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on 8 December 2010
I'm always a bit wary of Sybex books, since I've bought them before and they've not always delivered on the content, however, this is a really good and useful book with a cracking DVD with all of the info that an entry level game modeller will need to get up and running. My only criticism is that the project models were not to my taste- (I don't want to model a colt revolver- I want to model an MP5!!!)
Great stuff.
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on 24 September 2013
I own quite a few Maya and 3D generalist tutorial books spanning back to as late as 2003, but none have been as easy to follow and as pleasurable to work through as this one. The author assumes basic knowledge of Maya as a package, and so no pages are wasted on fluff.

The tutorials start of specialized but basic, and slowly increase in length and complexity - each one looking at a different aspect of environment creation (texture creation, vehicles, foliage, etc.). Each lesson is well structured and very easy to follow. What is particularly nice, is that the author explains why you are doing what you are doing. All too often, tutorials will give you values to enter or actions to follow - but what do the values mean? What do the numbers correspond to? It was particularly refreshing to have McKinley explain each decision and action thoroughly.

I highly recommend this book to any budding environment artists, it covers a lot of knowledge gaps and provides an excellent starting point in the creation of environment assets.
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on 31 October 2013
I was actually a beginner but pick things up quite fast. Only problem is I spent ages looking for steps that were missing eg certain commands arent on the menu structure that the book says as Autodesk decided to hide them with the hold of a shift key and click on the item you can show the hidden menu (had to trall the internet for ages until a forum said they had decided no one used that tool so they hid it in another shift key menu)

asside from that I really enjoyed doing the activities in this book.
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on 29 June 2011
This book has clear and concise instructions for an introduction to creating game environments and props for the video games industry. It is quite technical in parts, but never at the expense of not being able to complete the task. There are useful assets on the DVD such as completed Maya scenes, textures and best of all, videos if you get stuck (no audio). Michael McKinley is clearly a very experienced 3d artist and a great tutor. I already have new skills that I can use in building my portfolio. After reading this book, you will never think creating a brick wall for a game is easy anymore ! A word of warning, if you are new to Maya, you should brush up on that first before buying this book, if only to understand some of the 3d terminology and you will probably need a good photo editing program such as Adobe Photoshop. Highly Recommend.
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on 9 December 2010
As a word of warning, those looking to follow this books material in the 2011 edition of Maya will have to unfortunately use other tools such as topogun or xNormal when it comes to doing the Ambient Occlusion bakes as the Transfer Maps feature is broken slightly in this edition.

Apart from that, this book is PERFECT for those looking into a career or hobby in video games art. All steps are very clear and easy to follow. The included DVD has video covering all the trickier steps for those who need a little extra help.
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on 19 February 2012
I've read a few introduction to 3D game art books, for a few different programs, and this one is the best by a country mile. It should be noted that the methods in this book are no longer industry-standard, but I can't recommend it enough for someone starting out in 3D modelling for games as it lays down the foundations required for someone to move onto more complex concepts such as subdivision modelling. It shouldn't take anyone very long to get through this, push yourself to do a chapter a day and you can have a good understanding of how things work in game art within a week.
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on 25 August 2010
Theres so much to learn to be an environment artist these days that it must be hard to know where to start when writing a book on the subject. This book manages to be concise, simple to follow, start from a basic level and yet be very informative to those already in the industry. I've bought books on similar subjects before and never been that impressed, until now. Its a good book to get started with and you build on whats here.
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on 21 February 2012
very comprehensive book but shame normal maps wasnt delved into with greater detail and the video had no sound, would have made things better with sound. other than that very useful
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on 3 April 2015
The book is in very good condition considering it is used, very happy with my purchase.
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on 27 April 2011
This book is amazing after following one of the tutorials included i now have a great artist game asset on my showreel worthy of helping me alot to score a job working in visual effects and/or the game art industry, thanks a million
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