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Blender 3D By Example

Book Description

Design a complete workflow with Blender to create stunning 3D scenes and films step-by-step!

About This Book

  • Give life to a character within a full animated short film by learning the rigging and animation process

  • Make use of the powerful tools available in Blender to produce professional-quality 3D characters and environments

  • Discover advanced techniques by adding fur to a character, creating a grass field, and fine-tuning a shot with post-processing effects to enhance your creations

  • Who This Book Is For

    This book will give any beginner the necessary skills and knowledge to create own 3D projects with Blender. You don't need to have any previous experience in 3D modeling, but if you do, then this book is a great way get you started with Blender. This book is for anyone who wants to learn Blender by creating concrete projects.

    What You Will Learn

  • Understand the basics of 3D and how to navigate your way around the Blender interface

  • Create a 3D robot toy model from start to finish using the basic modeling tools of Blender

  • Make a full alien character using the skin mesh modifier and the sculpting tools with an artistic approach

  • Use re-topology techniques to create a clean 3D version of the previously sculpted alien

  • Model a full haunted house and its environment using more advanced modeling tools and techniques such as the Array Modifier, Instance duplication, or Curves

  • Discover the power of the texture paint tool in order to add color to the haunted house

  • Get to know the Cycles render engine by creating different materials for the house and the environment

  • In Detail

    Blender is a powerful tool, stable, with an integral workflow that will allow you to understand your learning of 3D creation with serenity. Today, it is considered to be one of the most complete 3D packages on the market and it is free and open source! It is very efficient for many types of productions, such as 3D animated or live action films, architecture, research, or even game creation with its integrated game engine and its use of the Python language. Moreover, Blender has an active community that contributes to expanding its functionalities. Today, it is used in many professional products and by many companies.

    Through this book, you will create many types of concert projects using a step-by-step approach. You will start by getting to know the modeling tools available in Blender as you create a 3D robot toy. Then, you will discover more advanced techniques such as sculpting and re-topology by creating a funny alien character. After that, you will create a full haunted house scene.

    For the last project, you will create a short film featuring a rat cowboy shooting cheese in a rat trap! This will be a more complex project in which you learn how to rig, animate, compose advanced material, composite, and edit a full sequence.

    Each project in this book will give you more practice and increase your knowledge of the Blender tools. By the end of this book, you will master a workflow that you will be able to apply to your own creations.

    Style and approach

    This is an easy-to-follow book that is based on four concrete projects, with increasing levels of difficulty. Each chapter will teach you how to create these projects step-by-step. New tools and techniques are introduced in a theoretical and practical way, so you can apply them in your own projects later.

    Downloading the example code for this book You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit and register to have the files e-mailed directly to you.

