Blender Master Class

Blender Master Class

A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering
by Ben Simonds
February 2013, 288 pp., w/ DVD
Full Color

Blender is a powerful and free 3D graphics tool used by artists and designers worldwide. But even experienced designers can find it challenging to turn an idea into a polished piece.

For those who have struggled to create professional-quality projects in Blender, author Ben Simonds offers this peek inside his studio. You’ll learn how to create 3D models as you explore the creative process that he uses to model three example projects: a muscular bat creature, a futuristic robotic spider, and ancient temple ruins. Along the way, you’ll master the Blender interface and learn how to create and refine your own models.

You’ll also learn how to:

  • Work with reference and concept art in Blender and GIMP to make starting projects easier
  • Block in models with simple geometry and build up more complex forms
  • Use Blender’s powerful sculpting brushes to create detailed organic models
  • Paint textures with Blender and GIMP and map them onto your 3D artwork
  • Light, render, and composite your models to create striking images

Each chapter walks you through a piece of the modeling process and offers detailed explanations of the tools and concepts used. Filled with full-color artwork and real-world tips, Blender Master Class gives you the foundation you need to create your own stunning masterpieces.

DVD includes files for each project in the book, as well as extra textures, brushes, and other resources.

Covers Blender 2.6x

Author Bio 

Ben Simonds ( is a professional 3D artist and co-director of Gecko Animation Ltd., a post-production and computer animation company based in London.

Table of contents 


Chapter 1: Introduction to Blender
Chapter 2: Introduction to GIMP
Chapter 3: Preparation
Chapter 4: Blocking In
Chapter 5: Modeling the Details
Chapter 6: Sculpting
Chapter 7: Retopology
Chapter 8: UV Unwrapping
Chapter 9: Hair and Particle Systems
Chapter 10: Texture Baking
Chapter 11: Texture Painting
Chapter 12: Materials
Chapter 13: Lighting
Chapter 14: Rendering and Compositing
Chapter 15: Going Further

View the Index (PDF)
View the detailed Table of Contents (PDF)


"Each topic is clearly explained, and the projects used to help build practical experience are varied and complement each other well. . . . Ben Simonds has a strong grasp of his subject, and his relaxed approach makes this one of the better training resources for any new Blender artist."
—Rob Redman, 3D World Magazine (Read More)

"Ben puts Blender's various features and facilities into context by applying them to three distinct projects. These each take the reader through various facets of Blender's capabilities in such a way that they remain interesting, creative and above-all-else, memorable. . . . One of the best books on Blender you can buy."
—Graham Morrison, Linux Format

"A must-have for anyone who uses or even plans to use the Blender graphics tool. It is a learn-by-doing guidebook that takes all the frustration and guessing out of the Blender equation."
—Jack Germain, LinuxInsider (Read More)

"Without a doubt, there’s a ton of value in this book. No matter your current skill level, you will stand to learn a wealth of new tricks and techniques."
—Jonathan Williamson, CG Cookie (Read More)

"I'm confident that this book will be tremendously useful for the newbies and even for some advanced users."
—Jonathan Acosta, Blend Swap (Read More)

"Each of three projects are different enough from each other that they teach Blender project creation from different perspectives show casing different areas of Blender."
—Terry Wallwork, Adventures in Blender (Read More)

"This colorful book is brimming with brilliant imagery, examples of what is actually possible with this amazing software if you use your talents and stick with it."
—CGSociety (Read More)

"The three sample projects are of the quality that makes beginners want to invest the time it takes to really master the craft . . . . I'd highly recommend Blender Master Class to anybody who wants to start learning about creating static 3D art with Blender."
—Dave Rankin, Open Source (Read More)

"The author's writing style makes the very complex tools easier to understand. The book is written like he is there in the room with you helping you learn and showing you how to work through the steps of creating still images."
—Tad Anderson, SYS-CON MEDIA (Read More)

"The information is very detailed, but I never felt that it was over my head. Simonds takes a very logical, and easy to follow approach."
—Greg Barbrick, Blogcritics (Read More)

"If you're planning to improve your workflow, technical skills, or just searching for inspiration, then this book is a great, if not essential, addition to your already existing knowledge and an answer to the commonly-asked questions in Blender that you might have."
—Reynante Martinez, CG artist (Read More)

"You get the ideas, motivation and theory behind the workflows in combination with their actual implementation in a workflow using Blender and GIMP. . . . Ben Simonds has delivered a sound piece of teaching which should have a place in the aspiring 3D artist’s library."
—Martin Lubich, Blender Minutes (Read More)

"Well thought-out, and clearly put together by someone who knows how to use the product and build a high quality 3D model."
— (Read More)

"The book is well written and would help someone learn the ropes on using Blender. Those of us who develop games, do 3D animation projects and iOS apps will likely find Blender and this manual helpful."
—Greg Mills, MacNews (Read More)

Extra Stuff 

A cool project from the book created by author Ben Simonds

3D Spider Bot

Using Blender, he created the spider bot and had it 3D printed. To see more details about the project, visit the author's blog.