Blender 2.6 Cycles:Materials and Textures Cookbook

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9781782161301: Blender 2.6 Cycles:Materials and Textures Cookbook

With this book you'll be able to explore and master all that the Cycles rendering engine is capable of. From the basics right through to refining, this is a must-read if you're serious about the realism of your materials and textures.


  • Create naturalistic materials and textures - such as rock, snow, ice and fire - using Cycles
  • Learn Cycle’s node-based material system
  • Get to grips with the powerful Cycles rendering engine

In Detail

Cycles is Blender’s new, powerful rendering engine. Using practical examples, this book will show you how to create a vast array of realistic and stunning materials and texture effects using the Cycles rendering engine.

Blender 2.6 Cycles: Materials and Textures Cookbook is a practical journey into the new and exciting Cycles rendering engine for Blender. In this book you will learn how to create a vast array of materials and textures in Cycles, including glass, ice, snow, rock, metal and water. If you want to take your 3D models to the next level, but don’t know how, then this cookbook is for you!

In this practical cookbook, you will learn how to create stunning materials and textures to really bring your 3D models to life! Diving deep into Cycles you will learn Cycle’s node-based material system, how to set-up a 3D scene for rendering, how to create a natural and man-made materials as well as the correct organization and re-use of Cycles materials to save you time and effort.

To ensure that your creations look stunning you will learn how illumination works in Cycles, improve the quality of the final render and to avoid the presence of noise and fireflies. Each chapter of Blender 2.6 Cycles: Materials and Textures Cookbook builds on the complexity of the last so that by the end of this book you will know how to create an impressive library of realistic-looking materials and textures.

What you will learn from this book

  • Create a basic Cycles material mixing the closure components
  • Connect nodes of different kinds to build more advanced materials
  • Add node-based textures to the shaders
  • Create simple and complex materials such as glass, stone, fire and ice
  • Switch shader components without affecting a possibly complex network of links
  • Parent and rename the nodes to better organize the “Node Editor” window
  • Build material interfaces for general use in complex materials by grouping the shaders inside groups
  • Set-up light-sources and the “World” Global Illumination


Written in a friendly, practical style this Cookbook deep-dives into a wide-array of techniques used to create realistic materials and textures.

Who this book is written for

This book is perfect for you if you have used Blender before but are new to the impressive Cycles renderer. You should have some knowledge of the Blender interface, though this is not a strict requirement. If you want to create realistic, stunning materials and textures using Cycles, then this book is for you!

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About the Author:

Enrico Valenza

Enrico Valenza, also known on the Web as "EnV", is an Italian freelance illustrator, mainly collaborating with publishers, such as Mondadori Ragazzi and Giunti, as a cover artist for sci-fi and fantasy books.

He graduated at Liceo Artistico Statale in Verona (Italy) and later was a student of illustrator and painter Giorgio Scarato.

When he started to work, computers weren't that popular among the masses, and he spent the first 15 years of his career doing illustrations with traditional media, usually on cardboards. Particularly, he specialized in the use of the air-graph, a technique particularly esteemed for advertising work.

But this was only until the moment Jurassic Park came to the theaters: he then decided to buy a computer and try his hand at this "computer graphic" thing everyone was talking about. Totally self-taught in the many aspects of CG, it was his encounter with the open source philosophy that actually opened a brand new world of possibilities—in particular, Blender.

In 2005, he won the Suzanne Awards for "Best animation, original idea, and story" with the animation New Penguoen 2.38.

In 2006, he joined the Orange Team for the last two weeks of production in Amsterdam, to help in finalizing the shots of the first open source CG-animated short movie produced by the Blender Foundation, named Elephants Dream.

From 2007 to 2008, he was a Lead Artist in the Peach Project Team for the production of Big Buck Bunny, the Blender Foundation's second open movie.

From 2010 to 2011, he was an Art Director at CINECA (Bologna, Italy) for the Museo della Città di Bologna project, that is, the production of a stereoscopic CG-animated documentary made in Blender and explaining Bologna's history.

Being also a Blender Certified Trainer, he collaborates as a CG artist with Italian production studios that have decided to switch their pipeline to the open source.

He uses Blender almost on a daily basis for his illustration jobs, rarely to have the illustration rendered straight by the 3D package, more often as a starting point for painting over with other open source applications such as The Gimp or, more recently, MyPaint.

He has presented several presentations and workshops about Blender and its use in productions.

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