary
  12. Chapter 7 Rough Sets, Blocking, and an Animatic
    1. Creating Rough Sets
      1. Preparing the File for the Rough Set
    2. The Template (or Master) Scene File
    3. Matching Camera Angles to Storyboards
      1. Placing Your Characters
      2. Binding the Camera to the Marker
      3. Proceeding through the Story Reel
      4. Special Case: Reusing Cameras
    4. Additional Detail: Moving Cameras, Moving Characters
    5. Using the Grease Pencil
      1. Grease Pencil Over Time
    6. Creating an Animatic
      1. Replacing Storyboards in the Story Reel
    7. Summary
  13. Chapter 8 Good Sound
    1. Finding Decent Equipment and Environments
      1. What to Use
      2. Where to Record
    2. Making the Recording
      1. The Goal of the Recording Session
    3. Some Sound-Processing Basics
      1. Removing Noise and Adjusting Levels
    4. Previewing the Recorded Sound
    5. Summary
  14. Chapter 9 Managing Animation at the Project Level
    1. Render
    2. Working with a Team
    3. Staying Organized
    4. Animating in Stages and Getting Feedback
    5. Back to the Spreadsheet
    6. Case Study: Background Animation in Snowmen
  15. Chapter 10 Dialogue, Sound Effects, and Music
    1. When to Add Audio to Your Master Scene Template
      1. Adding Audio Strips to Shot Files
      2. Mixing and Exporting Sound for the Final Edit
      3. Mixdown
      4. Music
  16. Chapter 11 Final Sets and Backgrounds
    1. Workflow
    2. Quality versus Render Time
    3. Geometry
      1. Matching the Rough Set
      2. Movable Objects and Construction
    4. Materials
      1. Ray Tracing, of Course
      2. Subsurface Scattering
      3. Full Oversampling
    5. Lighting
      1. What Not to Use
      2. Lighting Exterior Shots
      3. Lighting Interior Shots
    6. Layering
    7. Getting Help with Set Building
    8. Summary
  17. Chapter 12 Simulation
    1. Blender’s Simulators
    2. Fluids
    3. Cloth
    4. Rigid Bodies
    5. Ocean
    6. Dynamic Paint
    7. Smoke
    8. Particles
      1. Bits o’ Stuff
      2. Strands: Hair and Fur
      3. Understanding the Cache Options
    9. Summary
  18. Chapter 13 Rendering and Compositing
    1. Goals and Overview
    2. Lighting Your Shot Files
    3. Compositing for Better, Faster Renders
      1. Faster Renders
    4. Getting a Good Render on Your Local Machine
    5. Final Animation Review
    6. Preparing for Render Farming
    7. Setting up and Using a Render Farm
      1. Using Network Render
    8. Checking the Final Frames
  19. Chapter 14 Final Edit
    1. Adjusting Timing
    2. Transitions
    3. Adding Titles and Color Plates
    4. Transforms
    5. More Complex Work
    6. Final Export
    7. Wrapping It Up
  20. Index