Blender Cycles: Materials and Textures Cookbook - Third Edition

Packt Publishing Ltd
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This book is aimed at those familiar with the basics of Blender, looking to delve into the depths of the Cycles rendering engine to create an array of breath-taking materials and textures.
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About the author

Enrico Valenza, also known as "EnV," on the Web is an Italian freelance illustrator who mainly collaborates with publishers such as Mondadori Ragazzi and Giunti as a cover artist for science fition and fantasy books. He graduated from Liceo Artistico Statale in Verona, Italy, and was later a student of Giorgio Scarato, an illustrator and painter. When he started to work, computers weren't very common. He spent the first 15 years of his career doing illustration with traditional media, usually on cardboard. At that time, he specialized in the use of the air-graph, a technique particularly esteemed for advertisements. When the movie Jurassic Park was released, he decided to buy a computer and try out the computer graphics that everyone was talking about. Totally self-taught for what concerns the many aspects of CG, it was his encounter with the open source philosophy that actually opened up a brand new world of possibilities—Blender in particular. In 2005, Enrico won the Suzanne Award for Best Animation, Original Idea, or Story, for the movie New Penguoen 2.38. In 2006, he joined the Orange team in Amsterdam for two weeks. He helped them in finalizing the shots of Elephants Dream, the first open source animated short movie produced by the Blender Foundation. In 2007 and 2008, Enrico was the lead artist in the Peach Project team for the production of Big Buck Bunny, Blender Foundation's second open movie. In 2010 and 2011, he was the art director at CINECA in Bologna, Italy, for the Museo della Città di Bologna project. This was the production of a stereoscopic, computer-graphics-animated documentary made in Blender explaining the history of Bologna. For Packt Publishing, Enrico is also writing Blender 2.7 3D Modeling Cookbook, which explains the complete workflow in Blender to build an animated fantasy monster. Being a Blender Certified Trainer, he often collaborates as a CG artist with production studios that decide to switch their pipeline to open source. Enrico uses Blender almost on a daily basis for his illustration work, rarely to have the illustration rendered straight by the 3D package, more often as a starting point for painting with other open source applications. He has done several presentations and workshops about Blender and its use in productions.
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Additional Information

Packt Publishing Ltd
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Published on
Feb 26, 2015
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Computers / Desktop Applications / Design & Graphics
Computers / Digital Media / Video & Animation
Computers / Interactive & Multimedia
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Create Amazing 3D Characters with Blender: From Design and Modeling to Video Compositing

Learning Blender walks you through every step of creating an outstanding animated character with the free, open source, 3D software Blender, and then compositing it in a real video using a professional workflow. This is the only Blender tutorial to take you from preproduction to final result, and it’s perfect for both 3D novices and those who’ve used other 3D Software.

Focusing on Blender 2.71 and above, 3D-professional Oliver Villar explains all the basics, including Blender’s interface, controls, and how to manipulate objects. Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, you’ll follow a realistic 3D workflow through a complete project.

You’ll find chapters on every aspect of the character creation: design, modeling, unwrapping, texturing, shading, rigging, and animation. Once your character is ready and animated, you’ll learn how to integrate it into a real video using camera tracking techniques, lighting, and compositing. Each skillset is taught hands on, and available online video tutorials (more than 5 hours) will guide you through Blender’s trickier tasks.

By the time you’re done, you’ll understand how the whole process fits together, and how to use Blender to create outstanding characters for all media. You’ll also build strong Blender skills you can apply in any 3D project, whether it involves characters or not.

Learn How To

Master Blender’s innovative user interface, navigation, and selection techniques Create your first scene with Blender and get comfortable with its core tools Prepare for projects so they’ll go as smoothly as possible Use modeling tools to create a 3D character Bring your character to life with color, textures, and materials Create your character’s skeleton and make it walk Make the most of Blender’s Camera Tracking tools Add lights to your 3D scene Render with Blender Internal or the powerful new Cycles render engine Composite your 3D character into a real video Switch to Blender from 3ds Max, Maya, or XSI

Register your book at to access all of this book’s production files, plus bonus video tutorials, and a useful Blender keyboard shortcut reference.

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Gain the insights and techniques you need to give life to your own custom characters, machines, and scenes in Blender 3DAbout This BookLearn how to establish the basic shape of a character on the basis of templates, and take it to completion using the tools available in BlenderDevelop realistic and awesome machines for your 3D projects and animation filmsDiscover advanced techniques by adding fur to a character, creating a grass field, and fine-tuning a shot with post-processing effects to enhance your creationsWho This Book Is For

This learning path is for those who know the basics of Blender and have hands-on experience with the software. We will directly dive into creating characters first. If you wish to use Blender to create games, animated films, and architecture simulations, this learning path will benefit you.

