Since the 5th of October, a new book about Blender by Olivier Saraja is available in France: "La 3D libre avec Blender" (which translates to "Free 3D with Blender"). It is around 356 pages, featuring some color plates by well known artists of the community (Stefan Zsolt, Robertt, Harkyman...).
The book is between a Blender-guide and a tutorials book. It aims at beginners, but as it is fully compliant to Blender 2.42, all the latest and hot topics of Blender are reviewed and explained, including the nodes, the softbodies, the fluid simulation etc. Obviously, the book is divided into chapters, reviewing almost everything (except the Game Engine and Python Scripting): the installations (for Win, Linux and Mac Os X) of Blender/Python/Yafray, the GUI and first steps in Blender, a first beginner's project, a whole chapter on modeling, another one on lighting (including radiosity), a full length one on shading (materials, textures, material nodes editor), another on the basis of animation (animation along curves, working with IPO, Action Editor, particles animated/static, animating with Modifiers...), another one on advanced animations (softbodies, rigid bodies, fluid sim, animating with skeletons, NLA editor...), another one on rendering (Render layers, Composite node editor...). In the appendices,you can read a whole part on the use of Yafray (GI, photons et all.), an explanation of the bundled python scripts, a list of material indice, and more. You can download the full table of contents, and also take a look at the long list of sample content (under 'Extraits') on the site of the publisher. The most interesting samples are:
- Chapter 8: advanced animations
- Appendix A: keyboard shortcuts
- Appendix B: yafray, photorealistic renderer
- Appendix C: bundled python scripts
- Appendix D: index of refraction
I started writing the book so that it could be 2.40 compliant. And then the coding machine went mad in the BF, Elephants Dream contributed back a lot of features, and I got more and more difficulties getting all the latest and cool stuff from Blender into the book, so that it has been postponed many times! At first, it should have been published in March, 2006. So all the texts were written prior to january, 2006. Then we postponed a first time to March, 2006, and then to June, 2006. But 2.42 was released early in June, and the sales are never good during the summer, so we decided to postpone the book to early September, and to make the book fully 2.42 compliant. Which we did. Unfortunately, one of the guy in charge of design of the book deceased end of August, and the book had to be postponed one last time, for this sad reason.
But now the book is at disposal at major retailers, and will be firmly available everywhere on October the 10th, at last!
A few words about me? When I started using Blender 1.63a, I was a newborn in the CG field. I got very enthusiast, and as I have a knack for writing since my early ages, I started writing a tutorial for making landscapes (still featured on the Web, BTW! lol!). And I wrote more and more, got myself involved in the French Blender communities, and in particular involved into http://www.linuxgraphic.org which promotes all kinds of Free/GPL/open Source softwares related to Graphics: 2D (Gimp, Krita...), Vectors (Sketch, Inscape...), 3D (Blender, POV-ray, Art of Illusion...) the latest being my favourite field, the one I contribute the more. I also write articles in two french magazines about Linux (Linux Magazine France, and Linux Pratique) and I contributed to some chapters of the Wiki documentation. I'm waiting for the end of the Blender Summer of Documentation and a few free time to start contributing again to the Wiki docs...
You can purchase the book from the the French Amazon Store. Even though I can't read it very well, I think the book looks very professional and coming from a die-hard Blender user like Olivier, I'm sure it'll be worth buying.