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Last update: October 13, 2023

Top 10 books for learning Blender

When learning anything, it is a good idea to use multiple sources methods and types of learning material. With Blender, you might want to mix between using books, blogs, manual, video and course material together with your own projects. Let's here inspect what books are currently available to learn Blender from.

Let's start with some books to consider if you are a Blender beginner.

The Complete Guide to Blender Graphics: Computer Modeling and Animation

Topics covered in this book:

  • Interface and navigation
  • 3D modeling, tools, modifiers and techniques
  • Materials, shading and texturing
  • Lighting and cameras
  • Viewport and rendering
  • rigging and animation
  • 3D text
  • Video sequence editor

This book, written by John M. Blain, is probably one of the most long-lasting book in the Blender community. It is currently at its eights edition and it continues to being refined and updated.

It provides a comprehensive overview of Blender, covering nearly all aspects.. It kind of gives you an introduction to every part while not diving too deep into any area.

After reading it you will have a nice platform of knowledge to stand on. You can start diving into different avenues, such as 3D modeling, animation, rigging, lighting and rendering and so on for a more deep dive in any area you choose.

Blender 3.6 the beginner's guide

Topics covered in this book:

  • Interface and navigation
  • 3D modeling, tools, techniques, modifiers
  • Materials, textures and shading
  • Rendering and lighting
  • Animation

Written for the latest Blender 3.6 LTS(Long term support release) of Blender, this book by Allan Brito is an easy to read introduction to Blender. It covers a narrower set of tools, focusing more on teaching the core of Blender, 3D modeling and animation.

It is a good book to pick up for any beginner that doesn't want to scatter themselves too wide in the software, but focus on a more streamlined path.

Learning Blender third edition

Topics covered in this book:

  • Going from start to creating a character
  • Blender basics and beginning a project
  • 3D modeling
  • UV Unwrapping, Painting and shading
  • Rigging and animation
  • Render a video animation of your character

This slightly older book by Oliver Vilar has become somewhat of a classic in the Blender community. You take on a journey to create a character in a beginner friendly fashion. You'll not only get the tools to learn Blender, but also provide guidance on creating something of your own.

Even if this book is getting older by today's standards for tech books, it still holds a lot of knowledge and will give you a good foundation to stand on in the future. Just like with any of the books on this list, though, if a newer edition has come out, go with that one instead.

ArtisticRender's book about Blender

Topics covered in this book:

  • 3D modeling, tools and modifiers
  • Shading, texturing and materials nodes
  • The best guide to UV mapping on the internet.
  • Lighting and rendering
  • Cycles and Eevee render settings guides
  • Camera and post-processing
  • Data management in Blender
  • Solving various problems

Obviously being biased here since I wrote this book. But of course, I think it is an excellent addition to any artist's digital library. Only shipped as an E-book, it takes on more of a cookbook approach, not meant to be read from start to finish but instead deep-dive into the topic of interest.

The book is a collection of articles from my blog, so you can currently find everything in the book on the website. But if you want the content in a pdf format, easy to find and sort through and without ads, it is a great way to get high quality content to further your Blender knowledge.

Blender secrets E-book

Topics covered in this book:

  • A huge list of Blender tips and tricks ranging over most areas of Blender

This book by Jan van den Hemel covers various workflows, tips and tricks in Blender to achieve certain results. You can basically go to any page of this book and the topic you find will be interesting in some way. It will also give you detail instructions on how to achieve whatever you happen to find.

Huge in scope with almost two thousand pages covering a variety of topics. It has been added to over time so the content vary in what version of Blender it uses, but most things are still relevant.

Learn Blender Simulations the Right Way

Topics covered in this book:

  • Fire, smoke, and fluids
  • Cloth and soft body
  • Rigid body
  • Dynamic paint

If you have a good amount of computing power, simulations in Blender might be of interest to you. In this book, by Stephen Pearson, you will learn everything about simulations. Starting with Blenders built in fluid simulation system called Mantaflow. With it, you can create fluids, smoke and fire simulations.

It guides you through how to create a campfire, a waterfall, and a realistic explosion. It also covers the other simulation types in Blender, such as rigid body, cloth and soft body. Lastly, there is also a section on dynamic paint.

With geometry nodes getting simulation nodes though, this book might start to get outdated or done in different ways. Still, a good book to have for anyone interested in simulations.

