PDA

View Full Version : Mesmer's character book - disappointed


paulrus
12-01-2004, 01:54 PM
To help with my move from LW to XSI my wife purchased the Mesmer Illuminated Character book for me. It had excellent reviews on Amazon, so it seemed like the way to go. So far I've been pretty disappointed.

The first XSI topic it covers is in Chapter 2 and it has nothing to do with creating a character or learning modeling tools. Instead they spend an entire chapter on the animation mixer. That's great if I had a character built and rigged, but when you're just starting maybe it's a better idea to walk before you run. I have no idea why they put the animation mixer in the very first chapter of XSI learning, but it seems like an odd choice to me. I think it would have been a better idea to focus on how to build and rig a character and then move on to the animation mixer.

Second, the tutorials don't follow the illustrations in the book! In the manta ray tutorial they have you start out with a primative sphere, but the illustrations have you creating it with a cube! The captions under the diagrams don't even match whats written on the page. It's like they had 2 different people working in different rooms on the same tutorial and they just put them together without actually checking to make sure they made sense. In the gemstone tutorial they take you about 3 steps into it and then just tell you something like "now just add edges and bevel it until you get something you like". Excuse me? And again, the diagrams don't match the tutorial. It's like the author just got bored and gave up.

I understand this isn't a modeling book, but I would have much preferred 1 good character modeling tutorial to a bunch of half-done tutorials with diagrams that don't follow the tutorials.

I've only read through to the end of Chapter 3, so perhaps it gets a LOT better later on.

Does anyone have any book or DVD recommendations for LW users moving to XSI? The Foundation DVDs are ok, but they're more of a collection of presentations that are thrown together instead of being a focused tutorial.

Sorry for the negative review, but I don't have a lot of time to do tutorials - I've been getting up at 5am to spend some time learning XSI and don't like to feel like that time is being wasted.

Paul

EdHarriss
12-01-2004, 03:02 PM
- The book is, after all, free.
- Even if it's not what you are looking for, at least it didn't cost you anything.

paulrus
12-01-2004, 03:12 PM
Umm Ed, where do you think my wife got the money to buy the book? We're a 1 income family (we're one of the last remaining families where the mom actually stays home with the kids).

But even if it was free, it doesn't excuse poor editing and writing.

However I am looking forward to your next set of videos - when are those coming out!?

Thanks

Paul

ColinCohen
12-01-2004, 03:21 PM
The pdf-version of the book is free:

http://www.mesmer.com/public/pubdownload.php?in=306

EdHarriss
12-01-2004, 07:45 PM
However I am looking forward to your next set of videos - when are those coming out!?

- Ah, I did not realize you had the Physical book. Sorry.
- I don't know when the videos will come out. It's on hold because I'm so busy at the momnet.

wmendez
12-02-2004, 03:35 AM
Umm Ed, where do you think my wife got the money to buy the book? We're a 1 income family (we're one of the last remaining families where the mom actually stays home with the kids).

But even if it was free, it doesn't excuse poor editing and writing.

However I am looking forward to your next set of videos - when are those coming out!?

Thanks

Paul Hi Paul,

Just so you don't feel alone, my wife stays at home raising our 4 kids :)

If you looking into character animation training video then look into Adam Sale's series from
http://www.3dtutorial.com (http://www.3dtutorial.com)

Also the tutorial guide from Softimage is straight foward see the DR. Beck Bunsen examples and Michael Isner's Character rigging videos here http://www.softimage.com/education/Xsi/SelfPacedLearning/Tutorials/default.htm?sorttheme=1275

tuna
12-02-2004, 04:21 AM
The pdf-version of the book is free:

http://www.mesmer.com/public/pubdownload.php?in=306
Ooh, bonus! I didn't realise this book was also free. Cool :)

salozo
12-02-2004, 06:05 AM
Also have a look at http://www.3dquakers.com for both free and commercial XSI video training.

salo.

paulrus
12-02-2004, 02:20 PM
Hi Paul,

Just so you don't feel alone, my wife stays at home raising our 4 kids :)

And it's one of the most difficult jobs around, isn't it? All I do is sit on my butt in front of a computer all day - she has to deal with poopy diapers!

