Provides readers with a comprehensive reference for creating effects for film, movies, and games. This book covers the modeling and modification of structures from primitive objects, plus other parametric design tools found in the program. and contains various projects to strengthen concepts learned with a color studio to showcase the results. CD-ROM is included with maps or clips needed for each exercise.
Written for the artist new to 3ds max, 3ds max 4 in Depth
presents the application from the ground up, starting with interface basics and continuing on through project construction to final rendering.
Overall, the book presents much of the same information in the manuals, although it uses more examples and screen shots, and the authors write with a more open voice. The enclosed CD-ROM includes all the project files and source material needed for the exercises in the book, and the color plate gallery offers some inspiring images.
Twenty-one chapters divided into six parts open up 3ds max 4 in Depth in a way that any beginner can understand. "The Big Picture" and "Working in Max" offer overviews of the computer graphics field and how Max works, while "Modeling," "Materials and Textures," "Lights, Camera, Render," and "Animation" offer specific chapters on their respective topics.
A favorite chapter, "Working Smart," closes the second section. It includes information not normally found in books of the genre, such as modeling using instancing and clones, using the Mirror and Snapshot tools, aligning objects, and other tips and tricks for working efficiently. Analyzing scenes and objects using tools like Summary Info, ideal for determining where to trim scenes or alter models, is also covered.
This is a thorough and understandable book, lacking only in-depth information on Max's programming language, MAXScript, which is worthy of a book of its own. For artists new to 3ds max 4, and especially those new to 3ds max, 3ds max 4 in Depth makes a fine handbook and addition to a powerful program. --Mike Caputo