Blender Master Class: A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering [NOOK Book]


Blender is a powerful and free 3D graphics tool used by artists and designers worldwide. But even experienced designers can find it challenging to turn an idea into a polished piece.

For those who have struggled to create professional quality projects in Blender, author Ben Simonds offers this peek inside his studio. You'll learn how to create 3D models as you explore the...

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Blender Master Class: A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering

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Blender is a powerful and free 3D graphics tool used by artists and designers worldwide. But even experienced designers can find it challenging to turn an idea into a polished piece.

For those who have struggled to create professional quality projects in Blender, author Ben Simonds offers this peek inside his studio. You'll learn how to create 3D models as you explore the creative process that he uses to model three example projects: a muscular bat creature, a futuristic robotic spider, and ancient temple ruins. Along the way, you'll master the Blender interface and learn how to create and refine your own models.

You'll also learn how to:

  • Work with reference and concept art in Blender and GIMP to make starting projects easier
  • Block in models with simple geometry and build up more complex forms
  • Use Blender's powerful sculpting brushes to create detailed organic models
  • Paint textures with Blender and GIMP and map them onto your 3D artwork
  • Design textures in GIMP and map them onto your 3D artwork
  • Light, render, and composite your models to create striking images

Each chapter walks you through a piece of the modeling process and offers detailed explanations of the tools and concepts used. Filled with full-color artwork and real-world tips, Blender Master Class gives you the foundation you need to create your own stunning masterpieces.

Supplementary download includes files for each project in the book, as well as extra textures, brushes, and other resources.

Covers Blender 2.6x
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593275105
  • Publisher: No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
  • Publication date: 2/15/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 600,931
  • File size: 24 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Ben Simonds is a 3D artist and co-director of Gecko Animation Ltd., an animation and post-production company based in London, England ( He first started messing around with Blender back in 2005, when he had no idea it would eventually become a major part of his day job. Since then he's authored a wide variety of tutorials and articles for his own website ( and other Blender community websites, including Blender Cookie and BlenderNation.At Gecko Animation, he produces visual effects, models, animation, and graphics for TV and advertising. His work has appeared on major UK TV channels like the BBC, Channel 4, and Dave. Gecko Animation's inhouse short animation Assembly: Life in Macrospace won the 2011 Suzanne Award for Best Designed Short Film at the Blender Conference in Amsterdam.

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Table of Contents

About the Author;
About the Technical Reviewer;
Topics Covered;
What Isn’t Covered;
The Projects;
Resources Accompanying This Book;
Let’s Begin;
Chapter 1: Introduction to Blender;
1.1 About Blender;
1.2 The Blender User Interface;
1.3 Editor Types;
1.4 Using Blender;
1.5 In Review;
Chapter 2: Introduction to GIMP;
2.1 About GIMP;
2.2 Why GIMP?;
2.3 The GIMP User Interface;
2.4 Using GIMP;
2.5 In Review;
Chapter 3: Preparation;
3.1 Concept Art and References;
3.2 Composition;
3.3 Testing Compositions in Blender;
3.4 Preparing References in GIMP;
3.5 Using Concepts and Reference Images in Blender;
3.6 In Review;
Chapter 4: Blocking In;
4.1 Basic Modeling Terms;
4.2 Edit Mode;
4.3 Other Ways to Model: Curves;
4.4 Modifiers;
4.5 Blocking in the Jungle Temple;
4.6 Snapping;
4.7 Base Meshes;
4.8 Building the Bat Creature Base Mesh;
4.9 Shading Modes;
4.10 Creating the Spider Bot;
4.11 In Review;
Chapter 5: Modeling the Details;
5.1 Topology;
5.2 Modeling the Details of the Jungle Temple;
5.3 Modeling the Details of the Spider Bot;
5.4 Modeling the Details of the Bat Creature;
5.5 In Review;
Chapter 6: Sculpting;
6.1 Sculpt Mode;
6.2 Creating Custom Brushes;
6.3 Improving Your Sculpting Experience;
6.4 Sculpting Concepts;
6.5 Sculpting the Bat Creature;
6.6 Sculpting the Spider Bot;
6.7 Jungle Temple: Creating Incidental Details;
6.8 Sculpting Natural-Looking Faces;
6.9 In Review;
Chapter 7: Retopology;
7.1 The Basics;
7.2 Retopologizing the Jungle Temple Trees;
7.3 Retopologizing the Bat Creature;
7.4 Retopologizing the Spider Bot;
7.5 Tips for Retopologizing;
7.6 Head Topology;
7.7 In Review;
Chapter 8: UV Unwrapping;
8.1 Other Kinds of Texture Coordinates;
8.2 Editing UV Coordinates;
8.3 Unwrapping the Bat Creature;
8.4 Unwrapping the Jungle Temple;
8.5 Unwrapping the Spider Bot;
8.6 In Review;
Chapter 9: Hair and Particle Systems;
9.1 Particles for Hair;
9.2 Adding a Particle System;
9.3 Complex Haircuts;
9.4 Controlling Particles with Textures;
9.5 Other Uses for Particle Systems;
9.6 Hair and Fur Tips;
9.7 In Review;
Chapter 10: Texture Baking;
10.1 Images and Textures;
10.2 Texture-Baking Controls;
10.3 Texture Map Types;
10.4 Baking Textures for the Bat Creature;
10.5 Baking Textures for the Spider Bot;
10.6 Texturing the Jungle Temple;
10.7 General Tips for Baking Maps;
10.8 In Review;
Chapter 11: Texture Painting;
11.1 Texturing in Blender;
11.2 Texturing in GIMP;
11.3 Texturing the Bat Creature;
11.4 Texturing the Jungle Temple;
11.5 Texturing the Spider Bot;
11.6 In Review;
Chapter 12: Materials;
12.1 Render Engines: Blender Internal and Cycles;
12.2 Reflection;
12.3 Transmission and Refraction;
12.4 Blender Internal Materials;
12.5 Cycles Materials;
12.6 Materials for the Bat Creature;
12.7 Materials for the Spider Bot;
12.8 Materials for the Jungle Temple;
12.9 General Tips for Creating Materials;
12.10 In Review;
Chapter 13: Lighting;
13.1 Blender Internal vs. Cycles Lighting;
13.2 Lighting in Blender Internal;
13.3 Shadows in Blender Internal;
13.4 Lighting in Cycles;
13.5 World Settings and Ambient Light and Occlusion;
13.6 Lighting the Bat Creature;
13.7 Lighting the Spider Bot;
13.8 Lighting the Jungle Temple;
13.9 General Lighting Tips;
13.10 In Review;
Chapter 14: Rendering and Compositing;
14.1 The Render Tab;
14.2 Balancing Render Time and Quality;
14.3 The Compositor;
14.4 Rendering and Compositing the Bat Creature;
14.5 Rendering and Compositing the Spider Bot;
14.6 Rendering and Compositing the Jungle Temple;
14.7 In Review;
Chapter 15: Going Further;
15.1 Embellishments;
15.2 Different Looks;
15.3 Rigging and Animation;
15.4 In Review;
About the Project Files;
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