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SheepFactory
11-21-2005, 04:39 AM
http://www.cgtoolkit.com/book2/poster-image.gif

Cg Toolkit just released the new Art of Rigging book guys , I recieved a copy last week and its simply amazing.

Nov 20th, 2005 - CG Toolkit© has announced the release of the second book in it's critically acclaimed rigging training series. The Art of Rigging Volume II picks up after Volume I by taking readers deeper into the techniques used to create animation rigs with Alias Maya. Whereas The Art of Rigging Volume I introduced the fundamental concepts used by professional technical directors, Volume II will take these concepts a step further by applying them to a truly production-quality example. Readers are guided through the creation of a battle robot, dubbed SP-23 (as seen on the cover).

The majority of the book concentrates on the processes used to rig this gargantuan model. In the process, readers will learn how to handle such extremely large assets by implementing a multi-resolution pipeline. Mechanical rigging, dynamic simulations and plenty of MEL scripting are all covered in complete detail.

In addition to following the creation of the SP-23 rig, The Art of Rigging Volume II includes several bonus sections, video lectures and many included scene files. Bonus sections include discussions of muscle rigging and smooth skinning for organic characters. The included DVD contains many hours of video lectures, all scene files and plenty of custom MEL scripts.

The Art of Rigging Volume I solidified CG Toolkit as the premiere training provider for discriminating technical artists. This sequel both compliments and extends these ideas while introducing many new scripts and techniques. The book is available starting Nov. 20 at www.cgtoolkit.com (http://www.cgtoolkit.com/) and sells for $59.00.

RocketBoy
11-21-2005, 04:43 AM
I just got the e-mail alert about this a few minutes ago, and my first thought was, "Well, there's item #1 on my christmas wish list."

I got Vol 1 a few months back, and it has deffinitely been worth it.

Icarus
11-21-2005, 04:43 AM
definatly on the xmas, both volumes..

i was lucky enough to have a read of the first... top stuff!

Grgeon
11-21-2005, 04:46 AM
Mama mia! That robot is beautiful! AoR v01 was great and i'm sure this one will be the same.

George

CGmonkey
11-21-2005, 04:50 AM
I just got the mail in my inbox, I'm very anxious. Love the first one.

-Vormav-
11-21-2005, 05:10 AM
Just read the email.
Already put it at the top of my xmas list!

FUG1T1VE
11-21-2005, 05:13 AM
nice. Just placed the order.:bounce:

xfan
11-21-2005, 05:19 AM
Forget Xmas lists, i just bought it! There releases are priceless. Hard core stuff.

seven6ty
11-21-2005, 05:19 AM
Yeah, I got the email too, stokkeeeddd! Especially after I got the last one just on Friday! Great stuff. I have found one simpler way for making that intermediary forearm joint though that's so much simpler. That, and I hope they do a little bit of proof reading this time!

Bonedaddy
11-21-2005, 05:26 AM
I am a little apprehensize that this one is seemingly less focused than volume 1. Modeling? Shading? Matte painting? It all seems a little off from rigging. That said, I already placed my order.

kemer2
11-21-2005, 05:32 AM
I seriously waited a whole 5 seconds between receiving the email and placing my order. Now, if they'd just release a Mac version of their muscle system. :hmm:

I've used it on a PC. I just .... hate them. Is it really that difficult for these company's to release mac versions of their plugins?

andy_maxman
11-21-2005, 06:05 AM
would love to see the controls on sp-23...just as much as i love mecha-nimation..

i hope i get a control on my excitement and not hurry things up...but sp-23 is going to be just so hard to resist....

ivanisavich
11-21-2005, 06:16 AM
Just ordered it :D

arona
11-21-2005, 07:01 AM
order placed.

stewartjones
11-21-2005, 08:06 AM
Wooo! I wake up to find the e-mail alert! yipee!!! Just gonna place my order! :thumbsup:

supersteve3d
11-21-2005, 08:21 AM
Kiaran, you were not kidding when you told me the shipment for vol2 just arrived off the boat. :D here it is!

It'll be my christmas gift to myself. I haven't finished reading through the goodies in the first volume yet... argh.

ewoud84
11-21-2005, 08:44 AM
Their first book is fantastic! Needless to say I already ordered volume 2!

bobtronic
11-21-2005, 10:01 AM
I am curious how their books translate to other apps than Maya ?

Bob

fro0ty
11-21-2005, 11:13 AM
I literally got Volume 1 delivered this morning, and I had a look through it and im very impressed, I read the email this morning and I was like damn!!
Volume 2 is defenetly gonne be on my xmas list http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/icons/icon10.gif

keep up the good work guys

Dagibit
11-21-2005, 11:21 AM
Craaaap! I've gotta save up!

loocas
11-21-2005, 11:50 AM
I'm so depressed! :banghead:

Is there anyone out there who've actually bought the book and works with 3ds max? I'd like to know how easy/difficult it is to apply those mayish techniques to 3ds max... If there's no problem in that, I'll buy both of those books instantly... But I'm afraid that this is way to technical that I won't be able to translate those techniques into my pipeline, because I've never used Maya... :cry:

PEN
11-21-2005, 12:21 PM
I'm so depressed! :banghead:

Is there anyone out there who've actually bought the book and works with 3ds max? I'd like to know how easy/difficult it is to apply those mayish techniques to 3ds max... If there's no problem in that, I'll buy both of those books instantly... But I'm afraid that this is way to technical that I won't be able to translate those techniques into my pipeline, because I've never used Maya... :cry:

