Book Image

Blender 3D Basics

Book Image

Blender 3D Basics

Overview of this book

Blender is by far the most popular open source graphics program available. It is a full featured 3D modeling, animation and games development tool used by millions all over the world ñ and it's free! This book is for those looking for an entry into the world of 3D modeling and animation regardless of prior experience. Blender 3D Basics is the entry level book for those without prior experience using 3D tools. It caters for those who may have downloaded Blender in the past but were frustrated by its lack of intuitiveness. Using simple steps it builds, chapter by chapter, into a full foundation in 3D modeling and animation. Using Blender 3D Basics the reader will model a maritime scene complete with boats and water, then add materials, lighting and animation. The book demystifies the Blender interface and explains what each tool does so that you will be left with a thorough understanding of 3D.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Blender 3D Basics Beginner's Guide
About the Author
About the Reviewers
Controlling the Lamp, the Camera, and Animating Objects

Time for action — searching on Felix Turns the Tide + 1922

Make a search on the web for the terms Felix Turns the Tide + 1922. YouTube,, or some other site should have the video. Felix Turns the Tide was made in 1922 and stars Felix the Cat who was the hottest animation star of the time. It was one of 17 different Felix the Cat films made that year, or approximately one animation every three weeks.

Watch it now and enjoy it.

What just happened?

Felix Turns the Tide sure isn't Avatar, but it's surprising how well they used their limited tools and told a story. This was only six years after cel animation had been invented. Cel animation revolutionized early animation because it allowed you to put different parts of an animated frame on different layers, so you didn't have to redraw the entire scene every frame.

Pop quiz— analyzing pioneer animators

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions about the movies. The purpose is to get you to think about the question and come up with your own answers:

  1. Timing: Are Felix's movements realistic? Or are we given a series of poses and a moment to see each one?

  2. Camera Use: How would you describe their use of backgrounds? Did they use a variety of distances between the action and the camera? Think of the house where he goes to say goodbye to his girlfriend, or when he hijacks the balloon. How is the camera used? How would you handle either of these scenes?

  3. Producibility: They made this eight minute movie in a few months without computers; the 14 minute Blender movie Sintel took a year or more. Considering the short deadlines that the animators worked under, imagine some of the compromises the animators made to get the animation out of the door and some of the arguments they might have had about what to do.

  4. Metaphors: As animation began to move away from the comics section of the paper, it continued to use a lot of the same metaphors that comics did. These are things such as text in balloons for dialog, plants moving along the side of the road to indicate motion, emoticon-like hearts indicating love. What other metaphors do you remember seeing?

  5. Audience expectation: Think about how the sausages get to the battle. Do you think that modern audiences would accept this? Imagine you are remaking this animation in 3D in Blender for a modern audience, how would you handle getting the sausages to the battlefront?

Moving ahead a few years in time, to 1928

Animators are learning their craft and technology is advancing. Walt Disney has lost his main character, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, to Universal Studios. Universal also hired away all of his animators except Ub Iwerks, Disney's star animator. This is a serious blow to Disney. So Disney is desperate and he needs something to stay in business. In 1928, Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks make their first Mickey Mouse animation, Plane Crazy. It introduces both Mickey and Minnie. But Walt cannot find a distributor for it, so it doesn't get released. His next Mickey Mouse movie, Steamboat Willie was the first American animation with sound, and that opened up the market for Mickey. For us, since Plane Crazy was made as a silent and retrofitted with sound, it shows how animators had perfected their skills in the period between 1922 and 1928, before the use of sound.