Introduces the basic concepts and operations for building worlds both real and imagined with the 3D graphics program. The guide shows how to create, model, map, animate, and render objects with the illusion of moving in space. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
The 3D Studio Max application is huge, and it has tremendous flexibility. New users can easily be intimidated by the interface, even if all they want to do is create some animated text. 3D Studio Max 3 Visual QuickStart Guide can help any new user get off the ground and start rendering in a matter of a few hours or less.
This lightweight guide was designed from the ground up for students. It sits comfortably in one’s lap, it is easy to get through, and the table of contents is thorough. Too bad it doesn’t have a spiral binding–the conventional bookbinding is the only thing keeping it from lying flat, open, and accessible on one’s desk.
Each page contains two columns: one for a short, step-by-step tutorial, and the other for matching pictures. About half the pages have tips on things to do and things to avoid for any given topic, some of which may be new to you (using the F5, F6, or F7 commands to constrain the movement of an object to one axis, for example).
The first two chapters cover getting started and navigation and display options. The next three chapters cover creating and distorting a basic shape, followed by a chapter on animation. Do not underestimate these introductory chapters–even jaded, experienced users will likely glean some new keyboard tricks.
The remaining chapters begin to leave the basics behind as they go into more detail on topics like animating, rendering, building complex objects, texturing, and using cameras and lights.
Few book series are as thoughtfully produced as Peachpit Press’s Visual QuickStart Guides. Each one is inexpensive, concise, and informative. 3D Studio Max 3 Visual Quickstart Guide is no exception. –Mike Caputo