I am posting because I am wondering if any of you have purchased either the Blender Manual or The Blender Book (by Carsten Wartmann). They seem to be the only two books that cover Blender, and what are your opinions on them? Are they worth the money? I appreciate any help.
I’ve purchased both and think they are both well worth the money. The Blender book was written for an older version of Blender, but it is still very useful for learning some basic theory and for learning your way around Blender. I highly recommend them.
I think that you could probably get by without either of the two books. They are both quite a bit outdated as a lot of features have been added or changed since they were published. This board and the Blender Knowledge base are great ways to get to know the program as well.
If you’re coming at Blender new, both books are quite good. The Blender Manual 2.0 is quite pretty. However, personally, I find the tutorials and text in the Blender Book to be a bit better (even though it is for an older version of Blender).
Although both are outdated, by and large the basic modelling and rendering functions described in each have not changed, so especially if you are new to Blender they are both still excellent references.
I find that often while using Blender, I leave Appendix A of the Blender Book open on my desk in front of me: that one has concise descriptions of a lot of the hot keys. (The Blender Manual has a similar chapter, I just like the Blender Book’s layout of the shortcut list a bit better.)
I started learning Blender with the book of Carsten Wartmann. It helped me to understand the principles and the workflow inside Blender, so I recommend it for beginners.
Later I also got the Blender Manual. It showed me some tricks that I missed before and greatly improved my speed.
Both books are worth their money. I personally like the Blender 2.0 Guide more; it is fun to read it.
If you want to learn about kinematic systems, both books don’t help much, because the IKAs have totally changed since the versions described in the books.