Thanks for the links guys. The guy who runs 3dtutorial.com has contacted me and is letting me preview some of his products - which I think is just excellent customer service.

Paul

MJV
12-02-2004, 04:45 PM
comment deleted

Sil3
12-02-2004, 04:57 PM
Whatever you do don't order anything from 3dtutorial.com. I just ordered from them and it's a nightmare. You have to jump through about a hundred hoops, download of special extraction software (which they suggest you purchase), and a restart before you find out that you still can't use the material because you don't have a key. Somehow I found my way to this site (http://www.meshmasters.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=176) which has nine steps you do to obtain a key, involving having to take a hardware fingerprint of your computer, which can't be done because the key dialog doesn't have the described options. Then I called the number on their website which sends me to voicemail suggesting I call another number which is out of service! What a load of crap. So now I've paid $129 for training material I won't be able to watch today. ?????????????????

Funny, everything that i ordered from 3dtutorial was quick and painless, purchase the stuff, download it, send key request by email, couple of hours later im watching the tutorials.

If only ALL tutorial developers had this availabilty to download their items instead of forcing us to pay outrageous shipping charges and most of the times absurd Custom taxes let me tell u that i would buy a lot more of them.

wmendez
12-02-2004, 05:01 PM
Whatever you do don't order anything from 3dtutorial.com. I just ordered from them and it's a nightmare. You have to jump through about a hundred hoops, download of special extraction software (which they suggest you purchase), and a restart before you find out that you still can't use the material because you don't have a key. Somehow I found my way to this site (http://www.meshmasters.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=176) which has nine steps you do to obtain a key, involving having to take a hardware fingerprint of your computer, which can't be done because the key dialog doesn't have the described options. Then I called the number on their website which sends me to voicemail suggesting I call another number which is out of service! What a load of crap. So now I've paid $129 for training material I won't be able to watch today.
I have never had this issue with Joe and company and I own a majority of his materials. Have you expressed this to Joe?

RayenD
12-02-2004, 05:05 PM
Whatever you do don't order anything from 3dtutorial.com..
Never had problem with 3dtutorial.com. One of the best tutorials avaliable for XSI. I waited maybe 12 hours for the key.. don't remeber any special extraction program (besides I think WinRar which is pretty common these days).

RuiFeliciano
12-02-2004, 05:09 PM
Unless they've recently changed their licensing scheme something must be wrong...I've bought material from 3DTutorial a few months ago and the fact is that I got my license promptly.

MJV
12-02-2004, 05:24 PM
Unless they've recently changed their licensing scheme something must be wrong...I've bought material from 3DTutorial a few months ago and the fact is that I got my license promptly.
Joe kindly called me and pointed me in the right direction to get things running. It still seems to me like a lot password hoops to jump through but the tutorials themselves look very good from what I can tell thus far so hopefully it will all be worth it. Sorry to make a fuss.

3dtutorial
12-02-2004, 05:25 PM
Hi Everyone,

I've had a personal chat with Michael and I think we've got everything sorted out now.

He was just feeling a bit frustrated by the process but I told him that I am more than happy to help walk him through the process if he is having a problem or offer him a full refund if he is still not satisfied with his purchase.

Hell, I'll even go to his/home or work and help him with the licensing if he's still having an issue.

I know all of this can be a bit of a pain, but I'm always happy to help.

Cheers,

Joe

MJV
12-02-2004, 05:36 PM
Hi Everyone,

I've had a personal chat with Michael and I think we've got everything sorted out now.

He was just feeling a bit frustrated by the process but I told him that I am more than happy to help walk him through the process if he is having a problem or offer him a full refund if he is still not satisfied with his purchase.

Hell, I'll even go to his/home or work and help him with the licensing if he's still having an issue.

