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3D Studio MAX Release 2 F/X Paperback – May 1998

39 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Ventana Press,U.S.; Pap/Cdr edition (May 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1566047706
  • ISBN-13: 978-1566047708
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 20.3 x 26.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,395,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 21 July 1998
Format: Paperback
As an owner of both 3DS MAX R2.0 and R2.5, it appears this book was written for R2.0. It looks like the publisher replaced all the R2 references with R2.5 at the last second to cash in on the recent R2.5 release (oops, you missed one on pp. 182).
If it were really an R2.5 book, you would have expected to see an explanation of differences between R2 and R2.5 (there wasn't any) and I did 80% of the tutorials in R2. I'm still working on the others, as time allows, to see if there is any R2.5-specific material.
Make it past the hype and you find an enormous wealth of information on 3D design and animation techniques with MAX. Mr. Bell solicits the help of other authors, which brings an interesting perspective to the book.
This book does not waste any space explaining how to use MAX R2 -- that's what the manuals are for. The book opens with an excellent series of tutorials on lighting and materials that contain useful information regardless of your choice of 3D sof! tware.
Numerous practical tips abound in the book (that are clearly highlighted in the margin), plus you get plug-ins, materials, and models! The fact that the book contains useful material for anyone doing 3D work (whether you use MAX or not) makes this a superb follow-on to the first edition. Mr. Bell and his co-authors should be complimented for a job well done!
I did miss the water tutorials from the first book. Oh well, there's always version 3!
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Format: Paperback
Too many cooks can spoil the broth, and that nearly happened here. While the authors are all very knowledgeable 3D professionals, their writing and teaching skills vary widely. Some examples are clearly written and mistake-free; some are not. Those hoping for insights into NURBS modeling should avoid this book like the plague. The alien head and cobra examples, though ambitiously in-depth, do not make clear the "why" of what you are doing and are riddled with awkward phrases, missing steps, and impossible operations, all presented in a folksy tone that quickly grows annoying (I've tackled the cobra example twice, only to give up each time after several days' effort). The publisher's Web site provides an update for this book (a downloadable file called "cobra.zip"). Unfortunately, it merely contains two Max files of the completed cobra (not much help) and not the errata I had desperately hoped for. The CD is what a CD should be, adding value with free plug-ins rather than foisting a bunch of evaluation shareware on you that serves only as advertising revenue for the publishers. I applaud Jon Bell for this.
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Format: Paperback
Quite a masterpiece. With the price of computer books ($50+) it's important that you know what you are getting is worth the money. The plug-ins alone are worth the money, much less the content. The book is structured in short, simple tutorials that create stunning results. Many of the tutorials are pre-built scenes allowing you to focus more on the F/X, only changing scene elements that are important to the effect. This is not a book to learn 3D Max but rather how to make it sing.
The author is very good at explaining what we are doing and why. Especially good chapters on lighting and making realistic materials. I've gotten lost a few times but every time discovered it's only because I got distracted and missed a step. I even e-mailed Jon Bell a question at 2am and had a response back at 10am when I got up that morning. You can be sure I'll be looking for his name on other books. (i ordered his first book Creating Hollywood-style Special Effects)
Add this to your shopping list
(ps- Jon, we don't mind that you lied (read the foreward))
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By A Customer on 18 April 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is alright. It does kind-of pertains to the intermediate user. For I have only been using Max for two weeks. This could have eaiser tutorials. They are weak. If your looking for a serious modeling book then this not your book. But if your looking to brauden your horizon on Max then I would suggest this book. The CD deserves a 3/4 of a star. Not all of the tutorials are there, but it makes up for itself by offering a demo version of metarays. I think with a few more months this book could be perfect. Don't be fooled by all of the perfect ratings. This book is not perfect by any means. If this book is the cream of the crop when it comes Max books I am concerned. I wish some of these books would not have to be so long. They need to get to the point. It would be nice if there was button index and it could explain what each button does, oh-well. Sorry for being the ass and ruining the perfect score but somebodies got to tell the truth.
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By A Customer on 21 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is a fantastic tool for those people who are tired of making flat, plastic 3D images. If you have already learned the basics of 3D Studio Max, this book will guide you into new levels of competence by focusing in using the rich features of the software to add a doze of reality to your scenes. This is not a book on how to use 3D Studio Max, but rather on how to use it well. The lessons contained assume a certain level of comfort with the interface and might scare (or dissapoint) those seeking hand-holding tutorials. For the rest of us, who want to raise the quality of their renderings to professional quality, this book is a must read.
The companion CD is invaluable. I'd gladly would have paid the price of the book for just one of the plugins contained in the CD: Greeble.
If you want to get your money's worth with 3DSMax, BUY THIS BOOK!!
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