Max Book Guide


killer tips for max 6, is really great, the design is god, and it is very clear to read and understand, i recommend it to everyone :stuck_out_tongue:


3dsm 6 bible is not worth bying according to me.
To basic and no in-depth on anything.

Looks cool in the bookshelf though… :wink:



yes true :stuck_out_tongue: but it is good some time to go back to the source and relearn, it helps sometimes to get ride of bad habit :stuck_out_tongue:


I agree with aliciaCunnie. It’s surprising some of the simpilist things you sometimes forget and don’t even realize it. So I’d say no matter how advanced you get, it’s probably good to go back once in a while and skim through your most basic instructional book.


Im still a rather newbie at modelling. But I have made some basic human shaped models, with Box modelling and Mesh Editing.
Which book do you think would be the best for me?
Im more interested in creating characters for games.

By the way, I am using 3ds max 5.



Originally posted by eliseu gouveia
So, what�s the word on more extensive Reactor 2 literature?

Checked the Reactor help file yet? Its not located in the help menu. you have to go to your MAX directory /help, pretty damn extensive.

Strange how MAX doesn’t show it under “Additional Help”.


Originally posted by Jimmy_Dublo
[B]Im still a rather newbie at modelling. But I have made some basic human shaped models, with Box modelling and Mesh Editing.
Which book do you think would be the best for me?
Im more interested in creating characters for games.

By the way, I am using 3ds max 5.

:thumbsup: [/B]

You’d do well with one or both of these:

…Real-Time Game Characters (I don’t have it but I’m going to check it out)

Modeling a character… (This one I do have and it’s pretty good- it’s in my list on the first thread page)

Side Note: When I have time I still plan to update the list. I’m not using max as much these days but have been keeping a close watch on books. I like books!:drool:


I’ve purchased many max books, too many in fact, but I can recommend the following ;

3DS Max 6 Animation: CG Filmmaking from Concept to Completion - Barrett Fox

Excellent book, not only covers modelling characters and animation but CG filmmaking, e.g producer, director, storyboarding, story creation and audio etc… it’s a really good read if your interested in all aspects of CG filmaking.

3ds MAX X Killer Tips - Jon Bell -

A great book with some straight to the point tips on all areas of max.

3D Studio MAX 3 Professional Animation - Angie Jones & Sean Bonney

Another good book on starting animation


Is there any good books for max 6 or for Mental Ray (max version) only (rendering, lights, materials and shaders)? Or perhaps a DVD set. I learn much better when I see someone doing the thing :slight_smile: I have bought mental4ever dvd’s from evermotion (they were quite good) but I’d like to learn more.


Hello I’m new and this is my first post :slight_smile:

Anyway, I recently got into 3d modleing and am not a good modeler (especielly since I’ve only completed 1 thing, from a tutorial, even though I’m like half-way into lotsa of other tutorials and I expect I’ll stay there) Anywho, Can anyone recommend a good book for 3ds max (specifically 3ds max 7) that goes into splines in depth? I’ve looked at a lot of tecniques, and they always make me feel like it’s “cheating” or “not really your work” (I’m talking about like box modeling tecniques and similar techniques) Anyway, even theough I did half- tutorials with those techniques, I never feel like it’s really my work, and so I can’t continue, but ith splines, it makes me feel like every single point is mine… and now to the point:

Can anyone recommend a 3ds max book (specifically 3ds max 7) that goes in depth with splines and character modeling (specifically heads, and ears, and maybe hair?) Also, I would prefer if the book showed you how to make ody’s as well with splines, I’ve looked at a few tutorials, and I get the concept, but when I try to make a head or something, I can’t grasp the “feel” and the “flow” of the face or anything, or the feel or flow of modeling, so I need a book that will actchually go into detail with splines… maybe it coul include anatomy or something?

Sorry fo the long post, I just realized how much I write, and how repetitive I am… thanks for even reading the post… even if you just skimmed it…

Oh, almost forgot, I would prefer if whatever title you chose is not so expensive, because I’m only 14… and we 14 year olds don’t really have a 6 figre salary to look forward to or anything… lol I don’t think many people have a six figure slary to look forward to eithier…

Woops, sorry, I’m ranting again.


That one is for Maya, but the tools are exactly the same. I got that book and followed along in MAX very easily. Check out for some awesome video tutorials, theres one on modeling an alien.
It treats you like a complete newbie the whole way through, which is actually pretty cool, cause it assumes absolutely NO prior knowledge.

But yeah, as stated, that link there is an absolutely Fantabolous book, highly reccomended no matter what package you use.

Also, this one;
Seems to have awesome reviews from everyone on Amazon… maybe give it a try?


