Simon Danaher Digital 3D Design

ISBN 13: 9781592003914

Digital 3D Design

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"Digital 3D Design" offers comprehensive coverage of digital 3D design for the business, advertising, manufacturing, visualization, and entertainment industries. It acts as a comprehensive introduction for newcomers to the field, explaining the major concepts while avoiding technical jargon or heavy, software-specific information. Instead of focusing specifically on technology, this book goes into the subject from the viewpoint of the professional or student designer. It introduces the hardware and software that 3D designers need to consider, then runs through the fundamentals of working in 3D. An exploration of 3D techniques common to most 3D applications follows, with practical examples and step-by-step tutorials. The book also showcases 3D work by the author and other prominent 3D artists. The emphasis is on the results and the techniques needed to achieve them, rather than on features for features' sake. It also takes a more holistic approach to 3D, covering the whole of the field rather than any one segment.

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Review:

Digital 3D Design: The Use of 3D Applications in Digital Graphic Design is a compact and visually loaded introduction to 3-D design. With 3-D graphics and animations popping up all over, in movies, computer games, and retail Web sites, many are looking for an entry into this exciting career. But all of the terms, jargon, and applications can be daunting. Author Simon Danaher, an expert in 3-D computer graphics, lays out an accessible and colorfully illustrated guide to it all. His approach will be especially welcome to those already experienced with 2-D paint or vector applications since there are some common themes.

A better subtitle might have been Beyond Shiny Chrome Balls and Neon Skies, because the book quickly takes readers past those fairly basic fantasy-style images and on to more sophisticated modeling. It begins with a bit of history and a brief profile of the major 3-D applications such as Maya, 3D Studio Max, Poser, and many others. The next 60 pages cover core concepts like modeling, spline patches, NURBS, and raytracing. In later sections, "lessons" cover more concepts in detail, for example, tessellation, keyframe animation, and UV texture mapping. Although these aren't quite step-by-step lessons, there are plenty of screenshots and Danaher clearly outlines what goes into each process. The book finishes by showing different uses of 3-D computer graphics, for example, on the Web (including VRML and Java 3D), in architecture, and in product design. And there's a nice glossary of terms.

This is not a how-to focusing on any specific software, but rather a look at the big picture of 3-D design. Digital 3D Design will be a welcome introduction for those wanting to dip their toes in but not knowing where to begin, or for artists looking to branch out into another dimension. --Angelynn Grant

About the Author:

Simon Danaher has been working in the graphics industry for over five years, and his client base includes BBC Worldwide, UK magainzes and publishers, and international clients like Fujitsu and Isuzu. Simon has contributed regular material to leading creative magazines such as Computer Arts, 3D World, and MacUser, and on occasion he teaches application-specific courses in 3D computer graphics. His books include Digital 3D Design (Cassell Illustrated, 0304359904) and 3D Wizardry (Focal Press, 0240519221).

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