The Geeky Chef Cookbook Review

Geeky chef cookbook

It’s time to get your geek on in the kitchen!

Comic-lover, avid gamer, and sci-fi and fantasy lover, Cassandra Reeder started The Geeky Chef in 2008. She creates real-life recipes for all the delicious foods you’ve seen in your favorite sci-fi and fantasy movies, TV shows, and video games.

From Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games, to Doctor WhoLegend of Zelda, and World of Warcraft, The Geeky Chef Cookbook features over 60 recipes you can re-create in your own kitchen!

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“Drawing inspiration from movies, video games and television shows, more than 60 recipes full of fantasy and science fiction are featured throughout the new cookbook. Lemon cakes – and bowls of brown if you’re, um, into that – allow you to eat your feelings after that Game of Thrones season five finale, while other fictional food formulas, including 1UP mushroom cupcakes (Super Mario Cart), Romulan Ale (Star Trek), bacon pancakes (Adventure Time) Moloko Plus (A Clockwork Orange) and lembas (The Lord of the Rings), transport your taste buds into another world.” – Creative Loafing

Photographed, step-by-step instructions show how to make Pumpkin Pasties from Harry Potter, and Lemon Cakes from Game of Thrones. Sip from a bowl of Plomeek Soup from Star Trek and enjoy with Peeta’s Cheesy Bread from The Hunger Games.

Ranging from the iconic Sea-Salt ice-cream originating from Kingdom Heartsto the Nonfat Tofutti Rice Dreamsicle that Scully munches in X-Files, this book is festooned with beauties from all walks of nerd: videogames, TV shows and books galore. As a Twin Peaks enthusiast, Battlestar nut, admitted ‘Trekkie,’ avid videogame player and someone for whom most of these are beloved treasures, this is a fantastically creative work of art. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to start cooking. (And not burn down my house in the process.)

EDIT: And drink Romulan ale. Lots and lots of Romulan ale.

Fantasy foods are fantasy no longer!

Blender Master Class: A Hands-On Guide to Modeling, Sculpting, Materials, and Rendering

Blender Master Class

Blender is a powerful and free 3D graphics tool used by artists and designers worldwide. But even experienced designers can find it challenging to turn an idea into a polished piece.

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For those who have struggled to create professional-quality projects in Blender, author Ben Simonds offers this peek inside his studio. You’ll learn how to create 3D models as you explore the creative process that he uses to model three example projects: a muscular bat creature, a futuristic robotic spider, and ancient temple ruins. Along the way, you’ll master the Blender interface and learn how to create and refine your own models.

You’ll also learn how to:

  • Work with reference and concept art in Blender and GIMP to make starting projects easier
  • Block in models with simple geometry and build up more complex forms
  • Use Blender’s powerful sculpting brushes to create detailed organic models
  • Paint textures with Blender and GIMP and map them onto your 3D artwork
  • Light, render, and composite your models to create striking images

Each chapter walks you through a piece of the modeling process and offers detailed explanations of the tools and concepts used. Filled with full-color artwork and real-world tips, Blender Master Classgives you the foundation you need to create your own stunning masterpieces.

Firstly if you are an absolute beginner in Blender, then there will be a certain amount of self searching you will have to do to pick up on certain 3D concepts and jargon to aid your understanding of what the Author is saying. But, because this book has seemingly been written with guidance from a Blender technical expert, it explains the detail of the Blender tools in enough detail without blowing your mind and sticks to the point.

The book’s projects have been well chosen are all very do-able. Your results may not turn out exactly as in the book but the processes and workflows are something that you will get a lot from and for me that element is just as important if not more so. The layout of the book can get a little confusing at times, since the author suggests on occasion that you jump to another chapter to learn a technique or get an explanation and then return to the current one, but it still all seems to gel pretty well and it didn’t cause major difficulty since these instances are well highlighted by the author.

It will be assumed that you can get to grips with a graphics editor too (GIMP/Photoshop) so if you already have one of these then you will be fine.

On a personal level, this book made me search for other third party tools that might speed up certain processes (for example, the author encourages you to use Mesh Lab at one point) but I went on and researched lots of other software and plugins to aid in the creation process (for example, the Contours retopology plugin for Blender). I also got the chance to delve into the many corners of the Blender software where I had feared to venture before and discovered some of my strengths and weaknesses while at the same time building a new and badly needed confidence with the software.

In conclusion, I’m not sure what kind of text sandwich this review is making but I have absolutely zero regrets in purchasing this book and highly recommend it.

Notes:

  • Covers Blender 2.6x
  • Reflowable