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Old 06-17-2003, 07:49 PM   #1
Signal2Noise
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Max Book Guide

For anyone considering getting a certain book to support your endeavors in max then look no further than here. I've compiled a listing of books that I personally own and make comments about each one in order to assist you in your decision. Books are expensive so I figured this will help.

Please note this will be an on going listing and will be edited quite bit as more info is introduced.
Remember that these are in my library- it’s not just an arbitrary list!

As a side note just by taking a look at the listing contained here it seems to be an indication what the most popular CG app is!

So for now here are the books:

3ds max 4 Bible (Murdock)
3ds max 4 for Windows: Visual Quickstart Guide (Matossian)
Great as a handy reference book for looking up tools and commands. This version includes an index which makes it much easier to find what you need. The price is right on this one!
Modeling a Character in 3ds max (Steed)
Great book if you’re either a) new to caharacter modeling, or b) want to do models for games. I haven’t actually completed the tutorials because frankly I found it a tad on the boring side. I also discovered some of the Illustrator files required to load for reference really grinded my system to a melt down. I now have a faster PC so I will try the files again soon.
3ds max Animation and Visual Effects Techniques (Kennedy)*
This is one of my most recent purchases. So far I’ve sat down and read every chapter without turning on my computer. It's well written and the instructions are clear and concise. More importantly, the example pictures are large enough to discern what the tutorial step is talking about. What’s great about this book is there’s chapters dedicated to Character Studio and Combustion. The author worked on lots of movies including X-Men 2 and the book uses his solo project as the tutorials. I recommend this one w/o hesitation.
3D Studio Max 3 Professional Animation (Jones)*
This is a fantastic resource for anyone even remotely interested in character animation. Fun tutorials, excellent models to work with, and it’s well written. I think you may have to find a used copy or look in bargain bins now for it.
Mastering the Art of Production with 3ds max 4 (Busby)*
Fantastic book! A complete project from beginning to end including a chapter dealing with Combustion. It’s a fun tutorial and the end result is quite impressive. People I show it to are amazed that it’s CG (like little purple alien guys are a normal occurance in real life!)
Maxscript and the SDK for 3D Studio Max (Bicalho)
Lot’s of great script examples included (thus the title of this book). I haven’t really worked through it yet because reading the scripts makes me go cross-eyed. Besides, I visit Bobo’s site if I want scripts. Good for reference nonetheless especially if you’re into specialized work or customization.
Sams Teach Yourself 3D Studio Max 2 in 14 Days (Kakert)
3ds max 4 Magic (Bonney et al.)
For intermediate to advanced users. Lot’s of variety in tutorials but you need to be able to ‘read between the lines’ as not everything is spelled out for you.
3ds max 4 Fundamentals (Boardman)
3ds max 4 Workshop (Loose)*
I agree with Xilica's comments. See the post below. I want to note that this book is geared more towards intermediate to advanced users. Loose's tutorial's in this book explain what needs to be done but leaves the majority of work process up to the max user. In other words, he is not holding your hand this time around. I recommend getting his ver. 3 book which is a more step-by-step approach THEN continue your progress with this book. Highly recommended.
3ds max 4 Media Animation (Chismar)*
This book deals with mainly logo type projects for television just as it’s predecessor did. I found the tutorials to be quite enjoyable and gives great insight into multi-camera sequences and texturing.
3D Studio Max R3 F/X & Design (Bell et al.)
Inside 3ds max 4 (Lee)
Inside 3D Studio Max 2 Fundamentals
Inside 3D Studio Max 2 Volume I
Inside 3D Studio Max 2 Volume II (Boardman et al.)
Inside 3D Studio Max 2 Volume III (Maestri et al.)
3D Studio Max 3 Fundamentals (Peterson)
3D Studio Max 3 Media Animation (Chismar)*
You want to know how to do logo animation? This is the book for you! Great stuff. I learned a lot from the four extensive tutorials here. Loose covers Illustrator as well.
3ds max 4 Ground Rules (Peterson)
3D Studio Max R3 Visual Quickstart Guide (Matossian)
3D Studio Max 2 Fundamentals (Peterson)
3ds max 4 In Depth (McFarland)
3D Studio Max 2 Effects Magic (Carbonaro et al.)
3D Studio Max 3 Magic (Holmes et al.)
For intermediate to advanced users. Lot’s of variety in tutorials but you need to be able to ‘read between the lines’ as not everything is spelled out for you.
Inside 3D Studio Max 3 Volume I (Miller et al.)
Inside 3D Studio Max 3 Volume II
Inside 3D Studio Max 3 Volume III
3D Studio Max 3 Bible (Murdock)
Mastering 3D Studio Max 4 (Woods)
3D Studio Max 3.0 Workshop (Loose)*
Extremely fun tutorial project that goes from story boarding all the way to final output. I found a few mistakes in the tutorials which forces you to backtrack a bit and solve the problems to make the models or animation look right. However, it’s still a great resource and I always refer to it if I’m stumped in doing something.
Harnessing 3ds max 5 (Bousquet)
3ds max 5 Fundamentals (Boardman)
Advanced 3ds max 5 Modeling & Animating (Kulagin)
I just started working through this book. Right of the start I'd recommend this book more to intermediate max users or someone who has a good grasp on all the tools in max. The author relies on the fact that the user does not need any hand-holding in going through the tutorials and leaves most of the exercises up to the user to complete. I don't really like the way the book is written grammatically speaking. I guess it has to do with translation from the author's native language to English. Also, the author refers to another book "3ds max 4: From Objects to Animation" which I don't have (and won't get because I thought it was too basic) and gives me the feeling he wants the user to buy it too. However, that being said, the tutorials so far are fun to do and is really good at showing some of the modelling techniques available in max. Get it if your book collection is lacking but otherwise it's not a 'must have' as compared to other titles.

to be continued

*- asterix indicates what I would deem a ‘must have’ title.

