The Leather Book Animation: 3D Start to Finish

Level: Beginner – Intermediate


In this training product “3D start to finish”, you will learn the workflow from modelling to creating an animation movie clip, with the free and open source graphic tools: Blender, Gimp and Inkscape.

Product Trailer:


  • In Blender we are going to model, uv-unwrap, apply materials, light the scene, animate the camera, and the layout of the book.
  • In Inkscape we create the layout for the book cover, and export it to blender, where it is going to be animated.
  • In Gimp we have a look at photo realistic texturing, and create the color-, bump-, and spec- maps for the leather material.
  • Finally we give our movie the final look, and create a movie clip in Blender.
  • We are also taking a look at techniques, to make the leather material look worn and damaged.
3D Animation plus - leather book animation teaser

At the end of this training, you will have a good understanding of the texturing workflow in Blender, Gimp and Inkscape. You will also be able to modell and light your scenes, do compositing, animating and render your finished animation movie clips.


  • 214 min of video
  • Blender basics for new blender users
  • Scene files
  • Download Size: 2.1 GB


  • Modelling and UV Export
  • Layout design for the book cover in Inkscape
  • Preparing the layout in Blender
  • Animating the layout in Blender
  • Photorealistic texturing in Gimp
  • Applying textures in Blender
  • Compositing in Blender
  • Creating camera rigs in Blender
  • Add a particle animation for the background
  • Animating cameras
  • Improve lighting of the scenes
  • Video editing in Blender
  • Making the leather material more worn and damaged in Gimp

Software Requirements:

$34.00 Add to cart

26 Responses to The Leather Book Animation: 3D Start to Finish

  1. Chris Sederqvist July 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Hello there! Do you use Cycles in this training series? I’m trying to get my hands on as much Cycles related tutorials as possible… :-)

    • Paul
      paul July 11, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

      It is only good old blender internal ;)

  2. jchamie May 26, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Thank you! I have really learnt a lot from this tutorial. I have been wondering which 3D program would be the best to use and thanks to your tutorial i now understand Blender a lot better. BTW I would love to see a tutorial about making the book open and pages turning!

    • Paul
      paul June 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm #

      Hi jchamie!

      Thank you very much for your comment! and appologies for the late reply.

      You have probably already noticed, but I thought I inform you anyway, there is a tutorial at by Stanislas Paillereau which shows how to rig and animate the book and the pages.

      • jchamie July 4, 2012 at 12:33 am #

        Wow, thanks Paul, i didn’t know about that tutorial.

  3. plasmasolutions December 3, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

    Hi Paul,

    I just bought your tutorial…I’m experienced enough to do several projects with blender (including teaching it) already, but I think that I should honor the amount of work that you put into this (especially for inkscape and gimp)…and maybe there is something new in it to learn?!…I wish you the best!

    Greetings Thomas (Plasmasolutions)

  4. Duane November 26, 2011 at 6:08 pm #


    Excellent tutorial! Enjoyed the work and especially the integration of GIMP and Inkscape as well. On this topic, I did notice that only the finished work of setting up the textures such as the leather and dirt were included and not the original textures. For example, the 3 books picture is not included, nor is the original leather picture. Not that this is a huge deal but just for future tutorial reference, it is nice to follow precisely along and build the textures utilizing GIMP (some of us need just as much training in 2D as in 3D).


    • Paul
      paul November 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

      Hi Duane!

      I’m happy to hear that you liked the tutorial.

      It wasn’t possible to include the original textures due to copyrights, but there is an images-readme file in the images scene-files folder, with links where you can download the original textures. I should have pointed that out in the introduction of the tutorial.

      It’s nice to get feedback for future tutorials, thank you for that!

  5. Pepijn November 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    I bought the tutorial. Very nice piece of work, thanks for putting in the effort! It’s nice to see something being created from scratch, using only open source software and the Blender internal render engine, and to see some new methods and techniques.

