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Blender 2.5 HOTSHOT (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 21. Juni 2011

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John E. Herreno Velasco is a 27 year old who developed, at the early age of 13, a deep curiosity for the "magical" things that modern digital computers can do. He recently graduated as an Electronics Engineer from the National University of Colombia, which helped him understand how computers are built, and studied by himself some principles on software development to get to know how to get the most out of them. He became interested in Blender 3D after finding version 1.72 bundled in a magazine CD bought for a very different reason and has been learning since then from the awesome community of users hanging out on Internet forums and writing tutorials. Today, he's highly convinced of the power that Open Source Software and the business models around it have to improve the general quality of life in developing countries. But, above all, he's just a human being wanting to know and serve Jesus Christ. Currently he spends most of his time working from home, doing Drupal web development and Blender Training, along with some custom software development. I want to express my gratitude to my parents Ramiro and Lucela, my brother Wbeimar and my sister Dayana for being such a great blessing from God and the greatest encouragement I have found. I would also like to thank the team at Packt: Steven Wilding for starting this project and providing me some good guidance to outline the contents, Rebecca Sawant and Shubhanjan Chatterjee for their patience on my permanent missing of deadlines and Susmita Panda for the very good and clear feedback on the produced material. Finally, I would like to thank my current employer, Garcia Iguaran Asociados S.A.S., for their continued support and encouragement on this project.

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Great for beginners, covers broad range of topics in Blender 4. August 2011
Von irascibleone - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Kindle Edition
I recently finished reading Blender 2.5 Hotshot by John Herreño. This book includes 8 different projects and 2 downloadable projects. For each project there is a description of what you will do in the chapter (the planning stage) and the steps you will take to get to the final render. Then after you going through all the steps, there is a nice review of the key points of what you did in the project and how you could make the final outcome even better.
I liked a number of things about this book. The big one is that many different parts of Blender are used. There's modeling, shading, UV unwrapping, animating, compositing, video sequencing, the game engine, and other stuff I am not remembering at the moment. This is fantastic for early Blender users. Many new users don't realize just how much there is included in Blender. It is apparent that there was some serious thought into what each project would focus on in order to cover as much of Blender as possible. Also, the projects create most of the things beginners are just aching to do. The chapter list could probably double as the most requested tutorials from early Blender users.

Something else I liked is that every project starts fresh and clean and it ends with the final product. You will have a render or animation at the end of every project. I think having the reader do all the steps helps give an idea of everything it takes to go from a clean slate to the final vision. If the final render doesn't meet your standards, there are pointers on how you can take your project to the next level at the very end of the project. In my opinion, if you want really good renders going `Gung HO', as he puts it, is absolutely necessary.
On the other hand, there were a couple things that were inconvenient. For many of the chapters you are asked to go to a website to download them yourself. While everything worked out fine for me, I worry that if a site becomes unavailable (like the one in project 5) then a reader might run into problems. Including all of those into the support file would prevent that. I also had to download Project 9 and 10 separately. I am not sure why it isn't included with the rest of the book, but it's only a minor inconvenience if you at least know that those chapters exist.
That leads me to another thing that might have been handled better too. Project 10 goes over modeling a character and Project 7 animates that character and has you use the character you model in Project 10 to do so. For me, going out of order wasn't a big deal, but it was a little odd when I got to Project 7 and was told to use a character I had previously made. If you are going in order, like I was, you won't have the character made and will have to jump to Project 10 first and then go back.

Overall, as long as the websites stay up, you'll be able to find everything and these negatives are probably going to be fairly minor. In the end, I would recommend this book for beginners and maybe intermediate users who want to get the basics of a handful of parts of Blender they have yet to use. Someone who has used Blender for quite some time may not get much out of it and probably won't be happy with the outcome of each project as they want because a lot of it is just going over the basics of a given part of Blender.
A Blender book that shows how to use it to achieve real works 28. Juli 2011
Von J. R. Cardona - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
John E. Herreño is an Electronics Engineer from the National University of Colombia. He got interest in open source software and how much it can help in the development of countries. He works doing Drupal web development and Blender training, and develops custom software. You can visit his site at [...]