Well you can translate it but you really do need to know a bit about Maya, how it works and it's lingo. A lot of it is the same methods are used but areas that are different are things like expressions/utiltiy nodes and the way that you would do it in Max. Of course any MEL code wouldn't cross over directly but you can get the idea of what they are doing. The problem with translating MEL to Max script is the way that MEL works woudl be the worst way to go about it in Max script as Max script is node based and MEL is not. That is just the formatting of the code so if you know your way around Max and Maya a bit a book/DVD like this I'm sure is well worth it.

loocas
11-21-2005, 12:59 PM
Well you can translate it but you really do need to know a bit about Maya, how it works and it's lingo. A lot of it is the same methods are used but areas that are different are things like expressions/utiltiy nodes and the way that you would do it in Max. Of course any MEL code wouldn't cross over directly but you can get the idea of what they are doing. The problem with translating MEL to Max script is the way that MEL works woudl be the worst way to go about it in Max script as Max script is node based and MEL is not. That is just the formatting of the code so if you know your way around Max and Maya a bit a book/DVD like this I'm sure is well worth it.

Thanks a lot Paul :thumbsup:

Well, the problem is that I know my way around max, but I don't know maya at all. I've never used it as I said before and therefore I'm a bit affraid this particular book wouldn't be of much help to me... :( Will try to contact somebody who've actually bought the book and ask them directly...

Thanks again man... :thumbsup:

abgrafx3d
11-21-2005, 01:58 PM
just ordered it! the first volume was awesome!

t7200
11-21-2005, 02:13 PM
Just got the email myself and just ordered it.
This, Vol. 1, and the muscle system are all worth the money.

ChewyPixels
11-21-2005, 02:16 PM
Funny...I just started looking over the first volume yesterday and received the e-mail message regarding the second volume the same night! Placed my order immediately!! :bounce:

Razr
11-21-2005, 02:44 PM
Just ordered as well. I've been looking forward to the second volume, the first one was extremely insightful!

Thomasphoenix
11-21-2005, 02:54 PM
I Have both the Making of Leon DVD and the Art of rigging Vol I , Just placed the order for Vol II,Considering the material in the other two ,I cant wait to get my hands on this one.
Big Thank you to Kiaran and the Cg toolkit team,these books are priceless.

I hope I receive it before Christmas.:)

chillnlikeamug
11-21-2005, 03:27 PM
I can't reach the site... wont load... acts like the site is down...I'm all filled up with rigging basic bi-bed beginner-advanced rigs.... WHERE ARE THE QUADS????? I need quadruped help here!

I don't want to have to think for myself and figure out a quadruped rig. I want a book to show me how!

If I have to figure it out for myself I'm going to write a book on it. The only materials available for quadruped specific rigs is the Maya DVD "How to Integrate Quadrupeds into a Production Pipeline" I ordered it after reading this forum and not being able to connect to cgtoolkit.com.

I would venture to say if you've rigged one advanced bi-ped you've riged enough of em. I need better material then the same stuff you can find in other books. Prove to me this is worth 20 bucks more than Maraffi's book and has something all the other rigging books don't have then you've got a sale.

GatorNic
11-21-2005, 04:36 PM
I can't reach the site... wont load... acts like the site is down...I'm all filled up with rigging basic bi-bed beginner-advanced rigs.... WHERE ARE THE QUADS????? I need quadruped help here!

I don't want to have to think for myself and figure out a quadruped rig. I want a book to show me how!



well of course, that's probably volume III. haha, I have no idea but it would be cool if it is.

Anyway the book looks fantastic, ordered it as as I got the email. Still need to make my way through the first one! The matte painting tutorial is kinda of random though.

mikeesparza
11-21-2005, 05:10 PM
CGtoolkit rocks!!! i´m very happy with the incredible service and the amazing training that they offer, i can wait to xmas to buy me this book, i already got the making of leon and its great!!! and for all the people who is reading this.... CGToolkit its GREAT!!!

csutcliffe
11-21-2005, 05:16 PM
Can anyone tell me how deep the book goes into the modelling of the robot? Also, does the second book kind of pick up where the first book left off?

Any feedback would be appreciated(-:

TopherMartini
11-21-2005, 06:25 PM
Placing an order for Vol. 2 right now! :buttrock:

Too bad I can't place an order for MuscleTK for Mac OS X :cry:

Kris-S
11-21-2005, 06:39 PM
WAHOO .. just odered mine .. SWEET the last book was brilliant been looking forward to this one.

Hezza
11-21-2005, 07:19 PM
I just got the first book on saturday and am absolutely loving it. Vol.2 is definately on my x-mas list

But i do have a question for people that already have book 1. I've just worked through the first chapter on setting up the leg and am not completely sure on the foot controls. From a previous tutorial i'd read, i've been setting up my feet to have an Attribute on the foot control that rolls the foot through the whole motion of placing it on the ground, heel down with toes in the air, foot flat, and then heel in the air with toes down.

In the book it sets up the HeelPeel control, which is fine when the foot is being lifed off the ground, but there is no easy way i can see to rotate the foot down so its flat at the end of a step. It says somewhere in the chapter that animators like to control the foot from the ball, so if you line the heel up with the ground, then rotate the foot control, it rotates from the ball and the heel is then lifed up to be level with the ball, and not the floor.

Bit of a babbling explination of what i mean and maybe i'm just missing something really obvious.

