I found "Three-Dimensional Computer Animation" to be a particularly clearly written and clearly illustrated book, especially given the complexity of this field. The book covers the chief concepts in 3D modeling, rendering and animation and provides detailed technical explanations rare in books for artists and designers. Amazingly, O'Rourke does this without relying on jargon or assuming a scientific or mathematical background (or writing an inconveniently long book). Artists and designers working in 3D will find this a valuable resource as they seek to better understand the potential of 3D graphics and to master this new and often demanding medium. "Three-Dimensional Computer Animation" is appropriate for classroom use and also as a guide and reference for working artists, designers, and animators.
Michael O'Rourke's book, Principles of Three Dimensional Computer Animation, is a great asset for beginner and advanced 3D animators. Throughout my graduate studies, as a 3D animator, I've read many 3D manuals. None compare to O'Rourke's coherent writing style and updated animation/modeling/rendering procedures.
I used Michael's book in my 3D animation class using Alias/Wavefront and it was a good resource for wrapping one's head around the concepts of working in a virtual 3D space. Coming from traditional 3D animation experience, it was quite helpful, as was Michael (the teacher of the class).