on 6 November 2000
What you find in the book: - Many commercial comments. something like "the version 3 of 3DS max was designed to boost your productivity". - General and boring examples. What you won't find: - A description of the 3DS max interface. - Where are the tools, how they work. - How to work with 3DS max. The book is big and heavy, and I said to myself: "this is the one to buy if you want to become a master with 3DS max!" How disappointed I am! To be honest I have not read all the book. I went through the chapters looking for valuable information. I found hardly nothing of some interest. Nowhere, the author describes, even briefly, the 3Ds max interface. He seems to consider this as a perequisite (why should we need the book then?). He gives general examples about modelling operations or tools without explaining carefully how to perform a particular operation, or at least where is the tool he used to achieve it. If you already know something about 3D animation, this book is not for you. The user manual and your experience will do more. If you are a novice, this book is not for you either. You won't really learn anything valuable with this one. I just found myself frustrated after having spent a few hours reading this big heavy book.
on 29 October 2000
The book is a weighty tome, comprising of 17 hefty chapters going into the basics and the advanced aspects of of the 3 areas in the title, the modelling section is huge and could be easily expanded to fit an entire book, and therefore pales somewhat in the face of the excellent materials and rendering sections of the book. The rendering and materials sections go sometimes into extreme detail and sometimes only scratch the surface of some topics. One of the more highly detailed areas are the the pages covering the rather bewildering MAX 3 raytrce engine and its myriad of confusing options. You are also taught how to texture realistically and non-so, also it covers animated, fictional and special fx textures. It finishes up with a fairly straightforward look at glows, lens flare, focus, depth, and so on and so forth.
Overview: Thilst the examples aren't exactly inspiring, rather more practical than gob-smacking, there is a lot of info in this book. In my humble opinion it give the best discission of the Material Editor I've seen. A fine book with something for all the family .. of levels .. of users, err ok ... (!)
on 26 February 2001
There are 1 or 2 errors in the book, and the odd error with some of the cd-files (i.e incorrect naming) however this book has a lot to offer.
The coverage of the Material Editor is top. Some of the moderling tutorials are a bit dull.
The CD also is quite limited, it has the tutorial files and thats about it. The Clip art is totaly useless.
If you have a good overview of the MAX interface but need help with making your models then get this..