Full book review: Blender 3D Basics Beginner's Guide, second edition
Blender 3D Basics Beginner's Guide, second edition
The first impressions on reading the first edition of this book were that it was well written and the second edition doesn't change that. The writer clearly has thought about how to present the reader with projects that provide a smooth learning curve. No details are left out and animation, not just modeling and rendering, is a focal point from page one.
While reading the book you clearly get the feel you are getting somewhere. Many easy to follow steps guide you through subjects like camera work, animating, rendering a final compositing and the book even touches on that all important point of animation: telling a story. At the end the reader will be able to create a small animated movie (even in anaglyphic 3d!).
It helps of course that for almost every small step sample files are available for download and the pdf version of the ebook is in color, a necessity for books about graphics in my opinion (although the .mobi version read just fine on my Kindle)
The second edition doesn't add much in terms of content but it is updated for Blender 2.7, which is nice. It still doesn't cover character animation, (which is an advanced subject, but something about armatures would have been nice, even for non-character animation), while texturing, especially UV mapping, is still hardly touched upon. Cycles, the Blender's new render engine, gets a little bit more coverage now but not as much as it deserves. I don't think this is a major issue though: thousands of fine animations have been made with Blender's internal renderer and thousands will be.
Conclusion: This is an excellent book for Blender novices. Reading this book gives the aspiring Blender animator the biggest chance of actually finishing something instead of leaving the reader with some boring technical experiments.