I know all of this can be a bit of a pain, but I'm always happy to help.

Cheers,

Joe
Yeah, I feel silly now but yes, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the passwords and multiple files. Perhaps something could be done to streamline the bundle purchase mechanism. Can't complain about the customer service though. I really want to thank you most for offering to come over and help in person. If you could pick up some beer on the way, and some lunch, that would be great. ;)

comanche
12-02-2004, 06:18 PM
Excuse me jumping in - I just ordered my 4th training video series from 3DTutorial today. 10 (ten!!!) Minutes after the order confirmation I received the license key. Great support, Joe!

Cheers,
Andreas

Atyss
12-03-2004, 09:01 PM
Joe is the best. Not only did he spoke to the guy on the phone, but he also was the one actually making the phone call to sort things out? Sorry but I don't think I have seen such amazing support anywhere else.

About the tedious licensing process....... Although I can agree it can be a bit tedious (though far from excessively tedious as it was said first), the reason why it's like that is that Joe is not as big as Gnomon, for example, and every time the training becomes available in "friendly" version on the internet this has a huge impact in his revenues. So he is making it difficult for the "friendly" distributors, and this also protects the customers investment. As an author, I salute this.


Cheers
Bernard

francescaluce
12-03-2004, 09:25 PM
As an author, I salute this. as a simply forum reader I also salure this.. I'm having big fun reading all of thse pathetic misadventures.. keep it on.. you're better than the TV !! :scream:


ciao
francesca

MJV
12-03-2004, 10:34 PM
Joe is the best. Not only did he spoke to the guy on the phone, but he also was the one actually making the phone call to sort things out? Sorry but I don't think I have seen such amazing support anywhere else.

About the tedious licensing process....... Although I can agree it can be a bit tedious (though far from excessively tedious as it was said first), the reason why it's like that is that Joe is not as big as Gnomon, for example, and every time the training becomes available in "friendly" version on the internet this has a huge impact in his revenues. So he is making it difficult for the "friendly" distributors, and this also protects the customers investment. As an author, I salute this.


Cheers
Bernard
I purchased a four volume bundle so the situation for me was compounded. Four log-in names and eight passwords just to download the material, which is divided up into approximately 40 files. Since WinXP only lets you download two files at a time, this required I spent most of the day baby-sitting the downloads. A single file for each volume would have been preferable. Each of these 40 packets then has to be installed, and these installs unpack yet another file each requiring you restart your computer, or alternatively, manually change the suffix name. Some of the packets are RAR compressed files, so you have to get a RAR decompressor from the web if you don't already have one, as I didn't. Following that, you have to register the four different volumes, requiring four more passwords, one of which is only available after sending a hardware fingerprint. Feel free to regard that as not excessively tedious if you wish. The whole thing is ultimately worth it because the training material itself is outstanding. Really very very good. Unfortunately the packaging of it is exceedingly frustrating, in that each little lesson plays for only a few minutes before returning you to a screen where you have to renavigate and renavigate and renavigate the same menu over and over again just to choose to play the next segment.

KolbyJukes
12-03-2004, 10:47 PM
I understand this isn't a modeling book, but I would have much preferred 1 good character modeling tutorial to a bunch of half-done tutorials with diagrams that don't follow the tutorials.
I too was very disappointed with this book, I payed for it as well, since when is it available for download?

anyway, I figured a book on character creation would have some rather advanced insights into character creation in XSI, what I got was a very general, loosely focused, beginners XSI book.

I gave it to my buddy who's trying to learn the basics. A huge waste of money. Though the model looked very nice.

In all honesty I haven't seen any good training materials on character creation in XSI, I've considered making some web-based tutorials vids of my own, just to help out some of the new XSI users.

-K.

Atyss
12-03-2004, 11:12 PM
Ah well yeah, if you got 4 volumes at once, I agree the licensing process piles up. I always downloaded things as soon as they were available....


Cheers
Bernard

CGTalk Moderation
01-20-2006, 02:00 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.