Some books brag that they are "complete" while others claim themselves to be the "bible" of an application. The title of Inside 3D Studio Max
suggests something more like an invitation to a quiet talk. What you realise after a few minutes of reading, though, is that you are in the presence of a humble god who completely knows the subject matter at hand.
Compiled by Phillip Miller, the product manager of 3D Studio Max since its inception, the book was written by eight top Max users and authors. There are few (if any) features not covered. The book doesn't go into detail on creative technique or application, but rather explains the features of the program with examples of when and when not to use them.
Broken down into six main sections, Inside 3D Studio Max 3 starts with 3-D graphics and program and interface basics; works its way through project preparation, modelling, texturing, shading and lighting, and animation; and concludes with rendering and post-production issues. Each of the 27 chapters concludes with a set of tips and an In Practice list, citing issues of a specific feature set in which the features work well, ideas for application, and when not to use them. For example, the wrap-up at the end of the chapter on animating with inverse kinematics describes the difference between animating with IK and with a Bones system, and includes some tips on using Bones (binding end effectors to dummy objects).
Inside 3D Studio Max is a huge volume (over 1,300 pages long), densely packed with just about everything a student of Max needs or wants to know. The beginner will find it daunting but useful, the intermediate user will find clarification, and the power user will make the most of the tome as a reference, looking things up and finding things out on an as-needed basis. A handy, if hefty, resource. --Mike Caputo, amazon.com
From the Back Cover
Created by a team of expert developers and trainers, Inside 3D Studio MAX 3 is a focused, sophisticated guide to increasing your productivity with 3D Studio MAX 3. Containing case studies, as well as real-world problems and solutions, this book is an accurate, insightful, must-have resource whether you're a MAX novice or an experienced user. The authors have created hands-on tutorials that enable you to arrive at practical solutions to actual problems. Each chapter features highlighted information that's specific to MAX 3, with clearly written text that helps you understand the how and the why of using MAX's production tools. And they've included inspirational images and informative examples in different artistic styles, making the book easy to use and directly applicable to your needs, Practical solutions, background information, expert advice, and inspirational artwork- the combination makes this the most comprehensive reference available.