I've been using 3Ds Max for quite some time (about 8 years) and though i'm not an expert and and have not had any professional training i've been able to get by making the things i wanted to make by watching online tutorials and reading various books on the topic. I was recently asked to review one such book 3ds Max Speed Modelling for 3D Artists -Thomas Mooney. Let me start off by saying that I like this book. It is quite useful as a reference manual and might actually be used by beginners to understand as to how to get around using 3Ds Max.
This book focuses on 3Ds Max 2013 which is currently the latest and greatest version of the software available. 3Ds Max is a huge software and many of the features have evolved over the years. This book does a great job of explaining the current feature set available in 3Ds Max and how to use it. It does not however tell from where these features evolved which would have been a nice touch to have though not necessarily in the scope of the book. Actually this book trumps my current favourite book "3DS Max Bible" in the area of modelling as a reference manual for a quick look-up when you get stuck somewhere. Don't get me wrong the Bible is awesome but it is a bit cumbersome (being 1200 pages and all) when it comes up to look at a problem. This is an area that i feel 3ds Max Speed Modelling for 3D Artists excels in.
I actually went through the whole book and did learn a few things i did not previously know so for me personally reading the book was worth it.
Things that i liked about the book.
- Great for a quick look up.
- Uses 3Ds Max 2013.
- Well written with simple explanations.
- Can be used by beginners to get acquainted with Max
- Price - At the time of writing the price listed on the website is Rs.166.20 (~$3.50) for a digital version which is a freaking steal.
- Does not dwell on details but on the process of getting stuff done.
This book is a tool that if used properly can yield to great results. If you are a 3D artist (mostly a beginner or an amature like me) using 3Ds Max my suggestion would be to get a copy of the book.