- Series: Wordware Game Developer's Library
- Paperback: 584 pages
- Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning; 2nd edition (January 24, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 155622088X
- ISBN-13: 978-1556220883
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.3 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,814,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Modeling A Character In 3DS Max (Wordware Game Developer's Library) 2nd Edition
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About the Author
Paul Steed is widely considered to be the dominant 3D game modeler and animator in the business. He has worked in the computer game industry for nearly 14 years, and is currently the Creative Director for Xbox at Microsoft. His career spans six companies and over 15 shipped titles or online products. Most well-known for his character models, animations, and plan files while at id Software (Quake II, Quake III Arena, and Quake III Team Arena), he also worked on the Wing Commander series at Origin Systems. As a producer at WildTangent, he used the Internet to unleash a small but popular online-delivered, Tempest-inspired third-person shooter called Betty Bad. His popular dancing girl visualizers that work with the Winamp plug-in remain some of the most highly downloaded pieces of content. Steed has written articles for Game Developer magazine and tutorials for his "Thinking Outside the Box" column on Loonygames.com. He is a frequent speaker at the annual Game Developer Conference and is into-high polygon women, his family, his truck, and playing pool.
Top customer reviews
I like its approach although it should be simpler than that and does not take 2-3 pages to get to the idea; but it is still simple to read
At the same time, I can confidently say that some of my good techniques and MOST of my bad habits came from this book.
Some of the techniques he teaches in this book are very good (like the cylinder technique for designing legs, and the spline cage trick for the torso), however beginning modelers need to be aware of certain pitfalls:
1. Paul's divide and turn edges techniques can get you into TONS of trouble if you don't understand how to model with quads and create a good "flow" of polys within your mesh. Paul understands this but he doesn't teach it and the book led me to develop some horrible habits that it's taken me a while to correct. There's another book on Poly-Modeling with 3ds Max that I bought recently that really helps teach Poly modeling using better techniques that are more suited to both low and high poly models . It's called Poly-Modeling with 3ds Max: Thinking Outside of the Box and it teaches what Paul could have taught here.... many ways to build clean meshes that work.
2. His head modeling method with the geosphere is probably one of the most difficult ways to model a head. This is subjective, but more solid poly modeling techniques , I've found, or even more traditional box modeling techniques seem to produce cleaner methods than the geoshpere approach. It's good for blocking out the mass of the head, but carving the details out of a geosphere while maintaining good form can be tricky.
3. Paul got me hooked on Edit Mesh, which is fine, but Edit Poly is really the best way to go in Max in terms of modeling tools, and I think most experienced modelers on here would agree with that.
4. The appraoches in this book are old. Much of what Paul is doing here was based on a time when the poly count of characters had to be much lower , and when Edit Mesh was the dominant modeler's tool in Max, so the book is somewhat dated. I'm totally for low poly methods; I think high polygon wasteful modeling is a sin. BUT low poly should not be done at the expense of making a clean mesh with nice edge flows. Again, Paul manages to make clean meshes but he doesn't teach YOU what the rules are to building a clean mesh. If you buy this book, also buy any other book that teaches clean poly modeling techniques to round out your approach and perspective.
So, with all of that, 3 stars. Don't let this be the only modeling book you get. You may develop bad habits that will take some effort to "un-learn".
When I initially dived into the modeling portion I thought everything was fine. Then -- and this is why I rated it so low -- Steed begins to divide/turn edges in Part II / Chapter 4 / Step 5, which is titled "Step 5: Add Vertices by Dividing Edges." I suppose this would not have been so bad if Steed had thought to include COLOR screen shots on the books CD-ROM, but since he neglected to do so it becomes frustrating -- to say the least -- to use Steed's method of refining one's mesh.
Considering the fact that the CD-ROM is a whopping 19.5MB, it would have been prudent to include full color reference images. Let me give you some specifics on why I found this book such a bitter waste of TIME and MONEY:
* Firstly, let me tell you friends -- it is most frustrating to try to refine one's mesh based on the author's direction when one can hardly see the edges/vertices that are being discussed.
* Secondly, there are easier methods to refine a mesh than dividing or turning edges if you have 3ds 5 AT LEAST!
* Thirdly, Steed falls flat on his face when explaining the reason for turning edges and which SPECIFIC edges to turn. Suffice it to say, grayscale pictures in a book DO NOT work!
* Fourthly, if one cannot get the edge dividing/turning method down, then you'll get stuck because the rest of the modeling tutorials are so heavily based on this method. The only reason I was able to finish the model is because of my familiarity with 3ds Max, Lightwave, and on a more limited basis, Maya.
* Fifthly, and lastly (I hope), when one is able to look at tutorials for Lightwave or Maya, as I have done, and model more quickly and effectively in 3ds Max than Steed's method, then the book leaves quite a lot to be desired...
I think that's all I will say for now, but let me warn you all -- there are far, far better tutorials available online for free. Don't waste your money on this book unless you plan on using it as fuel for a fire.