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I enjoy sitting down with a good book. Either paper or digital. I find it much easier to learn from the written word rather than the spoken. You have to stay focused to continue to read and when focusing, you learn.

These are some books that I have read and that I can recommend for other 3D artists to pick up as well. It is a diverse collection. All of them does not have to do with 3D art directly. But 3D art is a craft that benefit a lot from knowledge coming from related fields.

I am confident that you will find something in this list that can help you be a better artist.

Light and Color

This book opened my eyes to the world of light. I learn about technical details such as the inverse square law and more general concepts. How different lighting conditions can affect the mood of a scene. How different colors go together and how the thought process can work for an artist.

Every spread covers a new topic that is easy to digest. A very interesting book with a lot of topics covered on the subject.

Imaginative Realism

By the same author as color and light. I would say that it is about how to take something real and translate it into fiction. How to look at and use reference and combine ideas into something that does not yet exist.

It covers everything from the design of creatures to the creation of vehicles that does not exist. It explains how you can start with something that you know and iterate design ideas until it becomes what you want it to be.

Framed Ink

This book is all about composition. There is no color in this book. In its simplicity it starts to make you think how simple shapes can change how you feel. How our brains interprets images and wants to understand them to the degree that we make up our own mind about what we see.

A very interesting book, that I have read many times.

Blender: the comprehensive handbook 2.7x

A book I recently picked up. Even if 2.8x is already out. A very through guide covering all parts of Blender. The first time I picked it up I started to learn about new selection methods that I didn't know existed even if I have used Blender for many years.

It is a real page turner and that is hard to find in a technical book such as this one that cover feature after feature.

For me this is the kind of book that you turn to when you need to look something up. You will probably never read it from start to finish, but it will be one of the most helpful resources you had about Blender.

The Cycles Encyclopedia

A complete rundown of all the nodes in Cycles. This is an excellent resource if you hope to start making procedural materials in Blender. It teaches you in detail what the different inputs and outputs are on each node and what the node does.

It goes through all the blend modes in the mixRGB node and it helps you to understand the texture coordinate outputs. It continues to go through all the nodes and explains them. I keep coming back to this every time a node does not give me the result I think it should.

Very useful for material creation in Blender.