Thursday, April 4, 2013

Blender Master Class - Book Review

I have recently been given the opportunity by No Starch Press to review the Blender Master Class book authored by none other than Ben Simonds himself.  I apologize for taking me such a long time to finish it but alas, I can finally share with you, with much honor, my thoughts and opinion on the book and the feelings it left me as I close and turn the last page.

I was a bit skeptical at first when I saw the book and read a few pages of it but as I delve deeper into the chapters, immersing myself into this technical benevolence and an invisible relationship with the author, I came to realize that given my previous experience with Blender, I have found so many valuable treasures as I read through every paragraph and comprehend what the author is trying to instill in my thoughts.  In fact, it doesn't only lead you through a Blender-centric mindset but the book shows you methods and concepts that apply on a general computer graphics perspective, let alone the tricks that you can do by combining a 3D application (Blender) with a 2D application (GIMP); or any other equivalent application that you feel comfortable with.

Initially, I was reading the PDF copy of the book on my mobile devices and the multi-column layout of the book is too tedious for these small devices and I kept cringing at the sight of it.  But when the copy of the physical book arrived, I came to realize how wealthy and useful that layout was; actually, I preferred it even more than the standard layout you would otherwise see elsewhere.

To give you a glimpse of what you should expect, here's a Table of Contents:


Chapter 1: Introduction to Blender
Chapter 2: Introduction to GIMP
Chapter 3: Preparation
Chapter 4: Blocking In
Chapter 5: Modeling the Details
Chapter 6: Sculpting
Chapter 7: Retopology
Chapter 8: UV Unwrapping
Chapter 9: Hair and Particle Systems
Chapter 10: Texture Baking
Chapter 11: Texture Painting
Chapter 12: Materials
Chapter 13: Lighting
Chapter 14: Rendering and Compositing
Chapter 15: Going Further

If you're planning to improve your workflow, technical skills, or just searching for inspiration, then this book is a great, if not essential, addition to your already existing knowledge and an answer to the commonly-asked questions in Blender that you might have.

From No Starch Press's book info:

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.


Needless to say, the amount of information that has been compressed into this book goes beyond my own appreciation and personal love for it.  It is so rich that every paragraph you read complements the entirety of the chapter/s, and I suggest you to carefully read and learn from them.


Unlike any other technical books that I've read, Blender Master Class contains a ton of genuine data that is personally added with a flavor of Ben's brain power and creativity.  Genuine in such a way that the ideas he presents aren't derived or modified from an external source, but is an interpretation of his own methods; which makes it really nice.


The book contains high-quality full color renders and screenshots that are one of the primary ingredients of this awesome compilation.  The only issue I saw that I wish was better was sometimes, I had to go to the next page to view what was being referred to in the current page.  But other than that, everything is simply beautiful.


As I have mentioned previously in this post, I was initially not happy with the layout but that changed when I read the book in its physical entirety.

OVERALL 9.5/10

This is a must-have to those of you wanting to learn more about Blender and how to optimally build a project from scratch, taking note of the helpful tips that Ben shared, plus knowing when to do which.

Now, I am hoping I have made myself clear and have persuaded you to buy the book and learn from it.  Believe me, you'll never regret a thing or two.  Plus, it's a priceless food for our brain.

Such a masterpiece!

If you still aren't convinced, you can proceed on the book page and check the sample chapters at

Thank you so much for your time! :)


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