Jen’s Book Review for Villar’s “Learning Blender”

At first glance, I wondered how well Villar’s book and companion videos would be over other Blender books and video tutorials. His materials proved to be much more effective. The two other Blender books I’m familiar with cover all of Blender’s controls and how they work. This book instead focuses on how you work those controls by completing an animation project. And though there are many video tutorial series online, none of them that I know of are directly supported by the voluminous information of an entire book.

Before I read this book, my skills in Blender were very limited, dabbling infrequently off and on for the better part of a decade. At this slow, undisciplined pace, I have only recently crawled out of my modeling infancy in Blender, and am now looking forward to focusing on materials, texturing, rigging, and all the rest.

This book & videos were so thorough that I still learned quite a lot of new things relating to modeling. And through all the extensive learning in the other areas, I found where my skills are weakest; UVs (I’ve got to learn GIMP) and animation. (Are you going to write in-depth books on these topics?

Since doing is a far more effective method of learning than just observing, I did the project.

I was pleased with several well defined concepts that I can’t recall learning elsewhere. For example, my previous understanding of UVs has grown from piecing together how it worked through various unrelated tutorials. Reading the opening paragraphs of Chapter 8 was finally enlightening.

Also a minor yet very pleasing point on Villar’s videos, at the opening of each he mercifully indexes the specific times for locating each major learning point. This is excellent for reviewing and replaying certain parts. I can’t recall seeing any online tutorials do this. Such is one difference between professional and amateur.

Overall, Villar’s program is one very extensive, multimedia tutorial series focusing on creating everything for a mere 6 seconds of animation. It is a breathtaking and challenging amount of efforts for such a short result. It will give you a much greater appreciation for all those VFX and animated shows you watch. Such efforts are well worth it if you are inspired to pursue them. And, I was left inspired after completing it.

Excellent job, Senor!

You can find this, other reviews and more information on Villar’s new book, “Learning Blender,” at InformIT.com and at Amazon.com.

Posted in Blog, Character Creating, Compositing and Special VFX, UV Mapping Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
One comment on “Jen’s Book Review for Villar’s “Learning Blender”
  1. Good job with that character, Jen! I really appreciate your review and it’s great to see the book’s been useful for you!

    Keep it up, and thank you! 😀

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