3D Masterclass: The Swordmaster in 3ds Max and ZBrush Paperback – 28 May 2013
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About the Author
Gavin Goulden is a character artist currently working for Irrational Games on Bioshock Infinite. A veteran in the games industry, he's been involved with a number of high profile projects over the years including Dead Rising 2, Dragon Age and F.E.A.R.2. 3DTotal Publishing was launched in 2010, as the publishing arm of popular digital art website 3DTotal.com. As well as self-publishing the next volumes in the pre-existing Digital Art Masters and Digital Painting Techniques series, 3DTotal Publishing has successfully launched a number of new titles including Photoshop for 3D Artist's, Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop and ZBrush Character Sculpting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Since this book is 160 pages long, I didn't expected it to be an all-in-one, step-by-step guide on modeling, sculpting, texturing and retopologizing a game-ready character. Neither was I expecting it to be suitable for a complete beginner. Instead, what I expected from it was a making-of covering the process of making a character for games. And, as far as I can tell, it does a pretty good job!
This book is NOT for beginners since it assumes the reader is already "confortable" with 3ds Max and ZBrush. The book DOES NOT show how to accomplish a certain technique or to get to a particular tool. Instead it shows the main parts of the process, like modeling the character's base mesh in 3ds Max, developing this mesh through digital sculpting in ZBrush, mapping its coordinates in order to get textures, retopologizing it into a low-poly version and finally posing it for presentation.
Although the book covers all steps promissed, I still believe it lacks a bit in regards of balancing. I mean, the author spends just a few pages on how to model a base mesh in a 3D package (in this case, 3ds Max) and a lot of pages on digital sculpting in ZBrush, then a few pages again on retopologizing in 3ds Max. As a digital modeler/sculptor, I know that a character artist spends way more time sculpting a high-poly character than previously building a base mesh. However, in my opinion digital sculpting is pretty much an artistic process and so it can be achieved in many different ways, depending on the artist. Polygonal modeling, on the other hand, is more of a technical process and although it can be approached by different techniques (box modeling, edge extrusion) the end result should always be the same: a good, clean edge flow (a.k.a. topology).
Therefore my choice for a 4 star rating resides on the author spending less time on the most important aspects of game character creation, such as retopologizing and normal mapping. In my opinion the author could have covered those parts better either by increasing the number of pages or, if it was the case, by spending less pages on digital sculpting in ZBrush. In addition, the author also could have skipped the posing chapter since it is not as relevant as the other parts of the process. But if he considers it as a vital part for the content of the book, he could have chosen to pose the character using ZBrush's Transpose tool since it is way faster and easier than 3ds Max bones and skin combo.
All-in-all this is a well-rounded book brought to life by a recognized artist and 3DTotal Publishing excellent print quality. I recommend it to everyone with an intermediate level of knowledge in 3ds Max and ZBrush, who are seeking to create his/her own game-ready characters.
True, this book has flashy pictures on every page. But there is so much more to it then that. It starts with a run down on how to setup your reference images for modeling. From there, it's a detailed step by step of how the author went about creating each piece of the model. It doesn't stop there. He even goes into detail on the high poly process, as well as the texture baking process. Showing the readers how to utilize different programs to get the best results. Now this is where most step by steps would stop, but the author goes a step further. He not only shows how he sets up the models rigg, he also shows how to weight the model for proper posing.
This book is a must have for any beginner game artist. Some vets could learn a thing or two as well.
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