03 June 2012

John E. Herreño - Blender 2.5 Hotshot - EBook Review

John Herreño recently came out with a Blender 2.5 book, and since I don't remember reading anything from Mr Herreño before, I was interested to get my hands on this book.

Product Specifications:
  • Name: Blender 2.5 Hotshot
  • Author: John E. Herreño
  • Price: £16.14 (15 July 2011)
  • Type: EBook
  • Pages: 332
The first thing I did was check out Mr Herreño's website to see what Blender related stuff he had previously done (website). his website seems somewhat empty of what he is capable of, so I went searching some more on google and quickly found that he is a Blender Certified Trainer (BCT Page), and is on twitter as jedihe. So it seems that he is a very skilled Blender user.

Given the information I was able to find, I was eager to read this book as it seems to be the type of Blender book which I had not seen before, an intermediate level, Blender 2.5x projects based book.

There are in total 10 projects that are covered, 8 of them inside the book and 2 of them downloadable, which cover the following topics:
  • Project 1 - Render A Starship Shield Impact
  • Project 2 - Fly A Fighter Aircraft Through A Storm
  • Project 3 - Construct A Car Using Modeling & Shading
  • Project 4 - Creating A Professional Looking Demo Reel
  • Project 5 - Build An Interactive Walkthrough Using The Game Engine
  • Project 6 - Detailed Render Of The Earth From Space
  • Project 7 - Animate A Humanoid Character
  • Project 8 - Create A Snail
  • Project 9 - Render A Kitchen
  • Project 10 - Model A Basic Humanoid Character
Each of the projects on the whole are very informative and are worth doing. I found that I could follow them but you have to be paying attention and be prepared to fill in some of the things which are not specifically explained. This is to be expected as this is an intermediate level book.

Some of the projects are related to each other so will require you to have done those previous projects before you can do the next ones, in some cases.

When all the projects are done, you get a very good coverage of most of Blender's major features, and as such they serve as a good foundation to the use of Blender.

There are problems with the book though because for some reason the book does not supply support files on the books dedicated website, and resorts to having the user go to various websites to obtain the files needed to carry out the various tasks for each of the different subjects of each project. Unfortunately this causes problems as some of the websites they want you to go to require you to register with them. This is unacceptable for a paid for book, the support files should be supplied. Another problem was that one of the websites referenced in Project 5 was just a blank page which made doing the project harder than it needed to be. Also the fact that Projects 9 and 10 are not included within the book but are in downloadable form, is a little strange. It would also have been very helpful if the resultant files produced from the individual projects were also provided. The would help because you would not have to manually go through all the steps to carryout out projects that require previous projects to have been carried out.

Even given the problems above, this is still a very informative book and I think it is still worth getting.

Review Score 70%