Blender Master Class: A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering

Cover ><

If you’ve noticed I’ve been updating the site a bit less frequently of late, this (and busy times at Gecko Animation) is pretty much why. Along with the talented and patient folks at No Starch Press, I’ve been writing a book about creating art with Blender and GIMP. It covers everything from modeling to sculpting, through to textures, materials, lighting and rendering.

Allthree_small ><

The three main projects covered in the book.

The book takes you through three different projects: a gruesome bat monster, a robotic spider, and an overgrown temple deep in the jungle. But this isn’t just a simple step by step tutorial. Whilst you can use the book that way, I chose each of the projects to provide a unique set of challenges, and I use the projects to help explain how to use GIMP and Blender in your own projects. The book is filled with examples from my other works too, as well as detailed descriptions of blenders tools, and guides to getting the most out of Blender and GIMP with your own custom UIs, Brushes and Materials.

Modeling using concept art as reference. ><
Modeling using concept art as reference.

Fig608 ><
Creating custom sculpt brushes.

Creating node setups for cycles materials. ><
Creating node setups for cycles materials.

Compositing final Renders ><
Compositing final Renders

Plus, the book comes with a DVD containing all of the project files and resources used in creating each of the projects, plus some extra goodies like brushes, mat-cap materials, textures, and sculpting alphas.

Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what’s covered in the book:

  • Introductions to Blender and GIMP for new users.
  • Working with reference images and concept art in Blender and GIMP.
  • Modeling, from blocking out basic forms, to creating complex meshes.
  • Sculpting both organic and hard-surface models.
  • Retopology to turn complex sculpts into simple models with good topology.
  • Creating hair and fur with Blender’s particle systems.
  • Baking textures (Ambient Occlusion, Displacement, Normals, Colours) from models.
  • Painting textures using both Blender and GIMP.
  • Creating materials for Blender Internal and Cycles renderers. Creating materials for BI with the Properties editor, and building up complex cycles shader with the Node editor.
  • Lighting, again with both Blender Internal and Cycles renderers.
  • Rendering and compositing the final scenes, adding post-processing effects with compositing nodes and adding final touch-ups in GIMP.

The book will be published in February/March. You can pre-order it now from Amazon, the Blender.org Store or from the No Starch Press website. If you order from No Starch, you get a free E-Book edition of the book when you purchase the print edition.

Blender Master Class on the Blender.org Store

Blender Master Class on the No Starch Press store

Blender Master Class on Amazon US

Blender Master Class on Amazon UK

It’s been a big project putting the book together, and I hope it’s resulted in something really useful. So if you’ve enjoyed the tutorials on this site I hope you’ll give it a look.


Ben Simonds (Feb 18, 2013)

Thanks! Hope you enjoy it.

adminbromo (Feb 15, 2013)

Just purchased the book. Can’t wait to go through it. Thanks Ben!

Jacques van Dijk (Jan 08, 2013)

Awesome Ben,

Where do we find the “coupon code” ?

The book on Gimp looks handy to by the way.

Ben Simonds (Jan 08, 2013)

The code is “PREORDER”.

3D Printed Spider Bot | BenSimonds.com (Jun 13, 2013)

[&#8230;] pretty cool. If you haven&#8217;t seen him before, he&#8217;s one of the projects in my book, Blender Master Class. The book covers making him in blender, through the processes of modeling, sculpting, and [&#8230;]

konradtacular (Jan 04, 2013)

man I would love to get this.

New Book: Blender Master Class, by Ben Simonds | BlenderNation (Feb 25, 2013)

[…] For more about the book, you can read the original announcement about it on my site. […]

Blender Master Class &#8211; One Week Sale! &laquo; BenSimonds.com (Feb 21, 2013)

[…] For more about the book, check out this post. […]

lou (Mar 12, 2013)

Can I download it after I buy it ?

Ben Simonds (Mar 12, 2013)

If you bought it from NoStarch press, then you should be able to download the ebook version. Email help@nostarch.com if you have any issues with downloads.

Trever Grissam (Apr 03, 2018)

I have the kindle edition as I lost the physical copy I bought while moving. However I cannot for the life of me find the resource dvd. Is there a download I am missing somewhere?

, , , , , — Jan 4, 2013