It's been quite some time since the last article that I wrote here. I have a good reason, though! Recently, I completed writing Blender For Dummies, and it's currently available for a discounted pre-order on Amazon.
This book spans 408 pages of information specifically tailored for beginners to Blender and 3D computer graphics, written in the friendly "Dummies" style. And even though it's targeted for raw beginners, experienced users may find it valuable because I tried to make it a point to explain the "why" behind parts of Blender's unique design. It's structured in a modular way that allows readers to either read it cover to cover or use it as a reference for specific aspects of Blender and a CD-ROM is included with example files and copies of Blender 2.48a for Linux, Mac, and Windows. The book itself is in black and white, but there is a 16-page color insert with figures that require color as well as examples of Blender artwork from some of the most talented artists in our community.
I had a blast writing Blender For Dummies. With any luck, it will play a part in dispelling the myth that Blender is difficult to understand. Amazon has it listed as shipping at the end of January. Hopefully I can convince one of the other writers here at Blender Nation to write a review.
I am no dummy but I am going to pre-order this book.
blendenzo: you haven't been partying again, have you? :) Chlll, dude.
Shouldn't the title read "Blender3d" for Dummies?
I look forward to reading it some time :)
@DJ_Boxer: Sweet! I'm glad to hear it!
@blendenzo: As Bart has pointed out, this is definitely a "for-real" For Dummies book, published by Wiley. This is legitimate and everything is completely on the up-and-up.
@amdbcg: Blender's name is actually just Blender, not Blender3D. So the title as it stands is correct.
Finally a "-For Dummies" book about blender
Blender for Dummies.....
Haha, I saw this book on Amazon earlier and I saw that it said 2.46.... That was one week ago! :D
they had to fix up the mistake and I bet by the time the book is rolling out, we'll have 2.5! :(
But hey, we'll just make a Blender For Dummies 2!
And by 2.6 Blender for Dummies 3.
Will there be a downloadable version?
What is the quality of the black and white images? The Essential Blender was crucified for it's horrible images, and rightly so. I understand that the "for dummies" series is not a color print series, but hopefully greater pains were taken to ensure legible, quality illustrations.
This is great news. I think this will really help to broaden Blender's user base. I love the idea that the marketing and promotion behind this book will all be brought to bear to help popularize Blender. Looking forward to seeing this baby in stacks on the display tables at B&N!
@blenderman345, writing, editing, and printing takes time, so it's a physical impossibility for books to come out that are immediately up to date with the very latest software releases (or for that matter for the entire n-thousand page Wiki to be edited up to date either). This needn't make you sad. The books are still just as valuable as resources, and you can still learn the latest features the way you always have, by checking the release notes. And yes, there will most certainly be updated editions in the future.
@blendenzo, cut it out. The joke's old.
@blendenzo, intellectual "property" stealing is something good...
@darf, you're welcome to your own private opinions. I really hope people choose not to start a flame war over this comment of yours, because this isn't the place for it.
The point here is that nobody is stealing anything, and accusing people without basis is a lousy way to participate in a community.
Blender for Dummies is a great step for Blender, and we should mainly be congratulating Jason here and thanking him for his long months of hard work in putting it together!
This is great news! I probably will not purchase it, but I know some beginners who probably will.
Good news, but I would've preferred to see a "teach yourself visually" itle as they're usually in color and written to a better level. Oh well...progress
Finally, a book tailored for me! I'll be buying this one!
Bart, can you make a filter on this site? I am sick and tired of reading about all those 'offers' that cannot afford anyway!
Everyone is about monopolizing their knowledge for profits, these days it seems, without considering people who are less fortunate! Some 'community'!
Oh, well. There's always p2p!
ATB - look at it this way....
5000 dummies buy the book, and become no longer dummies.
1000 of those now smart people post articles about Blender to blogs and websites.
Even those that cannot directly afford the educational material will benefit from the introduction.
Lastly, start noting down the titles and ISBN numbers. Then, head on over to your local library, and ask for the ones that have been in print for a period of time through their loan program.
If it is popular, you are going to have to wait for it, but libraries will hunt down the books for you.
Everyone can win from this effort, but only those that don't give up.
@Fweeb: I totally did not realize that you would be publishing this book under the actual "Dummies" franchise. That is really intense!
"Then, head on over to your local library, and ask for the ones that have been in print for a period of time through their loan program."
Quoted for agreement!
@ATB, writing and publishing books is not "monopolizing knowledge". On the contrary, it involves putting in enormous amounts of effort and time to making knowledge available. If you can't afford to buy a book, borrow it from the library! If you're library doesn't have it, request that they order it!
