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Building Interactive Worlds in 3D: Virtual Sets and Pre-visualization for Games, Film & the Web Paperback – Apr 20 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (April 20 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240806220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240806228
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 18.4 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,477,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"Coming at the process of making interactive worlds from a non-gaming viewpoint proves to be a refreshing break...Provided is a version of the Virtools pre-visualisation package, which is used to set up the interaction between objects, cameras and players. And this is where Gauthier comes into his own with paticularly thought-provoking chapters on issues such as camera set-up and pathfinding." - Edge magazine

Book Description

Create functional and artistic virtual worlds!

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Inside This Book

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By A Customer on Feb. 10 2006
Format: Paperback
The sole and only book to expand the use of the fabulous Virtools software VR and Game Design tool. It will give you a lot of experience under the form of tutorials made with the software itself, reusable at will for your own applications.
It comes with CD and trial version too!
J-M GAUTHIER is a pioneer of the medium, he teaches at the famous ITP program at NYUniversity.
I have been using Virtools since the first version to build various installations (such as and have tested a lot of different real-time 3D platforms since, all I can say is that this book will help you harness the most sophisticated design tool there is today for building 3D worlds and videogames! PG
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not what I needed. Oct. 20 2005
By Kraig Mentor - Published on
Format: Paperback
It's nearly impossible to find Virtools books out there. So I was pleased to find this title. However, it has not been particularly useful.

There are plenty of demo files on the disc but very little discussion of what is going on. What I was hoping for was detail on how building blocks were selected, why they are connected the way they are, how they interact, etc. Instead the demo files are completed with little comment in the book. The instructions that are there are more of the "Drag this there. Then drag this there. Now press play." I find little insight in this method which is why I'd hoped for something more.

Many of the files on the CD are missing or not named the same as in the book. Some files that are to be downloaded from the Web were unavailable.

Also, there is quite a bit of content dedicated to creating your assets with Maya. That may be of interest to some, but I'm just in need of learning Virtools. Hence that material is of no assistance.

It is a dissapointment, but remains the only book available.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Disappointed and frustrated March 31 2006
By Jeff Cohen - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am a 3D savvy person and I have been using 3D applications such as 3D Studio Max & Maya for several years but I have TROUBLE following the tutorials in this book - WHY? The reason is simple: there are errors, errors, and errors everywhere in this book. Since it's almost impossible to find a Virtools book, this would be the only choice for people who want to get a book about Virtools. However I found this book is very disappointing.

There is no logical explanation of how building blocks work (building blocks are what the pre-written scripts in Virtools are called) but merely poor direction of how to click and drag building blocks and press play. Most of the information about Virtools in this book you will be able to find in the Help menu from the software itself. There are very few (if there is any) new ideas and they are confusing and I get lost even by following the "step by step" instruction. I was doubting myself not following the tutorials correctly so I passed the book to one of my friends who is a 3D guru - and he has trouble to get things work following the tutorials in this book as well. Again: errors!!!

I'm very disappointed and frustrated.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Enriching virtual content: a very good reference March 12 2007
By Guillaume Langlois - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a good reference for anyone interested in creating interactive installations, typically for museums, presentations, projects, digital artwork, and even games.

If you are completely new to Virtools and you are looking for a manual, then this may not be the appropriate book. However, if your goal is to produce rich experiences with a strong cinematographic feel, it's an ideal read. Gauthier often links virtual worlds to cinema, a natural connection; if you want to push your virtual content futher, some tricks of the 7th art trade are totally appropriate.

I'd recommend this to anyone willing to push the quality of an installation, or looking forward to adding lots of depth in a virtual experience.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Review of 23 June 2007 June 22 2007
By Pedro Tavares Barata Bastos - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book is very well structured, it teaches how to implement Maya and Virtools, taking you through the creation of a character or a tree in Maya and configuring it later in Virtools. Also explains a number of behaviors and cameras, theory and practice. Im still hoping to test a few of the examples, such as the Nighthawk section, but so far it seems fairly good.