Blender is an open source, cross platform suite of tools for 3D creation, capable of modeling, rendering, and animating 3D environments. Since Blender is completely free, everyone can download and use it immediately in commercial projects. It's not a shareware with limited tools, or time constraints; you can use it freely. In the past few years, the Blender user base has grown significantly. One of the positive aspects of Blender is its size—it is only 10 MB and we can even run it directly from a portable drive. Another great aspect of Blender is that we can use various Operating Systems such as Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X, leaving us the choice of which one to use.
Packt spokesperson Meeba Abraham approached Allan Brito at the heart of this movement to understand his take on the future of Blender.Read Blender 3D: Interview with Allan Brito in full
In this article by Allan Brito, author of Blender 3D 2.9: Architecture, Buildings, and Scenery, we will take the realism of our scenes to a higher level using textures. With textures, the "magic" really happens! There are basically two types of textures, which are procedural and non-procedural textures. For us, the bitmap textures will be used most often, to allow us to create scenes with more realism.
In addition, we will learn how to:
- Choose and organize textures
- Apply and setup a bitmap texture
- Map a texture around a model
- Use normal maps
- Create UV Layouts to create more complex textures
This article by Allan Brito, author of Blender 3D 2.49 Architecture, Buildings, and Scenery, will deal with all the basic aspects related to Blender, which will be useful for artists who have never had the chance to use Blender. We must learn the basics first before we get into more specific questions about modeling and rendering architectural visualizations and scenarios. It's very important to understand how object manipulation, creation, and editing works in Blender. This way, we will be able to work a lot faster and create better models and visualizations.
In this article, we will learn how to:
- Use the interface
- Set up the interface
- Select Objects
- Work with modes
- Transform objects
- Create objects
- Copy objects
- Work with the camera
- Rendering basics
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The Blender 3D suite is probably one of the most used 3D creation and animation tools currently in existence. The reason for that popularity is both its tool set and the extraordinary fact that it can be downloaded free of charge.
In this article by Colin Litster, author of Blender 2.5 Materials and Textures Cookbook, we will cover:
- Creating metals
- Using specular maps to add age and variety to man-made surface materials
- Adding oxidization weathering to our copper material
- Adding grime and artistic interest to our copper material
There are various ways of approaching the subject of rigging, and we're going to see a mix of solutions ranging from unique to adapted ideas by reverse-engineering some well known rigs available online, such as the ManCandy rig, Ludwig, or the Blender Foundation's open movie characters. While these solutions are not the only way to go, you can achieve quite satisfactory results and its building processes are far from being rocket science.
In this article by Virgilio Vasconcelos, author of Blender 2.5 Character Animation Cookbook, we will cover the following topics:
- How to create a stretchy spine
- Rigging the pelvis
- Making your character breathe
- Controlling the neck and head
It is very common to see newcomers to 3D art who want to create something "human", mostly a face. The complexity of creating a fully detailed body or even a face is too high for a project. So in this article by John E. Herreño, author of Blender 2.5 HOTSHOT, let's work on creating a basic humanoid character and learn a simple but effective methodology to model in Blender 3D.Read Blender 2.5: Modeling a Basic Humanoid Character in full
Home sweet home. We've got a very beautiful planet to live in, with lots of beautiful landscapes to look at; but maybe the most beautiful ones are those that we can see in the pictures taken from the space. Those are really awesome. In this article by John E. Herreño, author of Blender 2.5 HOTSHOT, let's challenge ourselves and work to create an image resembling some of that beauty that we can see in nature.Read Blender 2.5: Detailed Render of the Earth from Space in full
Many times, objects contain numerous attributes that define how they look, and they're not always perfectly uniform in relation to the object. For example, a used paint can would have paint dripping down the sides of the can—if we were creating this can in 3D, we'd have to tell Blender that there is a specific spot on our 3D mesh that contains different attributes than the rest of the mesh. This is where UV mapping comes in handy. UV coordinates are, in simple terms, a two-dimensional representation of the texture coordinates of a three-dimensional object. They allow us to tell Blender specific properties about specific areas of our objects in a scene.
In this article by Aaron W. Powell, author of Blender 2.5 Lighting and Rendering, we're going to talk about creating custom textures for our scene and how to bring them into Blender. We will learn how to create a custom UV map and texture for an object in our interior scene.Read Blender 2.5: Creating a UV Texture in full
The Blender API provides us with the means to define IPOs from scratch, enabling the definition of movements not easily re-created by setting key frames by hand. Thus there is more to IPOs than just driving one IPO by another one. Furthermore, Shape keys and poses are examples of (collections of) IPOs that are quite different from, for example, a location IPO. We will encounter both shape keys and poses later on in this article, but we will start off with looking at how we might define an IPO from scratch.
