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Blender For Dummies®, 2nd Edition

Book Description

The exciting new book on the exciting new Blender 2.5!

If you want to design 3D animation, here's your chance to jump in with both feet, free software, and a friendly guide at your side! Blender For Dummies, 2nd Edition is the perfect introduction to the popular, open-source, Blender 3D animation software, specifically the revolutionary new Blender 2.5. Find out what all the buzz is about with this easy-access guide. Even if you're just beginning, you'll learn all the Blender 2.5 ropes, get the latest tips, and soon start creating 3D animation that dazzles.

  • Walks you through what you need to know to start creating eye-catching 3D animations with Blender 2.5, the latest update to the top open-source 3D animation program

  • Shows you how to get the very most out of Blender 2.5's new multi-window unblocking interface, new event system, and other exciting new features

  • Covers how to create 3D objects with meshes, curves, surfaces, and 3D text; add color, texture, shades, reflections and transparency; set your objects in motion with animations and rigging; render your objects and animations; and create scenes with lighting and cameras

If you want to start creating your own 3D animations with Blender, Blender For Dummies, 2nd Edition is where you need to start!

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright
  4. About the Author
  5. Dedication
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Publisher's Acknowledgments
  8. Contents
  9. Introduction
    1. About This Book
    2. Conventions Used in This Book
    3. Foolish Assumptions
    4. How This Book Is Organized
    5. Icons Used in This Book
    6. Where to Go from Here
  10. Part I: Wrapping Your Brain Around Blender
    1. Chapter 1: Discovering Blender
      1. Getting to Know Blender
      2. Discovering Blender's Beginnings
      3. Making Open Movies and Games
      4. Getting to Know the Interface
    2. Chapter 2: Understanding How Blender Thinks
      1. Looking at Editor Types
      2. Working with the Properties Editor
      3. Customizing Blender to Fit You
      4. Navigating in Three Dimensions
      5. New Features in Blender's 3D View Since 2.5
    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
  11. 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 Multiresolution Meshes
      5. Practical Example: Modeling an Eye
    2. Chapter 6: Using Blender's Nonmesh Primitives
      1. Using Curves and Surfaces
      2. Using Meta Objects
      3. Adding Text
    3. Chapter 7: Changing That Boring Gray Default Material
      1. Playing with Materials
      2. Coloring Vertices with Vertex Paint
      3. Practical Example: Coloring the Eye
    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
      8. Practical Example: Unwrapping Your Eye and Painting a Detailed Texture
    5. Chapter 9: Lighting and Environment
      1. Lighting a Scene
      2. Lighting for Speedy Renders
      3. Setting Up the World
  12. Part III: Get Animated!
    1. Chapter 10: Animating Objects
      1. Working with Animation Curves
      2. Using Constraints Effectively
      3. Practical Example: Building and Animating a Simple Eye Rig
    2. Chapter 11: Rigging: The Art of Building an Animatable Puppet
      1. Creating Shape Keys
      2. Adding Hooks
      3. Using Armatures: Skeletons in the Mesh
      4. Practical Example: Rigging Stickman
    3. Chapter 12: Animating Object Deformations
      1. Working with the Dopesheet
      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
  13. 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
  14. Part V: The Part of Tens
    1. Chapter 16: Ten Problems for New Users in Blender (And Ways Around Them)
      1. Auto Saves and Session Recovery Don't Work
      2. Blender's Interface Is Weird or Glitchy
      3. A Notorious Black Stripe Appears on Models
      4. Objects Go Missing
      5. Edge Loop Select Doesn't Work
      6. A Background Image Disappears
      7. Zooming Has Its Limits
      8. Lost Simulation Data
      9. Blender Doesn't Create Faces As Expected
      10. Disorientation in the 3D View
    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 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
      3. BlenderNation
      5. BlenderNewbies
      7. Blendswap
      8. Blenderart Magazine
      10. Blender IRC Channels on
  15. Appendix: About the DVD
    1. System Requirements
    2. Using the DVD
    3. What You'll Find on the DVD
    4. Troubleshooting
    5. Customer Care
  16. Index