Sculpting the Blender Way

Topics covered in this book:

  • Setting up your sculpting environment
  • Basics of sculpting
  • Various sculpting workflows
  • Tips and tricks
  • Sculpting head, and clothes.
  • Rendering a final portfolio piece

This book, by Xury Greer will guide you through Blenders sculpting capabilities. Starting with some interface settings and ways to make your sculpting experience as good as possible. Covering viewport and tools to make the most from your sculpting environment.

Once we have the workspace and some tools ready, Xury guides us through creating a character head. Through the process, tools are gently introduced as we need them and he gives tips along the way.

Inching through various workflows with dynamic topology, multi-resolution modifier and customizing sculpt brushes.

We then continue by creating clothing using the new cloth brushes. We also develop our sculpted head with eyes, teeth and hair and finally render a piece for our portfolio.

Blender 3D Incredible Models

Topics covered in this book:

  • Hard surface modeling
  • Heavy focus on modeling
  • Modifiers
  • Geometry, mesh and edge flow
  • Modeling techniques
  • Texturing and rendering

Blender 3D Incredible Models is a book by Arijan Belec focusing on hard surface modeling. If you want to learn more about modeling anything mechanical, sci-fi,robotic or similar, this is likely going to be a good book for you.

It is perhaps not a beginner book, instead focuses on an intermediate audience. It starts out immediately talking about hard surface modeling, what it is and what are the characteristics of this kind of modeling.

The book covers three different modeling projects. The first being an FN SCAR. This is a kind of assault rifle. The second project is for a Sci-fi ship and the last project is for modeling a tank. So if you are not into modeling weapons, look towards another book.

Blender 3D By Example

Topics covered in this book:

  • Basics of Blender
  • 3D modeling through various techniques such as non-destructive and kit bash
  • Lighting and rendering
  • Greace pencil basics animation and advanced workflows.

Blender 3D by example is a book by Oscar Baechler and Xury Greer. This book is a little bit different because they dedicated a large section of the book to greace pencil. THe tools in Blender we use to draw 2D art and animations. But let's start from the beginning.

This book starts with an introductory chapter covering the basics. It then moves over to the traditional parts of Blender, namely modeling, texturing, shading and lighting. But it does it with a focus on workflow. It does this in a project based manner focusing on various techniques in different projects.

The first project is of a time machine. Starting with modeling based of provided reference. Covering a multitude of tools and introducing you to non-destructive modeling.

The next project is of modeling a kitchen, this time using another technique called kit bashing. Essentially, you use ready-made objects and use them as a base to create a scene. Something very common in 3D modeling.

After this the greace pencil projects start and you start by diving into the basics with an alien hero illustration. The book the builds on this by covering animation and key framing with greace pencil. This leads up to animating your own stylized short through more advanced workflows.

Keep in mind that Blender has had several major updates since this book was realeased.

Beginner’s Guide to Creating Characters in Blender

Topics covered in this book:

  • Interface
  • Modeling
  • Sculpting
  • Rendering
  • Texturing and materials
  • Character creation projects

This book from 3DTotalPublishing has been quite popular since its release. If you want to start off creating characters in a cartoon style. This might be for you.

The first half covers various topics in Blender, such as the interface, 3D modeling, sculpting, and rendering. Then moves over to a section on materials and textures.

After that, the book move into project format where we get to first create a fish and then the warrior character you see on the front cover.

If your focus is not character creation and you want to learn more specifically about the modeling process and sculpting, this might be the book you have been looking for.

Keep in mind that it is also getting a bit dated with its 2021 release date. The good thing is that most things in Blender stay relatively the same, so even if you pick up an older book, most of what you learn is applicable to current versions of Blender. Just mind that books are not as old as covering 2.79 or earlier versions.

Final thoughts

We looked at an extensive list of Books covering various aspects of Blender and what we can do with it. Your imagination is the only real limit.

Depending on what you are looking for you might find it in one of the books above. If you like a project based approach or if you simply want a book that tells you what every button do there is something for you.

The most parts of Blender is covered in theses books but there are also several areas that have not been covered. For example I did not include any books on geometry nodes because it is changing and updating so rapidly currently.

Other areas that are not covered much in these books include the VSE, VFX and tracking to name a few things. These areas are probably too niche for anyone to write a book on currently and we are left with using other sources.

In this list we covered the best Blender books currently. When it comes to books and technology the landscape changes rapidly and what is the best books today might not be the best books tomorrow.

Thanks for your time

Written by: Erik Selin

Editor & Publisher

Erik Selin
3D artist, writer, and owner of artisticrender.com

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