Towards the middle of last year I was contracted by Natcoll (An educational publisher) to write a book that introduces school students to Blender. After much hard work the book is now printed and is being sold to schools around the world.
The story of the book is a fantastic one, and highlights the commercial embrace of open source products.
Natcoll is a publisher of multimedia textbooks, and school curricula, who up until now have solely focused on creating material to help teach commercial software. As financial pressure in the education market has increased, the Open Source model has become a more attractive option. Blender presented an interesting opportunity as it is a mature and well structured package that is competing in a market with reasonably high entry costs.
Introduction to Blender contains 81 pages (39 full colour) covering the following topics:
- Blenders Interface
- Working with Objects
- Mesh Modelling
- Subdivision Modelling
- Lighting and Rendering
- Working with Time
- Working with Characters
Tools are introduced, and then put into practice through short exercises. At the end of each chapter is a project for students to complete on there own, allowing them to practice all tools learnt in a free and creative context. Projects build throughout the book to create a finished 3D scene, as well as a short animation.
I loved the experience of writing the book, and learnt a lot both as an artist as well as a communicator.
If you wish to purchase a copy of the book and/or the corresponding curriculum you can do so through Natcoll's website: www.natcoll.co.nz