The second volume of the most authoritative guide to 3D Studio MAX 2, this guide focuses on the best ways to create sophisticated models and materials. The first part of the book is about modeling and teaches you basic modeling concepts such as polygonal, patch, and Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline (NURBS) modeling, and how to work with curves and primitives. Next you learn how to create models for architectural, industrial, and mechanical design purposes. The authors also discuss how to model for real-time games, virtual reality, and the Web, and how to create high-detail, cinematic output and realistic character models. The second part of the book is about materials: you learn about the types of shaders, reflection and refraction concepts, ray tracing, and rendering, and then move on to design naturally occurring, man-made, fictional, special-effects, and animated materials. You also use the program for creating 2-D maps, which is helpful if you don't have an image editor. The third part of the book guides you through rendering effects, teaching you how to work with cameras, lights, glows, lens flares, highlights, and focal effects.
The intelligently organized guide features tutorials with step-by-step instructions as well as technical discussions and large, clear screen shots. The included CD-ROM has project files for the tutorials. There's also a full-color gallery of interesting models and scenes produced in 3D Studio Max, an appendix that teaches you about importing AutoCAD files into 3D Studio MAX 2, and another appendix that provides an overview of useful 3D Studio MAX plug-ins. --Kathleen Caster