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Reviewed by Major Keary
Blender is open-source and the book comes with a companion CD that contains version 2.44 in releases for a number of operating systems, including Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Solaris, Freebsd, and IRIX. The book opens with information on the installation of Blender and a concise introduction to 3D. It then progresses through Blender's various tools and their application. Each of those chapters begins with a 'hands-on' tutorial that presents the reader with a detailed how-to description of each particular process. The tutorials are followed by a discussion that explains technical issues. This is not just about how to use the tools, but describes the techniques essential to getting good results. Extensive use of illustrations contributes greatly to making the text easy to follow. The graphics are all monochrome, but quite sufficient for the purpose: learning how to use Blender, and serving as an ongoing reference. A remarkable amount of information is packed into this modestly sized book; that is achieved at the expense of typographic design, but who cares about that if quality of information and good technical depth are what you are looking for?
Recommended to anyone who wants to get into serious 3D animation; an essential resource for those who already use Blender; and well worth considering as a library acquisition for its plain-language explanation of 3D animation.
Roland Hess Ed.: The Essential Blender
Published by No Starch Press, 371 pp., RRP AU$ 79.95
No Starch Press titles are distributed in Australia by Woodslane