What are some good books to read?

I hope that this is close enough to “on topic” to belong here, but if not, move it to where it would be more appropriate…

But I’m looking to move beyond just the basic “how to” Blender specific books. So I was wondering, besides all the great Blender specific books and the [digital] books, what are some other great books to read? Looking for things that will help improve skill and techniques that typically aren’t in the beginner books or that go into more detail on how things work.

I’ve come across some on color theory, but beyond that… Just looking for anything on any topic, so suggestions would be helpful, particularly if you know a specific title. (print, ebook… format not important.)


You can pre-order my Blender book about visual effects :D:

These two are medium to advanced rigging books, a very good reference.

They both use maya for the examples but most of the stuff can be done in Blender (probably all, but I still don’t know how). The books are pretty software-agnostic anyway.

Stop Staring (recommended by Shonosh) is quite good. Also Digital Lighting and Rendering by Jeremy Birn.

Good references - will have to check these out.

Thanks! I might have to check some of those out.

Orinoco, I already have read the [digital] Lighting and Rendering book, as well as the [digital] Modeling book by William Vaughn and have the [digital] Texturing and Painting on my list of books to get and read, which is why I was looking for books other than those. :wink:

(Though I might want to check out the updated version :smiley: )

Was going to suggest William Vaughn’s book! Here’s another really good one from the post-pro/comp side of things: http://www.amazon.com/Art-Science-Digital-Compositing-Second/dp/0123706386

It covers a lot of the whys and hows behind compositing software and related practices. It’s especially great for getting your head around node-based compositors like Blender’s, or Nuke, or whatever.

Digital texturing and painting is a really good book. Even the old version, which is pretty out of date, has a ton of really good fundamentals.

Yeah, I discovered the [digital] series when I took the Mastering Modeling in Blender course back when Jonathan Williamson first did it. He recommended the William Vaughn book as a good one to read, so I read that one and discovered the other two.

The one you just suggested looks interesting, too :smiley:

These are all great suggestions :smiley: Looking to expand my skills overall, so any that focus on character modeling, sculpting, texturing, rigging, composting, etc welcome!

I figured as much, Sterling… Just haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy yet :wink:

Oooh… just discovered a new one in the [digital] series that apparently just came out in November… [digital] Visual Effects and Compositing by Jon Gress

Anyone have a recommendation on color theory books?

Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors

Hmm… Read her other (perhaps more well known) book… I’ll have to check that one out.

Not a book, but have you looked at Norman Vegdhal’s Humane Rigging yet?

Not yet, but it’s on my to get to list already :wink:

Color theory: Blue and Yellow Don’t Make Green by Michael Wilcox. More for painters than digital artists, though.

I think James Gurney had a color/light theory book: Color and Light a Guide for the Realist Painter


I think I already know of a couple, but any good suggestions for anatomy reference? (Human and animal)

(And I’m sure there’s several other topics to explore further that haven’t already been mentioned.)