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Blender 2.5 Materials and Textures Cookbook [Anglais] [Broché]

Colin Litster

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Description de l'ouvrage

25 janvier 2011

Over 80 great recipes to create life-like Blender objects

Overview

  • Master techniques to create believable natural surface materials
  • Take your models to the next level of realism or artistic development by using the material and texture settings within Blender 2.5.
  • Take the hassle out of material simulation by applying faster and more efficient material and texture strategies
  • Part of Packt's Cookbook series: Each recipe is a logically organized according to the surface types with clear instructions and explanations on how these recipes can be applied across a range of materials including complex materials such as oceans, smoke, fire and explosions.

In Detail

Blender 2.5 is one of the most usable 3D suites available. Its material and texture functions offer spectacular surface creation possibilities. It can take you hours just to create basic textures and materials in Blender and when you think of creating complex materials and textures you are petrified. Imagine how you will feel when you overcome these obstacles.

This book wastes no time on boring theory and bombards you with examples of ready-created materials and textures from the start, with clear instructions on how they were created, and what you can learn from them for making your own. It covers all core Blender functions you will ever need to easily create perfect simulation of objects from the simplest to the most complex ones.

The book begins with recipes that show you how to create natural surface materials, including a variety of pebbles, rocks, wood, and water, as well as man-made metals, complete with rust. By utilizing some of the easiest-to-use animation tools available, you will be able to produce accurate movement in mesh objects. Familiarize yourself with a plethora of tools that will help you to effectively organize your textures and materials.

You will learn how to emulate the reflective properties of natural materials and how to simulate materials such as rusted iron, which is difficult to make believable. Transparency and reflection are both tricky natural surface properties to simulate but these recipes will make it easy. Explore ways to speed up animations by using special painting techniques to significantly lower render times. By the end of the book, you will be able to simulate some of the most difficult effects to recreate in any 3D suite, such as smoke, fire, and explosions.

What you will learn from this book

  • Understand the new Blender 2.5 user interface that simplifies creation of materials and textures
  • Explore the complex task of UV mapping of a human face
  • Use the Sub Surface Scattering commands in Blender to create objects the way you want
  • Confidently simulate materials such as smoke, flames, and explosions using the Blender 2.5 Smoke Physics module
  • Create an entire ocean that animates and reacts with objects in the water by using the new Blender 2.5 features
  • Employ simple repeating textures that can be applied with infinite variety without appearing to repeat
  • Synthesize complex materials without complex mesh objects by using alpha transparency
  • Create incredible moving textures and materials by using Blender 2.5 animation curves
  • Create flexible materials that can curve around corners or apply themselves to complex winding meshes without unwanted texture distortion
  • Manage Blender 2.5 materials and textures and effectively apply them to your Blender projects

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Descriptions du produit

Biographie de l'auteur

Colin Litster

Colin is well known in the Blender community for his series of well received tutorials on material and texture creation in Blender. He has extensive knowledge of special effects creation following his early career in the film industry. Colin subsequently went into Higher Education rising to the level of Head of IT and Media Production at a leading UK University.

Colin runs a well known Blender Blog called Cogfilms.com in which he has promoted the development of Blender encouraging users to attempt the impossible in 3D creation.

Colin has been working on a feature film production over the last few years whose title is Cog which is also Colin's internet persona.


Détails sur le produit


Dans ce livre (En savoir plus)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: 4.4 étoiles sur 5  11 commentaires
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Finally, Blender materials explained properly. 23 février 2011
Par M. J. Anders - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
This is the book that was missing in the ever increasing collection of books on Blender. Because there is nothing more important to rendering believable scenes than convincing materials with the exception maybe of lighting, a book that systematically tackles the creation of materials was sorely missing.
Colin's book does a great job in filling this gap.

Not only does he provide you with numerous examples of natural and man made materials that are presented as ready to use recipes but he also shows which are the important bits in getting an effect across. This is enormously helpful in gaining insight into what makes a material work, insight that is essential if you want to create new materials yourself instead of simply following well travelled paths.

Blenders material system is tremendously powerful and the combination of a layer based approach with a node based system might be overwhelming at first. Many tutorial writers therefore focus on particular aspects and often the node based capabilities are more or less skipped altogether. Not in this book though. Every aspect is highlighted and even the compositor gets a share, even though it is not strictly a part of the material system but shares its node based abilities and can be a very powerful tool in getting that final look just right. Also, in Blender everything is animatable, and this is certainly true for the many attributes that make up a material. Many an example is about creating materials that can be used effectively in animations.