He is the author of the book, "Blender 2.5 HOTSHOT", which consists in 10 chapters that contain 10 projects. These projects are very similar to the situations you meet in real life projects, and are the kind of things that someone who employs or commissions you may ask you.

In real life projects, people ask you to make a final image, model something specific, and things like that. This book covers different projects from beginning to end.

The first project consists in making a render of a sci-fi space scene. This is what a pure 3D artist does at his work, creating a model from scratch, a background, adding effects, and rendering the piece, obtaining a final image that accomplishes the idea in his mind.

The second project, "Fly a Fighter Aircraft Through a Storm", is for creating a war aircraft that flies through some clouds. In this lesson you learn modeling tips, the use of shaders to increase realism of 3D models, with textures and material settings combined, cloud effects with particles, and of course, you learn to animate the flying machine.

This project illustrates the workflow of a 3D animator, whose task is to produce animated films by making 3D models, creating a world around them, and taking them to life by adding movement through time.

The use of blueprints is common in technical 3D modeling of vehicles and industry pieces, for example. In project 3, you learn how to put these skills in practice. A blueprint is a image in a sheet that contains views of an object from the most common angles (top, side, back, bottom, front...). From this blueprint you can model adding increasing complexity and using techniques toold in this project. Finally, you will create a car paint shader.

Notice how in all these projects, the final product of your work is obtained. The author doesn't stops until the final result is obtained, so you can see how real proffessionals work.

In "Create a Professional Looking Demo Reel" you produce something that is often required for most 3D portfolio, and it's a demo reel that showcases your skills as 3D modeler, made using the video sequencer of Blender.

Now that you have become familiar with the video sequencer, it comes the time to learn some of the game engine. As you know, Blender includes a 3D game engine which is very powerful and has been used in multiple commercial and indy games.

In project 5 you learn the basics of this engine using the Python programming language, to build an interactive walkthrough around a building in a 3D environment that uses a skybox, a semisphere with a sky painted on it. This gives you the opportunity to learn how to bake textures in Blender, and also learn simple UV mapping.

Interactive walkthrough are a classic in animation, showcases of virtual reality, and even on intro sequences of games.

On the following chapter, "Detailed Render of the Earth from Space", you'll focus on pre-processing of textures and post-processing of a render. These are all techniques aimed to get the maximum quality for your renders using Blender 3D.

Project 7 is about animating an humanoid character. The book explains later, on chapter 10, how was this humanoid modeled, but the author prefers to explain how to animate it now, because as you have already read the chapters about animation, it's easy for you to understand all this now, without losing the perspective of an animator.

To animate this humanoid figure, you'll be told how to create a skeleton, an armature for the body, with its joints and limits, that can be later animated and deform the humanoid as it walks in an animation.

Humanoid animations have particularities and are the base of many projects in the films and animation industry.

"Create a Snail" is the eighth chapter. It's a journey through the process of creating an organic creature by using both parametric and box modeling techniques. The shape of the snail is also refined using the sculpt tools of Blender, wich are very powerful for artistic modeling and digital sculpture. It also introduces you to the creation of organic shaders and the use of subsurface scattering to simulate beings that have flesh (human or not).

One of the fields in which 3D modeling was widely used from the beginning is architectural modeling and visualization. Chapter 9 is about architectural rendering, in the example of a kitchen. It is also an introduction to lighting, as it's the 50% or more of a good render.

Last but not least, project 10 is about modeling humanoids, by combining the speed of box modeling techniques with the power of Blender's sculpt tools.

To summarize, as you can notice, this is a book that really gives examples of tasks that a pro 3D modeler has to do when he/she is hired by someone. A book from a get-things-done perspective. It is a very good learning material for someone who uses Blender and needs to have a perspective on how the different pieces fit.