In this article by Michel Anders, author of Blender 2.49 Scripting, you will learn how to:
- Define IPOs
- Define shape keys on a mesh
- Define IPOs for those shape keys
- Pose armatures
- Group changes in poses into actions
(Other related articles on Blender 2.49 Scripting are listed at the end of this page.)Read Blender 2.49 Scripting: Shape Keys, IPOs, and Poses in full
Having covered what script links and space handlers are in the previous article, we will take the discussion further on how Python can be used in Blender. Although softbody and cloth simulators that are available in Blender do an excellent job in many situations, sometimes you want to have more control over the way a mesh is deformed or simulate some specific behavior that is not quite covered by Blender's built-in simulators. This article shows how to calculate the deformation of a mesh that is touched, but not penetrated by another mesh. This is not meant to be physically accurate. The aim is to give believable results for solid things touching an easily deformable or gooey surface such as a finger taking a lick of butter or a wheel running through a soft shoulder.
In this article by Michel Anders, author of Blender 2.49 Scripting, you will learn:
- How to implement a scheme to associate a different mesh with an object on each frame
- How to augment the functionality of the 3D View
There are many places where Python can be used in Blender. In this article by Michel Anders, author of Blender 2.49 Scripting, we will now look at scripts that may be used to act on certain events. These scripts come in two flavors—script links and space handlers. You will learn what script links and space handlers are and how they can be used to perform activities on each frame change in an animation. You also see how to associate additional information with an object, how to use script links to make an object appear or disappear by changing its layout or changing its transparency.Read Blender 2.49 Scripting: Animating the Visibility of objects in full
In this article by William Rice the author of the book Blackboard Essentials for Teachers, we will discuss how to create assignments where the student must submit or upload a material for the instructor to review. You will learn how to review and respond to the files that students submit.Read Blackboard Essentials for Teachers - Assignments for Students in full
Planning is a key element of any IT implementation, but planning can only be accomplished with an understanding of the technical underpinnings of the proposed solution. In this article, authors Mitesh Desai and Dan Renfroe delve more deeply into the technical architecture of BES in order to provide you with an understanding of what’s under the hood. This article also covers the system requirements and pre-requisites for a BES implementation, including operating system, hardware, network, and database requirements.Read BlackBerry: BES Architecture and Implementation Planning in full
In this article by Mitesh Desai, author of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5 Implementation Guide, we will have a look at the MDS (Mobile Data Service) runtime applications that can be deployed to the BlackBerry Smartphone. MDS enables the BlackBerry to truly become a Smartphone by allowing administrators to deploy critical applications to the Smartphone. This article will show you how to distribute an MDS application to a BlackBerry device. We will also custom develop applications to run on the BlackBerries or use third-party applications to push on to the devices. Finally, we will further secure the application usage on the device by using IT policies.Read BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5: MDS Applications in full
The purpose of creating a BlackBerry Enterprise Server user is to assign a device to the user and then manage that device via policies. In this article by Mitesh Desai, author of BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5 Implementation Guide, we will be looking at activating devices and the various methods that are available to do so. We will create users on our BES system, and then assigning them Smartphone devices. We will be providing our Microsoft Exchange users access to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
We will look at creating a single user account so that we become familiar with the settings, but in a practical environment we would need a quicker way to create the users, especially if we have over 500 users in our organization. In the Lab, at the end of the article, we will be importing users to the BES.Read BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5: Activating Devices and Users in full
In the previous article we discussed the key principles of SOA. In this article by Richard Seroter, author of SOA Patterns with BizTalk Server 2009, we will proceed further with the discussion on proper planning of a service oriented solution and cover:
- Which types of services can be exposed
- The standard message exchange patterns for services
In the previous article, BizTalk Application: Currency Exchange Rates, we took a look at the setup for sending data using AIF XML documents to AX. We can use the BizTalk adapter to retrieve data from Dynamics AX via this AIF module. This is done using the AIF Queue manager. Throughout Dynamics AX, there are Send electronically buttons that can allow you to push data into the AIF Queue with an Outbound direction. Similarly, asynchronous incoming messages have an Inbound direction parameter.
In this article by Carl Darski, author of Microsoft BizTalk 2010: Line of Business Systems Integration, we'll create a BizTalk application that retrieves messages from Dynamics AX 2009 via the AIF Queue.Read BizTalk Application: Dynamics AX Message Outflow in full
The best way to understand the behavior and setup required to use the Dynamics AX BizTalk adapter is to walk through a full example. A common requirement for many companies that use Dynamics AX is to populate the currency exchange rates. Typically, this needs to be daily when the closing rates are published. The Exchange Rates(General ledger | Setup Exchange rates) table in AX is not a shared table across companies, thus depending how your organization is set up; you may or may not need to populate the Exchange rate table using multiple companies with multiple rates.
In this article by Carl Darski, author of Microsoft BizTalk 2010: Line of Business Systems Integration, we'll create a BizTalk application to populate the exchange rates table.Read BizTalk Application: Currency Exchange Rates in full
Since SOI (Service Oriented Integration) is all about integrating multiple SOA-based systems, web services play a critical role in the integration space. This article is all about the importance of web services in integration. We will use the samples to illustrate how to bind web services with the ServiceMix ESB to facilitate integration.
In this article by Binildas A. Christudas, we will cover the following:
- Web services and binding
- Introduction to HTTP
- ServiceMix's servicemix-http component
- The consumer and provider roles for the ServiceMix JBI components
- servicemix-http in the consumer and provider roles
- Web service binding (Gateway) sample