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How to Use This Book

How to Use This Book

This book provides an introduction to low-polygon character modeling, rigging, and animation with 3ds max.

The book is divided into three sections:

  • SECTION 1: CHARACTER MODELING Model a low-polygon character.

  • SECTION 2: CHARACTER RIGGING Create bones and a fully functional rig for the character. Apply the Skin modifier and adjust its settings.

  • SECTION 3: ANIMATION Use traditional principles of animation with 3ds max's tools to create finished animation for the character's face and body.

The book is designed so you can go through it from beginning to end to create a complete project. Alternatively, you can skip to sections that interest you. Numerous files are included on the CD that allow you to jump in just about anywhere and do the project.

In each chapter, you'll find:

  • An explanation of the tools needed for the next task

  • Optional Practice exercises

  • Tutorial exercises for the project

Practice exercises are named with single alphabetical letters (A, B, C, and so on) that continue throughout the book. Tutorials are named with a letter to indicate the chapter, followed by a number. For example, the tutorials in the character modeling chapters start with M1, then M2; in the skinning chapter they're S1, S2, and so on.

If you want to skip the explanations and practice exercises and get right to the instructions, look for the Tutorials. If you want to use the techniques for your own project, read the explanation, do the Practice exercises, and use the techniques on your own model.

About the CD

The CD that comes with this book contains files used in practice exercises and tutorials. When you need to load a file, you are given the filename as well as the folder.

On the CD you'll find a number of snapshot files. These are files saved along the way during tutorials. When you're instructed to save a file with a particular filename, you'll find a matching file on the CD. Feel free to load these files at any time to study them or check your work.

The CD contains the following folders:

  • Animation holds folders used in the Animation section (Chapters 6 and 7). It includes a Scenes folder with 3ds max scenes, and an AVI folder with rendered animations.

  • Models holds the files for the Modeling section (Chapters 1 and 2).

  • Practice holds practice scenes that you'll load for practice exercises throughout the book.

  • Rigs contains files for Chapters 3 and 4 in the Rigging section.

  • Skinning contains files for Chapter 5 in the Rigging section.

It is not necessary to copy files from the CD to your hard disk, but you can do so if you want.

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