    One thing though: the animation of the gears was a bit laboured, and incorrect to boot. You have gears rotating in the wrong direction, did you notice that? It would have been easier and much more accurate to calculate how much each gear would rotate in a set number of frames from the teeth counts (which you know, since you typed them in in Inkscape when creating the gears).

    Say that one gear had 80 teeth and the next one 50, then the smaller one would rotate exactly 80/50 = 1.6 times for every time the larger one rotates. So if the large one rotates 90 degrees in 25 frames, the smaller one would rotate 90 * 1.6 = 144 degrees in the same time, *in the other direction*!

    Doing it this way would have been less work, far more accurate, and would likely have prevented the mistakes that now ended up with gears rotating in the wrong direction.

    • Jeff November 20, 2011 at 7:26 am #

      lol, thanks for mentioning that. I went back and looked at mine and I have 4 gears going in the wrong direction. Guess we go cross eyed looking at those gears :)

    • Paul
      paul November 20, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      Hi Pepijn!
      Thanks for pointing that out.
      It would have been easier and more accurate doing it the way you described.

  6. ludimus November 16, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Aaargh, these social networks got me here.
    Now, I can’t control myself not buying this for only $19 and add this to my growing list of todo tutorials.

  7. Jeff November 15, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    Hi, great tutorial thus far. Though as always I’m running into an issue. When I go to uv unwrap the book cover the uv’s end up inside out in the uv/image editor; meaning the outer seams of the book (the part you would open) is in the center of the uv map and the books bind is on the outside. Also when looking at the model in 3d view you can only see the uv test grid on one side of the books face and around the edges not on the bind part. I’ve tried recalculating and even reversing the normals to see if that would make a difference but it don’t.
    Any ideas on what happened and how to fix it?
    I’m pretty sure I didn’t miss anything in the tutorial, Paul speaks nice, clear and slow so you can actually follow along without rewinding the video 15 times for each area.


    • Jeff November 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm #

      Just a quick update.. I just tried entering texture paint mode to see what will happen and the only area that is paint-able is the inside of the book where the pages go. It almost seems that my book cover is completely built inside out, is that even possible?

      • Paul
        paul November 17, 2011 at 9:25 am #

        Hi Jeff!
        Hope the e-mail I sent you solved your issues.

        • Jeff November 20, 2011 at 7:17 am #

          Worked wonderfully Paul, thank you.
          Do have another question for you. On the compositor video @ 4:01 your moving the connectors without using the mouse, how are you doing that?
          I can’t seem to figure out how to get that entire section to work correctly. though me and the compositor do not get along at all. :)


          • Paul
            paul November 20, 2011 at 10:17 am #

            By pressing ctrl shift and clicking 4 times on the Render Layers Node you can connect its Specular output with the Viewer Node.
            Hope that helped :)

  8. comeinandburn November 14, 2011 at 1:59 pm #

    Wow really great result! I think the texturing in Gimp is as interesting as the Blender modeling aspects. The materials feel real.

  9. Jerry November 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Looks fantastic. Which render engine are you using in this course?

    • Paul
      paul November 14, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

      Thank you! :)
      It is the blender-internal render engine.

  10. filip November 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    How many megabytes is it? I only have 300 megabytes left this month.

    Is that tandwheel rotating done in an intelligent and reusable way ?

    • Paul
      paul November 14, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

      It has 2.1 GB, thank you for asking :) I forgot to put it on the page. I’m a little bit insecure what you mean but the wheels are animated “by hand” and tweaked in the graph editor, i didn’t use any mathematical formulas or physics on them.

  11. Giovanny Arce November 14, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    I can’t buy this right now, but I will help you to spread the word in my google plus where I have almost 2,000 followers, hope I can help, cheers.

    • Paul
      paul November 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

      Hello Giovanny!
      That is very generous of you, thank you very much! :)

  12. ahmad November 2, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I really hope you make an extension that explains how to animate the papers.

    • Paul
      paul November 4, 2011 at 9:16 am #

      Thank you for the comment Ahmad!
      Animating and rendering the papers is definitely on my to-do list :)

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