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3D Masterclass: The Swordmaster in 3ds Max and ZBrush Paperback – 28 May 2013

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: 3DTotal Publishing (28 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956817173
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956817174
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 21.6 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 523,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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 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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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very informative, easy to follow, resources provided are high quality, If your looking to start modelling in 3DS this is one of the best to start on, covers pretty much everything.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent step by step guide through hard surface modelling. Great for intermediate users particularly but advanced users may not find much really new.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nice well laid out and informative. Some of the instructions are a little confusing but generally they just require more than one read to understand
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars 12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book, worth the price 4 Aug. 2014
By JAB - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not for beginners, I'm a few steps above a beginner so that wasn't a problem. Nice looking book and many good exercise tutorials. Ten times better than 3ds Max Projects: A Detailed Guide to Modeling, Texturing, Rigging, Animation and Lighting and half the price. trade in $1.35 LOL, I'll keep the book.
4.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good book on character modeling for games, but not for a complete beginner. 11 Feb. 2016
By Christiano Rezende - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'll echo one of the reviewers and say that this book is exactly what I expected.

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.
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that truly deserves the title of Ultimate Guide.... 24 Nov. 2013
By Neko Nine - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
3D Masterclass: The Swordmaster in 3ds Max and ZBrush: The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Low Poly Game Character is perfect for 3D artists who are frustrated by books that aren't step-by-step. Mr. Gavin Goulden's book leaves nothing to the imagination: he lays out everything he does from beginning to end. To be honest, I initially stayed away from this book because it was a ZBrush-3ds MAX book. Please do not make the same mistake. The book can be followed regardless of what 3d software the artist uses to retopologize their models: the same rules apply. The same goes for artists who start from scratch in Zbrush rather than build a base model in MAX or MAYA. There are also helpful tutorials on Xnormal and the Marmoset Toolbag in here. Mr. Goulden even went as far to include a section on how to rig in MAX. When it comes to low poly modeling, it is no secret the maps and shaders do the heavy lifting and Mr. Goulden spends a good portion of the book devoted to their creation and application. Bottom line: if you want to learn the art of low poly modeling for games, get this book; you won't regret it. I also recommend purchasing this book regardless of your level; this a book an artist can grow into.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Workflow Insight 7 Jun. 2013
By Anonymous - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a rarity in that there are few books written by industry professionals on character art for games. This book is great for the novice artist who is unsure about game character workflow, or intermediate/advanced artists who are digging for new techniques/advice to bring their art up a level. While clearly showing Gavin's workflow, my only complaint would be that there is too much repetition of instruction (the text is a little on the light side) that could otherwise have been insight/theory/thought process (there is some of this, just not a lot). It is a step by step window into Gavin's creation of the Swordmaster character, and it covers from concept/base mesh to real-time render. This is not a book for those looking for more insight into sculpting/texturing technique. It's a much needed contribution from Gavin and a full look at how he would tackle a project. Thank's to Gavin for contribution to the game community!
4.0 out of 5 stars More Than The Average Step By Step 10 Aug. 2013
By DJ Hancock - Published on
Format: Paperback
At first glance, I thought this was going to be another one of those flashy step by step picture books. I'm ok with saying that I was wrong.

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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