The best point of the book is not its breath or depth of coverage however, but the overall approach. It clearly depicts the process of how to create a material based on the effects you want to achieve. Sure, creativity and even simple trial an error can be part of this process but knowing what is possible with Blenders materials makes it possible to find what you are after in a systematic fashion instead of groping in the dark.

An excellent example is the material developed to mimic copper roof plating. A fairly simple man made material at first but Colin shows clearly the thinking behind evolving a material from a pretty shiny surface to a believable material that conveys both the origins of its manufacturing process in its many scratches and dimples as well as it weathering over time.

The many developers and contributors to Blender worldwide have always been eager to enhance Blender with the latest physical simulation and lighting techniques and even these are addressed comprehensively in this book. The uses of Ambient Occlusion and Subsurface Scattering are illustrated in an elaborate example on creating a realistic human skin material from photographic references and the final chapter is all about pyrotechnic effects, showing how suitable materials make all the difference between merely physically correct smoke and something that gets across the notion that it might leave you with blisters on your hands.

This is the book you need to rid the world of plastic car models and sterile stone walls.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Extremely well thought out, extensive set of 'recipes' 23 mars 2011
Par irascibleone - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
First off, I will admit, when I saw 'cookbook' I completely expected to get a book with straight up steps telling you exactly how to do an assortment of different materials and textures on a sphere and that be that. I had used Colin's tutorials at his website previously and knew there would be really good results, but I figured I'd probably have to figure out what each step specifically does on my own. However, I was very pleased to discover I was wrong. You see, each chapter in the book is divided into sections, called recipes, and each recipe has a quick intro after which it goes right into the steps for making the material. There is no theory - which I love. You jump right into real usable material creation almost right away. I also really liked that at the end of each section there is a review of sorts, with explanations of key steps from the section and what certain settings that were used do. On top of how well the book it set up, it isn't just basic static materials on a mesh. There are also recipes for animated textures, UV mapping, and I was especially surprised to see a chapter on generating smoke and fire. Seeing materials and textures being used in such a wide array of applications all in one book was pleasantly surprising (You can see the full contents here).

Another great thing about this book is all of the extras that come along with it. Throughout the book you are reminded (and a few times required) to use downloaded files from the PacktPub website. While it is a pretty big zip file, it was incredibly helpful in itself. The blend files match right up with when you are prompted to save in the book so that if you mess up (or try to go too fast, like me) you can open of the corresponding blend file and compare your blend to it. The blend files also open up the possibility of skipping steps that you feel you already know. In many chapters, especially as you get to the second half of the book, you will use provided blend files to skip the modeling portion of the exercise so you can focus on the materials and textures. Another download that goes along with the book are the color versions of the images in the book. Yes, the images throughout the book are black and white, which I wasn't sure about at first. I mean, it is a materials and textures book after all. However, I think I only used the colored images once because, frankly, they don't need to be colored. At worst, I just had to compare my renders to renders in the downloaded blend files if I wasn't sure I did it right and even if I never got my renders right, I still got some pretty sweet results.

One more thing I really liked was the emphasis on using procedural textures. I find that almost all inexperienced materials users, including myself, would rely on image textures found on the web far too much which, as this book shows, is in many cases inferior to well made and well thought out procedural textures. Until the second half of the book or so do you start working quite a bit with image textures and not only that but as you get to the end of the book you progress into making your own image textures. Another unexpected bonus.

It's probably obvious by now that I am really happy with the book, but there was one potential problem I noticed. I think it is really just a matter of how quickly Blender changes, but was when going through the Smoke chapter there were directions for using the Smoke High Resolution Cache, which I remember seeing before but doesn't appear to exist anymore (or maybe I can't find it?). So, if you wait to get this book, or any Blender book really, be prepared for some changes and doing some translating, so to speak. I ended up just ignoring the High Res Cache and things seemed to work out just fine. That was the only time this sort of thing happened but all in all, I don't think other changes could possibly change enough to be a major problem. Similar to the fact that you can still use 2.49 books with 2.5 if you know where to find things since what you are learning are concepts that will work no matter what version you use.

