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Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook [Kindle Edition]

Virgilio Vasconcelos

Kindle-Preis: EUR 15,13 Inkl. MwSt. und kostenloser drahtloser Lieferung über Amazon Whispernet

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Part of Packt's Cookbook series, each chapter focuses on a different aspect of animation. If you don't have the time to work your way through a long tutorial, then this is the book for you. The step-by-step recipes are independent from each other so you can dip in and out of the book to add great effects as and when you need them. Blender users who already know the basics of adding, modeling and rendering objects within the program, but are eager to learn how to turn a character's mesh into a living creature.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Virgilio Vasconcelos

Virgilio Vasconcelos is an animator based in Brazil, who uses Blender as his 3D tool to produce animations. He is also a university professor, teaching digital 3D and 2D animation at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG). His specialties include character rigging and animation, and his first tryst with Blender was back in 2003. He has worked as lead 3D artist at Nitrocorpz Design Studio, and has several personal and commissioned productions recognized by the Blender community, being awarded and nominated for artistic categories in events such as Blender Conference and BlenderPRO


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 4517 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 308 Seiten
  • Verlag: Packt Publishing (17. Juni 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ASIN: B005MPZV3O
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #268.086 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Good book to start in Animation with Blender 30. August 2011
Von J. R. Cardona - Veröffentlicht auf
"Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook" is a new book by Packt Publishing written by Virgilio Vasconcelos, a 3D animator who uses Bender at his work and is also teacher of 2D and 3D animation at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil). He has won several awards in international events related to Blender.

You can watch some of the works of Mr. Vasconcelos at his site: [...]

The scope of this book is to show how an animated character can be produced using Blender. Piece by piece, a humanoid figure is animated, until all the body is provided with bones, limits and the capability to move and be animated (rigged). Then, the author tells us how to combine all this rigging into a life-like movement or animation.

Everything from limbs movement to face expressions is covered, using neat recipes that explain every single step and part of the body.

The book is for 3D modelers that use Blender. Blender is the open source solution for 3D modeling, animation and rendering. During many years of development, it is reaching a perfection and an abundance of features that is much higher than many commercial solutions. And since the 2.5 version, which this book covers, also an ease of use and an intuitive interface that makes it easier to learn, using good books like this and others by Packt Publishing that I have reviewed before.

On Chapter 1, you get yourself introduced to the basic concepts of rigging and animation. It's an overview of the tasks of an animatior, and the starting point to make a good knowledge base so when you start animating you don't get confused or stuck in rutinary tasks.

Everyone that is on 3D knows how strange and confusing it can be at the beginning. Sometimes we find ourselves fighting against a legion of wrong techniques, and having to throw all the work to the recycle bin and start again from scratch. Others, the visual interface and even the concepts behind the interface of the programs we use can be an obstacle. It is better to read books like this, as in this chapter, that don't suppose you have a hint on all this, and avoid the hundreds of stupid mistakes of a beginner before they happen.

The second chapter is about the rig of the torso of our humanoid. The torso is considered to go from the pelvis to the neck. It is logical to begin the rig from the torso (with the origin in the hip, usually) to the rest of the body. The reason is because it is the center of gravity, and in most creatures, most of the limbs have their origin connected to the torso. The bone system grows this way like a plant that has its seed in the center of the figure and grows in all direction.

Also, it needs to be carefully done and have a balance between flexibility and realism. This chapter tells how to take these first crucial steps in making a solid rig.

Chapter 3 is all about the eyes. The eyes is what give real expressiveness to a face. Just with the rig of a torso and the eyes you get 90% of the expressiveness of a figure. In additiion, any photographer knows that the eyes in the face is what everyone looks most of the time. The attention of the public is driven to the eyes of the model. Later, they look to other regions.

Surely you don't want a "Poker Face", so in the next chapter, called this way, you get to know how to recreate full facial expressions, creating up to 12 facial expressions that show the most usual feelings and states of mind of a human face.

On Chapter 5, we transform our character so it becomes fully animated with the addition of the limbs controllers. Our character gets legs, arms and fingers now, fully prepared to what will happen in the next chapters, fully ready to become alive.

The sixth chapter is an introduction to animation in layers, a technique that allows to separate different parts of the animation so you can reuse and modify easier the different parts.

Chapter 7, "Easy to Say, Hard to Do" is a chapter that tells things like how to make poses natural and realist in an animation, by making tricks like avoiding unnatural perfect symmetry, making subtle movements between the main ones, simulating inertia, and so on. This way, the animation goes beyond a robotic sequence and becomes a life-like movie.

On the eight chapter you can apply all that you learned in the previous sections to simulate real life situations like a tennis match or a run through a forest. It's a series of examples that show all the animation of a body applied to different scenarios.

In "Spicing It Up" you will learn other animation techniques that deserve their own chapter. These are basically the addition of actions to a main animation that give more interest and enrich them, or animating things like hair. But the most interesting for me is the use of AniSculpt, the technique for making a mesh deform in an animation, as real muscles and soft bodies deform when they are in movement. This really takes your animations to a higher new level of realism.

The last chapter is a set of more refinements. The most remarkable one is the last section, that teaches how to make talking animations.

After all this, you will find an Appendix, with some practical tips about storytelling, naming conventions and the creation of a smooth transition along a story that you want to tell. It also introduces you to some Blender tools like the Grease Pencil, that allows to paint directly in 3D. This is very useful both for 3D modeling, concepting and animation.

With all this we have that Virgilio Vasconcelos has written a very practical book about animation that explores most of the problems and solutions through a series of chapters that explain many useful techniques to master this art in a very short time.

"Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook" is definitively a recommended book for everyone that wants to become an animator using the most powerful open source 3D suite: Blender 3D.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Just about the only resource you need to learn rigging in blender! 5. August 2011
Von Gleek12 - Veröffentlicht auf
I've used maya professionly for years and have only recently started learning blender. I had seen a lot of strong character examples in the past, but its been very hard finding good training on blender's character tools. What's worse, is that whenever i could find decent training, it was never very comprehensive, just going over small specific areas. Well, i can say now without a doubt that blender now has an excellent resource for new riggers and animators. This book shows you how to rig a complete character from scratch, and does so in a very straightforward and easy to grasp manner. It's a testement to both blender and this book that it can pack so much information into such a seemingly short book. It even goes over high level concepts like facial rigging! I can't recommend this book highly enough for learning to rig professionally in blender.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Learning to rig in Blender 2.5 2. Juli 2011
Von TnT - Veröffentlicht auf
I purchased the Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook as an eBook and printed combination.
The eBook was available as a RAW version before it went to print. The RAW version was incomplete but new chapters were posted periodically for download which was quite nice.
The best target for this book is someone who is comfortable with Blender 2.5's new interface and navigating it's different windows and modes.
The recipes provided range from beginner to moderately advanced. You won't be rigging Sintel when you are done but you will have enough solid understanding of the process and techniques to begin developing on your own.

The basic layout of each recipe is:GETTING READY, HOW TO DO IT...., HOW IT WORKS...., THERE'S MORE, and usually a final SEE ALSO section.
Each of these sections of the recipe is fleshed out with good clear information to take you thru constructing and understanding the example.
The recipes build in complexity and eventually cover topics such as how to make rigs that will blend from FK to IK controls in a shot efficiently for the animators.
The book provided the foundation needed to develop my own rigs and prepare me for learning more complex techniques.

I find only one con that is typical of PACKT books. The book is full of great graphics but they are all in grey scale. The backgrounds are usually too dark and make seeing detail difficult.
The eBook has color graphics which are much easier to view. I would encourage PACKT to have the authors submit graphics that are intended for grey scale printing with light backgrounds. This would greatly enhance their books. I have several PACKT books and have found all of them to be well worth the money but the graphics can easily be improved. This is usually an inconvenience and not a reason to avoid the printed book.

Overall, I would purchase the book again as it is the best information on rigging in Blender I have found in a book.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Well organized, well written 13. Juli 2011
Von M. J. Anders - Veröffentlicht auf
Packt Publishing is expanding its library of quality Blender 2.5 books in a serious way: already we saw an excellent book on materials and textures (Blender 2.5 Materials and Textures Cookbook) as well as one on lighting and rendering (Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering) and now we have a book on character animation.
I have always found the task of actually animating a character in Blender rather daunting, so any book that explains this process in depth has my full attention. Animating a character is not an easy task: you have to add a skeleton (or 'rig') to your character in order to pose it and then you have use this rig in an effective way to actually animate the character. Blender has many powerful rigging and animation facilities so any book on the subject has to face a considerable challenge to explain the myriad of options in an understandable manner without losing focus. After all, animation is not about fiddling knobs but conveying emotion in the movements of your characters.
I think Virgilio met the challenge quite well. This cookbook is well organized and covers both rigging a character and using this rig to animate the character. The rigging is done step by step: after explaining the basics, each body part, like torso, legs and face is covered in detail. Especially the setup of the face rig is an excellent example of Virgilio's skills in explaining complex issues: here we learn not only how to make a face move, but also why we want to mix techniques like using both bones and shape keys to control facial features and how to hide this necessary complexity for the animator by providing just a few control bones that drive the motion of many other elements.
But rigging is not all there is and this cookbook contains many recipes to focus on getting the basics of your animation right: how to set up a walk cycle, let your character pick up a ball or speak: all of this is covered in detail. Virgilio explains this an accessible way and provides clear screen-shots for each step. He even found a way to highlight important details in Blender's otherwise rather murky interface by adding bright arrows where needed. This will be especially useful when you read the book in print, where reproducing Blender screen-shots in a readable way is quite difficult.
Of course the books comes with its full complement of example files that you can download from the publisher's website. You will not only get the fully rigged Otto character but many additional files with partial rigs as well that let you start at any point in the book in true cookbook fashion.
The only minor point of the book is that it's only about a humanoid character. Maybe animating a quadruped isn't that difficult but a few tips would be helpful, but then again it is impossible to cover everything of course.
All in all this is a book I like. Learning to rig and animate a character might still be large hill to climb but this book makes it possible to scale the slope in little steps without fear of falling.
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Worthy Character Animation book for Blender 2.5x 10. Juli 2011
Von Markku Myllymaki - Veröffentlicht auf
There aren't many good character animation books about Blender. I think this is the best so far.

It covers Blender 2.5x, which is really cool, many older ones are still about 2.4x which is significantly different.

It should be noted, this is no Blender basics book. It is only about character animation, no modeling etc. is covered. Im my eyes, that's a good focus area.

The book begins with basic rigging, explains IK/FK and such necessities. Facial animation, eyes and expressions are well covered. Character limb movement especially in cartoon context seems to be focused.

There is some conversation about important character animation basic issues like anticipation, squash, stretch and so on. Timing is also covered. Various Blender editors are introduced and explained.

Rigify in mentioned, which is very good; it's extremenly useful.

Used example characters are nice looking cartoonish ones.

I would say this is well worth the money spent!
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