I understand that you're accustomed to getting what you want for free. And there is plenty of free information available. But books are not free to produce, and you should try to appreciate that. Believe me, nobody is getting rich writing Blender books.
As for your last suggestion, as with darf, you're free to your own views on p2p, etc. However, I don't think Blendernation is a good place to publicly advocate piracy.
dummies = stupid
stupid = me
that book is for me, sadly i don't have money right now T.T
looks like i have to steal money from an old lady ;)
got 21st post, in the 21st century, wohoo
Yeah Tony, and you're not accustomed to doing anything for free, huh? You just want to swqueeze as much money out of people as yu can?
Library is NOT a viable option as I cannot absorb the knowledge within the lending time.
You should make an affordable (15-20 Euro) e-book version for people who are less fortunate!
Relax, I was just joking about the p2p thing ;-)
(but I wasn't joking that there ARE ppl that are poor and shuold be considered in a truly helping 'community'.)
I have to agree with Tony even though it's going OT. Blender is not about satisfying people who have their hand out. It's about giving wings to an artist's vision. If you don't need the book don't buy it. If you need it then you should be happy someone went through the trouble to get published.
I've got nearly $100k in student loans to learn how to use software and otherwise educate myself, and by your logic, me working in the industry to pay off that debt is similar to prostitution.
You've obviously not been in a position where people constantly expect you to tell them how to do something on a whim...without ever a thank you or a courteous glance. That feels much more like prostitution to me.
@ATB, I've put a ton of unpaid hours into teaching and promoting Blender in a variety of ways, and and so have all of the people I know of who are currently writing books and producing educational videos, commercial or otherwise.
As for the cost of the books, as I've said before, authors don't determine prices of books. Books cost what books cost. The prices are determined by the publisher and there are many factors that go into setting the prices. The author plays only one role in the whole process of creating and publishing a book.
Finally, you can renew library books.
It looks interesting, but I have been around Blender for a bit now, and already have a few books on Blender (and haven't been through all of them yet). But for many, especially those not aware of Blender, its a great way to introduce them to it. I didn't think that Free Software had a bad reputation, and as I recall, reading academic papers and making software from it is what academic papers are for (why the ACM has Siggraph and all that). ! As for the up-to-date-ness of the book, every software package I have, where I bought a book to go along, left the book behind within a few months (usually 2). So to say dead tree publishing falls behind here, is to say dead tree publishing falls behind all software.
@ATB: I will not allow you to insult people like Tony like that. Stop doing it, or I'll ban you.
These are really great news.
I love the "For Dummies" books, and I may buy this book as a how-to-teach-Blender support material.
It's interesting how even with the internet getting more and more popular the book industry still can support themselves.
I'm passionated about books, in my opinion there is no better way to learn "alone".
This is cool news, I'm sure this book is going to help Blender & 3D becoming mainstream.
Is a table of contents available?
Maybe a sample page or two :D I may convince the studio to pick this up since there are blender-curious artists in here.
Another great step in getting Blender known. Congratulations Fweeb!
Very nice! When is it going to be released?
Yeas, I would love to see a bit what's inside that book too... Maybe blendernation could be allowed by the editor to display some sample pages?
Dont mean to burst anyone's bubble...
But blender 2.5 is coming up and there will be major changes... No?
So the book might be 'obsolete'.
Having said that, I still check the old blender manual from time to time! lol
Pretty cool! ...no, AWESOME! Really glad that Blender is heating the mainstream market... wait, that didn't come out right, did it? lol. But my point is this: imagine walking through K-Mart, or Wal-Mart, and you happen by one of those book islands. What is on there except your dream come true? A book about using a free, 3D application for people with no 3D background! I want to get into teaching some people Blender, and besides hands-on I can have online tuts to draw from, but for the rest of the world: these books and DVDs. :) Cheers.
Now now people. This is but only the beginning.
If you really want a global effect, you need to translate :D
I know friends who will be interested in a "Blender pour les nuls" (title in French).
Blender fÃ¼r Dummies would be appreciable to.
Blender voor Dummies is certainly already finished somewhere !
I don't think this (and other documentation such as Blender Essential) will get obsolete at all, most of the documentation from 2.x is still perfectly usable, with/without modifiers, with/without panels, and so on.
Just a button moved from here to here, and just that, almost everything will be the same.
Or you can wait 2 or 3 years until the next For Dummies, and Essential appears. :)
Hey! Let's not forget "Blender para tontos" (in spanish). Great work Fweeb!
Thanks again everyone for the positive responses (and even ATB's response... I noticed that you were looking for something in the 15-20 Euro range. If you convert the discounted price on Amazon to Euros, it comes out to around 18... sounds like it's in your range to me ;).