Part from that, great book
Hez

default-rol
11-21-2005, 08:06 PM
I got the first.. and ordered the second a few hours ago... They ROCK!! :thumbsup:

Nalyd
11-21-2005, 08:31 PM
Just wondering how helpful this tut, and the others offered on the site, would be to a Lightwave user

erik_j
11-21-2005, 08:57 PM
how directly translatable might this book/set be for someone seeking to learn the content but with 3dsm do you think?
maybe a max specific book/set would be better or is this release very special and should well be considered as an addition to max-specific learning material even though you'd use it with max?

Pickman
11-21-2005, 09:05 PM
heya guys! Come on art of rigging was just so nice, I think they deserve a second order, still thinking tonight cause too much boose but will certainly give my credit card number tomorrow lol. I agree with someone on the thread saying it's a bit going all over the place, but book one was so good i really want to have a look in the second one, the dvd and the book used to keep me alive and entertained in down days, really want to buy my cg therapy before Christmas.

Pipeline topic in itself makes me very curious....
Well done guys from cgtoolkit.

Cédrico.

Robken
11-21-2005, 09:17 PM
order placed! can't wait!

keops
11-21-2005, 09:30 PM
just odered mine too,
i hope the shipping will be as fast as the first volume.
Kiaran,thanks for putting such efforts in making wonderfull learning tools .

DaddyMack
11-21-2005, 10:02 PM
I'm still adoring the first volume... From the spiel, the 2nd is killer material:applause:

Also great to see so many rigging geeks poke out their heads again:wavey:

Can't wait for mine...

BiGMaCHiNe
11-21-2005, 10:22 PM
The first book was downright sensational. As was muscle system/making of leon. I ordered the second volume within seconds.

I do agree with the comment stated above about quadrupeds. That would be sensational in a 3rd volume. Id also like to c some more extensive use of the muscletk plugin in a production environment. Like what Joel did with his Trex, and Tri-saurus.

BigCurly
11-22-2005, 12:01 AM
Who needs a quadraped? That robot's got 6 legs!

ehpawk
11-22-2005, 01:34 AM
at first i thought the second book was more like the first, and i had just ordered the first on like yesterday. but alas you guys are not to dissappoint, now i have something to look forward to once im done with the first on. congrats guys and thanks from a soon to be happy customer

FUG1T1VE
11-22-2005, 05:22 AM
Can anyone tell me how deep the book goes into the modelling of the robot? Also, does the second book kind of pick up where the first book left off?

Any feedback would be appreciated(-:

Aside from sheep, some of us dont have it yet. It may take a bit longer, been the turkeys worst holiday in a few days.

Zeicon
11-22-2005, 12:06 PM
why the hell is there a matte painting tutorial included in this book? Seems so outta place... but it's cool -- I will read it anyway (how in-depth is it?)...

SheepFactory
11-22-2005, 04:53 PM
why the hell is there a matte painting tutorial included in this book? Seems so outta place... but it's cool -- I will read it anyway (how in-depth is it?)...

It is not out of place , the point of the book is to tackle a production shot , which includes comping the robot in a live action plate. The focus is still on rigging so you guys dont need to worry but the book also explain what steps are taken for such a complex model to be realized on screen. I find that hardly "off topic"

seven6ty
11-22-2005, 05:08 PM
...But what does it have to do with "the Art of Rigging"?

SheepFactory
11-22-2005, 05:10 PM
It has to do with the "art" part :D

I am sure kiaran will explain in detail why its added. Meanwhile it does not take anything away from the book , your rigging stuff is still there. Think of the matte painting tutorial as a extra.

Darktwin
11-22-2005, 07:44 PM
ok, going to have to order this bad boy, first one is great, (although I haven't gotten entirely through it) so I have faith in this one.

DangerAhead
11-22-2005, 09:54 PM
I ordered this book and the Alias Super Toons DVDs all in one night.

Christmas comes early this year.

kiaran
11-22-2005, 10:58 PM
As the main author on the book, hopefully I can respond to everyone's questions/concerns...

First of all, thank you to everyone who has already placed orders. I'm sure you will enjoy this new volume in the series.

I just wanted to let everyone know that this is the middle chapter in what will eventually be a three-part series. The structure of the book series is like this:

Volume I: Intro to rigging, rigging fundamentals, organic deformations, scripting etc...
Volume II: Mecha-rigging, full complex rigging (robot) tutorial, full-body muscle rigging, complex asset pipelines, discussion of surfaces and bonus painting weights, rendering and matte painting appendices.
Volume III: I can't say much except that it is currently in production and will cover all of the finishing TD work like mocap, hair, fur and cloth simulation.

For those who don't have Volume I, each book includes a DVD with many hours of demonstrations, plenty of custom MEL scripts and all the scene files (including the models and rigs). I'm sure the entire three volume series will be a great addition to every animator's collection.

Now about Volume II...

Q. Alot of people are concerned about the rendering/matte painting appendices...

A. I can only say that these appendices are relatively small and were considered bonuses. They are in no way the main point of the book (but I do think it is important that a TD understands the whole pipeline).

Q. So what's this book really about and how in-depth is it?

A. In a nutshell, we show you how to rig the robot for a specific shot in a real production scenario using techniques borrowed from Volume I as well as some new techniques. The coverage is EXTREMELY indepth and starts right at concept art, going through each stage in the production along with step-by-step rigging coverage for all of the robot's peices. The robot and all the scene files and scripts are included on the DVDs if you want to follow along. I should mention, the robot has over 400 cables animated with dynamics along with literally thousands of other peices making it the coolest lego-esque toy ever (and you get to make it move!).

