3D Studio MAX 3 Magic (Magic (New Riders))

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One of the big gripes I hear from people using tutorial books for software is that they are linear. (They make you start with the apple, then they let you model the tree, and somewhere way down they road you get to model Johnny Appleseed.) This is not the case with 3dMax 3 Magic. Each chapter introduces a new technique on a new tutorial model. In one chapter you are shown how to make realistic looking water surfaces, in another you are being shown how to make the best looking car paint I've ever seen. Like the title of this review states, this is a goodie bag. It is for the Intermediate to Advanced user who wants a "How To" on some of the things Max 3 has to offer. The Authors of the book assume that you atleast know your way around the application. I'm happy to have this book on my shelf, right next to my computer!

3D Studio MAX 3 Magic (Magic (New Riders)) Overview

3D Studio MAX 3 Effects Magic is structured in as a cookbook for you, just like highly-trained chefs who are in constant need of new ideas for recipes. We know you don't need theory, and you don't need beginner level recipes. You need a cookbook you can use in the kitchen while you're working. No non-sense instructions on very imaginative recipes, that you can then take and either use as is, or use as inspiration for your own creations. This book has 25 can't miss recipes for getting stunning effects from 3D Studio MAX.3, cooked up by some of the best CG chefs in the world.

3D Studio MAX 3 Magic (Magic (New Riders)) Specifications

The 3D Studio Max application is big and has great depth, but most of the available books that cover it are either of the all-encompassing "bible" type--which are great reference books, but often lack in-depth tutorials--or the getting-started type--which are designed to orient the new user without inducing a bad case of "featuritis overwhelmus."

3D Studio Max 3 Magic nicely fills the need of the intermediate or advanced user. It assumes the reader is already familiar with Max, has been working with it for some time, and is ready to move on to the next level.

Featuring 20 chapters written by nine top 3D Studio Max artists, 3D Studio Max 3 Magic is designed to be read, used, and worked through, but not necessarily in sequence. Each chapter is an independent tutorial, demonstrating a specific technique, and each is well written and lavishly illustrated. Every page is in color, helping to make the book a pleasure to flip through and each chapter easy to work through.

A good case in point is chapter 6, "Lighting Effects: Rim Lighting and Diffuse Glow." The goal of this chapter is to simulate the lighting that falls on a fetus in a womb (or at least what we expect it to look like). An image of the final render is at the head of the chapter, and the translucency and highlights of the fetus are worthy of study. The text and pictures that follow describe not only the modeling of the baby, but also the process of achieving the desired look through lighting, materials, or both.

Some of the examples seem a little simplistic, but they demonstrate complex techniques. Chapter 8, for example, creates automated dust trails by using a particle system and expressions. The example is of a tank traveling through the desert, but the tank is simply a few polygons without textures and the desert barely looks like sand. However, the goal of the chapter is to teach the use of particles and expressions for automating the animation of the dust cloud that follows the tank, not to teach how to model and texture a realistic military vehicle.

The accompanying CD-ROM includes all the project and source files for each chapter; many of these files contain rendered movies for viewing the animation. In addition, four bonus chapters on the CD-ROM cover topics like creating a tidal wave and growing a block of ice around an object.

3D Studio Max 3 Magic is a quality workbook for an intermediate or advanced user. The layout is clean, the illustrations are plentiful, and the art direction of the book on the whole is a pleasure to look at and use. This book is a nice addition to any Max user's shelf. --Mike Caputo

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*** Product Information and Prices Stored: Jun 23, 2010 07:00:07

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