It's very important to remember that the Help, Tutorial, and Manuals that ship with max are your friend and should be consulted before laying out your hard-earned cash for an after market book! This is usually stipulated in every preface of every max book.
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Last edited by Signal2Noise : 02-08-2004 at 07:41 PM.
 
Old 06-20-2003, 05:11 PM   #2
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3ds max 4 Workshop (Loose)
Excellent, excellent book. At the beginning he walks through the interface for beginners to the program and then introduces modeling concepts. The whole book is really a project/workshop because while you are learning concepts you are also putting those concepts into action. Highly recommended to anyone who is new to 3ds max 4, howver if you are not completely new this book can still be of help. A CD Rom comes with the book with many files.
 
Old 07-08-2003, 04:31 PM   #3
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Talking Harnessing 3ds max 5

I have just ordered this book from Amazon due to an abundance of people rating the book with 5 stars. Of course once I get it I will post a review.
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Old 07-09-2003, 02:01 PM   #4
Signal2Noise
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yboris, I have the book but I haven't gone through it yet. You should complete it first before reviewing it. If you want you can PM me with your review and I'll then post it in the "list" giving you full credit for the review. Then we can delete the subsequent posts to keep this thread nice and clean

[Edit]: Same goes for you, Aci|ix. If you want I can attach your review to my list.
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Last edited by Signal2Noise : 07-09-2003 at 06:42 PM.
 
Old 07-09-2003, 03:11 PM   #5
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Hi All,

Hope this isn't inappropriate, but I have three Max books for sale. I changed my mind and went with Lightwave instead after buying these books, so they are brand new and the CD has never been opened.

3DS Max 5 Bible - Murdock
3DS Max 5 Fundamentals - Boardman
Mastering the art of Production with 3DS Max 4 - Busby & Bousquet

I'll take half of what amazon charges.

TW
 
Old 07-31-2003, 05:01 AM   #6
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I will buy your 3DSMax 5 Bible if you still have it. Good refference.
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Old 08-16-2003, 01:52 PM   #7
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thanx signal, ive bought 3ds max 4 Workshop and 3ds max Animation And Visual Effects Techniques ..... mainly because of the recommendation of these books by u

Thanx Signal !!!
 
Old 09-07-2003, 05:58 AM   #8
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I teach 3d Max / Viz at the University of Kansas - and while these max books are good - I use these general 3d books for class because they cover a lot more information and explain the why not just the how.

Digital Lighting and Rendering , Jeremy Birn, 2000

Digital Texturing and Painting , Owen Demers, 2001

Essential CG Lighting Techniques , Darren Brooker, 2002

Optional:

The Art of 3-D: , Isaac Victor Kerlow, 2000
I think there is a 3rd edition now....

Check 'em out.
a
 
Old 09-09-2003, 03:32 AM   #9
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Hi!

Signal to Noise-

You mentioned that 3ds max Animation and Visual Effects Techniques had information about character studio. Do you know which version of character studio it covers and whether or not there is info about the mixer in it?

also, any thoughts of making a similar list for useful dvd or vhs max courses?

Meanadam, thanks for the recs on the books. I have been wondering if there was a good lighting book out there for a while.
 
Old 09-14-2003, 07:20 PM   #10
Signal2Noise
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jennbot
Hi!

Signal to Noise-

You mentioned that 3ds max Animation and Visual Effects Techniques had information about character studio. Do you know which version of character studio it covers and whether or not there is info about the mixer in it?


CS 4 is the version covered. If you mean Motion Mixer then yes, there is brief information on it as well. The chapter dedicated to Character Studio is only roughly 15 pages including exercises. Hopefully a future book in the series will go into better detail.

Quote:
...also, any thoughts of making a similar list for useful dvd or vhs max courses?


Not from me. I don't own any VHS/DVD training tutorials so I can't comment on them. Perhaps someone else can offer recommendation and insight?


Quote:
Meanadam, thanks for the recs on the books. I have been wondering if there was a good lighting book out there for a while.


I also concur with meanadam's recommendations. I have the first two listed books (Brin & Demers) which are a great resource. I have others as well but do not include them in my list as they are considered non-app specific. I only wanted to provide a listing that involved Max specifically. Another book that I just purchased which is proving to be really valuable is 3-D Human Modeling and Animation . Check it out.
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Old 12-31-2003, 11:29 PM   #11
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Old 01-05-2004, 11:06 PM   #12
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what about any good 3ds max 6 book, or are there any out yet??
 
Old 01-06-2004, 03:48 PM   #13
Signal2Noise
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Wow! I guess I better update my book listing comments one of these days. Thanks for the bump!

XEcuti0ner: I'm keeping my eyes open for ver. 6 books but I doubt I'll be laying out the chump change for the new version of max anyway since I've turned to LightWave and XSI. But I do enjoy books so who knows.

Anyway, afaik no max 6 book has been released yet or have long delivery times according to Amazon. However you could do well with any book that I've mentioned for say version 4 and higher. I would say you could still use 95% of the information in those with 6. And the remaining 5% (which will be all the new stuff) can be learned from the max 6 Help and Tutorial files.
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Old 01-06-2004, 06:05 PM   #14
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I went ahead and pre ordered one from Barnes and Noble, but they wont have it until Feburary, thanks for the info, and i will look through some of the older stuff too.
 
Old 02-01-2004, 01:24 AM   #15
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Question

So, what´s the word on more extensive Reactor 2 literature?
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