BiGMaCHiNe
11-22-2005, 11:13 PM
vol 3. hair, fur and cloth simulation in a production. Argh ur such a damn tease! i cant wait! :)

loocas
11-22-2005, 11:16 PM
As the main author on the book, hopefully I can respond to everyone's questions/concerns...

Hi there kiaran...

I'd like to ask you as well, if you don't mind :)

So what about the MAX/MAYA concerns? Because this and the previous book seems to offer exactly what I wanna learn in-depth, however there's that platform issue which I'm most affraid of :cry:

Take it as if I was (and I am ;) ) a complete barbarian which has never seen Maya in his whole life (a bit overexaggurated... :D ), but knows max "a bit", how much of a use would these books be to me?

kiaran
11-23-2005, 12:07 AM
So what about the MAX/MAYA concerns? Because this and the previous book seems to offer exactly what I wanna learn in-depth, however there's that platform issue which I'm most affraid of :cry:

Take it as if I was (and I am ;) ) a complete barbarian which has never seen Maya in his whole life (a bit overexaggurated... :D ), but knows max "a bit", how much of a use would these books be to me?

Let me say this: The books are definitely Maya-centric, but the principles are mostly universal. Volume II is perhaps more specific to Maya than the other volumes but that's not to say that it isn't useful for users of another package. If you've ever wondered how monstrously complex assets can be pushed through a pipeline, this book can help you regardless of what program you use.

Pickman
11-23-2005, 12:18 AM
Heya man, nice work again, congrat to whole team, should get issue two soon as soon as girlfriend gives crredit card back lol.

Will you be talking about cartoony rig ?, a la super toon rig, heard was quite nice to build up, give us some crackers, I can't wait lol

ps: To Loocas, my rigger friend David recently build up a footroll attribute for 3dsmax 8 from scratch just using AoR vol I methodology...so i guess you can get quite a lot from issue I, don't know about issue two though.

Bye
Cédrico

Bonedaddy
11-23-2005, 12:38 AM
Kiaran, thanks for your replies. I'm definitely interested in seeing how all this turns out. Very stoked.

Volume 3 sounds fantastic, can't wait til you guys put that one up for sale (yeah, I know, you just finished volume 2 and already I'm like, "When's the next one coming out?"). I can honestly say that if it weren't for your work, I don't think I would've gotten through my last project.
Congrats on the launch of the new book!

Pickman
11-23-2005, 08:30 AM
Yep, I agree with Bonedaddy, mocap with maya, sounds very interesting, never managed to integrate mocap within maya as i used to with character studio in max...
Really looking forward to Vol III as well.

yolao
11-23-2005, 01:22 PM
hey Kiaran i just want to thank you for make such a wonderful training material, i have the art of rigging volume 1 and let me say that is fantastic in every way, i`m goin to buy the volume 2 of the series and i also goin to buy the making of leon..

-are you goin to make at some point training material about animation in MAYA?

-after the volume 3 of the series is finish are you goin to make more dvd`s and book on another subjects?

3dmonk
11-23-2005, 02:08 PM
Vol 1 was great, have ordered vol 2. Good stuff...

Abhilash

Zeicon
11-23-2005, 02:29 PM
I also placed an order this morning... weee, can't wait... :>

kiaran
11-23-2005, 05:30 PM
vol 3. hair, fur and cloth simulation in a production. Argh ur such a damn tease! i cant wait! :)

We are pretty excited about it too. I just wish I could say more...

Will you be talking about cartoony rig ?,

Apart from the Squash&Stretch chapter in Vol I, there is no more 'cartoony' coverage.

-are you goin to make at some point training material about animation in MAYA?
-after the volume 3 of the series is finish are you goin to make more dvd`s and book on another subjects?

CG Toolkit has several new books in the pipe including some with animation coverage. The Art of Rigging was just the beginning... :)

Zeicon
11-23-2005, 06:14 PM
that's great to hear... thanks for a fantastic resource...

yolao
11-23-2005, 07:25 PM
CG Toolkit has several new books in the pipe including some with animation coverage. The Art of Rigging was just the beginning... :)

those are wonderful news, your training material is by far the best that i have ever seen!..is highly technical, artistic and inspiring at the same time and really focus on a professional level.
I`ll be waiting for your new training material.

BiGMaCHiNe
11-23-2005, 10:23 PM
those are wonderful news, your training material is by far the best that i have ever seen!..is highly technical, artistic and inspiring at the same time and really focus on a professional level.
I`ll be waiting for your new training material.

I completely agree. I practically wet my pants at the prospect of an animation book, or other non rigging books in the pipeline.

OlegAlexander
11-24-2005, 02:10 AM
To All:

Thank you for your support!!:)

Bonedaddy
11-24-2005, 05:55 AM
Holy crap, that was fast. I just got mine in the mail today. Will look through and offer up comments in a bit.

Edit: That was a THREE DAY turnaround! That's friggin amazing!

Zeicon
11-24-2005, 08:40 AM
BoneDaddy... lucky bastard... I live in Europe... hope it will be here soon :<

But yea please... give us a mini-review :>

BiGMaCHiNe
11-24-2005, 08:55 AM
damn prob b another week b4 it gets to australia. :( review review!

nendo_3d
11-24-2005, 06:21 PM
has anyone got any picture of the robot. as in fulll view lol. as i can't buy buy it right now. got no money

SheepFactory
11-24-2005, 06:25 PM
has anyone got any picture of the robot. as in fulll view lol. as i can't buy buy it right now. got no money

http://www.cgtoolkit.com/book2.htm


under download there is a hi-res poster of the robot.

nendo_3d
11-24-2005, 06:31 PM
i actualy ment further out view. av seen one but i can't remember where i say it. i know it had crad claws. but i can't remember where i seen it

Bonedaddy
11-24-2005, 06:49 PM
So I've looked through it a bit now, and I can post some impressions.

