I have been looking for some good books for blender, but unfortunately I have only found one book out there, and it is pretty much the same as the on-line manual, plus it is not for the latest version of blender. However as I was searching, I came across many books for Maya, Like: Maya Character Creation & Maya Character Animation. Would these books apply very well to blender also? I am really having trouble understanding the workings of Armatures, Pose, Action and NLA, and I was wondering if these books would help?
I don’t know with Maya but it’s possible to do the most of things that you have to do in a 3D Studio Max tutorial, pretty handy if you are creative and can come up with your own solutions. If there is something you wonder how to do then post here.
The books will help because the principles are largely the same. One thing to note is that the Maya books will probably warn you about ways to avoid gimbal lock but Blender isn’t susceptible to it as it uses quaternion calculations internally by default.
You may also get confused by naming conventions. Blender likes to do it differently from everyone else. Everyone else calls the bone axis the local rotation axis. In Blender, it’s called the normal axis.
Local axis in Blender for bones is the object axis for which Maya has no equivalent when it comes to posing. They just use global and local as far as I remember.
Also, instead of spline chains for armatures, you can use bezier bones with Blender. They work quite differently though.
Once you get to the point where you can see past the way the controls are represented, you find that all the software packages do things in largely the same way. The quickest way to that point is to experiment on real projects by yourself. Tutorials are OK but they aren’t the fastest way to learn software.
If you already had experience with 3D graphics and some other application, then I don’t think Maya book will help you learn blender at all. BUt if you need a book to grasp some of the concepts of computer graphics, then any CG book is a good book.
But there are enough online resources out there to help you, i think that’s how most of us learned blender.