As you can probably tell, I highly recommend this book, especially if you have been struggling with creating good realistic materials and textures. I have really struggled with materials and textures and I always felt like I ruined my models, but after going through this book I feel so much more confident about it and I can't wait to use what I have learned. All of the results are fantastic and it is obvious that a lot of thought has been put into each project throughout the book. If you can get past the black and white images and any potential mismatches due to a rapidly changing Blender everything will run smoothly and you'll have dozens of new tricks and techniques that work for any version of Blender. Plus, just being as giddy as a school girl after you make some truly awesome fire makes it all worth it.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 For expert Only 10 août 2011
Par olivier - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I have purchased this product thinking I would master texturing in blender.
But I did not really get what I wanted.
The examples and various tasks in the book are confusing and hard to follow.
If you are an expert go for it! but you are learning or you are an intermediate user it should not be your next purchase.
But you can still buy it and when you become an expert you come back to it.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great resource for texture and materials creation 10 mars 2011
Par Franz Lanzinger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
In my ongoing efforts to "sharpen my axe" I'm always on the lookout for ways to improve my Blender skills. This book fits the bill very well. While it's aimed at professional Graphics Designers with at least a rudimentary working knowledge of Blender 2.5, I have also found it to be very useful for me being a jack-of-all-trades game developer and spotty Blender 2.5 knowledge.

This review is written from the perspective of using Blender to create graphics for real-time applications such as games. The author has aimed his material mainly at Graphic Artists who create very high quality still images or animations using the built-in Blender rendering engine rather than an external game engine such as Unity, UDK or the Blender game engine. Nevertheless, it's easy enough to just bake the textures created in Blender for use by external engines.

This book presents 80 recipes for creating a wide variety of textures and materials ranging mainly organized into natural and man-made materials. Blender has some extremely advanced features for procedural texture generation. This texture cookbook presents a multitude of techniques for creating, manipulating and combining textures to achieve some truly spectacular effects.

Colin Lister promises to teach everything from an increased understanding of the new Blender 2.5 user interface to creating an entire animating ocean and UV mapping a human face. He also teaches how to synthesize complex materials without complex mesh objects by using alpha transparency.

The basic approach of the book is to present each of its 80 recipes in a way that allows them to be followed independently of each other. Many of the recipes depend on previous recipes, but this isn't a problem if you download the .blend files from the publisher's website and use them as starting points for the recipe. Each recipe starts by presenting a step by step procedure followed by a section that explains how the recipe works.

All in all this book is really great, very informative and tremendously helpful. I learned things that I had no idea I should be learning, such as the node editor. Each node represents a texture or a procedure for combining textures. You can then graphically arrange how the nodes feed into each other to create the final effect. This sure beats using a text-based interface.

I really like the step-by-step learn by doing approach of this book. While it is tempting to just read through the recipes, only by working through the recipes yourself can really learn and appreciate the complexities of what's going on.

If you get this book I would warn you though to save your work often and make sure that things are working for you as advertised. There are cases where things break. This can happen because of user entry errors, possible bugs in Blender 2.56 (it's a beta version after all) or the occasional omission in the book itself. I've so far only found a couple of places where it's the books fault, and in all cases I was able to figure out the problem. When in doubt you might need to load the .blend files from the publisher's website rather than your own .blend files.

Another technical note is that you'll definitely want to use Blender 2.56. Blender has a history of making pretty radical changes from one version to the next, especially when it comes to the user interface. This is crucial when trying to follow the recipes, so don't expect to be able to work through this book with Blender 2.49 or earlier.

The writing style is very pleasant with a good mix of technical information and interesting descriptive language. The only criticism I would have is that sometimes there is a very long series of steps that you have to go through without really knowing why you're doing them or how they work. The explanations are sometimes several pages later, so you just have to be patient, or maybe skip back and forth between the cookbook section and the explanation section. It helps to do frequent test renders which can sometimes visually show you the effect of each step of the recipe.

So who am I, and why am I writing this review? Am I just a paid shill? Well, no, unless you count that I received a free copy of the book for the purposes of writing a review both here and on my new blog franzgameblog dot com. That being said, I'm not a professional reviewer but a veteran independent game developer with a long track record spanning Atari's coinop Crystal Castles (1983) and the soon to be released fatjumper. And I'm always happy to discover hidden gems such as this book and share my discoveries.

In summary this book has everything I expected and more. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who's interested in learning about how to make interesting textures and materials in Blender 2.56. There aren't a whole lot of other books out right now about Blender 2.56 in general, so I'd recommend this also for people who simply wish to get better with the user interface.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Don't purchase without new revised e-book or errata 12 août 2011
Par Roderick B. Greening - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
While the material of the e-book is great, there are too many errors, missed steps, etc, to make this a useful tool without frustrating the reader beyond comprehension.

Please check for a newer revision or errata from the publishers web site before purchasing.
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