Introducing 3ds Max 9: 3D for Beginners / Edition 1

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Video game and feature-film artists have used 3ds Max to create Halo 2, King Kong, Myst V, and more. Now you can harness this popular animation software with the clear, step-by-step instructions in this easy-to-follow guide. This book breaks down the complexities of 3D modeling, texturing, animating, and visual effects. Clear-cut explanations, tutorials, and hands-on projects help build your skills and a special color insert includes real-world examples from talented 3ds Max beginners.

Note: CD-ROM/DVD and other supplementary materials are not included as part of eBook file.

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Editorial Reviews

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The Barnes & Noble Review
3ds Max 9 has never been this simple. With that said, what more is there to tell you about Introducing 3ds Max 9: 3D for Beginners? Plenty.

Dariush and Randi Derakshani help you bootstrap your knowledge in every area that matters most: modeling, texturing, animating, and visual effects. They don't just cover 3ds Max's broad, deep feature set: They place features in the context of real-world CG production workflows. And, given 3ds Max's inherent complexity, this book's voice is just so welcome: friendly, relaxed, knowing, occasionally even funny.

Once the Derakshanis have briefed you on a few basic concepts and a little jargon, you'll get a taste of production workflow by animating a simple mobile. Next, after you've got some sense of where you're headed, they walk you through 3ds Max's far-from-trivial interface. Chances are, you'll return to that interface chapter for reference years after you've grown comfortable with 3ds Max.

You'll jump into modeling quickly, with projects ranging from human hands to bedroom dressers; then move into increasingly complex projects, including organic poly modeling with subdivision surfaces (great for creating your own aliens).

After a practical introduction to materials and UVW mapping, the authors turn to animation, from keyframes onward. Again, you'll build your skills incrementally, from the classic "bouncing ball" through walk cycles, and beyond. There's a full chapter on lighting: standard three-point lighting, as well as custom illumination, shadows, and special effects. Then, once your scene's right, you'll learn how to render it, diving into everything from cameras to raytracing, atmospheric effects, and motion blur.

Last but most assuredly not least: a hands-on introduction to 3ds Max particle systems, space warps, and reactor physics. If you didn't expect this from a beginner's book, prepare to be very pleasantly surprised. Bill Camarda, from the May 2007 Read Only

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470097618
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/5/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 535
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dariush Derakhshani is an award-winning 3D animator, author, and educator. He has worked on movies such as The Fantastic Four and Pan's Labyrinth, the South Park TV series, and numerous commercials and music videos. He teaches 3D animation and is the author of Introducing Maya 7: 3D for Beginners (Sybex).

Randi L. Munn teaches 3D animation at The Art Institute of California and has worked as a digital artist and technical director for games and movie projects with Gizmo Games, RJB Enterprises, and Sony.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1:  Basic Concepts.

How to Read This Book.

What Is CGI?

Production Workflow.

CG Workflow.

CG Specialties.

Core Concepts.

Coordinate Systems.

Basic Animation Concepts.

Basic 3ds Max Terms and Concepts.


Chapter 2:  Your First Max Animation.

Getting Around in 3ds Max.

Project and File Management Workflow.

The 3ds Max Interface.

Jumping Headlong into Animation.

Setting Up the Hierarchy.


Chapter 3:  The 3ds Max Interface.

What Am I Looking At?

Managing Scene Objects.


Chapter 4:  Modeling in 3ds Max: Part I.

Planning Your Model.

Modeling Concepts.

Look at the Mesh You Got Us Into!

Editable Poly Tools.

Modeling a Chest of Drawers.

Modeling a Hand.


Chapter 5:  Modeling in 3ds Max: Part II.

Setting Up the Scene.

The Editable Poly Tools.

Lofting the Barrel.

Lathing the Wheels.

Using Snapshot to Create the Tracks.


Chapter 6:  Organic Poly Modeling.

Setting Up the Scene.

Creating the Basic Form.

Adding Detail.

Final Touches.


Chapter 7:  Materials and Mapping.


The Material Editor.

Mapping a Pool Ball.

Mapping, Just a Little Bit More.


More Mapping Exercises.

Mapping Coordinates.


Chapter 8:  Introduction to Animation.

Hierarchy in Animation: The Mobile Redux.

Using Dummy Objects.

Bouncing Ball.

Using the Track Editor–Curve Editor.

Track View.

Anticipation and Momentum in Knife Throwing.


Chapter 9:  Character Studio and IK Animation.

Character Animation.

Character Studio Workflow.

Creating a Biped.

Animating a Biped.

Associating a Biped to a Character.

Using Inverse Kinematics.


Chapter 10:  3ds Max Lighting.

Basic Lighting Concepts.

Three-Point Lighting.

3ds Max Lights.

Common Light Parameters.

Ambient Light.

Creating Shadows.

Atmospheres and Effects.

Light Lister.


Chapter 11:  3ds Max Rendering.

Rendering Setup.

Motion Blur.

Previewing with ActiveShade.


Safe Frame.

Render Elements.

Rendering Effects.

Raytraced Reflections and Refractions.


Chapter 12:  Particles and Dynamics.

Understanding Particle Systems.

Setting Up a Particle System.

Particle Systems and Space Warps.

Using Rigid Body Dynamics.

Using Soft Body Dynamics.



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