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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
The toughest challenge a digital artist can face is creating the human form. Humans know what humans should look like, down to the finest detail. From hair to toenails, this book shows how to get the details right.
Ken Brilliant (credits: Jurassic Park 2, X-Files: The Movie) starts with getting the live photographic human reference material you need. Here’s what you need to know about camera angles, lighting, poses, everything. (There’s a complete set of photos on CD-ROM for practice, along with complete 3D models, and full working versions of the 3D Amapi 5.15 3D modeler for Mac and PC.)
Brilliant briefly reviews the basics of polygonal modeling and smoothing. Then, it’s on to setting up a simple box model to understand the human form you’re constructing -- a remarkably useful exercise.
There’s extensive coverage of modeling the head -- down to the level of changes based on your character’s age. (This chapter has 142 sample images!) Brilliant then works his way down to the arms, hands, fingers, torso, legs, feet, and toes, before returning to the head to add real-life texture, hair, and eyelashes.
Like Dr. Frankenstein, you’re now ready to summon your creature to life. Brilliant walks you through building a human animation skeleton, creating expressions, and more. Finally, he shows how to transform “realistic” models into fantasy characters, building realistic females, and clothing your creations.
Brilliant works in LightWave 3D, but this book is usable with anything from SoftImage XSI and Maya down to free tools like Wings 3D and Metasequoia. It’s just plain superb. Bill Camarda
Bill Camarda is a consultant, writer, and web/multimedia content developer. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks for Dummies, Second Edition.