image blender crcTest Drive Blender - A Starter Manual For New Users is written for new users to 3D visualization and 3D modeling. It is designed for working with the popular open source Blender software package and to guide new users into beginning to work with the software. Users of Blender work in many kinds of businesses and across different industry sectors. A large proportion use Blender to create games. Infrastructure industry professionals will find Blender in use with architecture, industrial and other design applications. 

Book Review: Test Drive Blender - A Starter Manual For New Users




John M. Bain



CRC Press


2017 | 212 Pages | ISBN 9781138628793


Reviewed By

Jeff Thurston

There are many visualization software packages on the market today, but far fewer with the visualization capabilities of Blender - an open source computer graphics software. Users of the product are sometimes referred to as 'Blenderheads' and are long time users of the software and passionate about using it. Author John M. Bain taps into this loyalty, writing a book for new users to help them begin their journey into computer graphics and 3D visualization. Since Blender is often a first choice for beginners, due to the wide range of features that are commonly found in many professional products, the audience is large and covers a wide number of applications. Indeed, some become so proficient using the software, that they start businesses and continue to use Blender professionally. 

Test Drive Blender - A Starter Manual For New Users is exactly what says - a book for beginners and is written simply in an easy-to-understand manner. Right from the start, readers are invited to see some of the images created with this software, thereby helping to show what is possible and to see what can be achieved. Properties are explain right away and the environment is explored to enable readers to work along with the book and learn-as-you-go. 

From the minute one begins opening the Engine, the author includes displays of the interface, the working elements and what users are looking at on their own screens. They are immediately invited to create a cude and shown the way to do it. Different view perspectives are explained and readers are shown how to include, for example, fire to their objects. In a very quick time, readers will be adjusting, exploring and trying new displays in object mode and the 3D Window. A description and explaination for creating exploding objects is also outlined. Since time is a key factor in many visualizations and animations, users will be able to learn about adjusting timing for explosions for moving objects, 

Many users of Blender are interested in creating 3D and are interested the modeling capabilities of this software. The book explains modeling with Blender in detail. Readers will be able to create 3D boxes and other objects, including a monkey. This will allow them to readily move into character modeling. Sufaces can be adjusted using modifiers and the author outlines the many options in detail. 

This book is pwoerful for learning due to the many clear images and layout provided. I found it works best to have the software on the desktop, and to work along with the book. This allows readers to work with materials or textures, for example, and to explore in those sections. Image displacement, backgrounds and object movement are all detailed. Some users might be interested in creating fluids and fluid-like objects. Animations could be created that show river flows and water movement accordingly. 

On the visualization side involving movements, paths and shape changes are described and tracking of objects in animations is also included. Dynamic painting is useful for adjusting surfaces manually, and Blender includes physics which enable users to adjust color, light, sound, electricity, forces and so on. These are useful, for example, to create simulations of buildings or large object reactions to stresses and so on. 

The final sections of this book help readers to explore and understand how games are created. Controllers can be set up and links to keyboard interfaces are similarly outlined along with actors. The book also includes a project that details step-by-step how to create an animation sequence. 

In summary, Test Drive Blender - A Starter Manual For New Users is a wonderful book for learning about Blender software. It starts at the start, getting new users into the software quickly and easily. The many images in the text help readers to see and learn readily. Within half an hour, those working with the software at the same time, will be up and running and creating their own objects and applying modifiers and behaviors to objects. 

This text is direct, to the point and is written with experience. The layout is excellent, images clear and the text concise. New users to Blender will find this book well worth purchasing because it acts both an excellent first text to Blender, but also as a reference.