What You Will LearnUse your sculpting skills to carve the character features from the meshFind the best possible flow for your edge-loops to enhance the character features and to get the best possible range of deformationMix both the Blender Internal and Cycles rendering engines in order to render materials as quickly as possibleKnow when and where to use various types of geometry—something that saves time in one instance will pose significant problems in anotherCreate a 3D robot toy model from start to finish using the basic modeling tools of BlenderMake a full alien character using the skin mesh modifier and the sculpting tools with an artistic approachUse re-topology techniques to create a clean 3D version of the previously sculpted alienModel a full haunted house and its environment using more advanced modeling tools and techniques such as the Array Modifier, Instance duplication, and CurvesIn Detail

Blender 3D is one of the top 3D animation software available. As the Blender software grows more powerful and popular, there is a demand to take your modeling skills to the next level.

This learning path is divided into three modules that will take you on this incredible journey of creating games.

The first module will take you on a journey to understand the workflow normally used to create characters, from the modeling to the rendering stages, using the tools of the last official release of Blender exclusively. You will be making production-quality 3D models and characters quickly and efficiently, which will be ready to be added to your very own animated feature or game.

The second module will help you develop a comprehensive skill set that covers the key aspects of mechanical modeling. You will create many types of projects, including a pistol, spacecraft, robot, and a racer. By the end of this module, you will have mastered a workflow that you will be able to apply to your own creations.

The final module will help you to create many types of projects using a step-by-step approach. Each project in this module will give you more practice and increase your knowledge of the Blender tools and game engine.

This learning path combines some of the best that Packt has to offer in one complete, curated package. It includes content from the following Packt products:

Blender 3D Cookbook, Second Edition by Enrico ValenzaBlender 3D Incredible Machines, Second Edition by Christopher KuhnBlender 3D By Example by Romain Caudron and Pierre-Armand NicqStyle and approach

This easy-to-follow course will teach you how to create complex 3D characters, create incredible machines, and put them together to create a 3D scene. Each topic is explained sequentially in the process of creating various models, and includes detailed explanations of the basic and advanced features.

Build your very own stunning characters in Blender from scratchAbout This BookPacked with illustrations and a lot of tips and tricks to make your scenes come to lifeDesign a complete workflow with Blender to create stunning 3D scenes and films step by stepGain an understanding of how to create and assign materials automatically, working in both the Blender Internal engine as well as in CyclesWho This Book Is For

If you are a graphic designer and are looking for a tool to meet your requirements in designing, especially with regards to 3D designing, this course is for you. This course will make use of Blender to meet your design needs.

What You Will LearnUnderstand the basics of 3D and how to navigate your way around the Blender interfaceDiscover the power of the texture paint tool in order to add color to a haunted houseGet to know the Cycles render engine by creating different materials for the house and the environmentFind the best possible flow for your edge-loops to enhance the character features and to get the best possible range of deformationMix both the Blender Internal and Cycles rendering engines in order to render materials as quickly as possibleSet up light sources and world global illuminationBuild material interfaces for general use in complex materials by grouping the shaders inside groupsParent and rename the nodes to better organize the Node Editor windowIn Detail

Blender is a powerful, stable tool with an integral workflow that will allow you to understand 3D creation with ease. With its integrated game engine and use of the Python language, it is an efficient choice for many productions, including 3D animated or live action films, architecture, research, and even game creation. Blender has an active community that contributes to expanding its functionalities. Today, it is used in many professional products and by many companies.

Throughout Blender for Designers, you will create many types of complete projects using a step-by-step approach. Start by getting to know the modeling tools available in Blender to create a 3D robot toy, and discover more advanced techniques such as sculpting and retopology by creating an alien character.

Move on in the second module to engage with the workflow used to create characters. Run through the process from modeling to the rendering stages, using the tools of the latest official release of Blender.

The last module will teach you how to utilize the power of the Blender series to create a wide variety of materials, textures, and effects using the Cycles rendering engine. You will learn about node-based shader creation, and master Cycles through step-by-step, recipe-based advice. Start small by rendering the textures of stones and water, then scale things up to massive landscapes of mountains and oceans.

This Learning Path combines some of the best that Packt has to offer in one complete, curated package. It includes content from the following Packt products:

Blender 3D By Example By Romain Caudron and Pierre-Armand NicqBlender 3D Cookbook By Enrico ValenzaBlender Cycles: Materials and Textures Cookbook - Third Edition By Enrico ValenzaStyle and approach

The course starts with a step-by-step approach to creating concert projects and help you understand the basics of it. With the guided explanation throughout this, each topic is explained with an example.

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