For one, it's really high quality, even better than vol. 1. A lot of the book early on is full-page spreads of high-res renders of the robot. This really struck me.

The robot mesh is completely, gobsmackingly insane. The file is like 200 megs. I've worked with lidar scans that were lighter than it. I salute both the sadist modeler who created it, and the masochist riggers who dealt with it. For those students out in the audience, this is the first thing they teach you about real productions -- it's all about the S&M, baby.

I really like the focus it levies on the production pipeline, which is, to my mind, the main thing that separates pros from amateurs. Understanding what goes into a proper pipeline, and being able to set that up, is the difference between a job getting done and having it languish for months. The authors do an excellent job here, with plenty of consideration given at each juncture to how their work will affect things downstream.

There is not as much scripting in this book as in vol. 1, but it's generally operating at a much higher level. They use a lot of the same scripts from vol. 1, though I think all of them have been updated at least in some small way. The mass-select Quick SDK script is a lifesaver, as is the jcAnim toolset. Most of the scripting is used to develop tools, as opposed to building a control rig.

There's some pretty ingenious, well-documented stuff in here. In particular, I was impressed by the muscle system (done entirely in Maya, no plugins needed!), the spring piston section (a small detail, could easily be overlooked, but smartly handled), and the Mental Ray rendering section. I'm mostly a Renderman guy, and have trouble sloughing through the endless FG-GI tutorials, when all I want to know is how to troubleshoot MR's bugs, memory limits, and whatnot. A lot of it may be standard knowledge to the dedicated MR user, but as a casual MR guy, I found it very straightforward and knowledgeable.

I found the NURBS and Poly sections to be a bit incongruous with the rest of the book. While vol. 2 generally is operating at a fairly high knowledge level, the poly and NURBS sections seem to harken back to more beginner-level tutorials. Even so, they're handled in a professional manner, with production-oriented tips like a distance-based smoothing script in the polygon section. The inclusion of the subD section was a bit mystifying to me, since I don't know anyone who uses Maya's Hierarchical subDs, but to each their own.

The matte painting section was also a bit out of place. It's not very long, at 18 pages (most of which are pictures), and it doesn't go into a lot of detail about it. In the sense that it gives the reader a better sense of what goes into a production shot, it's cool, but i found it a bit odd. Capably done, though.

Finally, the DVD. First thing, I had some problems playing it on a Mac. The sound would cut in and out in quicktime, whereas the colors would get screwed up in VLC. I copied the movie to the hard drive, so I don't think it was a buffering problem. I tried it on my PC, and it worked fine. High resolution, as always, lengthy, and generally not a ton of dead space. The only nitpick is that the sound levels varied a good deal from file to file, and even when they'd pause the video and resume it (to skip rendering or somesuch). I found myself adjusting the volume knob a lot.

Overall, I really enjoyed it, and I've yet to even get all the way through. Highly recommended.

progerik
11-24-2005, 07:13 PM
you mean this image ?
http://www.cgtoolkit.com/~book/Robot8L.jpg

nendo_3d
11-24-2005, 07:19 PM
i do and where did u find it? lol

cheers :D

kiaran
11-24-2005, 07:20 PM
Bonedaddy - You might actually be the first person to review our book! Thank you very much.

Bonedaddy
11-25-2005, 01:37 AM
Bonedaddy - You might actually be the first person to review our book! Thank you very much.

Thank you for putting it together!

Grgeon
11-25-2005, 03:51 AM
Great review, sounds like an awesome volume!

George

Soyseitan
11-25-2005, 10:31 AM
Hi,

is it possible to order the books at once and pay the shipping costs only once?

alexentremont
11-25-2005, 10:36 AM
Finally, the DVD. First thing, I had some problems playing it on a Mac. The sound would cut in and out in quicktime, whereas the colors would get screwed up in VLC. I copied the movie to the hard drive, so I don't think it was a buffering problem.

I had the same sound problem on the Mac with the DVD from vol. 1.
As far as I remember, the freeware DivX Doctor II 2.2 cured the problem.

YeeWu
11-25-2005, 04:26 PM
Does anyone know if this covers like file referencing? I have always had difficulties with file references (maybe I'm not trying hard enough :P), so I've kinda been hoping for some kind of coverage of the fundamentals behind it.

mukks
11-27-2005, 07:28 AM
i bought vol-1 last month,,,

it looks very proffesional ........

vol-2 now,, ufff, let me finish the first one,,,,

DangerAhead
11-28-2005, 06:07 AM
So I got mine on friday too. I am about 63 pages in.

I like the newer versions of the cgTkDynChain.mel and the stretchy MEL---Although I'm also waiting for the new Alias Super Toon DVDs, so the "stretchy method" jury is out until I've had a chance to test both methodologies.

so far my only useful comment is:

Where's the finished animations of the SP-23? It seems awfully weird to make all this hard work and only be able to see the playblasts of the walk-cycle.

Zeicon
11-28-2005, 03:05 PM
yea agree... kiaran, you also promised us a final animation render of Leon... :)

kiaran
11-28-2005, 04:52 PM
Does anyone know if this covers like file referencing?

