ShaderMap 2 – A map generator

With the coming of normal, specular and displacement maps to Second Life a map generator is an useful tool to add to your toolbox. ShaderMap 2 is one of such tools which sports an elegant and intuitive interface, ease of use and a low price tag of US$ 39.95. Currently ShaderMap is only available for Windows.

What is a map generator? A map generator is a tool that creates a set of images — called maps — which create special effects from an existing image. There are a number of tools to create maps, both free and commercial. ShaderMap is quite interesting for its ease of use and low price (only US$ 39.95). Check the video for an introduction, click the link to visit the web site: http://shadermap.com

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Central Dauphin High School | Free Blender Basics Classroom Tutorial eBook

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Apparently there are quite a few free ebooks out there on the web. This is the third find in a few days. This free ebook is authored by James Chronister and it is available through the website of the Central Dauphin High School.

There are two editions available: the 3rd edition covers version 2.49, the 4th edition covers version 2.5/2.6. I checked the 4th edition, at first glance the book covers lots of topic in 24 chapters and 178 pages. It comes with color pictures while some video tutorials are available on the web. The file is in the usual PDF format.

The download page is a bit crowded, so you’ll have to visually scan the page to find the link to download the book. Also available on the page are links to a material library and a 3D trees library. A translation of the book in Russian (no edition specified) is also available.

BlenderNation | Ten Awesome Tips for Blender

tips

Using the normal pass

Subdividing selected sections

Using vertex colors with cycles

Blending textures with vertex colors

Baking normalized ambient occlusion maps

Adding custom properties to objects

Controlling objects using constraints

Splitting edges

Selection Tips

Dupliframes

Ten tips for Blender with video tutorials. Though not all apply to Second Life, some are quite helpful. Click the link to read the full article.

Blender Cookie | Creating an Island Environment in Blender 2.6

This 3-parts tutorial explains how to generate an island environment with Blender 2.6 and the ANT Landscape Generator, an add-on for Blender. Though not all of what is explained in the tutorial can be applied to Second Life, this tutorial is nonetheless useful to learn a number of techniques on how to model terrain with Blender.

Packt Publishing Technical & IT Book and eBook Store | Blender 2.5 HOTSHOT Book & eBook

A new book on Blender by Packt Publishing. This book is based on the Blender 2.5 version sporting the new interface.

Open Source

Challenging and fun projects that will push your Blender skills to the limit

John E. Herreño

Blender 2.5 HOTSHOT

Overview of Blender 2.5 HOTSHOT

  • Exciting projects covering many areas: modeling, shading, lighting, compositing, animation, and the game engine
  • Strong emphasis on techniques and methodology for the best approach to each project
  • Utilization of many of the tools available in Blender 3D for developing moderately complex projects
  • Clear and concise explanations of working in 3D, along with insights into some important technical features of Blender 3D
  • Projects that you can tweak yourself to create magnificent finished models. Have a look at Chapter 9 and Chapter 10 and see for yourself.
  • Here is a video detailing the projects included in the book:
  • eBook available as PDF and ePub downloads and also on PacktLib
[ Detailed Information ]
Language : English
Paperback : 332 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : June 2011
ISBN : 1849513104
ISBN 13 : 978-1-84951-310-4
Author(s) : John E. Herreño
[ In Detail ]
Blender 2.5 Hotshot will show you how powerful and capable Blender 3D is when you exploit its full potential. Move beyond basic tasks in Blender 3d and dive into more challenging territory. Ditch simple boring characters in favor of creating more detailed, visually rich, and polished results.

We will start by covering all the steps involved in producing a complete image from scratch by working on a scene of a starship; then we’ll go into working with blueprints by creating an aircraft scene and a car model. Next you will use the video editor by creating a professional looking demo-reel followed by the game engine to create an interactive first person architectural walkthrough.

Since each chapter is a complete project you’ll also learn to create very nice materials, including multi-layered textures and the usage of color ramps to achieve special effects. On the lighting part you’ll be learning various tricks to control how each light behaves and affects the scene, along with some basic setups for common situations. On the modeling part you’ll be working both on mechanical and organic objects, learning some key concepts along the way.

Compositing is widely used to take normal renders to the next level and add some nice special effects like glare. You will even have the opportunity to write some Python code for the game engine. Finally, you’ll work on creating a snail using some advanced texturing tricks and compositing it into real footage.

Create very cool scenes from scratch and learn basic concepts and good techniques along the way

What you will learn from this book :

  • Complex shading techniques, including the usage of the material’s node system.
  • Combine computer generated images with live footage using compositing techniques.
  • Basic methodology for creating an armature, setting it up, skinning a model and animating it.
  • Useful tools, along with some tips and tricks for architectural rendering.
  • Smart and powerful usage of procedural textures.
  • Improve the final result of your renders with the compositing system.
  • Set up configuration and code for the Blender Game Engine, such as logic bricks and Python scripts.
  • Reuse data from external .blend files by means of the library system.

Approach

Using a projects based approach you will learn fun and challenging aspects of Blender 3D development. With each project you will be able to show off a creation that utilizes Blender 3D maximum potential.

Who this book is written for

If you are already able to perform some basic tasks with Blender 3D and want to go from the simple and boring renders of monkey-headed characters living in box-like scenes to creating more detailed, visually richer, and more polished results then this book is for you. It will give you a good idea of the amount of complexity required for real-world projects and help you in deciding what area you are going to specialize in later on.

This book is also useful if you are a user of any other 3D package wanting to get up and running fast with Blender 3D.

 

Free Maya Video Tutorials | How to shape pipes with Maya

In this 10 minutes video tutorial Muhammad explains how to shape, texture and render a pipe using Autodesk Maya. The simple shape makes this tutorial easy to follow for beginners, while students using modeling tools other than Maya may find the techniques used to shape the model interesting.

Make sure to check Free Maya Video Tutorials for other tutorials on Maya.

Forever Blender! | Environment Lighting in Blender 2.5

A mini tutorial from Forever Blender! on how to use environment lightning for rendering in Blender 2.5.