Full Review: Blender Cycles Materials and Textures Cookbook, 3rd edition

Bigger and better

many revised editions of books offer just minor improvements but this book offers much, much more. Expanded to just under 400 pages it covers everything about Cycles in a clear and extremely detailed manner.

(click to go to publisher's site)
The author clearly knows what he is talking about and explains in a structured manner how Cycles works, how to set up node based materials and to design materials from the bottom up. That last part is crucial: in order to create a material that is believable or even photorealistic a lot of detail is needed. The best way to get results is to design from the bottom up and add layers of detail step by step and in this book this is illustrated in minute detail.

Another great addition to this edition is attention for special effects: features like fog, fire, global illumination or shadeless materials. Cycles is quite capable to create those effects but these are not always easy to configure. The new sections in this edition do an excellent job in explaining them.

  • up to date
  • detailed description of general concepts and specific materials
  • well structured
  • featurmaterials (like leather, stone) as well as effects (like fog, fire)
  • downloadable materials are a good starting library
  • quality of materials is excellent
  • hi-res illustrations must be downloaded separately (there are only lo-res ones in the pdf. This distracts greatly from the reading experience)
  • some more information on lighting would have been useful. This could easily fill a whole book itself but some information on this subject would make it easier to get the most out of these materials.

Good value for your money.

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