- Paperback: 344 pages
- Publisher: Focal Press; 3 edition (December 12, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0240521269
- ISBN-13: 978-0240521268
- Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Deconstructing the Elements with 3ds Max: Create Natural Fire, Earth, Air and Water without Plug-ins 3rd Edition
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"A detailed, step-by-step guide to creating your own universe. Once again, Pete Draper helps everyone use 3D Max to the max!"--Mark Walsh, Supervising Animator, Pixar
""Deconstructing the Elements with 3ds Max has become a standard, must-have tome for 3ds Max users of all levels. Pete Draper's many years of real-world production chops and ongoing industry writing are unmatched. The clear, step-by-step lessons of this book require no plugins and the final results are feature-film quality assets. I give it my highest mark for recommended learning and training resources pertaining to Autodesk 3ds Max.--Gary M. Davis, Autodesk 3ds Max Master 2007, 3D Animation & Compositing Specialist, Autodesk Media and Entertainment
"I am instantly blown away by the level of quality and professional content Pete Draper's new book contains. This book very thorough in demonstrating professional and production quality tutorials and exercising production quality work, while being very informative and easy to follow. Definitely the secret weapon to keep in your work desk draw to refer back to on a day to day basis! I thoroughly recommend this book both to beginners and advanced users alike, I am confident everyone will get a lot from this book!"--Allan McKay, VFX Supervisor
"This book is the definitive text on 3ds Max effects using Particles and Dynamics....Pete sets the standard."--Mark Gerhard, Imaginit Technologies
About the Author
a UK-based visual effects animator and artist with 10+ years experience on large and small screen projects. Starting out as a fine artist and designer, his shift to CG animation led to key roles such as Lead and Senior Artist, Head of Media and, more recently, Visual Effects Supervisor / Director. Pete's work covers a broad range of disciplines and genres from visual effects to reconstructions, commercials to in-house training. He currently writes for 3D World magazine, providing tips, tricks, reviews and tutorials for 3ds max and other animation and graphics tools.
Top customer reviews
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Most 3d effects are being done by one "plugin" or another and that makes it hard to give your project a unique feel. I call it lensflareitis. Because you first see a lens flare in Photoshop and are amazed by it, but after seeing it several thousand times, it takes about .5 seconds to know that is how it was done. 3d has that same issue. once you have seen the output of a plugin a few dozen times you will know that the people were using it right out of the box and it removes the luster from the final product.
With that being said what is important for effects is to have a good eye. That is what this book focuses on. It doesn't start with the software or a plugin. It begins a topic in this way. Research your subject. (if it is fire, look at pics of real fire, look at videos of fire, surround yourself with reference and break the effect down into the easiest to digest components). Then apply what you have learned to the core 3d concepts and develop your own look, layer by layer. In this way it makes your effects much more easily "tweaked" into a unique effect that will set you aside from the crowd.
So you can get this book and just do the tutorials, but the real magic to me is the method. Once you get used to it, you will find your own answers and that is more valuable than any other thing you could learn. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did. It's a gem.
thank you for your time.
Normally these high-priced computer How To books include a disk with the external files needed for the projects. Not this one. Not only was there _not_ a disk, but the web addresses listed in the book to _download_ said files no longer function; sloppy beyond forgiveness. (You can find them by googling, but it's a lengthy process, and disappointing as heck.) While it's possible to walk through the tutorials following the book's instructions, many of the tutes rely on images or meshes that you don't have if you don't download them.
And then, for the Third Edition, the author made sure that there's at least one typo or grammar gaffe--sometimes more--_per page_. Whoever edited the thing really doesn't need to be editing books for a living (or even as a hobby). I'm not talking the usual spelling differences between Britlish and Yanklish; I'm talking out-and-out spelling mistakes. The author's good with Max, but not really that good with the English language (and it's his mother tongue to boot!).
All problems aside: once you've located and downloaded the tutorial files (I found the one I wanted--making coronae for a sun-like object), these tutorials _do_ cover the ground, and mostly nicely. The author gets into some seriously-deep Max work with them--this is not a book that would work that well for a raw beginner in Max or CG--but the end results can't be beat.
Would I buy another book by this author? Probably not. Bait-and-switch with the necessary files and garbling the words (on EVERY PAGE; it's almost a record) simply mean that this particular author I might check into, but probably not drop money on.
Pros:Great tutorials, easy to read, pages are in color -makes it nice to see how end result should look.
Cons:Online content -hope they go back to DVD format.
UPDATE: Website is now fixed, and full tutorials are available for downloading.
Also note: Pete personally responded to my post here on Amazon, there are not many authors who would do that, very few indeed. Thanks Pete.
Nevertheless, it's a book of AD 2006. By today's standards, with later 3ds Max and much more powerful PC hardware, some of the book's techniques have become outdated. For example, using circles of omni lights to imitate directional lighting and rendering with 3ds Max default engine are no longer good methods to do realistic renderings. On the other hand though, its setups for models, animations, particle system, shaders, Havoc, and so on so forth, would likely remain useful to date.
Most recent customer reviews
The screen shots are constantly referred to throughout the text.Read more