Witold Jaworski is updating his book ‘Making of realistic airplane with Blender‘ to use Cycles. At the same time, he’s preparing an English version as well (the original was Polish-only).
I am writing second edition of my book about aircraft modeling in Blender. This edition uses Cycles as the rendering engine.
On August I finished its part about materials and textures. The target audience of this guide are the traditional (“plastic kit”) modelers, so it starts from the basic level. However, it may be also interesting for all who wants to learn how the Cycles nodes work and how to use them effectively.
It is a comprehensive description of creating realistic “hard surface” materials of an historical aircraft skin, with all the rivets, panels, dirt, and even structural openings. It is a real work, in all its complexity, not a simplified “textbook example”. Every of its phases is accompanied by appropriate *.blend file and GIMP/Inkscape drawings. This guide describes also how to match an airplane model with a photo background.
I expect to finish the complete book (of about 1250 pages, describing whole process of the model creation) on June 2013. However, I think that the already finished part about Cycles may be interesting enough for many blenderheads, so I published it as an excerpt. In fact, it is a complete book on its own, containing 586 pages and over 1700 pictures.
This guide is available in two languages: Polish and English. The Polish version is free (CC license), while the English version is a paid book. However, “Virtual Airplane”, like my other guides, looks like a semi-comic book, so it may be usable to some extent for all. An English table of contents is very helpful in such a case. You can download both these files from the web page of this project, skim the whole guide, and decide whether you need to buy its English translation!