When we learn to use a program, we usually learn how to model something, then we see another example on the internet on how to map your UVs, later another piece of the puzzle, another different example on how to make a shader, and so on and on. This book is different because it tells you how to build the whole puzzle. It tells you how to achieve projects from beginning to end, explaining it all with the same project, in a logical ad real-life way: you model something, then texture this same thing, then animate it, and so on, and get a real animation video. Or model something, apply shaders, light it, and render and get a real render.

And the author makes this with 10 example projects carefully chosen to showcase the typical situation for someone who wants to learn to achive the most common uses of 3D.
many projects to learn from 15. Juli 2011
Von W Boudville - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Look, the author does not waste any time going over elementary 2 dimensional material using Blender 2.5. Instead, he takes the reader and jumps right into 8 projects [case studies], where each is intrinsically a 3 dimensional object. What you'll find is that the projects involve a common task of making a mesh or meshes that define an object. So you get accustomed to seeing wireframe diagrams, where the rendering is turned off, so that the meshes are explicitly visible.

Of course, while the mesh is the surfaces of the object, you will still need to define the properties of that surface, where typically these are the properties germane to how the surface will look under external illumination. So you learn how to use the Blender menus that can see the shading properties, like the scattering, emissivity and reflection. Blender also lets you define 3 colours for a surface - under emission, reflection and transmission. Each is in RGB format and can be set independently. Some earlier rendering packages did not give you this amount of leeway, so Blender is quite nice in this regards.

What is also useful about the chapters is that they end with advanced suggestions on how to take the steps described in the chapter and then add refinements in the details. If you are serious about learning Blender 2.5, you should partake of these problems. What you'll find is the common experience of many graphic artists - that these typically smaller details eat up much of your coding time. It forces you to thoroughly learn Blender. These little details add crucial verisimilitude to the final object.

As a bonus, while the book only covers 8 projects, there are 2 others on the associated website. If you find yourself able to do the book's projects, and want to take your skills further, then the latter projects might be worth perusing.
2 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A practical intro to Blender 2.5 20. Juli 2011
Von M. J. Anders - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
The fresh new approach of this book had set my expectations high. Instead of focusing on specific Blender related skills like modeling or texturing it takes on complete projects from start to finish. This is a great idea because for many people starting with Blender, the complexity of even a simple project is overwhelming. That is no fault of Blender but it just takes a lot more than just a cool idea to create that space scene or enormous explosion, leaving many people disappointed about the results of their first endeavors. So a book that covers projects from start to finish is a very good idea.

However, after reading the book I am a little bit disappointed. The projects are chosen well enough: from creating a car, to a space scene and animating a humanoid figure, these are all appealing subjects that inspire many people to start working in 3d and can benefit greatly from this start to finish approach. The book covers even some subjects rarely seen elsewhere, notably creating an interactive walk-through in the game engine and adding a model of a snail into a real image of some foliage. All aspects of these projects are covered thoroughly and everything is explained well enough, so why my grumpiness?

The first thing is the annoying language: each project is structured like the mission of a secret space agent or something. This means we have sections like Briefing and Debriefing, but also 'Engage thrusters', 'Mission accomplished' and 'Classified intel'. Now of course books don't have to be dead serious all the time, but this simply detracts from the subject matter in my opinion, especially when coupled with the all too frequent use of the words 'awesome' and 'nice' (the latter alone over 30 times in just the first chapter). This kind of language may be less of a point to younger people and this is all just a minor point of course.

The other thing is that the projects just don't feel polished or even really finished. Yes, you will completely model, texture, light and render a car but don't expect the shiny looks of a concept car in an automotive magazine. This isn't bad in itself, after all, most people will not even get to this stage but it sure isn't 'awesome' and the author does not show in detail what steps are needed to get a really professional look (with one exception: the (cover)image of Earth as seen from space is rather nice and how to make it is covered in one of the chapters).

Don't get me wrong, this is not a bad book, in fact this is a good book to learn and master Blender 2.5 if you are new to Blender but it could have been lot better. John Herreño clearly knows what he is talking about, so with a little bit more effort the book could have been really awesome.
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