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Very Good Beginners Guide
on 8 June 2011
First of all: I only have the ebook-version of this book, so I can't say much about the quality of the printed version. The ebook-version however is in full color and of high quality.
The book is seperated into 16 chapters, including one about the basic 3D terminology for people completely new to 3D and a longer one about getting started with the zBrush interface for people coming from other 3D software or zBrush versions prior 4. The explanation of 3D-Terminology is short but enough for a complete beginner to follow the book. The book is aimed at game-artists but the infos and techniques presented troughout the book could also be applied to other areas as well. Each chapter starts with a short summary of what will be done during that chapter, key concepts are explained before being used. If a new or advanced technique is used while creating one of the models, there is a short and very useful "What just happened?" section that explains everything in detail. Another great feature of the book are the "Pop Quizzes" that are scattered throughout the book, these contain questions regarding the techniques you have learned during the chapters. So you can try and test yourself!
There are 4 main models that are being made in this book: A spooky tree, a sci-fi drone(featured on the cover), a creature(with fur and accesoires) and a harvester ship. So there are two hard-surface models and two organic ones created, which is really a good choice to cover nearly all of zBrush's features. All of these models are of a high quality. These 4 models are used to introduce zSpheres & zSketch, organic & hard-surface sculpting techniques, polypainting, extracting maps, preparing a model for a game and many more. Also there are numerous small tipps and tricks that are a nice addition to your zBrush workflow. Aside from the tutorials there is a useful overview of the parts of a game-asset pipeline in a studio and for which stages zBrush could be used.
The weakest part of the book is the cover, because all of the three other models of the book look more advanced, but maybe that's just my opinion.
All in all is this a great book and I can only recommend it, not only beginners but everyone trying to sharpen his/her zBrush skills!