    Table of Contents

    1. Blender 3D By Example
      1. Table of Contents
      2. Blender 3D By Example
      3. Credits
      4. About the Authors
      5. About the Reviewers
        1. Support files, eBooks, discount offers, and more
          1. Why subscribe?
          2. Free access for Packt account holders
      7. Preface
        1. What this book covers
        2. What you need for this book
        3. Who this book is for
        4. Conventions
        5. Reader feedback
        6. Customer support
          1. Downloading the color images of this book
          2. Errata
          3. Piracy
          4. Questions
      8. 1. Straight into Blender!
        1. An overview of the 3D workflow
          1. The anatomy of a 3D scene
          2. What can you do with Blender?
        2. Getting used to the navigation in Blender
          1. An introduction to the navigation of the 3D Viewport
          2. What are editors?
            1. The anatomy of an editor
            2. Split, Join, and Detach
            3. Some useful layout presets
          3. Setting up your preferences
            1. An introduction to the Preferences window
            2. Customizing the default navigation style
            3. Improving Blender with add-ons
        3. A brief introduction to the projects
          1. The Robot Toy
          2. The Alien Character
          3. The Haunted House
          4. The Rat Cowboy
        4. Summary
      9. 2. Robot Toy – Modeling of an Object
        1. Let's start the modeling of our robot toy
          1. Preparing the workflow by adding an image reference
          2. Adding the head primitive
          3. The Edit Mode versus the Object Mode
        2. Using the basic modeling tools
          1. Modeling the head
          2. Modeling the antenna
          3. An introduction to the Subdivision Surface modifier
            1. Improving the head shape
          4. Modeling the thunderbolts
          5. Modeling the eyes
          6. Modeling the chest
          7. Modeling the neck
          8. Modeling the torso
          9. Modeling the buttons
          10. Modeling the fork
            1. Modeling protections for the fork
          11. Modeling the main wheel
          12. Modeling the arm
          13. Using Blender Internal to render our Robot Toy
        3. Summary
      10. 3. Alien Character – Base Mesh Creation and Sculpting
        1. Understanding the sculpting process
        2. An introduction to sculpting
        3. Choosing sculpting over poly modeling
          1. Using a pen tablet
          2. The sculpt mode
            1. Optimizing the viewport
        4. Anatomy of a brush
          1. Dyntopo versus the Multires modifier
            1. First touch with the Multires modifier
            2. First touch with Dyntopo
        5. Creating a base mesh with the Skin modifier
          1. Visual preparation
        6. An introduction to artistic anatomy
          1. Sculpting the body
            1. The head
            2. The torso
            3. The arms
            4. The legs
            5. The belt
        7. Summary
      11. 4. Alien Character – Creating a Proper Topology and Transferring the Sculpt Details
        1. Why make a retopology?
          1. Possibilities of arranging polygons
          2. Errors to avoid during the creation of retopology
          3. Density of polygons
        2. Making the retopology of the alien character
          1. Preparing the environment
            1. The head
            2. The neck and the torso
            3. The arms and the hands
            4. The legs
        3. Unwrapping UVs
        4. Understanding UVs
          1. The placement of the seams
          2. The placement and adjustment of the islands
          3. The baking of textures
            1. The baking of a normal map
            2. What is a normal map?
              1. Making of the bake
            3. Displaying the normal map in the viewport
        5. The baking of an ambient occlusion
          1. Understanding the ambient occlusion map
            1. Creation of the bake
          2. Displaying the ambient occlusion in the viewport
        6. Summary
      12. 5. Haunted House – Modeling of the Scene
        1. Blocking the house
          1. Working with a scale
        2. Blocking the bases of the house
        3. Refining the blocking
          1. Adding instantiated objects
        4. Reworking the blocking objects
        5. Breaking and ageing the elements
          1. Simulate a stack of wooden planks with physics
        6. Creation of the simulation of a stack of planks
        7. Modeling the environment (8 pages)
          1. Modeling the cliff
          2. Modeling a tree with curves
          3. Enhancing the scene with a barrier, rocks, and a cart
        8. Organizing the scene
          1. Grouping objects
          2. Working with layers
        9. Summary
      13. 6. Haunted House – Putting Colors on It
        1. Unwrapping UVs
          1. Using Project From View
          2. Unwrapping the rest of the house
          3. The tree with the Smart UV Project
          4. Unwrapping the rest of the environment
          5. Tiling UVs
            1. What is tiling for?
            2. The UV layers
        2. Adding colors
          1. Basics of the Texture Paint tool
            1. Discovering the brushes
              1. The TexDraw brush
              2. The Smear brush
              3. The Soften brush
              4. The Clone brush
              5. The Fill brush
              6. The Mask brush
            2. The Stroke option
            3. Delimiting the zones of painting according to the geometry
            4. Painting directly on the texture
          2. Painting the scene
            1. Laying down the colors
          3. Tiled textures
            1. The settings of our workspace
            2. Advice for a good tiled texture
          4. Painting the roof-tile texture
          5. Quick tips for other kinds of hand-painted tiled textures
          6. Baking our tiled textures
            1. Why bake?
            2. How to do it?
          7. Creating transparent textures
            1. The grass texture
            2. The grunge texture
        3. Doing a quick render with Blender Internal
          1. Setting lights
          2. Placing the camera
          3. Setting the environment (sky and mist)
        4. Summary
      14. 7. Haunted House – Adding Materials and Lights in Cycles
        1. Understanding the basic settings of Cycles
          1. The sampling
          2. Light path settings
          3. Performances
        2. Lighting
          1. Creating a testing material
          2. Understanding the different types of light
          3. Lighting our scene
          4. Painting and using an Image Base Lighting
        3. Creating materials with nodes
          1. Creating the materials of the house, the rocks, and the tree
          2. Adding a mask for the windows
          3. Using procedural textures
          4. Making and applying normal maps in Cycles
        4. Creating realistic grass
          1. Generating the grass with particles
          2. Creating the grass shader
        5. Baking textures in Cycles
          1. Cycles versus Blender Internal
          2. Baking the tree
        6. Compositing a mist pass
        7. Summary
      15. 8. Rat Cowboy – Learning To Rig a Character for Animation
        1. An introduction to the rigging process
        2. Rigging the Rat Cowboy
          1. Placing the deforming bones
          2. The leg and the foot
          3. The arm and the hand
          4. The hips
          5. The tail
          6. The head and the eyes
          7. Mirroring the rig
          8. Rigging the gun
          9. Rigging the holster
          10. Adding a root bone
        3. Skinning
          1. The Weight Paint tools
          2. Manually assigning weight to vertices
          3. Correcting the foot deformation
          4. Correcting the belt deformation
        4. Custom shapes
        5. The shape keys
          1. What is a shape key?
          2. Creating basic shapes
          3. Driving a shape key
        6. Summary
      16. 9. Rat Cowboy – Animate a Full Sequence
        1. Principles of animation
          1. Squash and Stretch
          2. Anticipation
          3. Staging
          4. Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose
          5. Follow Through and Overlapping Action
          6. Slow In and Slow Out
          7. Arcs
          8. Secondary Action
          9. Timing
          10. Exaggeration
          11. Solid drawing
          12. Appeal
        2. Animation tools in Blender
          1. The timeline
          2. What is a keyframe?
          3. The Dope Sheet
          4. The Graph editor
          5. The Non-Linear Action editor
        3. Preparation of the animation
          1. Writing a short script
          2. Making a storyboard
          3. Finding the final camera placements and the timing through a layout
          4. Animation references
          5. Organization
        4. Animating the scene
          1. The walk cycle
          2. Mixing actions
          3. Animation of a close shot
          4. Animation of the gunshot
          5. Animation of the trap
        5. Render a quick preview of a shot
        6. Summary
      17. 10. Rat Cowboy – Rendering, Compositing, and Editing
        1. Creating advanced materials in Cycles
          1. Skin material with Subsurface Scattering
          2. Eye material
          3. The fur of the rat
        2. The Raw rendering phase
        3. Enhance a picture with compositing
          1. Introduction to nodal compositing
          2. Depth Pass
          3. Adding effects
          4. Compositing rendering phase
        4. Editing the sequence with the VSE
        5. Introduction to the Video Sequence Editor
          1. Edit and render the final sequence
        6. Summary
      18. Index