There is no file referencing coverage.

Where's the finished animations of the SP-23?
yea agree... kiaran, you also promised us a final animation render of Leon... :)

Indeed, I don't know what ever happened to the final renders of Leon but an SP-23 animation is in production. I won't say when to expect it, but I've seen the rough cut and it looks pretty cool.

In all honesty though, final renders are low on our priority list; content is much more important. :)

Bonedaddy
11-28-2005, 05:21 PM
When it's done, are you going to make the SP-23 animation freely available? Would make a killer marketing tool...

Pickman
11-28-2005, 05:33 PM
Heya guys, Bonedaddy, are you still enjoying the book/dvd ? Thx for the quick review BTW :-)
Hey Kiaran, would be nice to have SP-23 jumping around ;-)
Ordered my book last night, last time posting was real quick to Europe, hope it will get here soon ;-)
Really enjoy the quality contents so far. Nice to hear you're making some more.
Would be definately cool to have Horse or tiger rigging one day....

THX

DangerAhead
11-28-2005, 07:37 PM
I read some more of the book (finished chapter2) and watched all the chapter 1 movies.

I especially like the patience you have taken to explain your scripts from the basics on up. Never skipping over the basics just in case someone has forgotten what was in Volume I.

This is truly a TD guide. It really is essential if you plan on being a problem solver on productions. I've already learned some things I didn't know about Mental Ray. The approximation editor really is a must-know-inside-and-out element of Mental Ray. I'm going back to the Gnomon DVDs tonight. I also learned about "ducks."

The "surfaces" section initially seemed out of place, but it's just being thorough in its background so people understand the "why" of things. So after reading it, I understand.

Chapter 2 briefly touches on the importance and utility of wrap deformers -- I'm hoping to read more on the pitfalls of that area further on in the book in the skinning chapter.

So far so good.

kiaran
11-28-2005, 10:02 PM
When it's done, are you going to make the SP-23 animation freely available? Would make a killer marketing tool...

Yes, that's the plan...

DangerAhead - Thanks for the feedback :)

BiGMaCHiNe
11-28-2005, 11:24 PM
my copy of vol.2 arrived yesteday in the mail. considering im in australia i was really impressed by this. The books content is even more impressive though, beautiful renders throughout the book. I was slightly dissapointed they didnt have the matte painting ( app. d ) and muscle system chapters ( 5) on dvd content, but it is fairly well documented in the book.

IMO this is well worth the money, i learnt alot more from vol.1 and alot of this stuff was rehashed, but most of that was enhancing hte knowledge from the original volume. And all the other content really makes the book worthwhile. I cant wait for vol.3 and any other books in the making. Brilliant learning resource.

erik_j
11-30-2005, 11:50 AM
could anyone give an opinion on whether book 1 or 2 would be worth buying (not rich) for non-maya users? (sorry to ask again) these seem very interesting in particular...

ewoud84
11-30-2005, 12:22 PM
Well, I own both copies, volume 1 and 2,

And they are very Maya focussed, I would say the second even more then the first.
but having said that. The books are also one of those examples that show why Maya is different from the rest. Being a Maya user for more then 5 years now, It's hard to make the switch. I'm learning 3ds max at the moment for an internship and I am constantly struggling trying to apply the things I learned from the books to 3ds max and it's not an easy.. and some times even annoying.

But if you are a Maya user then you want these books for sure! The quality of them is amazing and every step of the process is very well explained, also the "why" of things instead of just the "how" is very well documented. The DVD is a perfect companion to the book. They complement each other very well.


Together with Stop Starring, these are my most precious Maya books I bouht... and I bought a lot.

I'm looking foward for volume 3,

stewartjones
11-30-2005, 01:53 PM
Both books I feel are very maya-centric!... Other than that the two volumes have been the best books I have bought. Nothing comes close in my opinion!

There are a lot of pictures in the new book which take up a lot of the pages. But the tips and tricks, plus the DVD are super amazing. I learn so much from these things, and keep them on hand just for reference! Simply brilliant!

Roll on volume 3... haha! :thumbsup:

GatorNic
11-30-2005, 05:17 PM
finally went to the post office to pickup my copy. Gotta say it looks great! :thumbsup: Too bad I still haven't had time to make it through the first one yet. But keep'um coming CGtoolkit! The third one's topics sound great.

fantomas3d
12-07-2005, 02:56 AM
Hello kiaran if you read this.
I have one question .
The day 26 of november , i order the books vol1 and vol 2 of art of rigging.
In two minutes i receive one mail from shopper@uk.worldpay.com (shopper@uk.worldpay.com)
They told me that the transaction of my money was done .
I didn't receive any mail fron cg toolkit .
Today is 6 of december , i wrote this last weeks 5 mails to this emails:

infos@cgtoolkit.com (infos@cgtoolkit.com)
sales@cgtoolkit.com (sales@cgtoolkit.com)
support@cgtoolkit.com (support@cgtoolkit.com)

But they never answer to me .
Do you know how i can contact with cg toolkit by phone , or can you tell me what is going on with my order , because they have my money , but they never write any information , and i don't have any answer.Do you have any telephone number to contact with cg toolkit ?
or can you check where is my order ?

Please could you help me ?

