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3D Studio MAX 3(r) Professional Animation

Angela Jones; Sean Bonney; Brandon Davis; Sean Miller; Shane Olsen

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ISBN 10: 0735709459 / ISBN 13: 9780735709454
Published by New Riders Press, 2000
Used Condition: Used: Good Textbook Binding
From Ergodebooks (RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: 3D Studio MAX 3(r) Professional Animation

Publisher: New Riders Press

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Textbook Binding

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title

Synopsis:

3D Studio MAX 3 Professional Animation is the only book that take you extensively through the 3D Studio MAX 3 animation process, showing you the techniques that professional animators use to create everything from simple animated particle effects to complex character animation for Web sites, video, film, and other multimedia formats. Written by a group of top-flight 3D animation professionals, this book features the real deal--real-world applications and advanced tutorials: make bipedal, quadra-pedal, and multipedal characters walk; use Cstudio's Biped and Physique; build and animate a realistic human skeleton using MAX Bones IK; create complex scripting with MAXscript to enhance MAX's capabilities; produce muscle-based, multi-layered facial expressions and lip syncs; create deformable objects and fine-tune them with space warps; display and edit trajectories; and animate cameras, lights, and atmosphere.

Review:

In the right hands, any tool can produce great work, but first one must understand how to use the tool itself. 3D Studio Max 3 Professional Animation offers insight and tutorials on Max 3 for creating professional-quality character animation.

The book assumes the reader has some experience with Max, and it does not pause to measure your skills. Budding animators still honing their model-making skills will find Max project files (including the models used in the book) on the accompanying CD-ROM. The human skeleton shown in the chapter on "Basic Character and Creature Set-up" is a finely built character and worth having in any model library.

The lion's share of the book covers techniques for character animation, starting with Max's basic deformation tools in chapter 1, "Animating with Multiple Modifiers," to more advanced tools like Maxscript, sliders, adjusting spring-back values for joints, and creating constraints to control bone movement. Wonderful examples demonstrate rigging characters for movement, controlling and constraining movement, and working around such problems as gimbal lock.

Skeletal animation can only take you so far: chapter 5, "Facial Animation," deftly describes not only Max morphing techniques for animating things like lips, eyes, and cheeks but also explains the principles of and reasons for such movement (though you could probably do without the Latin names of facial muscles). A key section in this chapter, with a discussion and short tutorial on importing and reading a dialog track, may only occupy a few pages, but its information should not be taken lightly. Learning to read tracks and converting what you hear into movement is a fundamental skill in character animation. Kudos to the authors for writing about it, but it would have been preferable to see this earlier.

The last third of the book, "Animating the Environment," concentrates on other types of noncharacter animation. This includes controlling the camera, animating lights, and adding animation effects such as particle systems to create smoke and dust.

When practicing professionals in a given field take the time to share their experience, it is a generous gesture that benefits everyone in that field. 3D Studio Max 3 Professional Animation, concisely written and clearly illustrated by several experienced animators, is a good example of such benevolent generosity. --Mike Caputo

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