^^depends what currency your talking about :bounce:

i am going to write a 3dsmax modeling and effects book soon with emphesis on complete step by step character modeling and texturing. :slight_smile: the book will be easy to follow but concentrate on quality and technique. so if you guys are interested PM me with a list of things you would like to see.

as for the books mentioned below, both of paul steeds books are quite good.


hola, wanted to know if anyone got their hands on any of the 3ds max 7 books that are out now. I know the basics don’t change, so that I can get a 3ds max 5 book or something, but while am at it I can also learn the new feature 7 offers. Or do you think the guide that comes with the program is good enough for the new features and just get a 5 or 6 book for the basics? Thanks a bunch everyone.


paul steeds books are very focused on his specific (and sometimes rather weird and/or outdated) approaches. if you can live with that, these are very in depth (not to say lengthy), he has a good style of mixing his very understandable explanations with a bit of entertainment and doesn’t just cover basics and then skips over the important steps as some other authors like to do (inside 3ds max, anyone?).

djdorifto: depends on the price difference, i’d say.
the max help files and docs regarding version changes and new features are pretty good these days so just get a book you can get along with best and don’t care about the version number too much. often it’s some basics one is struggling with the most in the early learning stages anyway.

there are a few key features that have only been made available in newer releases of max, (e.g.: max5: character-system, advanced rendering and reactor, max6: mental ray and particle flow) and will thus not be covered in older books but for a starter that shouldn’t matter.


I picked up the Max 7 Bible by Kelly L. Murdock ($50.00), which appears to be completely comprehensive.
I’d imagine this would be more useful to beginners such as myself, but it has already eased me through a couple of areas I was stuck on, so I’m finding it quite useful!

It also came with a CD that has a bunch of models, tutorials etc, as well as the complete book in PDF format.


Well, may as well add mine in. One old favorite and 3 new ones I picked up this week.

1st off… The 3ds Max 6 Killer Tips is one of the coolest books I have. Some of the ideas and suggestions have helped with take my modeling to a higher level now. His tips on materials, maps, rendering is second to none IMHO. I recommend this one to anyone who asks about books… Cant wait for the Max 7 tips.

I picked up the 3ds Max 7 Bible this week. I have the Max Bibles from Ver 4 and continue to grab them as they hit the shelves. I dont read through them but use them for more of a reference. Need info on Radiosity, open the bible. Need info on Materials, open the bible. You get the idea.

Another excellent book I found on the shelf at Borders is the 3ds Max 7 Fundamentals and beyond courseware book from Focal Press. This one also has a cd attached with it. Very nicely done book with a real step by step approach. Very nice.

Last one this week. Inside 3DS Max 7. New Riders. Havent had a chance to dive into this one quite yet but thumbing through it, the coverage seems to be below the Bible, but still adequate enough for a newbie to follow along. I have to say at first I was sort of disappointed with it but as I read more of it I am starting to think it was money well spent.

All of these books are available on a hell of a lot cheaper than what I paid for them at Borders this week… I’ll check there next time. Also, Amazon has several bundles WAY cheaper than buying the books seperately.

Not much of an in-depth review, but the Max 7 books are out there… and more are coming I’m sure. I was trying to locate some books relating to Max and Lighting setups, rendering controls and such. If anyone has any suggestions for those, lets hear it.

And while Im here, I have to say thanks to everyone on here. I have found so much help from these and a few other forums that it has made this more enjoyable to me over the last few years… I just keep wanting to build more models. Its always a learning experience!


Is it worth getting the Killer Tips book if you’re using version 5, or is it pretty 6-specific?


DERacing, thanks very much for the nice words. I had a lot of fun writing that book, and had excellent contributions from a wide variety of contributors, including Bobo, Neil Blevins, Mike Spaw, Dan Meblin, Aksel Karcher, Ben Lipman, Pete Draper and others.

Unfortunately, there are no plans for a 3ds max 7 (or 8) Killer Tips book, at least from me. The book came out right as New Riders underwent some severe management changes, and the book’s sales were surprisingly poor. (It’s the only book I’ve written that’s earned me no royalties at all – just the advance.) It was extremely surprising and disappointing, and the lack of publicity for the book, coupled with an early, really negative (and, in my not-so-humble opinion, really stupid) review on Amazon, really seemed to dent the sales.

However, I’d love to know what you found most useful about the book, and areas that were especially helpful to you. (You can email me directly at jonbell [at] esedona [dot] net, if you want.) Thanks!

– Jon


There are a lot of general 3ds max tips in the book, so you might still get some good use out of it, even if you’re not using 3ds max 6 (or 7.)

– Jon


Very much my pleasure Jon! I must say, it is a rare chance to actually speak to the author of a book on a personal level.

I particularly took interest in the map/material section of the book. I dont do video (at this time) and have not delved into maxscript yet (although I am quite familiar with AutoLisp).

The suggestions and ideas you outline in the book regarding use of Raytraced materials has set somewhat of a standard for the mats that build for use. Most of my scenes are pretty basic. Most have either a Nascar/Racecar model or a tractor/trailer in them and are primarily used for presentation shots of peoples paint schemes.

I plan on going further into the mental ray side of max… I have dabbled a bit with it.

Give me a bit… I’ll write a little more later on tonight. Gotta run! :slight_smile: