Mastering Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2010 Review

Mastering Autodesk 3ds Max Design 2010
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There seem to be two types of Max books. The ones with lots and lots of text that are hard to use as a reference - they are too cryptic to understand and generally the organization of the Bibles still leave me baffled. On the other end there are more tutorial/image based books, some are decent for what they are, but it is usually difficult to find a good blend of information and how to's. This book is more like the 3ds Max 2010 Bible, and although it covers much of Max, the glaring exceptions are the lack of information on rigging and biped - there is very little beyond the basic how to do a simple keyframe of a camera animation in this giant book.
One of the authors of this book wrote a really good reference/tutorial book called Master Visually 3ds Max 8. I still see my students from time to time carrying round a used copy of this book that they got at the school bookstore. It is starting to show its age - mainly because of the changes to the interface - but seemed to be an excellent intro book because the tutorials were limited to one or two pages, and the text was direct and to the point.
Regrettable this book is closer to the 3DS Max Bible on the continuum. It has a good amount of information, but it is really dense with text, which now a days with all the online video tutorials, are being used less and less. I wish McFarland would have gone back and revised his Max 8 book. That is what those learning Max really need. For a general introduction book I refer students to Maestri's 3ds Max at a Glancethe book has lots of pictures, provides a good overview of the entire program, and only suffers from tutorials that I find difficult to complete. The other book I would recommend for those new to Max would be Essential 3ds Max 2008. Although earlier versions of this series were lacking, this one got it right as a good intro book on Max. There aren't any color pictures, but its tutorials and information are more in-depth than Maestri's book.
So if you want an up to date 3DS Max book, you like reading and having a Max book that can be used as a reference, this is the book for you.

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The only comprehensive tutorial/reference exclusively devoted to Autodesk's robust architectural visualization software
3ds Max Design is a powerful real-time 3D design, modeling, and animation tool for architectural visualizations. This book covers all the software's crucial features, including how to simulate and analyze sun, sky, and artificial light-crucial factors for sustainable design-and how to define and assign realistic materials and work with AutoCAD and Revit files.
You'll quickly learn how to get the most from this powerful software's 3D modeling, animation, and rendering capabilities. McFarland is an Autodesk Authorized Author with professional experience in creating complex visualizations for a large property development company. His real-world focus means workflows and instructions are professional and proven, and projects will include those that pros work on every day.
Uses actual examples from the author's experience, including retail spaces, small offices, residential developments, and more
Concise explanations, focused examples, step-by-step instructions, and hands-on tutorials teach the basics and fine points of the software
Covers all the essential features, such as how to simulate and analyze sun, sky, and artificial light
Demonstrates efficient use of the interface; how to work with Revit and AutoCAD files; using data, scene management, and solid modeling tools; rendering real-world surfaces; and setting up animated walkthroughs

Mastering 3ds Max Design 2010 provides a practical education in using this powerful architectural visualization tool.

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