This is the information of my order :

Valor de la transacción: USD 138.00
Descripción: Art of Rigging, Volume 1 and 2 (2 Book Special)
De: CGTOOLKIT
Identificación de la tarjeta del comerciante: AoRv1v2Books
Fecha/Hora de autorización: 27/Nov/2005 03:07:41
Identificación de la transacción: 144757783



Thank you and a greeting


P.D :I tried to write you a private message but appear this message


kiaran has exceeded their stored private messages quota and can not accept further messages until they clear some space.

dorsey
12-10-2005, 04:06 PM
Hi Kiaran,

Like fantomas3d, I too have not gotten any information about my order. I ordered the "Art of Rigging, Volume 1 (Book)" on 12/1/2005. The email that I received from shopper@uk.worldpay.com said that "It is the responsibility of CGTOOLKIT to confirm that your order has been accepted, and to deliver any goods or services you have ordered. If you have any questions about your order . . . please email CGTOOLKIT at: infos@cgtoolkit.com (http://us.f328.mail.yahoo.com/ym/Compose?To=infos@cgtoolkit.com)."

I've emailed twice, on 12/7 and 12/9, just asking for confirmation that my order has been accepted and has been shipped (my credit card has been charged). Here is my order info:
Transaction for the value of: USD 70.00
Description: Art of Rigging, Volume 1 (Book)
From: CGTOOLKIT
Merchant's cart ID: Book1
Authorisation Date/Time: 01/Dec/2005 22:48:12
Transaction ID: xxxx35790

Thanks,
Dorsey

Axercise
12-10-2005, 05:39 PM
Art of Rigging - CGToolkit's Customer Service
I posted this thread in another area originally, in hopes of getting the attention of CGToolkit staff (or anyone else for that matter); but it was suggested to me to repost here for a better chance of being read by said parties.

Today is Saturday, December 10th. On November 27th, I went onto www.cgtoolkit.com (http://www.cgtoolkit.com/) and ordered the Art of Rigging Vol. 1 & 2. After initially ordering, I got a prompt transaction receipt in my email that directed all inquiries about the delivery status of my purchase to infos@cgtoolkit.com. There website says there's a one week delivery time in the US and Canada... I'm in Canada. 10 full business days have passed since I placed my order. Over the past week, I've emailed infos@cgtoolkit.com and sales@cgtoolkit.com, to find out the delivery status of my order. If the delivery is a few days late, that's not a problem; all I'm requesting is for some reassurance it's on it's way and how much longer it might be. I've sent off a total of 3 seperate emails to them over the last week. CGToolkit has responded to NONE of those emails.

My package may very well be on it's way, but then again, I have no idea. For all I know, they've run out of stock and are waiting for new printings. I don't know... and they're not replying to this customer's simple inquiry. I'm admittingly a bit upset at their poor customer service... and i AM a customer, 'cause they have indeed debited my credit card. I'm posting here, because aside from their email, their website recommends coming on this forum to get in contact with them! Well CGToolkit, I'm waiting to hear from you guys now.

Sincerely,

AnimBoy

Transaction for the value of: USD 138.00
Description: Art of Rigging, Volume 1 and 2 (2 Book Special)
From: CGTOOLKIT
Merchant's cart ID: AoRv1v2Books
Authorisation Date/Time: 28/Nov/2005 00:40:49
Transaction ID: 144901553

zeroeffect
12-10-2005, 06:01 PM
Just so you guys don't worry, I live up in Canada as well and I placed my order on the morning of Monday Nov.21st. I receive my book Wednesday Dec. 7th. Like each of you, I didn't receive a confirmation email from CGToolkit, but then I didn't get one when I ordered the first book either. AnimBoy, living in Canada, the book does have to clear customs and this does slow the process down, coupled with the increase in mail traffic due to the holidays... Give it a few more days before getting concerned. I'll admit that the with the first book I also got nervous when I didn't get an explicit confirmation email but everything turned out great and the books, both of them, are well worth the wait.

Chris Z.

kiaran
12-10-2005, 07:49 PM
Hello everyone,

The only confirmation comes from Worldpay. If you get this confirmation, then your order has been processed and is on it's way.

Sorry for any confusion.

Cheers,
Kiaran

Axercise
12-10-2005, 08:17 PM
Kiaran...

that's fair enough, but it doesn't address the fact that in the confirmation email from Worldpay.uk that you refer to... and also on the CGToolkit website itself, customers are directed to email infos@cgtoolkit.com for order delivery status... after which, CGToolkit completely ignores such contact.

Also, the CGToolkit website states that delivery to Canada is one week. If that is not usually the case, due to customs or whatever, then that should be updated because it's misleading. If it IS usually the case, all the more reason for an update on delivery status when a customer writes CGToolkit under it's own suggestion. After all, if you are tracking these deliveries, you should be aware if it's stuck at the border, or if it'll only be another day or two or whatever... atleast that's the way most special deliveries that I know of are handled. Any comments?

FUG1T1VE
12-10-2005, 08:37 PM
maybe switching to ups or something, where orders can be tracked. It might mean higher shipping rates, but I was surprised this copy took so long to get here. Previous orders were rather quick.

Aearon
12-10-2005, 08:43 PM
Hey Guys, i just got both Volume 1 and 2 after ordering about 2 weeks ago (which is ok for ordering from germany i guess)

The Books and DVD's are really great both quality and content wise. Lots of inspiration in there :)

seadwellar
12-10-2005, 10:37 PM
Volume 1 is a fantastic resource. I can only imagine volume 2 being as good if not better. Great work to the gang at CGToolkit.

coolts
12-11-2005, 12:01 PM
I've had no problems and would recommend CGToolkits service and response as I’ve had both art of rigging books and Leon DVD + MuscleTK from them all the way to England, (delivery in under 2 weeks usually).