To answer a few questions, I'm not aware of plans to have a downloadable version of the book, but I'll certainly inquire about it. I do know that Wiley has recently revamped the For Dummies website (www.dummies.com) to include more downloadable information, including chapters from some of their books, I believe. Perhaps parts of Blender For Dummies will end up there. I'll find out.
Also, the table of contents isn't currently posted publically anywhere... and it's probably weird to include it in the comments here. When I get some time, I'll post the full contents in a thread at blenderartists.org. I'll comment here with a link once I do.
Thanks again everyone for the support!
A few words of Thanks To All who create & share their knowledge of Blender. Thanks for writting the Dummies for Blender. " ...nobody is getting rich writing Blender books. " smile ! We're grateful to you friend ! As for negative comments, remember the Lord Jesus healed a man disabled from birth & folks b#^%@ched He did it on a Sat. You can give some people a Million Dollars & they'll grumble that it wasn't 2 ....
BIG THANKS PAL !!!
I'm really glad Jason has written and published this book, he's one of the finest artist and greatest person I had the privilege to meet and IMHO a natural teacher. I have witnessed his educational skills in the classroom, and I can guarantee you guys that a book from him will be both accurate, easy to follow and fun to read.
Congrats again Jason, and for all of us ... let's have a good read !
I preordered it but I'm not very pleased that it won't be delivered until the end of February 2009 :(
Hi Fweeb, how 'bout my post above about the images? I know the book series is in B&W, but I really hope proper steps were taken to ensure usable imagery. We certainly don't need a repeat of the unfortunate situation with Essential Blender. I do look forward to your book, I thank you for your efforts in it's realization, and I wish you nothing but the best with it.
@vidrazor: The book is in the hands of the publisher now and I have yet to see what the paper version of it. However, I can tell you that we definitely tested the image screenshots based on Wiley's standards and they worked well. And looking at the image quality in other For Dummies books, I'm confident that the results will look good.
Congrats Jason, I know the enormous effort that goes into a project like this and look forward to seeing your work! The Dummies series is a great series and as Tony pointed out, it will do well for increasing the popularity of Blender.
As to versions, I wonder how many folks know you can run multiple versions of Blender on your system? That's nice so they can use the exact version your book was written with. I did that to look at the original game engine book.
Judging by C++ for dummies, HTML for dummies, and various other *for dummies books, the black and white images are of extremely good quality, as are the color inserts.
This is great! I know just who I'll recommend it to.
Blender needs a 'Blender for Dummies Book',iitÅ› a good thing;
This is great. I have been trying to wrap my mind around Blender for some time now and while there is a ton of content on the web, there is little consistency. Preordered. Thanks for the work.
I would like to add my congratulations to Fweeb on a terrific book. My name is Kyle Looper, and I was lucky enough as an Editor to have Jason agree to write this exciting addition to the Blender library. What I was particularly happy with is that Jason makes Blender accessible to people without prior training and explains how to "think in Blender," which I hope will bring a whole new group of users to the Blender community and to the other great books written on the topic area for more advanced users, especially Tony Mullen's terrific books.
I've read all the comments on this thread, and I appreciate the community's support in getting the word out. I've posted a correction to the Amazon material covering the product on the DVD. As we all know, the Blender product updates constantly, so we had to make a decision about which version to write on at some point.
I would not be averse to the idea of posting the table of contents and a sample chapter on this site; I just need to work with my marketing department and the site on making it happen.
As to the p2p discussion, I can only repeat what my drill sergeant told me in basic training: "Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one's watching." I try to live that way, and I hope you do too.
Jason, Great work, great dedication and alot coffee. I personally know the time and attention that went into the writing of this book. I am proud!
Just got this book.
This book is a must have, particualry for anyone new to belnder no matter there experience.
It is also very good for someone porting over from another 3d program.
In my opinion this book compliments "introducing character animation with blender" and "bounce tumble and splash" quite well.
Looking forward to "mastering blender" and blender 2.5.
I bought Essential blender and just placed an order for 'Blender for Dummies' as well. As you all know, these books and all the great video tutorials were written for the 2.4x series.. and Blender 2.5 initiative is already in progress. I have just started learning Blender and as wondering if I would need to "re-learn" Blender 2.5 once it is out considering the fact that 2.5 is a major "re-write" of Blender.. I hope the fundamentals won't change, but would like to know your opinion.. Not sure if this topic was already discussed, but any suggestions/thoughts are highly appreciated.
@Karthik: I have both of these books and there will be some changes in 2.50 but there will soon be 2.49. There will be somethings you will have to re-learn but that will depend on the final changes. Check out blenderartists.org for development updates.