Look Inside the book

Some of the dramatic visual effects you’ve seen in top-grossing movies and heralded television series got their start in Blender. This book helps you get your own start in creating three-dimensional characters, scenes, and animations in the popular free and open-source tool.

Author Jason van Gumster shares his insight as an independent animator and digital artist to help Blender newcomers turn their ideas into three-dimensional drawings. From exporting and sharing scenes to becoming a part of the Blender community, this accessible book covers it all!

This book is the ideal starting place for newcomers to the world of 3D modeling and animation.

  • Create 3D characters—no experience required
  • Build scenes with texture and real lighting features
  • Animate your creations and share them with the world
  • Avoid common rookie mistakes
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Create anything you can imagine with powerful modeling and sculpting tools.


Unwrap and paint your models with integrated texturing and painting.


Bring your creations to life using advanced rigging and animation.


Render realistic images using Cycles and Eevee and Blender’s versatile node-based materials.


Add realistic physics to your scene with smoke, water, and cloth.


Use motion tracking and compositing to mix your work with live video.

Full Chapter Overview

Blender For Dummies, 4th edition is 560 pages full of information on helping you get started with using Blender to bring your imagination to life. The following is a brief description of each of its 21 chapters.

Chapter 1

Discovering Blender

Familiarize yourself with Blender’s history and get started with understanding its interface.

Chapter 2

Understanding How Blender Thinks

Get in-depth knowledge on all the parts of Blender. Navigate the 3D work environment and see the things you can do to customize it to fit how you like to work.

Chapter 3

Getting Your Hands Dirty Working in Blender

Start getting busy by grabbing objects and moving them around using tools and hotkey shortcuts.

Chapter 4

Working in Edit Mode and Object Mode

Discover two of Blender’s primary working modes for creating and editing objects

Chapter 5

Creating Anything You Can Imagine with Meshes

Get a detailed understanding of Blender’s veratile modeling tools.

Chapter 6

Sculpting in Virtual Space

Use Blender’s powerful sculpting tools to create beautifully detailed models quickly and comfortably.

Chapter 7

Using Blender’s Non-Mesh Primitives

Work with curves, surfaces, metaball objects, and text.

Chapter 8

Changing That Boring Gray Default Material

Add materials to your creations so they have color and realism when you start rendering them.

Chapter 9

Giving Models Texture

Create custom, detailed textures for your objects with Blender’s integrated painting tools.

Chapter 10

Lighting and Environment

Customize the lighting and environment for your 3D scenes to evoke just the right feelings.

Chapter 11

Animating Objects

Get your objects moving around as you start understanding how to animate in Blender.

Chapter 12

Rigging: The Art of Building an Animatable Puppet

Use advanced rigging tools to construct your own custom tools to bring your characters to life.

Chapter 13

Animating Object Deformations

Use Actions and customized rigs to give your characters life-like organic movement.

Chapter 14

Letting Blender Do the Work for You

Simulate all manner of real-world physics effects like smoke, fire, fluids, and cloth.

Chapter 15

Making 2D and 2.5D Animation with Grease Pencil

Create amazing hand-drawn animation in a 3D environment using Blender’s fantastic Grease Pencil objects.

Chapter 16

Exporting and Rendering Scenes

Render realistic images and animations using the Cycles and Eevee render engines. Export your models for use in game engines or other applications.

Chapter 17

Editing Video and Animation

Use Blender to cut together clips of your animations or even regular video footage.

Chapter 18

Compositing Images and Video

Mix your 3D creations with images and video using the integrated node-based compositor.

Chapter 19

Mixing Video and 3D with Motion Tracking

Create seamless visual effections with film and video footage using the built-in motion tracker.

Chapter 20

Ten Tips for Working More Effectively in Blender

Chapter 21

Ten Excellent Community Resources

Jason van Gumster

Jason van Gumster

- Writes, Animates, Teaches

Jason van Gumster, author of all previous editions of Blender For Dummies, has used Blender in animation, video, and digital design for over 20 years. A Blender Foundation Certified Trainer, he has taught numerous students and serves as lead moderator on, the largest Blender community website.

Have a question about using Blender (or just about any open source creative application)? Go ahead and give Jason a shout. He’s all over the Internet, including just about every social media platform out there. Just look him up. It’s one of the benefits of having such a unique name. He’s easy to find.

Where to buy Blender For Dummies, 4th edition

You can find Blender For Dummies, 4th edition in just about any store that sells books. Here are a few quick links to common booksellers.

Supplemental material

Even with 560 pages packed full of information, Blender is such a large program that there’s always more to discover! Look here for regular articles with additional tips, tutorials, and resources to help you on your 3D journey.

27 Feb, 2020 Jason Van Gumster


Baking Texture Maps from Your Mesh
14 Feb, 2020 Jason Van Gumster

Baking Texture Maps from Your Mesh

Blender For Dummies, 4th edition: It’s out!
11 Feb, 2020 Jason Van Gumster

Blender For Dummies, 4th edition: It’s out!