They have answered all sorts of queries from me personally and effectively. I think that they underestimated demand, and, as they are a small business and its XMAS.......give them a break.

Joe Hughes
12-12-2005, 03:17 AM
Just ordered both volumes and i gotta say im pretty stoked about it. Seemed like quite a chunk of cash to lay down at first thought but im pretty sure theyll be plenty worth it.

3dmonk
12-13-2005, 03:15 AM
Got my copy. Give five stars....looking forward to Volume 3.

3dmonk

3dmonk
12-13-2005, 03:16 AM
Got my copy. Give five stars....looking forward to Volume 3.

3dmonk

DarkTure
12-14-2005, 01:23 AM
When vol 3 has been released will you sell all the vols in a bundle?

Axercise
12-15-2005, 06:36 PM
Well... it's now late afternoon, Thursday, December 15th. I'm still waiting for my delivery. Including today, it's been 14 full business days i've been waiting, considering i place the order late Nov 27, early Nov 28th. Tomorrow will make a full 3 business weeks. I'm not in Cambodia, here... i'm in Toronto, Canada. Just thought I'd add this update.

Axercise
12-16-2005, 11:10 PM
On this, the 15th and final business day of waiting for the delivery of my order, I finally recieved my purchase. As in other postings from other members, everything was perfectly intact, well protected, and of seemingly excellent quality. The shipment was not UPS, but United States Postal Service, so I imagine there is no parcel tracking for any of those, like myself, who were concerned about the whereabouts and timeliness (or lack thereof) of their delivery. My only concern is with the CGToolkit's customer service. After 3 emails to 2 addresses over a 1 week period, I got no response in return. It was only after I came to this forum and started posting my concerns that I got any attention from their customer service... which asked me to simply confirm the mailing address that my order was sent to. I'm happy with my purchase, The Art of Rigging Vol. 1 & 2, but I also feel there's room for improvement in their customer service division. I look forward to flipping through these books and watching the dvds... I'm sure there's lots to learn from them. Thanks.

ChewyPixels
12-19-2005, 01:18 AM
Ordered my copy the 21st of November and I still haven't received it! :sad: Kiaran, can you please let me know what's gone wrong? I know that the order went through since my credit card has been charged. PLEASE HELP!! :cry:

Axercise
01-28-2006, 07:29 PM
Well... been goin' through the books, mainly the 1st one... but also a bit of the 2nd... and also some of the dvd contents... I really like the material a lot, and totally recommend it for any parties that are interested, but if i may offer one surprising observation about the skinning related material, in print and video...

i am amazed that there is absolutely no mention of the process/option of "holding" joint weights, so that when you subtract weight, or add it for that matter, you control which joints will be influenced by the weight changes. Especially during the video tutorial on skinning that i watched on the 2nd volume's dvd, i cringed as i watched the demonstrator repeatadely allow weighting from one or two joints to have small influences spill over onto every other joint in the rig... over and over again! This is entirely preventable if one just 'holds' the weighting on all joints that the rigger wants to remain unchanged. And using dwSkinning's script from HighEnd3d's site, you can select many joints at once to hold and/or unhold, rather then one at a time, which is Maya's default and totally sucks if there's a lot of joints skinned.

Other then that one small area of rigging material, so far i think the books are great! I just thought i'd mention this for future printings as a possible change or update.

Thanks!

BiGMaCHiNe
01-28-2006, 10:21 PM
I noticed taht about holding weights also. However, since I installed Maya 7.0 this function does not work properly for me anymore. A buy with maya 7? I am not sure, however it has caused me much frustration as the holding weights tool made skinning SO much easier.

paul.yan
01-29-2006, 02:44 AM
I'm a little disappointed that I still can't order vol.1 - especially seeing how the cgsociety store is the only place I can purchase it. Ballistic, are you planning on making more?? I've been waiting for the restocking for a long time now

kiaran
01-29-2006, 04:38 AM
I'm a little disappointed that I still can't order vol.1 - especially seeing how the cgsociety store is the only place I can purchase it. Ballistic, are you planning on making more?? I've been waiting for the restocking for a long time now

You can get it from www.cgtoolkit.com .

Hezza
01-29-2006, 10:30 AM
AnimBoy, I'll definately look into using hold weights after your glowing recommendation but by using the method shown in the second book i found i didn't really need to. By working from the centre of the character outwards and only using the add weights tool i never really ran into any of the problems i used to have of working in circles as described when using the replace/scale options. By using a really low setting on the add brush tool also i didn't need to worry about messing up other joints as i was only pulling small amounts of weight at a time. The only area i had any problems with was the shoulder, which are notiously difficult anyway.

I'm still new to rigging really but previous to working like this i used to have so many problems painting weights. I'm sure i'll develope and change this working method as i get more comfortable with the tools but its working for me at the minute.


Hez

Yozz
05-06-2006, 10:11 AM
Please help! I haven't received Art of Rigging vol 1&2, it's been 32 days since I ordered my copies early April 4th. I've emailed cgtoolkit this past 3 weeks to 5 adresses so far no reply from them. Anyone from cgtoolkit? please help!!

Transaction ID: 166307273
Description: Art of Rigging, Volume 1 and 2 (2 Book Special)
From: CGTOOLKIT
Merchant's cart ID: AoRv1v2Books
Authorisation Date/Time: 04/Apr/2006 07:30:18

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